July 2013 E-News from Elizabeth Claire
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hope you are keeping cool, and revitalizing your energies. Soon, I hope
to be doing that, too.
I've pushed back the dates of our vacations.
Our office will be closed July 4 to July 18. There'll be no one to tend
the phones or process orders, so be forewarned. For questions, comments,
and readers' stories, send by email, which will be monitored: ESL@elizabethclaire.com.
Contents of this E-news:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are subscription prices for Easy English NEWS for
the school year 2013-2014?
A. We are holding the line. Prices for all orders we receive before December
31, 2013 will not increase. You can use the same order form for subscriptions.
Q. Have book prices increased?
A. Several publishers have increased their costs to us; Books published
by Eardley remain at the same prices until December 31, 2013.
For other frequently asked questions, please Click here.
Choosing the NEWSI always found it curious that each of the TV network's daily news programs
had more or less the same stories to report each day, even if their slant
on them was different.
Of all the billions of events going on in the world, what is it that
causes some few events to stand out and make the news?
Most news agencies get their news from the same paid subscriptions to
Associated Press, Reuters, United Press International and others. TV networks
such as NBC, CBS, CNN, and Fox News send reporters to sites they are alerted
to to cover stories in the news...But how do those news agencies decide
which events are newsworthy enough to send someone to dig up the facts?
"If it bleeds, it leads" is a sad commentary of what the nightly
news thinks people want to watch: disasters, murders, crimes, fires, wars,
explosions, sudden deaths, corruption by government officials, murder
trials of mothers who kill their own children, racial attacks, terrrorists...It
is far more common that most people experience peace, safety, health,
well-behaving officials, mothers who care for their families, government
carrying on its business, and interracial harmony most of the time. But
these calm facts are in the background, and not foreground, so they don't
make the news. Alarming tragedies on the roads and deaths from cancer
and heart disease happen so frequently they don't make the news unless
the numbers in a single incident rise to some trigger point.
Easy English NEWS does not have any reporters on the scenes,
and doesn't subscribe to any new services that do, although we do subscribe
to Associated Press's images for photos of current events. My aim is to
be faithful to the facts as I can determine them through researching first
hand sources, comparing second hand sources.... I watch news on four different
TV networks, read the Drudge Report, read the Week, Christian Science
Monitor, the New York Times, Time magazine, and comb the Internet.
The top front page story in Easy English NEWS is traditionally
our current events story. I have to decide on the topic, then research
it, write it, submit it for critique and editing, and create its word
help and questions...all of that three weeks before the paper is packed
up and sent to your classroom.
Since we publish just once a month, it has to be a story with some important
substance that will hold attention and still be worth reading and discussing
for the following month, if not longer.
How do I choose?
The news content should be relevant, useful, and of interest to adults
and young adult newcomers to the country. It should not be so controversial
as to create disorder or unease in a ninth grade classroom, even if adult
readers could handle it. I haven't yet written about same-sex marriage,
trans-gender rights, Catholic priests molesting altar boys or incidents
such as burning the Koran or the retaliations for that.
It's my thought that "what you advertise, you'll get more of."
So just having crimes and disasters day after day in the news is "advertising"
for more of the same behavior.
So ideally, neither should the article dwell on murder, mayhem, war,
kidnapping, or other disturbing and depressing themes. The ESL classroom
is a place that deserves to be somewhat sheltered...Presumably, if adults
want to know the more flagrantly violent news or blood-pressure raising
news, they can find hat in their own native language news channels.
For any article I choose, there should be available avenues of research
that allow me to get the facts that don't involve copyright infringement...that
is, information in general knowledge, or from government sources, from
My job is to foster language acquisition, increase reading skills, and
present interesting and useful information. My intention is to present
known facts with utter neutralityl. EEN is not a promoter of any political
idea or party, religion, or point of view.
I've been sometimes fooled into buying the notion that the mainstream
press is reporting important things. After many years of observation and
interactions, I've noticed that the press's job is to sell time or space
to advertisers, so fear, shock, and morbid curiosity can predominate.
Their top news is not necessarily essential to immigrants' assimilation
and understanding of the new environment.
Survival skills, holidays, culture, heroes, history, humor, and places
to visit aren't in the news, as they are well-known or easily discovered
by people who have lived in the U.S for many years. The facts of them
are news, however, to the newcomers. My job there is to present them in
simple English, without editorializing.
To read June, 2013 edition of Easy English NEWS online,
June's Cloze exercises, click here.
June's Short Answer tests, click here
here for the FREE 24-page generic "How To" with 9 reproducible
for the low introductory prices for Elizabeth Claire books on Kindle.
Prices on many of these will increase July 5,
- ESL Teacher's Activities Kit Part One ($0.99)
- ESL Teacher's Activities Kit Part Two ($0.99)
- ESL Teacher's Activities Kit Part Three ($0.99)
- Kristina, 1904, the Greenhorn Girl ($0.99)
- Voices of Our New Neighbors Volume One ($0.99)
- Voices of our New Neighbors Volume Two ($0.99)
- Voices of our new Neighbors Volume Three
- English Language Learners in the Mainstream
(from Classroom Teacher's ESL Survival Guide) ($3.99)
- What's So Funny? An International Student's
Introduction to American Humor. ($0.99)
- Phonics for English Language Learners? What
the ESL Teacher Needs to Know ($0.99)