Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Voice of America (VOA) Learning English

You may think this site is a dime a doze, but after looking closely you can't help but notice it's unique qualities and enriching, relevant content.

Be sure to have your head set or speakers ready because not only will you need to listen along, but you can also view captions and subtitles while investigating the meanings of new vocabulary words. 

 VISIT: and let us know what you think!

Monitoring Progress... It works! We promise.

Progress Monitoring
 for Tutors and Students

Interested in tracking fluency, comprehension and mathematics progress with your students weekly? 

What is the Purpose?
The purpose  of progress monitoring is to determine what underlying skill deficit might be leading to the student's word recognition, math measures or passage fluency and identify the appropriate measure to use to monitor the student's improving skill.

What should you expect?
Building fluency takes longer, but average growth is about 4-6 words per week. However, for ABE or ESL students  students whose tutors are specifically targeting fluency building, both parties should see the rate of growth exceed 6 words per week.  (Examples of other ways to target fluency include, using repeated readings, choral readings, and read a louds)

How often should I Progress Monitor?
 Word reading and Passage fluency: No more frequently than every other week.
 Comprehension and the Math measures, we recommend testing no more frequently than every 3 to 4 weeks.

We recommend using the Student Progress Graph  that we can send you if you call or e-mail us. 

How Can I get  these  CBMS?
There are many more CBMs located @
The user name is ProjectVITAL and the password is also – ProjectVITAL.

Please feel free to call us if you have questions and would like to learn more about how to take advantage of this FREE Progress Monitoring System.  815-835-6241 or e-mail me @           

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Did someone say GED prep support?

 Yes, We did! - FREE GED Prep. Support. 

This site from Eastside Literacy offers great links to sites such as CNN, PBS and other publishing companies who offer free resources for those who are working toward their GED!

On the left hand side of the page, there are various topics to search such as, GED lessons, Resources and FAQs. Also available are ESL lessons, tutoring tips and even citizenship resources.

On the top of the page, you can even access stories and reflections from tutors just like you!

Using Videos for a Purpose!

This site was one that was featured at our ESL in-service, but if you have access to a computer and speakers I think your students would love speaking about and learning more about the current events and interests that are featured on this website.

What I like best is that the videos and vocabulary lessons are labeled by easy, moderate or difficult levels. Many videos are subtitled and even if the videos tend to be difficult to understand, it is a good conversation starter

Not sure how to translate or explain a new word? -- Reference it here!

Looking for the best translation site you'll ever encounter?

Wordreference is great for vocabulary enrichment, not only because of it's translation capabilities, but because of it's link to google images and, grammar forums. 

Not sure how to translate or explain a new word -- reference it here!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oh the places you can go.... In and Around Spelling City

Students feeling unsure of their spelling skills? Well, research says that spelling does not give the best indication of IQ. However, we should still want to understand word formation and how to spell correctly don't we.
This site allows you to type in your own spelling list but or even begin by looking for dolch words, science terminology, homophones or even grade level specific lists.

Games, Writing lessons and just plain fun are here at your fingertips!

Begin the journey and see what Spelling City has in store!

Teaching Writing Can Be Tough

Yes. It can be tough, but  for heaven's sake, teachers and students should be not discouraged because they have great sites such as the following to help guide them down the "English Writing path."

From homophones to apostrophe usage, this site has it all. Please let us know how you like it and if it has worked well for you and or your students!