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  • How LOI English Helped a Tajikistan Woman Buy a Cow

    LOI English made a small loan that helped Hilola buy cattle.

    Most of us probably think of loans as a way to help us buy big expensive things like houses, cars or (in the United States at least) an education. But could small loans be a way of helping people around the world improve their lives, their families lives and their communities?

    Kiva thinks so. Kiva is a nonprofit that allows you to fund “microloans,” loans for small amounts of money, to people around the world. The microloans can be used to pay for school supplies, help someone start a business, pay for new appliances to improve their quality of life, or to buy cattle, as in the case of Hilola, the Tajikistani woman who we chose to loan money to.

    If everything works well, Hilola will buy her cattle, start her business, and by the end of 2014, pay back her loan. Then Kiva will return the money we loaned, and we can loan it again if we like.

    Watch the video below to learn more about how Kiva works.

    Comprehension Questions. Write your answers in comments and we will respond:

    1. Where do they live?

    2. Together they ____ a small family business.

    3. Pedro ____ __ have two cows…

    4. How did one of the cows die?

    5. Pedro now has just _________ enough money to feed his family.

    6. How much more coffee can Pedro grow with a tractor?

    7. Once you ______ your money _______….

    8. And ___ simple __ that you helped a family half way around the world and it didn’t cost you a ______.

    You may have noticed that the narrator in the video says “used to” several times. He uses it with one specific meaning, but there are three different common meanings for “used to” in English. The video below will help you with each of them. After the video, try the exercises.

    Used to video:

    Used to exercise. Write your answers in comments and we will respond:

    1. I ________ work in a bank but I left and got a new job as a floral arranger.

    2. Since we had the baby I ______ not getting enough sleep.

    3. How’s the new job? _______ it yet?

    4. You _______ smoke! When did you start?

    5. The noise was deafening but the driver _______ it.