Angela's English classes

Exercises, resources, tips, ideas and a dose of fun


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VOA Learning English

USA VOA sticker

Tweeting around I came across VOA. They started following me or viceversa. Then, after some of their tweets I realized it’s a helpful resource for learners and teachers. VOA has more than one site and they have resource in different languages. The site provides lessons divided into two levels, 1 and 2. They  have news and their scripts with highlighted words that are explained on the bottom of the script. People can also make comments on the news and await for feedback.  It’s awesome to have the chance to practice and be assessed for free! I’ve read some responses that have been written  one or two days after being posted. In addition, they have videos.

Perhaps you are thinking that news are boring. VOA has divided their news into topics: World,America,Health,Entertainment,Business & Economics,Science & Technology. There will be something that suits your interests. Another interesting feature I found was ‘Words and Their Stories’ which explains American English expressions (audio and script,too.)

VOA’s website

VOA pronunciation guide

Talk2us Skype call-in show

Talk2us schedule

Confessions of an English learner A place for you to practice your writing. They post a weekly prompt, to give  a chance to practice your writing and to comment on others’ writing. I haven’t read any comments, though. I’ll try writing something myself to see what people respond.

They also offer a free Wordbook with some explanations about parts of speech and  informative images.It’s a simple and comprehensible dictionary with 1500 Words used by Voice of America’s Special English Announcers. It has a Special Words & Information section including  basic business and computer terms, thus it contains maps and some diagrams.

Another  resourceful site to add to the list  is American English,  a website for ESL teachers and learners  managed by The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State. If you browse VOA websites you can find nice surprises.

You can’t get enough from VOA. Try  VOA Interactive Learning: Wordbooks. So many learning opportunities!

Other sites they have :

VOA youtube channel captioned videos!

http://voalearningenglish.org/ daily news reports with subtitles. English in minute: idioms explained in a minute

The use of the images and logos on this post is intended for noncommercial and educational purposes. The images were taken from http://learningenglish.voanews.com/

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Learning idioms

There are many ways to learn. One of the best is looking for what’s simple and effective enough. Who wants gimmicks?

While looking for the idiom of the week I made up my mind about it. There are many other people who have already done something similar or who are doing it. It’s not about being the most original but if you want to learn idioms by checking other sites you’ll find a lot. Autoumous learning is precious. It definitely boosts your knowledge and expands your universe. That’s why I’ll tell you about two tools:  Learn Idioms app by Nupoor Ashish Singla (for android) and quizlet.com (mobile and web for android and IOS).

About the former, I’ve tried it for several days and it’s been running smoothly. Here are its features with the (in my opinion)most relevant ones highlighted.

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Feature details: –
* Database of 1000 generally used English Idioms with their Meaning and Example.
* Provides learning program to learn a set of English Idioms daily.
* Mark Idioms as Learnt and/or Favorites.
* Test your knowledge using Quiz for Learnt Idioms and check your worldwide ranking.
* Search English Idioms using keyword.
* See Favorite Idioms, Know history of Learnt Idioms.
* Check learning progress using Charts & Tables.
* Share Idioms with your friends using WhatsApp, facebook, e-mail, SMS, Twitter etc.
* Get notification for Idioms to learn.
* Provides setting for “set notification as on/off” and “number of Idioms to learn in a day”.

Besides, it’s free and ad free! For more information: Learn apps on Googleplay

Perhaps it would be more attractive if it included images to associate with the meaning. The downfalls are I haven’t been able to share via Twitter and every time you finish the 10 question test a message “Unfortunately Learn Idioms has stopped” appears BUT it hasn’t- everything keeps working as it should. In conclusion, the pros outweigh the cons.

Now, the latter, quizlet.com is quite versatile. To create a set of flashcards you need to sign up; however, you can browse through the existing ones without doing so. Images can also be added by uploading one or using quizlet’s own image search engine. If your set consists of terms and deifinitions, you can use the auto-define option which is user-contributed;consequently, not all the definitions might suit your item.

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The study mode lets the user learn, review, listen and spell (type), test him/herself,play Scatter (match definitions with terms before time’s up) and Space Race (type the correct answer as terms/definitions scroll across the screen). As today’s world requires sharing via email, Twitter, Facebook, or Short Link is facilitated, too. What is more, you can print in 5 printing modes including 3×5 Index Card – double-sided index cards. For more details : How quizlet works

I just made a set of flashcards for one of my classes. The cards contain sentences with blanks and lexical items from the lesson.

My first set!

 

The use of the images and logos on this post is intended for noncommercial and educational purposes. The images were taken from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.learnidioms&hl=es_419 and https://quizlet.com/ respectively.