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Mensa Educational and Research Foundation’s Award for Intellectual Benefit to Society to be presented to ESL author Elizabeth Claire
Date:1/6/2013

Virginia Beach, VA (PRWEB) January 06, 2013

The Intellectual Benefit to Society Award is given each year to a member of Mensa to recognize an innovative accomplishment that benefits society. (Mensa is the international society of people who score in the top 2% on IQ tests.)

This year’s honoree, Elizabeth Claire of Virginia Beach, co-founded Easy English NEWS, a simplified newspaper to help adult and young adult newcomers feel welcome and adjust to their new U.S. environment while they are learning English.

Articles about American elections, government, heroes, history, holidays, culture, and geography are written with adult concepts, but in simple English, with difficult words defined in easy English.

Each month’s edition also includes a health column and pronunciation column, as well as idioms, jokes, readers’ stories, and a crossword puzzle.

The award will be given during the Virginia Beach Toastmaster’s Club meeting at 7 pm at the Marian Manor. “Toastmasters is a great complement to life as a writer,” says Claire, who has been a member of Toastmasters for 20 years. “If it hadn’t been for Toastmasters training, I wouldn’t have developed the skills (and courage) needed to present workshops to teachers. I was basically pretty shy."

The idea for producing a newspaper came to Claire when she was at a conference for teachers of English as a Second Language (ESL) in Toronto, in 1978. There she saw a sample of Newcomer News, a newspaper in simple English produced by the government of Ontario. Claire thought that there ought to be a similar newspaper in the United States. She started a file of ideas and artic
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