October 2014

Thompson Language Center YouTube Channel – For You!

I’m not very good at technology. There is a special name for people like me – technophobe. I’m actually afraid I’ll break the computer when I use it. My children were impressed when I got a website, Facebook page and Twitter accounts. They helped me make PowerPoints and build my LinkedIn connections. After I made the first app nothing shocks them anymore. My kids might be politely impressed with my new Thompson Language Center YouTube Channel but I am ecstatic!

TLC YouTube screenshot

We videoed the last Teacher Training session in Toronto and broke the film down into 18 smaller videos. The videos are to support teachers using English is Stupid, Students are Not and entire the Speaking Made Simple curriculum.
Any English learner who can read English and would like to speak English more confidently will also benefit from English is Stupid and the new Thompson Language Center YouTube Channel as well. Enjoy and email if you have any questions.
Until next time,
Teacher Judy

The Future is Here for Centennial College in Toronto

I don’t remember if our first contact was through LinkedIn or email but it was in September and it was from the Chair of EAP & ELL Programs at Centennial College in Toronto asking about my availability for a workshop. The turnaround was fast  and we booked a three hour workshop for the English & ESL department, the English for Academic Purposes Program, The English Language Learning Program and the tutors from the Centre for Academic English. There were more than 40 teachers in total.
Here is a link to the PowerPoint presentation: http://www.slideshare.net/ESLTeacherJudy/centennial-college-40390708
The workshop included classroom exercise handouts and a box of English is Stupid textbooks. We had a BLAST! I was so impressed with the enthusiasm, the professionalism, the open-mindedness and how quickly the entire group grasped the new concepts for teaching speaking.
They were happy with me too. “Thank you for the wonderful workshop you delivered earlier this week. It was very well received and the feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive.

Centennial College
I don’t remember teaching such a large group of like-minded, progressive teachers from one school before. Centennial English teachers are delightful and I expect their students appreciate them very much.
Think about a presentation for your school or institution. I promise to rock your world with the latest advances in fast and effective English teaching methods.

Until next time,
Teacher Judy

Every Word in English is a Color Even in the UK

I live and work in North America and use the Color Vowel Chart linked to the top of my website for the standard vowel sounds in the General American accent: Here However, I do recognized the vowel sounds in the UK are slightly different.

UK Vowel Chart

Many accents from the United Kingdom don’t pronounce final ‘r’.
Star sounds like /sta/.
Door sounds like /dow/
This calls for some serious tweaking of the Vowel Chart. The basic principle of holding specific vowel sounds in the names of colors still stands – but the colors vary a little to reflect one extra and one different vowel sound from North American English.

British has extra vowel sound /Au/ as in Auburn (rust color) the vowel sound in: caught and dawn… North American’s don’t use this sound.

While /Or/ Orange is not necessary in UK pronunciation (replaced by Auburn),
/Ayr/ – as in Pear (yellow/green) is a UK vowel sound found in: hair, wear, stare…
and so is
/Eyr/ – as in Clear (no color) found in: here, we’re, dear…

Please find attached a copy of the UK Color Vowel Chart and feel free to copy the styles of exercises found in this wiki.
You are encouraged to post and share exercise you create.