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.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Top Ten Halloween Songs

Happy Halloween! 
Let's Have a Little Fun! Bring on the Music!

No Halloween is complete without music.  For your listening pleasure, here are some of my favourite Halloween song. 

Listen to all of the songsTry the listening activities.Then discuss them with your friends or classmates
  • Which one was the easiest to understand? Why?
  • Which one did you like best? Why? 
  • Which one did you like least? Why? 
  • Which one had the best video and graphics? Why? 
  • Which one told a real story? 
  • Which one will still be played in 20 years? Why?  

 # 1 :   This is Halloween
This is Halloween by Marilyn Manson is one of the few songs with the word Halloween in it.
It has become extremely popular at Halloween even though it was originally written for a movie about a Christmas Nightmare.  

#2 The Monster Mash
The Monster Mash is one of the oldest and best known songs people usually play at Halloween.  I even danced to it when I was a child. That's why we call it a "classic," or a "golden oldie"

# 3 Werewolves of London 
This song is always at the top of people's Halloween music list because  werewolves are scary creatures that people love to be afraid of. Can you howl like the singer can? Try it. It's fun. 

 # 4  Season of the Witch 
This song is doesn't have any ghosts or zombies in it, but Halloween is all about witches and strange things, so it fits the topic.  Besides, Halloween occurs during the season of the witch.   

#5:  Bad Moon Rising 
This song is more about bad things happening than about Halloween itself, but Halloween is a time when terrible things are supposed to happen, so the song is very popular at Halloween parties. Besides, it's fun to dance to. .

#6: Love Potion # 9 
This song is about magic and magic potions, so it fits under the category of things that happen at Halloween. It's  also  romantic song, and everyone needs to sing a few slow songs - even at a party. 


# 7  Spooky  
This song, which has been sung by many different artists,  is not really a Halloween song, but everyone loves a song about things that are "spooky"m, which means scary. A love song with a "spooky" theme is great to dance to at Halloween, and it's easy to sing too.  

# 8 : Don't Fear the Reaper 
 The "reaper" is a name that we often use for death., so this song fits perfectly into a Halloween theme because Halloween is all about death and spirits. 


#9  Welcome to My Nightmare  
Dressing up for Halloween, or going to haunted houses and trying to scare people is just like being in a nightmare.  This song makes nightmares fun. I hope you enjoy this one.


#10 Thriller 
Thriller is he biggest selling album, song and video of all time. The complete video, which is 13 minutes long , changed the way music videos were made. Most people consider it their  
favourite Halloween song and can even dance the dance. How about you?  

I hope you enjoy these songs and have fun with them.  Let me know which ones you liked best, or if you have any other favourite ones. 

Meanwhile,  have fun getting scared!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Listening with "Friends"

Halloween is the second biggest holiday in North America after Christmas, but Americans and Canadians are not the only people who love celebrating. 

Research shows that more than 100 countries around the world have their own forms of Halloween festivities. These countries may not spend as much money on the actual event, but many of them have just as  much fun.  

Many of you may not celebrate Halloween yourselves, but you may enjoy watching Halloween scenes from some of your favourite TV shows or scary movies. 

Sit back, watch the shows and try to answer the questions.  Have a great Halloween.

Here is something a little different: a trailer to a horror film starring Nicole Kidman. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Thanksgiving in Song

Thanksgiving is a time to  give thanks for everything the year has given us.

Many people in the Third World, and other parts of the world torn apart by war, terrorism, and poverty have very little to be grateful about. 

On the other hand, those of us who live in the First World  have an abundance of things to be thankful about.  Unfortunately we take a lot of it for granted, preferring to complain about what we don't have, or can't have

Since Today is Canadian Thanksgiving, I thought an appropriate way to celebrate would be post a few  a few songs that tell us some of the many things we have to be grateful about.  


Song #1: Thank You by Dido. 
This is not a traditional song of thanks. Instead, it focuses on being grateful for what you have, even when things are bad. .   

Song #2 : What A Wonderful World  
 This song, originally sung by Louis Armstrong, is a song of hope and wonder. It definitely lets us know about what we should be thankful for in our lives.    

Here is the original song, sung by Louis Armstrong himself.

Song # 3: Thanks A Lot 

Here is another very simple song by well known children's singer, Raffi, that lists just how many things we have to be thankful for. Even children can sing along to this one.

 Write a comment on any of the questions below:

  • How did you do with the songs?  Can you suggest any other songs of thanks?
  •  What are some things in your life that you are thankful for? 
  •  If you could make a list of things that you are grateful for, what would be on the list?