Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Change the World - Happy New Year Students!

Another year has finished. Congratulations to all Duke Street students and friends! Soon we can start thinking about our new year plans. But first ...

The Duke Street Collection - Best Writing 2012
ESL Access Level 2

This is a collection of writing by all of the students in the ESL Level 2 class with stories about "A Great Day Out", "Endangered Animals" , "My Suburb - Past, Present and Future" and much more!


Download the worksheet and record opinions on SoundCloud

Click the banner or here to join us

What have we been talking about on Facebook? 


What are your plans for 2013?

will / plan to / hope to / going to 

Lien : I hope to visit China in Janaury

Khariya: I plan to go Western Australia for a holiday in January

Nguyen: I am going to start a new job in February packing

Huong: I am going to visit my family who live in Sydney during January

Lan : I am going to learn Chinese and Japanese cooking in Box Hill

Nghiep: My plan is to learn more English at Duke St with Dale

Hong: Next year I want to travel around the world

Thi Lang: My plan for next year is to continue learning English, after that, if I have time I will visit my family who live in Europe

Mui : Next year I plan to buy some new property and visit my niece in Britain

Hoai (Mui's husband) : I plan to stay at home and take care of the grandchildren and continue learning English



Grammar Quiz - The Man Who Wrote "Jingle Bells" 

Christmas Tree Matching Quiz (requires Flash Player)

Listening: Christmas is Coming! (Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab)


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Animals - Past, Present and Future (?)

Level 2 : Write an information text

Watch the video above. It was made on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

What is the animal in the video? Where does it live? What does it eat? What else do you know about it?

Exercise 1: Locating informtion & Organizing Ideas :

Download and print the information sheet about Dugongs.

Work with your teacher or a friend and describe the dugong's ...

habitat .......................................

body .........................................

diet ..........................................


Exercise 2: Computer skills (search for information, print a collector's card, send an e-card)

Look at these photos ...

What would you say about the animal above? What is its name? How would you describe its body? Where is it found? Where does it live?

Print this page to find out more and create a Collectors card 
(National Geographic)

Use the information to add to your information text

Exercise 3: Sending Information (E-Cards)

Now you know about the animal above, send an e-card to a friend. Click here

Read about another animal at the same website. Read the facts, watch the video, look at the map, print a collector's card, send a friend an e-card

Exercise 4 : Information text (2)

What do you know about this creature?
What is its name? How would you describe it? Where does it live? Describe its habitat? What do you think it eats? What else should we know about it?

Download, print and complete this exercise


Join the 38 members of Dale Pobega's Free ESL Club on Facebook now!

Information Texts : Extinct Animals

What do you know about the Tasmanian Tiger?
What other extinct animals do you know about?
Why are these animals extinct?

Read about the Tasmanian Tiger at Simple English Wikipedia. Click here.


*life expectancy
*current numbers

Can you write a paragraph about the Tasmanian Tiger using the CATEGORIES above as well as CONJUNCTIONS (but / and / however / although, etc) to join your sentences.


Find out about endangered animals, why they are endangered and what we can do by watching this presentation:


Click here to download our Simple English Wikipedia Book called "ESL Endangered Animals".

1) Download the ESL Endangered Animals book above.
2) Use the questions / categories we studied to help you write short sentences about one of the animals in the form.

3) CLICK HERE to go to the FORM

Level 1 - Read and write a simple information text

In class we read about the Yellow-Eyed Penguin from New Zealand.

Making questions from Information Words. Finish writing the questions

Height : How tall are they?

Weight: How ___________________?

Age they live to: How long __________________?

Home country: Where ______________________?

Number left: How many _______________________?

Food: What __________________?


Level 2 - Writing Notes : Don't Forget to Feed the Cat!

Imagine you are going on holiday for two weeks. Here are some things that need to be taken care of:

*mail and newspapers
*rubbish bin

Karaoke ... The Tiger (Abba, 1976)

Enjoy this song ... from my childhood! A good way to end this unit

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Telling Stories

Assessment Task Access 1 (VPAU 494.4 - Give Simple Information)

Level 1

We have been listening to and reading stories and jokes in class this term. Telling a story in another language can be difficult. Here is the simple story telling model we used to help us.


Opening Hello friends, today I'm going to tell you a story about …

Reason I chose this story because … (it is funny / sad / amazing / scary)

It is a good story to tell kids / to tell adults only / to tell anyone

Tell the story eg. A long time ago …. / … in America / Australia / Vietnam ...

Opinion I liked this story because …. / I didn't like this story much because …

Closing Thank you for listening to my story. Do you have any questions?


*Keep your sentences short.

*Use the past simple - this is the best tense to use for telling stories.


Here is Hoai's oral recount of a story we read in class (the original comes from the book, True ESL Stories)

GRAMMAR : Past Simple (in songs and stories)

Exercise Using the Past Simple : My Best Holiday

Play the video and follow the instructions ... fun!


What is our class discussing on Facebook this week? Join the 38 members of Dale Pobega's Free ESL Club Facebook Group

What do you think? Which Victorian city (apart from Melbourne) is the best? It seems most of the group like Geelong! Join us and give us your opinion.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Problems with Neighbours


* Do you think someone should keep 130 cats in a house or flat?

* What problems would this lady have living with 130 cats in Sunshine?

* What does your local council say about pets?

What are they saying on our Facebook page (join - now - click here!) ...

READING (Level 1) - Story about a Barking Dog (Super Easy Reading for ESL)

Complete the exercises ... vocabulary / cloze / sentences 

READING (Level 2) - Problems with Barking Dogs (adapted from Brimbank City Council Info Sheet)

Download the worksheet and complete the questions / Write a dialogue between you and a neighbour about his barking dog

Listening / Speaking (Level 2) LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR ....

LEVEL 2 and 3

Remember the article we read in class, Love Your Neighbour? Sometimes it can be difficult!?

We discussed these problems:

They talk loudly.
Their babies cry all night.
They have noisy parties.
Their dogs bark.
They watch TV late at night.
They move furniture.
They play the violin.
They argue with their partner.

Speaking: Requests - Asking your neighbours to change their behaviour

Click here to go to VOXOPOP.

Use the situations above. Practise kindly asking your neighbours to change their behaviour.

eg. "Could you please turn down the TV? It's late. I have to get up early.
eg. "Would you please stop moving your furniture. My kids can't sleep.


Level 1 and 2: Watch the video. What can we do to clean up this house? Finish the sentences ...

Empty ___ ________.

_____ up the bedroom.

Scrub the ______ bowl.

Get ___ __ the Kittens.

___ away the things in the kitchen.

Throw ___ the old computers.

_____ the bath!

(Call in the health inspectors?)

Level 3 : Watch this video. How do you feel about this messy house? Who does the owner blame for most of the mess? Do you think Cary's problems are funny or serious?

Speaking Exercise : Giving Opinions

Here are some opinions by others who watched the video:

"it is the parents responsibility to keep a safe enviroment for the kids and set a good example."

"lots of people have kids and thier homes are nothing close to this. I'm surprise she still has her kids."

"How dare you say her kids should be taken away from her! ... some people just need help in their lives, and a gentle push in the right direction. Depression is a sad thing to live with it can destroy families. She obviously got so low she stopped functioning properly."

Do you agree with these opinions? Do you feel sorry for Cary? What would you do to help her? Where would you start?

Phone in your answers to - use the 1800 number and codes I gave you in class.


WRITING (Level 2/3)

Last week we used the worksheet to help us write about two silent films. This time let's use the same worksheet to help us write about a short film made by some high school students from the USA? It is called "The Boy Who Cried Wolf". Do you already know the story? It is based on a fable by the ancient Roman writer, Aesop.

Download the Reading worksheet

VIDEO / READING (Level 2) : Information Text : How Silk is Made


This week we are writing about HOW THINGS ARE MADE. In class last week you studied How Tea is Produced and Distributed. You also know about How Bananas are Produced and Shipped to Europe and America.

Watch the video above about HOW SILK IS MADE in Bangladesh.

Complete the following exericse:


(i) Put the steps in the correct order
(ii)Change the sentences from ACTIVE voice to PASSIVE voice

A) The women immerse the coccoons in boiling water. The silk worm inside the coccoon dies.

B) The women collect and sort huge piles of golden silk worm coccoons

C) The women wind the raw, silk thread onto a spindle. They dry it and then ship it to a textile factory

D) After boiling, the women cool the coccoons and take them to a loom. They unravel the coccoons onto the spool.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Silent Film Festival

Silent Films (Level 2 VPAU 500.4)

Today in class (level 2) 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.

Can't find a film? Try taking notes and writing about this short, silent film ...

Listening : Making A Film (Level 2 494.3)

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!

Grammar : Passive or Active Voice?

We have been studying Passive and Active voice in our lessons recently. When do we mostly use passive? What is more important - the subject of the action or the object of the action?

Try this exercise.

Still confused? Watch this lesson ...

Level 1 (494.1) : Happy Birthday Mr. Duncan

Writing (495.2) : Leave Mr Duncan a happy birthday message on his You.Tube channel or Facebook page.

... Or write him a birthday card - Print a birthday card from here

Facebook - Join "Dale Pobega's Free ESL Club"

What are we talking about on Facebook this week? Take a look ...

Reading: Where were kites invented?

We read a story in class about the invention of paper. Read this story about where kites were invented. Note down examples of passive voice.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Notes, Messages, Accidents & Dangers

Assessment Task 494.3 Interpret Simple Oral Texts

LEVEL 1 :  Listening


Listen to the phone discussion. CLICK HERE.

1. Take notes from the conversation you hear ...





What happened?

Is he alright? Yes / No

If yes, how do you know?

What was he wearing?

LEVEL 1 : Reading

Read this note and answer the questions:

11.15 am


Grandma is in hospital. Don't worry, it's not serious. I'm going there now. She is in the Queen Victoria Hospital in Carlton. She is on the 4th floor in Room 409.

See you there.


P.S I've taken the car

Who wrote the note?
Who is the note for?
What is the message?
What time was it written?
What does he remember at the last moment?

LEVEL 1 : Speaking



Use the listening text script of the conversation above as to help you ...


LEVEL 2 (Information Texts): Dangerous Sports : Taking risks
The Olympics are on in London. Do you think this is a good sport for the next Olympics?

Watch the video above to get an idea about the "exciting" new sport of Free Running
(also known by its French name, Le Parkour)

Boxing / Skydiving / Karate / Footy / Diving / Free Running (Le Parkour)...

We talked about these sports in class.

1. Which sport is the most dangerous? Why?
2. Which sport is the least dangerous? Why?
3. Is Boxing more or less dangerous than Free Running? Why?

Now ask your friend what she thinks? Use REPORTED SPEECH and tell me your answers:

eg. Teresa said Boxing was the most dangerous sport because people get brain damage.

Grammar Exercise : Reported Speech (Click here and complete)



Which animals are dangerous in your country? In Australia we have sharks and crocodiles, snakes and spiders --- but are they really dangerous?

CLICK HERE to hear from Jingwei and Joseph from Singapore.

Which animals do they think are dangerous? Note: Click VIDEO QUIZ on the right hand side ofthe page to complete the listening exercise when you have finished listening to Jingwei and Joseph.

READING ... Are Sharks Really Dangerous? 

(Download the worksheet and questions here)

The Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine)

Here is video of the last Thylacine, an animal, which was hunted into extinction Fold / Write / Check Dictation

Download the dictation about Thylacine (ask your teacher or a friend to read it out, then check your answers)


1. Watch the video

2. Take simple notes

3. Work with a friend - Can you write the procedure using Passive Voice?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Learning Journeys

This week we review our Learning Journeys in English.

Marco Polo was a famous explorer. He went places no European had gone before. Going to new place or learning new things can be like Marco's journey. Everything is new, exciting, scary.

What dangers do you think Marco imagined? What new things did he see and learn about?

Here is the "fold and do" dictation about Marco Polo.

Here is the story (with questions) about Marco Polo.

Here is a map of Marco's journey. 

Look at a modern atlas and list the countries Marco travelled through

Other Students' Learning Journeys

Read about the learning journeys of other students studying at PRACE, a community learning centre in Preston.

Leave a message of encouragement for one of the students you read about.

Take some notes about one of the students. Share with a friend. Which learning journey story did you like the most?

Individual Learning Plan and Portfolio Work (VBQU 117 / VPAU 500)

Use your portfolio for this term to complete the learning review worksheet for this term.

Which week did you like the most? Which week did you like the least? Did you learn something new? What do you need to study more?

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Myki Malfunction

Watch the video ...

Download, print and complete this "mini-test."

Download and check your answers

We have been studying Myki for a few weeks now. Most of us think Myki is okay but on our Myki excursion this week we had some problems. The Myki Machines on Sunshine Station were broken! The touch on / touch off pads were vandalized! How can we use Myki if the machines to do not work well? At Flinders Street Station we had to explain the problems to the staff - they were not very happy :-(

Still we had a good time ...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Myki 2

Registering a Myki

What happens if your Myki is stolen or lost? Why would you "register" your Myki? What happens to your balance if your Myki card is not registered? Is it necessary to register?

Watch this video. What are the advantages? (Can you think of any disadvantages?)

Replacing a Myki Card (Complete a Form)

Replacement Form

Practice your FORM filling skills. Download the Myki Replacement Form.

Fill it in, save, print and bring to class!

Myki vs. Metcard (Comparing Prices)

Many people are unhappy about the changes. Some people say Myki is too difficult? What do you think? Is Myki more or less expensive than the old system, Metcard? Scroll through the document and answer the questions below.


1. How much do you save using Myki for a Daily Zone 1 + 2 Full fare?
2. How much does a 2 hour Zone 1 Concession fare cost?
3. What is the maximum you will pay per day if you use Myki on the weekend?
4. What is the difference in price between a Weekly Zone 1 Full Fare Myki Pass and a Weekly Metcard?


Do you know about the free city circle tram? It is a cheap excursion you can do with your family. Watch the video and download the map to see the route.

There is also a free bus you can take from the National Gallery of Victoria, around the city, up to Carlton and back via Docklands.

Download this brochure to find out more 

Grammar : Wish and Hope (Access 2/3)Watch this lesson about using Wish and Hope in English

Go to this page (English Grammar, read and complete the interactive exercises.


Sunday, May 6, 2012


Access 1 Assessment Tasks for this unit : VPAU 491.1 combining 491.3 (Listening) / VPAU 495.3 & 495.4 (Reading & Writing) Access 2 Assessment Tasks for this unit : VPAU 497.1 (Listening) / VPAU 500.1 & 500.2 (Reading & Writing) leading into 497.2 (Speaking)

What is Myki? Do you know how and where to buy a Myki card? What is "Myki money"? What does "touch on" and "touch off" mean? What does "top up your Myki" mean?

Watch the videos below and complete the exercises as you go ...

Download, print and complete this Comprehension worksheet

Touching on and Touching off

Myki Money or Myki Pass?

How to Top Up Your Myki


Watch the video. Can you remember how to top up your Myki?

1. Download this PICTURE worksheet and print (PDF 420KB)

2. Download this LABELS worksheet
(PDF 69KB) print and cut the instruction labels into strips and mix up 

3. Can you match the PICTURES and LABELS?

4. Work with a friend. Tell each other how to top up a Myki card

5. Use sequence words like First of all, Then, After that, Finally ...

(6. Record your conversation on our site at 


Click here to download an mp3. Listen to Level 2 students explaining how you top up a Myki card at the railway station

Find out about ... Types of Myki cards

Find more information about myki at the Myki Website

Download this brochure to read about myki  ...
Melbourne's Guide to Myki (PDF, 292KB, 16 pages)


Use the Myki simulator to buy a myki card / top up with myki money / and get a receipt (click here)

You can also learn more about Myki reader, Myki Gate and Myki Check machines


Click the small map to open a bigger map of Melbourne's metropolitan train network. Print then ...

Download this worksheet and answer the questions.

Click the small map and open a larger map of Melbourne's Night Rider Network.

Download this worksheet and answer the questions

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Hair Cuts

  DISCUSSION : In class this week we talked about hair, haircuts and hair styles.

Do you like your hair? Where do you get your hair cut? Would you like a new hairstyle? Would you like highlights or a new colour? 

VOCABULARY: long, short, medium length, bald, blond, brunette, red head, curly, straight, permed, dye, tint, highlights,shaved, trim, layered, tapered, fringe, side-burns around the sides / on the top / up the back
 / combed / blow dried / shampooed/

Can you add some more words? Here is a vocabulary list to download (word doc)


Listen and/or read the story about Susan.

Exercise 1 : Download and complete this comprehension exercise

Exercise 2 : Listen to the story and complete the dictation. (Fold / write / check)


Watch the video below. How does this woman trim her hair. Can you write instructions?


GRAMMAR GAMES Having / Getting something done ... (Level 2 /3)

Grammar Notes

Exercise One (Put in Order)

Exercise Two (Mix and Match)

Exercise Three (Complete the sentences)

Other interactive exercises like these are at

SPEAKING : Asking the hairdresser or barber for a haircut

Here are some Level 2 Role-plays about going to the hairdresser

Use the video to help you write your dialogue about going to the hairdresser or barber with a friend ***

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Learning Review Term 1 : Ups and Downs of English

Assessment Task (Level 1 and 2) VPAU 501.4 and VBQU117.4)

Do you know the story of Sisyphus? He offended God and was punished. He had to push a rock to the top of a hill ... then watch it roll all the way down. He had to start pushing up hill again - forever!

Life is like that. English is like that. The struggle never ends.

Here is a dictation about Sisyphus to practice your spelling.

Download the dictation sheet here. (Fold and listen to the dictation below).

Listen, watch and read some other Greek myths on YouTube (click here)

Here is nice story called Prometheus and Pandora :

Let's think about what we learned this term. (Print the Assessment Task)

What did you like learning the most this term?

What did you find difficult? Why?

How do you think you could improve?

Can you learn English without a teacher?

Which one can you learn on your own? Which one can't you learn on your own? ...







Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How Things Work


Week 3/4/5 Assessment Task: Follow Simple Written Instructions and Directions (Access 2)



Watch the video and answer the questions at the end of the clip ...

What happened a little later ...?

How does the story end for our American friends ...?

Car Problems (Level 2+)

Try this Listening Exercise called Car Repairs (Randall's ESL Listening Lab)(difficult / American English)

If you have problems print the listening script and listen a few more times.

Grammar (Level 2)

In Case vs. If

In class we discussed the use of "(just)in case". We also discussed when we use if.

Try these two exercises:

Exercise One (

Exercise Two (ESL

Grammar 2 : Use of the Passive Voice

We also discussed the use of the Passive Voice when we give instructions or an explanation to someone about the way things work.

Try this exercise about Bill Gates Car (ESL Blues)



What do you know about Ancient Egypt? Do you believe in life after death?

The ancient Egyptians were very sophisticated people. They buried their dead in a special way to help them get safely to the afterlife. They made "mummies".

Download the story Tombs and Mummies

1. Read the story and answer the questions in your book. Use your dictionary for any new vocabulary.



We use the IMPERATIVE for giving instructions (exercises 1 -6)

We use the PASSIVE VOICE for explaining a process
or procedure (exercises 1 - 7)



What is your favourite sandwich? What ingredients do you need? How do you make it? Share your sandwich recipe with a friend. Tell the rest of the class or another person about your friend's favourite sandwich.

Level 1 and 2+ : Mr. Bean Makes a Sandwich

Watch the Mr. Bean video.

How did he make his sandwich?

What ingredients did he use?



Look at this picture with your friend.

1. List the ingredients

2. Download this worksheet and complete


Level 2+ : Listening ... My Favourite Sandwich

Questions ...

1. What are the two types of sandwich the speaker likes most?
2. What does a Foccacia have in the middle?
3. How do you heat up a Foccacia?
4. What is good to drink with a Foccacia?
5. What type of bread do use to make a Lebanese roll?
6. What is the speaker's opinion of the Lebanese roll?




Listen to these recipes by Level 1 and Level 2 students on VOXOPOP.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Learning Mountain

Week 1 / Week 2: Term 1 / Assessment tasks: Level 1 VPAU 501 Plan Language Learning with Support / Level 2 VBQU117 Develop and Document a Learning Plan and Portfolio with Support

Welcome back to Duke Street! I hope you enjoyed the Summer holiday?

Let's think about Learning.

Learning English is like climbing a mountain ... it can be very difficult! But if you have good training and tools it can be a lot easier.

Discussion Exercise 1: What do you need to learn another language well? What tools do you need? Order these from 1-8 in importance:

motivation / dictionary / a teacher / other people to practice with / computer and internet / textbooks / a class / CDs, tapes and videos

Can you think of two other "tools" you need?

Discussion Exercise 2: Learning Mountain

We study Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking skills in our English class. Which skill is the easiest for you? Which skill is the most difficult?

1. Print out this Learning Mountain exercise
2. Fill it in by yourself - from easiest (base) to most difficult (peak)
3. In groups of 4 compare your Learning mountain. Are your feelings / opinions the same or different?

Download Learning Mountain worksheet (PDF 60kb)

Now compare your Learning Mountain about learning English to my own learning mountain about learning Spanish. Are your feelings / opinions similar to mine?

Download Dale's Learning Mountain worksheet (PDF 72kb)

Grammar: Adjective / Comparatives / Superlatives

easy --> easier --> the easiest

difficult --> more difficult --> the most difficult

the same --> the same as

different --> different to/from

similar --> similar to

Learn more about Comparatives / Superlatives with this fun interactive game.

From The Childrens University of Manchester.


Level 2 : Relative Clauses : ... who ..., ... which/that ..., ... where, ... what

Here is a simple mini-lesson for explaining how to use Relative Clauses (using guessing game quizzes)