I recently stumbled upon this website which is a new and interesting idea. It collects writing from anyone on the web. You can write articles and submit them to the site. The site is called Helium. I’m not sure why, but if you are interested, I looked at the “English Language” catagory and there are about 80 articles on the English Language. Some are obviously aimed at ESL students. If you want to check it out go here:

http://www.helium.com/channels/807-English-Language

http://www.helium.com/knowledge/48486-speaking-good-english

scroll down until you see this part…

picture 1

and select an article. Don’t forget you can go to the next page at the bottom to look at all the articles.

Cheers

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Here is a new article I have written about trees. I think trees are great and the many different types of trees amaze me! So, I decided to write an article to describe some of the many amazing types of trees. I will await the comments of Shirley, a tree expert. 😉

Awesome Trees

Here is the new lesson plan, and audio.  This story is tough, and has lots of difficult vocabulary and phrases.  Enjoy!

Obama Orders Treasury Chief to Try to Block A.I.G. Bonuses

Mp3 Audio

How can you practice your listening skills for foreign accents?  One idea I can offer to people who do business with Europeans, Australians, Russians, or any other non-native speakers who have a thick, exotic, or difficult accent is to watch movies or TV shows with people who have that accent.  This will at least give you some practice listening to someone with that accent.  When you are speaking to another non-native speaker, make sure to speak clearly, and try to “parrot” the person, by imitating their grammar, and using the same vocabulary that they use.

I did a quick scan of the Internet, and Youtube to find some helpful listening resources.  Here are some resources I found to help you pick up a foreign accent.

IDEA – International Dialects of English Archive
http://web.ku.edu/idea/index.htm

**These listening files come with a transcript so you can read along and try to figure it out!!
First, go to this website, and choose a continent location from the right side menu.  Then Choose a country location from the right-side menu.  Scroll down a bit until you get to the table that looks like this.

picture-1

Here you can use mp3 file on the right, and download the transcript on the left to read along!  This archive has EVERY accent on earth, with hours of audio for each accent, so you can use this to hone your listening for that particular accent!

The Speech Accent Archive
** Browse by native language, or by region by clicking on the map.
http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_language.php
http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_atlas.php

Youtube

**click on the links to get to one video, but be sure and look on the right side to find more video’s with the same person

German / Austrian

-WolfGang Puck – Cooking Show
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJd8_TYPu5Y

Australian

-Steve Irwin


British

The Naked Chef
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJJi8ROrvZE

Irish / Scottish

Liam Neelson
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwjlYgu2ObU

Otago Sound Clips
http://www.otago.ac.nz/anthropology/Linguistic/Sounds/Sounds.html

** this website mainly has accents from the United Kingdom (British).  The transcript is on the main page.

Here is my new lesson plan for this week!  I have been slowly trying to develop a NEW style for my lesson plans, but it has been slow.  Hopefully, sometime in the next few months, I will have audio for these lesson plans, so you can also listen to news story, personal comments, and the vocabulary pronunciation.  Thanks for your patience and support!

Russia Wants to Land on Europa

Landing on a moon of Jupiter!  I think this sounds like a really interesting idea.  This moon is supposed to be mostly covered with ice.  Although there may not be any life there now, maybe there was life there in the past, or can be life there in the future.  I know Canadians will probably be the first to buy houses there, because we are so used to the cold weather!

Here is some really cool information about Jupiter.  This websites have questions from students all over the world.  Hope you can learn something cool here!!

Answered Questions About Jupiter

Here are the latest lesson plans. I hope you enjoy them!

How The City Hurts Your Brain
Peru Court Backs Drunken Worker

Here is a lesson plan I recently developed.  Please feel free to use it as you choose.  You can use this to help teach someone basic grammar and practice your skill as an English tutor!

WARM UP QUESTIONS

1. Would you like to go to space?
2. How much money would you pay to go to the moon?
3. Do you think we will live in space in the future?
4. Is science or people’s lives more important?
5. What do you think it feels to walk in space?
FROM THE NEWS

SHANGHAI – Astronaut Zhai Zhigang was in space on Saturday.

As he exited the craft, you could hear his voice in Beijing.

President Hu Jintao was on hand to watch the historic walk.

He waved at the camera and said he wanted to send greetings to everyone in China and around the world.

Zhai said, “People of my country, have faith in me and we will finish this mission.”

Zhai waved the red flag of the People’s Republic of China in space for the first time.

Zhai spent 20 minutes outside the spaceship.

The spacesuit he wore was 120-kilograms, and cost $4.4 million USD.

The spacecraft is due to return to earth on Sunday.

LANGUAGE PRACTICE

As _______________________, __________________________________.

1. Things happening at the same time
2. As = Because

On hand (adj phrase)

1. There, in that place, present

do something for the first time

(be) due to

1. because of
2. is expected to