Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize

The Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist has been released and the jury is deciding which five books should advance to the shortlist.

CBC Books wants to know from you which books would be on your shortlist. Send your top five picks to the CBC and you could win some fantastic prizes!

How to participate:

Check out this year's longlist and tell the CBC which five books should be included in the Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist and your reasons why.

If you post your complete answer in the comments section (link below) by Sept. 30, you'll have a chance to win great prizes. The CBC is presenting:

•A weekly draw for a Kobo eReader, courtesy of Kobo, along with a $50 gift card to Chapters Indigo, courtesy of Scotiabank

•A weekly draw for a set of the longlisted books

•A grand prize draw for a $1,000 gift certificate to Chapters Indigo so you can build your dream home library courtesy of Scotiabank!

So Select Your Shortlist for a chance to win!

The 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist

The Antagonist by Lynn Coady
The Beggar's Garden by Michael Christie
Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner
The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje
Extensions by Myrna Dey*
The Free World by David Bezmozgis
A Good Man by Guy Vanderhaeghe
Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
Into the Heart of the Country by Pauline Holdstock
The Little Shadows by Marina Endicott
The Meagre Tarmac by Clark Blaise
Monoceros by Suzette Mayr
The Return by Dany Laferrière
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
Solitaria by Genni Gunn
Touch by Alexi Zentner
A World Elsewhere by Wayne Johnston

For the Select Your Shortlist rules and regulations

For additional info:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Learn English with the CBC

The ESL lessons in this website are aimed at different levels of learners.

The lessons include a written transcript - info before the listening and after the listening section.

Arctic Winter Games: Olympics of the North
Canadian Doctor in China: Dr. Norman Bethune
Maple Syrup: A taste of Canada
D-Day Beaches: Canada and the end of the war
Making Laws in Canada: The capital punishment debate
Environment vs. Jobs: Inside the debate
Brushes with Royalty: Canada's Queen
Louis Riel and his Role in Canadian History
Terry Fox: A Marathon of Hope
Women in the Workforce: The influence of the Second World War

Link to the lessons:

Partners who assisted the lesson development: CBC Radio, CBC Archives, Ottawa Catholic and Carleton District School Board, OCISO, Carlton University,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal

The deadline for submissions for the December 2010 issue of SiSAL Journal (Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal) (ISSN 2185-3762)is fast approaching.

SiSAL is a peer-reviewed, quarterly, online journal that features articles, summaries, perspectives, works in progress, reviews and reports related to self-access learning and out-of-class support for students.

SiSAL started life as a modest project at a university in Japan, but due to expressed interest from colleagues in the field, SiSAL has now been launched as an
international publication.

The first two issues (full text) can viewed at The June 2010 issue has the general theme of "principles and practices" and the September issue features articles related to "materials and activities" and includes contributions from Brian Tomlinson, Lucy Cooker and Richard Pemberton.

The editorial team is now accepting submissions for upcoming issues. The December issue will have the theme "motivation and beliefs" and the March 2011 issue is related to "skills development and practice".

Feel free to send other self-access related articles for consideration in future themed or general issues. We are particularly interested in receiving reviews,
summaries and reports. See the website for more details.

Blog URL:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Study ESL English on Twitter

Welcome to Study ESL English - ESL stands for English as a Second Language - this includes speaking writing listening and reading.

Twitter Link:

ESL students usually study and practice English as a language for communication and to improve their active abilities to use the language.

EFL stands for English as a Foreign Language - Many students study EFL as an academic subject & not for using English for communication

Introduction to descriptions definitions explanations: ESL EFL ISL ESOL ELT L1 L2

FREE ESL English Education Article Links -

Study English as a Second Language Plan - Blog Article

Link to Learn English Blog - - features English language education articles

English Language Conversation Skills require language ability + content + (social + non-verbal communication skills) + culture knowledge.

Most English language pronunciation lessons start with the single letters - - Blog Article

Free ebook -Top Ten Ways - How to Communicate with Confidence -

English Conversation Lessons and Classes Explanations Definitions Examples -

Why international students fail English Tests -

Blog URL:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

FCE Exam Writing Tips

The FCE exam has been updated. The changes are fairly minor, however, you'll still want to know what it means for your students?

Here is your opportunity to get FCE exam tips from Fiona Joseph and Peter Travis the Founding Managers of Flo-Joe (shortlisted for the British Council ELTON Award 2007 and Winner of the British Council ELTON Award 2003)

Essentially, the key differences in the updated Cambridge FCE exam are:

1. There are three parts instead of four. One of the two current multiple-matching tasks has been removed.

2. The number of questions has been reduced from approximately 35 to 30.

3. The time allowed is reduced from 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour.

4. There is a fixed number of items for each part and therefore for the whole of the Reading paper.

5. In the gapped text (now Part 2), only sentences, not paragraphs or sentences, will be removed from the text.

6. The multiple choice (now Part 1) has a wider test focus.

What reading skills are being assessed? The same reading skills as before:

Part 1: detail, opinion, gist, attitiude, meaning, tone, purpose and main ideas.
Part 2: text organisation (how language achieves cohesion and coherence)
Part 3: specific information, detail, opinion and attitude.

Tips for candidate preparation:

Not surprisingly, we're going to say that students need to read, read, read! As well as texts from coursebooks try to encourage reading outside the classroom. Students may appreciate time in class to share opinions on an English language story they've enjoyed, or a newspaper article.

For candidates, consider the set text option. The Updated FCE Writing Paper will give candidates an option to answer a question based on the reading of two set texts. ('Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens and 'The Phantom of the Opera' by Gaston Leroux' are the novels for 2008-2009.)

If your students want to tackle this question they must have read at least one of the books in advance, and it's advisable to study the book as a class. Other texts that are suitable are English-language newspapers, magazines, articles, reports and literature.

For additional information go to the Flo-Joe FCE Exam Guide:

Blog URL:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Introducing English Online

English Online is specially designed for learners of English.

The articles are carefully chosen and rewritten, so that they can be more easily understood. At the end of each article there are words that are explained.

The General list of article topics

Art and Architecture - Biology - Culture and Traditions - Current Affairs - Economy - Entertainment - Environment - Geography - Government and Politics - Health and Medicine - History - Hobbies - Literature - Media - Music - People - Places - Religion - Science - Society - Sports - Technology - Tourism - Travel

A - Z Topic Index

1989 - The Collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe
•A-380 - The Largest Plane in the World
•Acupuncture - Old Chinese Medicine
•Agatha Christie - Life, Books and Characters
•AIDS - Causes and Growth of a Killer Disease
•Aircraft Carriers - Airports in the Sea
•Air Force One - A Special Airplane for the American President
•Airline Pilot - A Dream Job
•Airplane Accidents
•Alcatraz - America's Most Famous Prison
•Alexander the Great
•Ancient Egypt, Life in
•Animal Migration
•Australia's Stolen Generation
•Babies are Good Language Learners
•Baby Boomers
•Banana War, The European Union Ends the
•Baroque Art and Architecture
•Bats - Features of Flying Mammals
•Beatles, The
•Beyonce Knowles - An American Entertainer
•Beckham, David
•Benedict XVI - The Eighth German Pope in History
•Berlin Wall , Fall of the
•Black Death
•Boeing 747
•Bone, Breaking A
•Braille - A Language for Blind People
•Budget Airlines
•Burj Dubai - The Tallest Building in the World
•Caesar, Julius - General, Statesman and Dictator of Ancient Rome
•Caffeine - A Stimulant for Our Body
•Cancer - A Killer Disease
•Cars of the Future
•Car, The World's Cheapest
•Channel Tunnel - A Train Link Beteen Great Britain and France
•Chelsea FC
•Chernobyl Still Endangers Animals
•Chess, Alexandra Kosteniuk-The Female World Chess Champion
•China Blocks YouTube
•China Overtakes US Car Industry
•Chinese New Year - Traditions, Activities, Celebrations
•Chocolate - History, Production and Health Value
•Civil Rights Movement
•Cleopatra - The Egyptian Queen and Her Love Affairs
•Climate Change in Kenya
•Cloud Computing - Using Software and Storing Data on the Internet
•Commonwealth of Nations
•Copenhagen Climate Summit and Global Warming
•Cyclocross - The Steeplechase of Bicycle Racing
•Dalai Lama - Return To Tibet
•Darwin, Charles
•Death Penalty
•Delta Works, The - The Netherlands Fight Against the Sea
•Dreams , Are There Hidden Truths?
•Drugs Under Control in Portugal
•Dubai - An Island Paradise
•Economic Recovery Plan,President Obama's
•Einstein, Albert - Life and Discoveries of a Famous Scientist
•Elizabeth I - Last Monarch of the Tudors
•Ellington , Duke
•Endangered Species
•EU Enlargement
•European Parliament - Tasks and Powers of Europe's General Assembly
•Euthanasia - Pros and Cons of Mercy Killing
•Ferris Wheels- Up Into the Sky
•Galileo Galilei - Scientist, Mathematician, Astronomer
•Gershwin, George - An American Composer
•Google Earth , The New
•Great Wall of China - History and Facts
•Green Resolutions for a New Year
•Guantanamo Bay
•Hostels in Europe
•Hubble Space Telescope
•Hunger and the Global Food Crisis
•Inca, The
•Internet, Do We Need a New
•Italian City Bans Foreign Food
•Jackson, Michael
•James Bond - Masterspy 007
•Kamikaze, Suicide Pilots of World War II
•Kenyan Runners, A Hard Time For
•Kites, Flying
•Life Expectancy - What Makes the Difference?
•Lincoln, Remembering Abraham
•Marathon, Running the
•Marx, Karl
•Microsoft Flight Simulator , The End of
•Mobile Phones,Developing Countries Use More
•Mountain Gorillas - Endangered Primates in Eastern Africa
•NATO - The Western Military Alliance Turns 60
•Nazi War Criminals
•Newton, Isaac
•Newspapers, The End of Printed
•North and South Poles - What are the Differences?
•Northern Ireland - History of a Conflict and the Peace Process
•North Korea - History, People and Its Nuclear Weapons Program
•Oasis of the Seas - The Biggest Cruise ship in the World
•Oil, The Worldwide Spread of
•Olympic Games,The
•Panama Canal - Waterway Between the Atlantic and the Pacific
•Parks Instead of Cars For the World's Cities
•Polar Bears Are Becoming Smaller Because of Global Warming
•Plate Tectonics - What Causes Earthquakes
•Project Apollo - NASA's Mission to the Moon
•Prehistoric Animals
•Queen Elizabeth II - Britain's Oldest Monarch
•Religious Changes in America
•Rocky Mountains - North America's Greatest Mountain Range
•San Francisco - Location, History, Climate, Tourist Attractions
•Sherpas - Mountain People of the Himalayas
•Silicon Valley - America's High-Tech Center
•Space Agencies Go For Jupiter and Saturn
•Stalin, Joseph - Powerful Communist Leader of the Soviet Union
•Stars - Great Balls of Gas in Our Universe
•Star Trek - 40 Years of Science Fiction Cult
•Statue of Liberty - American Symbol of Freedom
•Street Art - New Culture of the Cities
•Stress - Signs, Symptoms and How to Manage It
•Students, Why Do They Drop Out of School
•Supreme Court - How it Works
•Success for 99 Cents
•Swine Flu
•Teens, Television and Depression
•Theatre in the Age of Shakespeare
•Thirteen American Colonies
•Tigers, Endangered
•Tiger Woods - Professional Golfer and Highest Paid Athlete in the World
•Toucans - Exotic Birds with Colourful Bills
•Tower of London
•Trade, International
•Tsunamis, Pacific Countries Prepare for
•Twilight Saga , Stephie Meyer's Vampire Bestseller
•US Dollar, The Falling Value of
•Vatican, Inside the
•Virtual Worlds are Useful for Children
•Water - Another Global Crisis?
•Web 3.0 - Development of the World Wide Web
•Women Are Better At Dealing With Money Than Men
•Woodstock - The Biggest Music Festival in History
•World Trade Center
•World's Most Dangerous Countries
•Zoo , At the

Go to the Online English articles:

Blog URL:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Be a Great Public Speaker - Top 10 Tips

Public speaking should not scare you to death, but the truth is, it is the number one fear for many people.

Personally, after watching the movie Jaws when I was a kid, I can't think of anything worse than being chewed up by a shark! However, it is important to recognize than the anxiety caused when we have to speak in front of others can be overcome.

Hiring a Communication Coach can help you deal with this properly, so you can enjoy your public speaking, whether for business or social functions.

For now, here are a few golden tips that you should keep in mind.

1 – Expect nervousness every time, but don’t expect disaster. Expect success.

2 – Stick to what you know well, so you can ‘talk’ about it at length, with ease.

3 – Ask lots of questions of the event organizer ahead of time, to find out the size of the room, equipment, expected number of attendees, etc. Visit if possible.

4 – Talk to people in the audience before you speak. If you have a chance to meet some of them before the speaking date, or at least before your talk try to mingle a bit and find out what they expect. It is good to have a few allies in the audience, and it is great for you to know what they expect to hear.

5 – Reduce ‘separation anxiety’ by reframing the speech as an ‘informative conversation’ within a group. Talk to them, not at them.

6 – Prepare point-form notes or cards and practice a lot with family, friends, etc. No sentences. The less you read the better. Add pictures to your notes.

7 – Remind yourself during to slowdown, pause, breathe, relax and smile. Actually write those words in the top right-hand corner of your notes on different pages.

8 – Research as much as you can ahead of time, so you can be THE up to date expert on the subject of what you are talking about. Anticipate questions and have good answers.

9 – Always relate directly to your audience. It is not about you, but them. Making your speech relevant to your audience and their world is key to their enjoyment and interest.

10 – What is the overall focus? Is it to inform, to entertain, to motivate, to shock your audience? Your whole speech needs to be centred around this vision.

BONUS # 11 – To become a good public speaker and presenter, you simply must do a lot of speeches or presentations, long or short, in your personal or professional life. Tips and techniques help, but there is no real shortcut.

Author: Ric Phillips
You can sign up for Ric's "3V Communications Newsletter"
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