Friday, May 30, 2008

Learn English While Helping Others!

Once again, I have learned something new through the talented people who created LEARNNC. I was directed, through their marvelous site, to another website called Free Rice. Free Rice, through the UN World Food Program, donates 20 grains of rice for each English vocabulary word that you get correct! Now, that may not sound like much, but you need to consider that you are not the only person playing this cool learning game. In their first five months of operation, Free Rice collected enough to feed more than one million people!

You can click on the Options link on the Free Rice site and set the level at which you want to play. If you are learning English as a second language, you may want to set it at Level 1. Don't worry if you get the word wrong. The same word will be shown to you again later. The important thing is to play, and to get those grains of rice!

According to the United Nations, about 25,000 people die from hunger, or hunger-related issues, every day, most of them children! The rice you earn by playing this vocabulary game is distributed by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). WFP is the world’s largest food assistance agency, working with over 3,000 other organizations in over 75 countries.

American anthropologist, Margaret Mead once said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

I've made a committment to myself to visit Free Rice every day. Not only am I learning new words, I feel better about myself as a person. This is such a small action to take, but it is so worthwhile.

Please take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to visit Free Rice! Here' s the link. Thank you for caring!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Learn English by Learning Contractions, Lesson 8

A contraction is a short word made from one or two words. Usually, one of the words is a verb. An apostrophe is used in place of the missing letters. For example, we shorten "I am" to "I'm". The apostrophe takes the place of the letter "a". This makes English flow better when we speak or write. Another example is changing "you are" to "you're".

Contractions are commonly made with the words:


For example, the word "are" is a tense of the verb, "be". We use it like this:
You are going do do well on the test.
You're going to do well on the test.
Once again, the apostrophe takes the place of the letter, "a".

She will go to the store.
She'll go to the store.
The apostophe takes the place of the letters, "wi".

He is very smart.
He's very smart.

The apostrophe takes the place of the letter, "i".

It is hot today!
It's hot today!

We are going to school.
We're going to school.

What is your name?
What's your name?

When is school going to start?
When's school going to start?

I will be home by 6:00.
I'll be home by 6:00.

They will meet us at the restaurant.
They'll meet us at the restaurant.

You would be a great doctor!
You'd be a great doctor!

We had been planning this trip for a long time.
We'd been planning this trip for a long time.

Who has studied for the test?
Who's studied for the test?

Click here for a list of contractions.

Learn English by playing these games on contractions:

Type in the contractions

Click here for worksheets:
I've been really busy lately. I had to take my son back to college, which is a 12 hour drive for me. He chooses to attend summer school. He is a rising Senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He will be at UNC-CH until he acquires a Ph.D. in some field of Biology. He's extremely interested in genetics and stem-cell research. He plans on becoming a scientist.

I apologize for my lack of lessons lately, but spending time with my son is so precious.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Learn English by Learning Compound Verbs,Lesson 7

Learn English by Learning Compound Verbs

You can make a compound verb out of a helping (auxiliary) verb and another verb. You can make many of the verb tenses available in English.

In the following sentences, the helping verb is in yellow print, and the verb is in bold print:

Mingli wanted to look up a word in English, but his dictionary was lost.

The compound verb in this sentence is made up of the helping verb, "was" and the past participle,"lost."

The dictionary Mingli was looking for is on the table.
The compound verb is made up of the helping verb "was" and the present participle, "looking."

They will study for the TOEFL in the library.
The compound verb is made up of the helping verb "will" and the verb "study."

Mingli has been studying for hours. I wonder if he will make a good grade.

In this sentence, the first compound verb has:
two helping (auxiliary) verbs ("has" and "been")
a present participle ("studying")

The second compound verb is made up of the auxiliary verb "will" and the verb "make."

Helping (Auxiliary) Verbs:
am are be been

being can could do

did does had has

have is may might

must shall should was


Learn English by practicing your skills on Compound Verbs:

Click here for a worksheet:

Click here to take a test on helping verbs:

Monday, May 5, 2008


I love LEARNNC. Their saying is, "education wants to be free." What a wonderful role model they are. They, and my foreign friends, have been my inspiration for this blog. My philosophy reflects theirs. I too think that education wants to be free. My blog is my simple attempt at making education free for those who want to learn English.

I have had the privilege of studying under some of their instructors. I found them to be intelligent, dedicated, and enormously helpful teachers. Learning under them was a privilege that I will always cherish. Through Bobby Hobgood, Ed.D, I learned how to publish a lesson plan. Through his detailed explanations & marvelous insights, was able to have a lesson plan published on LEARNNC. I consider that another privilege. I am truly humbled to see my work there.

Through Kathryn Walbert,, I took "African American History Through 1950." Her excellent guidance through this fascinating course inspired me to write a children's novel on the Harlem Renaissance, which I wrote under the psuedonym, Sadie Stone. My wonderful illustrator, and great friend, is Sombat Southivorarat.

I learned so much from these talented educators!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Learn English by Using LEARNNC

How to learn English by using LEARRNC.

LEARNNC is such a great resource! There are things you need to know to get the most from using this site.

LEARNNC is divided into sections.
The part that will be the most useful for you is on the right side of the screen.

I. The Sections You Need to Learn English
Follow these directions, now.
1. Right-click on the LEARNNC.
2. Click "Open in a new tab."
3. Look at the home page of LEARNNC.
4. Find the dark blue column on the right side of the page.

A. For Students:
5. Find the sections that says
"For Students
Primary: K 1 2
Elementary: 3 4
Middle: 6 7 8
Secondary: 9–12"

6. Now, click on your grade level, or the grade level at which you best work.
7. For example, if you click on Grade 5, you will see this:
Hot topics for grade 5
8. If you click on the Hot Topic: 50 States, you will see:
Everything you need for that state report! Each link will take you to learning activities.
American FactFinder Kids' Site
Who makes up this great country of ours? Learn about the US Census, get facts about the people in your state, and have fun trying the quiz questions.
Internet Public Library's Stately Knowledge
The usual facts and figures you are looking for, but also charts to compare state size and population, as well as a chart of the dates each state entered the Union.
The US 50
Fast Facts, Geography, History, Outdoors and more, plus each state includes a state quiz.

You will also find a Research Guide, a Reference Desk, & a Teacher's Corner. Each of these will help you learn English.

B. This section has a Search engine. If you want to learn nouns, you would type "nouns" into the search engine box, and lessons will appear. Click on those links to get the lessons.

II. The Best of the Web
Find the link in the dark blue column on the right side of the page that says, "Best of the Web". This awesome link will help you, not only to learn English, but to do research on almost any topic.
Click on "Best of the Web", and you will see a search box. If your topic was "Hitler", that is what you would type. Try that now.
You will see that LEARNNC has found 15 websites on Hitler for you.
These sites have been verified by UNC-CH as valuable educational sites. Research doesn't get any easier than this! I love LEARNNC and UNC-CH. :)

Learn English by Learning Verbs, Lesson 6

The verb is a part of a sentence. A verb or a compound verb tells something about the subject of the sentence and tells the actions, events, or states of being.
In each of the following sentences, the verb or compound verb is in bold print:
Students learn English by learning parts of speech.
The verb learn tells what the students do.

In July, Ritesh will take the TOEFL.
The compound verb will take tells the action that Ritesh will take place in the future.

The students were excited to learn English, and hoped they would pass the TOEFL.
In this sentence, the verb were (the simple past tense of "is") tells who the certain persons (students) are. The verb hoped tells a mental action.

Learn English by playing these games:

Click here to listen to Grammar Rock:

Learn English by doing this worksheet: