How Big is My Vocabulary?

test-your-vocab  There is a website called that helps give you an estimate of how many English words you know.  This is not exact, and mostly for fun.  But if you try it now, and then try it again after you have practiced a lot of English, you should see that your vocabulary has improved.

Suggestions for taking the test:

  • This is easier to use on a tablet or computer (rather than your phone)
  • Don’t check a word unless you really know it well.  If you just think it sounds familiar, don’t check it.
  • At the end, it will give you the number of words calculated for your vocabulary.  Save this number, and then compare it with the number you get when you take the test again.

Try to learn a new English word every day, and you’ll be pleased with how your vocabulary grows!

365 Short Stories

The website eslyes has a page with 365 very short stories.  Each one takes only a few minutes to read.  You can also listen to each story (in normal or slower speed).  After you read and listen to the story, there are several exercises you can try.

Here’s some more detail:

  • To listen in slow speed you need to press the speaker button to the right of the title.  
  • The number after each title in the list is the reading difficulty.  A higher number means it’s more difficult to read
  • Exercises include
    • Vocabulary
    • Yes/No questions about the story
    • Crossword puzzle
    • Dictation of some sentences in the story
    • Fill in the blank (Cloze)

The Top 100 English Words

Here is a list of the 100 most frequently used English words.  About half of everything you read in English will be these 100 words!  Do you know all of them?  If you don’t you can learn about them with the Learners Dictionary.  top-100-words

If you would like more, here is a list of the 1000 most frequently used words:

Free Flu Shots

flu-shot-clinic    Many towns are offering clinics where you can get a free flu shot.  The clinic in Framingham (for Framingham and Ashland residents) will be on Saturday, September 22nd from 10:00 until 2:00 at the McCarthy School at 8 Flagg Drive. It’s free, no insurance necessary. But if you have health insurance bring your health insurance card.

  • In Natick, there will be a 2 free clinics:
    • Wednesday Oct. 10th from 10AM-Noon, and 5-7PM at the Community Senior Center, 117 East Central St.
    • Tuesday Nov 6th from 5-7PM at the Town Hall, 13 East Central St. (2nd floor)
  • Milford: Monday October 22nd at Milford Senior Center (60 North Bow St) from 5-7PM
  • Southborough: on Thursday October 5th  at the Senior Center, 9 Cordaville Rd.  10AM-12:30PM for Seniors; 2-4 PM for all residents ages 12 and up
  • Marlborough: on Tuesday, Oct 2nd from 10:00 to Noon and 4:00 to 6:00 at the Senior Center (40 New St.)
  • Other towns will offer them soon too.  You can contact the Board of Health at your city/town hall.

Are You a U.S. Citizen? Prepare to Vote!

  The next national election will be on November 6, 2018.  In Massachusetts, we will vote for one senator (currently Elizabeth Warren), and our representative to the U.S. House of Representatives.  We will also vote for state governor (currently Charlie Baker), our state senator and representative, and other state officials.

If you are a U.S. citizen, and are at least 18 years old, you can – and you should – vote in government elections – local, state, and national. BUT – you must be registered to vote.  It’s quick and easy.  You need to register before you can vote for the first time, and update your address every time you move.

If you want to vote in this election (in Massachusetts), you must be registered by Wednesday, October 17th

  • In Massachusetts, you can register online
    (You can also confirm that you are already registered)
  • In most other states, it’s easy to register online at VOTE.GOV
  • There’s more detailed information on how to vote at
  • Here’s an example of the mail-in voter registration form in Massachusetts
  • You can also get help at the Clerk’s Office in your City Hall or Town Hall

Are you almost a citizen?  MIRA and many organizations in Massachusetts provide services to help you become a citizen.  Framingham Adult ESL offers citizenship classes to help you prepare for the citizenship test.