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Spring forward, Fall back.

For Advanced Students: Spelling and grammar

The official spelling is Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight SavingS Time.

Saving is used here as a verbal adjective (a participle). It modifies time and tells us more about its nature; namely, that it is characterized by the activity of saving daylight. It is a saving daylight kind of time. Because of this, it would be more accurate to refer to DST as daylight-saving time. Similar examples would be a mind-expanding book or a man-eating tiger. Saving is used in the same way as saving a ball game, rather than as a savings account.

Nevertheless, many people feel the word savings (with an ‘s’) flows more mellifluously off the tongue. Daylight Savings Time is also in common usage, and can be found in dictionaries.

Adding to the confusion is that the phrase Daylight Saving Time is inaccurate, since no daylight is actually saved. Daylight Shifting Time would be better, and Daylight Time Shifting more accurate, but neither is politically desirable.

Interview with a Wake Tech ESL Instructor

We’re excited to introduce our new blog column where we will feature an interview with a Wake Tech ESL Instructor.
If you would like us to interview your teacher, please post a comment with your teacher’s name and place where he/she teaches. Please suggest questions for the interview.

Today we are honored to interview Susan Hoffman.

photo courtesy of Keum Hi

photo courtesy of Keum Hi

Q:How long have you been teaching ESL?
SH: I have been teaching ESL for ten years, going on eleven – all with Wake Tech. and all at Fuquay-Varina United Methodist Church.

Q:What do you love about your job?
SH: I love watching the students progress in their English. It is very rewarding to to see them gain confidence in their speaking abilities and in themselves. You form a bond with some of your students. You see their struggles but also their accomplishments.

Q: What do you usually eat for breakfast?
SH: I usually have an english muffin or half a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. I always have coffee!

Q: Are you a sports fan?
SH: I am a sports fan. I’m currently watching the World Series but I like football, soccer, basketball, golf, and tennis. I’m a big Roger Federer fan.

Q: Do you enjoy watching wrestling or car races?
SH: I am not a race car or wrestling fan.

Q: If you could have any super power, what power would you like to have?
SH: If I could have a super power, I would like to be able to fly. It would be fun to see where the hawks and eagles live and view the world through their eyes. Plus, you could go places quickly with no traffic!

Q: Do you have a pet?
SH: I have a pet dog. He is a “Sheltie” – a Shetland Sheep Dog. He weighs about 30 pounds and is a member of our family. I talk to him all the time. We solve a lot of problems on our walks!

Q: What is in your refrigerator right now?
SH: If you were to look inside my fridge, you would find fruits and vegetables, milk, eggs, and leftovers.

Q: Please tell us about your best vacation.
SH: Many years ago I went on a sailing trip to the West Indies. It was an awesome experience. I went snorkeling, scuba diving, and toured many of the Windward Islands. I had never been to such beautiful but impoverished places.

Q: Please give some advice to our ESL students.
SH: Keep practicing! Work on your pronunciation. If you have questions, ask them!!!

Q: Please give some advise to future ESL instructors.
SH: Relax. The students want to learn. Ask the students what they want to learn. That will help you with your lesson planning. Use your sense of humor and make the class fun.

Thank you, Susan!


How to carve a pumpkin

We would like to thank Jack for this video.

Lesson Plans for Lower Levels.

Haunted House Writing Activity for L4-6

Tracing Activity for Pre-Lit Students

Crossword for Higher Level

Crossword for Intermediate Level

Interactive Jigsaw Puzzles

Listen to a scary story. High level

Read a scary story. L 4-6

Look at home-made Halloween costumes and guess who these children are.

Jokes for the ESL Classroom

Riddles of Alphabet

Q: What letter of the alphabet is an insect?
A: B. (bee)

Q: What letter is a part of the head?
A: I. (eye)

Q: What letter is a drink?
A: T. (tea)

Q: What letter is a body of water?
A: C. (sea)

Q: What letter is a pronoun like “you”?
A: The letter ” I “

Q: What letter is a vegetable?
A: P. (pea)

Q: What letter is an exclamation?
A: O. (oh!)

Q: What letter is a European bird?
A: J. (Jay)

Q: What letter is looking for causes ?
A: Y. (why)

Q: What four letters frighten a thief?
A: O.I.C.U. (Oh I see you!)

Q: What comes once in a minute, twice in a moment but not once in a thousand years?
A: The letter “m”.

Q: Why is the letter “T” like an island ?
A: Because it is in the middle of waTer.

Q: In what way can the letter “A” help a deaf lady?
A: It can make “her” “hear.

Q: Which is the loudest vowel?
A: The letter “I”. It is always in the midst of noise

Q: What way are the letter “A” and “noon” alike?
A: Both of them are in the middle of the “day”.

Q: Why is “U” the happiest letter?
A: Because it is in the middle of “fun”.

Q: What word of only three syllables contains 26 letters?
A: Alphabet = (26 letters)

Q: What relatives are dependent on “you”?
A: Aunt, uncle, cousin. They all need “U”.

Q: What is the end of everything?
A: The letter “g”.

Q: What starts with E, ends with E and only has one letter?
A: An envelope.

Teacher: Maria please point to America on the map.
Maria: This is it.
Teacher: Well done. Now class, who found America?
Class: Maria did.

A: Did you hear that a baby was fed on elephant’s milk and gained twenty pounds in a week.
B: That’s impossible. Whose baby?
A: An elephant’s.

A: I’m in a big trouble!
B: Why is that?
A: I saw a mouse in my house!
B: Oh, well, all you need to do is use a trap.
A: I don’t have one.
B: Well then, buy one.
A: Can’t afford one.
B: I can give you mine if you want.
A: That sounds good.
B: All you need to do is just use some cheese in order to make the mouse come to the trap.
A: I don’t have any cheese.
B: Okay then, take a piece of bread and put a bit of oil in it and put it in the trap.
A: I don’t have oil.
B: Well, then put only a small piece of bread.
A: I don’t have bread.
B: Then what is the mouse doing at your house?!

A: Doctor, will I be able to play the piano after the operation?
B: Yes, of course.
A: Great! I never could before!

Q: If you drop a white hat into the Red Sea, what does it become?
A: Wet.

Q: What travels around the world and stays in a corner?
A: A stamp.

These need to be written.

Q: What do you call a pig with three eyes?
A: A piiig.

Q: What goes Oh, Oh, Oh?
A: Santa Claus walking backwards.

Q: What do elephants have that no other animal has?
A: Baby elephants.

Q: What did the ocean say to the beach?
A: Nothing, it just waved!

Q: What happens when “you” and “I” are gone?
A: Only 24 letters are left. (you=the letter “u” and I the letter “i”.)

ESL teacher: You must never begin a sentence “I is …”.
Clever student: Please sir, what’s wrong with “I is a vowel”.


Phrase Builder: All Levels

Oxford University Press offers Phrase Builder Activities for all levels.
Open your phrase books, get pens ready and start practicing now. You could listen to a phrase, read it, study what it means and test yourself.
Click here.

Please leave a comment for us. Was this exercise useful for you? Did you like it? What new expressions did you learn today?

John Lennon Would Have Turned 70 on Oct. 9

read more

Imagine there’s no Heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one
lyrics were copied from


Imagine sung by a talented Connie Talbot
Do we have any Beatles fans here? Please leave a comment.

Extreme Weather: Hurricanes

Hurricane Earl downgraded to Category 3, still threatens NC Coast.
(CNN) — Hurricane Earl made its presence known Wednesday despite being hundreds of miles from the East Coast of the U.S., menacing swimmers with dangerous rip currents and large swells as forecasters expanded a hurricane watch northward from North Carolina into coastal Virginia.
Mandatory evacuation orders were issued for Ocracoke Island, on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, and Cape Lookout National Seashore. read more (high level)

Watch Hurricane Earl (live)

Vocabulary: Hurricane, typhoon, cyclone,spiraling, spiral, cyclonic, circling, spinning, humidity, humid, moisture, moist, tropical

What is a hurricane?

Hurricane Related ESL Exercises

Weather quotes

Funny English Mistakes about Weather

Let’s Sing!

for L1

Happy Birthday Song
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear __________
Happy Birthday to you!

Did you know that the “Happy Birthday Song” started out as “Good Morning to You”? Did you know this song was created by two sisters from Louisville, Kentucky?

Mildred J. Hill, a composer, organist, concert pianist, and musical scholar was teaching at the Louisville Experimental Kindergarten School where her sister, Patty Smith Hill, was principal. Mildred came up with the melody to what we now know as “Happy Birthday” and Patty added the lyrics. They created a song for teachers to use to welcome students to class each day. The song was created in 1893 and called Good Morning To You and went like this:

Good morning to you,
Good morning to you,
Good morning, dear children,
Good Morning to all.

Nobody really knows who changed the words to Happy Birthday to You and put them to the melody of Good Morning to You but the song was being used in all kinds of musicals, on radio, in telegrams and for birthday celebrations. The Hills were not getting any compensation for the use of the song. Jessica Hill, another sister, who had copyrighted the song on behalf of her sisters filed suit and secured copyrights to Happy Birthday To You.