ESL Teachers' Blog of Substance

ESL Teachers' Blog of Substance

You are welcome to email me with your questions and ideas.

New School Year

September 8, 2017
Congratulations to all the new teachers out there and to the ones who are returning. The work you do is valuable. I hope you have a wonderful semester. I assume that many of you will be giving a lesson this week on hurricanes. It's always good to include current events in your weekly lessons. I'm sure some of your students would like to share stories about their loved ones or friends who live in Florida or Texas. It's always good to share safety tips too.

ESL Lifeskills Lessons

August 12, 2017
It's that time of year again. Many adult education schools will be starting their fall semester at the end of August. Here is a link to the life skill lessons that are posted on this website. I hope you will find the lessons helpful. The worksheets for each lesson are posted near the bottom of the pages. Happy lesson planning! You are not alone in your effort. Visit this website for more helpful resources throughout the year. It is here to help you.

Summer School Lessons

July 5, 2017
I hope you have a great summer and enjoy your time off. If you are teaching summer school be sure to include some fun projects or field trips. Even a trip to the library or local fire department can liven up a semester. A few craft projects would also lighten the mood. Here is the link to our summer school lessons: Summer School Lessons. There are worksheets and photos.

ESL Fourth of July Lesson

June 30, 2017
Here is the link to our Fourth of July lesson for ESL students. The lesson includes three pages that can be shown on interactive whiteboards or they can be accessed by students during their computer lab time. The printable worksheets are near the bottom of the web page. The worksheets can be printed as handouts. Fourth of July Worksheets

ESL Blogs

May 16, 2017
Someone asked me why I don't have comments enabled on this ESL blog. The reason is that there are too many people who post inappropriate comments or who troll others. Even when I monitor the comments it still creates problems because if I don't approve someone's comment then I create an enemy. That is why this is a 'one-way' blog. I hope you understand my dilemma.

ESL Mother's Day Lesson

May 10, 2017
Mother's Day is Sunday, May 14, 2017. I wish a happy Mother's Day to all of the mothers out there and also to all the fathers who are doing double duty. I'm 61 years old and as I reflect on my life FAMILY is the thing that I find to be the most important and cherished. Work and career are at the bottom of my list of cherished memories.

ESL and Immigration Laws

February 18, 2017
This is a stressful time to be teaching English as a Second Language to adults. We don't know what is going to happen to our students and they don't know either. But don't get so upset that your anger shows and please don't risk your job over political issues. Let your students know that you will always wish them the best in life. This isn't nearly enough to relieve the stress some of them are under, but it is the best we can do. These are just my personal thoughts and I know they may seem inadequate.

Department of Education

January 29, 2017
I've never taught grade school or high school, so I don't have a strong opinion about who the new head of the Department of Education will be. I know from teaching ESL to adults that each administration has a slightly different take on education but not much really changes. Funding, of course, is a big deal. I don't know what to expect over the next four years...or longer. My advice is to roll along doing what you do best.

Trump Inauguration Lesson

January 19, 2017
Trump Inauguration - We will witness a peaceful change of government take place tomorrow when Donald J. Trump is sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. This peaceful process is what makes America a great democracy. It's going to be interesting to see what happens over the next four years. How will he change the office and the nation? Are we headed in a different direction or is this the last roar of the past? Let's see what sticks and what works. I would love to see the wars overseas come to an end. That would be my biggest wish.

Thoughts on 2017

January 6, 2017
I'm pleased that the unemployment rate is at 4.7 percent. I hope this number improves or at least stays the same. A new president and changes in the make up of Congress means there will be changes in the country. It will certainly be an interesting year. I wish you peace and prosperity.

President Trump Lesson

December 21, 2016
I'm going to start working on my President Trump lesson this week. It won't be too difficult to find photos and material. I will leave my President Obama lesson on this website and will create a new one for the new president. I'm always respectful about presidents no matter what the issues are. It's a tough job and I appreciate the work and skill it requires. Both of these men are achievers who worked hard all their lives. The man in the arena....etc.

College Grads Lack Civics Knowledge

November 15, 2013
This is a quote from TIME magazine regarding new college graduates per information from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni: "half know that the U.S. Constitution establishes the separation of powers. Forty-three percent failed to identify John Roberts as Chief Justice; 62% didn't know the correct length of congressional terms of office." I think they need to use my website to review their civics knowledge.

Google Invited Me...!

April 12, 2011
Google has invited me to an AdSense conference in Irvine. I'm thrilled. It's from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. They discuss how website owners can improve traffic and ad income. The neatest thing is that they also give one-on-one customized SEO recommendations for one of your sites. I imagine they will have some great suggestions about ad placements and colors. I think they are also interested in signing people up for their Double Click program. The notice they sent said that 400 people in Southern California attended last year's event. It's invitation only, so I'm glad I made the list. Can't wait to hear what they have to say.

ESL Teachers Applying for Unemployment

June 25, 2010
Like many other ESL teachers, I'm off for the whole summer this year. Bummer! I usually work summer school, so I'm going to miss the income. I filed for Unemployment and had my phone interview on Tuesday. I filed using the online form on California's official website. You can go to and click on the link near the top that says "Jobs" and then select "Unemployment and Disability".

If UI denies your case, be sure to appeal. I was denied benefits last year, but I won on appeal. I cited a California legal case called Cervisi et al. v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. You can look up this case online and learn more about it. I'm not a lawyer, so I don't want to mislead anyone.

Here's a quote: "The Superior Court concluded that "under the statute, an assignment that is contingent on enrollment, funding, or program changes is not a 'reasonable assurance' of "employment." The Court of Appeal adopted the Superior Court's findings and held that a contingent assignment is not a "reasonable assurance" of continued employment within the meaning of Section 1253.3."

Hope this helps. I'm glad we live in a country where the courts protect our rights. (I'm going to leave this blog post up so that you can find it next summer.)

Copyrights to the pictures and photos on this ESL blog and EL Civics website belong to individual photographers. We have purchased the rights to use them. Do not copy the pictures and photos on this site. Permission is granted to copy any of the ESL worksheets for classroom use. Permission is granted to link to any page of this website. Contact Christina Niven, Web Developer, at Please send corrections, comments, greetings, and requests for new lessons. Copyright © Christina Niven, 2007.