Cover image of English Grammar HELP and Podcasts for the Inquisitive ESL Student:  We're Interactive!

English Grammar HELP and Podcasts for the Inquisitive ESL Student: We're Interactive!

Stop by our friendly HELP! Desk, where English grammar is made easy to understand. Listen to an audio of a story written by an ESL student. Ask that question that you've needed an answer to. We have the answers for you, whether you are a native speaker or somebody learning English as a Second Language, whether you are a student or writing a business letter. A new podcast every week.

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Present Perfect Continuous: How've You Been Feeling Lately?

Ever wonder when to use present perfect continuous? Ever wonder how it's different from present perfect? Here we will answer your questions and give you lots of examples from authentic language.


9 Sep 2009

Rank #1

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How Have You Been? The Present Perfect Tense

This verb tense, the present perfect, seems so difficult. After all, it refers to the past, despite its name, and it's hard to know what is so perfect about it. We're going to explore this verb tense so that it becomes easy to use.


15 Mar 2007

Rank #2

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Questions: People Who Ask Questions

People never stop asking ourselves questions. Short and sweet, challenging and thought-provoking, questions without a right or wrong answer....Stop by and listen to some very interesting questions; try your hand at answering them!


25 Sep 2007

Rank #3

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Gerunds and Infinitive: More Grammar!

Are you thirsty for grammar? Don't know when to say "I love to ski" and when to say "I love skiing"? Don't know the difference between "Did you remember to go?" and "Did you remember going?" Stop by today for an introductory lesson in gerunds and infinitive phrases.


15 Nov 2007

Rank #4

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Yum...Can I Get That Recipe?

Surely you have tasted something so delicious that you wanted to get the recipe for yourself, so you could cook it in your own home. In today's lesson, we'll guide you along with how to get that recipe. And while you're at it, you'll get a wonderful Japanese recipe for salmon and yogurt!


25 Apr 2007

Rank #5

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It's a Date!

So much dialogue today is idiomatic: Expressions like "That works for me" or "I'm going to pencil that in" are essential to interpersonal communication nowadays. What do they mean? How do we use them correctly and still sound natural in conversations or even in written communication such as email? Today's dialogue and vocabulary will provide you with the language you need to make a date to get together socially with others.


31 May 2007

Rank #6

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Definitely Fattening!

We continue our lessons with demonstrative pronouns: this, that, these, and those. We embellish our exploration of these, adding subject-verb agreement (is, are, was, were). And we learn more about food from countries such as Italy, Spain, Columbia, Israel and the Middle East, South Korea, and even the United States. Join us for a tasty lesson.


15 Jan 2009

Rank #7

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Get Me to the Train Station (On Time)

Are you planning or considering taking a trip by train? Do you want to avoid having to deal with parking and traffic? In today's podcast, we're going to get you to the train station - on time. All aboard for today's lesson, where we teach important vocabulary and expressions dealing with transportation, how to make suggestions and to respond to suggestions.


8 May 2007

Rank #8

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The Blues and Greens of Ecuador

Imagine a country with sun, sand, blue water, banana and papaya trees, roses, and more. Imagine Ecuador! Join us today when we listen to an audio story written by an ESL student about his native country. Our photos of the Galapagos Islands will delight you!


20 May 2007

Rank #9

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The Nine Answers Podcast for Learners of English

Nine thoughtful and entertaining answers to nine thoughtful and clever questions! Listen to the answers, and see if you can figure out the questions! Then do the additional listening activities provided by this week's podcast, guaranteed to improve your listening comprehension.


24 Oct 2007

Rank #10

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What Should I Bring? Wine, Beer or Chips?

Have you ever been invited to a social gathering and not known what to bring your host or hostess? Should you bring wine? Chips? Or nothing at all? In today's podcast, you will learn all about our social customs and you will learn how to communicate successfully and appropriately in this situation.


7 Nov 2007

Rank #11

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American Thanksgiving, Our National Holiday

Thanksgiving is America's most popular and highly celebrated Thursday and national holiday. Join us for a summary of how we celebrate this prized day.


21 Nov 2007

Rank #12

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Solving Family Problems

How does your family solve its problems? Do you have regular and open communication with each other? Come and listen to our podcast, in which we listen to an essay written by Adimir Ramos, in which he describes his family's way of dealing with each other's needs.


28 Jun 2007

Rank #13

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Beep, Honk, Honk...Do you find yourself stuck in traffic more often than you would like to? Like it or not, traffic is a topic of conversation in our lives. In today's podcast and communication lesson, we will talk about traffic and learn useful vocabulary for such discussions.


6 Dec 2007

Rank #14

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Dear Help Desk, Part One,

Perhaps you have to write a formal business letter in English, and you do not know how to even begin! Should you write "Dear Jane" or "My Dear Jane"? Should you comment on the weather or ask the reader how his family is? This lesson will tell you important information about the language and culture of writing letters in English.


18 Jun 2007

Rank #15

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Paper or Plastic?

Here's a lesson in which you can learn how to save money, save energy, save the Earth, and improve your English grammar all at the same time!


13 Feb 2009

Rank #16

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Code Name ESL

Confused by acronyms ESL, EFL, TESOL, L1 and L2? Do you feel like an outsider with all these codes? We have good news for you: You and other learners of English are not alone, and have come to the right place. Today we talk a little about these codes and others and try to sort matters out.


12 Dec 2008

Rank #17

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I'll Have Some of That, Please!

You're in a bakery, a restaurant, or a store, and you see something you want - but you don't know how to ask for it! You don't have the right vocabulary. Do you point to what you want? We're going to talk about this and that, and these and those. And we're going to see some delicious international foods while we're learning!


8 Jan 2009

Rank #18

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Barak Obama: A New Day for the USA

Today is the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America. Millions are taking to the National Mall in Washington DC to witness Barak Obama take the Oath of Office. Mr. Obama is making history: He is the first person of African-American heritage to become the leader of our nation. Come join us as we watch history being made.


20 Jan 2009

Rank #19

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Dear Help Desk, Part 2

Perhaps you have to write a formal business letter in English, and you do not know how to end your letter. Using the wrong closure could be disastrous if you're trying to get a job or be admitted into a special program. Should you end with "Thanks", with "Yours", or with "Respectfully"? This lesson is second in a series that will tell you important information about the language and culture of writing formal letters in English.


10 Jul 2007

Rank #20