Elizabeth Claire's E-News

January E-News from Elizabeth Claire:

Hello All, and welcome, New Readers!
(I hope you have been enjoying these emails, but in case they don't meet your needs, you can unsubscribe at any time: Unsubscribe.)

This month's E-News Contents:

Vocabulary tips
YouTube tips
Website Special  (New Year's Bargain)
Coming Attractions in December's Easy English NEWS

Vocabulary tips

I have a few students who email "ask Elizabeth" when they need to know the meaning of a word. I'm happy to oblige,  it's only two or three times a month and it takes just a second, provided I am at the computer.

A better way for students to get a faster answer about the meaning of a word, of course, is,  a bilingual dictionary, or a learner's dictionary, and if one doesn't have such a thing in hand, they are available online.

I often consult Google thus:  Define: (word) and get an instant variety of meanings. Google also has a website that will translate words and entire documents into many other languages at no cost. Tell your students about:

Google translate at|en|

There was a good reaction to last month's E-NEWS "Words from other Languages," with a request to teach some Latin and Greek roots to help students improve their vocabulary.

A few dozen Latin roots can help English speakers with the spelling and meanings of many hundreds of English words, words that have to do with knowledge, science, the arts, religion, education and law. Yes, Greek roots are important, too, but we'll stick to Latin for today. Here are some useful examples:

Latin root: dict  to say or declare.
Words in English using this root: dictionary, diction, contradict, dictate, predict.

Which leads us to the Latin roots contra meaning against and pre meaning before.

Latin root:
scrib script: to write.
Words in English using this root: describe, description, script, prescribe, prescription, subscribe, subscription, transcribe, transcription,

co: togetherco worker coauthor cooperate, co-teacher, co-chair, co-exist
rebackward or again: reverse, remove, repair, renovate, recognize, recharge, readmit, reappear
de: undodeactivate, debone, defrost, deactivate, debug, decay, decentralize, decay, deactivate
dis: notdisbelief, discomfort, discredit, disrepair disrespect, disability, disease, disadvantage
post: after  Post script, post date post war, post natal, postgraduate, postmortem, posterity
pre: before: preexisst, premeditate, prepay, preview, prenatal, prepare, pre-SAT, prebake

: again, backward: rebuild, recall, rerun, rewrite, rearrange
sub: under submarine subway subhuman substandard, subatomic, subcompact, subdivide
trans: across beyond, through:   transatlantic, translate, transfer, transcontinental, transfuse, transmit, transplant, transparent, transport

able or ible: forms adjectives meaning capable of: likeable, loveable, audible, possible, capable,
ation: forms nouns from verbs information, creation, civilization,
ment: forms nouns from verbs statement, fulfillment, entertainment, amazement,
fy and ify: form verbs from adjectives: beautify, satisfy, magnify, purify
ty and ity: form nouns from adjectives: electricity, humidity, certainty, cruelty, loyalty, similarity

You can find more examples on Google by searching for "List words that begin with ..."

YouTube in your classroom

Thanks to Professor Bill Chambers of Virginia who presented workshops at VA TESOL and NYSTESOL on using YouTube in your classroom.

 If you aren't using this combination of technological devices, put them on your wish list.  You need a laptop, an Internet connection, a projector and a screen. (Your school should provide the last two and hopefully, your school is WiFi ready and your computer has wireless capacity.)

We know our students learn much more through their eyes and need more visuals to illustrate concepts. With YouTube, you can illustrate any topic you are dealing with with videos posted from news sites, entertainment sites, commercial sites, chamber of commerce sites, and everywhere in between.

1. Prepare by searching for a video appropriate to use in class for the topic you are teaching. Preselect the video you want to use . Write down its URL so you can find it again.

2. Connect the laptop with the projector and set it up so that whatever shows on the computer monitor will be projected onto the screen. (Have your school's AV monitor help you at first if necessary.)

3. Get on the Internet, go to, choose the video you have preselected, click and play.

We will preview some YouTube videos for you, to go along with articles in Easy English NEWS from time to time. For January, YouTube will be great for watching the State of the Union Address, (you may want to do just excerpts),  Martin Luther King Jr.'s I've got a dream speech, and scenes from Sedona, Arizona.
If you are teaching a song, you can probably find it on YouTube by any number of artists. If you are doing a geography bit, you can get local flavor from YouTube.  Science experiments, volcanic explosions, news can find them all. It's important to preview before you get to class. YouTube has many millions of offerings and you want to select appropriate videos that will show well.

Start the New Year right! Eleven months in the making, exciting delays, with many dramatic turns, and our new website is still not up as of December 16.

Nevertheless, we are CELEBRATING the holiday season and the New Year, because any day now, it will be!

To celebrate, there'll be FREE Shipping to anywhere in the USA on all website orders from the old website or the new website from December 16 to January 16, 2010.

Click here

Easy English NEWS for January 2010

  • January's current events feature article is "Addictions in the U.S.A." I was motivated by the many friends, family members, and acquaintances who face various levels of addictive behavior, whether overeating, drinking, prescription drugs, texting, gambling, shopping, and my own computer game playing that sometimes eats into my sleep...Is there anyone whose life is not touched by their own addictions or the addictive behavior of a family member? I see this as the "no need for terrorists" floundering of the national economy. In Asia, the problem of youth Internet addiction is so serious (10%) that they have been treating teens with electric shock!  It's a pandemic that is sapping people's energies and futures. Seems that, to be human, is to be susceptible to being addicted to something, so choose your addictions wisely.
  • Life in the U.S.A. Shopping for groceries-- vocabulary related to fruits and vegetables, other groceries, and the packaging things come in: bunch, pound, package, jar, container, gallon, etc.
  • Events in January covered in Easy English NEWS are:
    • New Years Day
    • State of the Union address
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    • Calendar insights
    • New Year's Resolutions
Ask Elizabeth features understanding the various deductions and abbreviations on the stub of a paycheck.

Dr. Majid Ali writes about Our immune system: the things it does and its nutritional needs. A more complete list of healthful foods for the immune system is posted at the website. CLICK HERE

America the Beautiful
Sedona, Arizona, the Red Rock Country. 

Ask a Speech Coach with Gene Zerna concentrates on the voiced and voiceless /th/ sounds, with plenty of practice.

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

Click here to learn more about Easy English NEWS.

Did you miss our previous E-News? They are archived for your convenience at our website. Click here.

Subscribers to our 12-page monthly newspaper, Easy English NEWS receive a monthly teacher's guide with background information on the stories and three reproducible quizzes.

Click here for this month's Teacher's Guide.

Also available free at the website is a printable

24-page HOW TO Use Easy English NEWS in your ESL Classroom.

This is a comprehensive guide, showing techniques to use with beginning students, intermediate, and advanced, and with 10 reproducible, generic student activity sheets including self evaluations that you can use each month. Click here for the HOW TO.

Your comments are most welcome. Click here to send a message.

Till next time,

Elizabeth Claire
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