Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!


English Teacher's Helpful Hints

tutorheatherSuper Member!

United States

  •  1 2 3 ... 5
  • Subscribe to my RSS

April 8, 2012

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.                                                              - ee cummings

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”  - ee cummings

Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.
                                                                                 -- Carl Jung

How thoughtlessly we dissipate our energies... -- Billy Joel

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.                                                      -- Carl Jung

There is a voice in the Universe urging us to remember our purpose for being on this great Earth. This is the voice of inspiration, which is within each and every one of us.                                           -- Wayne Dyer

Treat yourself as if you already are what you'd like to become.  - W. Dyer

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.                                                                              - Martin Luther King

He whom love touches does not know darkness.   -- Plato

I imagine that yes is the only living thing.   -- ee cummings

To change one's life: Start Immediately. Do it flamboyantly. No exceptions.                                                                    -- William James

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.     


O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

                                                                     -- St. Francis of Assissi

Never underestimate your power to change yourself; never overestimate your power to change others.                                   -- W. Dyer

06:07 PM May 15 2013



Beautiful and wonderful words

04:52 PM Mar 12 2013

glassy heart
Saudi Arabia

I like your  profile ,page  and plogs  as well as  your calm face Tutor,,:) thx for supporting students

02:06 PM Dec 25 2012



Dear, Heather, Merry Christmas!

03:49 AM Nov 16 2012




have a great Friday :)

04:02 AM Oct 09 2012




happy teacher's day,

have beautiful Autumn,


a lazy student of life :) 

12:11 PM Oct 06 2012

tutorheatherSuper Member!
United States

I love that quotation about teachers. Thanks so much!

And thank you to everyone who posts hellos here. I read them all. :)


05:56 AM Oct 05 2012



Dear, Tutorheather  :)

Thanks for your work you do for all of us here.

With best wishes 

03:28 PM Aug 31 2012



12:39 PM Aug 27 2012



hello ,Heather ,

sorry ..I know its late ,but ı want to thank you for accepting my request,

thanks :)

have a easy and happy week and feel the breeze of sea :) 

Seiyf *)

09:29 AM Jul 20 2012

i love life
Palestinian Territory, Occupied

رمضـــــان كريـــــــــــم على منتدى فتكات

Hello ,How are you Ramadan Kaream to whole your family I would like to say we pray for All people during month Ramadan I will pray my God to protect you from any harm.

Have a nice time

View all comments >

April 7, 2012

Hi all!

I like to do an activity with my students called "Sentence building."

Together, we create complex sentences by taking a series of steps.

We start with a very simple sentence.

Then, I tell the student to add a sentence component, a specific piece of information or a part of speech (like an adjective/adverb, etc.) and we continue building in this manner until we have created interesting, sophisticated mini-masterpieces! :)

It's important that the sentence is rewritten after EACH step to demonstrate the creation of proper structure . This is similar to how we do math problems when we are asked to show our steps.

Here is how it's done:

First, I give a simple sentence, which contains a simple subject (noun) and a simple predicate (verb).


The whale swam.

 I then ask the student to create particular facts to add to the sentence. In this case, I am asking the student to show where the whale is swimming. The student can place this fact anywhere in the sentence he or she would like, as long as it's placed correctly.

(near Longbeach, California)

The whale swam near Longbeach, CA.


Next, I ask them to add an adjective and an adverb.

(blue, quickly)

The blue whale swam quickly near Longbeach, CA.

Once that is complete, I ask them to add one (or more than one) prepositional phrase to the sentence.

(with the white scar, on his fin)

The blue whale with the white scar on his fin swam quickly near Longbeach, CA.

Next, I ask them to insert a conjunction somewhere, and to make any adjustments necessary.

You can ALWAYS add more facts/components if you'd like to try.  Be creative! It's your sentence. I only gave you the "skeleton" of the sentence.


The blue whale with the white scar on his fin and a 22-pound tongue swam quickly near Longbeach, CA.

Then, I might ask them to add a dependent clause.

(where I had been staying on vacation)

The blue whale with the white scar on his fin and the 22-pound tongue swam quickly near LongBeach, CA, where I had been staying on vacation.

Then, I ask for the student to add something else, perhaps a phrasal verb. In this case we will use "breaking out of," a phrasal which means "to escape from a place by force." (The prisoners broke out of jail and are traveling to Canada.)

After breaking out of the aquarium, the blue whale with the white scar on his fin and the 22-pound tongue swam quickly near LongBeach, CA, where I had been staying on vacation.


(Ta-Da **pronounced like tah-dah** is used when a person is revealing something that he/she might be  proud of or excited about. It's just a silly expression, but most of us love learning those)!!

I am saying "Ta-da!" because I am revealing the final product -- an interesting, correctly  structured sentence.

It's much better than "The whale swam," right?


If you'd like to try this, I'd be happy to offer you some comments. The best approach to this exercise is to work slowly so you can ponder where to place each word or sentence element.

Assembling sentences can be like putting a puzzle together. If you think of it like a game, it might not be so stressful or tedious.

Now it's your turn!

Your instructions:

Simple sentence:

The authorities searched.

(***Make sure your sentence reveals who or what the authorities are searching for, and when this search is happening. You can use a date, a time of day, etc. That is up to you.)

1. Add an adjective and an adverb.

2. Add one (or more) prepositional phrase(s) to the subject and one (or more) to the predicate.

3. Add a conjunction.

4. Add a dependent phrase.

5. Use the phrasal "figure out." This phrasal verb means "to discover, to understand, to find the answer." (EX: I figured out that the woman was really my mother, and not my aunt!)

Do your best. The challenge of this activity is to fit all of these components into ONE sentence. Building complex sentences is difficult for anyone who is learning a language.

I will leave feedback as soon as I can.

Have fun! I admire you all so much!


April 1, 2012

Hi everyone!

I received this question from an Ebaby member, and thought it would be helpful to post the answer to everyone.

Here is the question, and my answer follows:

Hi Heather, if you don't mind i want to ask you a question, if i have this sentence:
Our...... today is the Beef Wellington.

a) specialty
b) special
c) specialist
d) specially
which one should i choose and why???

Great question.

The correct choice is B, special, which is a restaurant term that simply means a fresh, exciting entree featured on that particular day.

A waitress or waiter will say, "Hi, our specials today are lobster salad, French onion soup and spaghetti and meatballs."

Special is both a noun and an adjective. In your sentence it serves as a noun. As an adjective it is used in the typical sense, such as "He is a special person..."

Specialty is also a noun, and refers to a preferred or optional thing or service. As a teacher, my specialty is teaching non-native English speakers how to improve their speaking, reading and writing skills.

A specialist is a person who has a particular specialty or skill. If a person has a heart disease, a general doctor will send that person to a heart specialist who specializes in cardiac disease.

Specially is an adverb, and means "for a particular purpose, something distinct." For example, a specially made coat would be a coat that is unique somehow. Perhaps it's made of a luxurious fabric, or has been specially made to fit a specific person's body.
For someone's birthday, a loved one might make a dinner specially for that person. Instead of a regular, boring meal the person might be treated to an exciting dish that takes extra time to prepare.

I hope people like this one and thank you for asking a great question. Keep them coming!


11:38 PM Apr 06 2012

Irene Forever




06:09 AM Apr 02 2012

Irene Forever

Have a wonderful week, dear Heather.:)