Attention Teachers & Tutors

Easy English Times is used in classrooms, workplace and library literacy projects, among other sites.

Each month the paper comes with an extra page of Learning Activities and instant activities are included in each issue. You can walk into your classroom and start teaching from the newspaper.  Literacy tutors find the paper useful in individual or group settings. It can also be used for home study. We feature a Teachers' Corner with information for or by teachers. (See below for a Teachers' Corner from our June 2014 issue.)

From Editor Lorraine Ruston

     I'm an ESL teacher (adults) and also the editor of Easy English Times. I use the newspaper in every class I teach. I usually choose one or two articles to start my class with. I read the story aloud and ask the students to underline a key word or phrase in each sentence. ( I choose the words as we go along.) I make sure they understand what the words mean. (My students all speak Spanish so they translate for each other or I help them a bit.) Then I read the story again, asking them to read the words they have underlined. I listen to their pronunciation. Sometimes I make up a simple comprehension quiz about what we just read.
     We do the crossword puzzle in class together and talk about the words that go into the puzzle.
     I assign the scanning questions on the Learning Activities page for homework. Sometimes we do the 'more careful reading' questions in class as a jigsaw reading activity. Sometimes I assign them for homework.
     I always ask my students to write something themselves based on some of the other student writing pieces.
     I hope this helps you and that you enjoy our newspaper!

 Teachers say:

  • "Once the papers come, we have to stop everything to read them. My students love these newspapers."
    - Inger Shiffler
  • "It's great. I save every issue to use again and again."
    - June Chan
  • "My students love your fine newspaper! It is the high point of our ESL program. Thank you."  - Margaret Pillsbury
  • Students say:

  • "I want to read and write. The newspaper helps me understand English."
    - Hoa Mai Nguyen
  • "This paper helps me. It is my idea to get citizenship."
    - Phien Pheauboonma
  • ***

    Michele McLeod & Lynn-Marie Smith, Annenberg Learner

    Teachers' Corner, June 2014

    Connect with English Website

    A new website for English language learners makes it easy to learn and practice English on mobile devices including smartphones and tablets. The website Connect with English www.learner.org/series/cwe is based on a popular video series of the same name.

    In 1998 the Annenberg/CPB Project (now Annenberg Learner), a funder and distributor of college-level video course material, released Connect with English, a language learning course.  The course was developed for teachers of English as a second language (ESL) to help learners become engaged in American English language and culture through a multi-part video story.  The concept of following a storyline to learn a language had been successfully used with two previous Annenberg-funded projects: French in Action and Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish

    Connect with English follows the story of a young woman named Rebecca Casey. Rebecca moves from Boston to San Francisco to pursue her dream of going to college and eventually becoming a professional musician. Putting Rebecca into interesting situations provides ESL students with shared topics of conversation:  How would Rebecca tell her father she would be moving away?  Who was the handsome stranger she met when her car broke down?  How would she support herself while going to college?

    The video series and accompanying books have been very popular for many years. Annenberg Learner streamed the video programs on its website www.learner.org and professors used the videos in college and non-credit classes. In 2012 Annenberg Learner worked with WGBH Boston, the public television station that filmed the original series, to create a learning website based on Connect with English. The learner.org website streams learning videos in all academic areas. The videos all are closed captioned, so English learners can acquire technical language as well as grammar by watching them. Note that only Connect with English was developed specifically for English language learners.

    Because many people learn English today using smartphones rather than desktop computers, Annenberg Learner staff decided to make the site easy to use on smartphones and tablets. This posed a greater challenge to the website developers than creating a site for a desktop computer. After much hard work by the programmers, the site launched in late 2013. A Boston-area college and adult ESL instructor served as academic advisor for the Connect with English website. Connect with English online premiered at the 2014 TESOL meeting in Portland to great interest from teachers.  

    The Connect with English site has four segments, which follow the progress of the video story.  Each segment has exercises in grammar, dictation, expressions, a quiz about the story, and readings from Rebecca’s diary, with follow-up discussion questions. All 52 videos are connected to the website.

    Learners can access and use the free site any time and share it with their friends who also want to practice their English and follow the story of Rebecca Casey.

    For more information contact Michele McLeod at mmcleod@learner.org