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 29, 2014

Halloween in TV Comedies Listening Quizzes

The Big Bang Theory characters wearing "Flash" costumes.
Many regular television situation comedies  have a complete Halloween episode where the whole story revolves around some kind of Halloween theme. Sometimes they are funny. Sometimes they are meant to be spooky, but they are usually entertaining . 

Thanks to the advent of long running series you can watch, enjoy and and practice your English with listening quizzes from The Big Bang Theory , Modern Family , How I Met Your Mother,    Friends and Frasier .  All of these TV shows have something to offer in helping you to improve your listening skills - especially if you watch short clips several times to get used to  the "fast English" real English speakers actually use.  

Tune in tomorrow for more clips from another Friends episode, the Simpsons, Glee, Family Guy and Buffy. 

Watch as often as you need to. Then try the quizzes to see how well you understood.  

The Big Bang Theory 

The characters in the Big Bang Theory love Halloween because of the parties, the "tricks" they can play on each other, and simply because it is an excuse for "dressing up. One of the most popular television situation comedies in the U.S. The Big Bang Theory is a pleasure to watch because even if you don't understand everything, you understand enough to have a good laugh.  For more information on the what the show is about, and its characters go to The Big Bang Theory  
Modern Family 
In this Modern Family episode, the whole family plans to frighten children who come
 trick or treating with many creatures. Watch and see how much you understand. For more information on  the show and its characters go to Modern Family 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

10 Great Halloween Song Activities

Halloween is coming up fast on October 31st. But, celebrations are already well underway here in Vancouver, and anywhere else in North America. 

People take Halloween seriously here with some people even preferring it to Christmas. As a result  both adults and children start celebrating it with a variety of events and activities for the whole family well before the "big day" itself. 
Although there are many TV specials and Halloween movies  aimed at children. There are just as many "classic" horror horror movies and spooky, scary songs that delight adults of every age. 

Many of these songs have been around for more than 25 years, but they are some of the most popular songs in North America during the Halloween season. 

From classics such as " Ghostbusters"  and Monster Mash to  "Marilyn Mason's  scary "This is Halloween"   to very singable Werewolves  of London,  time, there are plenty of songs out there to make the holiday both scary and memorable. 

Make sure you prepare those zombie  moves for Michael Jackson's Thriller. This is MUST if you want to celebrate Halloween.     

Here are  ten of the most popular Halloween songs for you to practice your listening to.  
There is a LOT of useful scary vocabulary in all of these songs, so be prepared.

In the next day or two I will post a list of scary Halloween vocabulary along with some practice activities.

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.