Tag Archives: esol

Study English with Duolingo


Out of fairness to our students – who come from many different countries – we don’t give bilingual classes. But there’s a website you can use at home using your first language to study English (and English speakers can use it to study other languages, too.) It’s called Duolingo. So far, Duolingo supports these languages:


Click here or on either of the pictures above to start studying.

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 It is difficult (and rewarding) to learn a new language and students need all the help they can get. In the video below a man is working hard to learn English. He gets help from his school, library, friends and family. Watch the video and comment below. Tell us the special reason the man is learning English and let us know your goals and reasons as well.

There are about two months left of classes. Don’t let the spring weather distract you too much. Keep working hard so you can improve your skills, achieve your goals and celebrate with a nice drink.

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What dictionary should I use?

We know you are all getting ready to start up the school in about one month. You are probably sharpening your pencils, cleaning out your book bags and reviewing your notes from past classes.

There is one very important tool every student should have when starting ESL classes; every good language student needs a good dictionary.

There are a lot to choose from and students may be overwhelmed by so many options.

We have some tips and suggestions to help you find the right dictionary:

Bilingual dictionaries are great. English learner dictionaries are better! You are all English learner’s, unless you are  you a complete beginner you should have a good English learner dictionary.

Pronunciation is important! Does the dictionary help you pronounce words in a way you can understand and make sense of. Some may look like this; /pruh-nuhn-see-ey-shuhn/ (spelled pronunciation) or like this; /prəˌnʌnsiˈeɪʃən/ (International Phonetic Alphabet). IPA may be used by more people, but Spelled Pronunciation may be easier to understand, which do you feel more comfortable with?

Illustrations all over? Would you rather have a dictionary that had some pictures in it that helped you to understand difficult words, or is it more important that your dictionary fits as many words as possible in the book?

Just words? Do you want your dictionary to only contain vocabulary words, or do you want it to have things like some famous names (Presidents, Celebrities, Artists), Phrasal Verbs (show up, fall apart, rough up) and maybe some maps and weight and measurement conversion charts?

These are just a few things to think about when getting the right dictionary.

Click below to read about some of the most popular learner dictionaries. There are also links to help you shop for cheap (from http://esl.about.com/od/engilshvocabulary/tp/tp_dict.htm).

And don’t forget to comment and let us know what dictionary you like to use and any computer or phone apps that help you learn and practice English

Continue reading

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Qun Qing (Helen) Ye: Student of the Month

We would like to congratulate our newest student of the month, Qun Qing Ye. Helen has been living in the United States for 6 years and has recently passed her US Citizenship Test. Below is a short video interview with Qun Qing (Helen). Keep up the great work!


Is your story similar to Helen’s?

Have you taken the US Citizenship test?

Are you working on your resume?

Let us know and comment below…


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You Can Too!

Interested in going to college or getting your GED?

Looking to find job and career opportunities?

Want to improve your language and learning skills?

Many others have and You Can Too!

The Mayor’s Office of Adult Education can help. They’ve put together a website, You Can Too!, with the resources you need to achieve your goals.

What’s great about this website is that you can watch, listen and share your own success stories with other adult learners in New York…

Listen and watch adult learners like Maria, Amy and Henry share their stories and tell how they have and are continuing to achieve their goals.

Click on the picture below and explore the You Can Too! website

Students told us they found sites like Workforce 1 and My Next Move interesting and helpful for finding information about work. Websites like CUNY Start have information if you are trying to go to college, while TV411 can help you improve your reading, writing, science and math skills.

Let us know what you think about the website. What’s helpful and interesting? What’s confusing and difficult? Leave a comment or email us at usadultliteracy@gmail.com

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What Did You Do During the Vacation?

Welcome back to class! Did you have a good vacation? We asked Class 2B what they did during the vacation – watch the video to hear their answers:

How about you? What did you do? To share what you did during the vacation, leave a comment.

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Khanh Au: Student of the Month

Khanh Au is the Adult Literacy Program’s Student of the Month for February. Khanh is in Class 2A, and he brings a lot of enthusiasm and humor to the class. Congratulations, Khanh!

Here’s a short video of Khanh talking about his life:

Here’s Khanh’s autobiography:

My name is Khanh. When I was young, I worked hard at a textile factory in Vietnam and then, Vietnam went to war. I joined the army, so I was a soldier until the war ended in 1975.

In 1999, I emigrated to the U.S. I have been in New York for over 12 years. I had to work hard for my family for 10 years. In 2009, I retired and now I have a chance to study English in this center. I feel I’m very happy. Now, I enjoy my life in New York. I watch TV every morning and enjoy my music and go swimming. So I feel my retired life is very very good!

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