ESL Classes for Adults, San Jose CA

Accent reduction ESL English Pronunciation San Jose CA

ESL classes (English as a Second Language) will start Monday, September 12, 2016, and run through Monday, May 15, 2017.

Please join us if you are in the San Jose, California area.

Classes are held Mondays, 9:30 – 11:30 AM at WestGate South Hills (6601 Camden Ave, San Jose, CA 95120). Childcare is available for the Monday class.

A registration fee of $10 is charged your first day of class. There is a text book fee (about $30) for some of the intermediate level classes.

ESL flyer 2016 2017This year we will offer 8 classes, for all levels beginner to advanced, including an English pronunciation class taught by our speech language pathologist Paula Gallay.  Students at intermediate or advanced levels may enroll in our English pronunciation class.

Hope to see you there on Mondays.  Bring a friend.  For more info on our ESL classes, contact Westgate South Hills at 408-268-1676, or, or send me an email for more info.

Bilingualism and Translanguaging

Hello HolaHave you heard of translanguaging and its benefits for bilingual learners?

“If you haven’t, ‘translanguaging’ is the “ability of multilingual speakers to shuttle between languages, treating the diverse languages that form their repertoire as an integrated system” (Canagarajah, 2011, p. 401).   In other words, translanguaging allows bilinguals to make “flexible use their linguistic resources to make meaning of their lives and their complex worlds” (Garcia, 2011, pg. 1).”

Read more about this fascinating concept in a post written by fellow SLP Tatyana Elleseff on her blog at



Happy Summer ESL Students!

We hope you’re having a fun and relaxing summer!

Mark your calendars now for the start of our ESL Classes, on Monday September 12, 2016. Our location is WestGate South Hills, 6601 Camden Avenue, San Jose, California, 95120.

This year we are offering our regular Monday morning classes, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. There is a “one time” registration fee, usually $10.00, and the classes are free – 28 classes from September 12, 2016 – May 15, 2017. Some classes use text books, and those cost about $30.

We will have 8 ESL classes from beginners to advanced, and a special English Pronunciation class taught by our speech-language pathologist, Paula Gallay. Our ESL classes cover speaking, listening, reading, writing and American culture.

ESL flyer 2016 2017

ESL flyer 2016 2017

NEW THIS YEAR: we are offering childcare for our Monday classes for children from birth through age 5.


The Mistakes You’re Making Teaching Pronunciation

Pronunciation Teachers can be focused on teaching certain things, while missing valuable lessons for students.  Here are some mistakes to avoid when teaching English pronunciation:

  1. TALKING TOO MUCH – This is a common error among ESL and English pronunciation teachers! Make sure you are allowing time for students to listen, think and respond in English. Don’t fill up all the air with your talking!  A good rule of thumb is for the teacher to talk less than 25% of class time and for the students to talk more than 75% of class time. Read an earlier post on Using Pauses in ESL Class.
  2. Not including STRESS, RHYTHM and INTONATION – Many teachers think if they teach English sounds, this will be enough. This is a big mistake! Teachers must give instruction on correct stress, rhythm and intonation also. Much more than individual sounds, a student of English must stress the correct syllables, or risk changing the meaning of words (person vs. percent) or the meaning of sentences. Many ESL students were taught to have intonation rise at the end of a question – but that only applies to questions that can be answered “yes” or “no”, or are clarifying questions.  Wh- questions and choice questions (coffee or tea?) can have falling intonation. Read an earlier post on Stress, Rhythm and Intonation.
  3. Not including LINKING – Her’s another area that foreign students often miss. Many students are told to slowly and carefully pronounce each word, but this is not helpful in sentences and conversation. As soon as possible, students should learn how to link words together in sentences. Read an earlier post on Linking.
  4. Working on FOSSILIZED ERRORS – Let’s be frank.  Working on errors that are not making any changes are not going to be very satisfying for the student or the teacher. If you have a student who has made a particular pronunciation error for 15 or 20 years, be sensitive that this error might never change! Work on skills that show improvement.
  5. Focus on PERFECTION – At the risk of saying this too many times, let me say this again: Your goal is progress, not perfection. It is almost impossible to get rid of a foreign accent! There will always be some pattern that will show others that English is not a student’s first language.  Students need to work on improving their communication skills.  The goal is for a student’s English to be clear and understandable in conversation.

Teachers, please keep these ideas in mind and your teaching will be more effective. Keep up the good work teaching English!