Monday, July 11, 2016

Describing People

VU21433 : Give and Respond to Basic Instructions and Information

Watch the video "Describe People" and complete the sentences using this worksheet (Word doc)

Reading and Writing (

Exercise 1

Read and learn this English to help you describe people Describing People Picture Dictionary (PDF)

Exercise 2

Describing people (PDF)  (Download and complete this worksheet from 

Story - A Thin Man              (

Here is a story about Richard. 

Why is he a thin man?
What does he eat for breakfast?
What does he eat for lunch?
What does he eat for dinner?
What do you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Are you thin? How do you stay healthy?

Reading and Writing - Simple Descriptions

We did a pair exercise in class. It was about Lady Gaga, Kate Middleton and Wayne Rooney. Do you remember the questions we use for these words you find on forms?

A. (Name)
B. (Date of Birth)
C. (Nationality)
D. (Job)
E. (Residence)
F. (Family)

Exercise 1: Can you match the questions (below) and the words (above)?

1. Where were you born?
2. What is your name?
3. Do you have any children?
4. When were you born?
5. What do you do?
6. Where do you live?

eg. B.1 

Exercise 2 : Download this worksheet and do the writing exercise.

Read the story about Yannis. Use the story to help you write about yourself

Grammar - To Like vs. To be Like

What is the difference when we say "I don't like it" and "It is like fish"?

Watch these American children talk about tasting Vegemite for the first time.

Do they like Vegemite?
What do they say it looks like?
What do they say it smells like?
What do they say it tastes like?

Here is a worksheet for watching this video (and doing the Vegemite taste test yourself)

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Australian Education, Speeches and Issues

VU21472: Investigate Features of the Education System

Let's take a look at some samples from the Victorian Education and Training website.

In class we will learn to interpret the graphs and look at some common classroom-related vocabulary to help understand a typical report.

Here is the Primary School Report Card for a student from Year 3.

Learning Points:

*What subjects is the student learning?

*How do you read the graph? What does it show? What does the blank dot represent? What does the blue dot represent? What does the broken line between the two dots show?

*What is this student's best subjects?

*What are "work habits"?

*Explain the "ratings"

Discuss the other sections in the report.

What happens to the report when the student brings it home?

Is the reporting system the same in 2015 as it was in 2013? Is it different at your child's school?

Listening: A Parent / Teacher InterviewA mother speaks to a teacher about her son's progress and behavior. (

Listening exercise

Listen to the conversation - mp3 file

Assignment 1 : Australia's School Education System - Some Issues

Just how good are our schools? Or are we slipping behind the rest of the world?

Dale has handed out Assignment 1 in class. You can download it here.

Watch the video as many times as you like and answer the questions.

VU21466 Give a Short Talk on a Straightforward Topic
Preparing a Speech

Are you afraid of speaking in public? Many people are - even Kings!
Watch this trailer of the film, "The King's Speech"

You can complete a whole lesson on The Kings Speech (from Film

L. gave a great thank you speech in class last week. The occasion: her daughter's birthday.

We also read some delightful Graduation Speeches by ESL students from Edmonds Community College in the USA

This week we are using the same structure, similar vocabulary and expressions to prepare a short speech for the Duke Street Annual General Meeting in September.

The theme: My Experience as an EAL student at Duke St

Download: Here are our practice notes (16 kb - Word)

Modify these notes we created as a class to write your first draft. Bring the draft to class for me to look at. You will write as many drafts as is necessary to create a perfect speech for the AGM ;-)

VU21468; Read and write a straightforward instructional and informational texts

Issues : Family / Sexism / Racism / Ageism

We will be completing this unit in the coming Semester. We are focusing on informational texts related to ...

Family / Sexism / Racism / Ageism

Week 1 -3 What is a "normal" family? 

Listen to this dialogue about Types of Families (ESL. Podcast #917)

What are the issues raised in this dialogue?

What is a ...

Nuclear family?
Same Sex family?
Step family?
Blended family

Listening 2 : Six News Stories (

Click here to start ...


Dale Pobega's Free ESL Club ...On Facebook!

Exploring some self-study sites at the BBC ... try this one to practice Pronunciation

VU21323 Develop and document a learning plan

You might be interested in considering one of the BBC courses to follow in Term 4. I noticed many of you chose reading and grammar projects for your self paced learning projects in Term 2 and 3. Maybe something to do with pronunciation (link above) might be useful? Or else something more general? It is, of course, up to you what you chose to do - as long as it fits with your own needs in the learning plan.

Have a look at these:

Lower Intermediate Course (30 units) --- harder than you think.

Intermediate Course (17 Units) --- for more advanced students

Words in the News --- 48 units based on interesting news stories - reading, listening and grammar (intermediate)

6 Minute English ---48 listening units (intermediate)

Drama --- Alice in Wonderland, The Importance of Being Earnest, Jamaica Inn (intermediate)

News Report ---(Intermediate) ...Current Affairs (quite hard)


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Australia and the Law

VU213471 Investigate Features of the Australian Legal System

Assignment 1 : Civil/Criminal Law, Court Structure, Notetaking

Assignment 2: What's the Law? Issues for discussion

Assignment 3 : (Part A) The Police and Punishment
                       : (Part B) Crime, Justice and Punishment

Assignment 4: Accessing Legal Representation

The above Assignments are only available to EAL Access 3 students from Duke Street

Here are the links for Assignment 4:

PART A - Getting Advice

PART B - Legal Advice Services

PART C - About Costs and Fees

PART D - Locating Legal Resources in Your Community

Assignment 2

The 10 videos for Assignment 2 are online here.

These accompany the excellent kit, "What's the Law?" produced by Victoria LegalAid and AMES which is free to order. Visit this site for more information.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Goals? Plans? Learning? Journeys ...and the Law

VU21323 Develop and document a learning plan


Setting goals? Making plans? Learning to learn? Self study? These ideas can be very confusing. We will take a new approach this year to "developing, documenting and reviewing" a learning plan.

Let's use some time in your EAL Class (Dale) and EAL Digital Literacy class (Margaret) to research a project that will assist you in meeting goals, improving skills and making sense of where your learning is going?

Download,print and work through PARTS A - F this term to establish your goals, think about your language strengths and weaknesses and to plan a self-paced learning project for yourself. You will not be on your own, your teachers will support you in this. This project will form part of your Learning Portfolio. We will Review your documents in Week 8 as part of your assessment.

My Individual Learning Plan 2015 Cover (Public)

Part A : Learning Goals (Public)

Part B: Factors Impacting Learning (Duke St Students only)

Part C: Making Changes (Duke St Students only)

Part D: Starting a Self Study Project (Duke St Students only)

Part E: Self Study English Project-including links for research (Duke St Students only)

Part F: Self Study Project Planner (Public)

VU21471 Investigate features of the Australian legal system


This week we also start our first Elective of the year. We will cover these areas:

1 Describe the main features of the Australian legal system
2 Examine the process of accessing legal representation
3 Take notes of features of the Australian Legal System
4 Discuss issues raised

Watch the video we viewed in class:

What do the boys say about "politicians", "judges", "the police", "lawyers"?

Vocabulary Activity: Create a mind map. Write "LAW" at the centre of the page. Write as many words you associate with the law around it.

We will discuss the following 10 issues about law based on the kit, "What's the Law?" (Victorian Legal Aid, 2012).

You can view all of the videos from the kit on the What's the Law You Tube Channel.


Assignment 1 : Introduction to the Australian Legal System

1) What is COMMON LAW? What is CRIMINAL LAW? What is CIVIL LAW?

2) What are the three main courts in Australia and how are they different?

In the first assignment for the year you need to watch the video below ...

Download ASSIGNMENT 1  (Access: Duke St students only)

Complete the assignment and submit to your classroom teacher for assessment.

Grammar : 

Can you list ... Subject or Personal Pronouns / Object Pronouns / Possessive Pronouns / Reflexive Pronouns? Do you know how and when we use them?

Here are some lists and worksheets about pronouns you can browse and/or print.

This week we focussed on Reflexive Pronouns. Try this exercise (PDF)

VU21466 Give and respond to a range of straightforward information and instructions / VU21468 Read and write straight forward informational and instructional texts

Journeys - Instructions / Directions / Processes / Procedures

Writing :

Write directions for a friend who wants to walk from Duke Street Community House to Brimbank Library

1) Use the Google map link.
2) Use sequence markers, imperatives, landmarks, time markers in your text.

Practice your prepositions and reading a simple map (American City)

Listening; Direction Game (Find Your Way to My House) (

Listening: What to Pack? (Instructions/Advice) (

Make Your Own Windowsill Garden

Make Your Own Balcony Garden


We will be getting our fingers dirty at Duke Street this term!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Australian Film, Identity and Culture

VU21473 Investigate Australian Art and Culture
Investigate concepts of Australian identity and culture / Describe the features of an Australian Film


Watch Part 1 of the film ...

This semester we move from pictorial art to film. The film we are studying is by Nicholas Roeg and is called "Walkabout". It was made in 1971 and is based on the novel by James Vance Marshall. (We will also be reading the book as we watch the film.)

Questions for reflection: Where is the film set? Who are the characters? What happens in this part of the film? What is the mood - think about the images, the sounds, the music? How is Australian urban life portrayed? How is the world of the Australian desert portrayed?

Assessment Task 1:

1) Download and print the Assignment  (Available to Duke Street Students Only - you need the link address from me to get access)

You will need to watch the 7 parts of the film over the Term. Come to class each week ready to discuss : the story. We will explore the plot / moods / characters / ideas / locations / images of this film.

To pass this elective you need to ...(i) Complete all of the sections of the assignment for assessment (ii) Give a short talk on an aspect of the film at the end of the term

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7

Preparing to talk about film

Today in class (level 3) we watched this silent film.

Where is it filmed? Who are the characters? What happens : how does it start? what happens in the middle of the film? how does it end? Does the film have a message, meaning or lesson to teach us? Did you enjoy it or didn't you like it - why?

Exercise 1 : Ask yourself these questions as you watch the film again. Can you answer the questions?

Download the Silent Film Reading worksheet to see Dale's notes. 


Exercise 2 :
 Here is a link to many other short, silent films on YouTube.

Use the worksheet to take notes on another silent film. Use Dale's notes as a model.

Bring your notes to class to share and show your teacher. We will write a review together.


The Man and the Thief

Now you are ready for ...


TROPFEST is a popular, short film festival held every year in Australia (and also in other countries). 

Choose one of the short films from the FINALIST LIST and prepare to talk to the class about it in Term 4. 

Remember to ...

* List the setting, events, characters

* Analyse the film for its issues, themes, ideas

* Write some notes for your spoken presentation



Listening : Making A Film (Level 3)

Jeff and his brother made a film about their journey across India in a motor-rickshaw.

Listen to his story. Complete the vocab and comprehension quizzes.

Watch the film and read more about Jeff's journey across India in a motor rickshaw here!


Listening and Speaking

(VU21465 : Engage in casual conversations and straightforward spoken transactions)

We have been listening to a range of casual conversations, creating and rehearsing our own through the year. You need to write (and perform in class) three dialogues as part of your listening and speaking portfolio for this unit.

Practice and create your own dialogues based on these which come from "Everyday English", a section from the "Headway Online" website.

Some of our assessment tasks will be based on dialogues from:


Upper Intermediate



Here is the term 3 assessment task for VU21465.1 (What to do on the weekend?) - download and print
(You need a google account and permission from me for download- DSCH students only)

Here is the listening text - "The Nieces" - (Mp3) 1.7meg

Here is the script to the listening text (which you will need to complete section 2 of the task)
(You need a google account and permission from me for download- DSCH students only)
Send your dialogue and recording to me via email (you need to find a friend to create the dialogue)


This term we have concentrated on verb-ing. Which secondary placed verbs take the infinitive, which secondary placed verbs take - ing? Which take both?

Review Units 53, 54, 55, 56, 57 and 58 of your book, Essential Grammar in Use (3rd Ed) - Raymond Murphy

Online Exercise (verbs that take -ing) - British Council

Online Exercise (verbs that take infinitive)- British Council

If you are unsure, watch this lesson (both in English and Spanish - but good and simple)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Man Made World

Australian Art and Culture Elective: Nature and the Man Made World


1) Is everything in nature beautiful? Is everything "unnatural" ugly?

2) Can the "man made world" be as beautiful as the natural world?

3) Can a factory, a car park, a highway or airport be beautiful? How?

What do you think? ...

 "Most artists today don't paint the cars we travel in, factories people work in, roads, road-signs, and airports we all use. I like living in the 21st century - to me the world has never been more beautiful. I am trying to paint the real world I live in, as beautifully as I can, with my own eye"- Jeffrey Smart (2005)

Look at some of Jeffrey Smart's paintings and decide ...

Activity 1 : Listening

Download a) Fold and Write Jeffrey Smart Cloze (MSWord.doc) / b) Listening text (MP3)

Assessment 2 : Writing

Assignment 2 : A Letter About Jeffrey Smart (only available to DSCH students - you need a gmail account)

Jeffrey Smart interview (Australian Screen)

Discussion Questions

Grammar : The Third Conditional

"What wouldn't have happened to Daisy if ..."

(from the English

1. "...that shoe lace had not broken?"
2. "...that man had got up five minutes earlier?"
3. "...that taxi driver had not stopped for a cup of coffee?"

We use this tense to talk about past events we cannot change ("things turned out differently!")

If you need to review how the tense is formed, watch this video and do the exercises:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Health and Well Being


VU21343 Undertake a simple investigation of health and well being

Our second elective this semester is about Health and Well BeingDiscussion: What is a healthy person? What is well being? What common illnesses and conditions challenge health and well being? 

This term we are using the kit, "Understanding Good Health", (NSW AMES, 2011) to explore some of the issues.

You can freely download the book (PDF) and listening files (MP3) to your computer.)

In Term 1 we studied the sections Eating DisordersTeeth and Smoking as a group.

In Term 2 you will independently investigate one of three other health issues as part of your assessment for this Elective

Procedure ... (I will need evidence that you have completed the following exercises)

Exercise 1 (Read and Print):  Choose one of these three health issues from the book.

Heart disease


You can download the book "Understanding Good Health" (PDF) here
(only print the pages on the health issue of your choice)

Exercise 2 (Listening):  Do the listening exercise for your chosen topic

Stress (mp3)

Heart disease (mp3)

Alcohol (mp3)

Exercise 3 (Research): 

*Go to your local library and/or use Simple Wikipedia (and any other website or resources) to collect a bit more information. 
Simple Wikipedia :  
Heart Disease
*What are the signs or symptoms of the health issue or illness?
*What can you do to help manage the health issue or illness?

Simple Wikipedia : Stress
*What are the signs or symptoms of the health issue or illness?
*What can you do to help manage the health issue or illness?

Simple Wikipedia : Alcohol
*What are the signs or symptoms of the health issue or illness?
*What can you do to help manage the health issue or illness?

Exercise 3 (Presentation): Prepare to talk to the class/teacher/partner for 2-5 minutes about the issue. 

HEALTHY EATING Reading: Look at the Healthy Eating Pyramid. Do you agree or disagree with the foods it suggest you should the most / moderately / only in small amounts?

Speaking/Survey :
Download the Find Someone Who exercise (Word)

Speaking: A Conversation with the Doctor

Listen to Dale and Paulin's role play (MP3, 2 meg) / Can you create a similar dialogue?

Reading and Exercise: Conversations at the Doctors' (

Grammar: Using the Passive Voice