Saturday, October 16, 2021

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Take Heart, ESL Learners

 The English language is difficult for everyone to pronounce.

Click on the link for a video of Benedict Cumberbatch, one of the most skilled British actors, with impeccable diction, struggling to correctly pronounce the word "penguin".

Thursday, October 7, 2021

An English Teacher at Halloween

 Thanks to Bonnie Ruiz for posting this on Facebook.

Yep -- That's me!  (Or, more formally: Yes, that is I.)

Monday, October 4, 2021

On September 15, I wrote about the free ESL online classes given by the Sacramento County Office of Education and on in June I wrote about the free online classes and materials offered by the VOA.

Now I discover that New York City is not one to be left behind in ESL instruction.  See their free online recorded courses and resources at We Speak NYC!   Of course their "Watch, Learn & Practice" video series features stories of New Yorkers who have come from all over the world to make New York City their home. If you don't live in the Big Apple, they want to make sure that someday you will visit or maybe move there permanantly.

And if you do live there, you can enter your zip code to find an in-person class in your area.  They say that during Covid the in-person classes are all in-person online.  Does that mean that someone outside the city (or state! or country!) can also join the group?  Having looked briefly at the sign-up process, I think it might be possible.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Tip From Nick from FluentU's Blog

 Nick writes:

"How to remember anything (it’s unnatural).

You know when those pesky words just won’t stick?  Well, I’ve got a crude hack to help you remember.

If you’re really struggling, write out the word with your weak hand a few times. So if you’re right handed, write using your left hand.

The extra focus (and messy result) should do the trick." 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Helpful Hint for Job Hunting

Get a temporary, throw-away email address to use for your job hunt.  (This helpful advice was given to me after-the-fact by a fellow member of the job board.)

Why? Because you will be innundated by a horde of job "suggestions" from commercial job boards, none of which are remotely relevant to your search.  The emails proliferate almost faster than you can unsubscribe.

I suspect the one commercial job board I updated was the initial culprit, selling my records (old and new) to others.  However from the wording of some of these "offers", I believe that some of them originate with my LinkedIn records, which I had thought were relatively safe.

The problem is orders of multitude greater than it was a dozen years ago when I last looked for a job.

In some ways the internet and social media are great tools but in other ways, not so much.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Fridays at Five Teacher's Meeting Online

Today I went to the Color Vowel® online teacher's meeting which is held the 2nd & 4th Friday of each month at 4PM EST (3PM Denver time).  

The group shared lots of good ideas.  When we split into 3 breakout rooms, I saw that the Zoom software handles breakouts (and returns) very smoothly.  Of course I was just a guest, not the host, so did not see exactly how it was done.

Big news! is organizing a common space online where teachers can upload their graphics, worksheets and other classroom materials to be viewed, commented on, downloaded and shared.  The space will be hosted on where already has an account, offering their courses.  This common space should work better than just posting announcements and links in the Facebook Color Vowel Community.  

It's not clear whether or not a Google Doc or a Google Sheet can be uploaded to this space.  I don't see how an HTML page could possibly work.  I may just have to save all my entries as PDFs.  Since the Blue Canoe browser app works with Google Sheets I'm hoping to maintain them in that form.

Although there are many good color vowel YouTube videos aimed at teachers, there are almost no related classroom resources posted on the various teachers' exchanges.  Hopefully this new space will fill that gap.