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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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sing your Way into English

Who says learning English always has to be boring? Learning English can also be so much fun that it can make you want to burst out in song.  

I want to recommend three terrific sites where you can have a great time all the while practicing your English listening, pronunciation and  vocabulary. Sharon Yoneda, a colleague at Vancouver Community College has developed two out of the three sites below. Here students can listen to songs, and videos and test themselves on their listening skills. 
The Real Canadian Songbook   features videos and songs by Canadian  artists. You can watch the singers all the while doing a multiple choice test of what you hear and then get answers to your test. Sharon has chosen some songs and artist from a wide variety of the wonderful talent we have here in Canada.  Do yourself a favour check it out., 

Syoneda,     is mainly aimed art Low Intermediate students, but anyone can enjoy the songs and multiple choice tests. The site features both songs, and extra practice exercises from the book Thoughts and Notions, which Sharon uses with her students. 

ESL Video ,    English as a Second Language Teachers Creating ESL Video Quizzes for ESL Students was developed and is maintained by an even more comprehensive site than the first two. Not only does it include  songs, but it also features a wide range of interesting and entertaining You Tube videos along with multiple choice tests.  Here, you can watch anything from a short documentary on Dr. Martin Luther King, the civil rights leader who was assassinated in 1968, or   Mr Bean Takes his final test , to the wonderful classic story ( that I originally meant to publish - drat!) of Italians picking spaghetti off their Spaghetti trees. Many people all over the world believed this story, which was published as a hoax.  There is even a video on how to learn English by a second language learner who is now an ESL  teacher. This site is also open to all teachers who wants to develop their own tests, either with music or other videos, and actually includes teaching instructions as well as the software with which to do so. As a result, you can find a wide variety of interesting and entertaining videos grouped by level, or specific teacher.  Definitely try this one out. I highly recommend it. In fact I spend several hours researching and playing both videos and songs in order to be able to recommend specific ones to my own students. 

One of the terrific things about all three sites is that they do not in any way smack of "English lesson." Instead,  the first thing you think of is oh boy, this is going to be fun. Of course, there is a time to be serious when you're learning a new language, especially if you live and plan to work  in an English country. But there is also a time to simply let down your hair and have fun. 

The Real Canadian Songbook, "Syoneda and ESL Video all offer a lot of fun, all the while indirectly allowing you to improve certain parts of your English. After all, it's almost impossible not to sing along with someone like Katy Perry singing Fireworks  ...

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