Tuesday, November 27, 2012

English Language & Usage Weekly Newsletter

…Stack Exchange, Tuesday, November 27, 2012

English Language and Usage Newsletter
English Language and Usage Weekly Newsletter

Top new questions this week:

"I'm on the brew"

A conversation between two Scots: — What do you do for a living? — I'm on the brew. Assuming that I have the phrase right, what exactly does "on the brew" mean here? Based on the context, I …
*etymology *british-english *slang *scottish-english

Euphemism for "There's more than one way to skin a cat"

Growing up in the 80s, I ended up hearing/using this phrase a lot whenever I wanted to express that there was more than one way to do something: "there's more than one way to skin a cat." I have …
*phrases *euphemisms

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Practice your English with Academy Island Game!

An unknown alien life form lands on earth and has to learn English to get by in a range of social situations. Players of Academy Island have to progress through different difficulty levels by helping the alien use English in a range of situations such as shopping in a bakery and visiting places such as an art gallery and library. Our game is designed to help learners improve their English language ability, in a fun way.

You can also play this game on Facebook: www.facebook.com/CambridgeESOL Retrieved from Cambridge ESOL 
You can embed it into your classroom wiki or Facebook group. Students can use it to apply what the have learnt. They can practice new vocabulary, grammatical rules, idioms and more. What do you think of it?

Practice your English with Academy Island Game! reposted from Azhar's Reflections

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

MailDiary – Keep a Diary Online

Here's a good way to practice writing. Reposted from Ozge Karaoglu's Blog: hat tip to Ogze who writes,

There are different tools to keep a diary online, but this one deserves to be introduced. 

MailDiary is a tool that lets you keep a journal online. You sign up for the tool by just writing your email and then you are in it. The best part about using this tool that you don’t need to go to the page to write a new entry. It mails you to remind that you need to write a new entry every day and you only write a response to that email and it is posted automatically. You can send as many emails as you want and they will be all be stored as new entries. You can add images to your entries as well. If you don’t know what to write, you can answer the question that MailDiary asks you. You can even write your own questions for each day.

This tool also lets you customize the color of your diary and the style. You can also see your entries as a PDF and print it out and here are some ideas to use this tool in the classroom…
  • Students can keep a diary of their first week at school, then they can re-read this at the end of the school year.Students can keep a diary of a famous person, for a character in a story that you have been reading at class.
  • Students can write a diary about a picture that you have sent to them.They come up with an imaginary day that they have lived.
  • Start with something simple, ask children to write a few sentences about their days or ask them to summarize the day.
  • Create a diary with different entries and ask questions to students to be answered.

This tool is a great way for writing and reading activities for our students, and for us to keep notes of the thing that we do in our lessons and write our reflections.

Monday, November 19, 2012


The ESL Writing Online Workshop (WOW) is an online multimedia program designed to guide non-native speakers of English through each stage of the pre-writing, while-writing, and post-writing processes: 

1) Getting Ready to Write, 
2) Developing Your Ideas, 
3) Revising Your Work, and 
4) Editing and Polishing. 

This online resource is designed for community college students and adult learners.

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