Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Small Talk

Hi, students of the seniors' class!

This week we are learning to make small talk. This will help with your goal of social integration.

First, we studied the grammar of TAG QUESTIONS.

Next, we looked at these conversation starters.

Take the quiz.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Price Adjustments and Price Matching

Well, guess what we stumbled onto!  While reading The Bay's returns policy, we discovered that we are VERY interested in something called "price adjustments." This is when something you bought goes on sale right after you bought it. Often, the store will allow you to bring that item back with your receipt for a refund of the difference.

Another concept I'll bet you're going to love is called "price matching." We'll talk about that soon.

Our interesting true story for Friday is about "wardrobing." Click this link and look for the word LISTEN in the top menu.  Play the MP3 file to listen to the story.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Returning Faulty Merchandise (Continued from last week)

Hello, Xi Wen Bi!

Thank you for calling. It was nice to hear your voice. We miss you.  I hope your ankle completely heals soon so you can come back to class.

This week we are going to do some role plays using real store return policies. Also we will fill out some slips of paper about the purchased items.  Our class will divide into clerks and customers.  Each customer will have two or three of those slips of paper with information about a purchase.  Each clerk will have one of the store policies.

The language of the policies is very difficult, so we have spent this week studying them in teams, helping each other to break down the language.

If you want to print out those sheets, you can go to the Commercial Services page of my website. Scroll down do "Shopping - Returns" and click the link.  Print that document.

Cheers!  -- Kelly

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Returning Faulty Merchandise

Hello, students!

This week we are learning how to return something to a store.


Store returns listening lesson with quiz

Returning a radio (1)

Returning a radio (2)

Exchanging a DVD Player

English in Vancouver - Watch, listen, do activities on Returning a Faulty Product


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Credit Calculators

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

This week we finished our unit on credit cards and credit. We used English for Financial Literacy materials and audio files found HERE.

Today after our group presentations, you showed interest in credit calculators. Mr. Yi wants to know what the income tax rates are in Canada, so I've added links for that, too.  Happy learning!

TD Bank - Mortgage Calculator

Personal Tax Calculator - Canada
Canada Revenue Agency - Tax calculators

To continue our pronunciation lesson, you can visit Rachel's English for her video on vowel lengthening before voiced consonants.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Credit in Canada

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

These past two weeks we have studied credit cards and credit in Canada.

Here is a listening lesson on CREDIT HISTORY with a quiz.

Here is a quiz on reading a credit card statement.

Click here to go to the FCAC website. They have a lot of educational information about credit cards. They also have information about credit and loans.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Online Shopping...Safely

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

Last week you requested that I teach you how to purchase things over the Internet. Of course we want to do that safely!

This is a great video about online safety when shopping.
Here is the presentation we saw about shopping and banking safely online.

This week we began by learning about PayPal. If you would like to open a free personal PalPal account today, first read the User Agreement. You may want to put that through a translation site or ask a family member to help you understand it. It is very long. This one is in Chinese, but it is not intended for customers based in Canada, I don't think.

When you feel ready to register, go here.

Do you want to browse items on Amazon.ca?  Next week we will learn step by step how to order an item.

Want to look at a local grocery store flyer?

Food Basics


Canadian Tire

If you would like to open MS Word and work on your compositions, I can help you do that.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Welcome Back, Seniors!

Welcome back, class. I hope you had a great summer break. I certainly did.

Next week we are doing our "show and tell" presentations about our summer activities. Our topic is travel and recreation.

If you wish to work on your presentation, you may do that. Call me over to your workstation if you need my help.


Here is vocabulary for talking about the beach or ocean.
These words are useful when talking about camping.
Click here for air travel vocabulary.
These words help you talk about land travel.
Rebecca can teach you about the prepositions of travel.
If you travelled by sea, you may need these words.


Using prepositions of place in, on and at:
Generally speaking, this sums it up.
Here is another nice summary of these prepositions in use.
Crown Academy of English has a nice video lesson on this topic.
This illustrated lesson has a quiz after it.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A New Listening Resource!

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

I know you are on break, but I also know that some of you are using this blog to practice your listening skills over the summer.

Guess what?

I have found a wonderful resource to help you with listening.  Here is the site: http://www.cdlponline.org/

First, choose a topic from the top of the page.

Next, choose a story from the STORY LIST to listen to. These are true, interesting stories!

Use the "LISTEN," "STOP" and "NEXT" buttons to navigate the activities.
There are many activities to do after you listen to the story a few times. There is a vocabulary activity, a spelling quiz, a definition matching game, a comprehension test, and an essay box. Just keep clicking NEXT to go to the next activity.

These stories are short and interesting, just the way you like them. And there are SO MANY choices under each topic.

Have fun!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Summer Break

Hello, students of the seniors' class,

I hope you have a nice, relaxing summer break and that you practice English every day.

Here are some things I plan to do this summer:

How about you? What will you do with all your free time? Leave a comment below!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Canadian Superfoods

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

Your presentations on using local foods when they are in season were very interesting! Thank you for following the guidelines. You did a great job of not using notes in front of the class. Your body language was good; you made good eye contact with your audience. I loved the visual aids you created to make your presentations more engaging.

Here is the audio text about cranberries. You can download it, open it in Windows Media Player and listen while you read the transcript that I gave you. There are many other audios and lessons available online HERE. Scroll to the bottom of the page.

This week we also talked about working on the purity of your vowel sounds. You can use Ellis Master Pronunciation software for this purpose. Call me over and I will show you. The desktop icon is purple. If you are at home, you can watch Rachel teach vowels. Here are some of her vowel videos.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Ontario Food

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

You may use your time in the lab to research your presentations.

If you finish that, you may wish to use some of these links:

Do you know your vegetables?

Do you know your fruits? (I used an -S because I mean the many kinds.)

Test yourself on these commonly foraged food.

The website Foodland Ontario may offer you ideas and information. It also has recipes.

Listen to "Good Things Grow in Ontario."

You can use Google and YouTube to find recipes for many foraged foods (Burdock, Red Clover, Dandelion, Black Locust, etc.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Diagnostic Imaging

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

This week we continue our exploration of the nervous system by learning about a few diagnostic imaging tools available to our doctors.

We learned about nuclear medicine and about the type and amount of radioactive material used in diagnosing and in treating diseases such as cancer. Here is the very interesting document we looked at in order to better understand the safety and use of radiation in nuclear medicine.

Here are some charts and tables to inform you about radiation exposure in various Canadian cities compared with other parts of the world. It also tells you how much exposure you get from some common sources such as dental x-rays.

This is a fantastic interactive tour of the brain. It is also available in Chinese and Arabic.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Nervous System - Tests and Screenings

We continue our very long journey through the systems of the body. This week we learned the main parts of the nervous system. We also learned a bit about CT scans, ultrasound and MRIs.

Here is a nice video about what it's like getting an MRI.

This video is for children.  It's easy to understand.

Review the nervous system.

This is one of my favourite TED Talks. You can see subtitles in English or in your language while you listen.

This is another really fascinating TED Talk related to our topic, but there are no subtitles in Chinese Simplified, only Chinese Traditional.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Some Recipes

Hello, students of the seniors' class.

To practice the grammar of causative verbs get, have, and make, SCROLL DOWN.

Here are some recipes for preparing burdock and cattail shoots.

Burdock - pick, wash, prepare, cook. (video)

A Japanese Recipe for Burdock (video)

How to eat the stems and stalks (video)

More Burdock recipes (text)


Here is a video lesson on causative from an English teacher named Alex.

There are many more. Search on the key words, "English grammar causative" and choose VIDEOS from the Google menu.

This is a good quiz to help you practice causative.

This quiz focuses on passive causative.

Practice using causative in different tenses.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Urinary System

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

Here is a good video (in fact it is a series of four videos) in which a doctor explains the urinary system.

Renal System, part 1/4
Explore science games on urinary system for kids at NeoK12  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Around the Hospital

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

This week we have learned a lot about various medical specialists and the departments in which they work. We also practiced giving and receiving directions in a hospital.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

We Can Use iPads

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

This week we learned about iPads. We learned the parts of the iPad (e.g., home button, icons, headphone jack) and a few useful verbs, such as tap, swipe, pinch and zoom. Thursday, each team of two gave a short presentation on how to use one particular app. They were informative; thank you!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Dina and Mike

On Fridays we read a short, interesting story connected to the week's topic. Today the higher level students talked about the story about Dina, the marathon runner who made an incredible recovery from a stroke. Lower level students talked about Mike, the politician in B.C. who fell into the ocean from his deck and injured his spinal cord. In pairs, higher and lower level students compared and contrasted the two cases.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Our CPR Kit with Inflatable Dummy

Hello, seniors' class!

This week we watched this video.  In discussion groups, we asked each other, "What would you do if you saw someone collapse in public?" We used the video to explore different scenarios and learned an odd idiomatic expression, to freak out.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Year of the Wood Goat!

I share your wish for world peace this year.  Thank you for all the treats. That was quite a spread. The red tea was delicious! I loved it when the parade came from childminding, two children of about age three acting as the head and tail of the lion.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ellis Software - Health Videos

Would you like to use Ellis software again this week? You are welcome to do so.

Or would you like to listen to some of our HEALTH CARE vocabulary pronounced? Medical words are here.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Skeletal System

This is a nice overview of the skeletal system, part by part.

This is a bit simpler. Hover over the parts to hear them pronounced.

Listen to this conversation between a patient and receptionist.

Here is a listening lesson about a medical appointment.

Orthoconnect is a great resource for Canadians who need information about orthopaedic care.

Here are informational publications from Osteoporosis Canada. One pamphlet is available in Chinese Simplified and Traditional, but not in Arabic, I'm afraid.

Take this "Calculate My Calcium" quiz to see if you got enough calcium for your age and sex yesterday.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Our Listening / Speaking Strategies

We have begun Listening Boot Camp!

What is a boot camp?

It is intensive training for new military recruits with a strict drill sergeant. Sometimes health clubs also offer boot camps for people who want to get in good shape fast. The personal trainer is there to motivate people to work hard for quick results. The personal trainer doesn't let you make excuses or take the easy way.

I am here to motivate you to awaken and strengthen different areas of your brains. We have agreed to close our bilingual dictionaries during listening lessons. The dictionaries can distract us from the main goal: improving listening and speaking skills.

This week we started building our tool box of L / S strategies. We can:

  • Guess an unknown word from context. (Remember the Shillybog!)
  • Listen for the gist.
  • Use repair strategies. (Communication is a two-way street.)
  • Talk around a word we do not know by explaining to the listener what we mean.
  • Tune into CONTENT words.
  • Practice good linking and prosody so your brain is prepared for the way native speakers really talk.
Here Rachel teaches you about consonant sound to vowel sound LINKING.

Watch this video about HOW TO GUESS A WORD FROM CONTEXT.  Here is another video about the same thing. There are many!

This is a great video on keys to improve your listening comprehension.

If you want to print the words to one of the 265 Short Stories on Mr. Zhang's Listening Page, call me over and we can do that together.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Staying Safer in Hospital

Hello, seniors!

Welcome back. I hope your winter break was pleasant. Mine was!

Continuing with our very in-depth health unit (part II), this week we will talk about staying safer in hospital. Specifically, we will talk about avoiding hospital-acquired infections.

Together we will explore these steps for avoiding hospital-acquired infections.

For level 6/7 students, here is a fascinating story on America's National Public Radio about the human microbiome.

You could also watch this TED Talk about the human microbiome with subtitles in your first language.

AHRQ Guide to Patient Safety

Read what other patients have to say about your family doctor or specialist on Rate MDs.

I found public reports for our local hospitals, but the PDFs are opening as blank for me. How about you?

There is no class next Friday due to the teachers' meeting.