Saturday, April 4, 2020

Reading for ESL Students (CVC-e Short Stories with Worksheets (eBook)

This eBook contains 10 short stories using CVC-e words. There are exercises for the kids to answer after each story. This is intended for use by children who speak English as their second language. It is useful for reading enhancement and comprehension.

Reading for ESL Students (CVC-a Short Stories eBook with Worksheets)

Here's the eBook for reading CVC-a (consonant-vowel-consonant words) short stories'

Click the link below to get your eBook.

Our Reading Program for ESL Students 3

As I explained earlier in my past articles, teaching beginner reading is easy if you follow a step-by-step guide in teaching reading. This means that you have to have a reading program to make teaching reading more effective for young children.

Basic reading is all about sounds. The more versed in the children with the sounds, the faster they will learn to read.

Mastery of the letter sounds is a must. Once the child has mastered each sound of the letters, reading for them becomes easier. If they know their sounds, they can sound off the letters and connect them to form a word.

You already covered the lessons about syllables so the next step is to teach the CVC words. CVC means consonant-vowel-consonant words.

Start by showing the syllables using a flashcard.

For example:

ma – we assume that the children know how to read the syllable ma, you add another letter and connect them together to form a CVC word.

Emphasize the sounds while reading the words. In time, the children will get used to it and they will easily read the three-letter words or the CVC words.

The point to remember is, use the same vowel at a time. Say for example today you tackle the vowel a, so you let the children read words with the short a at the middle.

Here is a list of easy to read CVC-a words for young learners.

bat         cat          car      dam       fan         far          gas        hat         ham         hag       jam      lap

lad       mad        mat        map       nap       pan        pat        rag        ram       sad        sat       tag

tap      van       wag       yam

For beginner readers, you can use pictures to make them understand what they are reading. For the more advanced especially if you are tutoring one-on-one, you can let the child look at the picture, name it then she can write the word.

For the more advanced, or if you see that the child can already read CVC words, follow it up with short stories.

Here’s a sample short story for the starter reader.

Bam Bam is a Ram
Bam Bam is a Ram.
Bam Bam is a fat ram.
Bam Bam sat on a van.

From this short story; you can draw exercises and give the child some seat works to do.

Here are some examples:
  • Question and answer.
  • Fill in the blank.
  • Answer with Yes or No.
  • Underline what is true about the story.
  • Encircle the word that completes the sentence.
  • Underline the word that makes the sentence correct
These exercises will make reading more effective.

Remember that reading and comprehension must always go together.

Here are directions that you can use for the worksheets of the younger children.
  • Match the word to the correct picture.
  • Match the picture to the word.
  • Encircle the correct name of the picture.
  • Color the correct picture that matches the word.
Sample Worksheet.

Pam is a Lass
Pam is a lass.
Pam has a bag.
The bag has a tag.
Underline the sentence that is true about the story.

       Pam is a lass.
       Pam has a hat.
       Pam has a bag.
       The bag has rag.
       The bag has tag.

Write the word that best completes the sentence.
Pam is a _______.       (lad – lass)
Pam has a ________.  (bag – bat)
The bag has a ______.(tag – bat)
The ______ has a tag. (rag – bag)
______ is a lass.          (Pam– Bam)

Friday, April 3, 2020

Towards a Wiser Decision Essay Contest - 1996)


BY: Felisa Daskeo
Published: TNT- (Hong Kong)(1996) 1st Price
Winning Entry in the TNT BAYANIHAN TRUST essay contest

When Filipina maids get together, you often hear them say something like: “I wish I could find an employer who would let me live out. I would feel like an office girl with that arrangement.”

Another will say, “I prefer a stay-in arrangement. It’s more economical.”

Still another might say, “It’s fun to be a stay-out. There are lots of adventures. You’re free to do what you want while you’re out of your employer’s house. And you don’t feel suffocated or locked in a cell.”

Before you can decide whether to stay-in or stay-out, of your employer’s home, there’s a lot to think about. You have to weigh the pros and cons, so that you can finally arrive at a decision that is most advantageous to you. Either way there is a certain amount of risk involved.

Our Reading Program for ESL Students 2

In case you didn't read the first step of our reading program; please read it first because it is the starting point of this reading program.

This is the 2nd step of our reading program where the kids are ready to learn the syllables.
Once the children have mastered the sound of each letter of the alphabet, it’s time to teach them the syllables. A syllable is composed of the consonant and the vowel sound. So you have to make the children aware that they are now learning about another reading lesson.

It is important to let the children learn how to connect the two sound in order to read the syllable.
This could be done by sounding off the consonant then followed by the vowel.

As I said earlier in the first step of the reading program, non-English speaking children or ESL students have a different perception of reading English words than English speaking children.

Let's now start teaching the children the syllables.

Here’s an example:

In the syllable ma; you can sound off the m as mmmmm followed by the a which has the aaa sound.
mmmm aaaaa says ma.

Let the children repeat several times for retention.

As I’ve always said in my previous articles, ‘repetition works well for the young children’.

Reading is all about sounds.

Let the children sound off every letter to make learning reading easier and faster.

There is no short cut to reading. Always start from the basic, that is learning the sounds of each letter of the alphabet.

When you have instilled in the children the basic foundation of reading, there is no doubt that they are going to learn how to read properly.

It is every child’s cream to read. You will soon discover that once a child learns how to read the syllable, it is easier for them to read the three letter words.

It is just a matter of connecting the sound and once the children learn how to connect the sounds, you will be very happy with the result.

In my experience, a child learns better when you follow a routine. Daily practice is very important. The children will learn better if they read everyday and in a consistent manner.

Here’s a reading drill for the children to read every day.

After reading you can let the children copy the syllables. This activity can enhance their reading skills and help them memorize the syllables easier.

It is important to guide the children while they are copying.

Here are some activities to do:

Paper works

No matter what lesson you are teaching the children, paper works are very important. You can let them copy, color match pictures to the syllables or encircle the beginning syllable of the word. Make sure too that the worksheets are clear and big enough for the children to easily decipher.


Reading individually or choral reading is good. The m ore the children read, the better.


You can have games too about the syllables you are learning for the day. You can present an object or a picture then ask a child to tell the beginning syllable of the object. Contests challenge children to participate. Incentives are great when children win. This will keep them active and participate in the activities.

Give a variety of activities for fun learning. Children love it when they have many activities aside from reading and writing. The games and other activities you do will enhance better learning.

Apply the steps when teaching the other letters of the alphabet.

Stick with us for the next step in teaching beginner reading.

Our Reading Program for ESL Students

Our SPECIAL READING PROGRAM was designed to meet the needs of students, especially those with special needs and ESL students. We have been using this program for several years and it works for almost all of our students.

We start teaching children as young as two years old. At that age, we make them feel that learning is fun because we give them more time to play. But we also make sure that they are learning the basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics.

In my experience as a long-time teacher, children no matter how slow can easily grasp the reading lesson if it is taught the proper way. Of course, there is no right or wrong way to teach reading because each mentor has her  own style of teaching but it always starts from the very basic which is teaching the sound first to the child. Once the child has perfected the sound of each letter, there’s no doubt that the child will learn how to read words.

There are two ways of teaching reading:

The first is to teach the sound. In this method of teaching reading, you are going to teach the sound of each letter to the child. Once the child knows the sound of every letter, reading words becomes easier.

Why is sound important? Unlike English speaking children who are already well versed with the English letter sounds, non-English speaking children have a different situation because they do not know the sound of each letter. This makes it difficult for them.

The second method is sight word reading. You are not going to teach the child to read by sounding off the words. As the name implies, it is sight reading so the child will read and memorize the words in order to be able to read each word he seas.

The difference lies in the sounding off and memorizing the words to read.

Here again, and I must repeat. My experience tells me that it is best to teach the child the sound of the letters of the alphabet first before teaching sight reading.

But here is a better way to teach reading. You can do both. You can teach the sound of the letters and also let the child read the beginner reading books.

This is applicable to sight words that cannot be sounded off letter by letter. And if you are using this method to teach reading to a child, it would be more difficult for the child to learn how to read. It would be impossible for a child to memorize each word that he sees around.

This is why sounds are very important.

In the sight-reading method, you can do it by reading first and letting the child follow after you. Remember too that repetition always works with young children. Keep it consistent and make the reading program a daily practice so that the child can cope.

In the first method, you can use flash cards to make learning more fun and effective. Keep the children alive and active by letting them recite in chorus. This activity is fun for children. Even those who are slower than the others will finally learn to read when you let all of them read every day in chorus.

Once the child has learned the sound of each letter in the alphabet, you can proceed to the next level, which is reading syllables. It is important also to let the child know how to sound off the letter and combine them to make a syllable.

Slowly, you can add one letter to the syllable to for the three letter words which we call CVC words or (consonant-vowel-consonant words) like bat, cat, bed, pig, fox, rug, etc.

Teaching reading to starters is tough. It takes time and patience and you have to do it step by step.
This is an interesting part of the teaching and learning process. We noticed that when a child has learned to connect letters to make a word and then is able to read the word, the eagerness sets in. And that’s the time when the child will start learning to read properly.

Children love discovering things and being able to read makes them excited to learn more.

How to teach the Letters of the Alphabet to ESL Children

First-time teachers and other mentors and educators may find it hard to teach beginner learners. Their age is the culprit since they are too tender to tackle hard tasks.

So, as a mentor, you start by keeping them comfortable and making them feel accepted first in the group.

When they gain their confidence inside the classroom, that’s the time they start to react with their peers and their teacher.

Always bear in mind that children differ in their abilities. They may be of the same age but they can never be the same in what they can do in school.

My aim in creating this blog is to share my experiences having taught for more than thirty years. I have handled different types of children. Some are very young; as young as two years old.

We all have different styles, methods and techniques of teaching, so these are just guidelines.

I’ll start with the alphabet.

Teaching the letters of the alphabet to very young kids is just like teaching a game.

Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you think.

The first thing that you should bear in mind is to make teaching the alphabet fun to the young kids.  Because young kids love visual materials, it is important to use materials that will attract their attention and make learning for them fun and interesting.  As a teacher, you should think of ways to make the kids listen to you since they are too young and they could be very playful especially during the first few days of school.

Here are some simple to follow tips when teaching the letters of alphabet to very young kids.

Introduce the letters of the alphabet by singing it to the kids.  Most parents start singing the alphabet as soon as their child is born so it is likely that the kids have already heard the alphabet song earlier.  Kids love to sing.  They learn songs easier than the other things taught to them in school.

Use colorful and big pictures to introduce the letters of the alphabet to the kids.  It is also best to point to each letter while singing or reciting the alphabet.

Use big bold letters to introduce each letter.  Using big bold letters in visual aids will help the kids understand what is taught to them better.  If you are using flash cards, make sure that they are big enough for the kids to see clearly.  You should avoid using fonts that have decorative edges.  Using the standard fonts is advisable when making visual materials for young kids.  It is also important that you use the uppercase letters first while they aren’t accustomed yet to the lower-case letters.

Make sure too that you have some flash cards to show the kids and some pictures.  Start by singing the alphabet in a slow manner that the kids could understand.  It is also important to make the activity a daily routine.  For example, you can sing the alphabet every day with the kids before starting the main lesson.  To make learning more fun and effective, you can provide some posters with the alphabet to the kids that they can point while singing.  This way, they can memorize the letters and learn the sequence of the alphabet.

The kids will not only learn how to sing the alphabet if you provide the proper visual and audio materials that they use to make learning more fun and effective. They will also learn to recognize each letter of the alphabet faster and easier.

There are no set rules on how to teach the alphabet to the kids.  What is important to remember is to make learning for the kids fun and interesting so that they will learn better.

Alphabet Activities for the Kids

There are many useful activities that you can use to teach the alphabet to the kids.  Using these activities will make the lesson interesting and fun to the young kids and will avoid boredom.

Singing the letters of the Alphabet

Singing is one of the best ways to make lessons for young kids fun.  Singing the alphabet every day will help the kids memorize the letters of the alphabet.  You can sing the alphabet only while clapping the hands or you can use posters and let the kids point to the letters as you sing.

It is very hard to guide each kid to point to the letters because there are several kids in a class and a normal class has only two teachers but you can do it by turns.  Say, you help two kids point to the letters of the alphabet on the first day then do it to the other kids the next day until such time that all of them know how to point to the letters as they sing.  Doing this as a daily routine will make memorizing the alphabet more effective.

Letter Recognition through Flash Cards

Using flash card is a very common method of teaching young kids. The kids love visual aids and they will enjoy telling what letter is shown to them through flash cards.  The most important thing to remember when showing pictures or any material to the kids is to use big bold letters without any decorative edges and large and clear images too for easier comprehension.
It is more effective to show one letter at a time.  I always start teaching the vowels first.  And I teach each letter for a week or 5 days before the next letter.  So if your lesson is letter A, you should show only letter A and let each child say the letter.

Show and Tell

Show and tell is an interesting and fun activity for the kids.  You show them something and the kids will tell the object.  Real objects can be used in this show and tell activity but you can also use tri-dimensional objects to make learning more effective.  If your lesson is letter A; find things that start with letter A and use them to teach the letter to the kids.  One advice that I can share is to stick first to short a, to avoid confusing the kids.  They will learn about long a as they go.

Individual Recitation

Reciting is one of the best ways to know if the child has learned the lesson or not.  Letting each child recite will make learning more effective since each child will be participating in class activities.  Group recitation is good but sometimes there are kids who are just following the others.  Try calling each child and you will discover that there are kids who do not know letter A yet.

Tracing the Letter

It is always good to include tracing the letter to the lesson on alphabet.  Young kids always start by tracing the letter being taught.  They will not be able to trace the letter immediately so you have to teach them first the stroke.  You can use the “write on the air” method then demonstrate how to write the letter on the board.  It should be done one step at a time.  Remember to guide the kids to write because they are still learning how to do it.

Coloring Pictures

Coloring pictures will break the monotony of the lesson and will give the kids time to relax.  Coloring is like playing so the kids will enjoy this activity.  It is important to let the kids color a picture that begins with the letter that you are teaching for the day.  If you are teaching letter A then let the kids color an apple or an astronaut.  The point here is to make coloring related to the lesson.

Here’s a guide when teaching the letters of the alphabet to young kids.

  • Sing the alphabet with the kids using posters.
  • Use flash cards and let the kids say the letter.
  • Give each child a chance to recite the letter being shown.
  • Let the kids trace the letter.
  • Let the kids color pictures that start with the letter of the day.
  • Give other activities to enhance learning.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Reading Long U Words

Here's a practice exercise for teaching the long U words.

It is always best to let the children read the words many times. One helpful tip also is to make it a daily routine activity for the children to memorize the words and learn them easier.

When teaching the words to ESL students, read the words first then let the children follow you.
Always emphasize on the sound of long u.

Read the long u words.

long u – words with u and an e at the end

cube      hue       fume      due       nuke   cue
cure       jute       tube       dune pure       hue
cute      muse     tune        fuse       blue
duke     mute     flue        mule     clue

long u – words with ew

blew       knew      slew         few        drew
chew     dew        sew          new       view
flew        mew       stew        pew

Read the sentences.

The duke rode the mule.
The muse is cute.
The children knew the tune of the song.
Girls know how to sew an apron.
The blue coat is new.
The lady knew how to sew a dress.
The dew fell down on the leaf.
Learn how to chew your food well.

Digital Addiction Among Children 2

Worried your child will be addicted to online games?

Here’s a guide on how to keep your child away from those addictive online games.

I am a teacher of young children and my observation shows that not only older children could be addicted to electronic gadgets because of online games, but even children as young as two.
Yesterday, I have talked to a ten-year-old boy in our tutorial center because I noticed that his behavior has changed for the last two weeks. He was a great boy and used to be always attentive to his task but lately, he has become very talkative and has lost focus in what he was doing. He used to be the very first one to finish his worksheet but lately, he was always the last one to finish and that is with too much prodding from us.

So, I asked him what happened. And he just stared at me without answering. Then I asked him if he is playing online games and he said yes.

Bingo! That gave us the answer.

It is very easy to spot a child who is addicted to online games. If you notice a sudden change in a child, game addiction could be the culprit.

We are so used to events like this in our tutorial center so we know exactly what is going on with the children around us.

In this article, we are going to share to you realities in the world of the children exposed to gadgets at a very early age. And here are the topics that we are going to discuss that may help you protect your young child from diving into digital addiction.

Table of contents.

  1. What is an online game or digital addiction?
  2. What are the effects of online game addiction?
  3. What are the signs of online game addiction?
  4. How can you avoid online game addiction in your child?
  5. Toys that can help prevent online game addiction.
  6. What is online game addiction or digital addiction?

Like any other activities that are very hard to control, online game addiction occurs when a child or any person cannot anymore control the urge to play online games. It is unstoppable and it affects the daily activities of the person. When one only thinks of playing video games and neglects all other activities just to satisfy that urge, it is called an addiction.

I have explained digital addiction in my previous article.

What are the effects of online game addiction?

I will not include older people in discussing this online game addiction. I am going to concentrate on the young children that I socialize with every day.

I hate to say this, but I am saddened by the fact that more and more children are affected by this present problem of online game addiction among young children.

To site experience with the children around me, I have never encountered such a mess in a child’s life, not until they introduced online gaming. Many children who are age 10 and below are joining this online game craze.

A boy I tutored for four years had a bad transition from a once brilliant and responsible boy to an online game addict. He once bragged to us that he was in a computer cafe’ for 24 hours. He was even laughing while relating it to us.

His father is a doctor and his mother is a nurse with stiff work schedules and he is left with his grandma and grandpa. So, he does what he wants and what makes him enjoy life. He is only 8 and turning nine. He stopped tutoring because his grades didn’t improve despite tutoring with us an hour daily. The problem was; he lacked focus, and he was irritable during tutor classes.

Another boy who is only four made his mother running to us for advice because she cannot correct her son’s sleep habits. The child watches videos on his iPod until three o’clock in the morning.

Sometimes, the father or the mother catches him watching television in the wee hours in the morning.
We suggested that they should get rid of the iPod and they did. After a week, there was an improvement in the child’s sleeping habits.

One of our students who is only 7 usually came to class with dark rings around his eyes and with sleepy eyes. When we asked the mother what the problem was, the mother admitted her mistake of introducing online games to the child at a very early age. Once the child learned to operate the tablet, he was unstoppable. He wanted to play online games for several hours a day.

There’s one very significant effect of this digital addiction to the young children in the Philippines.
In a country where English is not our mother tongue; it surprises us that several children are English speakers and the way they speak the language is patterned on the cartoon characters they watch. They speak like they are foreigners in their homes.

This is the effect of the children watching cartoons several hours a day in channels like Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and other foreign channels on TV. Some parents are happy with the effect, but most are not convinced that it is a good effect.

What are the signs of game addiction?

Lousy Appearanc– you know when a child has changed because you socialize with them every day. The moment a child looks lousy and seems to be always tired and has no energy to work, that is a sign that something is wrong. Ask the child what is wrong. Many children will not tell you the truth but try talking to the child before it is too late.

Eye Bags – The child may not be sleeping well because of the addiction. You can easily notice this because the child develops black rings around the eyes and the child often looks very sleepy even early in the morning.

Change in Behavior – Some children become moody and irritable.

Day Dreaming – A gadget addict often times daydream in class. This is because they are addicted to what they are doing and it occupies their mind with all their online gaming activities.

They learn to lie – Some children learn to lie in order to cope with their online game addiction.
Lack of Interest in School Works -  The worst that can happen to a child is when he suddenly loses interest in school activities. Yes, this usually happens to children. All they want to do is play online games that is why school work has no room for them.

Lack of appetite towards food – An online game addict may lose appetite towards food. Once the child starts playing online games, food is forgotten and sometimes even if the food is there, the child has no more appetite to eat.

All these and many more are signs that a child is addicted to electronic gadgets.
We have encountered so many young children with these problems and we always advise their parents to stop the addiction before it is too late.

How can you avoid online game addiction in your child?

Do not  introduce electronic gadgets to your child at a very early age.

Buy the traditional toys for your child to play with.

Avoid buying electronic gadgets for your child.

Limit the number of hours that your child watches television or videos.

Do not allow your very young child to play with your cellphone.

Give more play activities to your child rather than watching television.

Read stories to your child instead of letting them spend time watching television.

Do not introduce online games while your child is too young.

Toys that can help prevent online game addiction.

Traditional toys are still the best toys to introduce to young children. Aside from the radiation from electronic gadgets that are bad for the child’s health, electronic gadgets are addictive.

In order to keep the child away from electronic gadgets, the best thing to do is not to introduce gadgets at a very early age.

Here are some traditional toys that can keep the children busy and can keep them away from electronic gadgets.

Balls–Most children love round things, especially if that round thing bounces. Balls are the best toys to introduce to young children.

Books–children love books if you introduce books to them early on. Picture books are best for young children.

Roller Coaster–Roller coaster is safe for young children to play. It is also educational.

Blocks–blocks are great because they enhance the building skills and creativity of young children.

Clay–clay helps the children create many things if you guide them how to do it.

Puzzles–Puzzle stimulates the brain and makes it alert. This is good for young children to keep them busy instead of watching television.

Board Games–You can play with your children using their board games. It is more fun if they play with you.

Drawing Boards–Help your child to develop creativity by using drawing boards. It will keep them busy and forget watching TV.

While there are some pros in introducing electronic gadgets to children, the cons outweigh the pros.

This is why as much as possible, very young children should not play with online games.

Digital Addiction Among Young Children 1

It is very easy to get caught up with this high-tech society we are in. The fast changes are making so many people confused, especially the children. In this ever-changing society, I could see the changes that are overwhelming because of the advancement of technology. Now, everything that used to be impossible is becoming possible because of the fast changes in technology. But behind the positive results come in the negative effects that this high-tech society is creating in the lives of many people, especially the innocent ones.

One parent that I know said, “This digital age is alarming. Children are gadget addicts, which does not differ from drug addiction.” A concerned parent said, “I worry what will become of these children because of the change that technology has done to the digital generation. Another parent said that she cannot stop her two-year-old son from getting addicted to the cellphone because it has become a babysitter while she is busy with household work. Some term this dilemma as CP addiction, gadget addiction, computer addiction, game addiction, etc.

In a book entitled Digital Cocaine by Brad Huddleston, he mentioned that there is no difference between a cocaine addict and a technology addict as far as your brain is concerned. Brad Huddleston believes that digital users are exposed to supersaturation on a daily basis, which affects the brains.
In the community where I live; most children as young as 9 years old have cellphones of their own. To many parents, they make cellphones, iPods, laptops, and computers their baby-sitter while they do their thing. While parents are too busy around the house and at work; their children are engrossed with their gadget which allows no distraction on their part. The problem is, the children are not only exposed to radiation. They can also become gadget dependent.

I have a student who is 9 years old and who is studying in an exclusive school. He used to be one of the best in class; he smiles a lot and talks a lot, often telling us about so many things that he did in school and at home. He was fun to be with and we love him but when he started playing computer games, everything went upside down. From the usually lively, intelligent and smart boy came the sluggish, dreamy-eyed and irritable boy who became also alienated with school work.
As his online game addiction became worse, so did his attitude towards his studies. His notebooks became a mess. According to his teacher, the boy spent his time while class is going on, scribbling things in his notebook. His seat works in school were often 0/10. Sometimes he didn’t even do his seatwork. When I ask him why he refuses to talk.

According to the grandfather who takes care of him while the parents are at work, the boy spends time in the computer café’ for at least 4 to six hours a day. His parents have cut off their internet connection to minimize his computer dependency, but he finds time to escape when everybody is sleeping to go to the computer café’ to play his favorite games. The bad thing is, computer café’ owners do not restrict young children from playing in the cafes. This child I was talking about even bragged to us that there was one time when he stayed in the computer café’ for 24 hours.

We encounter a few similar cases among our students in the tutorial center every school year. Sometimes, the problem is solved when the parents cooperate with us. Sometimes, things get worse because the parents are too busy working and the children are left with only the household- helpers or a member of the family. In most households, children have easy access to gadgets and computers. Most children today are techno-savvy. They can even open gadgets with passwords.
If you see signs of digital addiction in your child, do something about it. In this computer age, children cannot be restricted from enjoying the computer madness, but moderation is good. And keeping them away from gadgets is still better than making them gadget dependent at a very young age.

I hate to say this but the digital age is becoming alarmingly dangerous for the growing up children around. I still prefer it when the internet was not invented. It’s just my opinion. What’s your opinion regarding this worsening scenario?