July 2013

Blowing Fran’s Horn

Fran Marshall, fairy godmother of ESL in Ontario

Fran Marshall, fairy godmother of ESL in Ontario

The ESL world is deeply saddened by the passing of beloved Fran Marshall. The title of one her workshops A Survival Workshop for ‘New’ Teachers – or a Refresher Course for ‘Used’ Teachers perfectly captures Fran’s sense of humor as well as her dedication to supporting all ESL teachers throughout their changing careers.

Fran was a true pioneer. Using stories from her own experiences of teaching ESL she made a tremendous impact on the industry by showing how to make lessons fun as well as valuable. Her compassion, sparkling personality and keen sense of humor made her a delightful leader.

Fran shone. Her light guides all of us who have worked with her. Few who met her will ever forget her. I know I wont.

Blow One’s Own Horn

Culturally, blowing your own horn is a big no-no. Whatever – I just got this from Italy and I’m sharing it.

judyhead white with border

What can I say? Good news makes me happy!

“Judy, One quick story!

The Vowel Chart hangs in my classroom and is referred to constantly. I had to take it down for a day for some reason. Well, that day, I had one of my novice learners! He tried to produce a word that was difficult for him, an Italian native speaker. His head immediately turned to the chart!

“Eh! Elizabeth! where the chart?!!!” I chuckled!! The value of that chart!!!

Your book, your Vowel Chart, your ideas are fabulous!!!

I have just done two, my first, pronunciation “seminars” for the Barilla (Parma, Italy) students.

All went really well thanks to your materials!

Anyway, thank you for all of your hard work and passion!!

Dede; /green/green)

( given name = Elizabeth!!! easier to use in Italy!!)”

In the past month we have sent English is Stupid, Students are Not to Nigeria, Senegal, Indonesia, Honduras, Peru, Mexico and Bolivia. I can only hope they are enjoying the program as much as Dede Stabler in Italy.

Speak to Learn promotion: If you know of a teacher, school or organization who would like to use the program but can’t afford the books, please let me know judy@thompsonlanguagecenter.com

Meanwhile, visit our FB page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Thompson-Language-Center you may LIKE it.

Until next time,

Teacher Judy



If you Teach English with Exceptions you Aren’t Doing it Right

We have been looking at English upside down! Spelling is random and no one can speak English from reading it. The tradition ‘alphabetical’ dictionary is no help in a non-phonetic language because you have to know how to spell a word before you can look it up! Organizing words by sound solves all that. Look at how simple pronoucing English can be with Teacher Judy’s Sound Dictionary.

From Writing to Speaking:Sound Dictionary logo

The Sound Dictionary categorizes the 2,000 most common words in English into one of 16 Color Chapters. If you know how to spell the word type it into Search Word in the Dictionary. The word appears in its written form, English Phonetic Alphabet (EPA) /funedik/ form with the name of the word’s Color, and synonyms if there are any, on a background of the shade of the word to show learners how the word is pronounced.
From Speaking to Writing:

Students can hear the vowel sound in head, said, friend and guest is the same but they can’t remember how to spell the crazy words. Click the Color Tab to the left of Dictionary on the home page and choose Red for word list and spelling of the most common short ‘e’ words in English.

No Exceptions:

The Sound Dictionary is based on 4 rules that are always true about pronouncing English

  1. There is one vowel sound in every syllable
  2. There is one most important syllable in every word
  3. Every vowel sound in English is a color
  4. Every word in English is a color

Every word in English is one of 16 colors. Learners remember the pronunciation of every word in English from the color of the main vowel sound. every is Red.

word is Purple.

in, English and is are Pink,

teacher is Green

Judy is Blue

[If the word you are looking for is not in the dictionary Suggest a Word to the right of the Dictionary is the place to send us that word for us to include in future updates of the app.]

What color is your name?

Until next time,

Teacher Judy