New tech ESL writing resource

Posted on behalf of MakeBeliefsComix

I wish to share with you my free new e-book, Plant Your Dream Seeds: A Way to Grow Hope in Your Life, which can be used by students to express in writing their deepest and hopes and dreams. This book of writing prompts is the latest addition to the interactive books section of and can be downloaded at:  Just click on the cover.

 On its pages students will find writing prompts to help them think about the important things that they want to see happen in their lives.  By filling in the pages they will be able to express the many hopes and expectations they have for themselves, for those whom they love, and for our world. 

International storyteller Laura Simms also shares stories she has culled from different peoples throughout the world about the power of seeds.

This book is formatted as an interactive digital journal diary.  It allows students to write directly on their computer/tablet screens into the areas with lines on the book’s pages.  When they are done typing, they can simply save the document until the next time they are inspired to make new entries.

All the e-books published at MakeBeliefsComix are geared to help students think and write creatively as well as help students learn and practice the English language.  I welcome your feedback on the books.


Bill Zimmerman


Capti — a free text to speech app

Found at the National TESOL convention: Capti, a free app that turns any text into speech.

Previously I’ve used Instapaper to save articles and then the “text to speech” option on my iPhone to have Siri read the article aloud. It works, but it’s a bit unwieldy, and definitely awkward when driving. This week, I’ve given Capti a try. While there are some features I like a bit better with Siri (slightly better word and punctuation recognition), Capti is certainly easier since its features include creating playlists, highlighting text while reading, and easily changing reading speed. Saving documents is super easy; users just choose “save to Capti” from the text on their screen (computer, table, phone…whatever). Capti syncs across devices so you can use it on multiple platforms (home pc, cell phone, tablet, etc.). Users can also easily share articles with friends through email, message, etc.

I’m adding it to our student resource list as a recommendation for speaking / listening self study. Take a look! For students who want more listening practice, but never have time, or for those who like to listen and read at the same time, it could prove very useful.