ESL and IELTS Help 4 U

Archive for July 2010

Have you ever thought of starting your own English club?

These students did!

Starting an English Club is quite easy.

Gather a few friends.

Agree on a day and time each week.

Get together.

Speak English to one another.

Bring questions you have about English and discuss them.

Ask each person to bring one new vocabulary word and tell it’s definition.

Practice introducing yourself to one another.

Choose a theme for a meeting: family, school, hobbies, travel. Each person can say a few things about the theme.

One of my students who is a professional meets with her co-workers  one time each week for lunch and they talk about new words to add to their vocabulary. They bring questions they can’t answer to me. You can do the same or take your questions to your formal English class at school.

It doesn’t matter if you make mistakes. Just practice. Have fun. Laugh. Share information. Become more relaxed. Enjoy!



Posted on: July 26, 2010

Do you know when “ed” at the end of a word sounds like “t” or “d” or “edd”?




Here are some helpful hints….

1. If a word ends with a “d” or “t” sound, then past tense is pronounced as “edd.”



2. Some sounds in English are what we call voiceless. A voiceless sound is a sound that uses air but not your voice: “sh”  “t”  “ch”  “s”  “k”  “p”  “f”  When a word ends in a voiceless sound, past tense is pronounced like a “t.”




3. Any other words, in the past tense, are pronounced with just the “d” sound.



I hope these tips are helpful for you!

Remember to your day! No stressing, please. You’re doing great!

Have you ever thought about your voice?

Part of being a good speaker is having a voice people like to listen to.

A voice that is too high will not be as easy to listen to…  as a voice that is lower and more rich (no, not the “rich” that’s about money, “rich” as in pleasantly full and mellow).

A voice that is too high will also not carry very well. This means that the sound doesn’t go very far. People close to you can hear you but people who are sitting further away have to work hard to hear you.

I am not a professional voice coach, but I know a couple of tips to share.

Voice has to do with breath.

Try this.

Breathe into your belly. Put your hand on your belly and breathe in. Feel your belly rise as it fills up with air. You may have to practice this. Many people only breathe into the upper part of the chest.

When you can breathe all the way down into your belly, exhale and make a sound with your exhale. Don’t push the sound or try to make the sound big or low. Just make a natural sound from this part of your body. The sound will be deeper and richer than a sound that comes from your upper chest. Again, you will probably need to practice this.

Using this voice, practice reading something aloud.  As you become more comfortable using this voice, try it out with a friend. At first you’ll laugh and think it sounds weird, but you will get used to using this voice.

Your speaking will become more confident   and relaxed.

Be well, practice your English, don’t stress, enjoy!

Let’s play!  

Ok! Here’s another game.

In this game, you are given the definition of a word. If you know the word that goes with the definition, great! If you don’t know the word you can click on “Hint” and the word is given to you. This is a great way to learn new vocabulary.

But that’s only Step 1.

In Step 2, you look for the word in a puzzle of many letters where the word is hidden. A different way to ask your brain to see English words.

Good for your brain and your English. Have fun!

and click to play.

Many times, we create a poster to go with a presentation.

Go online to Google Images and search “posters.” Look at the hundreds of examples and decide which ones you like and why.

What makes a good poster?

Well, it depends on what you want the poster to do for you. It depends on how many people are in your audience. It depends on how close you are to your audience. And it depends on whether you will be asked to stand with your poster to answer questions at another time during the event.

The biggest problems with posters is that they can have too much information on them and they can be impossible for the audience to see.

Example 1: You are going to make a presentation at a conference. It’s about a research study and you will report the results. At another time during the conference, all the presenters will stand with their posters so conference attendees can look at them and ask questions or chat with the presenters. So you will have some people who come to hear your presentation and others who will just see your poster.

You will need enough information on the poster to interest people walking by. This may be too much information for people to read clearly during your presentation. Think about making small photocopies of the poster to hand out during your presentation. Also, highlight your most important points in yellow.

Example 2: The only people who will see your poster are those coming to your presentation. The more people at your presentation, the less information for your poster is a good way to think about it. If people are working hard to see words on your poster, they will not be listening as well as they could be.

For an interesting and effective poster:

Think about how you can organize your information so that it will be easy to understand.

Use color!

Think about using a handout for details and a poster with one large visual or some smaller ones that go with your topic.

Your presentation is the most important. Your poster is supposed to make your presentation better, to help you, not to contain your entire presentation. Use your imagination. Make your poster interesting and attractive.

Be well. Study hard, but most of all, enjoy!

There is one website which is great for your listening practice!

This website is  good because, first, you can listen to a short news story which is interesting and has current (new) information.

Then you can read the same news story to see if you understood what you heard.

Then you can see the meanings of new vocabulary words that are used in the story.

Very good!

Here it is:

Scroll to the bottom of the first page.

Click on Learning English.

Click on Words in the News.

You will see a news summary and a place to click to hear the report. Listen first before scrolling down to see the words in writing. After listening one or two, or more times, read the report and study the vocabulary.

There are many other news reports for you on this website and new ones come out often. Come to this website weekly for listening and vocabulary.

Check out other English lessons on this website.  They’re quite good!

Have fun! Enjoy your English study!

I’ve found a free online game that is good for practicing spelling.  This game can also help you more quickly access (remember) English words you already know.

At first, this game may be difficult. Keep playing. Your mind will work more and more quickly as you continue to practice.

The link is:

After the advertisement has finished and all the little Fupa faces have danced across the screen, click “start” and then “start” again.

Your job is to click 3 or more letters to spell a word. Click the last letter 2 times and the word will disappear. The letters you click must be touching but they can go in any direction.

This game can be great for your brain……but as with anything, don’t overdo it. Play for short periods and enjoy!