A Little Winter Break Homework

Hey, students! Your winter break homework is to visit all of these sites and use them to practice your English! See you January 3!


1.   English Listening Lesson Library Online (ELLO)

Listening exercises on a variety of topics, with transcripts and quizzes.

2.   StoryCorps

Real-life stories told by real people, accompanied by great animation that aids comprehension.

3.   Educational Opportunity Center Student Stories

Audio and transcripts of immigrants’ own stories.

4.   Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab

Numerous listening exercises on a variety of topics with accompanying quizzes.

5. The Learning Edge

Online articles that you can read and listen to at the same time, as well as vocabulary and comprehension exercises.

6.  ESOL Listening Practice Tests

A few good listening practice tests, from beginning to advanced, from Seminole State College of Florida.


1. ABC Fast Phonics

Simple, basic English pronunciation.

2. Rachel’s English

More advanced pronunciation practice.

3. Pronunciation Symbol Chart with Audio and Animation 

Good guide to symbols and sounds of pronunciation


1.   OWL Grammar Exercises

Online grammar exercises.

2.   Self-Study Grammar Quizzes

An assortment of many quizzes that you can take to test your grammar skills.

3.   English Club

Good grammar lessons and quizzes.

4.   Handbook for Writers

A companion site to Pearson’s Handbook for Writers composition textbook. Some very useful grammar exercises and links.

5. Summary of Best Grammar Sites for ESL

Good summary of beginner, intermediate and advanced grammar websites.

6. Verb tense timelines

Visual guide to help you understand different verb tenses.


1.   Rong-chang.com

Reading, listening, and grammar exercises, plus some good dialogs and links.


2.   GCF Learn Free

Interactive lessons on everything from applying for jobs to computer skills to reading.

3.   Manythings.org

Grammar exercises, games, read-alongs, and videos.

4.   We Are New York

Great videos about people in New York, plus study guides and reading material.

5.   Healthy Roads Media

Excellent videos and readings on a variety of health-related topics in a variety of languages.

6.   REEPworld

Videos, listening exercises, and life skills activities for beginning and intermediate students focusing on health, family, and work.

7. Multi-Cultural Educational Services

A website with listening, reading, grammar exercises, and many other things.

8. Real English

Great videos and grammar exercises.

9. Easy World of English

Simple grammar, pronunciation, and reading activities.

10. CDLP Adult Learning Activities

Intermediate to advanced reading and vocabulary exercises about jobs, health, government, and other subjects.

11. ESOL Help Games

A bunch of online grammar and vocabulary games. Fun!

12.   Study Zone

A few interactive grammar, reading, and vocabulary lessons from the University of Victoria.

13.   Language Guide

A site that lets you listen to vocabulary words and look at pictures at the same time – a great way to learn new words!

14.  Step Forward

A very nice series of interactive listening, reading, vocabulary, and grammar activities from Oxford University Press, from levels 1 to 4.

15. Vocabulary Spelling City

A great website to help you practice and remember new words. It also has games and videos.

16.  ESL Fast

365 short stories and vocabulary and comprehension exercises for intermediate learners.

17.  Ventures Arcade

A great collection of interactive lessons and games that supplement the Ventures textbook series.

18.  My English Pages

A website that has just about everything: reading, vocabulary, listening, idioms, and more.


1.   Voice of America

Articles, audio, and comprehension activities from Voice of America.

2.   Breaking News English

Advanced-level current events stories with accompanying comprehension and vocab activities.

3.   BBC Learning English

A smorgasbord of online lessons, videos, and games from the BBC.

4.   NY1

A 24-hour news source for New York City.

5. The Times in Plain English

A great online newspaper with news articles and a special New York section.

A Visit from Commissioner Salas


We recently had the pleasure of hosting the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and Commissioner Lorelei Salas on their Community Listening Tour. Over the course of two visits, they visited four of our highest level ESOL classes (65-75 students) to solicit input from them about how the DCA can help them tackle predatory business and workplace practice, comply with laws, build their assets and access financial assistance services. Thank you, Commissioner Salas, and thank you, DCA!

To learn more about the Department of Consumer Affairs, click here.

Idiom of the Week: Ducks in a Row

Meaning: To be very organized and to plan carefully, often expressed as “He/she likes all his/her ducks in a row.”


She likes her ducks in a row and hates chaos.

“How would you describe yourself?” “I like all my ducks in a row.”

You need to have all your ducks in a row if you want to succeed.


Pop Quiz:

What’s the opposite of having your ducks in a row?

A.  Being neat.

B.  Being orderly.

C.  Being messy.

To see the correct answer, click on “Continue reading”:

Read More »

School Stories

Classes 3A & 3P recently wrote about their experiences in elementary, middle, and high school. Enjoy one story here then take the quiz the test your comprehension.

A  Flood in Our School

Li Lian Liang

In my first year of high school, there was a big flood in our city. Before the flood came, my classmates and I were very worried. We stayed in our dormitory and listened to the flood news on the radio. We didn’t have class for several days. We called our families. We all wanted to leave the school, but we didn’t have the guts to go out because we knew the flood was coming. Also it was raining. It rained heavier and heavier.

On the third night, the water started coming into our school. The water went over the campus, and flooded the first floor. One of our classmates woke everybody up and said, “Go, go! The water is flooding our dormitory!” We all got up immediately. We ran to the mountain behind our school. It was still raining. We all got wet and we were very scared.

The next morning the rain stopped and it turned sunny. The water started to retire. We went back to our school. There was a lot of mud covering the floors. We couldn’t walk easily in the mud. We had to clean all the dirty and wet stuff. Some of the stuff we couldn’t use any more. We were all very upset about the flood.  We wished the flood would not come any more.


To read more stories, click here!