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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Homework




EVERYDAY MATERIAL YOU WILL FIND USEFUL

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  
DAILY READING PRACTICE
 (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

 ANSWER  KEYS  FALL TERM 2014
GRAMMAR:  
READING /VOCABULARY 
Week #8 - Oct 20-27th, 2014 
Answer Keys and Listening
  Answer Keys Six Way Paragraphs  

LISTENING 



Longer Conversations about Every Day topics 

Short Talks 





EVERY DAY ENGLISH 

Listen and practice the dialogues 

Work Related Dialogues 

Daily Life: 

Small Talk: 


 VIDEO QUIZZES: Employment 

How to write a good CV  ( ESLVideo) 
Reading the classifieds  ( ESL Video)
Job Interview ( ESL Video) 


TED ED VIDEO QUIZZES 

These videos are terrific for practicing listening to lectures and more serious topics.  All of them are less than 5 minutes long and include quizzes.


Movie Trailers and Clips 




INTERNATIONAL LISTENING TEST PRACTICE  




IELTS LISTENING PRACTICE 





    TOEFL LISTENING PRACTICE   Adv.


    TOEFL Lecture Practice 
    The transcript is at the bottom of the page.  Listen twice. Take notes. Answer the questions. Then, read the script as you listen to the lecture again.  








    Weekend Oct. 19, 2014  



    READING:  

     LISTENING 




    Week #7: Oct. 14-16, 2014 

    READING: 
    Extra Online Reading Test Practice ( with answers)

    1. Speed Reading Stories and Comprehension Check 
      After you click on the link, stories about American culture. Each story has a timer. You have between 5 and 10 minutes to read the story and answer the questions.
      GRAMMAR: 
    • Sentence Combining: Air Pollution ( handout)  


    Thanksgiving Weekend Oct. 09-13th, 2014
    Hi guys, 
    Sorry this is late, but illness is preventing me from doing as much as usual.  Look for answer keys for grammar and reading above. Some of it may not be posted until tomorrow, so come back to check.  

    SONGS:
    Since this is Thanksgiving, I thought I would give you a couple of songs about "gratitude and thanks."  They are both easy. 


     
    READING:  
    • Practice for Reading Quiz on Wednesday. (Handout - answer key for 4 readings to come. 
    • Short Story: Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen( handout) . I will post two videos that tell the short story as well.
    • Answer Key Six Way Paragraphs #22-#27   NEW
     Two thanksgiving Day Gentlemen ( Part 1)  
    The first 2:37 are about the writer O Henry and the U.S. at the beginning of the 19th cenytury. The actual story starts at 2:37




    Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen Part 2




    WRITING: 

    Rewrite your composition on the Qualities of _________.  Focus on both content and sentence structure. Remember rewriting is not just correcting grammar mistakes, but improving the development of your points. That means adding more details etc.    


     
    VOCABULARY: Below you will find a lot of work related vocabulary that may help you when you rewrite your composition on  Qualities of _________________.

    Also, go to the VOCABULARY page where there should be many resources. 


    English for work  ( English club)

    Cashiers

    Vocabulary for Health professionals ( nurses and doctors) 
    Business Vocabulary 
    GRAMMAR: ADVERB CLAUSES
    You have an adverb clause test on Tuesday. 
      Extra Practice Online : 
      LISTENING:
       Do at least one listening from every category. If your listening is weak, do more  



      Listening to Everyday Conversations 
      Do all of the activities at the bottom ( vocabulary etc.)  



      Rental Shop  (ESL Lab) 



      Airline Safety  (ESL Lab) 

      A Japanese Bath  (ESL Lab)  

      Listening in the Real World   

      ELLLO (English Listening Lessons Library Online) 


      Natural "Real Life" conversations or monologues with native speakers of English from different countries)  

      INSTRUCTIONS: 
      • 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








      Weekend #5: Oct 2-5 , 2014 

      Reading/Vocabulary  
      Watch the video after you have read the short story. There are some differences between the two.  What  are they? 
       


      GRAMMAR: Adverb Clauses/ Gerunds and Infinitives:   


      Writing: 
      •  Rewrite you composition on your hometown Correct errors 

      Listening:
      Pronunciation:  Wadda Ya Say: What Are you Doing this Weekend?

      Dictation: 
      Dictation: Instructions
      Dictation: Listening to Instructions

      SONGS:  

      NEWS: 
      This is fairly slow news practice from Edmonton's CBC ESL team. The level is considered to be CLB 4 which is Low Intermediate. The newscast includes vocabulary practice, three short news stories and comprehension questions. It is good practice for you to build up your skills for listening to difficult news stories.  

      Everyday English in Conversation ( from Focus on English) 
      Listen and read dialogues with idiomatic and everyday expressions to help you deal with daily conversational situations. 

      After you listen, practice out loud, speaking WITH the speaker to get the right rhythm and intonation
      Eating idioms and expressions about food 


      Everyday English Conversations
      Videos


      INTERNATIONAL LlSTENING TEST PRACTICE 

      TOEFL 


          LONGER CONVERSATIONS: 
      Practice with Mini Lectures 
      Same  Meaning Sentences: Practice with Paraphrase 

      TOEIC  ( English for  Work) 





      TOEIC Target Unit 4 Part 2 Question / Response  ( Do the questions before  you look at the transcript) 














        Week 5: Sept 30- Oct. 3, 2014- 

      Reading: 



      Grammar: 

      • Handout: comma rules + capitalization rules 

      Listening Test tomorrow:

      Conversations: 
      Short Talks Practice: 
      Mini Lectures
      News: Listening Practice  


      WEEKEND #4 25- 28th , 2014 

      Reading/ Vocabulary:
      Newspaper Stories: 
      • Human Interest News Stories from the Guardian( do the vocabulary and comprehension) . Summarize the story in your own words ( key points WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHEN, WHY, HOW) in the news journal handout. 
      • Be prepared to retell your stories on Tuesday. ( 2 minutes only). We will be recording and I will give you a speaking mark. 
      •  Reading for Understanding 2 
      • Reading for Understanding 3  
      • Answer Key Six Way Paragraphs  (#12-16)  NOW AVAILABLE

      Grammar: 
      You will have a grammar test  on Tuesday: past tenses, types of sentences, compound sentences with ( and, but, so) compound sentences with adverbial conjunctions (however, therefore, otherwise, on the other hand etc) 


      WRITING:
      You will have an in class writing test next week. 
      • Create an outline for the Paragraph"Best Time to Visit Vancouver" in your writing handout. 
      • Write a similar composition on the Best Time to Visit Your Hometown, or Favourite City.  DOUBLE SPACE
      •  Write an outline first. Include Major Support and details and examples.  Use the composition in your handout as a model.
        

      LISTENING: 
      You will have a listening test next week  
      TOEIC Strategies for Conversations: You have the handout and the answer key

      You should be able to hear all of these as i have "given permission" to you.  

      TOEFL


      NEWS 
      LLiListening  Tips


      Everyday Conversational English 

      Lectures with a twist : 
      Teacher Phil Lectures: 
       These advanced listening English practice lessons features ~150 second listening session followed by the same text read again but this time you can read along. Then, we do questions. It's not that hard for vocabulary but it's harder than the other lessons due to the faster speaking and lack of explanation of words at the beginning. Cheers.
      More Difficult Lecture/Listening Practice  


       Week #4: Sept. 22-25, 2014
      Speaking

      • Contact Assignment - Pink Handout - Parents and Children ( due Thursday)
      • Practice Newspaper retell with several different people ( in class  Wednesday)
      • Pronunciation Practice from above

       Reading/ Vocabulary: 
      • Six Way Paragraphs #12-#16 - Readings/+ (Vocabulary/ Referents handout)
      • Newspaper Journal for Retell Wednesday 
      •  Reading for Understanding - As usual - Continue from where you left off 
      • Reading for Understanding 2
      • Reading for Understanding 3 
      • Main Idea Practice - to be handed out 
      • Context Clue practice - to be handed out 
      • VOCABULARY PRACTICE:  The GOOD TEEN   

       Grammar: 
      • Compound Sentences (and, but, so, nor etc)  
      • Adverbial Conjunctions ( However, therefore, in addition etc.) 
      • Past Time - Past Simple, progressive, past perfect, past perfect continuous 
      • Error Correction 
      • Run  On/ Comma Splice 
      • Internet Exercises to be added 
       Writing  
      • I'm still waiting for your rewrites and corrections 
      •  The Paragraph - Blue handout ( specific exercises) 
      • Practice with coherence   
      • Practice with support ( major support /detail and examples)  
       Listening 


        Weekend #3: Sept 18-#22, 2004

      1. Join Site
      • Some of you have NOT joined the website. I would really appreciate it if you do. This will allow you to get access to materials that others can't ( i.e. some of my own personally uploaded materials.
      •  Go to the top right hand side of the home page and click on Join this site site. Register with your Google email account and become a supporter.


      READING/VOCABULARY 

      •  Handout:  What Makes a Good Teen - for Monday
      • Quizlet  Practice for The Good Teen
      • Newspaper story from handout + news journal for oral news presentation Tuesday 

      CRITICAL READING SKILLS PRACTICE: 
      • READING FOR UNDERSTANDING : Try to do at least one a day - every day. if you are a very weak reader, try doing more. You will notice an improvement in your reading.  Keep a record of your scores. I would like to see them.
      • Reading for Understanding 2
      • Reading for Understanding 3
       

       Vocabulary Review

       GRAMMAR
      • Grammar Test on Monday( present time + past, past continuous) + parts of speech,the sentence.
      • Handouts: Verbs Review/ Compound Sentences ( Transitions)  
      • Present Perfect + Present Perfet Progressive  (from Grammarquiz.com) Terrific and Complete Review - for all  situations ( Do ALL  the exercises) 
      • Articles   ( look at the top of the page for the categories you can practice in) 
      • Nouns   ( look at the top of the page for the categories you can practice in) 
      • Singular Plural Agreement

      LISTENING: 

      Specific homework from handouts 
      TOEIC PRACTICE 


      SONGS:


      Listening to the News


      These are not recent newscasts, but they will still give you practice at listening to the news.  Listen to ONE story at a time and try to take notes _ key words only as you listen.
        Write new vocabulary words.
      1. ESL News Jan. 27th, 2013
      2. CBC News February 27, 2013




      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 on the side or the bottom of the page to get maximum benefit. Write new vocabulary.

      Listening in the Real World   

      ELLLO (English Listening Lessons Library Online) 




      Natural "Real Life" conversations or monologues with native speakers of English from different countries)  

      INSTRUCTIONS: 

      • 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
       VIDEOS:


      Movie Clips and Trailers

      INTERNATIONAL TEST LISTENING PRACTICE  

      TOEFL PRACTICE  

      (Kenton County Adult English as a Second Language)
      • This is a long video giving an  An overview of the different types of listening passages as well as the * types of questions on the test. The narrator then analyzes  CONVERSATIONS listening passages, and discuss the strategies and tricks that are common to this type of passage. 
      The listening package discussed in the video can be found at: ETS IBT Test Preparation   Scroll down to the listening section 



      SHORT CONVERSATIONS ( 2 LINE DIALOGUES)  
       LONGER CONVERSATIONS: 


      TOEIC Practice from TOETAL
       
      Part 2: Question/Response: Question Response  ( 11-46) 
      Part 3: Short Conversations:  Short Conversations ( 10 conversations 41-81)




      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.

       READING/ VOCABULARY:
      • handout: An Immigrant's Split Personality  - for Monday
      • newspaper story from handout + news journal - for Tuesday
      CRITICAL READING SKILLS PRACTICE: 
      • READING FOR UNDERSTANDING 
      • 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. 

      FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW
      • 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.
       VOCABULARY 
      • 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. 



         GRAMMAR:   
       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 
      LISTENING: 

      Songs: 

      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 .   

      NEWS PRACTICE:  
      Listen to several news stories about the teachers' strike. 


      LISTENING TO REAL CONVERSATIONS:

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

      INSTRUCTIONS: 

      • 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.
       ESL LAB

      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

      Movie Trailers and Film Clips
       
      TOEIC


      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) ***                      

      COMMERCIALS and ANNOUNCEMENTS 



       TOEFL PRACTICE 
       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  


      SPEAKING:   

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


      2.    ORAL GRAMMAR
      • 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

      READING/VOCABULARY: 

      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.  






      GRAMMAR: 

         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.

      WRITING:  

      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: 

      SONGS: 
       NEWS: 

      Listening to conversational English

      ESL LAB
      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) 

      TOEIC PRACTICE: 
      CORRECT RESPONSE
      Group 1 

      1      2         3        4      5 
      6      7         8       9      10

      LONGER CONVERSATIONS:
      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

      ANNOUNCEMENTS, WEATHER, COMMERCIALS, SHORT TALKS 
      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
      Movie CLIPS and TRAILERS 
      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.





      AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT HOMEWORK:

         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.  

       HOW TO LEARN:  
        
        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.  

      HOMEWORK YOU MUST   DO



      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. 


      Main Idea power point
      Main Idea


      Don't Eat the Marshmellow



      Idioms re 






      Inityiating Small Talk  with tag questions 




      Hospital English
      Medical vocabulary  


      hLarge group of linksk with medical language
      Medical pharmaceutical english  



      General Business English 
      One Stop English Nursing 5 unit program 

      Specific ESL readings for health and nursing professionals  



       Reading Comprehension Practice ( 44 articles on different topics from Info Squares.com  
      http://eslcomics.blogspot.ca/ 

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