August 09, 2014

151 Great Writing Websites

If you are a writer or a teacher of writing, take a look at this website. It is a index of writing and publishing resources that you can use whether you are an experienced writer or...

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Posted by mmorf at 10:31 PM | Comments (0)

April 20, 2014

British Empire Documentaries And Eating Around The World

In my classes, I like to use short, vivid and memorable video clips. Some are hard to find, many are on YouTube, but quality collections are usually expensive and hard to find. Until now. Take a look at...

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January 13, 2014

Amazing Maps Of The World

The beginning of a new year is a time to look back and a time to look forward, it's also a time to...

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August 15, 2013

How Language Has Transformed Who We Are

If you have read many of my blogs here, you know that I ....

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February 13, 2013

Putting It Into Words

I continually encourage my students to write. Writing is a good way to convey memories to others, share stories and perhaps most importantly, writing can be...

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Posted by mmorf at 10:08 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2010

America's New Poet Laureate - W.S. Merwin

Poetry is the art of compressing the most meaning into the fewest number of words. One poet I have been reading for many years is W.S. Merwin. Merwin was just chosen...

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January 18, 2010

Words of the Decade

One of my favorite characteristics of the English language is how we create, mangle, adapt, distort and just plain make up words. Many of these come from popular movies, celebrities, political figures or economic or cultural changes. "Truthiness" for example, was a word that had to happen. It originally came from...

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November 08, 2009

Hands-on Language Learning; Writing Your Own Story

For hands-on learners, there is no better way to learn a language than by using it - and using it by writing is probably the best...

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July 12, 2009

Arabic, Pashto, French or Dari, Anyone?

Most TESOL instructors get their training and background in the civilian world, but when it comes to learning the less common languages like Arabic, Pashto, and Dari, you might be advised to look...

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June 12, 2009

China as the largest English speaking nation?

Sometimes it seems that the whole world is learning English. Is there an "English Mania"? Should there be?

Jay Walker thinks so. In his TED talk he....

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May 25, 2009

Tell me a Story

Everybody like to hear stories - and when learning a language, there is nothing better than HEARING a story to learn how native speakers not only speak....

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May 19, 2009

Ixtapa - "Fostering Cultural Awareness and Learning Competencies in EFL & ESL"

Anyone up for a trip to Mexico the fall? How does this sound?

"Fostering Cultural Awareness and Learning Competencies in EFL & ESL" October 1-4, 2009

If you'd like to do a presentation, send your information here - The deadline is May 30th so you better hurry.

You can see the speakers and topics of previous conferences...

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May 10, 2009

Preparing Language Teachers for the 21st Century

"Designed for practitioners and researchers involved in the preparation and ongoing professional development of language teachers, LTE 2009 will address the education of teachers of all languages, at all instructional and institutional levels, and in many national and international contexts in which this takes place including: English as a Second or Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) instruction; foreign/modern/world language teaching; bilingual education; immersion education; indigenous and minority language education; and...

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April 26, 2009

Music From Around the World

"Take a fun-filled musical tour of Europe without packing a suitcase!" That's the slogan of a new series of music collections for kids produced by Putumayo. If you want to introduce kids to the lively music of a variety of cultures and ethnic flavors, check out....

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February 22, 2009

The Magic of Letters

Change your life with letters. Did you ever think about the alphabet? The Chinese language has several thousand characters.The English language has only twenty-six characters. Most languages have about thirty to fifty letters or characters.

These letters or characters can change your life. They can make your life more complicated and they can open up options and allow you to express yourself and read the ....

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February 03, 2009

Voices From The Past - Abbot & Costello and Bono to Lincoln

All of us as learners of any language learn from those who came before us. We absorb words and ideas from every singer, writer, friend or neighbor we encounter.

So what can we learn from historical figures? From comedy teams to political leaders we can learn....

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January 28, 2009

Keeping inTouch

Being in a foreign place and far from friends and family can be stressful enough without a worldwide financial implosion impacting everything from job security, the price and availability of food and of course, personal safety and security. What to do?

I don't think I'm alone if ...

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January 25, 2009

Finding Your Voice


Most students of other languages lack confidence in public speaking of the new language. Shyness is a major barrier to making a language your own.

In essence, the main principle is practice, practice, practice.

But what is a safe and practical way to to do this?

Thanks to the internet there are . . .

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November 17, 2008

Recommended resources - Interactive Pron Chart

Hello Readers,

Do you ever wish that you had paid more attention when your CELTA tutor or English professor went over a pronunciation chart for the first time? If so, then you're in luck. Click on the link ...

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November 02, 2008

Recommended resources - pronunciation video

Hello readers,

Teaching ESL and pronunciation go hand in hand, so undoubtedly, you've had your fill of frustrating 'listen and repeat' moments in the classroom. Teaching pron doesn't always have to be frustrating...

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August 30, 2008

Recommended resources - Crossword puzzles

Hello readers,

Are you looking for a quick and easy way to create worksheets that look professionally designed? If you've ever taken the time to manually create a crossword puzzle about a topic for your students, then chances are you've only done it once. The time spent on creating such things could probably be better spent elsewhere. However, if you...

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August 23, 2008

Recommended resources - Phonetics builder

Hello readers,

If you've ever tried to add phonetic symbols to your worksheets, you may know how difficult that can be. Instead of writing them in by hand or cutting and pasted each as separate images, there is a simple solution...

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May 17, 2008

Recommended Resources - Blogger

Hello Readers,

Are you looking for a way to encourage students to communicate in English outside of the classroom? Let's face it, most students leave their English behind when they walk through the doors after class. So, what can you do? It's simple. Go to ...

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May 05, 2008

Recommended Resources - How to teach vocabulary

Hello Readers,

If you're interested in reading more about how to teach vocabulary, Scott Thornbury's "How to teach vocabulary", which is part of Longman's "How to ..." series, offers practical teaching ideas within a theoretical framework. In addition to theory, ...

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April 02, 2008

Recommended Resources - Teaching English lesson plans

Hello Readers,

Looking for free ELT resources available online? Perhaps you've already used all of your favorite lesson plans from another website offering free lesson plans online. Then it's time to check out Teaching English, which has teamed up with the British Council to provide free lesson plans online for ...

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February 13, 2008

Recommended Resources - English Baby website

Hello Readers,

Are you looking for a fun networking site for your students? If so, you might be interested in checking out a site called It's a social networking site for ESL students (and teachers) with over 600,000 members world wide.

For more information about the site, read through the following press release:

5 February, 2008 English, baby! users find love while learning English

As they navigate the dating landscape, people often think to themselves,
“What if my one true love is in another country? My ideal partner probably
doesn’t even speak my language …”

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June 11, 2007

Recommended Resources- move

Hello Readers,

Are you bored with your current coursebook? Are you sick of teaching your students about 80s stars like Julia Roberts and Michael Jackson? Are you tired of using old tapes of poor-quality in the classroom? Are you searching for a coursebook with new slang, useful language points, review units and plenty of extra resources? If so, then...

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May 19, 2006

Recommended Resources - Do You Feel Out-Of-Touch?

Hello everyone!

As ESL teachers, it’s critical that we keep up-to-date on the current trends in teaching. But some of us are far away from universities or other places where ESL teaching is a common topic of conversation.

But that doesn’t mean that we have to miss out on any professional developments or ideas. If you have an Internet connection, you can read some great publications that are dedicated to advancing the art of teaching English as a second language.

Here’s a list of some of great ones . . .

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March 13, 2006

Recommended Resources - Free On-Line Movie Trailers!


What a site…absolutely brilliant. Not only do you have access to viewing current movie trailers, but there are easy-to-understand ESL lessons already set-up for your students - everything from close activities and quizzes, to summaries and discussion questions. Just go to! And make sure to take a look around.

One of my most successful lessons this past semester used . . .

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January 17, 2006

Recommended Resources - Sites and Blogs that Link Back to ESL-Lesson-Plan

Here is a list of friends that link to this blog from somewhere on theirs!

Friends don't let friends link without an exchange. So, let's all be friends and exchange those links! Click here to find out how . . .

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December 21, 2005

Recommended Resources - The English Blog

Hi Everyone, it's me Michelle Simmons. Guess you've been wondering where I've been huh?

Hello All,

Remember Me? Me Miss You Long Time!

Well, I can't get into it right now but I've been out in the "field" let me put it that way. I needed some extra time to do a little job-advancement opportunities.

But, enough about me. I first want to say a big "thank you" to our friend and colleague, professor Lee Hobbs, for the wonderful job he's done with the ESL-Lesson-Plan web log while I've been away. If all of you were here in person with me I'd say, "Let's give him a big round of applause please."

Well, the sad news is that . . .

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December 17, 2005

Recommended Resources - Get Posts from this Blog on "My Yahoo!" or "My Msn"

What is all this RSS business anyway? Read on:

Hi there Internet Explorers!

"RSS" is just an acronym for "Really Simple Syndication" and it's a type of information feed that can be used in some really helpful ways. Don't worry, it's easy!

Do you use the MyYahoo! service as your web browser's homepage? How about My Msn ? Even AOL has a My AOL option.

I just so happen to use the MyYahoo! one, but they're all about the same, really. What they let you do is . . .

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Posted by lhobbs at 04:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (3)

December 13, 2005

Recommended Resources - ESL Textbook Suggestions

"The greater part of the world's troubles are due to questions of grammar" ~Michel de Montaigne

Hello There ESL-Textbook Hunters!

This semester, based on a trusted recommendation, I tried the following grammar book (also covers punctuation and style) which (don't laugh!) is designed for North American eight-graders. I'd like to report, though, that I had a tremendous success with it.

The funny thing is, the rules for English don't change according to your age, and this friendly, unthreatening and very approachable guide to grammar worked well in my language writing class of twentysomethings. Plus, it was considerably cheap when compared to similar products (under $6.00 USD second-hand). The downside is that . . .

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Posted by lhobbs at 03:48 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (8)

June 27, 2005

Recommended Resources - Need to Lighten Up?

Hello everyone!

Do you ever feel the need to lighten up the mood in your classes?

Maybe you’ve noticed that many jokes that are common in your culture simply don’t translate to your classroom. (Haven't you ever tried to tell one that just falls flat?)

Cheer up! Check out this site for some jokes are the perfect for the ESL student . . .

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Posted by msimmons at 02:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

March 09, 2005

Tips & Tricks - A Great Teaching Aid

Hi Readers,

Here's a quick tip for improving your student's listening skills.

Many times students become accustomed to their teacher’s voice and accent, and have a difficult time understanding other people—even though they may do great in class. That’s why it’s vital to expose them to different styles and variations of speech. That can be difficult to do if you teach in an area where English is rare.

One great solution to this problem is . . .

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