Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What is a simile?

In rare form, I have decided to use text to describe how to write. Please check out my video tutorial How To Write Similes also.

What is a Simile?
A simile is a form of descriptive writing in which the writer compares two unlike things using the words "like" or "as."

How do I use a Simile effectively?
In descriptive writing, a simile can add a great deal of detail to an otherwise boring topic.

Here are some examples of sentences that could use similes to make them more descriptive:

  1. "The car was fast"
  2. "Love is good"
  3. "Hate is bad"

Now, here are some examples of similes using these same topics.

  1. "The car was like a cheetah cat roaring down the street."
  2. "Love is like candy; it can be sweet, but too much of it can make you sick. "
  3. "Hate is as dangerous as a disease that destroys you from the inside out." 
Now, aren't these examples much more powerful than the first three?

With each example, you should see how much better similes can make your writing. One important thing to note is that you should not overuse similes.  One or two per paragraph is sufficient. Also, you must explain your simile.  Don't just leave it at "Love is like a river." Tell us HOW it is like that thing you are comparing: "It makes you clean and washes you on the inside."

Happy writing.

Friday, February 24, 2012

English Vocabulary - Car Exterior (Outside)

This is the basic vocab for the outside of a car. I'm not a car person,but this is most of what you need to know in the US. Check out some other picture vocab on this site. I will continue to add more pics like this with audio also to help with pronunciation. Click here for an example of Car Interior Vocabulary also.

Monday, February 20, 2012

How to say the short vowel "a" sound

The short "a" sound is foreign to many language learners, and it can be difficult to clearly pronounce in many words. Hopefully this tutorial will help you to pronounce it well.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Movie Trailer ESL Listening - The Bourne Legacy

Watch the movie trailer and practice your listening skills with a mini-quiz! If you like it, try The Grey Movie Listening Activity or the new Jack The Giant Killer Listening Activity. Also, you can now check out our sister site, Movie Trailer English, which has Classroom activities for teachers based on the Bourne Legacy! There are more to come soon!

Movie Trailer ESL Listening - The Grey

Movie Trailer ESL Grammar - The Grey (Past and Present, Progressive and Perfect)

 The Grey Trailer is exciting and engaging for students of all levels, and the attached worksheet should help students to achieve the stated grammar objectives. I have clearly been inspired by a great blogger, Claudio Azevedo, from Brazil, at  I give him credit for the idea of using movie clips to help assess grammar. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery. I will try to come up with more of these and maybe some listening quizzes also. Enjoy! This deals with the present perfect, present perfect progressive, the past perfect, and the past perfect progressive.

Click below for the worksheet:


Friday, February 10, 2012

Gerunds and Infinitives #1

Having a hard time with gerunds. This is a quick and easy lesson on how to use them.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How to use Noun Clauses

A fun little cartoon that shows how noun clauses work. Enjoy!

Simple Past and Present Perfect

What's the difference between the simple past and the present perfect tense? Watch this tutorial to find out.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Their, They're, and There

This video shows the difference between their, they're, and there. These are some of the most common misspelled words in the English language, even by native speakers.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Adverb Clause Game - Sentence Jumble

Here is a great game that teachers can have their students use to learn adverb clause order, punctuation, and meaning.  Feel free to download and distribute! If you're looking for more grammar activities, check out the Hunger Games Classroom Grammar Activity and for pronunciation practice the Vowels Practice Classroom Game.  Also, try out the NEW Man of Steel Classroom Activity!

Download the Worksheet by clicking here.  Preview below.
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