American poet and educator, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), wrote many poems that went on to become quite well known. My favorite is "Three Kings" which tells the Bible story of King Herod's search for the King, the one prophesied about in the Old Testament, the one who would become known as Jesus. Of course, we do not know how many "wise men" or kings there actually were who came seeking the Child. People often associate the number "three" with this story because there were three gifts mentioned in the Scriptures: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In any case, Longfellow accurately and beautifully captures the hatred directed toward the would-be King and the way in which He would be protected.
The current pandemic has presented many challenges for each of us, but I know that it has been especially hard for you as an English language learner. One of the challenges that I have heard some of you express concerns the lack of opportunities to practice speaking English with others. Like me, I am sure that your teachers are doing their best to try and give you some opportunities to speak with your fellow classmates via ZOOM, but there is only so much time available during class. This means that if you want to really practice your speaking skills, you are going to need to find ways of doing this on your own more.
Conversation practice is very important. It is how you build confidence in your ability to communicate with others. However, that is only one way to improve your speaking skills. Another way is to work on pronunciation. There are many websites online where you can find pronunciation practice.
Here are a few:
American English Sounds
To find more pronunciation exercises including how to sound out certain words, when to stress certain syllables, and how to pronounce certain nouns, click on this link: www.catesol.org
If you are serious about wanting to learn English, Quizlet is a must-have app. You can use Quizlet to study vocabulary on your computer, your tablet, or even your phone.
Here's a review from EdSurge.com:
"Quizlet offers free online study tools starting with flashcards and other games, aimed at helping students learn material. Students can create their own study sets or can make use of the approximately 16 million flash card sets created by other students. In addition to "flashcards" the site also offers games.
How Does It Work? Quizlet helps students focus on the facts that they are learning by making lists (say, words and definitions), and then self-testing their knowledge of these facts by using online flashcards and games. Among the games included in Quizlet are
To read more of this review of Quizlet, click here.
You can use Quizlet on your computer, your tablet or your smartphone. To sign up for Quizlet, go to this site: quizlet.com/www.quizlet.com.
To learn more about this wonderful app, check out the video below.
What are modal verbs?
Modals (also called modal verbs, modal auxiliary verbs, modal auxiliaries) are special verbs which behave irregularly in English. They are different from normal verbs like "work, play, visit..." They give additional information about the function of the main verb that follows it. They have a great variety of communicative functions.
Here are some characteristics of modal verbs:
To read more about modals or to practice using modals, go to My English Pages.com
Here are some other links to practice exercises:
When you are writing a paper and need help, where do you turn? You may turn to your instructor. But what if your instructor is not available? You are likely to turn to the internet to find help. The internet is full of great resources for academic writing. One of those resources is called Purdue Owl.
Take some time and review the many resources found on this website. From the writing process and research helps to comma usage, basic grammar and spelling rules, the Purdue Owl has so much to offer. There is even some specific help for ESL students and job-seekers.
The OwL does provide some exercises to practice various grammar and punctuation rules; however, to my knowledge none of them are interactive. In other words, to use them, one must print out a handout.
To explore all that the Purdue Owl has to offer, click on the image below.
Note: To find the comma rules, go to "General Writing." Then, click on "Punctuation." Then, click on "Commas."
Indefinite pronouns can be a little challenging to understand and to use correctly. I find that by breaking them down into groups according to usage they are easier to learn and remember. The three groups are singular, plural, and those that can be either singular or plural. I have included several links that will help you understand these pronouns a little better.
Indefinite Pronoun Review 1
Indefinite Pronoun Review 2
Indefinite Pronoun Practice 1 (The quiz/practice is found at the bottom of the page.)
Indefinite Pronoun Practice 2
Indefinite Pronoun Practice 3
"The past perfect is a verb tense which is used to show that an action took place once or many times before another point in the past.
The past perfect is formed using had + past participle. Questions are indicated by inverting the subject and had. Negatives are made with not.
To learn more about the Past Perfect tense and to practice using this tense, click HERE.
The Present Perfect tense is all about "unspecified" or non-specific time in the past. This can be very confusing. The Present Perfect can be used in several ways. 1) It may be used to describe your personal experience. For example, you might say, "I have seen that man before." Or, "I have never been to Florida." 2) You can also use the Present Perfect to talk about change that has happened over time. For instance, you might say something like this: "Cell phones have become a necessity to many people." Or, "My English has gotten better since I started taking English classes."
Those are two ways that we commonly use the Present Perfect tense. To review other usages of this tense, click here.
Click on the links below to practice the Present Perfect Tense.
Present Perfect Practice #1
Present Perfect Practice #2
"All languages have their confusing words…words that sound the same, look the same, or have the same meaning. Especially confusing are words that have similar forms (for example, in different verb tenses) but are not used in exactly the same way (the present and past tense of “read,” with two different pronunciations, comes to mind). In my opinion, the irregular verbs “lay” and “lie” rank at the top of the list in terms of confusing forms and usage."
To continue reading this article from esllibrary.com click here.
My name is Craig, and I've been teaching English for many years. I initially created this site for my students, but all English learners are welcome. I hope you find something helpful to you. Feel free to leave suggestions or ideas in the Comments section under any entry.