Category Archives: Language Learner

These pages are for all my students as well as any one interested in learning more about the English language.
We are interested in sharing ideas, opinions, what makes English learning interesting and what doesn’t!

I believe…


Every now and then, I feel it is necessary to take stock and think about what is important in our lives. It does not matter if you are old or young, studying or working, happy or sad.

Thinking about things that matter, makes us more focused, helps us prepare our journey in life and when we achieve our goals, we feel proud of ourselves and our success. Success usually stems from hard work and hard work is a result of knowing our goals, knowing where we are headed is part of reflection.

Take the time to think of what you believe in, what you live for and how you can adjust the things in your life to make it meaningful and successful.

I believe…by Mrs Misso-Veness

I believe that everyday when I go to school,

   I will make a difference in a student’s life,

             I will inspire a teacher and

                     I will make a small change as a teacher, a wife, a mother and a daughter.

I know many things are possible because ‘I BELIEVE’.

What do you believe you are able to do? Write down your own mantra.

Fluency in Speaking


Have you felt that once you start teaching pronunciation, intonation and word stress in class, your own goes downhill? It feels stilted at times and suddenly, I am so conscious of my lips, teeth, tongue and how they all work that I trip over my words as well! It can be hilarious but darn painful when you are being observed! I think my observation went well with my 13-year-olds. Bless the boys! They were co-operative, well-behaved and did all the right things 🙂

We tried these out. I revisited the theme of ‘Nature is a friend, not a foe’.

1) Stress Moves – a game of selecting cut-out words that fall into different stress sound categories. For eg. friend- single stress, reuse – primary stress on 2nd syllable, modern – primary stress on the first syllable and disaster – primary stress on the middle syllable. Of course, I modelled this for them.

2) Word Stress in a sentence- “I love the sun”. I highlighted one word to be stressed in each sentence. I love the sun. I love the sun. I love the sun. Each pair read that aloud and I elicited the meaning of each sentence.

3) intonation – We listened to my daughter’s all-time favourite, Eeyore. They loved listening to his droning voice, and we talked about what intonation meant and how important is it. We went into what rising and falling sounded like and when we used them.

4) Dialogue – I gave out a short dialogue for pairs to practice their word stress and intonation. At the bottom of their card was a scenario that read, “talk to each other as a friend visiting another in hospital, as a policeman to a suspected criminal, as a teacher to a student,”. When the pairs read aloud their dialogues, the rest of the class had to guess the scenario and explain their reasons. Oh, we did discuss body language, too, as the boys seemed to depend on it more to express their ideas than using their voices.

5) Idiomatic language – Most of my ELLs struggle with this especially prepositional phrases. I reused vocabulary from our previous sessions. Each pair had a card with some phrases from previous readings. They had to write a paragraph using those phrases.

6) Accuracy – The next stage was to talk about how we can ensure accuracy in our work. Pairs exchanged their word for peer marking of Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation (GSP) as well as the use of the phrases.

7) Fluency – Having had their corrected work back, students had time to practice reading aloud their paragraphs before presenting it to the class.

The lesson flowed well and they had fun with the variety of activities.

The Tree of Hope Project


I feel proud, like a mother would, of her child’s achievement, of the lovely work done by our students.

The Tree of Hope was a project put together by the ESL, English & Art departments to commemorate Children’s Day in Korea as well as remember unfortunate children around the world. There were many heart-felt messages of hope and love, written by Years 7-9, on the leaves they crafted during Art.

In line with the IB philosophy of creating caring, principles and reflective students, ( 3 of the 10 attributes of the learner profile), the students have proven that they are on the right track.

Here’s to growing that tree and building strong characters.

Tree of Hope – look at our gorgeous tree –

The Tree of Hope by reflective, principled and caring individuals

Can we be free of exams?


As a student, I abhorred exams – I detested the whole process of revising, memorising, penning out 45 minutes worth of my supposed understanding of a war or geographical feature, doing it over and over again for years on end and at the end of each, quaking upon receiving my report book. Ah, the bliss of adolescence and the schooling years.

Does any student ever see the value of exams? I certainly didn’t. All I persevered to do was get the best grades possible, which I happily did for all my subjects except dear, old Maths. Not surprising that I ended up an ESL teacher. Now, the Korean Won does my head in with the multitude of zeroes.

As a teacher, and I’ve been one for over 10 years now, I have suddenly crossed over to the ‘dark side’ of the examinations field. Yes, me, a teen hater of the dreaded exams, now see the value of assessments! Traitor! But let me say my piece.

What are assessments? A means to feedback for both teachers and students (oops, parents, too) to ascertain how much of the skills (not necessarily the content or knowledge because you can get that anywhere these days) and thinking processes had gone on in your heads. Yes, THINKING is vital. Everyone can memorise and regurgitate but to be able to use the knowledge in different situations, creatively and intelligently is another thing. That’s why there are those who don’t seem to work all year but manage to score in exams. They are either super intelligent or they are able to apply the necessary skills and think about what needs to be done in exam questions. NLCS Jeju isn’t looking for regurgitating robots. We want thinkers, independent learners who are creative individuals with big big hearts.

As for me, I’m a mugger. But thankfully, my exam days are over…Actually, not. I completed a professional course assessment just a couple of months back. Good news students, you never stop learning and being assessed – school, home, workplace, relationships 🙂 On the bright side, you assess people all the time, too.

Amusing Exam Tales: Click here

Let’s enjoy the rest of the term with Language Lounge fun games and activities.


Literary Device Competition


Read my previous blog  Language Lounge Launch.

Can you identify the literary device used in the title? If you know it, hunt me down, tell me your answer and you’ll get a little prize.

Happy Hunting….

Language Lounge Launch


A place to relax, have a biscuit and put your grey matter to the test.

We challenge you at the Harkness Table with a ‘guest’ speaker each round.

Open up and speak your belief with our Big Question time – Is religion important in the 21st century? Is God a man or a woman? Is it permissible to break the law?

Come, invent and persuade us to your cause through our Inventive Sessions.

Listen to the news, watch controversial new clips and discuss it’s glocal effects (global + local).

Be part of a Game Show, answer a question, win a prize.





Are you a good language learner?


1. I think first and foremost, to be a good language learner, you need to be realistic about your goals and achievements. There will be times when it would seem like you are not making much progress and at others, you would be scaling great heights. Do set aside time to learn, read, write and speak in order to become proficient in English.

2. Do understand how you learn best – do you need visual explanations? Do you learn and remember best by taking notes whilst listening? And most importantly, ask your teachers for help if you do not understand a particular exercise or lesson.

3. As a language learner, you need to be adventurous and take risks. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. We learn from them and we grow.

“It’s okay to not know, but it’s not okay to not try” [click on link]

4. Be an active learner, be independent – do not expect to learn everything about the English language just seated in class. Speak to your friends in English. Grab all the opportunities to communicate English. Do not wait for your teacher to direct your learning.

5. Now that you have made it past the entrance exams and are in NLCS Jeju, you need to challenge yourself and work on communicating accurately at a higher level. When you sit for your IB exams, you are competing against the rest of the world for entrance into a reputable university. Your English needs to be on par with an English-speaker, your essays need to stand out, you need to show balance between academic work and community/school activities.


There are so many other factors that affects your learning of English. Chin up, work hard, seek help.

ESLunch Speaking



During Tuesday’s session, we’ll be looking at presenting in a loud, clear voice so that our listeners can understand our speech.

The topic you need to prepare for Tuesday is “My favourite book”. In this short presentation, you  need to remember to include:

1) the title of the book

2) the author

3) why do you like the book : reasons you enjoy the book – the story, characters, the style of writing, the genre (is it a thriller, romance, crime, adventure, fantasy, etc), any quotations, etc.

4) would you recommend this to your friends? What book would you like to read next? 

You need to speak for 1min 30secs at least. Practice, practice, practice in front of a friend or the mirror.

Do visit these sites for ideas : My Favourite Book 1My Favourite Book 2

Good luck.

Why it Pays to be Bilingual


I remember the challenges of learning a new language when I was in school. I did not value the lessons nor the books I had to read. Looking back today, I am most grateful for the second language policy that Singapore had. Being bilingual, aware of the world around us and it’s languages and cultures, is so very vital to our success in life.

In the next couple of weeks, we’ll be looking at Why it Pays to be Bilingual.

Activity 1 : Click the link below and find out why being bilingual is beneficial. Then ‘leave a comment’ about what you have read and your thoughts, opinions and feelings on this subject matter. We’ll be looking at this topic on Monday 6th February.

Why it Pays to be Bilingual

Some vocabulary for you.

1) cognitive: to do with your brain – mental development of judgement, perception, reasoning

2) metalinguistic skills : skills necessary to learn languages, write, speak, listen, respond to words in a language

3) augment : improve, increase, make bigger

Activity 2 : Find the definitions of these words from the website

1) bilingual

2) multitaskers (n) / multitasking (v)

3) verbal and spatial

Good luck. I’ll see you on Monday 6th February with reasons why being bilingual is important. Be ready to share your findings.

Idiom Competition



I’ve posted a new ESL Competition. It’s an idiom competition where old sayings die heard.  It’s up on the ESL noticeboard outside GS 211. Give it a go. There will be a prize for the winner or winners.

What’s an idiom?

The dictionary defines an idiom as, “ a group of words that have a different meaning from the usual meaning of the separate words.”

For example:

To pass : to not accept an offer

To pass on : to die

To make a pass : to show someone romantically that you like them  (if you do it to the wrong person, you might get a slap!)

Why do we use idioms?

Idioms add a little ‘something’ to language. What do I mean? It can make a description more vivid and brief instead of a long literal translation, and it’s part of language, not just the English language. Learning idioms and using them would give you a much richer understanding of the English language and culture. To do well, you need to roll up our sleeves (get to start work), put your nose to the grindstone (start working hard) and read, learn, apply. Good luck!