Gas Station and Mini Mart English

What Gas Stations and Minimart English will do for you, if you are an ESL teacher of Spanish-dominant learners of English, is to provide you with an e-textbook with 20 English conversations likely to take place in one setting. The setting for this first booklet in the series is gas stations and the often accompanying minimarts. Each conversation is followed by its Spanish translation. Each fifth conversation is followed by a lesson on numbers and a set of practice sessions. Use these conversations and exercises to increase your vocabulary and, thus, to expand your knowledge and appreciation of … [Read More...]


About the Author

Gladys Valcourt was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania but, at a very early age, moved with her parents to Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, where she lived until she graduated from high school. During her high school years, Dr. Valcourt boarded at Robinson School, a Methodist missionary school in Puerto Rico, where she received a fully bilingual Spanish/English education.  Dr. Valcourt obtained her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.E. in Education from Temple University, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; her M.A. in English from the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico; and her ED. D. in Education from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Professionally, Dr. Valcourt taught English and Spanish in a number of public schools in Pennsylvania and followed these with 20 years as professor of English as a Second Language at Temple University, both in its Philadelphia and Japan campus. In addition, she was one of the professors who joined TEMPLE TEAM (Temple European Army Mission) in Frankfurt Germany, a program designed to improve the basic skills of USAREUR solders.

Moreover, in association with Linda Wells, one of her students In Japan, Dr. Valcourt wrote Mastery and More Mastery, two textbooks published by the University of Michigan Press that focus on learning the Academic Word List.

Theoretical Frameworks

It is well-accepted in the field of Applied Linguistics that an effective way of acquiring vocabulary while learning a second language Is to engage in conversations because conversations present words, not in isolation, but in context; that is, not In artificial textbook language but in the communications that take place In authentic, real-life settings.

Usually, conversational books present one conversation per setting such as At the Hospital or At the Bank. However, a number of vocabulary building theoretical frameworks suggest that, not only is it necessary to learn words in context, but also to learn them in depth. That is, it is essential to meet the words and practice them time and again until you are able to incorporate them easily into your productive vocabulary.