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  • The Mushroom Hunters – Test Your English Listening and Writing Skills – Video and Exercise

    This English listening exercise is really interesting to me for a couple reasons, and it should provide our English language learners with a real listening challenge.

    The video linked below is about mushroom picking, which is something Paul and I have done for quite a few years. We pick Morel mushrooms, which grow in the Rocky Mountains. We haven’t ever picked for profit, just to add something delicious to our meals at home.

    The second reason this video is interesting is on a language level. The mushroom pickers featured in the video are obviously bilingual speakers but their mother tongue is interfering with their English. It is curious because their accent is perfect, and they use great idiomatic expressions and phrasal verbs that you would rarely hear used by non-native English speakers. But they have a couple grammatical mistakes that are common with speakers of Asian or Russian languages. I assume this is interference from their parents’ language. The exercise will be about understanding the idiomatic expressions that they use but also correcting some of their grammatical errors. Good luck!

    Watch and listen to the video and answer the questions! If you do the writing exercise, I’ll correct your errors.

    Click here to watch the video.

    Write your answers in comments, and we’ll respond.
    1. Every _____ mushroom hunters ______to the woods around small town of Chumult, Oregon.
    2. Mushrooms that grows in sand. (1 mistake) Correct the sentence.
    3. The Matsutake prized by connoisseurs for their earthy aroma can command __________prices.
    4. How much money did he earn this day? For how many hours worth of work?
    5. How much did they used to be worth?
    6. Who sets the price according to …..
    7. Why have the prices gone down?
    8. Even at 5 dollars a pound the mushrooms can be a _____  ______.
    9. There’s no jobs. So I just come over here to ______ my _____.
    10.  In Stockton its hard find job. (2 mistakes) Correct the sentence.
    11. What are the lifestyle advantages for the John Souvannasay?

    Writing: Tell me about this lifestyle? Would you choose to work in this way? Why or why not? Do you have any jobs like this in your country? Do you have professional mushroom pickers?

    • Hello Teauna, how can I do the writing and send to you to correct. I’m Sergio Rivero, from Spain. Many thanks.

      • LOIEnglish

        You can write your answers here, and I’ll read and correct them.

    • Jefferson

      the link is broke 🙁

      • LOIEnglish

        Which link? I tested the link to the New York Times video, and it worked fine.

    • mari

      Could you check my answers and correct my English?
      Thank you!
      1. Every fall
      mushroom hunters flack to the woods around small town of Chumult, Oregon.

      2.
      Mushrooms that grows in sand. (1 mistake) Correct the sentence.→ Mushrooms that grow in sand.

      3. The
      Matsutake prized by connoisseurs for their earthy aroma can command astronomical
      prices.

      4. How
      much money did he earn this day? For how many hours worth of work? 20 dollars/day.
      He works 4 hours a day.

      5. How
      much did they used to be worth? 600 dollars/pound

      6. According
      to Jhon Souvannasay a big guy sets the price

      7. Why
      have the prices gone down? Because of the increasing foraging in China.

      8.
      Even at 5 dollars a pound the mushrooms can be a life line.

      9. There’s
      no jobs. So I just come over here to ease my mind.

      10.
      In Stockton its hard find job. (2 mistakes) Correct the sentence.→In Stockton it’s hard to find a job.

      11.
      What are the lifestyle advantages for the John Souvannasay? He can
      travel at the same time to make money.

      I don’t think I can work like this…I like this kind of nature but I want to do this for my leisure. I like traveling so I envy his lifestyle but I’ve grown up in a city so I don’t think I can live this kind of survival situation.
      I live in Japan and we are crazy to Matsutake mushrooms so we have professional mushrooms pickers. Domestic mushrooms are really expensive so we import a lot of cheep mathutake mushrooms from all over the world.

      • LOIEnglish

        Mari, Good work! Here are some corrections:

        Listening Question #1: The correct answer is ‘flock’-to congregate or
        mass in a flock or large group. i.g. Students flocked to spring break
        sites.

        Listening Question #4: He earned $1300 dollars for the day.

        Listening Question #11: You have a grammar mistake in your answer. He can travel at the same time AS he is making money.

        I live in Japan and we are crazy ABOUT Matsutake….
        we have professional mushroom (no ‘S’) pickers. There isn’t an ‘s’ because you are describing pickerS and adjectives in English are never plural.

        import a lot of CHEAP (spelling error)

        Mari…really good writing. I noticed that you didn’t use your modal verbs such as “could.” If you use them in your writing it sounds more natural and gives us the idea that this is something that you are imagining. For example: I don’t think I COULD work like this. It sets the stage for an imaginary argument. Over all your writing is quite good. Try using your modal verbs to take your English to the next level.

        Thanks!

        • mari

          Thank you so much for your good advice!

    • Carlos

      1. Every fall mushroom hunters flats to the woods around small town of Chumult, Oregon.

      2. Mushrooms that grows in sand. Correct the sentence. Mushrooms that grows on sand.

      3. The Matsutake prized by connoisseurs for their earthy aroma can command astronomical prices.

      4. How much money did he earn this day? 1300 USD per day For how many hours worth of work? 4 hours a day.

      5. How much did they used to be worth? now 5 USD per pound last 3 year was 20 USD per pound

      7. Why have the prices gone down? because China has lower prices

      8. Even at 5 dollars a pound the mushrooms can be a life line.

      9. There’s no jobs. So I just come over here to ease my mind.

      10. In Stockton its hard find job. Correct the sentence. In Stockton is hard find a job

      11. What are the lifestyle advantages for the John Souvannasay? it’s fun, go from state to state, different mountains, live in different ways, and making money at the same time.

      It’s a free lifestyle, I wouldn’t like to work in this way. beacuse it seems bored and I can’t get much money to live all the year. I don’t have some job like this in my country. No.

      • LOIEnglish

        Carlos…Thanks for answering!
        Listening Question #1: The correct answer is ‘flock’-to congregate or mass in a flock or large group. i.g. Students flocked to spring break sites.

        Grammar Correction Question #2: The problem isn’t with the preposition it is with the verb; it doesn’t fit with the noun. The noun is plural ‘mushroomS’ and he used the 3rd person singular verb form. The correction is: Mushrooms that grow in sand. GROW without ‘S’

        Grammar Correction Question #10: In Stockton its hard TO find A job. You need to use the infinitive with ‘to’ in this sentence because you already used an active verb.

        Writing correction: I wouldn’t like to work THIS way. (no need for in) Because it seems BORING. You can watch our video about the difference between adjectives with ‘ed’ or ‘ing’

        http://www.skypeenglishclasses.com/skype-english-blog/videos/english-adjectives-with-ed-and-ing-video-and-exercise/

        I can’t get (earn is a better choice) much money to live all YEAR. (drop THE; this is a direct translation from Spanish)

        There isn’t ANY job like this in my country. Maybe I’ll do a video about the difference between any or some. Any is with negatives and some is with positives. That is a quick tip for learning the difference. i.g. There isn’t ANY milk. There is SOME juice.

        Hopes this helps!