Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dependent and Independent Clauses

What is a dependent or an independent clause? This tutorial will show you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Facebook for English language learners

I want to recommend a cool site for teachers and students alike. This website has some great resources and an amazing Facebook type of interface that can be used to connect to other teachers and learners of English.

English Club

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gerunds and Infinitives - how to use "stop"

The verb "stop" means something different with a gerund and an infinitive.

Friday, December 23, 2011

How to say V and W in English

This quick tutorial shows the difference in pronunciation between the letters V and W. This is a hard sound for many English language learners.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Great website that uses movies to teach grammar

Each movie segment on this website comes with a great worksheet that focuses on some important grammar goal. I have used these many times and I can't recommend the website enough to help pep up an otherwise tedious lesson. Students love the activities, and who doesn't like watching movies in class?

You can also check out some of my movie trailer activities below:

Man of Steel ESL Classroom Activity
Avengers ESL Classroom Activity
Jack and the Giant Killer ESL activity
Snow White and the Huntsman ESL activity
Dark Knight Rises ESL Activity

Descriptive Essay - principle #2 - 5 senses

How to write descriptively using the 5 senses.

Click here for a good example of Descriptive Essay outline.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Descriptive Essay - principle #1 - Be specific

How to write descriptively by being specific and getting rid of boring, common words.

Please check out this Descriptive Writing: The Five Senses tutorial too!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Easy way to learn English verbs quickly

This is an easy, quick, and cheap way to learn your past and participle verb forms in English.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Noun Clauses - Introduction

A short introduction to the nature of noun clauses and what their role in the sentence is.

Pronunciation Practice - S and TH tongue twister

These are two of the easiest sounds to mix up in English, so practice with this fun tongue twister until you can say it 3 times fast!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Adjective Clauses - Common Mistakes #3

How to use where and when in adjective clauses.

Adjective Clauses - Common Mistakes #2

This is the second in a series of tutorials on adjective clauses.  The use of the double pronoun is a common error among English learners.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Screencasting - A great way to teach and reinforce concepts

Have you ever tried to explain how to use technology in your classes only to have students come back the next day saying they couldn't get it to work, or they don't know how to use.  Instead of explaining yourself 20 times, just make a screencast.  A screencast is basically just a video of your computer screen that adds audio. So, you can simply give your students a link, and they will never have to ask you how to use that technology again.

Also, teachers could use this technology to have students make presentations on new technology or anything that could be put on the computer screen.

Below is an example of a screencast I made for some audio technology that I wanted students to use.

There are many screencasting options, here are a few: - no download required, this is what I used for the above video.

Students, why not use screencasting for some of your presentations?  It is a great way to teach your classmates some new technology that could be used to learn English.

Many things to practice ESL on one website

Here is a great speaking, vocabulary, reading, and anything else you could possibly think of to practice English. It has free quizzes, easy to use practice for pronunciation, slang/idioms and more.  It also has a special section for iPads and iPhones, which don't support Flash or Java.

Many Things

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Excellent self-correcting English listening practice

Randall's ESL lab

This website is a great way to practice your listening and receive immediate feedback.  IT has  easy, medium, and difficult lessons on hundreds of cool topics. You can check your scores and keep trying until you get 100%. This is a  good way to ensure that you listening for both main ideas and minor details.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to say TH in English

Here is one of the most difficult sounds for many English Language Learners to pronounce properly - TH. Many times this sound comes out like an s, z, d, t, etc.  The key to proper pronunciation is the placement of the tongue. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

How to say the "F" sound in English

"F" is a very difficult sound for some in English because it is easily mixed up with other sounds.  This tutorial should help those who are having difficulty  with the sound. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Adjective Clauses - Common Mistakes #1

This is the first in a series of tutorials on how to make correct adjective clauses.   This deals with the wrong use of the pronoun in an  adjective clause. Please check out Adjective Clauses- Common Mistakes #2  and
Adjective Clauses-Common Mistakes #3 if you find this tutorial helpful.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Great website for sending video email - MailVu

Hey everyone,

Here is a link to a great site where you can record yourself from your webcam and then send that video to as many emails as you like.  This helps to solve the problem of sending video files,which are usually too large for emails to contain.  I use it for students to send me verbal reports and homework via the web. It does have a limit of 10 minutes per video, but that's usually sufficient. It can be used for personal or educational use.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Great vocabulary and reading website - Lingro


This is a great website to translate words from English to your native language.  Any website can be put into this website, and all of the words can be clicked on and a definition will be immediately brought up for you.

Adverb Clauses - Dependent and Independent Clauses

This is a quick way for students to understand the difference between dependent and independent clauses. This particular example focuses on adverb clauses.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Listening for Beginners

This is a great YouTube channel called VOA special English that students can really enjoy. This is best for beginning and low-intermediate English Language Learners. It includes the subtitles, which is good for beginners.  Broadcasts usually have some news and give some helpful information about life, language, and other topics.

Great Listening Practice

You can find hundreds of helpful listening exercises that check your comprehension through mini-quizzes on this great website.

It's an awesome site that will help you to increase your comprehension in English while hearing native speakers talk at normal speeds. 

Learn English through Music

My students always ask me how they can practice their listening. Here is a great website that can truly help students of all levels to improve their listening, predicting, and comprehension skills of oral English.

Lyrics Training

This is a website that allows students to fill in the blanks on songs, rewind them, check their comprehension, and speed up and slow down their listening speed.  You can also keep score and check your score against friends that have played on the website. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Phrasal Verbs - Blow Out

A great sale or something you do to candles at a party?  It depends on the stress.

Compoun Noun Stress

What is the difference between the White House and a white house?  Watch this video to find out. Pronunciation of the correct word is very important in getting the right meaning. Compound Nouns get stress on the first word of the two-word combination.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Adjective Clauses Overview

This slide show should help learners to figure out where and when to use adjective clauses. This includes when to use the pronouns in the subject and object places in an adjective clause.We use "who" and "that" for people, and we use "that" and "which" for things. 

Adjective Clause Placement

Where should adjective clauses go in a sentence? This tutorial should help you to understand.  Adjective clauses always go directly after the word they modify, whereas adjectives mostly go before the word they modify in English.  The only real exception to this rule is in older uses of English and stylistic writing.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Phrasal Verbs - Blow Up

Is it a verbal fight or something you do to a balloon? It depends on the stress. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to say the "R" sound in English

I think that this is one of the most difficult sounds for many ELLs to learn. It is easily mixed up with the "l" sound, and is mispronounced many times with a "trill."  The most important thing to pronouncing the "r" sound is rounded lips and never touching the tongue to the gum ridge behind the teeth. Please also try the How to say the R sound tutorial too!

Phrasal Verbs - Pick Up

Is it a truck or taking someone from a place? It depends on the stress. 

Phrasal Verbs - Take Out

Is it food or something you do to the trash? It depends on the stress. 

Phrasal Verbs - Cover Up

Is it make up or something you do when you're cold?  It depends on the stress. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Noun Clauses

A quick and funny way to learn noun clauses for all writing situations: reported speech, embedded noun clauses, quoted speech, and more.   Noun clauses are very confusing for many English learners because they do not follow question word order.  This is also addressed in this slideshow. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

How to say the L sound in English

Hey guys, here's a ShowMe dedicated to explaining how to correctly use the "L" sound. I hope that it helps you!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Adjective Clauses in War Adjective Clauses by philrice

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!
You can use this short cartoon to check your understanding/your student's understanding of adjective clauses. How many does this cartoon have? Can you name three?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Past Participle Rap

I really like this rap as a way to remember past participles. The Fluency MC is a great teacher and you should subscribe to his videos on youtube.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Descriptive Essay Outline

Please also check out our cool and fun Movie Listening Activities, this link lead to the Dark Knight Rises:Batman. Descriptive essay powerpoint
View more presentations from phricee
Here's a simple way to learn or teach the basic structure of a descriptive essay in English. Be sure that you realize that there must be 3 body paragraphs in a descriptive essay, not just one. I have only included one as an example to show the structure.

Please check out my video tutorials also for descriptive writing:  Descriptive Writing: Be Specific, Descriptive Writing - 5 senses, and How to Write Similes.

Also, check out my Movie Trailer Activities:

Man of Steel ESL Classroom Activity
Avengers ESL Classroom Activity
Jack and the Giant Killer ESL activity
Snow White and the Huntsman ESL activity
Dark Knight Rises ESL Activity

Monday, October 24, 2011

Body Paragraph Review - Get your body in shape

Work on your body paragraphs with this color-coded example of the essentials of the body paragraph.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Use Powerpoint Taboo to teach Adjective Clauses.

Adjective Clause Game "Taboo" - 
This slide presentation can be used to play a fun game of adjective clause "Taboo," in which students sit in front of the class while others call out clauses without the "taboo" words. This is a great activity for a listening and speaking class or a grammar class. Have fun!!!See the preview below, and click to download.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Use animations to help students be motivated about grammar

Is grammar review and study in your class about as pleasant as giving feral cats a bubble bath with a toothbrush? In the past, I have also experienced the pain of trying to make students motivated when learning grammar. Well, here is one possible solution you could use. Present Perfect Office by philrice

Like it? Create your own at It's free and fun!

I believe that Go Animate is a great website for grammar/listening and even typing practice. I actually first found it on a Brazilian EFL teacher’s blog that was posted on This site allows users to create free animations (cartoons) and place their own lines into the cartoons.There is a limit of 10 lines per cartoon, but I find that to be more than enough to give the students practice.

I use it in my level IV class to motivate students and help them to self-correct their grammar. I usually give students an assignment such as, “Create a six line cartoon that uses the present perfect in each sentence,” and then have them post the link to my Edmodo class page. The best/funniest/most correct cartoon wins a prize for the week. This inspires students to not only be correct with language, but to be creative, which is a problem for many students.

Also, you could randomly bring up some of the homeworks that are done by students in class and then have everyone see if any corrections need to be made. I hope that this resource is of use to all of you.
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