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Vocabulary Resources

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Foreign Language Skills for the Summer

Summer is a great break for students and teachers alike.  However, students can experience a huge educational deficit by not being able to practice the language they have been studying by not being exposed to it during summer months.  There are some fun ways for them to practice their language skills during this much needed vacation.   Study Blue is a great site full... read more

Blogs

ESL/TOEFL: Practice Listening & Improve Your Vocabulary with Radio Shows

Radio shows are a great way to practice listening to spoken English. Many radio shows post their episodes online and also include the text of the show. This way you can both listen to the show and also read the show. Reading the text allows you to check your understanding of what you heard. In addition to practicing listening skills, this is also a great way to learn new vocabulary. Below are... read more

Blogs

Tackling Vocabulary Issues

In my experience tutoring students in both essay writing and test prep, one of the most difficult and tiresome challenges for both student and tutor is vocabulary improvement.  Because the ideal way to improve one's vocabulary includes reading a variety of sources over a long period of time, the optimal strategy for vocabulary improvement is often not available to students who have a very... read more

Blogs

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,... read more

Blogs

Tutoring that Works

Engaging students in learning is one of the many goals that tutors face. We must adapt to meet changing learning needs, styles, interests and delivery formats. The sage on the stage paradigm, where the tutor provided all the knowledge to a passive student, is outdated. Today's students have more need for a guide on the side, who understands that the challenges they face, is willing to experiment... read more

Blogs

French resources -- Duolingo App

One of my favorite French resources is an app called Duolingo. Duolingo is free and it provides an easy way to track your progress and set goals for yourself. It's set up like a game and you win points for correct answers, and you can 'compete' with your friends at different levels. It also requires that you "strengthen your skills", which keeps your memory fresh and up to date by... read more

Blogs

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,... read more

Blogs

How Do I Memorize All of THAT???

One question I get often deals with memorization, which makes sense.  There is a lot of memorization in any subject, but especially with Japanese.  New vocabulary and kanji are the two biggest examples I can give you.  Thankfully this is a short post.  To sum it up: I find a dual flashcards/sentences approach works very well for both instances.   The study of... read more

Blogs

Great Vocab Website for SAT students

A website I like to use with my SAT students is freerice.com. This website has a vocabulary section which asks students to pick a synonym from a list of 4. For every correct answer, the website donates 10 grains of rice to the World Hunger Programme. It's a great way to study vocabulary and do good at the same time! You can create a profile and the website will track your progress with the... read more

Blogs

First Blog Post! Upcoming Vocab Quiz? Don't Sweat It.

Hello!   My name is Heather, and I'm a sixth grade English teacher in Arlington, Mass. I've never had a blog before, but this seems like an awesome place to put all my loves in one place: writing, education, and providing useful information. So here goes!   Each blog post will feature helpful hints & resources for teachers, tutors, and students alike. Everything I... read more

Blogs

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... read more

Blogs

Vocabulary Development

I find that many students, not just ESL students, need to work on vocabulary. Sometimes a reading comprehension problem is actually poor knowledge of the vocabulary used, even words we’d expect the student to know. When you ask students comprehension questions, also pick out several words and ask them give you the meaning. If you find they often don't have a clear understanding of the words... read more

Blogs

Vocabulary & Reading Comprehension

In my work as a teacher, I cannot help but notice that many of the reading selections written for our students include words that are beyond our students' experience. Students simply do not have & could not usually acquire the background knowledge necessary for understanding some words they encounter in subject-specific reading selections, such as social studies & science. Reading instruction... read more

Blogs

Expanding your vocabulary by "clustering" words

I just picked up (and started reading!) a book I would recommend for vocab study: "Hot Words for the SAT." The author is Linda Carnevale, M.A. The book is published by Barrons; I got my copy from Barnes and Noble.   Briefly, the author advocates learning new vocabulary words by clusters which have similar meanings to one another.  So for example, under "Words Relating... read more

Lessons

ESL Vocabulary Strategies

ESL Vocabulary Strategies Written by tutor Ekaterina V. A great number of English learners stumble upon the fact that they just don’t know enough words. The strategies I have gathered here will be useful to a learner of English of any level, from complete beginners to those who have been studying the language for a while. A few of these strategies can be easily used daily without... read more

Lessons

Pronunciation Tips

Pronunciation Tips for ESL learners Written by tutor Pat D. Learning English takes time and effort but the rewards are considerable. With your increased language skills, you can qualify for many more jobs and feel much more comfortable in conversations with your neighbors, co-workers and new American friends. I would like to offer you a few simple suggestions for quickly improving... read more

Blogs

Study Vocabulary

The most important part of preparation to go back to school is to keep a list of vocabulary words related to each subject, define those words, and use them in a sentence.  Doing this one thing will almost ensure a student of making good grades in the school year.  This is because many tests at elementary and high school level are vocabulary questions, such as matching, fill in the... read more

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