EL Civics Home Civics Lessons ESL Lessons Life Skills Famous Americans Worksheets Website Directory

EL Civics for ESL Students

ESL Teachers' Blog of Substance

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

Labor Day

September 2, 2018
Happy Labor Day. I appreciate all the workers who struggle to keep their bills paid and to hold life together for themselves, their families, and our country. I know the struggle is real. I've had to scrape by on many occasions. I've also gone through periods when I've had plenty. So a tip of the hat to all of us who understand this. And thank you to the unions who have helped workers make a living wage. Bless us all.

Summer Lesson

July 27, 2018
Summer is here and it was 102 degrees today where I live. I expect my electric bill will take a leap upwards. Now is a good time to give our students a valuable lifeskill lesson on how to conserve energy during the summer months. Keeping the blinds closed helps and so does turning on the ceiling fan when the air conditioner is running. It helps circulate the cold air.

Martin Luther King Day

January 15, 2018
The United States has always had a discrimination problem. We don't live up to our ideals when it comes to race. I believe we need to do more to treat people fairly and to see everyone as having all the rights that we wish for ourselves and our children. Martin Luther King, Jr. is certainly one of my heros. He spoke truth to power and he made his views heard. His goal for us lives on in today's holiday.

Happy New Year, 2018

January 1, 2018
Another year passed by and a new beginning is here. The older I get the more I appreciate time and those that went before me. I've been working on my family history and there have been a few surprises. I found out that my mom has two half-sisters that I had heard about once or twice, but I didn't know that they were still alive. I have 'met' them on Facebook along with a half-cousin of mine. They are great folks and I'm glad we are connected. I wish my mom and her sister were alive to experience this.

Use Grocery Bags to Wrap Gifts

December 22, 2017
I am using reusable grocery bags to wrap some of my Christmas gifts this year. The bags only cost 99 cents and they are really pretty. They help the environment and are part of the 'gift'. Rather than throwing away paper and creating more trash my friends and relatives will have a pretty and useful bag to use and reuse.

DNA Test - Family History

December 14, 2017
I decided to give myself a Christmas present this year. I wanted to learn more about my family history so I ordered a DNA kit from Ancestry. I sent in my saliva sample last week and I got an email from the company confirming that they received the package. I'm excited to get my results back. I know I'm Scottish and English, but I understand that there are other nationalities in my family as well. I'll post the results here when I get them. History also includes the personal.

Holiday Season

December 10, 2017
It's that time of year again. My daughter sent my gifts early this year. I love pink flamingoes so she sent me flamingo salt and pepper shakers and also a salt lamp to bring comfort and promote good vibes. I sent her several cookbooks and a really nice spiral vegetable cutter and a separate herb cutter. She loves to cook and she is going to make a big Christmas dinner for all of her friends. My grandmother was a great cook and I'm glad that my daughter is carrying on the tradition.

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.

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.

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.

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 www.ca.gov 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.)

ESL Blogs for Teachers I Read and You Should Too

US Citizenship Blog and Podcast

Larry Ferlazzo's Blog

Adult Education and Technology
2 Cents Worth

Many Englishes

Matthew K. Tabor

Tech4ESL Blog

Azar Grammar Exchange