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Roberta H.'s Resources

Blogs

Here are the 5 ways to stay sharp over the summer: READ, read, read, read and READ! It almost doesn't matter what you read, but here are some ideas 1) A novel, any kind as long as it makes you want to keep turning/swiping the page. Detective story, romance, historical fiction, you choose 2) A newspaper. Try an editorial to stretch your mind. Look up any words you don't recognize. 3) A memoir... read more

Blogs

New York City is home to thousands of manicurists from faraway places. Normally there is little conversation between people having their nails done and the people doing the job. For one thing, manicurists often have limited English, but in addition, many people prefer to read, listen to music or just stare into space while in the relaxing environment of a nail salon. I broke through that wall... read more

Blogs

Fall is here, and many of my students have left for college, new jobs and other ventures. Those who studied with me this summer brought a special color and texture to my teaching life, and like scattered autumn leaves, I will miss each of them. A teacher treads carefully, learning more about a student through his or her writing than through personal questions. After all, we are there to work on... read more

Blogs

As I write through the mental fog of jet-lag, one thought is clear: every English language teacher should be required to visit a country whose language she neither speaks nor understands. See how confidently and easily the natives speak their own language! What little thought they seem to give to the words filling the air! While we, the visitors, strain to recognize sounds that contain even a... read more

Blogs

Why do we say we're "on the train" or "on the plane"? We're traveling inside the train or plane, aren't we? Why don't we say we're "in the train" or "in the plane"? We don't for the same reason that we do say we're "in the car." But why don't we say we're "on the car?" The car is a mode of transportation like the train and plane, isn't... read more

Blogs

Once again I am humbled by my students' efforts to conquer the hills and valleys of English. Case in point--the TOEFL test. Not only do students have to show their mastery of spelling, vocabulary and sentence structure, but they have to do it in a relatively TINY amount of time. Talk about pressure! Who can remember the difference between "this" and "these" when the bell is... read more

Blogs

So you've mastered subject-verb-object word order, learned at least a thousand new vocabulary words and are doing pretty well with verb tenses. Still, readers frown at your writing, and why? You forget to use articles. Yes, those pesky "the" and "a" words that English demands before most nouns. They don't exist in your language, and you never missed them. If only the rules... read more

Blogs

Have you ever stared at a word for so long that its meaning disappeared? Have you ever tried to write backwards across a page? If so, you can begin to understand the task facing English language learners, for whom everything about English is strange and new. Some may even have to learn a new alphabet before beginning to understand the sounds we make and the words we write. I am filled with admiration... read more