Elizabeth Claire's E-News

October 2013 E-News from Elizabeth Claire

I hope you find this monthly rambling of interest or use, but you can click here if you no longer want to receive our free E-News. unsubscribe.

Contents of this October E-NEWS

Trouble at the website stuff available

Contents of this October E-NEWS

Trouble at the website stuff available

After weeks of writing, planning, tweaking, testing, and getting rid of glitches, our downloadable products are available for sale at the website. Some have asked, "Why are you charging for the Supplementary Activities which were free in the past?"

We apologize for the annoying surprise.

The cloze exercises and short answer tests take quite a bit of time and effort to write, layout, check, copyedit, and post to the website. I can't farm the job out to anyone else, as the items depend on an inside knowledge of the articles in the upcoming newspaper, which isn't finished until the day before starting the tests. Teachers would like the tests to be available at about the same time they get their newspapers.

I was going to abandon the effort altogether, as it uses up my only two free days in the month, but thought if people are willing to pay for them, it may offset the fact that I didn't raise the price of subscriptions even in the face of rising costs of everything that goes into the paper.

If using the Supplementary Activities saves you many hours of time, the price is modest enough: $10 covers all ten months September 2013 to June 2014. (No, there isn't a lower price for those who start their subscription in October) Figure that it's ten dollars a month, and you only pay for one month and get all the other months free, whether you subscribe to our monthly newspaper or not. The exercises are valuable even for students who don't have access to Easy English NEWS. Cloze exercises provide practice in awareness of sentence structure as well as a check on reading ability. Short answer questions test the general knowledge we feature in Easy English NEWS, but can be used for many other purposes. If you've never used the cloze exercises or the short answer tests, click here to see a sample.

Easy English NEWS is guaranteed to be delivered to U.S. addresses by the first of the month, although you may get it earlier than that. Likewise, the tests are promised to be posted by the first of the month, so if you don't get them as early as you get your paper, just try again a few days later.

Your Health, by Dr. Ali: We surveyed teachers and readers to learn which articles in Easy English NEWS to keep for the 2013-2014 year, and which to let go to make room for more news. The results for Dr. Ali's articles were mixed: teachers of adult students and advanced high school readers definitely wanted these articles to continue. Teachers of younger students and less advanced in English said they had to skip the article as it was over the students' heads. To compromise...we cut the articles from the paper, but have created a pdf book of reproducible articles from the past four years, 31 articles, with word help.

The price is $10 for all 31 articles, plus an extensive word help section. Each of the Your Health articles has word help directly on the page, so a teacher can reproduce these without producing the glossary at the back of the book.
Click here to see samples from Your Health.

For the past few years, many items were available free at my website, so if you got them, I'm sure you are making good use of them and know their value. You can still download the Constitution in Simple English and Hurricane Safety in Simple English, as well as a few other free materials (E-Books section on website.) These required months of preparation, but I offer them free as a public service.

Other items will no longer be free but available at a very modest cost. I bundled up the game, Show Off (Ready to use, simple to explain, training in non-verbal communication, hours and hours of fun in your ESL classes for years and years) with five other items. I call the bundle of 47 reproducibles: Treasure Chest #1. In addition to the game Show Off, the Treasure Chest includes:
  • 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
  • A reproducible Holiday Song Book (large print, one song to a page, illustrated and with word help on the page) and
  • Lincoln's Gettysburg Address with word help and a translation to simple English, plus teacher's guide.
Just $10 for the collection of all 47 of these reproducibles.
Click here to see samples from Treasure Chest #1.

Contents of Easy English NEWS for October 2013

Will Obamacare affect you? Part 1. Our students are going to be hearing almost daily about Obamacare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act, so I try to break the 2200 pages of the law down into manageable, comprehensible chunks before the deadline to get insurance by January 1. Part One covers the advantages of the law to some groups, the various kinds of coverage, the penalties for not being covered, and the important facts for those here without documentation.

In November we'll discuss the four levels of coverage, and mention the reasons some Americans don't like Obamacare. In December, we'll explain how much the government will subsidize people, based on their income, and describe how to get to the website for the marketplace to buy insurance.

Events in October covered in Easy English NEWS:
    • Hispanic Heritage Month (pt 2)
    • German-American Day
    • Columbus Day
    • Patriot Day
    • Fire Prevention Week
    • United Nations Day
    • Eid al-Adha
    • Halloween

America the Beautiful: Valley of Fire State Park (in Nevada).

Heroes and History: Harry Houdini, Master Magician. Serves as springboard for discussions of magic tricks, immigrant's success, name changing (his name was Erik Weisz) and debunking charlatans. Ties into Halloween, date of Houdini's death.

Ask Elizabeth: U.S. Measuring system, part 1. Length, distance.

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

Click here for the FREE 24-page generic "How To Use Easy English NEWS in Your ESL Classroom" with 9 reproducible graphic organizers.

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)
  • 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

© Elizabeth Claire 2013.

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