Music and Language Education

Vocalist - Spanish & English


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Spelling Bee - Meet the latest and YOUNGEST contestant here!!

Posted on May 29, 2016 at 8:42 AM Comments comments ()
Since we have incorporated spelling bees into our summer classes at St. John's University/The Language Connection, this clip about a National Spelling Bee participant should prove to be very interesting. What do you think?

As I Travel This Pilgrim Journey

Posted on May 17, 2016 at 10:36 AM Comments comments ()
So lucky for the chance to take a short break from the various routines of life, to feel the tropical sun and ocean breeze upon my skin, and the rushing waves and hot sand on my feet.  The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico will always be a favorite spot of respite for me.

Effective Writing: Emails to Essays

Posted on May 16, 2016 at 9:17 PM Comments comments ()
Hello class of Summer 1, 2016! What a pleasure to meet you all today.  I look forward to a wonderful 7-week session where we both learn and explore various topics to write about.  This is an updated post where we can continue communicating with each other.  Best regards and Happy Writing!  ~ Prof. Leslie

Vocabulary in Use - Student Feedback

Posted on April 8, 2013 at 11:50 PM Comments comments ()
During a classroom exercise today after the lesson was complete, students were given a writing assignment to help demonstrate and assess knowledge gained.  The question was posed to which each student was required to write his or her response using at least two or three of the vocabulary words from the lesson.

Question:  How do you identify with Leslie as your teacher?

Of my 14 students, here are a few choice replies.

"She is an amiable, open-minded teacher who is the epitome of a good, inspiring ESL educator."

"I like your amiable personality.  I consider it as a happy occasion that our encounter took place today.  It is great how you are trying to make all students involved.  And your candy gift for everybody is a good way to absolve the atmosphere. Personally, I think you could be the perfect epitome for most of the teachers here."

"Leslie was very friendly and amiable, good professional teacher.  She absolved us of shyness and static.  Leslie is the epItome of good behavior and manners.

Desperately seeking Harmony

Posted on March 31, 2013 at 11:56 PM Comments comments ()
This year's TESOL 2013 International Convention theme of Harmonizing Language, Heritage & Cultures was materialized for me personally during a casual dinner at a local Dallas steakhouse. 

As I joined two of my friendly colleagues for dinner, we encountered a German-French entrepreneur who at first, appeared to be a wine connoisseur .  He was shocked to find that I used many French vocabulary words during my  informal conversation. His surprise was enhanced as I further explained how my fiance and I had exchanged love letters written in French during our engagement.  My fillet mignon was getting cold and I was becoming a bit perturbed by the need to prove myself, again!  He could not accept that apparently my use of certain words of French origin was a normal part of American culture.

As the four of us became more comfortable during what became a jovial exchange over our respective meals and glasses of red wine, the Frenchman revealed his motivation and efforts to learn English. He talked about the tactics of his private tutor.  He shared a few of his partner's study techniques and then he gladly displayed his homemade flash cards from his back pocket; those from which he would study independently.  Quite handy, I thought!  The flash cards helped him during business trips to America such as those held in Dallas that week.

I am sure that each of us pondered our differences at one point or another, not only in language, but also in our respective heritage and cultures.  Between us, we spoke French, German, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and English; the global language!  Most importantly, by the end of this impromptu dinner at the Dallas steakhouse, we each acknowledged the many ways that harmonized English and French languages, along with the heritages and cultures.  We found our common ground and saw that although we carried our German, French, Peruvian, and African American cultures with us everywhere we went, true (momentary) harmony between and among us was eventually achieved. From our dinner together where originally, he ridiculed our use of "his" language, to the moment when he gladly refunded my cash and picked up the tab, to the moments we posed like children in various settings of threes for the photographer of choice, until we walk together to our hotel where along the way, he shared that visiting the JFK museum gave him goosebumps.  Finally, during breakfast the next morning we ladies reciprocated the invitation.  True harmony won!

TESOL International Convention 2013

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 5:14 PM Comments comments ()
During the annual convention in Dallas, Texas last week, I had a great time meeting new people, networking and engaging in professional development over the course of three days.  Of particular mention was the Plenary Speaker, John Hunter who shared his 4th grade classroom experiences via a wonderful documentary, "World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements," where language, literacy and most of all, critical thinking skills are developed naturally and the students assume various roles of global governance.  I truly look forward to meeting Mr. Hunter again and purchasing his book when he visits New York April 2, 2013 at Barnes & Noble on both the UWS and UES. 

Connecting through Music and Art!

Posted on March 4, 2013 at 12:54 PM Comments comments ()
One of the most fulfilling things ever is to make connections with people from other countries and cultures.  During my research in Cuba last year I had the opportunity to witness the amazing talents of young children like the girl in this photo.  Artistic expressions such as music and dance can provide an opportunity to connect with people regardless of the ability to speak the same language.  Music and Art are internationally spoken languages!

International Center in New York Moves Downtown!

Posted on February 16, 2013 at 5:14 PM Comments comments ()
Two weeks ago we found our new home at 80 Maiden Lane under the auspices of Catholic Charities of New York.

Language learners celebrate as 2012 comes to a close

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 3:58 PM Comments comments ()
The holidays are here and we at Leslie's Language and Literacy Services will be celebrating with the Intermediate/High Intermediate Vocabulary students during our last class of the year at the International Center.  After our evening class on Monday, December 17 we will celebrate with music and dancing at a local venue on the Upper East side in New York!!
For more information, please contact us!