ESL Online Magazine

helping English language learners expand their skills and their lives


5 Ways journal writing improves your English

journal writing

Journal writing in English may not be at the top of your to-do list in 2016, but perhaps it should be. Keeping a journal is rewarding, providing a space for reflection and  a way to record your days. Not only are they a place for self-expression, but journals are also an effective tool for improving your English. If you’re not sure if… Read More

Queen Elizabeth: Inspiration for the year

Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth gives a short message each Christmas. During her speech, she reflects on the past year and looks forward to the new one, offering hope and inspiration to all who listen. Queen Elizabeth’s ten-minute speech is perfect for language learners. You can listen with subtitles the first time and then try listening again without… Read More

How shoes can do the talking


Shoes can do a lot of talking.I discovered that fact at a conference. During the opening session,  the speaker asked us to look at our shoes. She then instructed us to tell the person sitting next to us the story behind our shoes. To my amazement, our shoes had a lot to say.  In this… Read More

Dictation that makes a difference


Dictation is a long-used method for improving language skills. Traditional dictations require the listener to write word-for-word what is said by either a teacher or recording. This time-tested method requires a variety of language skills such as listening, grammatical, vocabulary, and spelling skills. Dictation Practice Listen to these four sentences several times, writing down exactly… Read More

Talking Turkeys

Turkeys not only end up on dining room tables on Thanksgiving but turkeys also show up in the American language as well. In this week’s post we’ll look at the place of the turkey in American history, culture, language, and literature. Turkeys on the ballot As a young nation, America needed not only a flag… Read More

English Proverbs at Home

The English proverb, “a man’s home is his castle,” says a lot about English and American culture. This very old English proverb refers to the privacy and security of a home, a strong value on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Historical and political connections to the English proverb The idea connected to this proverb… Read More

Animal Similes for ESL Students

Animal Similes for ESL

Animal similes are often used in English to describe people. For example, a smart person could be described as “wise as an owl,” or if you are starving, you could say you are as “hungry as a horse.” What is a simile? A simile is a comparison between two unlike things in order to make a… Read More

The language of bread

Bread is not only a staple of the American diet but a common feature Money and bread have a long-held relationship so much so that bread (or dough) have become slang terms for money. Similarly, a “breadwinner” is the person who makes the  money for the family. If I asked you, how you make your… Read More

Learning English in the Garden

Gardens don’t just happen. They take work by people who find pleasure in them. I can relate to the gardener in the following classic poem by Robert Louis Stevenson. However, the child who is speaking in the poem cannot understand him at all. As you read this poem, imagine a child speaking as he watches… Read More