Wednesday, November 30, 2011

All kinds of educational games here.

This site has games (like hangman and snakes and ladders) to help you practice grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. Have fun. :-)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Advanced English

The words in the Academic Word List occur in all subjects. All of the Academic Word List Words are included in these reading s and exercises. Start with the ones that look interesting.

California Distance Learning Project.

This is an excellent site to practice reading writing listening and spelling. You can choose from a wide range of topics read the full or basic story and also listen to it and watch an accompanying video clip (for some of the stories). After that you can do the activities. First learn the new vocab, do a spelling test, match words and definitions and pick answers (multi choice). You can print off your scores from teh tests or email them to your teacher.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

English Idioms and Idiomatic expressions

This site will help you understand all of those tricky English idiomatic expressions that can be so hard to understand.

More grammar exercises

These grammar exercises will keep you going for a while.

Easy and advanced grammar exercises

Here are some easy grammar exercises to try.

Once you can do these easily try the more advanced exercises with this link here.

Sentence structure writing practice

The are some very useful exercises here to help you with sentence structure to practice your writing.

This site has it all.

This site allows you to practise your English in many ways. There are reading passages that you can read alone, or listen while reading the text or simply listen to the text. There are vocabulary explanations that give synonyms, antonyms and word families as well as the correct pronunciation. there are cloze exercises with answers, crosswords and dictation. Well worth checking out.

Dictation exercises.

Two hundred dictation exercises here to help you with your listening skills. Be aware that some spelling may be unexpected as it is American English spelling and not British English spelling.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vocabulary development

This game 'hangman' is challenging and will help you develop your vocabulary.

Here is another hangman site to play with.

And yet another hangman site
Enjoy. :-)

Maeklong train trackmarket, Samut Songkhram, Thailand

The Maeklong market in Thailand is built directly over the train tracks. Four times a day the vendors (with a one minute, audible, warning) have to clear their produce away from the train tracks to make way for the train to pass through. Seconds after the train has passed the market goods are set out once again and the tracks are filled with customers.

Intersection in India

This has to be seen to believed. How come there are no accidents. No traffic lights. How does this work?

Solar bottle lights in the Philippines

Necessity is the mother of invention. This video clip shows a simple cheap and effective solution for a major problem.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Learn English songs

Want to wow your friends at your next party then sing them some new songs in English. This site here will give you the lyrics. Then open up
'you tube' here to find the matching MP3 and you are away laughing. give it a go. Have fun. :-)

Vocabulary development

This site is useful for lower levels for vocabulary development. It has matching games and you can learn severlal languages as well as English (ChineseMandarin, Japanese and spanish).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Leisure activities

Don't need to be bored. Find something to do today or in the next 7 days. Want to find about about things that were on in the past? This is the place to look. Want to check on the weather. It is all here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ship or sheep

This site is very good for practising your pronunciation. Check out the minimal pairs and learn the International phonetic alphabet (IPA) sound / symbol relationships. This will aid your being able to work out how to pronounce words by looking them up in your dictionary

Improve your spelling

This site helps with commonly confused words and some tips on how to improve your spelling

Gap fills and more

There are exercises here for both general and academic wordlists to increase you command of vocabulary. Each week this site will feature links to practise your English on various sites, with exercises to work on vocabulary, grammar, reading, pronunciation, and listening. Have fun!

Everything you need to know about getting a job in New Zealand

This site will step you through everything you need to know about getting a job in New Zealand. It includes things like the training needed, personal requirements, the pay rates, how easy it is to get a job in that field just now, CV writing and more.

TOEIC practice materials (2)

Here is another excellent site with free materials to practice for the TOEIC test. Enjoy. :-)

TOEIC practice materials

Hello everyone,
I have enclosed here some practice materials for the TOEIC test. Have fun exploring this site. :-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Talk online to improve speaking skills

This site allows you to talk to someone online in English. It's fun, it's easy and in some cases its free. You can talk to a conversation partner, a trained native English speaker, a personal tutor, a volunteer, or a language exchange buddy. Speak with new friends for free, or get a qualified tutor for a small fee.

Conversation topics to practice with friends

This site has a range of interesting topics to practice conversation from hypothetical situations (what would you do if...) situational conversation, descriptions, narrations (story telling), opinions, and instructions. Try then out with your friends to improve your speaking skills.

Giving an opinion (useful language).

This site has many useful links including this one that gives you the language to make a concession when agreeing that the person you are talking to has made a valid point but you still think you are right overall. This next page gives language used to give your opinion and support it and ask for details when the person you are talking to is giving their opinion.

Giving an opinion and other oral language skills

Here is a site that has pod casts of people giving their opinions on a range of topics. It will give you ideas for giving your own opinion (either spoken or written) and give valuable practice in listening to the opinions that other people give. Make notes as you listen so that you can report to a friend the opinions that people had on the topic being discussed. These pod casts are long (some 60 minutes) but still great listening practice all the same. Have fun with your listening.
Click on the word links at this site for more excellent educational links. See the drop down list. Try exploring the link for video lessons. there are very good clips for pronunciation, listening and speaking vocabulary and learning phrases, starting conversations greetings etc. Pause the video clip and repeat after the presenter until you can say the phrase easily.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Monday, October 17, 2011

Using modal verbs

Hello everyone here is a link to help you with using modal verbs. You will need to be able to use these verbs in your next assessment Giving an opinion. Good luck. :-)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Many things

Hello again, Here is a multi- level site called 'Many Things' that has a number of interesting and useful links to help you with vocabulary, reading, listening and speaking, grammar, tongue twisters, limericks and a variety of games such as audio memory games and vocabulary games. Have fun exploring. :-)

Towson University online writing support

Here is a good site to help you with developing your writing skills. It gives very good explanations about the correct use of many aspects of written language such as:- parts of speech, sentence structure and plagiarism. It has self teaching units and a writing support hot line where you can ask a question about writing or grammar and they will respond within 24 hours.

Dave's ESL cafe

Here is another excellent site. So much to play with so many links to explore!! Some of the things you will find here include:- Phrasal verbs, ESL links, quizzes, grammar, pronunciation and idioms to name just some of the things on offer. Enjoy.

Combination of language skills found here

Hello everyone,
You're going to love this site. It is a one stop shop for all kinds of language skills. Here you will find grammar, vocabulary, crossword puzzles, quizzes, bilingual quizzes, podcasts, you tube video clips interesting things for ESL, spelling activities, listening reading, writing and pronunciation, idioms, stories, news and songs. Open up every link and find out all the things that this site has to offer, then hit the back arrow to go back to where you were. Have fun. :-)

Friday, October 7, 2011

One mans vision.

Video link see here
David Wallace and many of his neighbours in heartland Waikato have set up a protected environment on his land creating in effect an inland island. They have done this by building a predator free fence around 16 hectares of David's land to establish a kiwi sanctuary or creche for juvenile kiwi chicks. Here they will grow and develop in a safe and protected environment before being released into the wild, once they reach a more viable weight of around one kilogram.

His long term goal is much more challenging. He wants to build a 50km fence round Maungtautari (see website here) a mountain on his land that will come to be the most significant kiwi enclosure on mainland New Zealand. This new sanctuary will eventually house arond 2-3000 kiwi.

West Coast Wildlife Centre

Koanga the first 'Rowi' kiwi to hatch at the West coast Wildlife Centre this season (Spring 2011). Seen here one week old, with kiwi ranger Fiona Gordon.

The site shown here shows the work being done on the West Coast to incubate and hatch kiwi eggs. Once hatched the young kiwi chicks will be placed in a monitored, protected environment unitl they reach around one kilogram in weight. They will eventually be released into their native habitat once their increased weight enables them to protect themselves better against predators.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Project kiwi part 2

The site shown here is a private kiwi sanctuary in the North Island at Waitaia on the Coromandel. The project managers John and Paula Williams protect the environment by planting trees and trapping kiwi predators (such as stoats, rats, weasels, ferrets, possums and cats). They collect kiwi eggs and send them to a hatching facility at Rotorua where the eggs are incubated, hatched reared for a short time and then released back at Waitaia. At Waitaia the managers also keep records of kiwis which they monitor via transmitters attached to the kiwis upper legs. They are able to do health checks on kiwi, record patterns of egg incubation, manage pest control and manage the group of volunteers that give their time to help with this project.

BNZ Save the Kiwi Trust

The BNZ bank have set up a trust fund to protect New Zealand's endangered national icon - the kiwi. This site shown here gives information about the project what it aims to achieve, its progress to date and give suggestions about how people interested in the project can help with this most important cause.

David Attenburgh and the Lyre bird

The Lyre bird, seen here, in trying to show off to a prospective mate, displays all of the sounds (usually bird sounds) that he has learned to immitate (copy). What unusual sounds has this bird learned to copy? Can you find three of them?

Friday, September 23, 2011

ESL News New Zealand


This  site "ESL News New Zealand" has news audio files with  transcripts to practice your listening skills. The news story archive has stories going back about three or four years so there is plenty of material to practice with.

Test your skills by looking at a news heading and trying to predict what it might be about.

Then make up some questions to guide your listening. Try to find out who or what the story is about. Where and when did the thing happen? What happened? Why did it happen?How much/how many etc etc.

Listen to the story without looking at the transcript. Once you have listened a few times and answered your own questions listen again with the transcript and check to see if you got your questions right. Did the story heading help you guess what the story was going to be about?

Could you explain to someone what the story was about in your own words in a summarised form?

There are usually a few comments at the end of the story for you to think about and consider what your point of view might be on a particular topic. This is important practice for this terms assessment which requires you give your reasoned point of view. So this would be a great site to use this term for your independent study. Happy studying. :-)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adult Learning Activities

Hello everyone,
I have sourced a new site to help you with your reading practice. Click here to see the site Adult Learning Activities. It has reading material divided into 11 different categories. Within each category there are around 20 stories with accompanying audio so you can listen and read at the same time. If you have Real Player installed there are accompanying video clips for some stories and activities. The activities will develop your comprehension matching and spelling skills. You can save your results and print them off or send them to your teacher. If you are interested in further reading, each topic then directs you to a website for more information about the topic area you have been reading

Monday, September 12, 2011

End of term school outing

Dear students,
On Thursday 22nd of September we will go on a bus trip for the day, to the Orokonui ecosanctuary to celebrate the end of term.
The bus will leave the Student Centre at 9.00 am. Students are to bring lunch and plenty of drinks. The bus will leave Orokonui at 1.00 via the east coast. We will be back in Dunedin at 3.00 pm.

Five dollars will be collected from all the students for the entrance fee.. This is an educational trip and part of your course. This is a very cheap price (usually $29.90 for adults).
Click on the link here to have a look at Orokonui ecosancturay website to find out about the things you will be able to see there.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Randalls ESL cyber listening lab

Hello everyone,
Here is a great site to practice your listening skills. There are a large number of podcasts for you to listen to and these are arranged in different levels so you can choose the one most suited to your needs. Enjoy your study. :-)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Everything you ever wanted to know about managing money.

Hello everyone. do you find your money just doesn't seem to stretch far enough these days. Check out this site to find good ideas on how to create a budget that works for you, avoid loan sharks and getting yourself into debt.

English language study and IELTS exam preparation

Hello everyone,
Here is an excellent site for English language study or in particular if you are preparing to do the IELTS exam. I hope you enjoy exploring this site thoroughly. Happy studying. :-)

How to do anything you are interested in but did not know how to do.

Ever been put off doing something because you don't know where to start? You don't know how to do something? Click here to check out this site:- Key in your search and you will be diredted to instructions for how to do anything you are interested in.

Monday, September 5, 2011


Here is a new site that you should find very interesting. You can register as a staff member or student of Otago Polytechnic and watch TV programmes from over 30 different channels. You can do a search to find programmes about things that are of interest to you. Read the instructions for signing on below.

Hi fellow eTV users I have e-mail you as you already have an eTV (you may remember it as eCast) user account. The purpose of this message is to let you know the eTV web site has been significantly revamped, and is now a lot more easy to find things and utilise them in your teaching activities. Staff are able to log onto eTV, view content from the “On Demand” library, or watch the streaming video from the “Live Channels”. Staff can download the content they wish to use, and keep track of things in “My Favorites” Otago Polytechnic Students can now access eTV ( by simply opening a web browser at this URL, and create the own user account using the “Register Here” option. (Please note they must use the Otago Polytechnic student e-mail system to gain access to eTV.) Please, when you have a moment, take some time to log into eTV and see if it can be a useful addition to your academic work. If you can’t remember your password or user name, just contact us on the Otago Polytechnic Service Desk (Extn 8039, or 0800 POLYIT) and we can help get you going again. If you like what you see, please spread the word! Regards Colin Armstrong Customer Support Manager Information Systems & Support Otago Polytechnic Dunedin New Zealand P 64-3-479 6133 M 64-21-711 386

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What's on in Dunedin

Hello everyone,
Are you bored and have time on your hands? This website is just the place to go. It tells you what is on in Dunedin this week and what is coming soon.
For example the Regent Book sale is on next Friday Sept 9th -Sat Sept 10th. This book sale runs for 24 hours and sells something like 250,000 books. Most books are just $1.00. There will be live bands playing music while you browse and there is food for sale in the foyer. There are also magazines puzzles for sale. Click the link here and find out what is on this weekend.
We are blessed in the Foundation Studies ESOL community with a rich and vibrant cultural mix. this page will highlight special events for cultures represented in our class.
Our Saudi Arabian students have today come to the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. Eid al Fitr (a major Muslim holiday) falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month which follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. It is a time to give in charity to those in need, and celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy.
Before the day of Eid, during the last few days of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a determined amount as a donation to the poor. This donation is of actual food-rice, barley, dates, etc.-to ensure that the needy can have a holiday meal and participate in the celebration. This donation is known as sadaqah al-fitr (charity of fast breaking).
On the day of Eid, Muslims gather early in the morning in outdoor locations or mosques to perform the Eid prayer. this consists of a sermon followed by a short congregational prayer.
After the Eid prayer, Muslims usually scatter to visit various family and friends, give gifts (especially to children), and make phone calls to distant relatives to give well- wishes for the holiday. These activities traditionally continue for three days. In most Muslim countries, the entire 3-day period is an official government/school holiday.
Common greetings for Islamic holidays
Muslims observe two major holidays; Eid al-Fitr (at the end of the annual fasting month of Ramadan), and Eid al-adha (at the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca). during these times, Muslims give thanks to Allah for his bounty and mercy, Celebrate the holy days, and wish each other well. While appropriate words in any language are welcome, there are some traditional or common Arabic greetings that one may use or come across;
• "Eid Mubarak!" which means "Blessed Eid!"
• "Eid Saeed!" which means "Happy Eid!"
Source:-(Saudi Student club 2011)

Today marked the end of Ramadan and the celebration the Eid al -Fitr holiday. Our students went to the Mosque in the morning and in the afternoon joined in the festivities at Otago University which were hosted by the Saudi Student club. There was a bouncy castle for children, packs with flowers chocolate and information about the festival were given out as well as Candy floss. We were then treated to the visual spectacle of Arabian dancing. This was fantastic and some of our students joined in the fun and took part in the dancing as well. The link here shows the kind of dancing that was on display.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Free IELTS test preparation materials

Hello everyone. I have given you a link today an IELTS blog that gives you free materials to practice for the IELTS exam in case you are thinking of taking this exam at some time in the future. Even if you are not planning to take the test the practice materials will help your general English study and help you to develop your skills in listening reading writing and speaking. Hope you enjoy exploring this site. :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Course information

Check the website here for email information about courses, the staff you need to contact in the school of interest, career pathways, enrolment information, scholarships and more.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

World Health Organisation

Dear Students,
Here is the link for the World Health Organisation you might find it useful in your search for information for you oral presentations on disability.

Activities free or under $5.00

Dear students,
Are you wondering what to do in your spare time? Here is a link that will take you to an online version of a booklet that is full of ideas of interesting things to do that are free or under $5.00 at the time of printing. You might like to see what is on offer and try something new.


This site will give you access to an online dictionary.

Reading practice - 365 short stories. Multi level.

Hello everyone. This website is an excellent resource for you to practice your reading. You can read the text and hear it as well. There are yes /no questions, crosswords, cloze exercises, vocabulary and dictation to go with each story. Please explore this site and make a comment about its usefulness for your independent study.

Blind people using a seeing eye dog

The Seeing Eye, the innovator and pioneer of dog guide services, tells the story of how the school opens the doors of success for people who are blind. Every day, people embark on new beginnings with their Seeing Eye dogs. This story is a celebration of where they finish.

Louis Braille and the invention of the Braille system of writing for the blind

Dramatizes the life of Louis Braille, including the events that caused him to become blind as well as the cause of his death in 1852 at the age of 43 of tuberculosis. Illustrates the development of the Braille System, which he created in 1824 at the age of 15, and how it was at first rejected and even banned at the Royal Institute for Blind Youth (where Braille attended as a child and was later employed as a teacher).

A resource guide (with expanded Braille information and resource links) is available from the following URL:

Cardiovascular and psychiatric risks with ADHD drug use

Patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) who are taking stimulant drugs such as Adderall (amphetamine-dextroamphetamine), Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Strattera (atomoxetine hydrochloride) will soon be given a Patient Medication Guide each time the prescription is filled.

The medication guide will warn that there have been reports of sudden death in children and adolescents with pre-existing structural cardiac abnormalities or other serious heart problems who were taking stimulant drugs to treat their ADHD. Sudden death, stroke and MI have also been reported in adults with underlying risk factors for these events who took ADHD drugs.

The causative role of the stimulants is not clear because pre-existing heart problems themselves carry an increased risk of sudden death. Nevertheless, patients with known serious cardiac problems should generally not use stimulant drugs.

The medication guide will also warn about a slight increased risk for drug-related psychiatric adverse events, such as hearing voices, paranoia or mania, even in patients who did not have previous psychiatric problems.

FDA recommends that patients who may be treated with these drugs work with their health care provider to develop a treatment plan that includes a careful health and family history, and an evaluation of current health status, especially for cardiovascular and psychiatric conditions. Patients should contact a doctor promptly if symptoms develop that are suggestive of heart disease, or of new or worsening psychiatric problems

Natural treatment for ADHD

6,000,000 school children are being administered Ritalin and other psychiatric drugs. ADHD is a catch all label and creativity should not be medicated. Dr. Tyler Woods of Mindhance Wellness introduces natural treatments.

ADHD How to recognise symptoms

This you tube clip steps through the symptoms of "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder" or ADHD, and give tips on how to recognise the disorder in children.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cream that egg

Here is a clip for those of you who hope to move on to engineering courses in the future. Pretty amazing don't you think? It took the guy six months to build and he had to work around his flatmates to do it.

Good and bad oral presentation skills

Here is a link to a you tube video clip that demonstrates firstly poor presentation skills and than a much improved presentation. Make some notes for yourself about the features about good and bad presentations. What to do and what not to do when giving an oral presentation.

Making eye contact in oral presentations

This clip will give you some tips on how to improve your presentation delivery by using eye contact

Funny: Bad oral presentation skills

This is the you tube clip we watched in class on last week. How many bad things does this presenter do during his presentation?

Wikipedia entry on Disability

Hello everyone, Here is a link for wikipedia to help you with your research for your oral presentation on disability.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

BBC Learning English. Pronunciation practice

Hello again,

Click here for an excellent site that describes the sounds of English. It has short video clips introducing the site and demonstrating the positioning of tongue teeth and lips to make each sound. In addition it has quizzes and exercises to step you through the basics of English pronunciation. Please explore this site then post a comment to say how this could be of use to you in your independent study.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Hello everyone,
This Dictation site is one I introduced to the class last week for independent study to improve your listening skills. Please click on the link here to explore the site. You will see that there are 5 different levels. You should be working at Intermediate level. If you find this difficult try some of the easier levels until you skills improve. If you find Intermediate level easy try the harder levels.
Once you have tried out the site post a comment to this blog (around 100 words) to tell me what you think of the site and how useful you think it might be for improving your listening skills. I plan to introduce a new site for you to use in your independent study time each week. Remember you should be studying around two hours each night to get the best results from your course. Lets enjoy learning together.