{September 30, 2008}   English Language Poems

Some days ago I was looking for some kind of joke to work with my pre-teen students, and I came across these two poems about the English Language. They’re so funny I decided to share them with you and your students!

English language

Have you ever wondered why foreigners have trouble with the English Language?
Let’s face it…
English is a stupid language.
There is no egg in the eggplant
No ham in the hamburger
And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England
French fries were not invented in France.
We sometimes take English for granted
But if we examine its paradoxes we find that
Quicksand takes you down slowly
Boxing rings are square
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
If writers write, how come fingers don’t fing.
If the plural of tooth is teeth
Shouldn’t the plural of phone booth be phone beeth
If the teacher taught,
Why didn’t the preacher praught.
If a vegetarian eats vegetables
What the heck does a humanitarian eat!?
Why do people recite at a play
Yet play at a recital?
Park on driveways and
Drive on parkways
You have to marvel at the unique lunacy
Of a language where a house can burn up as
It burns down
And in which you fill in a form
By filling it out
And a bell is only heard once it goes!
English was invented by people, not computers
And it reflects the creativity of the human race
(Which of course isn’t a race at all)
That is why
When the stars are out they are visible
But when the lights are out they are invisible
And why it is that when I wind up my watch
It starts
But when I wind up this observation,
It ends.

The Funny English Language

No wonder the English language is so very difficult to learn.
I sometimes wonder how we manage to communicate at all!
We’ll begin with a box and the plural is boxes.
But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
The one fowl is a goose but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may found a lone mouse or a whole set of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses not hice.
If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of a foot and you show me your feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why should not the plural of booth be called beeth?
Then one may be that and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural wouldn’t be hose.
And the plural of cat is cats and not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say Mother, we never say Methren,
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine she, shis and shim,
So English, I fancy you will all agree,
Is the funniest language you ever did see.


{September 30, 2008}   Useful Links – Part III

As it is usual, I’m posting some links on specific purposes vocabulary and some on computing vocabulary (having an IT boyfriend helps, that’s for sure 😛 )

Rong-Chang’s ESP


Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students

Computer Terms

Internet Marketing Glossary

A Glossary of Computer Terms with Easy-to-Understand Definitions

The Animated Net

Computer English Quiz 1

Word formation with Computer English

{September 30, 2008}   Specific Area Vocabulary

I usually provide my students with tools to learn the vocabulary they want. I mean, if they want to learn about food, probably I will give them some activities on recipies and the like. Also, I give my students links to sites where they can enlarge their vocabulary.

For instance, there’s this student who is going to be a PE teacher, who wants to know vocabulary regarding the body, dance and choreography and sports. So, my links selection is something like this:
Glossary of Dance Moves

Dance Moves

Dance Technique


English Vocabulary – Parts of the Body

Language Guide

Language Guide 2

Human Skeleton

Lots of Materials for PE teachers

Table of Muscles of the Human Body

Sports Vocabulary

Then, I have another student who works in a restaurant, and wants to know vocabulary related to her job because many English Speakers go to her workplace





I don’t know if they all will be useful for her, but what I know is that she liked every single links I sent.

Culture Related Vocabulary

English Vocabulary for Art Students
Music Vocabulary and Activities
Music Picture Vocabulary and Exercises
Vocabukary for Music Exchange Students
English Vocabulary for Drama and Dance
Glossary of Film Terms
Movies and DVD Rentals ~ Vocabulary and Activities
Movie Theatres ~ Vocabulary and Activities
Music ~ Vocabulary and Activities
Education Vocabulary + Activities
Computer Vocabulary
British LifeStyle Activities

There is more on google, but you know, you have to give your students something to start with, don’t you?

{September 30, 2008}   More Useful Links!

How many times did your students ask you…. “Hey teacher, can you teach us offensive words?”

How many times did they come to you and ask you about a weird term they heard and “it was wrongly translated, because this means another thing”, and you had to explain that words have several meanings according to usage in contexts, and so on…

This time, and thanks to those people from Argenteam who collected many of these links for their subtitle translation team, I want to share with you lots of links that may be useful for you or your students. Some of them are well known resources, so, come on! Start upgrading your English!

PS: I’ve checked all the links, anyway, check them before giving them to your students!

On-line Translators


English Dictionaries

Cambridge Dictionary

Lexicool, bilingual and multilingual dictionary collection



ImTranslator / PROMT Online

ImTranslator / PROMT Online

Google Translator


Urban Dictionary


Merriam-Webster On Line

Merriam-Webster On Line



Alternative English Dictionary

Alternative English Dictionary

English Daily

English Daily

OneLook Dictionary Search

OneLook Dictionary Search

Other Languages


English, German, Italian

From German, Italian and French to English

English, French

English – German DataBase


Clichés, Euphemisms & Figures of Speech

Diccionario de Proverbios y Refranes (Español/Inglés Spanish/English)

Boxing 1

Boxing 2

Boxing 3

Glosario de fármacos con nombre común no internacional (EN-ES)


Poker Vocabulary

Technical Dictionary

Other Dictionaries and Glossaries


Drug Related Slang Terminology

Street Terms: Drugs and the Drug Trade
Buzz Slang

Sex-Related Slang

Sex Slang
Street Slang
Toilet Slang

Offensive Slang

More on Politically Incorrect English

{September 28, 2008}   English Classes on Video

Surfing the Net I came across these on MSN video. Hope it’s useful!

{September 15, 2008}   Did you say Grammar?

English Grammar for the Utterly Confused” by Laurie Rosakis is an excellent book designed to help all students master the basics of English grammar that they need to succeed in their studies. Best of all, when students understand the underpinnings of our language, learning will be fun—as it should be.

Personal Rating: 5/5 stars =)

{September 15, 2008}   A little bit of reading

I spent the whole day resting, and as I was really getting bored I picked up the first book I found and read it thoroughly. “Inside Secrets of Finding a Teaching Job” was the chosen one.

My opinion about it? I think it’s nice to kill time, but unless you are looking for your very first teaching job, you won’t get much from it. What I really profited from was the teaching tips chapter.

Personal Rating: 4/5 stars =)

{September 14, 2008}   Standard English

While I was doing some research on English Pronunciation, I came across this site which has three excellent papers about Standard English:

Standard English: what it isn’t by  Peter Trudgill

The standardiz/sation of English by Richard M. Hogg

The Language Teacher and descriptive versus prescriptive norms: The educational context by Richard Hudson

{September 14, 2008}   English Pronunciation

{September 12, 2008}   Vocabulary Practice: Clothes

Are you working with clothes? Do you have a pc at hand while you work?

Girls love playing with dolls, and they also love dressing them. So, why don’t we use online dress up games with our students? They can not only practice vocabulary related to clothes but also colours and description!

This is my favourite, and here you have lots of doll dressing games, including those to dress up celebrities.

et cetera