Wonderful Series of Speech Videos Perfect for Our Students

A thanks to Elizabeth Reed for introducing me to a series of videos that can be easily used in our classes. 

Take a look at the “English Speeches with Big SubTitles”  – it has inspiring speeches ranging from Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I  Have a Dream” to Will Smith “How to Face Fear” to  Jack Ma Alibaba’s “We Never Give Up” and many more.  Videos range from as short as 2 minutes to about 1/2 hour.  Each has clear, large subtitles that help our students follow the speech easily.

Here is an example: 

A link to this video series has also been added to the Video category on the left.

Blog Blast #5

The 5th category in our series of getting to know the English Blog is “Listening”, a topic that includes songs and who doesn’t like music?  This category is focused on practicing listening skills through natural dialogs, dictations and song exercises.

  Let’s first review the highlighted external links:

  • Real English  –  lessons with videos showing random people on the streets from different English speaking countries talking.  
  • Randall’s Listening Lab: Many of you know this site has hundreds of short audios. Choose your level and topic. Listen to a conversation. Take a short quiz to see how much you understood. You can do more vocabulary exercises, too. Great to use in the classroom too!
  • Daily ESL is a new spin-off from Randall’s Lab. It helps students build their speaking skills  through Conversation Starters centered around every day topics.
  • Dictation Finder – index that  makes it easy to find a dictation topic you like at the right level for you.
  • Talk English – has over 900 short audio /video lessons around every day conversions, business dialogs and grammar structures.
  • Learn English Through Songs –  Each video explains the vocabulary in the song
  • Lyrics Gap Exercises   and Lyrics Training both have hundreds of popular songs with pre-made exercises at easy,medium, hard levels.  Listen up and fill in missing words in the song lyrics.

We have two page of more links here – one focused on songs  ….Song Links and the second on any other type of listening activities    ….More Listening Links. Please look through some of the links on these pages to see what is available.

New Lessons on Public Health Concerns Lessons

Kim Saunders had developed a series of lessons on common public health concerns such as bedbugs, lice and roaches for the refugee program.

However these problems can happen to us all and the lessons are suited for all immigrants who may  not be aware of what they can do about them. If they receive a letter about a lice outbreak from their children’s school, they may be confused about what is happening. 

The lessons are provided complete with pictures, readings, activities, and handouts. You can find them on the Lessons by Wake Tech instructors page  under the Public Health section. The page is  located in the Lesson Planning Category of links. 

Take a look around this page – you may find other useful lessons created by Wake Tech teachers over many years on a variety of subjects.

Loads of Activities for Ventures Available Online

During a recent PD session that was reviewing the 3rd edition of Ventures, Holly Williams share a great nugget of information that many other teachers were unaware of:  there is a wealth of classroom activities available for the Ventures textbooks online.

Please check out the new page under Book Resources called “Ventures- Cambridge English” to find out more about the type of worksheets available. 


Blog Blast #4

The 4th category in our series of getting to know the English Blog is “Grammar“, a topic near and dear to our hearts.

Check out our favorite sites by clicking on the highlighted external links /  and related page

  • English Grammar 101 – Step by step, lessons explain grammar points to students and then give  lots of examples to practice with.
  • Adele’s ESL Corner – no lessons but many exercises to help students practice different grammar points – very good for beginners and intermediates.
  • English Page  – detailed lessons on a grammar point and then links to exercises to practice. Grammar topics range from basic rules to advanced rules and usage.
  • Using English –  extensive glossary of grammar terms. Each glossary item  has a definition ( short explanation) for that grammar term and then links to several  “quizzes” (exercises) related to that grammar term  grouped by difficulty level.   Great reference for phrasal verbsidioms  or irregular verbs.
  • Road to Grammar – short lessons and “quizzes” on very specific grammar points
  • Study Zone – Find a specific grammar topic. Read the lesson and practice usage with exercises.  Good for intermediate to advanced students
  • …More Grammar Links  – this page contains more links for the same category. Please click on some of this links to see what is available to you and your student.

If you have a favorite grammar site that we missed on our “…. More Grammar Links” page, please send it to us via a comment. 

Ideas for Fall Lessons

There is a new post on the English blog, “All about Fall“, that compiles various blog posts on the fall season, events and holidays.  Many of the posts contain videos, vocabulary, and activities that can easily be part of a lesson for fall. The resources in these posts can save you time from searching the Internet on your own.

Please take advantage of them. 


Blog Blast #3

Now that the summer break is over, we are resuming our Blog Blast series covering the English Blog.

The third category is “English Multi-Skills“.  It’s for sites that provide activities for multiple skill areas (reading, writing, listening, speaking, grammar, vocabulary, etc). 

Take a moment and click on the highlighted external links  and the …More __ links page

  • Janis’s ESL Links – Organized by topics.  Each sub-topic has links for vocabulary, listening, reading and grammar. 
  • Both Agenda Web  and Many Things ESL  -tons of links for various skills
  • ESL Gold – clearly  breaks out activities by skill area and difficulty level (beg – advanced)   
  • Fun, Easy English – quick, sometimes humorous activities spanning many skill areas
  • …More Multi-Skills Links  – this page contains more links for the same category. Please click on some of this links to see what is available to you and your students.   I recommend looking at English For Everyone… it has GREAT worksheets for your students.


Ideas for Emergency Lessons (Here’s to Hurricane Florence)

With Hurricane Florence dominating the news, there is a post on the English Bog that has hurricane related materials for students.  We also have a new page, Preparing for Emergencies on the Teacher’s blog under Teaching  Ideas that has many resources (including lesson plans) for teaching about natural disaster emergencies.

Please share any additional resources you may have via a comment and I’ll include it on the page.  


Blog Blast #2

Next in our series on the English Blog is the second category “English Lessons Online”.  This category has websites that provide a sets of related lessons usually at various learner levels.   Take a moment and click on the six highlighted links   and then the  related  ….more links page .

  • Learn American English Online – has 7 colored levels, each with over 25 specific lessons on a focused grammar point. Each lesson usually has a visual filled written description of the grammar point,  video outtakes and exercises. The levels have reading and dictation activities.  This site is NOT just for beginners  but can used by ERV students too.
  • USA Learns – is a multi unit course with different beginners / intermediate levels. It needs a sign-in using an email address but any email (xxx@gmail.com) can be used if a student doesn’t have one. Using videos in an ESL class setting, it covers a dizzying range of topics with a variety of activities.
  • REEP World – is used by many teachers. It only has 3 sets of lessons centered on Work, Family and Health but they are very comprehensive and there are teacher’s resources available.
  • El Civics – the English used for its lessons is simple but it  provides MANY  lessons  about U.S. history, government, citizenship, geography, culture and HOLIDAYS! There is also free downloadable worksheets
  • ESOL Courses– has 5 levels with lessons focused on particular skill areas ( speaking, reading , etc) and topics
  • Web-ESL –  looking for activities to re-enforce a lesson?  This site provide  variety of  activities all linked to topics. 
  • …More Learn English Online Links  –  has more links for the same category. Of special note, see the extensive set of Mrs Haquet’s  interactive “mini-books”. I’ve listed them in table format for easy access. Great way for students to learn grammar points within a topic setting.