Michelle's independent resources for ESL Students at Vancouver Community College

This is a Canadian ESL blog for Intermediate and Advanced Students who want to learn and improve their English. Each PAGE above contains thousands of free English lessons, tutorials and practice exercises to help you learn and improve your English grammar, reading, listening, pronunciation, speaking, writing and editing. Some of the resources are Canadian. Others are from around the world.

The resources on this Canadian blog are all free, and I spend a lot of my time working on it, so please consider becoming a SUPPORTER. I appreciate all the support I get. It is the fuel that keeps me going.

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Grammar in Song:Thinking Out Loud

Ed Sheran's song is a wonderful one with which to practice your listening, reading and grammar with. This set of activities include practice with verb tenses and clauses.  Enjoy. 

Answers Thinking Out Loud

Watch the video on describing the making of thinking out loud dance sequence . 
and answer the questions below. 

Comprehension Questions 

1.  What was the original plan for the video ? 

2. How did the "choreographers" respond when they found out Sheeran wanted to dance in      the video himself? 

3. How much experience did Ed have with dancing? 

4. How did Ed learn how to dance the specific choreography in the video? 

5. Why did the professional dancers who danced on tour admire Ed so much? 

6. Describe the different feelings Ed had a bout the experience? 

7. What did the choreographers say is so important "to sell" the song? 


Sing along with the song. If you don't believe how well this can be done, watch thousands of Spanish fans sing along to every word of the song -- without lyrics to help them.    

Thinking Out loud  live in Madrid 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

ESL TED TALKS Quiz: The Hidden Power of Smiling

Just a simple smile can have a real impact on both ourselves and others around us. Watch this Ted Talk in which Ron Guzman explains how and why. Take the quiz to see how well you understood.

The interactive version of the quiz is below.
For a paper version of the quiz:  

Monday, July 6, 2015

TED TALKS QUIZ: Texting That Save Lives

Nancy Lubin is the CEO at Do Something.org, an organization that focuses on using the en ergy of teenagers to tackle issues they are passionate about and participate in social change. 

Recently, her organization began to communicate primarily through texting rather than email. They discovered this method of communication is 11 times more effective than email communication because texts have a 100 percent open rate.

In the midst of texting more than 200,000 teenagers each week about instituting changes at their schools and in their communities, Lublin and her coworkers discovered an unintended consequence: Teenagers began texting back about being bullied, participating in cutting and being abused. Text messaging became an inadvertent crisis hotline.

In her 2012 TED Talk, Lublin discusses how texting can save lives and how using teenagers’ primary means of communication to speak to them provides the opportunity for crisis intervention, referrals and even prevention.

Watch the video and do the quiz.  

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Canadian Dance Moves: Ask a Canadian

article from Huffington Post 

Brazilians have samba. Americans do the disco. But is there a dance that is truly Canadian?
Well, Liam Kearney and Stina Diƶs may have invented a dozen. Borrowing the  music from Juliav Bentley and Andrew Gunadie's You Tube video "Canadian Please,"  the pair have created a video called Canadian Dance Moves. 

A charming  homage v homage to Canada's wholesome personality Canadian Dance Moves features dance moves called the Lumberjack, the Friendly Backpacker, and even one called Carry the Two Four, which has a special meaning in Ontario and Quebec where a majority of people buy their beer in cases of 24 rather than in six or12 packs as they do in the west.

click on the link below for the quiz  


Canadians often get the reputation of taking each other too seriously, but we're also famous for our strong sense of humour as you can see in the song below. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

144 Things Canada Has Given the World

A Skimming and Scanning Activity 

Canada might not be very old, but during its 148 years, it has made a number of contributions to the world.

In honour of Canadian History week, here's a Canadian trivia reading quiz to test your knowledge.  First, try the pre-reading activity to find out how much you know already. Then, see how many questions you got right.  

Later, discuss and write about some of the most important inventions ever made. Would your life be any different without them? 

From Anne of Green Gables  to the zipper, hockey to the hydrofoil hydrofoil, here's a list put together by The Hamilton Spectator. Some things that are precious to Canadians may cause others to scratch their heads.

You may not have eaten poutine unless you’ve traveled to Quebec or Ontario, while Timbits  and double doubles  may sound like gobbledygook  outside our borders.  Have a look.

Read more 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

5 Great Mother's Day Songs and Activities

Many people don 't completely appreciate just what a mother is and does until they become parents themselves.  

Over the years many songs have been written to celebrate and praise mothers for the major roles they have and continue to play in our lives. 

Here are five songs  that focus on the different roles mothers play in our lives. All of them include a variety of listening, reading, writing, and discussion activities. Some songs even include a few grammar activities.  Enjoy them on your own or with your class.