All posts by wmshaxpere

Why Study Movies?

Studies have shown that watching an activity excites the same areas of the brain as actually performing the activity. The same brain area responds when you observe someone else doing the action. So perceiving and performing an action activates the same regions.” –

With the above information  in mind: each time an esl student watches or interacts with a character in the media (or in person) – they are activating that part of the brain being used to understand the new language. That particular development within the brain has already been defined by prior interest and learning experiences.  – Jonathan Ellis 2013

Groundhog Day


Vocabulary & Worksheet

Story Synopsis from IMDBTV weatherman Phil Connors is cynical, to say the least, and having to go yet again to Punxsutawney, Pa. on February 2 to see if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow isn’t his idea of fun. He’s grumpy with his segment producer Rita and downright nasty with cameraman Larry. He doesn’t take the shadow business at all seriously but the next morning, awakens to find he is reliving the same day. Initially disbelieving and fighting what is happening to him, Phil eventually accepts that he will re-live the same day over and over again. He uses the opportunity to acquire new skills – piano playing and ice carving among them – and soon becomes the most admired man in Punxsutawney. Just how times he relives the day however is anyone’s guess. Written by garykmcd

Galaxy Quest



Story Synopsis from IMDB: The sci-fi television series Galaxy Quest, which took place aboard the intergalactic spaceship NSEA Protector, starred Jason Nesmith as suave Commander Peter Quincy Taggert, Gwen DeMarco as sexy communications person Lt. Tawny Madison (a role which consisted solely of repeating what the computer stated, much to Gwen’s annoyance), Shakespearean trained Sir Alexander Dane as alien Dr. Lazarus, Fred Kwan as engineer Tech Sgt. Chen, and Tommy Webber as child gunner Laredo. Seventeen years after the show last aired, it lives on in the hearts of its rabid fans. However, it lives on in infamy for its stars, who have not been able to find meaningful acting work since. Their current lives revolve around cashing in on however those roles will afford, which usually entails attending fan conventions or worse, such as shopping mall openings. Only Jason seems to relish his lot in life, until he finds out that his co-stars detest him because of his superior attitude as “the Commander”




Story Synopsis from IMDB: Juli Baker devoutly believes in three things: the sanctity of trees (especially her beloved sycamore), the wholesomeness of the eggs she collects from her backyard flock of chickens, and that someday she will kiss Bryce Loski. Ever since she saw Bryce’s baby blues back in second grade, Juli has been smitten. Unfortunately, Bryce has never felt the same. Frankly, he thinks Juli Baker is a little weird–after all, what kind of freak raises chickens and sits in trees for fun? Then, in eighth grade, everything changes. Bryce begins to see that Juli’s unusual interests and pride in her family are, well, kind of cool. And Juli starts to think that maybe Bryce’s brilliant blue eyes are as empty as the rest of Bryce seems to be. After all, what kind of jerk doesn’t care about other people’s feelings about chickens and trees?

Find It Here

The Internet Archive

…is a great place to find lots of free materials to help with the study of English –

Reading and Listening

Below are specific instructions to download FREE online audio books as well as the text versions, so that a student can read along while they listen. This is a very powerful learning technique.

To get both audio and digital text versions of a book start at

Example: Search for Tom Sawyer and you find the book located at where you can download the Audio file and you will see a link that says “Online Text.” When you click the Online Text link you will be taken to a page on a different website – in this case where you will be able to download the digital book.


Additional Sites

This entire page is available as a pdf:

MEY2L – The eBook

If you are a High Intermediate or Advanced
Adult English Language Student – This is For You!

First published in 2011, this was the World’s First Interactive ESL eBook!

At a cost of $4.99
(Free for Amazon Prime Members)
it’s the best ESL book value anywhere!

Begin improving your ESL skills within minutes!

Buy the eBook on Amazon – NOW !

Making English Your Second Language

In order to make full use of Making English Your Second Language, once you have purchased your copy from Amazon, you will be directed to download a total of ten mp3 audio files (at no charge) from our website, so a computer or handheld device is required to listen to those files.

Making English Your Second Language is an interactive study tool written by teachers, for you, the student. In this book, Jonathan Ellis and Georgina Young-Ellis combine their many years of teaching experience with their expertise as writers into helpful and interesting lessons for building your ESL skills. Easy-to-use, with original and adapted stories and vocabulary to fit the high-intermediate to advanced English learner, lessons and exercises to freshen up your grammar, as well as conversation and writing topics, it is designed to work most effectively in electronic form on your computer, iPad, Kindle, or other e-reader, though it can also be used in print form. This book can either be utilized in the classroom with a teacher guiding the lesson, or completely on your own.

Making English Your Second Language is fun, informal and even humorous. It should be a vital part of an ESL student’s continuing study outside the classroom, or part of an ESL teacher’s arsenal of great, effective materials. All units are classroom tested and approved!

Making English Your Second Language has been tagged on Amazon with the following: ESL, EFL, education, interactive books, English grammar, eBook, kindle, kindle book, study guide, English as a second language, and study guide. If you can think of other tags that should be using, or if you have questions, comments or suggestions please write to We always reply to email as quickly as possible.

Here are links to the Kindle reader app for use with different devices: Kindle for iPad | Kindle iPhone |Kindle for Android | Kindle for PC | Kindle for Mac

Field of Dreams



Story Synopsis from IMDBIowa farmer Ray Kinsella hears a voice in his corn field tell him, “If you build it, he will come.” He interprets this message as an instruction to build a baseball field on his farm, upon which appear the ghosts of Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other seven Chicago White Sox players banned from the game for throwing the 1919 World Series. When the voices continue, Ray seeks out a reclusive author to help him understand the meaning of the messages and the purpose for his field.

Written by Scott Renshaw