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.