Favorite ESOL/Literacy Resources, May 2009

At our Tutors Roundtable on May 12, 2009, we shared many wonderful ideas and resources to help our learners improve their English language skills.  Here is a list of some of the titles mentioned at the roundtable:

Chartbook: A Reference Grammar: Understanding and Using English Grammar

Concise clear tables showing features of grammar. Useful for tutors and for presentation to learners.

Person to Person: Communicative Speaking and Listening Skills (Student Book 1)

Recommended for improving speaking and listening skills and for developing vocabulary. Raises a lot of good topics for discussion.

A Conversation Book 2: English in Everyday Life

Recommended for learners at the intermediate and hig intermediate levels.

101 Bright Ideas: ESL Activities for All Ages

Great ideas for tutors of intermediate learners.

Useful web sites


http://www.Using English.com



Fun and instructional games


Great for building vocabulary and developing conversation skills.


Helps with verb tenses, spelling, and sentence construction.

American Film Database

Title Year Genre Comments
The Wizard of Oz 1939 Children, Musical  
Casablanca 1942 Drama, Romance  
It’s a Wonderful Life 1947 Drama, Romance  
Forrest Gump 1994 History, Romance  
To Kill a Mockingbird 1962 History, Drama  
Modern Times 1936 Comedy, Social commentary  
Singin’ in the Rain 1952 Comedy, Musical  
The Grapes of Wrath 1940 History, Drama  
The Graduate 1967 Comedy, Social commentary  
Gone with the Wind 1939 Romance, History  
Crash 2004 Drama  
The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951 Science fiction  
Rocky 1976 Sports  
Hair 1972 Musical  
Splash 1984 Romance  
Wag the Dog 1998 Comedy, Politics  
Star Wars 1977 Science fiction  
Apollo 13 1995 Drama, History  
A League of Their Own 1992 Comedy, History  

This  list of films serves as a basis for conversation about American culture, history and informal vocabulary.  Tutors and learners view a DVD at home, then meet to discuss the ideas and content.  It’s a fun way to share opinions and experiences.

Do you have any suggestions?


3 Responses to Favorite ESOL/Literacy Resources, May 2009

  1. Laurie says:

    This was a great idea– suggestions from the ones who really know! Glad you posted it here so that everyone can benefit from it.

  2. Konstantin says:

    There is an interesting resource for studying pronunciation. It’s an old poem designed specifically to introduce difficult cases:

    My problem is that I could not find a flawless rendition of this poem!

    None of the text-to-speech programs I tried so far was intelligent enough either to distinguish between two different meanings and pronunciations of “tear” or/and to pronounce “via” properly.

    Youtube.com has several clips on that, but even the best I found there:

    has at least 2 mistakes.

    Does anybody know either a
    – flawless test-to-speech program
    – or a flawless rendition?

    And if the both answers are “No”, could anybody read it properly and record it as, at least, an audio file?

    If there’s such a person (Susan ? ), and the person does not know how to create such a file, I will be able to help. (Or the Library might have means to help with that.)

  3. […] Favorite ESOL/Literacy Resources, May 2009 « Talk Time for Tutors […]

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