Reading Print Books versus E-Books: Student Writing


My students asked me to choose a topic for them to write about, so I found the subject of e-books versus printed books, a common topic for a standardized language test.  We read an amazing article for inspiration, and that may have influenced everyone’s choice, but you can see that there were many perspectives offered on the subject.

We cannot say that e-books can completely replace printed books. With technology, there is a big change; in fact, a revolution has come into our lives. Some people say that in the future, printed books will vanish because of eBooks. Electronic books are more convenient and more efficient. In some ways, e-books seem more useful but it’s hard to collect them for a long time while print books are collectable. And if you really love books, you don’t want to lose your collection. Print books are always favorites and famous because of the different experience of reading them and owning them. Attractive and beautiful covers and lots of details on the book, make it easy to select a good printed books. In short, for book lovers, print books are always their first preference.

Printed books are not going to die.


Some people say that we are not going to use printed books in the future, because we need to care for our environment, and because computers will replace paper books as well. However, I think printed books will never die, due to several reasons.

First of all, printed books are collectible and reviewable, while e-books are not easy to collect or review. Sometimes, people choose physical books because of the beauty of their book covers; meanwhile, e-books do not have physical beauty. We can review printed books easily, however, if we need to review an e-book, it is not easy to find a particular passage.

Second, printed books have provenance and we can share them. We are able to use old or valuable books, which have belonged to someone else. In addition, we can borrow or lend paper books if we want to share them. However, we cannot possess any e-book for a long time even if we really like it.

Overall, there can be many benefits to using e-book or computers, such as avoiding deforestation and instant access to information. However, there are many advantages to having printed books such as collecting, sharing and having some memories. Therefore, paper books cannot be replaced by e-books.

Printed Books vs e-books

I like to read printed books rather than e-books. Printed books are always convenient for people because they don’t need any electronic device. Readers don’t need to spend money on the internet or find a charger. Lots of people look at a book’s front cover. If there are good cover pictures, they like to choose that book. So the front cover also helps readers to choose the book. Some people like book collections too.

Printed books last longer. They can stay in the family from one generation to the next generation. People read those books with great interest and passion. We have one Ayurvedic book, which my grandmother’s dad used. He gave that book to my grandmother, she gave it to my dad and my dad gave it to us [my brother and me]. It is not in good condition but some words are written in it by my great grandfather and we like to see his handwriting. So, books can always last a long time, with great memories.

Some people like to collect books. There are so many different kinds of books we can see on the shelf. We can also find a mini library . We can read those books anytime and anywhere. Sometimes we can get good solutions from these good books. If we read print books, they give us satisfaction.

Blind people can read books, which are written in their language (Braille). They cannot easily use electronic devices. It is good for them to see the world by books. If we see a book lying on the table, no matter whether we are interested in reading that book or not, we will take the book and flip the pages. In this way, people can create interest in reading and writing.

I prefer printed books for school students because otherwise they can become distracted by electronic devices. Some people are not familiar with e-books, so for them also, printed books are like a heaven. Considering all these points such as printed books last longer, interesting cover pages, as well as passing books from one generation to another, I am strongly in favor of printed books.

Printed vs. digital books

Since the first appearance of e-book readers in the year 2000, a battle embarked between the sales numbers of printed and digital books. Even though digital copies bring certain advantages to our lives, especially with the future possibilities of technology, physical copies will still remain in people’s lives. Perhaps they will have different or extended purposes other than only reading their content.

One of those reasons is that printed books can be collected. The collection does not only incorporate the simple possession of books it also contains the possibility of keeping memories and stories in connection to these books. A novel that was read to someone by a loved one who has already passed on, a documentary read on one of your travels around the world, or simply a book you enjoy while sipping your coffee on cold winter days next to your fireplace.

Furthermore, printed copies not only allow you to read them, they also give you the chance of marking and highlighting important passages, paragraphs or interesting quotes. You either want to keep them as a reminder but also to share them with other interested parties. This is also one of the magical impacts that a physical book has on the experience of a reader and the way that people can build special and personal relationships with these books. These books can be reminders, give you comfort or make you laugh in times when you are sad.

Moreover, the process of selecting your book in a bookstore is like walking in a meadow of flowers. The shelves are full of different publications, where each one looks more interesting than the other and still you have to make a choice. The different and exciting criteria that fall into a readers’ consideration can only be found in printed versions. For example, a book’s cover, the chosen paper, the paper’s thickness, the fonts used for the copy text, the book’s weight and smell are attributes that make them individual, when compared to others.

Despite the fact that e-readers and e-books are constantly on the rise, paper books bear a certain value for readers that digital copies will never be able to replace. This could be either the remembrance of special happenings, the former possession of your relatives or a keepsake or comfort to go to in difficult times. Not only the possession of books brings the readers enjoyment, it is also the strolling through libraries and bookstores, smelling the air of used paper and carrying the weight of old stories that will make most bookworms smile, bring a sparkle to their eyes and force them to keep them for a lifetime.


Books2Buy | Edmonton Public Library

Many students ask me how they can improve their vocabulary, as well as their writing, and in my opinion, the best way to do that quickly is to read as much as you can in English, about subjects that interest you.  New books are expensive, and if you borrow books from the library, you may find it hard to finish them within 3 weeks.  An excellent way to learn about many new things is to visit the Books2Buy booksale, which is held several times/year at the Stanley A. Milner Library, in downtown Edmonton.  It’s just upstairs from the Churchill LRT station.  The best selection is available early Friday morning, and the best deal is available on Sunday, when you can fill a whole box with used books for only $10!  For only $1-2/book, I recommend buying a good selection: some children’s books, non-fiction, English learning, and books that teach you how to do something new.  Don’t miss this opportunity!

Books2Buy | Edmonton Public Library.

Student writing, retell a story you know (students’ choice)

20150511 Write for Success writing

Turkey, an Interesting and Paradoxical Country

In the spring of 2009, I was in bed. It was about 2:30 am when the phone rang. I had a long distance call from Turkey! What an unexpected event for a Cuban, who was not supposed to know anybody from abroad, and even more, from a country so geographically distant.

In order to make a living in Havana, I was working as a musician at that time. One of my former bandmates had already been sent by the government to Turkey to work there under a contract. So, he contacted me that night to find out if I was interested in joining his band on a tour throughout the south of Turkey and Istanbul for five months. I didn’t think twice. Of course, no Cuban that I know would hesitate either.

The sensation of freedom that I experienced after arriving in a foreign country’s airport was overwhelming, considering that for Cubans, being able to travel abroad is not even a possibility. Firstly, Cubans don’t earn enough money to buy a plane ticket. Secondly, you need a visa to visit almost any country, and last but not least, is that at that time you had to have permission from the government to leave the country.
In addition to all of this excitement and my desire of being abroad for the first time, my expectations were exceeded once I started to discover an interesting and different new culture.

The first thing that really impressed me was the combination of old traditions and modern life throughout the country. In spite of the fact that Turkey was at one time considered to be a socialist country, Turks had indeed embraced capitalism.

If you travel across the country you notice right away the differences between small villages and big modern cities. Both have become tourist destinations for thousands of visitors a year. Small hamlets are often ancient. Their people still embrace traditions like weaving fascinating rugs, and if you are an enthusiast of eating well, you can get really addicted to their cuisine. Villages also look very clean although their houses are in disrepair, reflecting in my opinion, their pride and hard-working spirit. Big cities are in different ways always fascinating too. Places like Marmaris, Bodrum and Kucadaci have now become tourist destinations because of their beaches and active nightlife. But you can still experience the real life of an average Turk. These places have plenty of humble restaurants, markets and other attractions where interacting with nationals is very easy.

Istanbul is a unique city. About 20 million people live there. Its main streets are packed most of the time, mostly at night. Turks like going out for dinner, drinks and listening to music all the time, as you can see on Istiklal Kadeci, one of the most popular downtown streets in Istanbul. There are hundreds of restaurants in the neighbourhood, but it is difficult to find a table on a Saturday night. One example that illustrates how dynamic life is in the city is a bank employee who I met through a friend of mine one night at a pub. He and my friend spent the whole night drinking and eating until sunrise and they both went directly to their jobs that morning.

Turkey is an interesting place to discover. There is a mixture of the orthodox Muslim traditions and the new westernized country. Turks are still very nationalistic, proud of their origins and traditions, but they are taking the risk of building a modern and prosperous country.

Drawing a snake and adding feet (superfluous details)

This is an ancient Chinese story. There was a sacrificial activity that had just finished. Many people had come to help the employer. For appreciation, the employer had prepared some food and a pot of wine as a gift. But only one pot was not enough for everyone.

Everyone quieted down, and then someone suggested, “How about we have a drawing competition? We can paint on the ground, and the person who finishes a snake the first, will win the wine!” Everyone thought that was a brilliant idea, and they all agreed. So they started to draw.

A man drew very quickly, and he finished in an instant. He took the pot of wine and got ready to drink it, but he stopped and looked at the others who had not finished yet. And He thought, “They are so slow, let me show them what else I can do!” So he held the wine in his left hand, and started to use his right hand to draw feet for his snake. He said triumphantly:” You guys are so slow, look at me, I have even given the snake a few feet! It’s not too late yet!”

While he was drawing it and talking, another person had just finished his snake. Suddenly, the second person snatched the wine from the first person’s left hand immediately. The second person told the first person: “I won the competition. Have you ever met any snake with feet? I drew a snake, but you did not.” After that the second man started to enjoy the wine.

After this story, people comment based on the story, “Drawing a snake and adding feet”. This idiom means, “superfluous”. People try to be smart, and often do extra things, which even make things worse sometimes.

-From a Chinese idiom story

My story is fiction:

One morning, a five-year-old girl looked at the sky and wondered how it became so beautiful. She thought, “Can I touch this wonderful world?” After that, she ran home and asked her brother to go outside with her. When they came out, he didn’t ask any questions, and they walked and walked, until they were tired. Her brother asked where they were going, and she told him today we are going to touch that beautiful world. Her brother was older than her, so he understood what she wanted. He said, “My sister, we must go back home and ask our father to drive us there”. When they got home, she went to her father and asked for his help to get what she wanted. Her father couldn’t believe what his daughter was saying. He said, “My Honey, you must wait until you grow up, and if you still want to go at that time, you will go there.


Dear Ellen,

What a very enthusiastic class we have! Thank you for being there for us. You always come to teach us in Write for Success class with 100% full energy!

English Writing is the most daunting task for me! I have to face the music if I want to get a higher mark on my TOEFL or IELTS test. As you know, I have limitations in my English, especially in Academic Writing.

After my second class, I am going to make a list of what I have to improve in a very short time in order to improve my writing skill. Firstly, reading more, to become familiar with more words and their applications. I am going to read magazines, especially those magazines that relate to history, nature, sports, people and other things that interest me. By reading those magazines, I will get two benefits. Magazines are always entertaining to me and they only contain short stories, so I will not get bored easily. For the next step, I would like to read more novels. Actually, I prefer reading non-fiction stories, rather than fiction ones. Nowadays, people like watching television or movies more than reading! That includes myself!

Secondly, I would like to use more idioms or more advanced words in my academic writing. I have to build some vocabulary, including synonyms, and antonyms. I will get started from now on.

Thirdly, I will try to write everything, about any subject that matters to me in my everyday life. This is a writing activity that I have never done, only when I was at school, of course. I don’t know why, but somehow, I have done more reading than writing in my life.

I am eager to see the outcome of my writing class in four weeks time. Hopefully there will be progress in my learning curve. Can I do that? What’s a big challenge to myself!

Yours sincerely,

Name On The Red Paper

P is the only son of mine. He has played computer games since he was thirteen years old. He was knowledgeable in science. He read a lot, including books about finances, war, politics, and life in New York.

One day, he requested a flight ticket to New York from me. He wanted a one-way ticket. He wanted to stay in New York, and he did not want to come back to Edmonton again. He thought that he could make a good life there, because there are many casinos there. If he were smart enough and lucky, he could become a billionaire. He would be rich.

I was shocked by this request. I was going to lose him. He was in danger. I couldn’t imagine what kind of life would be in his future. I worried and worried, and I thought about how to stop him, and how to change his mind. After a couple days of thinking, I phoned a fortune-teller to discuss this situation. He gave me advice. He wanted me to write my son’s name and birthday on a red paper, put it into a small box, and then seal it. Never open it again. I did this. This took some days to make it work. By the way, I postponed buying a ticket for him. I was trying to show him how good it would be if he stayed in Canada, as well as how much love we shared. The days slowly passed on. Finally, he forgot the ticket to New York.

He went to U of A and listened to me about studying in our country to become a dentist. I never opened the box.

I am getting older now. I started to think about what would happen, if one day I passed away, and nobody opened the envelope for me. After discussing it with my husband, I decided to open it. I opened it last week. I prayed to Buddha, “Please protect P; please give him a peaceful life”. I’ve lifted a heavy weight from my shoulders now. It was my secret, and I didn’t want to keep it for my full life.

My story: I worked in Brooks, for the company called Lakeside in Alberta. It’s a meat company, and there was a time that I left at 2:30 in the morning to come to Edmonton. This was on January 22, 2001. It was very cold, the weather was bad, and my car was making some noise while I was driving. Suddenly the car stopped on the road. I got out of the car, and then waved at every car. However, the first car that stopped was my neighbour. What can I say? I am a lucky woman, and that’s my story. Thank you.

A popular narrative story I used to hear

This tale, all parents have told it since long ago, to small kids, usually in the evening after dinner. At my earlier age, all fellows like me were very fascinated to hear about it, and we never missed the nightly get-togethers, which never bored anyone. Even nowadays, adults from my tribe have shared and reported this story to children, grandchildren, and it still is popular forever.

The tale is about animals who lived in the community. One of them was very smart with a strong bond to his widowed mother. He was called “KABUNDGI” a small and smart animal. One day, the younger animals decided to kill their parents because of lack of food in the community. Everyone followed this decision and killed his parents. Only Kabundgi didn’t do so.

Life kept going in the same way, which means it became worse and worse, and there was no chance of getting food. Crime increased in the community, and most of the animals became scrawny, starving, and sick. After all this, the community figured out that Kabundgi was the only one in good shape, and wasn’t affected, and they wanted to know how come?

Elephant, the chief, made an investigative group after the small fellow, Mr. Kabundgi. They learned that he had escaped in the forest many times, after checking to see that no one was around him. The investigation revealed that Kabundgi had a secret, which was, after he was a long way into the wilderness, he stopped, and started singing further up a high and huge tree. The song was to call someone, please him, and beg him. The others hid in the bush and Kabundgi never saw them.

The song with a specific melody was a sign to be identified before gaining access to the tree. He had to sing it three times in this way, “You are the lovely mother for everybody, the others killed and ate their mothers, instead of doing that I hid you very far in a secret tree where nobody could find you, and you are the special one”.

He had seen his mother many times, and he ate what his mother cooked. After a short rest, Kabundgi went back to the community without any clue that his secret was already revealed. One day, the chief sent three of the others to kill Kabundgi’s mother. Upon arriving under the high tree, they tried 3 times to sing like Kabundgi but they couldn’t get it. The fourth time, one of them perfectly imitated Kabundgi’s voice and his mother opened the access. They ate Kabundgi’s food and killed his mother. After this, they made some nice meat from Kabundgi’s mother’s body, and they left the place.

Kabundgi showed up late, tried several times to be identified and never got any response from his mother. Therefore, he decided to enter, and he was surprised that his mother was absent but left him a nice dinner. Without any suspicion about the meat, he took a short rest as a routine. When he wanted to leave, something fell from above, and it was his mother’s head. He realized that his dinner had been made from his mother’s body, and he started crying. It was very horrible for him.

It took a while to recover from what had happened. One day, he apologized to everyone about what he had done by not killing his mother at the same time as the others. He invited everybody to a big party he would soon organize, and the entire community accepted the invitation he gave. The day of the event, no one missed the party, and they enjoyed the big fiesta. But, earlier, the smart Kabundgi prepared fire pits surrounding the area, and later, during the time of the celebration, he started the fire in the pits, and everyone died. That was the way Kabundgi avenged his mother’s death. This tale pushes kids like myself to be close to their mothers.


Advice from English language learners


In 1996, I lived in the USA for six months. I stayed with a host family, went to high school and was the only Brazilian in my neighbourhood. At the time I found it very hard to come to a new country and to have to deal with everyday situations, because my English background was not as good as I thought it was. Being immersed in an environment and being surrounded by people who are only speaking a foreign language, makes you improve your skills, whether you like it or not. It’s a matter of survival. So, when you least expect it, you are not only speaking the language, but also thinking in that language. People often say, once you are fluent, you can even dream, have conversations or interact in English. Although it is hard not to be able to speak your native language with anyone around you, it can be a very helpful situation.


This time around, I came to Canada with my husband and even though sometimes, we speak English to each other to improve ourselves, I find it much more difficult to be eloquent in the language. When we are tired, just not “in the mood” or want a sense of private talk, we tend to speak Portuguese with each other. It is comfortable, comes naturally, and it is easier to express yourself. As well, it is incredibly hard to be around a person that speaks your native language without doing so. Although having the company of someone from your country can be very comforting, it also can delay the process of enhancing your language skills. We see it happen all the time, families or friends that come together to a different country and keep the household with the original language. It can be even worse if one of the members isn’t working or studying at the time. Mostly the only people they interact with all day long are their spouse, or their friends from their home country. It is a much harder process to learn under these conditions.


Taking a class in English, any kind of class, can be helpful. Not only because you practice your speaking skills, but also because you mostly have to think in English. As you are taught the lessons and the procedures, you eventually absorb more than you realize from the language. Working in an environment where your colleagues are talking to each other and you have to do your share and explain yourself, gradually helps you to take your skills to another level. Part of the process of adapting to a different language is being able to understand the social aspects and conduct input in a conversation as well as the use of words in context that you could never be aware of if you don’t interact with people from that culture. So, get out, participate in as many activities as you can, try a hobby, or join a group. These are all effective ways to improve yourself. In summary, I’m trying to say that it is much easier to learn a new language if you can interact with others, especially native speakers.



I have been learning English for more than 3 years. At first, I just knew some vocabulary and grammar that was learned in middle school and high school but I had lots of difficulty in speaking and writing English. So, I thought that I needed to set a goal to improve my English. At that time, I just decided to immigrate to Canada for many good reasons. To apply for Canadian permanent residency, a good result on an English proficiency test was mandatory. It became my short-term goal. I think this was really effective for improving my English. In order to get the required score in the English test, I studied very hard. Despite all of the difficulties such as spending only a little time with my family, I was able to focus on studying English. Then, after about 1 year, I made it! It was hard and sometimes stressful, however, there was no doubt that my English skill improved significantly. So, I would say that you must find a strong reason why you need to learn English.


I was so happy that I could get the P. R. (Permanent Residency) permit, but I felt like learning English was too boring back then. I just put away all of my English books and did nothing relating to English until I came to Canada. Then, I was shocked for some time as I could not speak and understand English well!


So, I started to study English again, but I wanted to do it for fun at that time. Meanwhile, I purchased the Netflix program on my smart TV application for my daughter, as there are various kids’ cartoons.


But, after I logged in, I was really into those programs. There were new and old movies, dramas, documentaries and cartoons with English subtitles. By just pushing buttons on my remote control, I could study English for fun. I followed the story, listened to the dramas or movies and watched the subtitles at the same time. Sometimes I took notes when I read some new words and I read aloud along with the scripts. Now, it is my favourite way to enjoy learning English.

I know it is a long way to go for mastering English. However, I believe I can enjoy the long journey if I keep learning English with a strong goal and easy and fun methods.

How I upgraded my listening comprehension in a very pleasant way


The biggest problem with the English language that I ever had was the understanding of the spoken word. For me it sounded like a sequence of rrr-tones and often I couldn’t recognize where a word started or ended. Most of the time at school, we practiced English by studying texts, reading books or practising grammar. If we had to talk about a subject we could only learn from ourselves, which meant using very simple sentences with a strong accent. Although I was able to read texts or whole books, I had real problems understanding native speaking people. So I could better understand people who had the same strange accent as me.


Our teacher suggested that we watch BBC or CNN news, but in the beginning, this was a very frustrating method. The fast-spoken script, with lots of specialized terminology about special topics in these countries wasn’t the right method for me. But afterwards I discovered the perfect practise for me. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been really addicted to American TV-series or shows with a long storyline such as Breaking Bad, Lost, Friends, or Dexter. In Germany, I had to wait a really long time for the next season or episode. That’s because in Germany – in contrast to the most other European countries – all films and TV-shows are first synchronized. So while I’ve loved to spend my time with TV-shows and since I’m always waiting a long time for the next episode, I could just as well watch these shows in English. In contrast to the English news on TV, I could get these shows also with subtitles and stop the scene when it is necessary. This was the best possibility for me to practise understanding spoken English while having fun and reducing tension with this activity. I can really recommend this way of learning English.



Today I am going to write about my experience in learning English as a second language.

To continue my career in Canada, the requirement is an IELTS exam with a 7 score in all four disciplines. When I first took this exam, my score was 5.5, and this improved to 6.5. However jumping from 6.5 to 7 is a challenge for me, especially in writing. The question is why is it so challenging for me? The first reason is that I started out by writing an essay, not by learning about the different parts of essays and their purposes. The second reason is because I was trying on my own to improve, without taking any classes or getting help from a teacher.


My suggestion to people who have a weak language background is to attend classes from the beginning, to learn the different patterns of writing before starting to write anything. This will help significantly to improve your writing. To illustrate, in organized classes you will learn the meaning of writing and the purpose of writing. In my case, when I failed to understand on my own how to write an effective essay, it was a red flag for me. Then I started to take language classes, in which I learned what the purpose of writing is, and how to write various forms of writing for different audiences. In class I learned about writing step- by-step. That means writing is a process of several stages such as introduction, thesis statement, topic sentence, examples and conclusion. To understand all of this took me so long. It is my advice that you join proper classes to decrease the frustration of failure and to build your confidence.



Tea and coffee’s health benefits, from weight loss to cancer prevention revealed | Daily Mail Online

If you are taking the academic IELTS exam, one of your writing tasks involves interpreting information on a table, a chart, or a graph.  If you don’t have experience with this, it can be quite difficult.  I recommend that you look at charts or graphs every few days, about subjects that interest you, in order to practice this writing exercise.  This page has a lot of information from research, and some of it is presented in graph form.  See what you learn by looking it over.advantages and disadvantages of tea and coffee

Tea and coffee’s health benefits, from weight loss to cancer prevention revealed | Daily Mail Online.

Process essays: write about the steps to do something (student writing)


Often, my students write very well about a wide range of interesting subjects, and readers of this blog are usually quite interested in what they have to say.  These are recent essays that students wrote about how to do something:


Canada is considered the land of opportunity for many people around the world. If your destination is Canada, there are many things that you must know about their regulations in order to obtain legal status in the country. There are three main statuses to be in this amazing country for a determined period of time: a study permit, a work permit, or a visitor visa.

First, if a foreigner wants to stay in Canada as a student, the candidate must apply for a program of study in an official institute. In Alberta, for example, University of Alberta, NAIT College and MacEwan University have designation as official institutions. After that, the candidate must show proof of financial support to stay in the country during her studies. Finally, the candidate can apply for a student visa, using an online application or in the Canadian Embassy in her country of origin.

The second option to be in Canada is as a worker. In this case, the candidate must apply for a work permit. First, the candidate must show a job offer with a Canadian Employer. Then, the candidate must show links with her country of origin. In other words, the candidate has to prove that she has strong reasons to return to her country after finishing her status in Canada. Finally, the candidate can apply for a work permit.

The last option is stay in Canada is as a visitor. This is the easiest way to come to Canada. This country is always willing to receive tourists from many countries around the world. For this reason, if you want to enjoy landscapes, beautiful cities and enjoyable people, you can apply easily for a visa as a visitor.

In conclusion, Canada has many options for foreigners to stay for a determinate time in order to enjoy, study or work in the country.

A lot of students want to take courses in colleges or universities but some do not know how they should start. Based on my experience, I am going to explain how you can register for a program at Norquest College.

First, go to the website and look through all the courses and program details like requirements for admission to decide which programs to take.

After you choose a program, you need to download an application form from the website and fill it out completely.

Then, mail the form with all the documents, such as your high school transcript, which are required for admission to the registrar of Norquest, or you can submit it in person during weekdays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. I would recommend you visit the office rather than mailing because you need to pay a $60 application fee and they do not accept cheques.

The next step is waiting for the mail that includes your student ID and temporary password. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks.

Finally, after you get a Norquest student ID and password, you must make your account and email address because that will be the only way that the school contacts you. If you have some questions about your program or anything else, you can ask them through email. Besides, by sending an email, they will let you know if your application is accepted or not.

So, these are steps you need to take for registering a program in Norquest. It is very easy to follow, so now take your time and just do it.


As you know, here in Canada people celebrate Thanksgiving Day. I moved here three months ago and last week was my first Thanksgiving Day. The landlady invited my husband and me to have dinner with her and some other friends. We had a really good time and also we ate a lot that day.

The next day, she asked me for help because she wanted to make a soup with the turkey bones. That was weird for me because I thought she had thrown the bones in the garbage. However, I decided to help her and she explained the steps to cook the soup to me. Trust me, it was really delicious! Now I know how to make it and I will give you the steps:

First of all, you have to peel off very well the bones, which means take off all the meat. After that, you put the bones into the oven to toast them. This process is very useful if you want to have more flavour in the soup.

While you are toasting the bones, you can put in the stove a pot full of water, and then you can add carrots, onions and salt.

After that, when the bones are done, you mix them with all the ingredients and let them boil for at least two hours.

Finally, when they have cooked, you can add whatever vegetables you want. Also you can add some pieces of turkey and spices.

It’s optional if you want to add rice.

As you could see is not a hard recipe, and also you are using every single part of the turkey. Try it!




21 Clever Writing Prompts That Will Unleash Your Students’ Creativity

21 Clever Writing Prompts That Will Unleash Your Students’ Creativity.

Many students feel that it’s very difficult to improve their writing.  We frequently use speaking, listening, and reading, if we’re living in an English-speaking environment.  However, many people rarely write, even in their first language.  This means that it will take you much more practice to improve your writing.  Fortunately, I believe that you can improve your writing much more rapidly than you can improve your other skills, because your work is right in front of you.  When you have corrected errors in your writing, you’re likely to remember those errors much more easily than a speaking error, and you’ll try harder to correct it.  What should you write about? You should write about anything and everything, what you did during the day, your plans for the future, arrangements with friends and family, instructions, anything.  These ideas are all a lot of fun.  Try them out some day, and see how your skills improve!

Compare and contrast: How can you become happier?

We all want to be happier in our lives, and we are lucky that so many scientists are looking closely at what will improve or reduce our happiness.  Here’s an excellent essay, as well as an excellent speech about ways to improve happiness.  It’s a great subject for a compare and contrast essay, as well as an excellent area for us to research for our own lives.  The essay says: “So instead of chasing happiness to the extremes, we may be better off pursuing happiness calmly and rationally.”  Arianna Huffington says,  “Modern science has really validated everything that philosophers and spiritual teachers have said about how giving is a shortcut to happiness. Now we have the data to prove it.”

Arianna Huffington on How to ‘Thrive’ – Knowledge@Wharton.

Happiness Hacks: The 10 Most Unexpected Ways to Be Happy.


Basic Writing for ESL Students | Sample

Basic Writing for ESL Students | Sample.

In many Asian countries, it’s not common to write in paragraph form.  Students often write one sentence at a time, and then they start the next sentence on a new line.  This simple explanation shows you a little bit about what a paragraph looks like.  We connect related ideas together in paragraph form, and this is important to write English well.

Students talk about special places, and about protecting the environment



One of the topics that people talk about nowadays is global warming and environmental problems. A lot of people agree that humans are the ones who are causing it, and a lot of other people totally disagree, because they think that it’s something that nature has always done.

All these environmental problems are affecting us in so many ways and some of us don’t realize that in the future it will end really badly, maybe not for us but for our children.

So, global warming results in so many problems and one of them is the melting of the glaciers. Glacier National Park was created in the U.S, in 1910 with 150 glaciers, and since then, it has decreased to only 30 glaciers. People say that maybe in 30 years there is not going to be a Glacier National Park.

So what is causing the melting glaciers? Well it is the gases in the atmosphere that human beings created because of pollution all over the world. Industries, cars, and electricity all create these problems. All these cause the global warming which is causing the glaciers to melt.

Another problem is the water pollution that affects sea life really badly, because we are changing their habitat in a bad way. People are the principal creator of this problem because of the garbage that we toss in rivers, beaches, and lakes. And this can affect the economy of the countries (talking about tourism), because there are so many beautiful natural places that we are destroying while time passes, and in the end, we won’t have the opportunity to enjoy them and also benefit from them. Because we need the natural resources to survive and to have the life that human beings are used to.

Also, there are so many environmental problems like air pollution and deforestation.  If we don’t start to give and keep a solution to this, maybe in the future it will be too late to solve these problems.

So in my opinion, I think that the best way to avoid this is by giving children a better education about recycling and getting information about how we can contribute to solve these problems.


I’m going to describe a particular place in my home country, which is my province. It’s situated in extreme southeastern Poland with the capital and the largest city, which is Rzeszow. The province is mostly hilly and mountainous and the northwestern corner is flat.  The province contains 50 cities and towns with a total population of over 2 million people. This province includes two national parks and 11 Landscape Parks.

Travelling around this province, you can see that every bigger town has it’s own unique downtown with a square. It’s very common through our whole country, where towns and cities are situated very close to one another.  Driving by car, you can easily handle one province with most important cities within one or two days.

On your way travelling around the province you can see a lot of museums, often with medieval buildings. Also, traveling by bike in the summertime, you can admire how breathtaking those southeastern locations are.

Another thing that is worth seeing are the beautiful churches, castles and a lot of structures that were built after the Second World War. For someone who’s interested in the war, it’s a place that you really don’t want to miss.

In conclusion, travelling around this province, in such a small country as Poland, you will definitely find a place that impresses you, over and over again.


There are some places in the world about which you will always say: “I want to go back there again”. One of those places is, of course, your home. It is the same for me. I really enjoy every day of being with my family in the environment that I know and love. Also, I am sure that my parents and siblings are happy to be together. Last but not least, this is the place where I spent a huge part of my life and where I learned everything that is important to live well and to help others.

My house is in a small village in the south part of Poland. We live in the central part of Suszec. But it is a very quiet place, because our house is on a dead end road. Also, we had some neighbours with colossal gardens. Thus, it is an island in the middle of a country in which four thousand people live. I feel very comfortable with those whom I know and they feel the same about me. With my parents, I can talk about everything, and with siblings, we have many similar ways of thinking as well. There are lots of discussions about problems, and sometimes we quarrel, but it is a part of life, isn’t it? My parents do not like to have many changes in their daily life so I always know where to find something to eat or some tools. Even the house keys are kept in a case, in the same place.

My family also enjoys time with me. I usually cook when my mom is at work, and I like to help her with some cleaning because she is not so young any more. Everybody is incredibly happy that I can help my dad. All my childhood, I was the main helper for my dad, because I think I was the most patient person at home. So now, I am always ready to go with him to the garage, or to pick some fruits from the garden, but unfortunately I am not so patient any more. My siblings come for a visit when I am at home as well, so I conclude that they like to be with me. Once, my sister told me at the end of my vacation: We really like when you are coming, but we also enjoy (even more) when you are leaving. At least she was honest. Sometimes, during these kinds of vacations our house is like railway station. Those are the words of my aunt. She, along with my uncle and their dog came for a visit, and slept downstairs. Upstairs we have our rooms. So one night, we decided to go to some friends’. My younger brother came home at 12 midnight, I at 2 a.m., and my second brother at 4 a.m. We were very quiet but the dog reacted to every movement. Now, my aunty always asks if we are going to stay at home as well during her stay.

As I said, my last point is about memory and all that I have learned during my childhood and youth. I have had wonderful examples of a good life from my parents. They showed all of us that it is more important to be than to have. They are ideal, and that is why they are so trusting, and authentic. We have also had very friendly and helpful neighbours. I discover, that whatever you did for others, it will be fruitful in the future.

I am extremely happy that after two years I will go home again. I really left home when I was nineteen, and decided that if there is any need or law not to come back, but there was nothing like that in my new life. And I think the atmosphere of home will stay in my heart forever. Whenever I come back, I say: “Home, sweet home”.


Little Mayan Place

Xcaret is an Ecological Park on the Mayan Riviera, and it’s located 5 km from the south of Playa del Carmen.

This park has many attractions for tourists, but it’s also a protected area, because the state takes care of the flora and fauna.

The views there are really breathtaking, because it is a relaxing place and because you are really involved with the natural environment.

One of the things that you can find there are the “Cenotes”, which are caverns with water, you can snorkel there and swim in the clear water of the river. If you are more adventurous you can go to the underground rivers, because they are really spectacular.

You can also go to visit the historical Mayan architecture in Tulum. The roads to go there are really rocky and quite dangerous, but the view and the feeling of being there is just breathtaking. If you want to go to the top of the pyramids you have to be careful, because the way can be extremely steep and it could be really slippery if is the rainy season, but all the risky moments are worth it for the view, and the experience of having a little piece of history.

Also, you can enjoy the sun and the really clean beach and white sand. The most popular beach is Cancun, which means snakes’ nest in Mayan, but it’s a little far from Tulum and Xcaret .



Sunrise in Cancun


50 day plan for success: 2/3 of my resolutions

I posted a week ago about the 50 day resolution or “nerdlution”.  A resolution is a promise that you make to yourself, and usually, it involves changing behaviour in some way, to help you become more successful.  I think that habits are “building blocks” for success.  If we really want to reach big goals, then we need to build habits that will help us to achieve those goals.  It really helped me a lot, when I learned that it takes at least 21 days to create a new habit.  After that, you don’t need to think so hard about your new behaviour, it has become something that you do pretty automatically.  So, when my friends began to talk about making a 50-day resolution, I thought that was a great idea.  I prefer to try something new for a set amount of time, and then I can assess whether or not it was a good change to make and to continue making.  One resolution that I made in September was to get up early for exercise every day for 1 week.  That was when I started going to November Project Canada After the first couple of weeks, I didn’t want to continue waking up early every day, but it’s been no problem for me to attend November Project 3 mornings/week at 6 am, as long as my car and my body are working okay!  It’s so much fun to get outside and be active with a team, in the dark, and in the cold.  On Friday, when the windchill was -37 degrees, this was our turnout:

-37 degrees, 37 people exercising in the dark!  December 6/2013

-37 degrees, 37 people exercising in the dark! December 6/2013

You can see that everyone dressed in very warm clothing, but we did hills for 30 minutes, and felt great about it!

Now, I made 3 resolutions from December 2/2013 until January 20/2014.  1 is to blog more, so you can see that I’m adding something to the blog every day, and sometimes more.  I hope that what I add is interesting and useful.  I can see that many people are visiting from around the world.

My second resolution is to plank every day.  Planking is an exercise that works your whole body, and the main idea is to stay very still in the position with only your elbows and your toes on the floor.  It looks like this:

Planking: what, how, and why