READING ESL: Thai Tattoos
Foreigners getting Thai-style Buddhist tattoos: good or bad?
Here is a plain English version of an interesting article from the Agence France Presse (AFP) international news agency about foreigners who get tattoos in Thailand. I have linked to the original article published on the Free Malaysia Today online news portal at the end of this plain English version. I have also provided a glossary of the less commonly used English words that appear in the original story.
Choral Speaking Competitions
I wrote this poem for a poetry recitation competition that we didn’t win. No hard feelings.
Choral speaking events are very popular in Malaysian primary schools, and it reminds me very much of my childhood experiences in South Wales. As far as I know, Malaysia and Wales are unique in their love of choral speaking events. My colleague who is the same age group as me was brought up in the neighbouring English county of Herefordshire, and she’s never heard of it. Choral speaking events are not a ‘thing’ in New Zealand, either.
It’s an acquired taste, I must say. But it is also very hard work for the competitors and their coaches, and some of the work is superb, even If you don’t like that sort of thing. Obviously, these verses were written to be read aloud. So, as I was writing the verses I read them back to myself to see if they sounded OK, and I was surprised to hear myself reading out loud in a Cwmbrân accent from my primary school days in South Wales.
The theme for the poetry recitation was a choice of Beauty’, ‘Freedom’ or ‘Hope’ and each entry had to be original work of 4-6 minute duration. There are one or two unfamiliar words for English learners, so I have added a short glossary at the end.
Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining
A Malaysian Story
I wrote this story last year as a text for an elementary school story-telling competition. The competition was canceled, and since then this story has been quietly filed away doing nothing.
I find the problem with ESL story-telling competitions is that the audience doesn’t understand a lot of the language in the story, so they just sit there, passively, and let the unfamiliar language wash over them. In this story, I tried to encourage the story teller to engage more directly with the audience by asking questions and soliciting opinions, and I also made use of a lot of local content and basic English vocabulary.
The theme for the story-telling competition was ‘Good Health’
Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining
Do you know the English expression “every cloud has a silver lining”? It means that when bad things happen, good things can sometimes follow. For example, a rain storm is a bad thing. The rain can flood the drains and rivers, the lightning can strike trees and houses and the thunder can frighten animals and children. But after the storm there is a good thing because the air is fresh and cool, the plants and earth are watered and everything can grow again.
Do you want to hear a story about a cloud and a silver lining?
READING ESL: stories for young readers
The Brothers Grimm collected traditional stories from the forests of central Europe and re-wrote them for the people of the towns and cities to enjoy, too. Hundreds of years later, these stories are still very popular with young readers, but how many modern readers know exactly how frightening the original stories were? Here is my easy reading version of Little Red Riding Hood (Rotkäppchen) taken from a vintage translation I found on the web. Check it out here: vintage story / illustrations.
Little Red Riding Hood
There is a short glossary at the end.
READING ESL: oh my goat!
Edmund Lee, a writer at theantdaily, remembers a funny meeting with Uncle Chong, a likeable story-teller from a local coffee shop, and the story he had to tell about the recent Chinese New Year celebrations for the year of the goat.
A vocabulary list for some of the less common words used in the original story and a link to the original article in theantdaily are provided below this easy English version.
Oh My Goat!
Get into bed, my love,
lay with me under golden covers
let me hold my hand
on your oven
and feel our son
bounce around your womb. Continue reading