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(to) wonder
home town
by chance
opportunity came knocking
sister site
(to) determine
no longer

(to) keep (oneself) involved with

(to) volunteer / volunteer (noun) / volunteering (noun, gerund form)

(a) cornerstone
(an) achievement
rewarding (adjective)
(to) realize

Getting to Know Me

Hello!  You have come to your ESL Help Desk, your home page for questions and comments about English grammar. We are podcasting from beautiful and historic Boston, Massachusetts. If you are in our listening audience today, welcome to the ESL Help Desk!

You are probably wondering what this website is about and who is sitting behind this help desk.  This website is about English grammar and writing, and it's about real and authentic language.  It's about what you write and how you write.   It is not about the writings of famous people and professional writers; it is about the writing of people like you.

And for the second question, I'm going to tell you a little about myself.

What is your experience teaching ESL?

I began teaching English to Spanish schoolchildren in 1975 when I was living in Spain.  When I returned to the United States, I  entered a graduate study program in English Education and English as a Second Language. With that degree in hand, I was able to teach in my home town,  Philadelphia, and later in New York City, meeting thousands of eager learners from all around the world. It was there that I began to develop software as a way to teach grammar and writing.

When did you get into using the computer to teach ESL?

It was purely by chance. I was teaching writing and reading to ESL students at several colleges in New York, when the opportunity came knocking.  And I guess you could say that I answered the door.  Computer programming and technology, and please visit our sister site,, allowed me to think about teaching and learning in new and exciting ways. As you can determine from the image of Boston above, I'm no longer in New York. However, I keep myself involved with English learners by volunteering in the Literacy Program at my local public library and I still am involved with technology for teaching grammar and English.

Why do you like teaching ESL

I love working with newcomers to the United States.  Their energy, their hope and optimism are unbelievable. In addition, communication is one of the cornerstones of any good relationship and any achievement. Helping newcomers to communicate and to begin new lives in a new country is one of the most rewarding experiences I could ever hope to have. When you realize that most learners of English are interested in knowing not only what is correct to say but why something is correct, you have a dynamic relationship.

Tell me a little bit more about these podcasts.

If inquisitive and eager to improve your writing and communication skills describes you, please email me your questions and comments, and subscribe to future podcasts.  That's all for today, and be sure to visit us next week at the ESL Help Desk,, your homepage for English language learners!

Music Copyright, permission of Luca De Bernardi
Photo of Boston Copyright, permission GNU Free Documentation License

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Music Copyright, permission of Luca De Bernardi,