Do you like to read, but not in English?

Daniel, Level 3 Reading Instructor

Daniel, Level 3 Reading Instructor

There is a program for Google Chrome that will translate a few words randomly into any language you choose.  So, if you like to read in your first language and want to start learning new vocabulary then this program may be a good choice for you.

It is called Language Immersion for Chrome, and you can download it from the Chrome Web store.

Once you add the Language Immersion for Chrome App to your Google Chrome browser you will see a new Icon next to the browser page.

dan1When you are ready to try the service, find an article that you want to read and click on the APP.  You will see a box like this:

dan 2If the article is originally written in your language, translate it into English.  If the article is in English, translate it into your language.

The “immersion level” is where you choose how much of the article you want translated.

For extra points on an AWL quiz, use this APP to translate an article and tell me if the translation is correct or incorrect.

Send me your answer in an email:


A Quick Reference Guide for Relative Clauses

What are the basics?

We know that relative clauses modify nouns. This explains why they are sometimes called adjective clauses. Unlike adjectives, relative clauses come after the noun they modify.

Courtesy of

Courtesy of

What kinds are there?

Relative clauses can be either restrictive or nonrestrictive. Some people use other words to classify them, but they have the same meaning. Restrictive clauses identify the noun that is being modified. Nonrestrictive clauses simply add information about the noun. Notice the difference here.

  • The boy who had his birthday party here was sick.
  • The boy, who is ten years old, is sick.

What about the pronouns?

There is a set of pronouns that is usually used with relative clauses. These are called relative pronouns. The most common relative pronouns are that, who, and which. Sometimes the pronoun can be omitted altogether.

When do we use these pronouns?

The most commonly used relative pronoun is that. It can be used with people or things. For people we can also use who or whom. Who is used for subjects and whom is used for objects. Many people use who for both. Which is used with things.

Do I have to use a relative pronoun?

No, sometimes it is possible to omit the relative pronoun. When the relative clause is for an object, the relative pronoun can be omitted. They cannot usually be omitted when the relative clause is for the subject.

These are some basic questions and answers about relative clauses. In our Grammar and Writing level 4 class, we go in to more detail about these clauses. If you are up for a challenge, try to find out what information I have left out. You can bring it to class or post it online.

Kody, Level 4 Writing Instructor

Kody, Level 4 Writing Instructor

Learn 5 Common English Idioms to Describe People

KrystalListening and Speaking:Beginning

Krystal, Level 1 Listening and Speaking Instructor

Sometimes, even when you know a lot of English, you can have difficulty finding the right words or phrases to describe people’s appearance and personality. Having the right words to describe the different people that you meet is helpful. Here are 5 English idioms that you may hear when people are describing others.

1.   Has a heart of gold – hǽz ə hɑ́rt ə́v gól

  • A person who has a heart of gold is very kind and considerate.
  • Example: She has a heart of gold. She’ll always help anyone with anything.
  • ʃí hǽz ə hɑ́rt ə́v góld. ʃíl ɒ́lwèz hɛ́lp ɛ́niwən wɪθ ɛ́niθɪ̀ŋ

Image courtesy of 

2.   Pain in the neck – pén ɪn ðə nɛ́k

  • A person who is a pain in the neck is very annoying or a bother.
  • Example: My little sister is a pain in the neck.
  • máj lɪ́təl sɪ́stər ɪ́z ə pén ɪn ðə nɛ́k.

3.   Happy-go-lucky – hǽpi gó lə́ki

  • A person who is happy-go-lucky is very cheerful and carefree all the time.
  • She is a happy-go-lucky girl. She’s always so cheerful.
  • ʃí ɪ́z ə hǽpi- gó- lə́ki gə́rl. ʃíz ɒ́lwèz só tʃɪ́rfəl.

4.   Hard as nails – hɑ́rd ǽz nélz

  • A person who is (as) hard as nails is unsentimental and shows no sympathy.
  • He doesn’t care who he hurts. He’s as hard as nails.
  • hí də́zənt kɛ́r hú hí hə́rts. híz ǽz hɑ́rd ǽz nélz.

5.   Average Joe – ǽvərɪdʒ dʒó

  • A person who is an average Joe is someone who’s just like everyone else; a normal person.
  • He is an average Joe student. He isn’t rich and famous.
  • hí ɪ́z ǽn ǽvərɪdʒ dʒó stúdənt. hí ɪ́zənt rɪ́tʃ ǽnd féməs.

Now you give it a try. Can you think of people you can use these idioms to describe?

Is there an English idiom you don’t understand? Post your idiom question below as a reply, or send me an e-mail ( and tell me about it. I’ll try to help you understand it better.

Happy Learning!

Image courtesy of

Welcome Spring-2 Students!

Welcome back! We hope that all of you are having a great first week of classes. If the first day is any indicator, this is going to be a wonderful term. We have many exciting activities lined up for you all this term: Game Nights, Movie Days, English Tables, and a Paintball Trip!

To better help you plan for our events, here is a printable calendar:.SPRING-2 CALENDAR.

Also, the sign-up sheet for the Paintball Trip will be in the ESL Office. Please sign-up before April 9! There are limited spots available, so make sure that you come as soon as possible to reserve your place.

Paintball Flyer

From all of us here at AUM’s ESL Office, we look forward to another great term!