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ESL and You: The Basics

What is ESL?   ESL stands for English as a Second Language. While this has been the standard acronym for years, there are other acronyms that are associated with this particular field.    ELL - English Language Learner - This refers to students in ESL programs. Generally, it is an umbrella abbreviation for any learner of English whose native language is not English.    TEFL - Teachers of English as a Foreign Language - This refers to instructors who teach ELLs. You will commonly see this abbreviation used more than others. See also TESL and TESOL.   TESL - Teachers of English as a Second Language - Refers to ESL instructors.   TESOL - Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages - Refers to ESL instructors.    ESOL - English for Speakers of Other Languages - This actually refers to the English language itself; not the instructor.  Now that we have the basic acronyms out of... read more

Helpful ESL Study Tools!

Hi Students!   I hope you are enjoying the process of learning English. English can be a hard language to learn, even for native speakers. So here are some study tips and resources for you to use when you are studying for a test:         1. Make flashcards - write the vocab word on the front and the definition on the back. With this method,               you can quiz yourself.   2. Take practice quizzes - make a few practice quizzes for yourself using questions or information from other lessons. If you would like me to make a practice quiz for you, please send me an email!   3. Try to use English as much as possible - if you live with someone or have a friend who speaks               English, practice speaking with them. Try to speak English for at least one hour everyday outside of                 your lessons... read more

Reading TV to Improve English Skills

Now that its getting warmer this summer, many of us our spending more time watching TV. But how can watching TV help to improve our English/ESL skills?   One way is to mute the TV and display the closed captioning at the bottom of the screen. That way, you can practice reading English and still enjoy catching up on your favorite shows.   Let me know how it works for you, and have a great summer!

Online Writing Resources

Many people, myself included, feel that for all its advantages, the internet has precipitated a steady decline in the quality of writing. Anyone can write anything anywhere, and while that gives a voice to many who otherwise might not have a public forum to share what they have to say, it also makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to uphold any sort of standards.   That said, the internet also offers plenty of resources for improving your writing. Here are a few of my favorites:   Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com Here you'll also find a thesaurus and several other reference tools. It may not be the Oxford English Dictionary, but it gives you plenty of good definitions and sometimes includes usage notes with practical implications for your writing, like differences in how similar words are typically used.   Difference Between http://www.differencebetween.com Speaking of differences, this is a really cool site.... read more

pronunciation practice

Look at the Youtube video I found at this website- it's about "th": http://www2.waketech.edu/blogs/esl_lab/ I found these: http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/style-and-usage/mispron.html http://jakubmarian.com/common-pronunciation-errors-in-english/ http://rachelsenglish.com/video-category/sounds http://www.manythings.org/pp/ http://www.shiporsheep.com/ This is a good website. You can practice any of these difficult "minimal pairs" here: http://www.englishclub.com/pronunciation/minimal-pairs.htm ---> including especially the TH v. Z like: http://www.englishclub.com/pronunciation/minimal-pairs-th-z.htm

English as a Second Language Online Resources

I want to share a web page I made years ago when working in a high school district in Phoenix. I haven't kept up on the links for years but I have yet to find any that don't work. Even if a few are broken, I think this is a useful tool for teachers and students. I have it leveled ESL 1-2 and 3-4, based on the courses we were offering and so it follows our Standards at that time.  http://itraveltolearn.com/ELL/ellhome.html  

Online Writing Resources

Many people, myself included, feel that for all its advantages, the internet has precipitated a steady decline in the quality of writing. Anyone can write anything anywhere, and while that gives a voice to many who otherwise might not have a public forum to share what they have to say, it also makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to uphold any sort of standards.   That said, the internet also offers plenty of resources for improving your writing. Here are a few of my favorites:   Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com Here you'll also find a thesaurus and several other reference tools. It may not be the Oxford English Dictionary, but it gives you plenty of good definitions and sometimes includes usage notes with practical implications for your writing, like differences in how similar words are typically used.   Difference Between http://www.differencebetween.com Speaking of differences, this is a really cool... read more

Wyzant website resource

Don't forget you can use the Wyzant website as a resource to get your answers for ESL:   http://www.wyzant.com/resources/lessons/english   There is also a Questions and Answers "Forum" where you can ask questions and get answers for free.  It's a good way to find tutors if you're a student - and find students if you're a tutor.

ESL website #2

Here are more websites that I have sent to students after lessons for extra practice:   Here are some vocabulary activities you can do for homework. Just study the words where they give you the answers. You can't do the whole activity because you don't have classmates.  You could do them with a friend though: Study these animal idioms (expressions, sayings). Think about if there are any animal idioms in your language: http://eslsite.com/rd/Vocabulary/animal_idioms.html Study these collocations/ expressions: http://eslsite.com/rd/Vocabulary/%91A%85%85%85.of%92%20language.html http://eslsite.com/rd/Vocabulary/make_or_do.html http://eslsite.com/rd/Vocabulary/collocations%28lose_take%29.html Try to do this activity, if you remember your Shakespeare: http://eslsite.com/rd/Vocabulary/shakespeare.html This might be fun to read, also. It's about the origin of the words: http://www.eslsite.com/rd/Vocabulary/word_origins... read more

ESL Websites

I am a tutor for students requesting help with English as a Second Language.  As part of the homework, I have sent out emails with the following websites for the students to practice on:   Here is a website you can test your English with. It scores it and gives links to other websites that will teach you lessons on the topics. It looks really great but some of the links don't work - but don't be discouraged. Let me know what you find out, ok?  When you've studied the topics, it tells you which "particular" test you should take under "choose lesson test". Those particular tests are much shorter, like 5 questions only. http://www.easyenglish.com/index.asp Here is a test for your reading comprehension - but I think some of the questions are English English. It's still a good way to give yourself some idea of your abilities and needs. http://www.englishclub.com/esl-exams/levels-test-wc.htm There are a ton of... read more

English Practice over Winter Break

For practice over the winter holidays, try the following resources: Vocabulary practice Quizlet Create your own vocabulary lists with pictures. Writing You Can't Write English Under Pressure A stressful game to check your knowledge of spelling and word order. Listening Voice of America, "Stories about People" Hundreds of MP3 files and transcripts about famous people.   Speaking / pronunciation American English Pronunciation Practice Audio files for practicing pronunciation, especially difficult word pairs.   Grammar English Video Video English lessons on assorted grammar and vocabulary topics, including English slang. For example, try this video on the English meanings of "John."   For Spanish-speakers Spanishdict.com, Aprender ingl├ęs gratis Different levels, different English topics offered in Spanish.

Speak and Play ~ Practice Your Language Skills While Having Fun!

Hello, ESL/ESOL friends!   WOULD YOU LIKE TO: ~ practice your English skills? ~ work on pronunciation, pragmatics, vocabulary/idioms? ~ learn more about American culture? ~ play games? ~ go on field-trips (karaoke, movies, restaurants, events, etc.)?   The new year is beginning...and so is the new semester. Who's ready to get their tutoring on???? Along with regular private tutoring session I'm creating weekly Conversation Clubs to help you guys practice your language skills.   I am offering these group sessions at a discounted rate - $25/per person/per session.   Contact me with days/times you would prefer. When I get a few responses I will set up our first session.   C'mon...let's chat!

ESL lessons that work!

I have found in my years of teaching ESL that lessons that work for adults are 100% geared toward the student's personal desires, interests and goals.  Moving outside of these student-centered boundaries does not serve the student; working within these parameters brings exponential growth in language acquisition and implementation.   Approaching ESL tutoring sessions in this way requires a tremendous amount of flexibility on the part of the tutor, but the results are unmatched.  In addition, the relationships established with the students are meaningful and long-lasting.  

Great Online Site For Reluctant Readers

If you are struggling to encourage a reluctant reader to read for at least 30 minutes per day, this website may help.  I began using this with Beginning English as a Second Language (ESL) students but have found that it also works well for K-6 readers as well.  Here are the instructions for accessing this FREE site:     Go to http://larryferlazzo.com/englishbeg.html#stories a. Under the heading marked Stories, click on Tumblebooks b. Click on Tumblebook Library c. Click on Story Books or Non-fiction Books d. Choose a book and then click Read Online

Unemployed? Thinking about returning to complete your college degree? Go for it!

Now is a great time to pursue your dream.  Why not study what interests you?  It is never too late to make a decision to start a new career.  Perhaps you would like to start a new business?  Being an entrepreneur is great.  There has not been a better time for me to pursue higher education than in this season of life.  Returning to college to complete my education has been one of the best decisions I ever made.  Now, as I continue my education, I also encourage others as an educational mentor and ESL/ESOL writing consultant.   There are hundreds of ways to approach returning to college.  Of course, attending full time means completing a degree program quicker than if you attend part-time.  If you are working full-time and think part-time night classes are best at this stage of your life--take the plunge!  Dive into a new school and get busy pursuing your dream of a higher education.  Statistics don't lie.... read more

Teaching at a summer camp in Korea

What a wonderful experience I had teaching in South Korea this summer. I taught at two summer camps for 10 days each. One camp was for 8th graders and the other for 6th graders. I taught a grammar intensive course called 'comic's and a vocabulary intensive one called 'directions around town'. The energy crisis made the classrooms and dorms very hot and muggy. We had to climb steep hills many times a day from the cafeteria, dorms and to the classrooms and recreation area. Not to mention the mosquitos were really hungry all the time. I would lesson plan in the evenings and get up in the morning to teach the same class twelve times in a row! Can you saw exhausting? But the kids were troopers and seemed to learn a lot. The biggest improvement I'd say was in their confidence.

Frustration: a Part of the Learning Process

Although learning is an awesome thing, it can be a difficult and frustrating journey for many students. This difficulty, however, is often times quite normal although most feel it means that a child may not be able to learn or that he/she is so frustrated that learning is no longer taking place. This is where the experienced tutor steps in; for frustration in learning is a part of the learning itself. I have taught and tutored many students and have seen first hand how this frustration can leave some students, and their parents, feeling helpless and hopeless. But there is ALWAYS Hope!!! What they have failed to realize is that as the brain learns difficult concepts, it can only take in parts at a time, little parts at a time. So although it may seem no learning is taking place, it actually is, just in smaller segments. In fact, the most frustration comes right before a new concept is achieved. This is when most give up. Had they stayed focused for perhaps one or two more... read more

Another School Year Over- Use this time as wisely as posible!

Hi all, Thanks to those of you who take the time to read this. I would love to start a dialogue with you so feel free to write to me with comments. This past school year has been a big one for me. I completed my graduate practicum in the fall, in a self-contained ESL and Sheltered ESL classroom in a high school. It was a challenge and required a lot of work but it was worth every minute. The things I learned are invaluable in terms of relating to students better on a personal and professional level, learning how to reach them and motivate them, figuring out other ways to teach the same lesson to someone who did not understand the first time, teaching students how to advocate for themselves and so much more! I had to prepare a huge binder of evidence for the Department of Education, just to prove myself again (and again and again). I did it! Then I had to begin studying for the Comprehensive Exam for my Master's Degree. I was going to originally try to take it in December... read more

What clients say about The Language rescue Center

Following are a few testimonials that have been provided by people who have seen and/or benefited from our language teaching skills and experience. Bovic L. taught French at the University of Indianapolis in 2004. It is my recollection that he did a very admirable job. He is a native speaker of French who has an engaging style and who is very interested in the success of his students. I might add that my wife studied with Bovic and was very pleased with his classes. He is a conscientious instructor who can adapt his teaching approach to reflect his students' learning styles. In summary, I believe that Bovic L. is an excellent teacher. Daniel B., Special Assistant to the Provost,University of Indianapolis I was Principal of Fall Creek Valley Middle School in Indianapolis/Indiana, when Bovic L. was a French teacher at the school. Bovic was a very competent teacher. He planned and delivered engaging lessons. He had excellent classroom management. Bovic was able to get... read more

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