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ESL Magazine

ESL Magazine

Ease into English with EnglishClub.com’s ESL Magazine.

Here you’ll find short readings in easy English. From real-life news, to recipes, reviews, bios and fun facts – there’ll be something for everyone. Flip through our magazine – and join the discussion by leaving your comments!

23 Jul 2011 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

English Club +1

Why use Google+?

1. convenient for gmail users
2. share content and thoughts with specific circles of people
3. try something new
4. have group video chats
Read on »

2 Dec 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

Are you claustrophobic?

When Grandma said she was buying a scooter, we thought she meant the kind that you ride on. The typical mobility scooter is similar  to an electric wheelchair.

We were surprised when Grandma asked if the kids wanted a ride in her new scooter. Didn’t she mean a ride on her scooter? When we got to the parking garage, we understood what Grandma meant. Her new scooter was more like a car! It even had its own parking spot. The kids fought over who got to have a ride with Grandma first. Everyone took a turn, except me.

Why didn’t I want a ride in Grandma’s Mr. Bean car?
Read on »

28 Nov 2010 by Natalie Gordon | Filed under ESL Magazine

The TOEFL iBT (Internet based TOEFL) has a speaking section. The speaking section accounts for ¼ of your total TOEFL score. The section will take you 20 minutes to complete.

There are six tasks that you will record speaking responses for. The first two are Independent tasks. For these you will be asked to speak about a familiar topic. You have 15 seconds to prepare and 45 seconds to speak. An example question is “Would you rather watch a movie or read a book in your free time? Include details to support your opinion”.
Read on »

17 Nov 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine


How do you soothe a crying baby?

The crying began when she was about three weeks old. I said to my doctor: “What happened to my happy baby?” My doctor answered, “She woke up!”

For the first few days or weeks of a newborn’s life sleep is the main event. Then one day the baby wakes up and realizes she is out of the womb. “Put me back!” my baby cried. She could not get comfortable. No matter what we did, we could not soothe her.
Read on »

10 Nov 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine


Do animals get jealous?

The children were gathered around the petting zoo admiring the ponies and goats and llamas. Then along came King and Weston. The ponies went berserk when they saw the mounted police on their turf. The parents and children wondered what the ponies were thinking.

Did the ponies want the horses to come closer? Did the ponies want the horses to go away? Did these miniature horses wish they were as big and beautiful as the animals that roamed free on the other side of the chain link fence?
Read on »

3 Nov 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

When all else fails, improvise!

A childhood pal of mine gave herself the Mommy of the Year Award after leaving pumpkin shopping to the last minute. She drove all over the city and could not find any pumpkins for her little ones to carve. This friend is a very busy woman and always makes time for everyone in life, including her clients, her husband, her children and her friends. This juggling act takes a lot of talent and I am always amazed by her energy. When she sarcastically gave herself this award on Halloween day I had to laugh. I was sure she would come up with something interesting. She did not disappoint.
Read on »

6 Oct 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

Today’s Wordle Wednesday theme is Halloween! Will you accept this week’s Wordle challenge?

Your Task

  1. Create a list of words and phrases about Halloween in a document on your computer.
  2. Use ~ to keep phrases together. (Type a word more than once to see it bigger.)
  3. Open Wordle. Click Create.
  4. Paste your list. Click Go.
  5. Change the colour, font, and format of your Worlde until it is just right. You can use Randomize or design your Wordle manually.
  6. Save your Wordle to the Public Gallery. Use the Title: Halloween. Use the Username: EnglishClub1 (one word, no spaces, capital E and C). This will keep all of our Wordles together.
  7. Come back to this post and share a link to your Halloween Wordle! (You can also take a screenshot of your Wordle and share it on MyEC. To get a fun Halloween border like the one below, try Picnik.com.)

How to Use Wordle


The best Halloween Wordle will be announced on this page on October 31st! To view all of our members’ Wordles, visit the EnglishClub1 gallery.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE WINNING HALLOWEEN WORDLE.  Thanks to all who participated!

1 Oct 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

Your written English doesn’t have to be perfect for people to understand you. It does need to be tidy. You will get your point across more easily if your presentation looks neat.

Here are 3 secrets for tidying up your written English:

1. Use proper capitalization.
Read on »

22 Sep 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

Thank you to all of the friends who participated in our first Wordle Wednesday last week! September is a special month, isn’t it? This week we are going to create Wordles about our countries.

Your Task

  1. Create a list of words and phrases about your country in a document on your computer.
  2. Use ~ to keep phrases together.(Type a word more than once to see it bigger.)
  3. Open Wordle. Click Create.

  4. Read on »

15 Sep 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

For the past few months we’ve been challenging you to Wordless Wednesday. We posted a photo and you wrote the caption. This was a fun and useful way to practise English. Many members of MyEC continue to post their own Wordless Wednesday contests. You could be a winner!

We are going to start something NEW this Wednesday on ESL Magazine. This time you need to write lots of words! We’ll call it Wordle Wednesday, because we’re going to use a special tool called Wordle. If you don’t know Wordle, visit this page on How to Use Wordle.

This week’s Wordle Wednesday theme will be “September”. Here are some instructions on
Read on »

10 Sep 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

How to Use WordleOn the official website, Wordle is defined as a “toy for generating word clouds”. Wordle is useful for:

  • brainstorming or reflecting
  • remembering vocabulary
  • studying for an exam
  • summarizing a chat or discussion
  • adding a visual element to a blog post
  • sharing thoughts or notes on a certain subject
  • exploring colour palettes or fonts
  • creating fun thank you notes or greeting cards for friends or loved ones
  • displaying creativity
    Read on »
7 Sep 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

They say laughter is the best medicine. It can help you get through an illness. It can help you grieve a loss. It can even cure depression. A laugh a day keeps the doctor away, but can it also help you learn English?

Imagine an English class that was completely based on comedy. Is this laughable? It might go something like this:

9:00: Enter class. Read joke of the day on the board. Laugh a little. It wasn’t that funny, but you
Read on »

25 Aug 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

“Are the eggs fertilized? If so, the babies will arrive soon.”

The winning caption was submitted by James Hawkins.

Read on »

23 Aug 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

This month’s burning question came in from a member of My English Club.

Q: I really would like to join an audio challenge but I don’t know how to record my voice. Would you please tell me how?

A: It looks like you’ve already answered your own question here and participated in the challenge here. Others may find some general instructions for all operating systems helpful. If you do nothing else in August, create your first English recording!

Instructions for recording and uploading your first MP3 in English:
Read on »

18 Aug 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

“Your life is so dull, ladies and gentlemen.”

Thanks for all of your captions! The winning caption was submitted by MyEC member Rosenmaiden.

This image for this week’s WW was submitted by Natasha Yankovskaya. Do you want to submit a photo to ESL Magazine for Wordless Wednesday? Upload your photo to the MyEC photo gallery and send a message to Tara with a link to your photo. Please submit photos that you took with your own camera. You can also play Wordless Wednesday on your own blog on MyEC. Don’t forget to submit your photo to the official Wordless Wednesday site. Thanks for playing! Check out all of the Wordless Wednesday #8 images on MyEC.

12 Aug 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

In English, a word can have many different meanings. This video offers an excellent opportunity to explore some of these words. Can you figure out which words are being portrayed in each segment? Choose your favourite frame from the video and describe it in words. (Be sure to include the exact time of the frame you are describing.) YouTube Preview Image

4 Aug 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

“What did you expect? Extensions?”

The winning caption was submitted by Mira Šeatović-Wranka.
Read on »

21 Jul 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

You have to see it to believe it.

Niagara Falls is one of those places where you can truly say the photos don’t do it justice. On the other hand, many people say “once you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it”. In other words, you may want to take other people there, but you’ll never experience it in the same way. However, if you’ve only seen the Falls in daylight, it’s worth a second trip to see them at night. You’ll understand why Niagara Falls is the honeymoon capital of the world!

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about Niagara Falls:

Where is Niagara Falls?
Niagara Falls is located at an international border between Ontario (province), Canada and New York (state), US. You can fly into Toronto, Ontario (125 kilometres from Canadian side) or Buffalo, New York (41 kilometres from US side). You can then rent a car or take a tour bus to the Falls. See Map. The fresh water that flows over the Falls comes from the Great Lakes.

How big is Niagara Falls?
Read on »

14 Jul 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

“I will be right back!”

The winning caption was submitted by Carlos Augusto.
Read on »

14 Jul 2010 by Tara Benwell | Filed under ESL Magazine

writing-challenge-21Did you know that English learners practise writing on MyEC? There are many different ways to do this, including participating in chat rooms, joining group discussions, and writing blogs. You can also join the Monthly Writing Challenges.

This month is a great month to join the writing challenge. We’re creating an EnglishClub Fashion Show. Are you interested in joining in on the fun?

You will need:
a) A MyEC page. Not a member? Join today. It’s free!
b) A photo of a person in interesting clothing.
c) An hour or less to read the instructions and complete this month’s assignment on your own blog.

Why participate in the Writing Challenges?

1) You’ll make new friends from all over the world.
2) You’ll find instant readers for your blog posts.
3) You can practise English with real English teachers. If you have a question, just ask! All levels welcome.
4) You’ll learn many new words and phrases.
5) You’ll discover that writing is fun!

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