Learn English with Jennifer

Jennifer Lebedev, materials writer, Pearson blogger, and teacher extraordinaire, has several series of instructional videos on YouTube. All of them are thoughtfully constructed, carefully done, and interesting to watch. Jennifer’s latest series (which she is still adding to), “Learn English with Jennifer,” shows Jennifer teaching her friend Natasha English from the very beginning. (Natasha lives in the United State,s but she had never studied English formally; she and Jennifer always communicated in Russian.) These lessons include both vocabulary and grammar, and they focus on the spoken language.  They teach and/or reinforce the basics. They are great for beginning students!

The first 52 lessons are listed and linked below:

Lesson 1 Greetings

Lesson 2 More Greetings

Lesson 3 Greetings Throughout the Day

Lesson 4 Useful Expressions

Lesson 5 More Useful Expressions

Lesson 6 Introducing Yourself

Lesson 7 The Alphabet

Lesson 8 Writing the Alphabet

Lesson 9 Spelling

Lesson 10 Let’s and Don’t

Lesson 11 Do and Don’t

Lesson 12 Counting from 0 to 10

Lesson 13 How many?

Lesson 14 Counting from 10 to 20

Lesson 15 Counting from 10 to 100

Lesson 16 Hundred, Thousand, and Million

Lesson 17 Present Forms of BE

Lesson 18 Subject Pronouns

Lesson 19 Forming Sentences with BE

Lesson 20 Negative Forms of BE and Questions

Lesson 21 Review of BE and Saying Goodbye

Lesson 22 The Weather

Lesson 23 Fruits

Lesson 24 What’s this?

Lesson 25 Articles: aanthe

Lesson 26 What are these?

Lesson 27 That and those

Lesson 28 Colors

Lesson 29 Do you have…?

Lesson 30 Plural Nouns

Lesson 31 Irregular Plural Nouns

Lesson 32 Forms of HAVE (have, has)

Lesson 33 Negative Forms of HAVE

Lesson 34 Family (How many…?)

Lesson 35 How old are you?

Lesson 36 Months and Birthdays

Lesson 37 Seasons

Lesson 38 Leap Year

Lesson 39 Ordinal Numbers

Lesson 40 Dates

Lesson 41 Days of the week

Lesson 42 Weekday and weekend

Lesson 43 Questions about the calendar

Lesson 44 Whose? (myyour…)

Lesson 45 Past Forms of BE (was, were)

Lesson 46 Questions with was/were

Lesson 47 Possessive Nouns

Lesson 48 Rooms in the House

Lesson 49 Verbs in the Simple Present

Lesson 50 Yes-No Questions in the Simple Present

Lesson 51 Question Words

Lesson 52 Information (Wh-) Questions

To find lessons beyond 52, go to YouTube and search for Learn English with Jennifer and the number of the lesson that you want.

Some Good Websites for Reading Practice

There are several related websites that offer short stories and articles for extensive reading practice:

For each short reading passage, there are some simple exercises (such as cloze–fill in the blank–and scrambled sentences).  After you try the exercise, click on CHECK to see if your answers are correct or not. If you don’t know the answer, click on HINT.

English Online has longer factual articles which intermediate students can practice reading. At the end of each article, there is a list of words which learners might not know, with simple definitions. You can choose from many different topics, such as Travel, People, Government and Politics, or Environment, or read articles about current events (News Articles). You are bound to find something to interest you here!

American Stories for English Learners features the written text and an accompanying audio recording of 57 short stories by famous American writers such as O. Henry, Mark Twain, and Jack London. The stories are simplified for English language learners, but you will probably need at least a low intermediate proficiency to enjoy them. The audio recordings feature slow, careful speech.

Vocabulary (and) Spelling City

Vocabulary and Spelling City is a fabulous site! I’ve been using it with my beginning class recently. I have a premium membership, so when I create a spelling list for my class, all the activities are available to my students. However, as a student, you can create your own list by typing the words you want to learn into the yellow notepad on the home page. Then SpellingCity will model the words’ pronunciation, spell the words aloud for you, and create spelling tests and vocabulary, writing, spelling, and alphabetizing games as well as printable handwriting exercises, The games vary from very easy (e.g., Missing Letter) to more difficult (e.g., Sentence Unscramble). Feedback is immediate. You can play the games over and over again until you really know those words. If you want, you can use Find a List to search for my spelling lists under the username nliakos; but remember, they are for beginners, so depending on your level, they might not be very useful to you.

Watch the video “Getting Started” on this page of the website to see how you can create your own spelling lists or use some of the many lists in Teacher Resources, such as  capitonyms (words that change their meaning when they are capitalized, like turkey/Turkey), compound words, or (for advanced students) analogies.