Elizabeth Claire's E-News

January 2014 E-News from Elizabeth Claire

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Contents of this January E-NEWS

On addictions

Price increase for 2014

Contents of Easy English NEWS for January 2014

Free cloze exercises

New to Easy English NEWS?

Do you teach civics?

Health articles by Dr. Ali

Words to traditional holiday songs

Elizabeth Claire's Books on Kindle

On addictions

Our front page story this month is Addictions in the U.S. Writing about one of the U.S.'s greatest health problems is more than an academic exercise for me. We have to catch the kids when they are really small, to instill in them a strong awareness of being responsible for their own futures. We have to educate parents new to the country about the risks out there.

"To be human is to be prone to addiction. Choose your addictions wisely."

I admit it. I have been addicted to various things, and now am addicted to producing Easy English NEWS way past the normal time for retirement.

I have been addicted to sugar, reading mysteries, dogs, writing, love, garage sales, and computer games. Although my addictions are not socially disapproved of, I know the difficulty of maintaining balance, and the struggle to stay "clean" when I got out of balance. I can empathize with people who have gotten themselves addicted to far more deleterious habits or substances.

I am now sugar free. It took cancer to do it, seven years ago. I am recovering from a computer game addiction, though there were months when I got no sleep, no exercise, no time outdoors, because I could not stop. I considered using a taser or a cattle prod on myself.

And I've lived with addicts...the pain is great. It's hardest for the family when the addict denies his having trouble or causing trouble. One in four people's lives are touched by alcohol or addiction. So I am writing for at least 25% of our readers...

When I saw the difficulties a family member of mine was having with addiction, I invited him to live with me. There had been: dangers of overdosing, painful withdrawal, depression, relapsing, jail, hospitals, again trying, again relapsing. He certainly didn't want to be addicted. "It sucks," he said. He wanted a normal life.

It was a time of great courage and straining for him, and a time of alternating between anxiety and elation for me. I went to classes and support groups for families of addicts and to Alanon. With nutrition, counseling, AA, he was up and down. There were good days and bad. He was at fault in an auto accident that totaled his car. Another accident totaled his moped, the replacement transportation. He was arrested for DUI. He spent time in jail. He had creditors hounding him. He was hospitalized. The services available did not work for long for him. He was a willing worker, but lost four jobs. Life with him was interesting, and not at all easy. It was hard to look back and remember he had been captain of his football team, an A+ student, a genius in many areas, creative, inventive.

I am thankful that he is still alive, in much better shape than a year ago, a year wiser, maybe going to outgrow step by step... The struggle goes on.

There's help out there, and there are long waiting lists, or the help is outrageously expensive. I am wondering if the Affordable Care Act, that promises treatment for drug addiction, can handle these expenses.

Prevention, of course, is best. Teachers, parents, and society have to do a much better job in creating an awareness and helping youngsters at a very early age to value their life and know the dangers.

Do your best.

Price increase coming, order by or before December 31st

Single copies of Easy English NEWS will increase in price from $38 to $40. Other prices will be posted on the website in the Spring 2014 order form.

Click here to get to the order form valid until December 31, 2013.

Click here to see the prices to be in effect starting January 1, 2014.

Any orders we receive before January 10 will be honored at the 2013 prices.

Contents of Easy English NEWS for January 2014

Addiction in the U.S. Part 1 An out line of the problems, and a few resources.

Shopping for Groceries, Part 4: Food Safety: How to shop, store, prepare, serve food to avoid contamination and food poisoning

Events in January covered in Easy English NEWS:
    • The Calendar
    • New Year's Day
    • New Year's Resolutions
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    • Chinese New Year
    • the State of the Union Address

Ask Elizabeth: Rote learning; Understanding abbreviations on paychecks

Ask a Speech Coach: Forming and pronouncing the sound least likely to be in the students' native language: /th/

Heroes and History: A two-page spread summarizing the high and low points of how the United States grew from 13 colonies on the East Coast to the third largest country in the world.

Animal Language comparing the ways people in different languages hear animals sounds. Also, animals in cliches and descriptions.

Plus our regular features: This Is Your Page (readers' stories),  Funny Stuff, Idioms, the Crossword Puzzle, Let's Talk About It, and Word Help.

Are you using the FREE cloze exercises and short answer tests?

They are now in one long document and run about 16-18 pages. They will be posted at my website by the first of the month or a few days before, if we can handle that. You may get your newspaper by the 24th, but the tests won't be found for a few days...Why? We can't make the tests until we finish Easy English NEWS and get it to press. Then we have to breathe for a few minutes before we start the tests. It takes a couple of days to write the tests, plus editors, entering edits, checking the answers, etc.

Here's how to find them:

At the website,, home page:

  1. Hover your cursor over the Easy English NEWS tab until a drop-down menu opens...
  2. Then click on Cloze Exercises and Tests. (It's the fifth item down in the list.)
  3. Then click on the month you want. It will open up in a PDF file.
  4. Print out as many copies as you wish.
  5. Or, save it to your own computer to use later.
Direct link: Click Here

Are you new to teaching with Easy English NEWS?

Get my FREE 24-page generic "How To Use Easy English NEWS in Your ESL Classroom" with 9 reproducible graphic organizers. CLICK HERE

Are you teaching civics or citizenship preparation?

Download the Free Constitution in Simple English. CLICK HERE

Do you miss the health articles by Dr. Ali?

Your Health by Dr. Ali, in Simple English with Word Help is a Book of 31 reproducible articles from past columns in Easy English NEWS. You can buy it and print out instantly at my website for $10. CLICK HERE

Do you want the words to holiday songs with word help?

Treasure Chest 1 is a potpourri of reproducible games, songs, and useful stuff. One of the treasures in it is a reproducible Holiday Song Book (large print, one song to a page, illustrated and with word help on the page).

In addition to the Holiday Song Book, Treasure Chest 1 also contains the wonderful non-verbal acting out game Show Off!

Also included are:

Presidents of the U.S. and activities

A Metric/U.S. conversion chart

An extensive list of words that English has borrowed (and kept) from dozens of other languages


Lincoln's Gettysburg Addresswith word help and a translation to simple English, plus teacher's guide.

Just $10 for the collection of all 47 of these reproducibles. Hundreds of hours of use each year. Click here to for more information about Treasure Chest 1.

Pay by credit card, and then look for an email with instructions and a link to the PDF documents in "My Account." Download and save them to your own computer to print out as you need for your students...this year and next and the next.

Many other materials remain free. Look in "Free Materials." CLICK HERE

Elizabeth Claire's books on Kindle are available at, which you can access through my website.


  • ESL Teacher's Activities Kit Part One ($0.99)
  • ESL Teacher's Activities Kit Part Two ($2.99)
  • ESL Teacher's Activities Kit Part Three ($2.99)
  • Kristina, 1904, the Greenhorn Girl ($2.99)
  • Voices of Our New Neighbors Volume One ($0.99) These three volumes are collections of readers' stories from This Is Your Page that appeared in past issues of Easy English NEWS.
  • Voices of our New Neighbors Volume Two ($2.99)
  • Voices of our new Neighbors Volume Three ($2.99)
  • English Language Learners in the Mainstream Class (from Classroom Teacher's ESL Survival Guide) ($3.99)
  • What's So Funny? An International Student's Introduction to American Humor. ($4.99)
  • Phonics for English Language Learners? What the ESL Teacher Needs to Know ($0.99)

Click here to go to the Amazon Kindle Store at my website

Carry on your good work!

© Elizabeth Claire 2014.
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