Monday, June 18, 2012

Best English Listening Websites

Here is a quick run down of all of my favorite listening websites for English learners.  Please be sure to check out my top ESL listening activities here on the ESL Commando too!  Enjoy!

  1. ELLLO - English Listening Lab Online. 
  2. Randall's Lab - Great Main Ideas and cloze exercises
  3. Lyrics Training - Learn English through songs
  4. ESL Video - Learn English through TV and movie clips.
  5. Vocabulary and Spelling City - Listening/Spelling Practice and more!
  6. Many Things - Great for pronunciation and listening for vowels and consonants.
  7. Movie Segments for Warm Ups Follow Ups - Great classroom listening for a group.
  8. Movie Segments for Assessing Grammar Goals - Listening for grammar points in a classroom. 
  9. Listen and Write - Full and Partial Cloze Exercises based on interviews, music, movies, etc.
  10. VOA Special English - Modified English Listening for different levels based on interesting news stories.
  11. BBC Learning English - A great resource with listening, grammar, pronunciation, and classroom exercises. Great for teachers and students alike. 
  12. ESL Commando - If I do say so myself. Many grammar, writing, and pronunciation tutorials for all ESL students.
  13. British Council - A lot of interesting activities and video clips to help learn British English.
  14. Breaking News English - Very good listening activities for the classroom. Entire lesson plans, guides, and student packets available. 
  15. English Central - Practice with pronunciation and listening to TV clips.
  16. VoScreen - Great practice to translate English listening to your native language. Not all native language are supported, but most Indo-European languages and Arabic are.  
  17. PBS Video - Excellent listening practice to learn how Americans (and some British) speak for both teachers and students. Many videos on FRONTLINE have teaching lessons associated with them and transcripts (written words) for the videos. Best of all, it is all free! 
  18. Engvid - Great English instructional videos, quizzes, and practice! 
  19. Rachel's English - a very popular and helpful listening and pronunciation site for ESL learners with great tips and information.
  20. Iowa State Pronunciation Guide  - Practice listening to how all of the vowels and consonants sound in English. 
  21. Duolingo - Start in your native language and play games, get points, increase your vocabulary and improve your pronunciation too!
  22. Memrise - Similar to Duolingo, but has some different features you may like!
  23. Learning Chocolate - A basic, but fun English learning website that lets you practice listening with vocabulary. 


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Writing - How to Write an Argument Essay

Here is my prezi on how to write an argumentative essay for ESL learners.


Here's the breakdown of an argument:

Introduction: Hook (Attention Grabber), Background Information, Main Idea (Thesis with points(optional))

Body: Main Points Paragraphs (topic sentence, supporting details, concluding sentence in each one).

Counterargument/Refutation: One paragraph stating the opposing viewpoint, then reproving your main point.

Conclusion: Summarizing your points and finally stating why your position is the most reasonable. Can end with a quote, anecdote, story, suggestion, or prediction.

Hints for arguments -

  • Use strong modals for your arguments (should, must, have to, supposed to). 
  • Use weak modals for your opponent's arguments (may, might, could, etc.).
  • Don't make a point without evidence. Just because you think something is true doesn't make it so. 
  • Don't tear down another's argument without using logic and stating why they are logically incorrect.
  • Avoid Logical Fallacies.  
  • Don't get personal - "Anyone who believes that is stupid."
  • Avoid "I" unless you're giving a story, example, etc. in the introduction or conclusion. 
  • We already know what you think because of your modals. "People should" is just as good as "I think people should."  
  • Check your sources, make sure that they are reliable. Web sources that include a .org or .edu are usually more reliable than a .com.
  • Instead of using wikipedia.org as a source check the footnotes at the bottom and find the sources of the wikipedia article. In this way, you get the info closer to the original source.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Movie Trailer ESL Listening - The Amazing Spider Man



Gotta love Marvel Movies, first the Avengers, now Spider-Man. Check out this fun listening activity with Spider Man! If you like this one, check out Snow White and the Huntsman listening activity!

Friday, June 8, 2012

ESL Online Games - Syllable Stress Game #2

Simply drop the word into the garbage bin based on which syllable is stressed, whether it is the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd syllable. You can also try my other Syllable Stress Game if you like this one.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Movie Trailer ESL Listening - Snow White and The Huntsman



Here is a simple trailer exercise to practice listening from "Snow White and The Huntsman." This is probably easier than intermediate, but I hope you enjoy it. You might also like the Avengers listening activity.

Monday, June 4, 2012

ESL Online Games: Syllable Stress Game

Simply choose a game type to play. I like Word Shoot.

How to play:  Shoot the correct stressed syllable for the word on the bottom before time runs out.  Each answer will be the stressed syllable for that particular word.

Example:  Production, answer "DUC".  Try it out. I think you'll like it. You can also try my 1,2,3 syllable game if you like this one.

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