Wednesday, June 22, 2005

ESL: Vocabulary Another compendium. This is a sub-page ofThe Internet TESL Journal'sTESL/TEFL/TESOL/ESL/EFL/ESOL Links and includes sites such as
Arabic Number to English Convertor (Requires JavaScript.)
Enter a number up to 999,999,999 and see it spelled out in English.
BBC News English - Words in the News
Read, listen and learn the English in this week's stories.
Common Errors in English (Paul Brians)
Words that native English speakers frequently find confusing.
Common Usage Problems (Vicki Jones and Ann Bertoldie)
Words that native English speakers frequently find confusing.
English for You - Visual Fruit (Donald Hennessey)
Pictures of fruit and their names in English
English for You - Visual Veggies (Donald Hennessey)
Pictures of vegetables and their names in English
Expanding your Vocabulary (La Trobe University)
Brief hints for advanced students.
Language Adventure - Picture Quiz
Easy. Click on the picture of the word you hear. (WAV files)
Megellan's Log - Pronunciation Pairs (Sentences Using Heteronyms) (Douglas Milburn)
We polish the Polish furniture every day. I did not object to the object. etc.
Nick Miller's EFL/ESL Resource Material - Street & Map Terms (Nicholas E. Miller)
A list of words with definitions.
QuiaCom - Matching Quiz - Countries and Nationalities [FRAME] (AH Syed) activity -Columns - ESL Topics and Vocabulary [FRAME] (English Specialist)
True/false and multiple choice quizzes on basic exam topics and vocabulary
Testing Vocabulary
By S. Kathleen Kitao & Kenji Kitao
The Compleat Lexical Tutor (Tom Cobb)
Test your word knowledge, Learn words at your level, Read & Listen, ...
Vocabulary - Extended Family Chart
A detailed family tree chart: paternal uncle's wife, maternal cousin, ....
Vocabulary Self-Study Quizzes (The Internet TESL Journal)
See the answers right away. Produced by teachers around the world.
Vocabulary Vulcanizer [FRAME] (Paige Jaeger)
Study 'roots' to improve vocabulary: Phobia (=Fear) claustrophobia, xenophobia
Word Safari: vocabulary expeditions (Ruth Pettis)
For native speakers and advanced students. Expand your English vocabulary while surfing the Web's List of Words and Phrases (David Wilton)
baker's dozen, kick the bucket, left wing, Kilroy was here, ... - Don't worry about your active vocabulary (Tomasz P. Szynalski)
Why it is normal to understand more English words than you can use
www.EnglishClub.Com - Informal Contractions (Reductions) (Josef Essberger)
Gonna, Ain't, Gimme, Gotta, Kinda, Wanna, Whatcha, ...
www.EnglishClub.Com - Interjections (Josef Essberger)
Charts with meanings and examples: Ah, Alas, Dear, Eh, ...
www.EnglishClub.Com - Say or Tell? (Josef Essberger)
How to use say and tell.
www.EnglishClub.Com - Telling the Time (Josef Essberger)
UK English: 'just gone three o'clock'; Others: 'a quarter past three' etc. - Building vocabulary: Word formation (Sven Cederberg)
300+ word formation exercises - Diagnostic Vocabulary Test (Sven Cederberg)
Example of random generated test from huge database - Compare Word & Phrase Use on the Web (Create Your Own Vocabulary Study)
The love of money is the root of all evil. VS Money is the root of all evil. - Buildings
See pictures of vocabulary, a dialogue, crossword puzzles, dictation/spelling, . - Rooms
See pictures of vocabulary, a dialogue, crossword puzzle and jumbled words

I like to see specific categories of words (buildings, rooms, time, fruits and vegetables), and also idioms and informal contractions, which always confound students. There are a few that have online quizzes and pictures to help students understand better. Students who learned English the British way can find translations into American English, and even specific tools such as the Arabic Number to English convertor have a real value for students. Some of the sites are better than others, so if you find one particularly useful (or not at all useful), share it with your fellow bloggers.

Monday, June 20, 2005

General Information: Sotir: Super Searching

I know this may come as a surprise to many of you, but I spend a lot of time on the Internet. For legitimate reasons of course, but I thought some of my shortcuts for getting into sites might be helpful tools for others as well. For example...did you know that when you look at the address box on Explorer, there is a small 'e' icon in front of the address? (Netscape users will have an icon that looks like a bookmark.) If you click and drag that box into another document, such as a blog post, you don't have to spend the energy copying and pasting the address. Yes, this is a minor aid, but when you post as many Websites as I do, every little bit helps.

Many of you already use your 'Favorites' button to save sites. Try creating folders for like Favorites. This will help you organize your list and use it more effectively. You can also rename the title of the site to one that fits a category first. Simply right-click on the bookmark and choose 'rename' from the options. You can save an entire page, not just a link, if you use 'Add Favorites' and choose the box that says "Make Available Offline". Even if you are not connected, you can still view a page of interest, or if the page disappears, you still have the information it contained.

Portals (see other articles with the term RSS in them) are Websites that pre-select and organize links to other information on other sites. You choose the information you want and let the portals search the Web for those sites for you. If you wanted to (and why wouldn't you?) you could set up a portal to keep up on the new posts to this blog. You need to have sites with RSS addresses The RSS address for this blog, for example, is '. Add this /atom.xml address to a portal, and you will be automatically notified when the blog posts new articles, as well as other posts to similar topics. I have a portal entitled 'educational technology' and get a list of new sites that might pique my interest daily. The portals also tell you if nothing new has posted to the site in whatever timeframe you wish. I have mine set for 3 days. If a new post comes on, the title and when it was posted appear on my portal list. I like having technology do my work for me.

One of the other tools I like is the 'Advanced Search' option. Often I get requests for very specific kinds of Websites. I could put in just a regular Boolean search (using AND, BUT or even OR), but sometimes I want more specific information. Since a lot of information on the Web stays on in perpetuity, some of it goes out of date. If I want information that appears on the new GED test, for example, I can ask for sites published more recently. Sometimes I do searches for information on wider topics like 'blogs'. If I want general information,just typing in 'blogs' might be enough. However, blogs have really come into their own in the past two or three years, and the newer posts are more relevant to what I am looking to find. Use the tools to find more relevant data, or at least lessen the amount of data offered. I don't know about you, but 5,279, 345 hits is more information than I care to peruse.

Any other hints for making technology work for you? Post them...right here.

GED/ESL: Historic Maps

This resource for K-12 teachers and students developed by the Hermon Dunlap Smith Center for the History of Cartography at the Newberry Library is designed to bring historically significant map documents into your classroom. Inside are high quality images of historic map documents that illustrate the geographical dimensions of American history.
Each map is accompanied by lesson plans written for four grade levels and designed to support a variety of social studies, history, and geography curricula. Add your own ideas for using these maps to this blog post.

GED/ESL: Chicago History

Here's an interesting site to bring history closer to home...the Chicago Historical Society site; the Encyclopedia of Chicago. There are maps, advertisements, photos and other entries to make the history of this area come alive. Special Features include:
Special Features
Interpretive Digital Essays
Plan of Chicago
Water in Chicago
Rich Maps
Labor Unrest in Chicago, April 25-May 4, 1886
Worlds of Prairie Avenue
Governing Space
The Grid
How Chicagoans Remember Their History
The Public Faces of Religion
Video Gallery : Chicago on Screen
Biographical Dictionary
Dictionary of Leading Chicago Businesses (1820-2000)
Timeline and Year Pages
Year Pages
Chicago Homicide Rates per 100,000 residents, 1870-2000
Chicago Mayors, 1837-2003
Chicago's Tallest Buildings Since 1854
Chicago's Weather Extremes
Development of Railroad Lines from Chicago
Foreign-Language Broadcasting in the Chicago Area, 1956-1995
National Historic Landmarks in the Chicago Metropolitan Area
Selected Chicago Daily Newspapers, English Language
Selected Chicago Daily Newspapers, Foreign Language
Selected Chicago Daily Newspapers, Outside Chicago

Thursday, June 16, 2005

GED/ABE: Graphing: Create a Graph Create a Graph

Although created for kids, this is a great tool for creating various types of graphs including bar, line, area and pie. It gives students an opportunity to choose the graph type and input the information they choose, and then view the final product. Good for students who do not have access to tools like Microsoft Office.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

General Information: Adult Education Blogs/Research

This is another compendium site that gives some good virtual resources for educators, and also lists some educationally related blogs compiled by Naomi R Hirsch, who gives as a bio:
'I currently support educational outreach and curriculum development with the Community Education and Outreach Programs for both the Environmental Health Sciences Center and the Marine and Freshwater Biomedical Sciences Center.' I like to visit other educational blogs, and find them a great resource for the AELC.

Among her blog listings:
All About Blogs
The Art of Blogging 1 and 2
9 Tips for Capturing Critical Knowledge in a Changing Workplace
Thinking Page, your source for information on improving organizational and individual thinking.
How’s Your Climate for Learning? quiz
Learning & Technology Blogs
Innovation Wizard on Your Intranet
Blogs in the Workplace
Extension Specialist blog example
Weblogs, CMS, and dynamic Webpublishing for learning and education :: blogged by Sebastian Fiedler
Weblog Comments....

General Information: Adult Education Blog Listing

This is an site that lists some published adult education blogs for review. Blogs include:
Blinger: A linguistics & ESL BlogLots of interesting resources, including podcasting/audio blogging on linguistics and ESL. It is maintained by a Canadian teaching EFL in Korea.
BlahBlahBlogNancy Peralta, an educator, uses this blog to educate and learn.
Educational Bloggers NetworkA professional, well-designed community weblog that contains various useful resources on education and blogging. It files blog entries in to departments such as: Cool tools, Student work, K-5 and more. This blog is sponsored by the Bay Area Writing Project and
Edu-Tech NewsJessica Millstone's blog on educational technology news and resources.

General Information: Adult Education Blog

This is an interesting blog that contains some good site links, comments and quotes.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Blogs: Free ESL Blog Hosting Free ESL blog accounts.

The promo reads "These are custom made blogs especially for ESL teachers and students. Here you'll find blogs from teaching in Japan to living in Greece to studying in China to... well all kinds of stories from all around the world from both teachers and students of English.
And the best part? Well, it's 100% free to use!" If you use it, let me know.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Informational: New Constitution Blog

Here is yet another blog to reflect Websites specific to the U.S. Constitution and Citizenship, and it was developed to promote Constitution Day, September 17. I created this blog to give our students and instructors a resource for materials relating to the Constitution and Citizenship. Check it out and let me know what you think of it!

As always, you can email me at if you want an invitation to join any of our blogs. I hope this is a useful instructional tool.