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.

Learn more about planning a trip to the U.S. and applying for a tourist visa.