Sunday, December 8, 2013

Our Needs Assessment

Dear Seniors,

At the time that we did our last needs assessment, I failed to log it here. I'll do that now.

We voted to study all types of safety, and indeed we have spent the past month or more on the safety of the flu shot, safe food handling, cell phone safety, safety on the internet, and safety in our community.

Our second area of study is to be telephone skills followed by Canadian law. You said you wanted to learn about the Canadian courts and penal system.

Tied for third and fourth were food and nutrition (including how to read a nutrition label) and customer service (how to return an item to the store, how to make complaints).

Tied for fifth and sixth were immigration (how to sponsor a relative, culture shock, acculturation, etc.) and community and government services that are available to you such as legal aid, food banks, etc.

The least popular of the topics were the environment, holidays and celebrations and shopping.

I did not include the topics of crime, health/doctor or Canadian civics because those had been covered recently. However, one of the new students has expressed a strong desire to learn to talk to his doctor. So we will put that up for a vote and see if we can integrate that topic again. After all, it has been many months since we last covered it.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tornado Safety 1

Hello, students.
Monday we begin learning about the best way to stay safe when a tornado is in the area. We will watch the first part of this video.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

"What I Learned" Essays

Thank you, students, for the wonderful essays you wrote summarizing what each of you learned during our week studying radio frequency (RF) energy and our health (see previous post). I have put your "each one teach one" posters and the compositions up in the lab for all to see.

Already we have received compliments! If you have time, take a look at your classmates' papers.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Two Types of RF Energy and Your Health

Hello, students!

This week we are talking about cell phone safety.  We are learning about ionizing radiation and non-ionizing radiation. This video also explains a bit about it.

Let's watch this short video that explains how ionizing radiation can harm the body.

This is the kind of radiation that comes from x-rays, nuclear medicine, the sun's rays, and cosmic background radiation.  It is NOT the kind of radio frequency energy emitted by cell phones.

We looked at that in class. Before reading the text, we explored the new vocabulary. Each pair of students was responsible for teaching two words.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Free Cooking Class at the Downtown Mission

Three students from our class took part in a free cooking class at the Downtown Mission recently. Here are the photos from that night. It looks like everyone had a great time, and I hear that a slow cooker was raffled off!

Qin Si, Hana, Miajuan

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Flu Vaccine

Hello, students!

Here is a great little animated video to help you understand the safety of the vaccine.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Health and Safety, Part 1: The Flu

Today we will watch a video about how the flu vaccine is made.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Phrasal Verbs

Hello, students!

This week we played a game with phrasal verbs.

Do you want to take a quiz? Some of these we studied, some we did not.

This is another quiz.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Hello, students!

Click HERE to watch a 3-minute video about the history of Hallowe'en. Below is the transcript. Some students want to paste it into Google translator.

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

Do you have children or perhaps grandchildren?

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

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

Transcript of video:

From communion with the dead to pumpkins and pranks, Halloween is a patchwork holiday stitched together with cultural, religious and occult traditions that span centuries.

It all began with the Celts, a people whose culture had spread across Europe more than 2000 years ago.  October 31 was the day they celebrated the end of the harvest season in a festival  called Samhain. That night also marked the Celtic new year and was considered a time between years—a magical time when the ghosts of the dead walked the earth.

Expert: It was a time when the veil between death and life was supposed to be at its thinnest.

On Samhain, the villagers gathered and lit huge bonfires to drive the dead back to the spirit world and keep them away from the living. But as the Catholic church’s influence grew in Europe, it frowned on the Pagan rituals like Samhain.

In the 7th century, the Vatican began to merge it with a church-sanctioned holiday. So November 1st was designated All Saints Day to honour martyrs and the deceased faithful.

Expert: Both of these holidays had to do with the afterlife and about survival after death. It was a calculated move on the part of the church to bring more people into the fold.

All Saints Day was known then as Hallowmas. Hallow means holy or saintly. So the translation is roughly “mass of the saints.” The night before, October 31st, was All Hallow’s Eve, which gradually morphed into Halloween.

The holiday came to America with the wave of Irish immigrants during the potato famine of the 1840s. They brought several of their holiday customs with them, including bobbing for apples and playing tricks on neighbours, like removing gates from the fronts of houses.

The young pranksters wore masks so they wouldn’t be recognized. But over the years the tradition of harmless tricks grew into outright vandalism.

Back in the 1930s, it really became a dangerous holiday. I mean there was such hooliganism and vandalism. Trick or treating was originally an extortion deal... Give us candy or we'll trash your house.

Storekeepers and neighbours began giving treats (or bribes) to stop the tricks, and children were encouraged to travel door to door for treats as an alternative to trouble-making. By the late 30s, “trick or treat” became a holiday greeting.

Friday, September 27, 2013

We Are Still Studying Banking

Hello, students!

Click HERE if you would like to see a Canadian banking tutorial in your language.

Here are many, many dialogues about banking.

Also, you can close the internet and use Ellis Intro software on this computer. Call me over. I will show you.



Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Second Conditional

Hello, students!

What do all these songs have in common?  Think you know?

Check out this lesson on Second Conditional.  Use the BACK button to come back here when you're done.

Isn't Jennifer a good teacher?  Now it's time to test your knowledge. Print this worksheet. Now go back to the YouTube video with the songs.  Can you fill in the gaps?

Please return to the classroom after break. We are going to play a game using conditionals!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Back to School!

Welcome back, students!

This week we read this news story about the first official photos of Prince George. You can go to the Breaking News English website and do many more activities. Or you can listen to the story again.

Would you like to play some games using the words from the lesson? Click HERE.

Have fun learning. See you Monday.


Friday, June 21, 2013

How Safe is Your Neighbourhood?

Hello, students,

As we talked about yesterday, today you have a chance to check the crime reports for your neighbourhood. Just click HERE and put in your postal code. Then fill out the short worksheet that I will give you.

When you finish, you can try this quiz on the placement of adverbs.

Have fun!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Emergencies and Other Services

Friday we will have a fire alarm. Listen to and read this story about a fire alarm.

Muajab had a rat in his yard. Which number did he call? They helped him.

You can read about the 311 service HERE. Click "For Residents" and then look at the menu.

You can read all about 211 Human Services here.

This is some information about Crime Stoppers. When would you use Crime Stoppers and when would you use the police non-emergency number?

How did you do yesterday on the quiz about 311, 211, 911 and 519-258-6111? Here is the quiz if you want to try again.

Explore the Windsor Police's new website.

Listen to these conversations. Someone is reporting a break-in.

This person is getting a traffic ticket.

Here is another lesson on modals for degrees of certainty. Also please scroll down to the past two weeks' lessons.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Modals for Degrees of Certainty

Hello, class!

This weekend is Art in the Park in Willistead Park in Walkerville. It's $5 to get in, but all the yard sales around the neighbourhood are free. Go look for a bargain!

Here is a lesson on modals for degrees of certainty. After the lesson, do the quiz!

Here is a quiz on degrees of certainty.

Enjoy your weekend.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer Pests

Here is the text of our reading. Muajab asked me how you can copy this into Google Translator. I will show you how.

Newcomers who want to relax outdoors with their friends and families during the summer

might find many uninvited Canadian guests coming to their parties for a meal: mosquitoes!

These tiny citizens aren’t at the picnic table to taste the delicious food; they’re females who

need blood for their eggs!

In Canada, mosquito bites are usually not dangerous to health, but they can be

uncomfortable because the red marks they leave on the skin are very, very itchy. One way

to manage mosquito bites is to prevent them. It helps to know the insects’ habits. They are

not very active on windy days, and they are most active in the mornings and evenings. They

are attracted to movement, human smells and brightly coloured clothing, The best way to

prevent bites is to wear insect repellent and layers of clothing. Mosquitoes can bite

through thin cloth, but if clothing is layered, it is harder for them to bite.

If you do get bites, it is important not to scratch, because that will make them itchier.

There are many products for sale in pharmacies to help with the itching, and there are

many home remedies as well. One product that is popular in Canada is calamine lotion.

Some people say that toothpaste helps, while other people use a paste made of water and

baking soda. Perhaps it is best to try many pharmacy products and home remedies until

you find the one that works well for you.
Drag the cursor over the text while holding the left mouse button down.  Use ctrl C to copy. Go to Google and choose MORE. From the drop-down menu, choose Translator. Use Ctrl V to paste. Choose English on the left and your language on the right. Voila!

 I don't have grammar activities for you today. You may use any web sites you wish, as long as it's English. Have a good weekend.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Lost and Found

Here is a podcast about a lost item. The level is a little high.

Don't forget about adjective order when you are describing a lost item!

Here is a listening lesson to do with crime. After you listen, try the exercises at the bottom.

Here are lots of conversations to do with crime. Read and listen, read and repeat.

Listen to this story about a thief.

Here is a "read and listen" story about a theft.

Have a nice weekend!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Complaint against the Police

Here is the booklet A Guide to Police Services in Toronto. The Windsor Police offer very similar services.

Their resources are available in many languages.

And here is the video in English.

Today we watched this scene from the movie Crash. We talked about what we would do if the same thing happened to us in Canada. Then we filled out a complaint form against the police for an improper "pat down."

Here is another scene from the end of the same movie. This movie is set in Los Angeles and deals with racial stereotypes.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Crime and Reporting Crime

Hello, students!

Here is a website where you can enter your postal code and see the crime reports for your neighbourhood. Try it! I will ask you on Monday what you learned.

Perhaps you want to re-watch the "What Would You Do?" episode we watched in class.
Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.

Here is another episode about bias in crime reporting.

If you didn't get a chance to look at these links last week, you can do so now.

Vocabulary for law and order.

This video is set in the U.S. but is an interesting look into your rights with the police.

Here are some conversations and phrases for describing a crime to the police.

Enjoy your weekend. I'll see you Monday!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Past Progressive / Crime and the Police

Hello, students!

How do you like the new computer lab setup?

Here is an exercise on past continuous (past progressive).

Here is a longer one.

This one shows past simple in use with past continuous.

Here is some vocabulary for law and order. You can hear the pronunciation and see a picture.

This video is set in the U.S. but is an interesting look into your rights with the police. (Level 3/4+)

Learn and enjoy!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Adverbs of Degree

Hello, class!

This is a great time for you to research your report topic. Let me know if you need help.

If you finish...

There are many practice citizenship test questions in my sidebar (on the right, scroll down).

Here is a list of adverbs of degree.

Here is a summary of adverbs of degree.

This quiz is difficult but interesting because there are not logical reasons for the correct answers. It has to do with the words native speakers usually use together (collocations).

Have fun!

Friday, April 5, 2013


Hello, class!

HERE are some CONVERSATIONS about VOTING (American)


Try this quiz about the responsibilities of citizenship.

Try some practice citizenship test questions. The language level is 4+.

Here you should choose "Ontario" and the number of questions you want.

This practice test has 10 parts.

Have a great weekend and see you Monday!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Canadian Government


Here are some activities to help you remember how government works in Canada.

Take this quiz about Canadian government.

Here is a READING lesson about Parliament Hill.

How does the U.S. system compare to ours?

How does a bill become a law?

Explore Parliament.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tommy Douglas / Linking Verbs

Hello, students!

I hope you have a wonderful spring break. Don't forget to "spring forward" at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday.

Here is a documentary about the life of Tommy Douglas.

Here is a cute little lesson about linking verbs.

This is a very short linking verb quiz.

This quiz has 10 questions. Choose linking verb or action verb.

See you Monday, March 18!

Friday, March 1, 2013

WWI, Adjectives and Adverbs

Hello, class!

Here is a great site for practicing the order of adjectives.

Here's another one.

This website explains it all.

And then they test you.
Adjective or adverb? Take the quiz. (Everyone)
Take a quiz about Vimy Ridge. (Level 4 + )

Take a quiz about the poem "In Flanders Fields." (Level 3+)

Friday, February 15, 2013

More Louis Riel

Hello, students!

You can practice spelling and syntax. Easier words are HERE. Don't forget about the games. (Level 2)

Slightly harder words are HERE. (Level 3+)

Watch a chapter of history. (Level 4+)

Here is a song about Riel.

Here is a quiz about Canada and its symbols. There is a 60-second time limit!

Play Canadian symbol card match.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Louis Riel

Take this quiz to see how much you remember about Louis Riel.

This is a 59-minute video called "Riel Country." It's interesting.

This is a one-minute video about Louis Riel's last moments.

Build a personalized Canada's Food Guide here. Click "Start Building My Food Guide."

Learn how to read a Canadian nutrition label HERE.

This is an interactive nutrition label.

Friday, January 25, 2013


Hello, class. Here are the links I posted last week. Sorry, Dorin, the only new item is under PRONUNCIATION below.


Try your hand at this game to see if you know your confederation dates. (All levels)

Level 4+ students, please watch this very short video about "responsible government."

Here is a quiz for levels 3+. Choose "Pre-Confederation Canadian History," 20 questions, 30 minutes.

Level 5+ students, here is a listening activity for you.

Just for fun: This is a very short cartoon about early exploration of Canada. The narrator has a funny American accent.


These words are easier.

These are more difficult.

Pronouncing the -ED endings with Rachel.

Content words and function words with Jennifer

Friday, January 11, 2013

Underground Railroad

Read and listen to Underground Railroad lessons.

Pretend you are a runaway slave on the Underground Railroad.


English with Jennifer - Thought Groups - Part 1
Here is Part 2

Pausing within Sentences - a podcast English lesson


Underground Railroad words are here.