Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Thank you, students of the seniors' class, for a wonderful party.

You are too good to me.  I hope you know how precious each of you is to me.  We are like a family.
the spread
We shared food.
We spoke from the heart.
Mr. Zhang
We listened to a poem. I think I know why Mr. Zhang chose that poem. It was poignant.
Mei, Xiumin, Hamdi, Kelly, Junjian
Hamdi taught us a dance step. Tareq drummed for us.
Mei, Xiumin
We heard a delightful story about an unlucky day turned lucky!
We solved riddles.
Dr. Peng, Xiumin, Kelly, BaoHua, Shurong, Mei
The women took a group shot.
Enjoy your two-week break. We will see each other again in 2017, Inshallah!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Spelling City

Hello, students!

This week I want to introduce you to Spelling City. This is a website many teachers use. We store word lists there so that our students can practice spelling and syntax.

I have just put some of our words and sentences on Spelling City for you.

I really hope the iPads work Friday. I hope the wifi works. I hope you can try out this learning tool.

If you like it, I will load our vocabulary words onto that site more often.

Let me know what you think!


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Happy Holidays

Happy end of term (soon)!

Congratulations on your assessments.

At the Pharmacy

Hello, students of the seniors class!

This week we honed in on the topic of talking to the pharmacist, reading the label, and asking questions. We want to be active participants in our own care.

We had our listening assessment based on these four recordings of patients being advised by the pharmacist regarding their new prescriptions. These audios are from Queens University "English for your Health" series, which we use a lot in this class even though we find the odd typo or factual error.

After the listening test, you assessed your own ability to understand this level of audio text without being able to see the speakers using a self-assessment multiple choice list.

Here are the audios again.

Patient 1
Patient 2
Patient 3
Patient 4


Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Fun App

Hello, seniors!

Let's do something frivolous and fun with our digital literacy course this Friday.

I want to tell you about a fun app called Aurasma.

First you need an interesting picture, such as this one I edited in LunaPic.

Then you need a video that you will use as an OVERLAY.

Aurasma will put the two together, and we will set up a gallery of our augmented reality pictures in the hallway. We can use this app for speaking assessments in the future.

Do you like it?

Can you think of other ways to use it?

Have a nice weekend!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Our Medical Journey

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

We are working our way through a long journey that has seven steps:

1 - Make an appointment

2 - Talk to the receptionist on arrival; you may get a form to fill out.

3 - Talk to the nurse. You may have to answer health history questions.

4 - Describe your symptoms (page 24 of this booklet). You will receive a requisition for blood work.

5 - Go to the lab. Hand over your requisition. Interact with the lab technician.

6 - Go back for a follow-up appointment. You will get some advice regarding lifestyle changes.

7 - Go to the pharmacy. Get your new prescription filled. Be able to read the label (page 18). Listen and read.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Our Computer Course - Word

Hello, students of the seniors class!

Today we are learning to format a simple document using MS Word.

Please open MS Word and practice what we learned before the break.

These tutorials may be useful to you.


Friday, October 28, 2016

The Systems of the Body - Overview

Can you believe it's been two years since we last studied the systems of the body?

Here are your links again.

This is a great interactive website for learning the various systems. Move your mouse over the labels to see the system.

This is a silly little game for learning a few main parts of each system.

Take a quiz about the circulatory system.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Computer Lesson 2 - Getting Started with Email

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

This week we got back into our lessons on navigating the health system. Friday is our second instalment of our new computer literacy course.

Two weeks from now, we will be learning how to move files from one location to another using a USB drive and also by using email and cloud-based storage services. If you do not already have an email account, I will help you open one today.

This video is about avoiding some of the risks involved in using email.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Our New Computer Course (Every Friday)

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

You circulated a petition and nine of you signed it. You told me that you wish to change our Friday "short, easy story" and pronunciation lesson to a computer literacy course. That's a fine idea!

First learn some new words.

Here is a website that will help us with our first few lessons as we begin with an overview of what a computer is, the parts of the computer, and some basic terminology.

Can you label the parts of this computer?

Practice your MOUSE skills.

This is an excellent worksheet for learning the parts of a computer.

This is the book we will be using in our course. It is designed for ESL students like you!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016


Hello, students!

At your request, we have spent the past two weeks on banking.

Watch these TD Canada Trust videos to help you learn all the ATM screens.


Listen and read along - easy story
Money in the Bank - listen and read
Pay the Interest - listen and read
Bank services
Banks - Level 4/5


Learn money words (talking dictionary)
Money and banking - vocabulary quiz

Spelling and Syntax

You can play games with this week's words.

Friday, September 16, 2016


Hello, students!

Please visit the CCAC website.  Explore.  Read.

You can also use Ellis software - visiting the doctor.


Monday, August 29, 2016

Never Stop Growing

Hello, students!

Here is a little something to get you thinking about our new school year together. What do we want to accomplish? What do we want to learn? What do we want to share with one another? This man is very inspiring.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Keeping Your Garden Watered

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

Are you enjoying this HOT, HOT Windsor summer?

I know many of you have gardens, and it is difficult to keep them from wilting in this crazy hot weather we are having. I have to water my container tomato plants three times per day! The ones in the ground only need it once a day. Also, my coleus and basil on the deck begin to wilt by 3:00 p.m.

So I am setting up some slow-drip irrigation systems using old pop bottles and other plastic jugs so the plants can get a tiny bit of water all day long.

How are your gardens doing? Did you plant the seeds we exchanged this past spring? Did they grow? Please leave a comment below. So far I have harvested four zucchini and about ten okra. Very soon I will have tomatoes--Druzba and Tiny Tim. It's my first year to successfully grown anything from seed, so I'm quite happy!

Here are some links for you.

Drip system above ground in garden. (video)

Drip Irrigation - WikiHow

Try to stay cool!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Summer is Here

Hello, students!

This was our first week of summer break.  I hope you are relaxing and enjoying your time off.  I certainly am.

This is where I sit with my refreshment and a library book. The second chair is for my feet.

Speaking of the library, I was there recently and saw a lot of flyers on the bulletin board. There are plenty of things to do in Windsor these days.

Did you know there is a SENIORS 50 + Expo coming up this weekend at the WFCU Centre. It will cost $2 to get in, and then you get to visit over 75 exhibitors. You can ask them questions, gather pamphlets,  and get FREE health screenings. There will be FREE refreshments, too.  You can take the Lauzon 10 bus from Tecumseh Mall or you can get off the Crosstown 2 about 4 blocks away from the WFCU Centre and walk the rest of the way.

Don't forget that the knitting club meets at the library on a regular basis.
Finally, do you like classical music? There are TWO free concerts coming up this summer. All you need to bring is a folding chair or blanket to sit on!

July 10 at 7:00 in Reaume Park (get off the Crosstown 2 bus at Pillette and walk 2 blocks)

August 14 at 7:00 at Windsor Sculpture Park at the foot of Bridge Avenue on the riverfront.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Air Travel

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

Most of you voted for us to study travel and transportation, especially the listening, speaking and reading skills needed to navigate air travel this summer. Even though this is a repeat lesson for most of you, you've told me you want to do it again. So here goes!

Bone up on your air travel vocabulary using Oxford Picture Dictionary and this website.

This video teaches air travel phrases and terms.

We cannot study ALL the announcements you may hear over the intercom while traveling through airports and while on board your flights. Our energy will be better spent learning how to ask the person next to us such questions as, "Did they just call our flight?"

However, you can read through all of the most common air travel announcement scripts HERE.

Here is an in-flight announcement LISTENING text and quiz.

If you want to listen to some airport and in-flight announcements while reading them, click here.

Here's a great video to help you get ready for your summer airport experience.

This one has on-screen

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Mind Mapping Air Travel

Hello, students!

This week we tried something new: mind maps. I was amazed when, after only watching this short introduction to mind maps, I woke up the next morning still able to see the two sample mind maps when I closed my eyes. I could therefore remember all the French phrases on that sample mind map--and I wasn't even trying to remember them!

I think three very important keys are: use colour and weird images (the weirder, the better), use curved lines, not straight ones; put only one word or language chunk (e.g., phrasal verb) on a branch. Keep the mind map flexible as you would a pattern drill. Do not load up a branch with an entire phrase or sentence. That defeats the purpose of the mind map.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Shopping for Food

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

This week we learned how to describe food by packaging, by taste, smell, and texture. I brought in four foods that you tasted and described: dark chocolate, wasabi flavoured roasted seaweed snack, Garam Masala snack, and a breakfast cereal. We used words such as "creamy, tart, crunchy, crisp, umami, bittersweet," and "spicy."

By the end of the week, we were able to describe a food from back home to a classmate from another culture. SaiYing shared about glutinous rice balls filled with bean paste. Tareq shared about Pacha, while Nabil told us about a traditional Iraqi way of cooking fish near an open fire. I told you about Fiddlehead season in Canada.

Do you need to review food vocabulary? Go here:


Now let's learn some new vocabulary for describing edibles:

Adjectives describing food
Adjectives to describe the taste, condition and other properties of food
Adjectives describing how a food was cooked

By the time we finish this module, you might not find this quiz too difficult.
This adjective - noun matching quiz is hard today, but should get easier by Friday.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Describing Clothing When Shopping

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

This past week we learned new terms and expressions we can use while shopping for clothes.

Practice listening to and pronouncing these words for patterns and materials. When you finish listening, there are quizzes you can take and games to play.

Here is some vocabulary you may find useful and a dialogue to practice. Remember how to do a pattern drill? Repeat your part of the dialogue over and over using different vocabulary in the blank each time.

Friday, May 6, 2016

What's Happening this Weekend?

Two events of interest to us this weekend are:

The city's annual plant sale at Lansperry Park on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  They will have some amazing prices. I plan to be in line early!

The other event is a "Jane's Walk" that will meet at 1:00 at Festival Plaza on the riverfront to begin a guided walk for one hour. You may learn some new things about the buildings and history of that area.  This will be a leisurely walk with opportunities to stop and rest periodically.

If you would like to work on the GSL, you can use Quizlet. There are 50-word blocks you can work on.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Needs Assessment, GSL

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

This week we are getting to know our Language Companion binders, writing our stories, talking about goals for English, and doing a needs assessment. We are between topics.

Needs assessments are not new to you. We've been doing those since I first became your teacher. You know what? It's not easy for a teacher to come up with interesting modules week after week when the makeup of the class doesn't change! Some of us have been together for four years now, I think! Other teachers can recycle old material every few months.

Anyway, while we figure out what we want to tackle next, I would like to address everyone's goal of mastering the English needed for everyday life in Canada. Have you ever heard of the General Service List?

That is a list of the 2,000 most common words used in English. If you can understand those, you are well on your way to understanding 90-95% of spoken English and about 85% of written English. So let's see how many of them you already know. I have an activity to help you learn a few of the ones you haven't already mastered.

Here is a new expanded GSL with frequency ranking numbers!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Free and Low-cost Things to Do in Windsor and Essex County

What Cost How do I get there? Details
Ojibway Nature Centre free admission,
free parking
South Windsor 7
bus goes there.
Watch this movie
Windsor Folk Music
and Arts Society
Transway 1C,
Crosstown 2
First Friday of every
month at MacKenzie
Hall (Sandwich)
Lee Lee Hats free Library Help make hats for
hospitalized babies.
Knit Night at Levigator
free - tea and
Crosstown 2
Chess Club
free Riverside
Library, bus 2
DWCC Bike Clinics free Wigle Park, Bruce
Park (downtown)
Community Gardens free Wigle, Bruce,
Women's Drop-in
Coffee and
Social (Games, etc.)
free Downtown Windsor
English Practice free Central
Library, 1A
Wednesdays from
6 to 8 p.m.
Life After Fifty (Seniors
membership +
class fees
Transway 1C,
Dominion 5 bus
Variety of activities, many of them
free after membership
City of Windsor Activity
cost varies locations vary See catalog.
Windsor Summer Festivals Some free, some free for seniors
Windsor PublicLibrary free downtown, 1A books, DVDs, periodicals,
audiobooks, etc.
YMCA classes subsidized
downtown, bus 2 See schedule.
Remember to check the bulletin board at the library for lots more free stuff happening every month!

Friday, April 8, 2016

NAYDO Conference


Please try again to watch the NAYDO Philanthropy Live video starring YMCA students!


Thursday, April 7, 2016

Stewards of the Earth

It's Earth Month! April 22 is Earth Day. Not only that, but YOU told me that you want to learn more about Canadian culture. You want to fit in here and you want to know what is polite and what is rude in Canadian society.

So this week we talked about cultural norms in our first countries versus Canada with regard to waste disposal. Where can we put our gum? Where can we spit? Can we put a wet tea bag in the blue bin?

We shared answers to these and other discussion questions in small groups. The next day, we tackled these guidelines.  We made sentences:

_________ go/goes in the red box.
_________ go/goes in the blue box.
You can't recycle _____________.
You have to take ____________ to the drop-off depot.

Someone asked what the drop-off depot is. We looked at it on the map and watched this video explaining how to drop stuff off. We also learned that you can get FREE paint at the depot--but you can't be very picky about what colour you get!

Here is an easy conversation about recycling.
Here is an easy conversation about Earth Day.

Friday we read about Dan Phillips, a Texas man who helps build affordable houses from reclaimed materials. This is a great example of RE-USING. Here is his TED Talk. You can choose subtitles in your language to help follow along.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Our Gardens

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

Spring is here. Many of us have gardens. Some of us have container gardens on our balconies. Others of us have backyard gardens. I have a narrow vegetable garden in my front yard; I also grow herbs in pots on my deck. Finally, many of us have plots in nearby community gardens. We enjoyed exchanging open pollinated, heirloom seeds this Thursday.  I am excited about that!

We recently learned that the downtown branch of public library has a seed exchange.

Listen and learn these words relating to the garden / yard.

Here is a short listening text about gardening.

Here is another listening text about a garden. How much do you understand?

Do you know the names of all these vegetables?

What about these herbs? I use all these in my cooking. I grow them on my deck.

Here are some more herbs. I use all these in my cooking.

Do you know all these fruits? (Yes, the plural of fruit normally does not take an -S, but in this case I mean varieties of fruit. So it takes an -S ending.)

Here is a video to give you a brief overview of some basic gardening terms.

These are some terms we discussed on Thursday. The last frost date for our area is April 25. We are in hardiness zone 6B. That means THIS WEEKEND is good for starting seeds indoors. Have fun!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Shopping for Food


This past week or so we have been learning to ask where to find things in a supermarket. We have also done some comparison shopping using store flyers.

This is a very comprehensive audio / text lesson about grocery shopping.

Here is a good site where you can listen and study new vocabulary.

Watch this video of supermarket dialogues. I am a new fan of EnglishClub.com!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Do It Yourself

Our projects look great!  On Thursday students from other classes will come see your posters and ask you questions about them. Good job, everyone!

Here is a listening lesson to do with home repairs.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Can You Fix It?

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

We have someone auditing our class now. His name is Baigen (Bernie), and he is following our class from home. For this reason, I will try always to provide links to the worksheets and audio files that we use in class.

This week's topic is the DIY (Do It Yourself) movement, which is part of Canadian culture. We are using worksheets from LINC 2 Classroom Activities - "Can You Fix It?"  "How to Keep Out the Cold," and "An Expensive Weekend."

To see just how far you can take the DIY idea, we watched a short video about a young man in California who bought a tiny house for $950 and lives "off the grid" with no bills at all! That's amazing. He's only been doing that for four months. I wonder if he can keep it up! What do you think?

Also we listened to this audio on Tuesday; you have the worksheet with the questions.

Voice Recorder >>

Our assignment for next week is to team up with another student (if you wish) and teach others how to make something that saves you money and/or helps save the planet.  Reduce, re-use, recycle!

For example, Mei and her husband have made a wi-fi amplifier from an aluminum can.  Kelly knows how to make a mouse trap from a plastic bottle, chopsticks, two rubber bands, a paper clip and some thread. It really works! SaiYing and YueChen know some good recipes for earth-friendly, inexpensive household cleaning products.  Xiumin has a sewing machine. She could easily make a door draft stopper that looks like a cute animal.

Here are some ideas:
Re-Use Ideas
Upcycle Ideas
Upcycled products
Creative Ways to Re-use Plastic Bottles

Each student must list the materials needed and must describe the steps to follow.  Also, please add at least one photo or drawing. I can help you find good pictures on the Internet.

Good luck!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Snow Day

Hello, students!

Only five students were able to make it to class due to the snowfall.  We decided to deviate from the plan and instead studied weather forecasts.

We listened to this audio:

Record audio or upload mp3 >> ..
The script and questions can be found in this PDF document, LINC 3 Classroom Activities, page 106.

REMEMBER: There is no morning class on Monday, February 29th.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Stress and Vowel Quality

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

Since we had only a four-day school week and Fridays are special, we didn't tackle a new topic. Rather, we focused this week on making our stressed vowels longer, louder / higher in pitch, and clearer.

We reviewed the difference between CONTENT WORDS and FUNCTION WORDS.

English is a stress-timed language.  We practiced the rhythm of many sentences.

Here is a great video on this topic.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Invitation to a Dinner Party

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

This week we learned a lot about invitations in Canada. We learned how to issue them, both verbally and in writing, how to accept them, and how to decline them politely and more directly.

Watch this video from English in Vancouver about a party invitation.

 To watch with interactive quiz, go HERE.

To print out the listening activities, go to my website's FREE RESOURCES - Canadian Culture and scroll down to find the link.

Just for fun, send a valentine to a buddy.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Hello, students!

This week we learned about Valentine's Day and also about issuing, accepting and declining invitations to parties and other events. Next week we will work on our Valentine's party invitations and plans.

Here is a listening lesson about invitations.

Here's another one.

There are MANY dialogues here about inviting people to parties and so on.

Here is a little history of Valentine's Day. Listen and answer the questions below the video.

Have fun!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Our First PBLA Module

Hello, students of the seniors' class!

Over the past two weeks we have begun talking about setting goals. Our module from January 11 to January 22 revolved around expressions used in common, everyday social situations.

On Monday we will reflect on what we learned over the two-week period. We will each journal about it. I will also journal!

Here are some links to help you extend the learning.

Ways to ask and answer, "How are you?" (video lesson)

English in Vancouver - At a Coffee Shop

Friday, January 8, 2016

Setting Goals

Welcome back, students of the seniors' class!

I hope you enjoyed your break.

This week we have been exploring SL learning strategies and setting goals.

One strategy for learning a language is to use flashcards. This is a flashcard set on Quizlet.

Here is a short overview of the different kinds of strategies.

On Monday we'll talk more about goals. We want to set SMART goals. "SMART" goals are:

  • specific
  • measurable
  • attainable
  • realistic
  • time-bound