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

This blog is for Intermediate and Advanced Students who want to learn and improve their English. Each PAGE above contains thousands of free English lessons and practice exercises to help you learn and improve your English grammar, reading, listening, pronunciation, writing and editing. On the right hand side, is a list of links of resources grouped by category. Although I am constantly checking on the links, please let me know if you find any that don't work.

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Welcome to my homework page.  This page is designed to let my students what their weekly and weekend homework. It allows them to do a lot of independent study on specific areas we are working on in all skills.

Many teachers and individuals have used this homework page as a weekly guideline for their own assignments, or study purposes. 

I'm happy you have enjoyed using it.  However, I have moved all of the contents to a different blog.  If you are interested in getting access to the contents, become a supporter of the blog. Then send me an email, or write a comment at the  bottom of this page. 

To become a supporter, go to the top right hand side of the home page and sign up. It's free.  


Useful Dictionaries 
   If you want to know the meaning of a word, idiom, expression or even "set collocation" try one of dictionaries below,, or simply type in the words you want + definition + the name of the dictionary.
You can also get example sentences in which the word or expression is used by going to Google, typing in the expression, the name of the dictionary + example sentences  
 (Critical Thinking Skills)      
Daily NEWS Listening Links  
  Daily Dictation Practice
Daily Pronunciation Practice

Daily Pronunciation Practice  ( Do these exercises everyday. It will help you   improve your pronunciation.

Welcome to the new term! 

Read this before you check your homework 

Reading/ Vocabulary

Weekend #2: Sept 12-14, 2004 
NOTE: All answer keys are above

1. Join Site
  • Go to the top right hand side of the home page and click on join this site. Register with your Google email account and become a supporter.

  • handout: An Immigrant's Split Personality  - for Monday
  • newspaper story from handout + news journal - for Tuesday
  • Try to do at least one a day - every day. if you are a very weaker, try doing more. You will notice an improvement in your reading.  

  • Strong readers  with high marks on their report cards should start with RFU 3  #45
  • Weaker Students should start with RFU 2    #35  
Give yourself a total of 10 minutes to do ALL of the questions on each card.  You will not improve your skills if you read slowly. 

  • Click on the card that you want.  To choose your next card, follow this guide:
  •  If your score is 100 percent, advance two card numbers.
  •   If your score is 80% or 90%, advance one card number.
  •  If your score is 70 % or lower, stay on the same level.
  • handouts:  Personality characteristics ( 2 handouts) - answer key above
  • Write 15 sentences with 15 of the words from Characteristics of a Good Language Learner OR from Six Way Topics ( use your conversation question cards to help yourself) 

  • Practice  personality vocabulary on Quizlet.  This is a vocabulary program that allows to study vocabulary in many different ways. What you see on the screen is a flashcard. You can also use other options.  Go to the bottom. Click on either view this study set, or choose a study mode. 

 Go to the beginning of the Fall Term for answer keys 
  •   Overview of Verbs Handout: (Do the exercises. We will go over the answers. 
  • Handout - present+ present progressive verbs ( answer key above) 
  •  Type of Verbs 
  •  Present Tenses Practice (grammar.com)  
  • this is the best place on the internet to study and practice verb tenses. The Present time Page includes explanation and practice on ALL uses of the simple present and present progressive, including editing practice   
for more practice on verbs or specific grammar points, go to the GRAMMAR PAGE 


If you haven't done either of these activities, do them. 

 SMART GOALS : Read the article and watch the videos. Answer the comprehension questions in the last video. We will go over the answers in class .   

Listen to several news stories about the teachers' strike. 


ELLLO ( English Listening Lessons Library Online) 
Natural "Real Life" conversations or monologues with native speakers of English from different countries)  


  • Listen to conversation WITHOUT the transcript. Then do the vocabulary and comprehension activities on the right side. 
  • If the transcript is on the screen, click on the - (minus symbol and it will disappear)  
  • Listen and read the transcript after you have listened without it several times.

Focus on REALLY listening to the conversation. Listen to the conversation ONCE. Then answer the questions. Listen a second time and answer the questions again. Do this until you  get 100%.
DO ALL of the activities (including  vocabulary) to get maximum benefit. Write new vocabulary.

Movie Trailers and Film Clips

TOEIC Part 2: Appropriate Responses   
Appropriate Responses  ( from YOU TUBE. Includes  answers and explanations) 

TOEIC: Short Conversations 
Go to the bottom of the page to read the transcripts AFTER you have done the listening. 
Short Conversation #2 (group 16)               
Conversation # 4                                      
Conversation # 5                                    
Conversation # 1 ( Grp. 14)
Conversation # 2 ( group 15) ***                      


 Two line Dialogues(Each practice has 10 dialogues) 

TOEFL  Longer Conversations 
1)  Listening for Gist: ( Big Picture) What is the topic? What is being discussed?  

2)  Focus on listening for answers to WH questions usually asked in tests: 
  • WHO is speaking?
  • WHAT is the relationship between the speakers? 
  • WHAT is the topic of the conversation? 
  • WHAT problem does X have?  WHAT problem is being discussed?
  • WHAT Does A want to know/ What does x tell Y? 
  • WHEN is this conversation taking place? ( season, time of day etc.)  
  • WHERE is this conversation taking place? 
  • WHY does X do something ? WHY is there a problem? WHY....? 
  • HOW does the situation resolve itself. etc. 
3)  Focus on on vocabulary that relates to the topic  
  •   Listen for key words that will help you understand in general and specific WH questions
  •   Write key content words.  

WEEK 1: Homework for the Weekend Sept 4-7, 2014  


   1.      Finish interviewing your partner on the telephone. Write a 
         paragraph or two about your partner.

  • You are now at a level where you can often "hear" grammar mistakes that you don't see when you are reading.  This is an important skill to learn and work on. It will help you in your writing.
  •  SPEAK the sentences you work on in your grammar review on parts of speech and the error correction included.  
  • Read LOUDLY. Listen to yourself as you speak the sentences. 
  •  What looks wrong?   What sounds wrong?  Correct it
You will be making much better use of your time when doing this because you will be "internalizing" some of your grammar rules - making it real rather than just  an exercise


1)  Six Way Paragraphs # 1 Tulipmania - questions and vocabulary 

2) Characteristics of a Good/ Successful Language learner ( handout). This includes comprehension questions, vocabulary and thinking questions.
        I will read the article and record it as a podcast. Read it first. Then, read and listen at
        the same time.      
       It is very important for you to do this homework for Monday as we will be discussing it in  class.  ( vocabulary, comprehension, grammar) 

3.  VOCABULARY: On line vocabulary practice from article FROM QUIZLET 

Go to Quizlet (view this study set) on the bottom left hand side to access the complete list of words  or activities.
Go to Choose a Study mode on the right hand side to choose a specific activity.  


   Review the rules of basic grammar at the word level.
  Correct errors of specific parts of speech  and word order in    

LEARNING STRATEGY: As you do this error correction THINK about which kind of "basic" errors YOU often make in your own writing.  Write the problem and the rule down on flashcards you can stick at the front of your binder. 

2. Go the GRAMMAR PAGE  if you want more review on nouns, adjectives and adverbs and BASIC word order. Save the verbs, prepositions, articles etc. for next week.


1.  email me at atomick1@gmail.com  Write a paragraph about your opinion about the current teacher's strike. Give reasons for your opinion.

2. Write a paragraph about your partner. Start with a topic sentence that states what you consider to be most important about your partner.   



Listening to conversational English

Focus on REALLY listening to the conversation. Listen to the conversation ONCE. Then answer the questions. Listen a second time and answer the questions again. Do this until you  get 100%.
DO ALL of the activities (including  vocabulary) to get maximum benefit. Write new vocabulary.

Video Listening:
The World's English Mania ( my own resources) 

Group 1 

1      2         3        4      5 
6      7         8       9      10

Group 1: 
Answer ONE extra question for each conversation.

What was the topic? What was this conversation about?
1       2       3      4       5  
6       7        8      9       10

Group 1
Answer ONE extra question for each announcement.

What was the topic? What was this  about?

1     2       3      4       5 
6    7        8     9     10
A  movie clip is a small segment taken from a regular movie. It is usually from 1:30 to 5 minutes.
A trailer is a  short film clip that promotes (advertises) a movie by showing many of the exciting events that you will see in the movie.  Trailers can be from 1:30 to 3 minutes long. Trailers are an excellent way to get an idea of what a movie will be about and whether you want to watch it or not.


   Dear students, 
   I usually add A LOT of  homework practice in every skill area on the weekend. This is to give     you basic homework I want to cover in class on Monday. It also to give you the opportunity for    some extra  INDEPENDENT PRACTICE in areas you are weak in, or skills  you want to          improve more quickly.

   It does not mean you have to do ALL of the homework. .  
    It does mean, however, that you MUST take some responsibility for your own learning       by knowing your own strengths and weakness. It also means and some goals and a realistic
     picture of what you can accomplish in the amount of time you have.  

   You are adults with families, jobs and other responsibilities. Sometimes you will have time to      do a lot of homework. Other times you will only have time to complete some of it.
   You MUST however do some homework everyday. Otherwise your English will not     
    improve, no matter how much you wish it would. .  
   There is no magic. Leaning a new language well enough to truly use it as a living language       in all areas of your life takes time. 

   All I can do as your teacher in a half time class is offer you instruction, guidance, clarification,     encouragement and a limited amount of practice.  I  CANNOT learn for you. That's YOUR    JOB.  

  LEARNING IS A TWO WAY PROCESS:   The teacher teaches. The students ask questions,    argue, discuss and PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

   As students practice, they make mistakes.  These are useful and part of the learning process.   In  fact, practicing means really learning. Practicing and making mistakes means taking   risks, stretching your abilities and moving out of your comfort zones.  The more mistakes you make, analyze and work on , the more you will improve.  


I realize that  some of you CANNOT do ALL the homework.  However, I expect you to do the homework I set as a priority– work we will cover and work on in class. I will be unhappy if you don’t do this much. I WILL indicate this in red. 

Don't Eat the Marshmellow

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