March 2014 E-News from Elizabeth Claire
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Contents of this March E-NEWS
for Coping with Our Own and Our Students' Stress
are the challenges and difficulties that are stressing you?
Multiply those five-fold for immigrants who have
left home to live in a new country.
We are all stressed; the environment is stressed.
Wars, money troubles, unemployment, water shortages, pollution, violence,
unsafe schools, fears, horrendous fare on TV and in movies and video games,
addictions, addictive junk food, dieting, divorce, disasters, death of
loved ones...we can make ourselves sick just from reading this (sadly
Add: language barriers, culture shock, prejudice,
dangerous living conditions, poverty to the levels of stress our immigrant
students cope with.
Our bodies produce chemicals to cope with emergencies...fight
or flight. And when we can't run from a challenge, and can't fight, those
chemicals are toxic to our bodies. The adrenal glands squirt adrenaline;
our heart races, our breathing quickens so our brain can get more oxygen.
Our muscles tighten and blood pressure goes up. A few seconds later, the
hypothalamus gets signals from the brain about the emergency and tells
the adrenal glands to squirt cortisol into the bloodstream; Weve
gotten ready to act. It is how we protect ourselves from lions and wolves...run,
or if we can't run, ... fight for our lives.
And if we are in a situation that cannot be resolved or run from, and keep
producing cortisol, we are left with too little cortisol. And that leaves
us feeling constantly depleted and tired.
ESL teachers are on the front lines, facing students under stress. That
stresses us in obvious ways and in unseen ways. We want to help our students
cope, and their needs are endless; our time and energy is limited. It
can seem that each individual in the class could use a whole committee
to help them fend. We use our waking moments to prepare for our classes,
and fret about students with problems. ESL teachers have been known to
neglect their own families' needs.
We need to take care of ourselves. As the flight attendant says before
take off, explaining the use of the oxygen masks "put your own mask
on first, then assist those around you." We need to secure our personal
and family needs before diving in to the sometimes seemingly bottomless
sea of needs of our students.
Solutions for teachers: weight training, aerobic training, getting enough
good sleep (in total darkness so melatonin can form) nutritional care
(protein, vegetables, fruits, cutting sugar and junk food) hugging our
loved ones or pets.
Help for our classroom: Exercise in the classroom before the lesson;
do silly things like Stand Up Sit Down Stand Up Sit down to move oxygen
around. Add some total physical response activities for the class or groups;
send many students to the board to write answers.
It's easy to make a lesson difficult for language learners. Whoa...And
it's also easy to bore the more advanced students. Strive to have a multi
faceted lesson where each level of student can feel smart, and confident
they have learned something. Lower anxiety by training the class not to
laugh at others' mistakes. Engineer a bit of success each day for each
student. Praise and praise again.
And take some praise yourself. Bask in your students' appreciation. And
mine: I salute you in the ESL classroom, creating a better world through
developing better communication and cooperation.
Favor for Gene Zerna, Our Speech Coach
Do you have newcomers who have access to a webcam?
Do you have a YouTube account? Do you have 5 minutes?
Gene Zerna, the speech coach who writes for Easy
English NEWS is preparing his new website. He needs a favor that
would take you just a few minutes. He wants short samples of several newcomers'
speech...they just need to read a few sentences. He wants you to record
it at his website.
Go to Gene's website:
See the sentence in the center of the page. It shows the way the voice
goes up and down in a sentence in normal English intonation.
Click the Play Button, and listen to the sentence. Practice it once or
twice, speaking along with it.. The person will have to use a webcam and
upload it to a YouTube account.
If this is outside of your technological comfort zone, please skip the
rest of this request.
Then press the "record on webcam" button. (You can record,
playback, and rerecord if you wish).
Record your voice saying the sentence. Don't try to make it perfect.
After repeating it a few times, record it just the normal way you would
say it. Note: Turn down the playback volume when you are ready to record,
so your own voice will be louder). Then click the Upload button. This
will upload your sentence onto YouTube.
Send Gene (email@example.com) the YouTube link (all you need to
use this website is a webcam and a YouTube account). The try the other
3 lessons by clicking on them from the SCAN Lesson Plan button.
Gene will put the Best and Second Best into the top results pages and
put his own video comment on what you did (see top results pages at the
website NAVIGATOR button). If you have any questions, please direct them
to Gene. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
of Easy English NEWS for March 2014
Front page: Immigrants and Stress.
Shopping for Groceries, Part 6:
Reading Nutrition Facts
Events in March covered
in Easy English NEWS:
Tax articles: reading a W-2 form and Filling out a Form 1040 EZ.
- Women's History Month
- Read Across America
- Mardi Gras
- Ash Wednesday
- Daylight Saving Time
- St. Patrick's Day
- Income Tax Time
and History: Sandra Day O'Conner, First Woman on the Supreme
Ask a Speech Coach: /sh/ and /zh/
regular features: This Is Your Page (readers' stories), Funny
Stuff, Idioms, the Crossword Puzzle, Let's Talk About It, and Word Help.
PLUS PLUS: free at my website: 16 pages of self correcting tests for
the current issue of Easy English NEWS. CLICK HERE.
If you didn't get your teacher's guide for March, its available at CLICK
24-page generic "How To Use Easy English NEWS in Your ESL
Classroom" with 9 reproducible graphic organizers. CLICK
Click here for a Spring 2014 order form for
Easy English NEWS.
NJTESOL Teacher Award...Essay ContestAre you a current member of New Jersey TESOL? Do you teach under difficult
circumstances? I am sponsoring an award of $500 which can be used to purchase
materials or services from any vendor. I sponsor this because I was once
a teacher under difficult circumstances. Back in 1967, I faced 48 ESL
students of all levels, of all educational backgrounds, with no text books
and no guidance.
Here is the data from the NJTESOL/BE website:
Elizabeth Claire, publisher of Easy English News, is offering
a $500 grant to an ESL teacher who teaches ELLs under difficult conditions.
The money may be used to purchase materials or services from any source
to improve their teaching situation. If you have any questions about the
grant, please contact the Awards Committee at email@example.com.
The applicant(s) must be a New Jersey ESL teacher who is a paid member
of NJTESOL/NJBE as of March 3, 2014.
All sections of the grant application must be received on or before March
3, 2014. Proposals sent after this date will not be reviewed.
The application consists of two sections. Each of the sections is considered
carefully in selecting the award winner so please follow the directions
explicitly. The forms are attached. Incomplete applications will not be
Part I: Grant Application Online Form with demographic information
and a two-part narrative.
Part II: The Signature form which must be signed by the applicant and
the applicant's supervisor or administrator, and then photographed or
scanned as a .jpg or .pdf and attached to the applicant's cover letter
Go to http://www.njtesol-njbe.org/scholarships14/Elizabeth_Claire_Grant.htm for the application.
Send the cover letter e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Books by Elizabeth Claire:
ESL Phonics for All Ages, Books 1 through 5
ESL Teacher's Activities Kit
ESL Teacher's Holiday Activities Kit
Easy English Crossword Puzzles
Classroom Teacher's ESL Survival Kits # 1 and
Kristina, 1904, the Greenhorn Girl
Easy English Crosswords
Just-A-Minute! Speaking Game
Help Your Buddy Learn English
The Constitution in Simple English: Click Here
Safety in Simple English: Click Here
Other free materials: Click Here
Your Health by Dr. Majid Ali: A reproducible E-Book packet of 31 articles
from past columns of Your Health by Dr. Ali, in Simple English $10. Click Here
Treasure Chest 1, a potpourri of reproducible games,
songs, and useful stuff is also $10. Check them out: Click
Got a Kindle
reader? Elizabeth Claire's books on Kindle are available at Amazon.com,
which you can access through my website.
Don't have a kindle? No problem. Amazon will let
you download a free Kindle Reader for your computer or other device.
Prices range from free to 99 cents to $4.99.
here to go to the Amazon Kindle Store at my website
Carry on your good work!
© Elizabeth Claire 2014.