Saturday, December 15, 2018

Week of December 17

It's time for our 3rd Quizlet! Practice your vocabulary words:

Read about the origins of Christmas on

Find out why Christmas is celebrated on December 25.

Learn the difference between "by" and "until" in the video below.

Do you know what a phrasal verb is? The English language has many of them. The video below focuses on phrasal verbs with "GET". 

Practice using "get" as a phrasal verb:

Friday, December 7, 2018

Week of December 10

This past week we focused on the theme 'traveling' . In case you were absent, you will have the opportunity to give a presentation on December 12 (Wed.) or 17 (Mon.).

You will answer the question: Where would you recommend people go if they visit your country?

You will have 3-5 minutes to complete your presentation. There is a sign-up paper in the classroom for each class for you to choose a date. You should discuss 3-4 things people can do in the city you recommend and can use powerpoint or bring photos on a flashdrive.

You will also write your presentation and turn it in. Here is a sample paragraph and you can listen to a sample presentation.

We also listened to a long dialogue called Meg's Travels. I recommend you listen again and practice.

Below is a video called 4 Secrets to Having an American Accent. Let me know what you learn!

Several of you are still struggling with common irregular verbs and understanding the past continuous tense. We will continue practicing more in class next week if we have time.  In the meantime, here are more exercises:

Next week is post-testing! Please do your best to attend class either Monday or Wednesday, but I hope you can come both days. You are required to take a pre-test and post-test to participate in our program.

Finally, if you find the USA Learns website helpful, continue practicing your reading and comprehension.

Do you ever send greeting cards to friends and family? Perhaps you are unsure what you should write inside. The websites below give you ideas for many occasions.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Week of December 3

This is a short month for our class - only 3 weeks! Let's learn as much as possible. December usually brings snowy weather. We will talk in class about what to do in case of an emergency. Below is a video you can watch on driving in the snow.

Have you heard about AAA? AAA is an inexpensive road service that can help you if you get stuck in the snow, your battery dies, or you need roadside assistance.

Do you know how to use the past continuous verb tense? In the first video below you will hear several examples. The second video teaches you how to use the grammar.
Now you can practice using the past continuous tense:

Exercise 1
Exercise 2
Exercise 3

Do you know how to use quotation marks when you are writing in English? It is not something you do very often, but it is useful to understand the basics.

You can practice your pronunciation with word stress in the two videos below. We will also practice this in class.

Finally, you can watch a video and practice a dialogue about THE BIG SNOW on Voice of America (VOA) English. You will also learn some new vocabulary words.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Week of November 26

Volunteering is a fantastic way to improve your English and have experience to put on an American resume.  It also gives you a way to pass the long, dark days of Cleveland's winter. Here is a short list of local opportunities:

Cleveland Metroparks

Southwest General Hospital

Berea Animal Rescue

Cleveland Animal Protective League

Strongsville Emergency Food Bank

Cleveland Playhouse Square (theater district)

St. Malachi Catholic Church (serve meals)

VolunteerMatch  (create a free account and search for volunteer opportunities near you)

Our 2018-19 class calendar is now available on this website. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see a link for our Polaris ESOL Class Calendar.

This week you will register for a free program called USA Learns which you can access from any computer. This program has 4 classes you can complete: 1st English Course, 2nd English Course, Practice English and Reading, and Citizenship. You must have a valid email to register. During class, you will sign up with 4 special class codes. If you work on the program at home, you will receive attendance credit.

Part of your homework this week is to go to the class called Practice English and Reading and complete the unit called "Going Places". 

Our next unit will be on travel. To the left, you will see several phrasal verbs associated with travelling.

At Learn English Feel Good you can practice with travel vocabulary.

ELLLO offers several opportunities to practice your listening about travel-related topics:

Pronunciation: ED endings in English

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Week of November 19

First - a funny Thanksgiving video!

Thanksgiving is an American holiday where people celebrate with family, friends, food, and football! Many people watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade which is in New York City. It is also a time where many Americans begin thinking about buying gifts for Christmas and many stores have good sales. Black Friday is the name of the day after Thanksgiving. You can look at some websites to help you learn more about Thanksgiving.

Here is a video where you can hear the Thanksgiving story and practice your listening.

This is a short video where you will learn some idioms related to Thanksgiving. 

Complete a short crossword puzzle

Read this article about Black Friday and answer the questions on a separate piece of paper,

You can watch a slideshow about the Macy's Parade and read about each picture.

It's time to review your Word of the Day and Phrase of Day vocabulary again! Go to Quizlet to practice in 7 different ways.

This past week we learned about holidays and celebrations. Challenge yourself by learning more Holidays and Special Events Vocabulary in English. 

 Tipping in the USA. During the holidays, many people eat out more while they are shopping and running errands. How familiar are you with our tipping policy?

In this lesson, you will learn new vocabulary, 10 phrasal verbs, and watch a video about tipping customs. You can also read about a man who things we should end the tipping custom in the USA.     Tipping Waiters and Waitresses

Friday, November 9, 2018

Week of November 12

Veterans Day is November 11th every year. It is also called Armistice Day. Below is a video to learn more. You can also read about it and print out exercises to practice your vocabulary at this website:

This past week we practiced adjectives ending with -ed and -ing. Watch the video below for a quick review. Practice more here and here.

What do you think about this Dutch man who wants to legally change his age?

Here is another video to help you with your pronunciation.

Finally, you can practice your listening and writing skills by listening to dictations. There are elementary, intermediate, and advanced options. 

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Week of November 4

November is a time for voting, falling leaves, comfort food, warm clothes, and Thanksgiving. What is November like in your country?

Vocabulary for warm clothes

Holidays in the USA: Reading

Practice your pronunciation of dropping the letter "h" in connected speech. Engvid 

Soon we will begin practicing our irregular past tense verbs. Try this Quizlet to see how much you already know.

Irregular Verb Jeopardy (type your name and choose 1-player game)

Irregular Verbs I

Irregular Verbs II

Irregular Verbs III

Irregular Verbs IV

Practice your reading! 
There are many opinions about getting the flu vaccine (flu shot). Reading an article about a new drug recently approved.

A New Drug is Approved for Flu

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Week of October 29

Halloween is an exciting time of year for many people. Children enjoy dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, and getting treats from neighbors.

Below are some videos and readings about Halloween:

Reading 1
Reading 2
Reading 3
Reading 4

Learn 100 Common English Phrases and Sentence Patterns - practice listening

Daylight Saving Time is on Sunday, November 4. Most people turn their clocks 
back one hour before they go to bed on Saturday night. 
Learn more about Daylight Saving Time in the video below.

Election day is Tuesday, November 6! In order to vote, you must:

  • be a U.S. citizen
  • by 18 years old
  • not be a convicted felon

Here is another video to watch and an election day reading activity.

November and December are big shopping months in the U.S.A.

Practice this shopping vocabulary. You can also watch the video to learn more vocabulary.

Vocabulary exercise
Listening exercise 

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Week of October 22

Review all of the word-of-the day and phrase-of-the day vocabulary we have learned so far. There are eight activities you can do.

Last week we learned how to agree with the words so, too, either, and neither. You can watch the videos below to review the rules.

Grammar Rules          Exercise 1      Exercise 2          Exercise 3

This week we will discuss weddings and marriages this week. Below are some related idioms you can learn.
Idiom Connection

Do you know how to write an American check? Watch the video below or see step-by-step directions.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Week of October 15th

For the next two weeks, our theme will be money. We will discuss many things, but I want you to think about any specific questions you have.

Below is a video about 11 phrasal verbs used for talking about money in English.

There is a saying that money cannot buy love or happiness. Do you agree? The Beatles wrote a song about this idea which we will listen to in class.

Here are two listening activities you can do about the topic of money. Once you listen, scroll down to "Vocabulary Activities" and complete the online exercises. You can also click on "quiz script" to read as you listen.

ABCs of Money Matters (difficult)                        College Scholarships (medium)

Did you know only about 40% of Americans use a budget? Here are a few resources to help you develop a budget:

Every Dollar
Well Kept Wallet
Dough Roller

We will also read an article called Can We Keep Schools Safe in our newspapers this week. There is a video below with an explanation of a lockdown drill in an elementary school. The language is slow and good for practicing your listening skills. You can write down any new vocabulary.

Grammar: Using "Do"

Questions with Do     Do - Negative     Learn English Online

Grammar: Present Unreal Conditionals


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Week of October 8th

This week we will continue our theme of Careers and Employment. We will learn some good resume and job interview tips. There are many resources in the Job & Career Placement section of this blog.

Read and listen about a successful job interview (level 4.5): A Successful Job Interview
Reading and listen about good employees (level 5.0): A Good Employee Gets the Good Jobs

Using English Grammar: Other, Others, Another

Exercise 1          Exercise 2          Exercise 3

Why do Leaves Change their Colors?

Have you ever wondered why leaves change their colors in the fall? Read the article below (there is an easy reading option) and complete the handout you received in class to discover why.

Science Made Simple

You can also watch a video about changing leaves. Write down new vocabulary words you learn.

Pronunciation Video

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Week of October 1st

This week we will practice expressing our opinions. We will learn how to agree and politely disagree with someone. Below is vocabulary to help you do this.

We will continue learning about simple present tense and present continuous verbs. There are some verbs, called non-action verbs, that are not usually used in the present continuous tense. Below is a chart of these verbs and exercises to practice them.

Spelling in English is not easy! Below is a list of common spelling rules for when you add "ed" or "ing" onto a verb.

The first week of class, we briefly discussed using an apostrophe (') to form contractions. Below is a listening activity to learn more about forming contractions.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Week of September 24th

Happy Fall Season! Fall is also called "autumn". It is the only season with 2 names.

For your homework, click the link below to learn 7 English idioms for the autumn season. Listen to the video, write the definitions and an example sentence for each one.

7 English Idioms for the Autumn Season

This week we learned about the present continuous (also called present progressive) and simple present tenses. There are many online activities below to help you practice this.

There are several ways to pronounce the American English "T" sound. Below is a website to help you with your pronunciation. Watch the videos and repeat the speaker.

Finally, below is a bonus video to help you listen about the American education system.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

America's Independence from Great Britain

Past Progressive (Continuous) vs Simple Past Tenses

Online excercises to practice:

Class Activity:

Write down as many past progressive sentences as possible while watching a segment from the movie Hugo.  

Orphaned and alone except for an uncle, Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield) lives in the walls of a train station in 1930s Paris. Hugo's job is to oil and maintain the station's clocks, but to him, his more important task is to protect a broken automaton and notebook left to him by his late father.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Using Past Participles

The following videos can help you practice some common past participles.