Everyday conversations: Some of the main things about Maine [audio]
This series of Everyday Conversations is about a family traveling to each of the 50 states in the U.S. Join the family members as they learn about local pastimes and history. These conversations are for intermediate-level English-language learners or higher.
In this conversation, the family drives along the coast of Maine.
Paul: This is a beautiful drive up the Maine coastline.
Gina: I still can’t believe how many lighthouses we’ve seen.
Paul: Well, the coastline is pretty rocky, so it makes sense that they’d need a lot of lighthouses. They guide the sailors and fishermen safely to the harbor.
Gina: That’s a good point. And it’s a long coastline.
Sam: Well, I’m hoping we get to see a moose and not just more lighthouses.
Claudine: The guidebook says there are about 75,000 moose in Maine, but I don’t think we’ll see one along the coast.
Sam: That’s too bad. Well, what else is Maine famous for?
Claudine: Lobster! It’s a staple dish of many of the restaurants in the state. We definitely should eat some before we leave.
Now let’s review the vocabulary.
A coastline is the boundary between land and the ocean. A coast is the land along the ocean or sea.
A lighthouse is a tower on or near the coast. A lighthouse has a strong light used to guide ships away from danger.
Rocky means having many rocks.
A harbor is an area of water on the coast that is protected and deep enough to provide safety to ships.
A moose is a large animal with very large, flat antlers, which are a type of horn. It is the official state animal of Maine. Moose is a countable noun, but the plural of moose is moose. One moose, two moose, etc.
A guidebook is a book with information for travelers and tourists.
A lobster is a sea creature with a long body, a hard, black shell, and a pair of large claws. Claws are curved and pointed arms for catching and holding things. The shell of a lobster turns bright red when it is boiled.
A staple dish is a dish, or a food prepared in a particular way, that is eaten routinely among a group of people or in a certain geographic region.
The American English website offers a variety of free resources for learners and teachers of English. The American English Facebook page posts learning materials for English-language learners daily. The American English for Educators Facebook page posts teaching materials for English-language teachers daily.
Everyday Conversations are developed by the State Department’s Heidi Howland, a senior program officer in the Office of English Language Programs, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.