The Learning Network Blog

December 12, 2014

The Learning Network Blog provides teaching and learning materials and ideas based on New York Times content.   Check out sections such as Word of the Day, What’s going on in this picture?, Test Yourself questions, Crosswords, etc.

Newton Public Schools English Language Learning Resource Fair

December 11, 2014

English Language Learning Resource Fair

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

6:00-8:00 pm

Newton North Cafeteria

457 Walnut Street

Newtonville, MA 02460

Come learn about some of the different school and community resources in Newton.
Meet other families from around the world!

• Summer Camp and After School Programs
• Adult English Classes
• Health Department – Free Flu Shots from 6:00-7:00! (if available)
• High School and Middle School Guidance Counselors
• Newton’s ESL Teachers
• NPS Social Workers
• Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs
• Pre-School Information
• Newton Public Library
• Community Sports Teams… and more…

Dinner, Children’s activity tables, and Interpreters provided.
If you are attending, return to your child’s ESL teacher or contact
Dianna Kobayashi at 617-559-6045 or
Please RSVP by January 8, 2015
Name: _____________________________________School: __________________
Number of Adults Attending? _____________
Number of Children Attending? _____________

Selected ESL Online Resources

December 11, 2014

Selected ESL Online Resources

Sue Meeker, Tutor Roundtable (Wellesley ESL), January 7, 2014




* (good for printable lesson plans, worksheets, etc) **teacher favorites for handouts (free printable worksheets, lessons on government, lesson plans, vocabulary)


Listening/Audio/Independent Online Work

* (Very cool! Audio snippets online with related activities!)


* (Good for independent learning, audio, printables, reading passages, vocab, quizzes)   (English Language Listening Lab Online)


Good Printable Worksheets and Handouts

* (printable worksheets) (worksheets/quizzes) (good printable worksheets and lesson plans)

* (also good for online independent practice)


Vocabulary and Word Lists

* (printable lists on any subject)

* (also under “General”)


News for ESL (good for independent work)


(Voice of America Special English—2 levels of audio stories accompanied by written transcripts) (good for reading, but British accent on audios) (high intermediate to advanced reading passages, British)



* (Great!)

Videos for pronunciation:

Pronunciation lessons

Pronunciation lessons for individual sounds


More Specific

Grammar: (English grammar lessons and exercises)

Idioms/Slang: (Good as a student resource, can look up idiom alphabetically or in subject-related lessons)



Teacher Info/Articles/Resources


Detailed lesson outlines, plans

List of 1500 common English words with definitions

Language experience approach videos, demos “ESL Challenges” blog, ideas for adults (good links under “Instructional Tools”)


Additional Links, 10/23/14 (direct link to IPA with audio examples) (IPA with how to make sounds and exercises)

Definition of phrases, alphabetical

Done by grade level, reading comprehension, and grammatical worksheets – good quality, phonics.

Selected Digital Resources for ESL Learners

December 11, 2014

Notes from Lois Ambash: This is just an idiosyncratic list of sites I have found useful in preparing for and working with my group—a few among what seems like zillions. It has also been helpful to show learners some of the sites on my iPad to encourage them to visit them during the week between our meetings. British subscription site that also has free, American-friendly downloadable exercises (text, audio, and video) American English pronunciation practice (text and audio) Lists and definitions of idioms, alphabetically and by theme (text only) Lists, lessons, lots of great links to other sites, including other ESL sites (text only) Voice of America news for English learners, read at 2/3 the speed of normal newscasts, along with some mini-lessons (see   The site of Carolyn Graham, the inventor of Jazz Chants, with examples and teaching notes (text and audio) News articles from major US papers, adapted for English language learners. Free email susbscription available. Text only. Not affiliated with the New York Times.

Any and all newspaper sites (text and video)

Broadcast news sites such as,, or the news station of your choice. Most videos have closed-captioning available, some more readable than others

American English Idioms in the News: Meaning and Origin, by Peter Bengelsdorf Kindle ebook with excellent definitions and examples. Well worth $1.99. Can be downloaded to tablet or smartphone with the free Kindle app.

Question for tutors

December 1, 2014

I am looking for suggestions for fiction for low intermediate readers. I would like to find something that is not difficult to read but has themes that provide for interesting discussion.

Great Field Trip: Celebrate Fall at the MFA!

October 6, 2014
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Monday, October 13 2014
10 am–4:45 pm
Free admission for all
Celebrate Fall Open House with a day of free admission and events. Enjoy musical performances, film screenings, art-making activities, tours, and more.

Free Admission Offered for Museum Day Live!

September 26, 2014

 Free Admission at 40+ Massachusetts Museums

This Saturday!

On Saturday, September 27, participating museums across the United States will offer free admission to those who download a Museum Day Live! ticket. Click here for a list of participating museums in Massachusetts, including the Museum of Fine Arts, the JFK National Historical Site, the Salem Witch Museum, the EcoTarium, the Eric Carle Museum and many more.


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