Michelle's independent resources for ESL Students at Vancouver Community College

This is a Canadian ESL blog for Intermediate and Advanced Students who want to learn and improve their English. Each PAGE above contains thousands of free English lessons, tutorials and practice exercises to help you learn and improve your English grammar, reading, listening, pronunciation, speaking, writing and editing. Some of the resources are Canadian. Others are from around the world.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some Listening and Reading Suggestions

Just a little note about some of the links. I know some of you plan to challenge the listening test, or simply want to improve your listening on your own. There are some excellent listening links on the side. Randall's Listening Lab is a particularly good one. It has easy, medium and more difficult conversations. Also scroll down the page and you will see even more.  Each conversation has a pre-listening activity, the listening with a five question multiple choice quiz and sometimes another practice activity. You can then look at the script. Difficult, or unsual vocabulary is explained.  Don;t look at the script until you have achieved 100 % and don't move on either - even if you have to do the listening two or three times.

Another excellent lisstening site is English Lab Online. Here you will hear a variety of real people from many different countries talk about a wide variety of different topics.This is real english - not read from a script, but real people talking real English.  Several other listening sites are aslo excellent. Try all of them to get a feel for them. I will be adding more.

Now, the first five reading sites are very good for practicing specific skills. I will be talking about Reading for Understanding in class tomorrow. It has frequently made a huge difference in student's ability to do critical thinking, predict, infer and all that good stuff. Soon I will be putting on readings that you can listen to as you read along with me, or just after me. This is designed to help your pronunciation and your reading fluency. Also, many students simply enjoy reading while they listen.

In the grammar section, I would advise trying out some of the sites that explain and let you practice the verb tenses. All of them are good for practicing. I will be adding more specific comple grammar sites soon.

I will have more comments later.

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