Tara Benwell's Blog (205)

Writing Challenge: Catchy Blog Titles

The MyEC blog feed is full of interesting blog posts! You will find:

What you won't find, unfortunately, is a bunch of well-written blog titles. In a recent comment on my…


Added by Tara Benwell on February 28, 2014 at 15:30 — 11 Comments

No Blog Left Behind - Let's Recommit

A few years ago, I traveled to England from Canada to do a special presentation about MyEC. I talked to hundreds of teachers about how I blog with English learners on EnglishClub. It was a fantastic experience, and many teachers vowed to get their students blogging when they returned to their own countries.

One thing that teachers were really excited about was a concept that we introduced long ago on MyEC: 

No Blog…


Added by Tara Benwell on February 25, 2014 at 19:30 — 28 Comments

Story by Number: #99

My ten-year-old daughter was excited to take this month's writing challenge, too! She wrote this story tonight. She surprised me when she said: "It's a love story." 

A Love Story by JP

a length of rope

a strange light shining in the dark

a full restaurant

a divorced couple

About a week ago, a young man…


Added by Tara Benwell on February 1, 2014 at 1:00 — 6 Comments

Story by Numbers: #38

Here is my story for this month's Writing Challenge. Thank you to Marisa for introducing us to the Great Storymaking Tool. This story uses words and phrases found with #38.  

The Last Laugh

Once upon a time…


Added by Tara Benwell on January 30, 2014 at 14:30 — 4 Comments

Writing Challenge: Story by Numbers

It has been a while since we've written fiction together in a Writing Challenge! My friend Marisa, an English language teacher trainer in Greece, recently shared a fun tool for teachers to use in class. It's…


Added by Tara Benwell on January 28, 2014 at 14:30 — 12 Comments

The Greatest Gift


Added by Tara Benwell on December 27, 2013 at 16:00 — 14 Comments

Do You Like Facebook? Let's Blog About It!

EnglishClub's Facebook page received its 100,000th like yesterday! This is a huge milestone. EnglishClub has been on Facebook since 8 July 2009. You can look through our Timeline to see some other fun Milestones, such as the date EC was born.

Some of EC's members love Facebook. Others hate it. Others liked it in the past, but now…


Added by Tara Benwell on December 17, 2013 at 15:00 — 8 Comments

Writing Challenge: Root Words

A root word is the basic form of a word without a prefix or suffix. Every word has or is a root word. Compound words have two roots. The root word provides the basic meaning of a word. In English, root words have origins from a variety of languages, such as Latin or French. Prefixes (parts of a word that come at the beginning) and suffixes (parts of the word that come at the end) are added to a root to change the meaning and word form. It  useful to learn the meanings of…


Added by Tara Benwell on November 28, 2013 at 16:00 — 7 Comments

Halloween FAQ

Are you new to a country that celebrates Halloween? Here are some questions you may have. 

When is Halloween?

October 31st. 

What is going to happen on Halloween night in my neighbourhood?

When it gets dark outside, kids will dress up in…


Added by Tara Benwell on October 30, 2013 at 18:00 — 15 Comments

Writing Challenge: Write 2 Connect

October 20th is a special day for writers! Writers around the world, including English teachers and students, will be sharing how they use writing to connect with others.

I would like to invite all MyEC bloggers to join this month's writing challenge. Let's show the world how we write to connect with other learners and teachers from around the world.  



Added by Tara Benwell on October 18, 2013 at 16:30 — 20 Comments

Draw and Describe: My Monster

Here's a fun Halloween activity that we can do online. Grab a partner and some colouring utensils. Let's draw!

1) Draw a monster. Use as much detail as you can! 

2) Pick an online partner from MyEC.



Added by Tara Benwell on October 10, 2013 at 18:30 — 5 Comments

Writing Challenge: From The News Archives

Hi everyone! This month I am going to ask a big favour of all of you! In a few weeks, I am going to be doing a presentation about EnglishClub's Listen To News resource. I am going to show teachers how their learners can use this resource to practise listening, reading, writing, and speaking. During my…


Added by Tara Benwell on September 27, 2013 at 17:00 — 7 Comments

How Should We Celebrate 100,000 Members?

MyEC is getting close to 100,000 members. How should we celebrate this milestone? How many of you were here when we celebrated our 20,000th member? Some of us waited up through the night to find out who it would be! 

If you have any ideas for celebrating our 100,000th member, please leave a comment! We will…


Added by Tara Benwell on September 13, 2013 at 18:00 — 13 Comments

Manners Matter - Infographic about Netiquette

My good friend Shelly Terrell shared this useful Infographic today. A lot of these points are useful for MyEC members. Is there anything you disagree with? What did you learn from this infographic? Are you a good digital citizen?

Knowthenet presents Manners…


Added by Tara Benwell on September 5, 2013 at 19:16 — 10 Comments

Writing Challenge ~ I Have A Dream

This week marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech. MLK delivered his speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC 50 years ago. 

I visited the exact location where MLK delivered his famous speech just a few weeks ago with my family. Taking the kids to the site where MLK delivered his speech was a very memorable experience for me. I took short video clips of my children telling me their own dreams for the future. Thanks to people…


Added by Tara Benwell on August 29, 2013 at 16:30 — 30 Comments

Writing Challenge: My Bookprint

This week I came across an interesting section on the Scholastic website about celebrity Bookprints. Scholastic defines a "Bookprint" as "a list of five books that leave an indelible mark on our lives, shaping who we are and who we become". 

Do you agree with Scholastic that "You are what you read"? I do. I also believe that books sometimes choose their readers. 

This month I want…


Added by Tara Benwell on July 25, 2013 at 1:00 — 15 Comments

Writing Challenge: Pretty Paragraphs

Welcome to this month's writing challenge! Anyone can join. You don't even have to be a member of MyEC. You just need a blog! 

This month we are going to review the importance of paragraphs. A paragraph is a single block of text. It typically focuses on one main idea. A good paragraph size for the web is 3-5 lines.  

Paragraphs are important to readers. They help readers follow a piece of text more easily. It is difficult to read a large amount of text…


Added by Tara Benwell on June 26, 2013 at 18:45 — 20 Comments

Writing Challenge: A Mistake I Used To Make

Learning from each other's mistakes is very useful. There are many common errors that people make when they are learning a language. Learners who share a native language often make similar mistakes. This is because they are bringing the rules of their own language to their new language.  

Members often send me…


Added by Tara Benwell on May 28, 2013 at 15:30 — 20 Comments

Guest Post: In Flanders Fields

My father and his wife are doing some traveling this month. Their cruise ship made a stop in Belgium this week, and my stepmom shared an excerpt from her travel diary that I thought you might be interested in. The poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae is one that most Canadian children learn in school, and it is interesting to learn more of the history behind it. My stepmom gave me permission to share her excerpt with you. I hope you find this post as interesting as I did. Maybe it…


Added by Tara Benwell on May 17, 2013 at 15:00 — 5 Comments

What Should We Do With Our Blank Slate?

My older brother built a stage in our basement for my kids last week! We painted the wall behind the stage with chalkboard paint. This way, the kids and their friends can draw whatever scene or message they want for their plays and performances. 

The chalkboard paint has a special warning…


Added by Tara Benwell on April 30, 2013 at 18:31 — 15 Comments

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