Sunday, December 18, 2011

Listening and Spelling

Hello, class!

Check the NEWS page (click above) to see what's happening this week.

Some students had their listening tests last week, but some students still need to have a listening skills test.

Ali and Hana: please click HERE to take your listening test. Look over the questions before you begin. Try to answer the questions after listening only TWO TIMES. If you can't, then listen a third time. Please show me your score when you are finished.

Wardia, please click HERE to take your listening test. First call me over. I will read you five questions and give you a copy of the questions. Call me or Lucy over after listening two times. You are allowed to take notes as you listen. You may listen a third time after we look at your answers.

Next everyone please do the spelling test. If you need a little more time to practice before the test, that's okay. Call me over when you are finished so I can write down your score.

Take the spelling test HERE.
When you are done, scroll down to continue using some of the links from last week. There were so many!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Visiting the Doctor

Hello, class!

The first thing we will do today is learn how to save an attachment, download and upload a file. Please ask me for the handout.

When you finish that, please come back here to practice vocabulary, listening, reading and spelling. Choose what YOU want to work on!

The Five Senses (Literacy)
The Clinic (Level 2+)
Medical Words (Level 3 +)
The Digestive System (Level 4+)

Making a Doctor's Appointment (Level 2+)
Seeing a Doctor in an Emergency (Level 3+)
Seeing the Doctor (Level 3+)
Video: Talking about Being Sick (Level 3+)
A Medical Emergency (Level 3+)
Going to the Emergency Room (Level 3+)
Video: Talking about Accidents (Level 4+)

Going to the Doctor (Level 1)
At the Medical Clinic (Level 2)
Read and listen: The Importance of Hand Washing
A Visit to the Doctor (Level 2)
Preparing for a Doctor's Appointment (Level 3+)

The easiest list is here
The intermediate list is here.
The hard list is here.

Have fun!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Elves of the LINC Seniors Class

The elves of the LINC Seniors class have a holiday surprise for the whole YMCA. Please view our little performances.

Langza, Saleem, Mahmed, Hana and Wardia can be seen singing and dancing HERE.

Our second performance, which you can see by clicking HERE, stars Samir, Ali, Mustafa, Habtemariam and Mahmed. Mahmed stood in for Jouzeef, who was away in Toronto for a wedding.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Let It Snow!

Tonight I am making lots and lots of paper snowflakes.  If you go to the Make a Flake website, you can cut your own paper snowflake. But be careful. This site can be addictive, as can cutting paper snowflakes.

Have fun!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Past Continuous

Hello, class!

Today let's use the computer to practice the PAST CONTINUOUS tense. Okay?

Here are some good exercises to get you started.

If you prefer to watch a video, try this one.

Another good video is this one with Teacher John.

Here is a good explanation followed by a quiz.

This quiz is pretty fun!

Here you get to unscramble the sentences. Don't forget the full stop!

This one from English Club is a little harder.

Call me over if you have any questions.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Symptoms and Diagnoses

Hello, class!

This week we will continue the unit on health and medicine. Now we will learn about symptoms and conditions.

Here is a listening game (Level 1/2/3)
Here are some short dialogues about a stomach ache. (Level 3 +)
These short conversations are about catching a cold. (Level 3 +)
These conversations are about not sleeping well. (Level 3 +)
This cute video is about the circulatory system. (Level 2+)

Go here to read an article about catching a cold, then answer the questions. (Level 3)

With this VISUAL DICTIONARY, you can study the human body.


Monday, November 21, 2011

The Human Body

Hello, class!

This week we are beginning our unit on health and medicine. First we must learn the parts of the body.

Level 1 -
Level 2 and 3 -
Level 4, 5, 6, 7
For everybody:
Later we will review with the help of Sam, our life-sized anatomy poster. His friend Samantha will be there, too.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Education (continued)

Hello, class!

This week we are continuing with the education system. If you want a large variety of activities to choose from, go to Janis's ESL page - links for education.

If you want to practice SPELLING the report card adjectives, click HERE.

HERE you can find a good listening lesson for level 3 or higher.

If you have children, you will want to watch this video about parent-teacher interviews.

Jouzeef, you could use:

Monday, November 7, 2011

Too, Enough and Very

Hello, class!

This week we are going to study TOO, VERY and ENOUGH.

Please read this overview of the rules for using TOO, VERY and ENOUGH.

You can also watch Jennifer teach a lesson about TOO and ENOUGH.

Next try this quiz to test your understanding.

We will also begin this week learning to use Microsoft Word. If you want, you can open Word and experiment with the menus. Call me over. I can help you!

Jouzeef, here is a game for you to try. It's called Phoneme Pop.

Have fun!


Saturday, October 22, 2011


Hello, students!

Here is a lesson about Halloween. What do you know about Halloween?

Do you have children?

Did you take your children trick or treating this year? Did you carve a pumpkin?

Click HERE if you would like to practice spelling some Halloween words.

If you finish, please go back to our last lesson on the Canadian school system. You may also use Ellis or any other English learning site.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Education in Ontario

Hello, class!

This week we will be learning about schools and education.

Watch this video about helping your child get organized for school.

Here you can listen to some phone conversations between a teacher and a parent.

Click here
to hear conversations about meeting your child's teacher at school.

These conversations are called "Waking Up for School."

You can click HERE to visit Dougall School's website. Look around!

This video is about reading with your child. It's longer and a bit more difficult.

Jouzeef, please watch this video. Then practice typing words here.

When you finish, please use Starfall and Basic Sight Words List One.

Have fun!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Library


Later this week I hope we can walk together to the library. On Thursday we learned about the sections of the library and how the Dewey Decimal System works. We also learned how to look up a book in the online catalog.

We learned that we can search by keyword, title, author and by subject.

Today we are going to practice using Windsor Public Library's online catalogue. I will give each of you a worksheet with the name of an item to find.

Here are the next steps in case you don't remember:

  1. Go to the Google search screen and enter "Windsor Public Library."
  2. Click "Search Library Catalogue."
  3. Click the BIBLIO Commons logo.
  4. Use the drop-down list to choose keyword, title, author or subject.
  5. Type the word or words from your worksheet and click SEARCH.
  6. Answer the questions on your worksheet.
When you are done, please visit - Your Library to read about libraries and watch a video.

If you want to practice spelling the library vocabulary words, click HERE. For a harder list, click HERE.

Have fun!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Canadian Thanksgiving

Hello, Seniors Class!

Soon it will be Thanksgiving in Canada.

Click HERE to read about this holiday.

Click HERE to practice spelling some Thanksgiving vocabulary words.

Click HERE to do a Thanksgiving word search puzzle!

You can also use Ellis software or any English website.

Samir or Hana, please ask Jouzeef to click here to practice typing personal information.



Sunday, October 2, 2011

Computer Lab - October 3

Hello, Cas' class!

If you would like to practice listening skills and hear dialogues for everyday activities, please go to 5-minute English and click LISTENING.

You may also want to watch some videos on YouTube on EnglishHelper's channel. These skits cover a number of topics from daily life.

Those with very high reading skills may wish to try this 100-question health survey. You do NOT have to give your name or email address to do the survey. You only need to give that information if you want to enter a contest.

Why not use Google to research Canadian Thanksgiving? You may end up discussing it in class this week. Click HERE to watch a video about how to cook a turkey, followed by a quiz to check your understanding.

You may also use Ellis software or any other link as long as it's in English.

You may check email or Facebook during the break.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Are We Going to Greenview?

Hello, Seniors' Class!

The first thing I would like you to try is a self-assessment for listening. You can find it HERE. Call me over and I will help you get started!

Our field trip was cancelled due to rain. Now the trip is planned for this Friday, but not if it is still wet and muddy there. You can go watch a video about Greenview Aviaries Park and Zoo.

On this website, you can learn the names of many animals, the word for the babies, etc.

You can use this YouTube video to learn some wild animal names.

There are more wild animal names on this video.

This video teaches the names of farm animals using full sentences.

Here is a quiz on some common animal names. How many can you get right?

If you want to practice spelling the names of some zoo animals, click HERE.

If you do well, try the moderate quiz.

If that's easy, try the difficult quiz. Here you will find the MORE difficult quiz.

Finally, here is the expert level quiz.


If you would like another listening lesson about telephones, please go HERE.

As always, call me if you need any help. --Kelly

Monday, September 26, 2011

Cas' Class

Hello, Cas' class!

Option 1: Compositions
Today please feel free to work on your compositions using MS Word. As you know, Word can help you spot spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Please let me know before you print anything.

Here is an article about how to plan and write an essay. There are many more articles on the web about writing compositions and essays. If you want to, you can use Google to search for some.

Option 2: Listening lessons
Listen to a podcast about an emergency room visit here. ESL Pod has lots of listening lessons. The learning guides cost money, but you can listen to the podcasts for free.

The website 5-minute English has lots of listening lessons here.

Of course, you can use Ellis software or any link in my sidebar.

Call me over if you need any help!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Review Day


Please watch this video about using "will" and "be going to" for future time.

Next, you can take this test to see how much you remember about dialing 911, 211 or 311.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

When you are done, you can go back to any earlier post to review. (Scroll down to see earlier posts.) You can also use Ellis, check email, or use any link on the side bar.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Weather and Severe Weather

Hello, class!

This month we are learning about emergencies and how to be prepared for them.

Please click HERE to go to the Windsor Star's weather report for today.

What's the temperature in Windsor today?

Is it warm or cool? Is it cloudy or clear?

Now visit THIS WEBSITE to get a weather report from your first country.

Compare the weather between these two places. Are they the same or different? How?

You can click HERE to practice spelling weather words.

If you click HERE, you can watch a NASA video of Hurricane Irene from start to finish. Wow!

If you have more time, you can click HERE to watch a video about making a family emergency plan.

Higher level students: try this listening lesson about weather.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Telephone Talk

If you are new to computers and need practice with the mouse, please go to MOUSE MASTER.

This week we will be talking about using the telephone, taking and leaving messages.

Please watch these videos:

Wrong Phone Number

Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim students!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August Rush (Movie)

Hello, Seniors Class!

This Thursday we will watch the movie August Rush. Please watch a trailer of the movie here.

Use Google Translator or a Learner's Dictionary to find the meanings of these words:

  1. prodigy
  2. fairy tale
  3. orphan
  4. orphanage
  5. wizard
What do you think the movie is about? We will discuss it in class tomorrow.

Tomorrow we will also finish the Tim Horton's worksheet with relative vowel sounds. If you want, you can practice your vowel sounds HERE.

Click HERE for Scotia Bank's online banking tour.

To see TD Canada Trust's online demo, click HERE then choose "view our demo."

For RBC, click HERE and choose "Take a personal online banking tour."
RBC Royal Bank

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hello, Cas' class!

On Thursday we will be watching the movie August Rush.

Use the Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary or the Cambridge Learner's Dictionary to find the meanings and pronunciations of these words:
  1. prodigy
  2. orphanage
  3. charismatic
  4. disheartened
  5. unwavering
  6. beckon
  7. makeshift
  8. unleash
  9. wizard
  10. impromptu
  11. enigmatic
Watch this music video of "Moondance." Who wrote it? The lyrics are here. Do you like it? Is it romantic?

Now visit the website for the Corpus of Contemporary American English. A corpus is a database of spoken and written language that allows you to search for words, phrases, word combinations, idioms, collocations, etc. to find actual samples of those terms in real contexts.

Enter the site.

Do a search on the word "unbeknownst." Explore the samples of real language where this word was used. Does this help you understand how to use the word?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Computer Lab - August 16


Please visit the 211 website and look around.
What is it?
What kind of information can you get here?

Look at this list of food banks. How many are downtown or close to downtown?

Read about the Downtown Mission food bank here.

Click HERE to learn about the new bus fares starting August 15 (yesterday). Here is a news article about it.

You can use Ellis software or any other English learning website.

Have fun!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Computer Lab - Tuesday, August 9

Hello, class!

Please click HERE to practice spelling words to do with Transit Windsor.

Click HERE if you would like to see bus maps and schedules.

We are going to the Art Gallery of Windsor (AGW) on Wednesday. Click HERE to learn more about the current exhibits.

You can use Ellis or any English learning website, as well.



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Computer Lab - Tuesday, August 2

I will give you a worksheet with questions to answer about this site.

After break, please visit the Transit Windsor web site. Turn your worksheet over and answer the questions about Transit Windsor.

If you finish, you can do this reading and listening lesson about using a bus schedule.

Please bring your worksheets to class on Wednesday.

Cas' class:

You may use any website in the sidebar (on the right). I recommend VOA Special English newscasts for learning English. Another good site is Breaking News English and its easier counterpart, News English Lessons.

After you listen to a news story, there are online quizzes and games, plus worksheets. Call me over if you want to print a worksheet. If it's not too long, I will print it for you.

Another good site for short, interesting broadcasts is National Public Radio's StoryCorps. Each one is a podcast that you can listen to while viewing the text of the story.

Those of you with very high listening skills may wish to try Call me over and I can show you how to bring up the transcript or subtitles while you listen.

Ramadan Mubarak to all my Muslim students!


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Who What (What) Where When Why

Hello, class!

Here are some pictures from last week's lesson about sentence structure, which was a response to a special request from Langza that we study some rules for putting words in the correct order in a sentence.

First we learned the chant: "who what (what) where when why." Next we looked at some sample sentences on the board. Remember: this trick only works for action verbs, not for linking verbs. The second WHAT is in parentheses because sometimes you don't have an object of the verb. Some verbs don't take objects (intransitive).

Then we got into three teams and made our own sentences on strips of chart paper using coloured markers. Langza's team wrote: "We study English in the morning at the YMCA because we want jobs." Hana's team wrote that Hana went to a birthday party at a hotel last night. So their sentence only had one WHAT.

Next we learned how to "explode" different parts of the sentences to add more detail. For example, "Ali" can be exploded to "my good friend Ali." We had a contest to see which team could write the longest sentence without any grammatical mistakes.

This sentence became "All the students in the seniors class are studying English at the downtown YMCA on Victoria Avenue at 9:00 every morning because we want really good jobs."

The winners got first choice from the prize table. Their sentence had over 40 words!

The second place team got to choose their prizes next.

Nobody went home empty handed. Great job, everyone!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 12 and 19 - Computer Lab Days

Hello, class!

If you want, you can use Ellis Intro or practice using Google Maps.


NEIGHBOURHOOD vocabulary -- easier words are HERE.
NEIGHBOURHOOD vocabulary -- harder words are HERE.

THE CITY vocabulary-- click HERE.


Practice the past tense of irregular verbs HERE.


Here is a video you can watch to learn how to give directions.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Your Neighbourhood

Hello, class!

Today we are learning about the neighbourhoods of Windsor.

First, please do the Google Maps assignment.

Next, please use the following links to learn about upcoming events in downtown Windsor. Please be prepared to report on one of them to the class.

Busker's Festival
Emancipation Celebration
Wednesdays free at the Art Gallery of Windsor
Downtown Windsor Farmer's Market

If you need help, just call me.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Annoying Insects

Hello, club!

This week we are exploring the topic of outdoor pests that we may encounter during our field trip on Thursday.

Tuesday we had a lesson about bees, wasps and their stings. We learned words like "tweezers," "baking soda" and "meat tenderizer" as well as "home remedy."

Wednesday we will talk about mosquitoes. Here is an African folk tale called "Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears."

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tuesday, June 21

Hello, class!

Here are two spelling lessons for Household Problems vocabulary.

This one is easier. This one is harder.

Would you like to try to find exterminators, electricians, plumbers and appliance repair people in the Yellow Pages? Start at Google. Type "plumber" and "Windsor, Ontario" to get started.

Here is a video of some common southern Ontario wildlife. You may see some of these creatures on Thursday at Ojibway Park and Nature Centre.

If you need help, just call me!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Computer Lab Day

Hello, class!

On the right side of this screen, you can see many links to good websites. Scroll down to see more.

If you would like to practice spelling the housing vocabulary words, please click this link.

If you want to listen to a story called The Noisy Neighbour, click here.

Or, you can close the Internet and use Ellis Intro or Ellis Middle Mastery software.

Call me over, and I will be happy to help you!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Tornado Alley

Let's listen to this VOA News podcast about tornado season in the U.S. The Windsor-Essex area also sometimes has tornadoes, as Leamington did two years ago.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tag Questions


Yesterday we worked with an audio text from the LINC 3 Classroom Activities book. There were some tag questions in the dialogue, so I would like to follow up today with a lesson on tag questions.

While we eat, I'll play a couple of lessons on tag questions that have been posted on YouTube by other English teachers. Then, after we are all done eating, we will do an activity with this language point.

See you!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Impact of Flight 1549

On Monday we will watch a re-enactment of the emergency water landing of US Airways Airbus Flight 1549 under the control of veteran pilot Captain "Sully" Sullenberger.

Here is an article I will print for you to read.

On Tuesday we will watch some news coverage of the "Miracle on the Hudson" and continue with a worksheet to help reinforce the new vocabulary.

On Wednesday Ioana will be with you to watch this interview with Captain Sullenberger.

On Thursday we will watch a TED Talk by Ric Elias, who was aboard that flight on January 15, 2009.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chris' Class Likes Mr. Bean

In the morning we are watching Mr. Bean is late for the Dentist.

In the afternoon, we will kick off the lesson with Mr. Bean at the Bus Stop.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

English with Jennifer

Jennifer is a very good English teacher. Her pronunciation lessons are good, too. Check out this one on can and can't.

Alpha Bravo Charlie...

Practice the telephony alphabet here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What is Facebook?


Yesterday we indulged Lisa in her lesson idea. She wanted us to bring up the Windsor Star newspaper website and then discuss one or more of the articles. You chose the story about baby Joseph. At the end of the lunch period, June asked what you could do if you wanted to show your support to the family of baby Joseph. I said you could join the Save Baby Joseph group on Facebook. Then someone asked, "What is Facebook?"

Today's activity centred around that question: what is Facebook?

For the first half hour, we ate our lunches and read print-outs from Wikipedia in our first languages. Jun, Zhen, Bernie, Lisa and Wen read in Chinese while Svitlana and Lena read in Russian. Mihaela brought Mary down to introduce her to us. Fortunately, I happened to have printed out the Facebook article in Arabic, too!

After eating and reading in our first languages, we talked about the Facebook phenomenon in English. I asked you a few questions:

  1. What is Facebook?
  2. Who invented it?
  3. When?
  4. What does it do?
  5. How many people in the world use it?
  6. What do they use it for?
  7. Do you have a Facebook account?
Lena told us that Facebook is a social network. We talked about both of those words.

Bernie said that "social" means having to do with people and society. June said that a network means connections. That's exactly right!

Lena, Svitlana and Mary all said they have Facebook accounts. Lisa said that Chinese people don't like Facebook.

We talked about the many uses of Facebook: to connect with friends, to chat, to share ideas and photographs. Also, Facebook is being used to organize revolts against repressive regimes in the Middle East. Mary told us that Facebook is not allowed in Iran for this reason.

After covering all of this, we took a peek at my Facebook account. Lisa said that Chinese people really like QQ. Actually QQ is a chat and instant messaging application. Facebook is much more than that. I told you that through Facebook, I can get updates from my church and notices about special sales from my favourite stores. I also can see what all my friends are doing and thinking all through the day.

We posted a message to my Facebook page that said, "I am teaching my lunch and learn class about Facebook." We got one reply from a friend of mine! She said, "Hello, Kelly's students!"

How fun was that, eh?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Billy Joel - The Piano Man

After more than a week of telephone practice, we have a request for a song lesson. The song I have chosen for us to listening to and study for a day or two is called The Piano Man by Billy Joel.

Billy Joel was born in New York City in 1949. He began studying piano at the age of four. He recorded the album "Piano Man" in 1973. The song was his first "top 20" single and the LP was his first gold album. He had multiple top singles and award-winning albums in the 70s and 80s.

In 1987, he became the first U.S. pop star to bring a full rock production to the Soviet Union. He performed in Moscow and Leningrad. His concerts still attract sell-out crowds around the world.

Billy Joel is also recognized as a humanitarian and philanthropist.

Cloze of lyrics - can you fill in the verbs? (Asterisks indicate phrasal verbs.)

The Piano Man by Billy Joel

It’s nine o'clock on a Saturday;
The regular crowd _______________ in.
There's an old man _______________ next to me
Makin' love to his tonic and gin.

He _________, "Son, can you ___________ me a memory?
I'm not really sure how it ___________,
But it's sad and it's sweet and I ___________ it complete
When I ___________ a younger man's clothes."

La la la, di da da
La la, di da da da dum

Sing us a song, you're the piano man.
Sing us a song tonight.
Well, we're all in the mood for a melody,
And you've got us _____________ all right.

Now John at the bar _____ a friend of mine;
He ________ me my drinks for free.
And he's quick with a joke or to _________ _______ your smoke,
But there's someplace that he'd rather be.
He says, "Bill, I ___________ this is __________ me."
As the smile ________ __________ from his face*
"Well I'm sure that I _________ be a movie star
If I could ________ ________ of this place"*

La la la, di da da
La la, di da da da dum

Now Paul ______ a real estate novelist
Who never ________ time for a wife.
And he's ____________ with Davy, who's still in the Navy
And probably _______ _______ for life.

And the waitress ______ ______________ politics
As the businessmen slowly get stoned.
Yes, they're _______________ a drink they call loneliness,
But it's better than _____________ alone.

Sing us a song, you're the piano man.
Sing us a song tonight.
Well, we're all in the mood for a melody,
And you've got us feelin' all right.

It's a pretty good crowd for a Saturday,
And the manager __________ me a smile
'Cause he knows that it's me they've been ___________ to see
To _____________ about life for a while.
And the piano, it _____________ like a carnival.
And the microphone ____________ like a beer.
And they _________ at the bar and _________ bread in my jar
And say, "Man, what are you __________ here?"

Oh, la la la, di da da
La la, di da da da dum

Sing us a song, you're the piano man.
Sing us a song tonight.
Well, we're all in the mood for a melody,
And you've got us feelin' all right.

Discussion of the song can be found here.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Joe Canadian

Hello! Today Bernie sends his regrets. He had something he needed to do, but before he left he thanked me for teaching not just words but also Canadian culture. No problem, Bernie. I enjoy it! The rest of us said we were pretty tired of hearing that rap song over and over. So instead we watched the "I Am Canadian" beer commercial. I asked you to take note of the similarities between the two messages. What things do Jarrett and Joe both say? How are their attitudes similar and how are they different? We thought about that while eating, then at 12:00 we talked about it. We talked about stereotypes and what a lumberjack is. It seems both Jarrett and Joe are tired of being stereotyped, especially by Americans. They also seem tired of the fact that Americans don't know very much about Canada. Well, that was a hard text to tackle. It took us all week. Next time we need to pick something easier and shorter. We talked about Wen's idea of listening to a telephone dialogue. Everyone agreed that's a good idea, so that's what we will do on Monday. After that, Lisa has an idea for us to consider. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Windsor Rap Song

Hello! This week we are slowly working our way through the lyrics of the Windsor Rap Song. Bernie studied some of the vocabulary at home and reports that there is a lot of slang, which makes it difficult. Next time we will tackle something easier, okay? Wen says she would like for us to listen to a short news or radio broadcast, or some short telephone dialogues. I have some selections for us to choose from. See you!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Two Ballots


Today we kicked off our lunch and learn club. We had a lot to decide today!

First of all, we discussed the purpose of the space and time together. You all told me that we have two purposes: eat lunch and practice English. I asked you if you know which one is the higher priority. Yes, you're right! Nick has told me that first and foremost, the space is for you to have a comfortable place to eat lunch. Secondary to this is a chance to practice English. That said, many of you are very keen to get to the activities!

The first thing we had to discuss was how to handle eating and learning in the same hour. Many people have said that they can't participate in a speaking exercise while trying to chew their food. So I asked you all if you would like to divide the hour into two parts: a time for eating and a time for the activity. Many of you nodded in agreement. You like that idea a lot.

Wen was concerned that our time together is very brief. She doesn't want to lose 30 minutes of it to eating. Esterline suggested that we finish eating by 11: 40 or 11:45, but Mindy said that gobbling your food down in a hurry isn't good for you. I agree. Rushing through your meal is not healthful and not mindful.

Zhen and Wen said that perhaps we could have something playing in the background while we quietly eat and listen. Then at 12:00, after I have also finished my lunch, we can start an activity related to the audio or video.

So then we brainstormed some ideas for things you want to see or listen to.

The next item up for a vote was how committed we are to speaking only English over the lunch hour. I put three choices on the board:

100% English, 95% English, I don't care.

We talked about what each one of these choices means, then I passed out the magnets. Each person got one vote (magnet). While my back was turned, you put your magnets next to your choice. Here we can see the results. You should be able to see nine little round magnets of different colours (yellow, pink, white, blue).

It looks like "95% English" won by a landslide.

Finally we used our last 15 minutes to listen again to the Windsor Rap Song. Tomorrow we will start discussing it stanza by stanza. I have a print-out of the words, which I will give you either tomorrow or Wednesday.

I think our "Lunch and Learn" Club is off to a fun start. See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What Shall We Do Together?

Hello, students! Starting April 1, we will no longer have a pronunciation class. However, we can still meet in the same room to have lunch and practice English. On Friday, April 1, I will begin asking you for ideas on how to spend our time together. We can brainstorm many ideas and then vote. I have already started making a list of fun ideas. Here are some of my ideas. You will have a chance to add to them or comment on them over the next several days. Ideas to discuss and vote on:

  • Maintain this blog together

  • Learn to set up a personal web log ("blog")

  • Learn to open an email account, if you don't already have one

  • Learn to open a Facebook account

  • Watch music videos

  • Watch short movies (under 50 minutes)

  • Play games (Jeopardy, etc.)

  • Have conversations

  • Discuss current events

  • "Ask any question" day

  • Homework help

Try to think of more ideas! See you Friday!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

TED Talk - China's Rise

In this TED talk, author Martin Jacques attempts to explain China to a western audience. He tries to explain to us non-Chinese the implications of the future rise of this country to a position of global dominance. Please view Understanding the Rise of China on, then come back here to consider these questions.


  1. Goldman Sachs is a global investment banking and securities company. They do global economic forecasting. What did they predict would happen by the year 2050?

  2. BNP Paribas is the largest global banking group in the world. What is their latest prediction regarding the Chinese economy?

  3. What will happen for the first time in modern history?

  4. What do people in the West assume?

  5. Professor Jacques is going to give his western audience three building blocks for understanding China. What is his first point?

  6. Professor Jacques says that China gets its deepest sense of identity as a civilization. He gives us a few examples of some very old customs and values. Name three.

  7. Name two very important political values for the Chinese.

  8. What happened in Germany in 1990?

  9. What do the Chinese have that is very, very different from the rest of the world?

  10. How does Jacques explain the Chinese disrespect for Tibetan culture?

  11. Does Jacques call China a democracy?

  12. According to Jacques, how do we in the west view the state/government?

  13. Jacques says the Chinese state is extremely strong and ubiquitous. What does ubiquitous mean?

  14. Jacques says the Chinese civilization-state has been very big and very strong and ubiquitous for a long, long time. What examples does he offer us?

  15. Why does Jacques say that China is more cosmopolitan than the West? What forced them to be so?

  16. What does Jacques predict is going to happen more and more in the future?

  17. In the last sentence of this paragraph, Jacques says, "This, alas, is no longer true." What is no longer true?

  18. If you want to see the future, where does Jacques tell you to look?

  19. Why does Jacques say we westerners will have to learn about the rising civilizations like China and India?

  20. Do you think most Chinese have heard of Christopher Columbus?


  1. According to Goldman Sachs, the Chinese economy will be twice the size of the US economy by 2050. When did Goldman Sachs make this prediction?

  2. What is the population of China?

  3. What does "developing country" mean?

  4. What does "assumption" mean? (noun - assumption, verb - to assume)

  5. Professor Jacques says China is not a "nation state." Instead, what does he say it is?

  6. What does "civilization" mean?

  7. What was China doing while the Roman Empire was breaking apart?

  8. What happened in China in 1997?

  9. What do over 90% of Chinese believe?

  10. What does Jacques call "the cement that has held this country together?"

  11. What does Jacques mean when he says that the Chinese state enjoys more "legitimacy" than any government in the West?

  12. According to Jacques, how do the Chinese view the state?

  13. Jacques claims that the state is everywhere in China. What examples does he give?

  14. What are the three building blocks for westerners to understand the difference that is China?

  15. What does parochial mean? Why does Jacques call us westerners "parochial" and our attitudes toward China "ignorant?"

  16. What portion of the world's population lives in East Asia?

  17. Jacques says that the world will become _________ to us westerners. What adjective goes in the blank?

  18. What do you think of the megabus?

  19. What does Jacques say has been going on for 200 years?

  20. Do you think most North Americans have heard of Zheng He?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Landlord / Tenant Problems

Hello, Vinka's afternoon class!

Have you finished typing your letter to the landlord? If not, please do that first.

Next, you can visit Vocabulary and Spelling City. You will need to find a word list called Vinka23. I can help you! Just call me.

Your Job Search

Hello, Vinka's morning class!

To practice spelling and vocabulary, please visit Vocabulary and Spelling City. You will need to find a word list called "Vinka34." I can help you. Just call me over!

Another good site for JOB SEARCH vocabulary is Job Readiness - Vocabulary.

Please click this link to visit On that website, click the Employment tab.

If you would like to explore Job Bank Canada, click on the link.

After the break, we will close the Internet and use Ellis Intro to view and listen to the dialogues about "Looking for a Job."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Welcome to the Computer Lab!


On the right side of this blog you will find many helpful websites. Try them!

After you try one, hit the BACK button to come back here. Then choose another website.

Advanced students (level 5, 6, 7) may want to explore Call me over and I will show you how to use the interactive transcript.



Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Learn the Months of the Year!

Hello, Chris' Level One class!

Welcome to the computer lab.

Click here to listen to a song.

Click here to do a quiz.

Click here to visit Spelling City. You can learn the months, do quizzes and play games. Call me and I will help you find the right list. Say, "Excuse me, teacher, I need help."

If you finish all of these, open a new Word document and practice spelling the months! Call me. I will help you.