Want to talk about the weather?!

January 23, 2015

The January22, 2015 edition of the New York Times blog, The Learning Network, included an excellent article with many great ideas for teaching and talking about the weather.  Enjoy!

Ideas for E.L.L.s | Teaching About Weather and Seasons



2014 in review

January 20, 2015

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 52 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

January 16, 2015

In Fall 2015 Art Gerstenfeld will be offering another session of his popular class Learning Language Through Music at the Newton Free Library in Newton, MA.  It is a free class for adult ESL learners at all levels who have a basic knowledge of reading, writing and understanding English. No previous knowledge of music is required (only a love of music!). Students will listen to and discuss various pieces of music from classical to modern styles. They will also  learn about the composers or artists.

Art is open to any ideas you would like to share with him relating to using music in ESL training.

Thank you!

Useful Apps for ESL Tutors and Learners

January 12, 2015

At a Tutor Roundtable on January 6, 2015 our special guest, Jenna Weathers,  introduced ESL Apps  for use during tutoring sessions or for self study. The apps are easy to use and motivate learners to converse, strengthen comprehension, improve pronunciation, sharpen grammar skills, and increase vocabulary. Most of the apps are available on Smartphones and on Apple and Android tablets.

Please share Jenna’s handout with your learners: Useful Apps for ESL Tutors and Learners.

Jenna Weathers, a Newton Free Library Reference Librarian, serves on the library’s ESL Committee.



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 Dianna_Kobayashi@newton.k12.ma.us
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




*http://www.usingenglish.com/teachers/lesson-plans/level-beginner.html (good for printable lesson plans, worksheets, etc) **teacher favorites for handouts


http://www.elcivics.com/worksheets/esl-worksheets.html (free printable worksheets, lessons on government, lesson plans, vocabulary)


Listening/Audio/Independent Online Work

*http://www.esl-lab.com/ (Very cool! Audio snippets online with related activities!)


*http://www.englishclub.com (Good for independent learning, audio, printables, reading passages, vocab, quizzes)


http://www.elllo.org   (English Language Listening Lab Online)


Good Printable Worksheets and Handouts

*http://www.englishforeveryone.org/ (printable worksheets)

http://www.usingenglish.com/handouts/ (worksheets/quizzes)

http://www.eslflow.com (good printable worksheets and lesson plans)

*www.learn-english-today.com (also good for online independent practice)


Vocabulary and Word Lists

*www.manythings.org (printable lists on any subject)

*http://www.eslgold.com (also under “General”)



News for ESL

www.newsforyouonline.com (good for independent work)



(Voice of America Special English—2 levels of audio stories accompanied by written transcripts)

http://www.newsinlevels.com (good for reading, but British accent on audios)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish (high intermediate to advanced reading passages, British)



*http://www.soundsofenglish.org (Great!)

Videos for pronunciation:


Pronunciation lessons


Pronunciation lessons for individual sounds


More Specific


http://www.ego4u.com (English grammar lessons and exercises)



http://www.idiomconnection.com/ (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

http://eslchallenges.blogspot.com “ESL Challenges” blog, ideas for adults

http://www.cal.org/caela/ (good links under “Instructional Tools”)


Additional Links, 10/23/14


http://www.antimoon.com/how/pronunc-soundsipa.htm (direct link to IPA with audio examples)

http://www.uiowa.edu/~c07w135e/ipa/ipa.html# (IPA with how to make sounds and exercises)


Definition of phrases, alphabetical

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


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