small smore

Not the Same: Mistaken Homophones Part Two

Correct pronunciation can often mean the difference between getting what you want and not. Recently, I posted about how the words “hobby” and “happy” confuse many students because of the way an error in pronunciation of the /p/can make them sound similar. Here is another seasonal example. In summer, many people go camping or go to the […]

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Can you IMAGINE?

Can You Imagine?!

What are some English expressions that we can use to talk about things we can and can’t imagine? You probably already know words like possible and impossible, real and imaginary, so let’s look at some other vocabulary. We can use the verb picture.  For example, we might say: Picture a green field stretching off into […]

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Students of the

Students of the Month: Samaih and Saleh

Each term, PELA selects two outstanding Students of the Month!  These students have demonstrated their hard work and dedication to learning English, actively taken part in class, asked questions, and served as a role model to other students.  Help us congratulate this months recipients:  Samaih and Saleh! PELA:  Why are you studying at PELA? What will […]

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Newsletter Image TEMPLATE


JUNE 2017 5/30/17-6/23/17 Summer is officially here! This June we wished students happy June birthdays, notified students of upcoming PELA and Portland events, welcomed the first day of summer, and prepared for what is sure to be a beautiful Portland summer season! INSIDE THIS ISSUE Free Idioms Class! Happy June Birthdays! First Day of Summer […]

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go team mascot symbol logo emblem vocabulary English ESL

Go Team: Mascots

 Most schools and sports teams have mascots. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a mascot as “a person, animal, or object adopted by a group as a symbolic figure especially to bring them good luck.” Many mascots, such as tigers, bears, lions, and eagles symbolize qualities like bravery or strength. Others represent the region that the team comes […]

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I can I will cant wont cannot will not ability willingness English ESL grammar vocabulary

What’s the Difference Between Can and Will?

Can/can’t indicate ability while will/won’t indicate willingness. What’s the difference between ability and willingness? Ability means you have the skills. Willingness means you want to.  Look at these examples and see if you can get a feel for the difference:  This woman can help you. She has the information that you need. Unfortunately, she’s in a bad […]

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possessive adjectives ESL English

Possessive Adjectives

We use possessives to show that a noun belongs to another noun. We can make a possessive by using an apostrophe + s in front of the noun or we can use a possessive adjective in front of the noun. For example, in this photograph, the girl has a purple shirt. The girl’s shirt is purple. Her […]

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