ESL Buffet

MiraCosta College

Oceanside, CA

On the menu:

  • Presentations / Workshops
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Tech Resources
  • Projects ideas and instructions
  • Tech resources, and more

Come on in!  All you can devour! 

Hostess: Instructor Kristi Reyes, Noncredit ESL, MiraCosta College

Presentations and Workshops

MiraCosta College Continuing Education Fall Orientation, August 2009:  Collaborating and Creating Community Beyond Your Classroom Walls

READ/San Diego Tutor Conference, June, 2009:  Using Internet Video with ESL and Literacy Students.

USD English Language Academy, May, 2009:  Web 2.0 Tools for ESL Teaching and Student Projects. PowerPoint and Handout

USD Course:  EDU 548/Special Topics -- Using Technology for the Academic Achievement of ESL.  Link to page

MiraCosta College Program for Online Teaching, April 2009:  "Web 2.0 for Teaching and Student Projects" with Eli Clarke.

CATESOL State Conference, Pasadena, CA, April 2009:  "Using Video in PowerPoint" Preconference Institute with Branka Marceta; "20 Web 2.0 Tools for Student Literacy Projects" Adult Level Featured Workshop with Beth Bogage and Eli Clarke; "ESL Digital Storytelling" with Ruth Gay and Eli Clarke; and "Web Tools Tech-Loving Teachers Can't Live Without" with Beth Bogage and Eli Clarke (see mccestechwiki for these presentations).

"Innovative uses of digital technology for teaching oral skills,"  TESOL Convention panelist, March 2009.  Numerous free and easy-to-use Web 2.0 tools provide opportunities for both instruction of speaking skills and student audio projects that are broadcast to a wide audience and allow for online  collaboration and feedback.  The panelist will discuss and demonstrate the use of podcasts and other sites for teaching oral skills and for project-based learning that incorporates student oral production.

"Web-Based Class Activities," Technology and Distance Learning Symposium, OTAN, Spring 2009.  Presentation slides and handout, also available on the OTAN site.

TESOL Electronic Village Online (EVO) Video 2009 wiki, co-moderator.  EVO Video 2008, participant and panelist, and 2007, participant.

20 Web 2.0 Tools for Student Literacy Projects, presented at San Diego Regional CATESOL Conference, October 2008.

Let's Blog! workshop at 2007 and 2008 San Diego Regional and 2008 State CATESOL Conferences with Eli Clarke:  Bloghandout.doc and links to some websites for online projects you can embed:  LetsBlogLinks.doc

Integrating Internet-Based Video Clips with Angela Webster, CATESOL Regional and State Conferences:  IntegratingVideo.doc (2008) and IntegratingVideo2007.docx (2007) and a list of websites that host videos and other resources for integrating video:  VideoResources.doc

Eli Clarke's Word 2003 handout (for creating newsletters and breaking the photocopier habit), presented at CATESOL Conference, 2008:  Some_Clicks_to_Remember2003.doc

TIMAC Panelist, San Diego Regional CATESOL Conference, 2007:  TIMACPanel.pps

Year Two TIMAC presentation:  Year2pres.pps

MCC Fall 2006 Continuing Ed. Basics of PowerPoint Flex Workshop:  FallPPtflex.doc


Tech Resourses

A list of free sites for making online quizzes, tests, exercises, flashcards.  Also, links to resources for using the sites, ease-of-use ratings, and samples I made.

According to a special Task Force of the Intersegmental Committee of the Academic Senates of the California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California, essential technology competencies for success at entry to college level work include the ability to:


  • Type
  • Use word-processing software to cut, paste, and format text; spell-check; and save and move files
  • Navigate e-mail; compose, send, and receive e-mail; and post attachments
  • Employ e-mail etiquette
  • Navigate the Internet and the World Wide Web, recognizing the significance of domains
  • Use search engines effectively
  • Evaluate the authenticity of a website, the credibility of the author, and the validity of the materials found on the web
  • Know how to cite internet sources
  • Know what constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it when using the internet

Do you think that your students don't need to learn PowerPoint?  Think again!  E-school news published this article in 2007 about new college entrance requirements, which include "slideware" presentations.  An article in the "How to Build a Student for the 21st Century" edition of a 2006 Time magazine points out that in many elementary schools kids as young as first grade are making presentations with PowerPoint!

I have written a series of articles for the OTAN website on various web activities for adult education.  Here are versions of the articles to download.  Also see articles on tips for using technology, websites worth checking, and project ideas in The Communicator, MiraCosta College Noncredit ESL program newsletter.

CustomGuide has free computer training quick reference PDF sheets for download on a variety of programs:  Outlook, Access, Excel, Word, Explorer, PowerPoint, FrontPage, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and more.

PowerPoint in the ESL Classroom:  Grammar Charts to download and add to presentations and ready-made presentations for teaching vocabulary.  A search on Authorstream or Slideshare yields several ready-made online PowerPoints for ESL, too!

Microsoft Office Suite:   My favorite site for using to teach about most Office products (Access, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Word -- versions 2003 AND 2007) is In Pictures: Online Computer Tutorials.  It's free and has easy-to-follow directions with screen shots for each step. 

Handout from MCC Continuing Education Fall 2007 Flex Presentation by Eli and Kristi:  EliKristiPowerPoint2007.doc and Spring 2008:  PowerPoint2007Howto....pdf

Thorough handout on Using Movie Maker, created by me for OTAN online workshop "Using Movie Maker in the Classroom"  MovieMakerhandout.doc

Use Movies to teach English.  Materials I have created and websites to use. 

Using Video.  Links to video sharing sites, ideas for video projects.

List of my favorite sites for ESL students

MCC Tech Tips

2007:  TechTips.doc

2008:  TechTipReview2008.docx and ATLSymbolsbyEliDinamarcaClarke.pdf 

Keyboarding Shortcuts

Increase your keyboarding speed with shortcuts or teach students these common shortcuts for Word: KeyboardingShortcuts.doc (includes answer key).

Other Tech Resources Specific to MCC

Eli Clarke's and my workshop materials from "Using TEC Room Equipment" (MCC Fall 2008 presentation):  TECPresentation.pdf and TECPresentation.ppt (Eli) and my materials:  UsingTECs.doc(handout), Presentation.pptx, and examples:  Word.docx, 3question_ppt-math_quiz.ppt, Jeopardy1.ppt for download, and passivejeopardy.ppt

Saving files in the computer labs at the Community Learning Center (USB devices and CDs):  SavingWorkinCLCLabs.docx

Simple instructions for Blackboard:  SimpleBlackboardInstructions.doc

Using TEC (Smart Room) Equipment:  See the Starboard Video Demo Online

Troubleshooting TEC Equipment:  Starboard.doc

PowerPoint Presentation Samples for Teaching Language Skills:



New Course at MiraCosta College: 

Noncredit ESL Digital Storytelling

Class Description 

Class blog

Summer 2008 ESL Digital Storytelling Academy Site

First student showcase 

Second student showcase

ESL Digital Storytelling Summer Academy 2008

Spring 2009 class Web page

Summer 2009 ESL Digital Storytelling Academy


VESL Projects

These are projects students in the VESL class have completed recently.  Download the instructions and modify for use with your own class as you like.  See the class blog or email me for samples and Web sites to use.

Lighten Up!... with comic strips

See a review of several sites for making comic strips online.


Every December, students in VESL make personalized, theme calendars to get themselves organized for the new year.  More information.

Student blogs

In Term 4 of Spring 2008 and Spring 2009, the VESL students created their own blogs to post their computer projects for the nine weeks.  Links to their blogs are posted on the VESL class blog.

Video Resume

After reading about the emergence of video resumes in a Time magazine article and practicing listening comprehension and vocabulary with the first scene from the movie Legallyblonde.docx (in which Elle applies and gets accepted to Harvard Law School with a video application), students wrote traditional paper resumes and then made resumes on a PowerPoint templae, and then videotaped or made a movie with Movie Maker.  videoresume.docx

Career Builder's "Which Jobs are Frauds?" online quiz is quite a challenge!

Have students take the 10-question quiz, which includes interesting vocabulary and great visuals, to see what you know about uncommon occupations.  For example, which job is a fraud: armpit sniffer, dog sniffer, or garbage sniffer.  Take the quiz yourself! I failed!

Got goals? 

MiraCosta College Noncredit ESL Coordinator Sylvia Ramirez has been on the conference tour circuit promoting goal setting for ESL students.  See what is used to help students formulate goals in the Noncredit ESL program at MiraCosta College.  Students sometimes have difficulties determining how  to realize their goals of "improving their English," and that's when EnglishClub's "How to Learn English" is very helpful.  The site includes ideas about activities to improve specific language skills, making an agenda for one's learning, and a contract that students can download, fill in, print out, and sign. 

Two online sites worth exploring for goal setting are eLIFELIST, which describes itself at an "online community dedicated to acknowleging and fulfilling your life goals," and LifeTango, also a social networking site where users post goals and log attainment of goals in this online community.

Get Real!  Reality Check

Students used the California Career Zone website to find out how much money they need to earn to support the lifestyle they choose to live.  Then, they found out which careers have salaries that match their needs.  They posted this information and a career video to their personal blogs for this class.  Here are the directions: RealityCheckAssignment.docx

CareerBuilder Fun Stuff!

CareerBuilder has a funny site, Age-o-Matic, that allows you to upload a photo or use one of the gallery photos, select features of a career (such as company band, quitting time, and work environment) and enter text that is converted to speech or call in your own message.  The site shows you how your job will age you.  You can then email the link to share with friends.

You may remember all the funny CareerBuilder ads that feature chimps, such as "The Performance Evaluation," and CareerBulder has a companion site, Monk-e-Mail, for customizing a chimp and sending a its message in an email.

Students (and you) may have fun sending a personalized video message from the boss with the site bigcheesememo.

Advertising and Marketing Unit

  • Ad Analysis Project:  Students learned about advertising strategies (Slate video), chose an ad and analyzed it with team members, and made presentations.  AdAnalysis.docx

  • Advertising Mini Project:  Students used online ad-making sites to write advertisements.  AdMiniProject.docx

What Happened on the Day of Your Birth?

For this project, students used the following websites for research and completed the WhatHappenedontheDayYouWereBorn.docx, then used Publisher to make a one-page newsletter, which they later posted on their personal blogs.  Here's my example (ignore the year!):

Time Capsule - Enter your birthdate and see what was going on then: news headlines, who was in office, retail prices, average income for the year, Academy Award winners, and sports headlines

Year by Year 

Famous Birthdays  Who was born on your birthday?

And Who Shares your Birthday? 

Celebrity Birthday Finder

This Day in History

The History Channel  -- where you can also see videos) – pictures, words

This Day in History Library of Congress (enter the date in number 2)

This Day in History New York Times

Anyday Today in History 

Uncle Woody's Almanac 

True Colors

The digital form of What color is your parachute?,, a subscription career planning guide, has a simple online questionnaire that helps job seekers match their personalities and interests to a wide range of suitable careers.  The test is free but the other sections of the site are not.  Also check Career Path for free online quizzes about career planning, job satisfaction, and color career counseling (similar to True Colors).

Gift Project

After discussing and reading about customs for gift giving for social occassions, events, and business around the world, students created a "gift" using online tools and software programs.  giftproject.docx

Online Resume Builders

Two sites for writing, storing, and sharing resumes online are Amiko and Emurse.  Both sites have tons of storage and built-in templates.  This is definitely the 21st Century method for applying for a job!

Relocation Project

Students found a job and housing for friends relocating to work in this area.  Relocationproject.docx

Ideal / Dream Home Project

Students used online sources to find or make their ideal or dream home.  DreamHome.docx

Virtual Model Assignment 

Students created virtual models sporting outfits appropriate for a job interviews in their chosen career areas.  MyVirtualModel.docx

Changes and Transformation Project

Practing present perfect verb tense, students wrote and presented about life and work changes.  ExperiencesandTransformationsProjec.docx

Digital Self Introduction 

Students created avatars to introduce themselves to the class.  DigitalSelfIntroduction.doc


Welcome to Our School Project 

A team of students led by Jimmy Gutierrez created this webpage during the summer term.

Zentation Project (merging writing with technology):  zentationassignment.doc Here is a list of pre-screened, instructor-approved (PG13) google videos to save yourself time, if you would like to do this project with your class:  GoogleVideos.doc

Who Am I? Slideshow project:  WhoAmISlideshowProject.doc 

Personal Webpage:  MakeYourOwnWebpagein5Minutes.doc 

Business Cards: DirectionsforMakingBusinessCards.doc

Career Research Project:  TrueColorsAssignment.doc and CareerResearchProject.doc 

American Dream Podcast Project: AmericanDreamPodcastingProject.doc

Idiom Project:  IdiomProject.doc

Tourism and Travel Unit

Calendar Project:  publishercalendarproject.doc (make a calendar using MS Publisher 2007)

Fill out an online job application:  application.htm

Happy Life Survey and Excel Project:  HappyLifeSurveyandChartingProject.doc

Excel in the ESL Classroom (after recording how they spend their time for one week, students make a pie chart with Excel):  ExcelGraphingProject.doc


Other Projects


Speaking with the Stars

Successful Job Interview Project

My Class Websites

Podcasts (VESL) and

Blog (VESL)

Blog (ESL Digital Storytelling class at MCC)


VESL Projects

Wiki for Fall 2008 Level 5 Class

ESL Digital Storytelling Academy

Blog for Fall 2008 Level 5 Class

Wiki for Level 5 and VESL (Spring 2009)


In-class / Computer Lab ESL resources

Download a PowerPoint Game Template for a Fun, Competitive Class Review

Fun Game for Practicing Irregular Verbs:

E-mail me for Irregular Verbs Flashcards on PowerPoint (with or without sound)

Practice Parts of Speech with the Grammar Ninja Game


My Favorite Sources for Project / Technology Integration Ideas

Larry Ferlazzo's blog

Webquests on Nellie's English Projects


For more information or questions about the projects and guides here, e-mail me!

See my "Teachable Moments" digital story on YouTube

Vocational ESL at MiraCosta College