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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Monday, October 12, 2015

Gratitude Song Quizzes for Thanksgiving

"In ordinary life we hardly realize that we received a great deal more than we give and that it  is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. " 
Dietrich Bonhoeffe

One of the best ways to express our gratitude to the people, places and things in our lives  is in song. Here my three favourite songs expressing thankfulness. 

Grateful: A Song of Love to the World  

" Musicians Nimo Patel and Daniel Nahmod brought together dozens of people from around the world to create this beautiful, heart-opening melody. Inspired by the 21-Day Gratitude Challenge, the song is a celebration of our spirit and all that is a blessing in life. For the 21 Days, over 11,000 participants from 118 countries learned that “gratefulness” is a habit cultivated consciously and a muscle built over time. As a famous Roman, Cicero, once said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” This soul-stirring music video, created within a week by a team of volunteers, shines the light on all the small things that make up the beautiful fabric of our lives.”  See more at karmatube.org 

Thanks A Lot by Raffi


Thank You by Dido


Sunday, October 11, 2015

20 Gratitude Questions for Thanksgiving

Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course.  Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.
--Albert Schweitzer

It can be challenging to create rich and meaningful family conversations about gratitude.  I know I’ve felt disappointed when my “What do you feel thankful for?” questions are met with quick, predictable responses that bring the conversation to a close soon after it’s begun. 
This Thanksgiving season, I’m taking a different approach by coming up with 20 gratitude questions to help enliven our sharing.
May these questions help to spark the spirit of Thanksgiving! 

1)     What teacher are you most thankful for and why?  What did you learn from him or her?

2)      What season are you most thankful for, and what is your favorite part of each season?

3)      What electronic device are you most grateful for, and what does it add to your life?

4)      What musician or type of music are you most thankful for?

5)      What are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?

6)      What form of exercise or physical activity are you most thankful for?

7)     What foods are you most thankful for?

8)     What local store or restaurant are you most grateful for?  How does it contribute to
         your quality of life?

9)     What book are you most grateful for, and why?

10    What act of kindness has made the greatest difference in your life?

11)    What challenging experience has ended up changing your life for the better?

12)    What form of art are you most thankful for: music, acting, writing, painting, drawing .  
         something else?

13)    What place do you feel most grateful for and why?

14)    Name three days in your life that you feel especially grateful for.

15)    What color do you feel most thankful for—is there a color that you can’t imagine living  without?

16)    Is there a personal limitation or flaw that you’ve come to appreciate?

17)     What vacation are you most grateful for?

18)     What philanthropic cause or organization do you feel thankful for?

19)     What product do you use on a daily basis that you most appreciate?

20)     What, from this year, do you feel most grateful for?


Feel free to borrow these questions or come up with your own. 

Download the what are you thankful questions as question cards   and invite family members or friends to each choose one for everyone to answer.

This article has been published with permission. Karen Horneffer Ginter is co-founder of the Center for Psychotherapy and Wellness and the author of 'Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit: Nourishing the Soul When Life’s Just Too Much'.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Differences Between Canadian and American Thanksgiving

Most people are around the world think the Thanksgiving they've all seen in the movies or television  is the same for  for both Canadians and Americans.

They're wrong. Although there are some similarities between the two, Canada has its own unique Thanksgiving . Read on to learn about some of the key differences. 

Try the quiz at the bottom.  

A Tale of Two Thanksgivings: Canadian VS American Thanksgiving Celebrations