Sunday, December 2, 2012

EFL Session Eight

Think of Mission Language Lab as your personal library and school. If you're an English learner, there is a lot do here. It is a fine supplement to whatever class you're taking in English. If you cannot attend an English class, you get practically all that you need right here. Mission Language Lab is designed by an experienced ESL teacher who understands exactly the process of learning English. John Robinson has taught thousands of students from many different countries. Throughout his 30 year career, he has paid careful attention to the needs of his students and taken very seriously their ideas and input. From this information and based on his knowledge, he has assembled a large storehouse of exercises and articles. Here you will find a quantity of conversation practices in the form of dialogues. They all called Grammar Talk, Dialogue Workout, and Exchanges. For pronunciation, you will find Consonant Practice and Vowel Practice. For grammar, you'll discover every point of grammar in the English language. First, there is Basic English and then Grammar Practice for intermediate and high intermediate English.

Check out the Menu of Links on the right side bar of this page.

John Robinson has gathered and written articles and stories for the Mission Language Lab Network of websites. For many of these articles, there is a comprehension check to test your understanding of the article you're reading. This activity is very helpful in learning reading. For each article, there is an audio player so that you can listen and read at the same time. Since 2009, students have found these articles very helpful in their learning progress. Then, there is the content. It is very important for your mind to experience a diversity of content. That's why the articles cover a wide range of subjects: history, science, art and architecture, music, biography, and literature. These subjects reflect a Liberal Arts education. For the entire thousand year history of the University the Liberal Arts were prominent. It is only recently that higher education training has shifted to greater emphasis on specialization and courses in art and music have been cut or greatly diminished. This is an unfortunate trend because many studies have confirmed that a broad Liberal Arts background can make you a more well rounded person and a better and more creative worker. Liberal Arts gives you the joy of discovery and the happiness that can result for honoring your curiosity and exploring new worlds and at the same time, you're learning more English. This is known as a "Win-win situation".

Today's article is "Christmas in America" from VOA.

Then, you're on your own. Untie the rope that holds your sailboat to the dock and explore the sea.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

EFL Session Seven

Welcome to English as a Foreign Language. You're in the right place for learning English. The human brain has the capacity to learn a new language and speak it as well as the first language. These sessions should help you a lot, and all the materials at Mission Language Lab are carefully selected to aid the English learner. Today's session will be as follows:

1. The pronunciation of Final B.
2. Grammartalk 1, Page 1 - Present Simple and Present Continuous. Remember that you use Present Simple for routine actions or for facts. Use Present Continuous for actions that are in progress in this moment or the near future. This conversation practice illustrates this difference very clearly.
3. Our grammar practice is Present Continuous Writing Practice.
4. Our story for today is Jose's Special Gift. It is a sweet story about a boy who helps his mother and his family by working after school and on weekends at a furniture store.

Monday, November 26, 2012

EFL, Session Six

A nutritionist advises his client to eat a balanced diet: fruits, vegetables, nuts, meat in moderation, grain, etc. Eating just one thing isn't very interesting or very healthy. The Mission Language Lab network has a variety of websites to keep you interested and to keep your mind healthy. Here's today's program: Final "P". This sound is "plosive", or a speech sound produced by complete closure of the lips and subsequent release accompanied by a burst of air. That's air, not sound. When you say "cap", the "p" actually has no sound. Look at the very abstract "Cosmic Composition" by Paul Klee before doing the exercise. Then, let's try the Simple Present Tense from ESL Grammar Practice. At the bottom of the page, there is a link to a Present Simple conversation, Dialogue Workout A.

An article you might find interesting today is "The Stone Age Diet" from Voice of America. Remember, these sessions only give you a suggestion of what you can study. Like a good nutritionist, I try to give you a variety of activities. You can take a day to a week to finish a session, or you may follow a side track and come back to this session. The main thing is to enjoy learning. It doesn't have to be chore.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

EFL Session Five

"La Piñata" by Diego Rivera
Welcome to Session Five and the Mission Language Lab network of websites. You will notice that the grammar exercises have paintings on them. When you study the paintings before you do the exercises, it sharpens your mind, relaxes you, and allows you to concentrate better. The reason for that is that art, in addition to being very pleasant to look at, balances your mind and gives you added energy. That's why I place a lot of importance on both art and music. These are necessary subjects for education. They shouldn't be cut from high school or college programs, yet unfortunately they often are. You will see music and art celebrated here at Mission Language Lab and all the sites related to it. There are many articles featuring art, artists, music, musicians, and composers. To get you started today, explore the new articles written by students at the New Mission Journal. There are three articles about important celebrations of Easter and Christmas in Mexico, and Chinese New Year in GuangZhou, China. After you read these stories, you can practice your Basic English Grammar. The lesson for today is changing a present continuous sentence into a present simple tense sentence. It is Present Simple Typing Practice. Make sure you study Picasso's painting "Violin" before you do the exercise.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

EFL Session Four

You're sitting under a tree with your laptop. Or maybe it's an Ipad or Mobile. You stumble upon English as a Foreign Language. What a coincidence! You happen to be studying English. You will notice the teacher doesn't do much talking. I have always preferred to point the student in the direction of good activities, and I have always found people learn a lot on their own. You're probably that way. Pronunciation: Final G: the back of your tongue touches the back part of the roof of your mouth. Conversation. Exchanges 1, Page 2. Simple, short dialogues practicing the Present Tense of "Be". They are fun. Grammar: "There's and There are". Our article for today concerns the same period of time as yesterday's story about Thanksgiving. Pocahontas was a very famous Native American, a daughter of a chief. She lived near the settlement of Jamestown in what is now the state of Virginia. She converted to Christianity, married an English man, and moved to England. I'm going away for a couple of days, but I'll be back with a new session for you on Friday. Have a great Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

EFL Session Three

Today, we're going to read and listen to a very interesting article from Voice of America, "The Meaning of Thanksgiving." You'll learn about this tradition from its beginning with the Pilgrims in 1621 to the present. Then, if you still have time, try the pronunciation practice, Final K. We're continuing to review the verb "be". Try this grammar exercise from Basic English: The Verb "Be" in Present Tense, Fill the Blanks. That should do it for today. Relax with all this. Don't feel that you have to finish it in one sitting. Take a break! After a half hour, get up, walk around, get some fresh air, exercise. Your brain will work better. I'll see you tomorrow.

Monday, November 19, 2012

EFL Session Two

Welcome back to English as a Foreign Language. This online class lacks only one thing. Tuition. Other than that omission, it is rich with materials for learning English. I hope you don't mind not having to pay tuition. I teach English for the love of teaching, and I want to encourage you to love learning. So, let's get right down to business with some links for you today. Try The Present Tense of "Be". This is basic English. For more advanced lessons, you can check out another website in the Mission Language Lab Network, Grammar Practice Next, a very simple conversation, "Be" in present tense: Exchanges 1, Page 1. For pronunciation, let's work on Final V. Finally, let's continue our story of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce: "Chief Joseph, Part Two" from Voice of America. That should do it for today.