I was wondering what you all thought of learning designs pertaining to English language teaching? What are the ways in which you design your lessons to achieve better learning in your students?Continue
Placespottinghas been discussed previously on the discussion thread we had about teaching Geography. Thanks to Vincent for the mentioning of it and it is worth telling others about again here! Visit Placespotting for many more searches, it is addictive! Great way for a teacher to introduce students to famous places.
Teachers can make a quiz and students use Google Earth to find "where in the world it is". I've done one and so please reply back when you've found it! Can you find this place? My placespotting.com riddle
Quizlet like for one important reason -- it shows the initiative and drive of youth. Quizlet is run and designed by a high school student! Yes, it started it based on his own need to study his French words in high school. And now look at what we have!
Teachers, students can go and practice. I've set up an EFL Classroom account and I'd like members to go there and create a quizlet. That way we can all pool our resources and as it is public, our students can go there easily too. ID eflclassroom PW eflclassroom
You can practice guessing the words/definitions by either creating a set or using the sets of thers. You can easily print out flash/matching cards. What I really like is that you can play scatter with the words. A game where you drag the definition and word together and see it disappear. Clear the page and you win!
I've set up examples of the above so you can preview. Our first quizlet is The Top 25 EFL Acronyms. Do you know them all! Here is the printout sheet.Here is the scatter game. Enjoy and get making a quizlet for us today! PS. I've emailed them and asked that they start including pictures for practice.
Today's site comes from a fellow EFL Classroomer, Michael Stout. It is Pixton, a site from Adobe which allows students/teachers to create comics quickly and "funly".
I really like this one! Previously, on a substantial thread, we discussed many other comic makers but this one has them beat on many counts. I love the slim, clean look. Functionally, it is idiot proof (well almost :) I'm sure there is that one idiot out there!) and has a great help/screencast feature which shows all the basics. There is a short registration required but after that you can start creating right away. Save an ongoing project, embed on a site, print, send/email. This would be a great project for all levels of language learners! Get Pictoning!
Also, if interested in comics, see our mediafire folder for comics and cartoons. It is chalk full of fine stuff for use in the classroom!
1) Most importantly because it is a great site. A very learner centered site of multi modal listening activities for students. Randall has done a fine job of paving the way towards a more "full" learning experience and making others realize the importance of authentic listening activities at the appropriate input level.
2) Just as importantly because he kindly contacted this site and pointed out my previous error of stating that his site used some artificial text to speech. NOT. I was mistaken and have apologized, being confused with another site.
At the Cyber Lab, you'll find lots of interesting activities. He mentions how surprised he was that not just ESL students use the site but also the hearing impaired and those with listening difficulties. A fine testament to his work.
There are pictures for stimulating the previewing and also complete quizzes with the cyber instant feedback for listeners. There is even a handy few pages of teachers tips on the site. All in all, a must for any "hungry" teacher. Plus the listening selection is very extensive. Go here for a very "from the horses mouth" description of all you will find there. Thanks Randall!
Blinkx is a video search engine. An excellent one at that and they advertise that there are 18 million videos available! But more than a search engine, it is a way of presenting those videos and making them accessible to others that sets it apart.
You can form a "WALL". Just enter the search term and then WALL IT. I tried Sesame Street and this is the result. You can also just drag your favorite videos into a special area and then when you are ready WALL IT. A great way to share your favorites or share your youtube playlist. I'll be making my own shortly....
Click any bubble and you can preview the video. Double click and you can view it. Also, you can scroll along to other videos by using the arrows at the top. You;ll see a smaller example but with the same scrolling feature on our main page. I searched EFL Classroom .
Lots of possible uses and this reminds me of the infamous Guess the Google game (see my page and blogs for a run down on this. I've made several games from it. Also available in our games directory). Very innovative and streams superbly. I like it! Start Blinkxing now....and give your page some flash.......
GO2WEB20 is a cool way to search and find web 2.0 tools and applications. Many that can be used in the classroom and / or are educational. They are displayed by logo and also there is a search function. Even better,hit "tag search" and you can then select a tag and find the web pages that are best suitable for yourself (say, bookmarking or photos or powerpoint).
Take a moment and browse around when you have the time. Really addictive so pour yourself a big coffee!
Edutopia is an excellent, teacher friendly place. A kind of "grab all" site with lots of resources for teachers but more importantly, great prof. development examples. I especially like the collection of videos showing what actual teachers are doing in their classrooms. Great articles accompany and explain each video. There is a great one about Project based learning and students studying volcanoes. See the one in our player, I just loaded - an example of students using technology in a powerful way. At SFETT, all student made. Click ICan
Fora TV is a great site for professional development. Really interesting videos and lots here that is "educational". Great sharing ability, linking. Clear and crisp video and some have discussions and handouts. I'm a big fan of TED (see our player) but this is also top knotch. Things I've used in the classroom are the Pfizer debating videos and Retooling Schooling series (I put one in our video player). Also see this great video about a teacher teaching English in Iraq. Eye opening! Enjoy Fora.tv!
Sozo Exchange is a new video site for language learning. I am impressed by how clear the audio is and how well produced. Aimed at adult learners, th episodes focus on interviews and real language. Get a transcript to follow along. Unfortunately, they can't be embeded but you can download them thought they are quite large files. See the latest episode here or I've also uploaded it as an example in our video section. The videos do go full screen easily if you have good, hiband streaming.....
There are other activities: pronounciation and crossword guessing. I don't like these and think they are less effective than the episodes but take a look.
I'd like one last time to offer up today an EFL Classroom member's site - Education for Peace. So much here on this site, including forums, photos, activities and just regular prof. development. I really liked the Bill Gates speech listed and lots of info on CALL applications too. You really just have to browse and I'm sure you will find gold! Say thank you to Snea here or on his site. He's busy studying and as he says, "he's a work in progress" which we all are......
On this final day of the year, I want to give a big thank you to all members but especially those members who provide significant inspiration and content through their own sharing of ideas/materials/resources/links/content/tools/applications. You name it. We have so many members here who are the top of the top of the EFL world and today I'd like to highlight just one. Amaldi English Corner
An Italian English teacher, his wiki shows how powerful a tool, ICT use is, in the language classroom. Lots there and I'm busy checking out his list of voicethreads to add to our own directory. Take a look and say thank you to him!
Each week, I'll be honouring an EFL Classroom 2.0 member on the main page. Amaldino gets the first mention. So look forward and thank other members as they are honoured. Don't forget to also see our blog directory.
The Speech Accent Archive is for all those linguistic enthusiasts out there. A well organized site full of audio of how speakers from all over the world speak English. Ever wonder how an Uzbeki would sound like? No problem, click on the map and compare with many other regional speakers.
I like how this site is so easy to use. It would also be a great resource for students to use and could help train their ear for regional variations of pitch/tone/stress (accent). As the world is moving more towards a form of "international standard English", exposure to all these other non - native speakers of English will be almost essential.
I recently began uploading into our shared mediafire account, lots of basic software teachers might use in their classrooms, for students. I'll be highlighting some here in the coming weeks/months. Lots of neat, helpful applications. Also see the FAQ page for a basic rundown of all the basic software you should have, all downloadable.
But here is another software godsend! EPangsoft has literally hundreds of downloadable applications with great descriptions. Some are demos and you'll need after a period of time to buy the real thing if they work for you but many are totally, 100% free and the real thing. These Italians really are godsends. Check them out and also some good links to other things.....
If you know Vietnamese (but even if you don't, just click the 5star links at the top), Phan Mem Mien Phi offers quick download of all the best tools/applications. .....Easy to find.
Freelang is a collection of open source (free) bilingual dictionairies in hundreds of languages. A real simple concept. Just download the small software .exe program and also download the language word list you want. Run and then create your own wordlists for practice. You can set how fast the words appear in the wordlist or you can just use it to look up words.
Unfortunately, there is no voice which would be a welcome addition to this . Also, it really shouldn't be called a dictionary because there is only a translation of a word and NO definition. But it definitely is a handy tool to have. Note that some languages are more compiled than others. I checked out the two languages I am learning. Check has 112,000 words / Korean a mere 5,000 . But if you are a beginner, 5,000 should be a good start.......
Elllo is a super listening site, full of very neat interactive materials which will help EFL / ESL students listening ability. Lots of feedback and very topical. They do excellent interviews and in particular, I like that many of the listening videos have a quiz at the end where they test comprehension and give students feedback. Even some karaoke!
On the downside, it is quite high level and you can't slow it down. A challenge but the higher the mountain, the better the view at the top. Worth a look and I've linked the Christmas listening activity on our main page. Elllo and goodbye!
I think many EFL teachers will have heard or have visited Mes-English previously. In my opinion it is the top materials site for young learners and Mark does an amazingly creative job.
It has many (MANY) flashcards of all types. I especially like and have mentioned here, the Little town/Big town role playing cards. Excellent material for conversation in the class. Mes-english also have some flash games (nice they have audio but they could be a little more dynamic) and very useful worksheets. Of note right now are the X-mas flashcards/materials. These might help your class.
I hope others will give Mark a shout of gratitude and also consider donating to his effort. I have and with donation you also get access to additional resources. If you haven't - definitely check out Mes-English. If only for the X-mas resources....
I love Transl8it.com!If your students love text messaging (and most do), they will be motivated by this creative tool.
Transl8it simply takes real English and then supplies you with the text message translation. Simply put in the English and it spits out the text message. Copy this text message and print. Give this to your students to translate! They will love it! A great way also to cover course content, have them translate text from the textbook!
I've made a few games - three kinds. Normal text, Dialogues and Pop songs. (in our ppt games folder). In each game students translate the text message into standard English. They then check their answers and listen to a recording. In the pop song version, they also guess the pop song.
Motivate your students and get them enjoying their writing class by using Transl8it.com!
I usually don't like much of what Yahoo does. They started out well but then went too commercial, money and little content/creativity. But I do love this site People of the Web!
It is very straight forward -- a video about a person and an article alongside. The video plays in big screen and is great authentic English practice for EFL / ESL students. Maybe challenging but sometimes it is good to challenge students - even if just giving them the task to listen and answer 1 or 2 questions from the video content.
ELT gamesis a nice "basic" resource site. All the resources are interactive and task based/conversation based. Students must use the information provided to communicate in "real" language terms. The teacher just needs to cut up the materials and distribute and explain (better demonstrate) the task well. I've always been a person who tells all the teachers I train that their best friend isn't a computer, a textbook or even a C.D - it is a pair of scissors! ELT games follows that philosophy to the letter.
The activities (I wouldn't really call most of them "games".) are well organized into appropriate levels. Nice teacher instructions to boot. The only downside is that there is a dearth of visual support materials for the content. It is rather dry. But a teacher can provide this and this site is definitely worth checking out. Also click on Cartoons. A nice site there with some very creative cartoons about teaching.
Curriki.org is a wonderful endeavour. It is a place where teachers can share resources and bypass the big monopolization of "content" which many large publishers hold. I"ve been a member for awhile but haven't looked at the Foreign language directory for a few months. Since then it has grown substantially and I'm thinking of putting our own EFL Classroom 2.0 materials there. Join, click on our pic! and see the resources. Please report back here/share what nuggets you might find!
Curriki is the brainchild of Scott McNeally. Read this great article about his philosophy and future plans. He really is making a big difference and is bang on in his endeavour to making education/teaching about process rather than contro/power/content. In particular, he is trying to create a site for teacher development. He states,
"Teachers and parents and students are really good at finding things that make it easier for them teach or quicker for them to learn something," Kurshan said.
To speed that viral marketing, developers are working on an application that would let members of a social network, like Facebook, stay within the site yet still publish content to Curriki."
I await this, so that we can directly from Ning, publish our resources to Curriki. A great idea! The future is almost among us........thanks Scott!
Randall's Cyber Listening Lab is a great site for students to get LOTS of listening practice. All listening activities are leveled from Easy Medium Difficult and Very Difficult and are appropriately leveled in my opinion.
After the listening portion, there is usually a short multiple choice quiz for comprehension with instant feedback and correction. You also have the choice to use Windows Media player or Real Player.....
A great site to really get indepth listening practice or to use with individual students. Some of these though, have computerized text to speech synthesized voice....beware. Not that it is bad, just not top notch natural.
Many teachers use TEFL.com to keep abreast of the world job market for EFL and it is a mainstay of the EFL teaching profession. They just recently celebrated their 10th anniversary.
There is a short sign up to view content other than the main page. This seems to be the case with most things on the internet these days.....
They have a great newletter and also have a feature I've used often, a City Cost Guide. Using the guide, you can compare the cost of living in many countries/cities and see how far your local salary will actually go....it varies so much around the world.
I also keep my resume online there and this is a good idea for anyone looking to stay in teaching more than just a year. You can change it instantly and link to it and it is free. Other things that are handy at TEFL.com are the information they provide about Masters and ICELT/TEFL teacher training programs. Many online TEFL certificates are described and evaluated through them.....And of course there is the constant stream of Jobs Available posting which are good to look through even if you aren't thinking about a new job......
ESL World News Report is an idea we've long waited for. I've mentioned it previously but want to mention it again for several reasons.
2. She is giving away free books and certificates to teachers who send her valuable lesson ideas.
3. There are now some wordsearches and crosswords available (though I'd give these just as "extra" classroom work.
4. I hope more teachers use the news as valuable material for teaching English. It is current, real and motivational.....
Truetube is a video site which has a combative, "real" feel. Really cool and is perfect for use with a higher level debate class. On the site, you will find loads of videos on many issues such as; beauty vs intelligence , love and sex, body image, capital punishment. In each category are videos with people on both sides of the debate and it then ends with the "word on the street" segment where people comment quickly on what they actually believe.
**** It is mostly British based, so sometimes for those from afar, the accents can be challenging.
Very topical, very cool and whole language. Check out Truetube!
English Tips is an Eastern European file sharing site that is dynamic and full of teachers busy helping each other.
I worked many years in E. Europe and particularly in giant Ukraine/Russia, teachers just don't have the resources to buy books for what the publishers are demanding. English Tips is an essential service not a luxury given these conditions. I applaud their efforts as in concert with my own, to allow for a low cost, teachers to have access to the resources they need to educate their students.
You can download all sorts of titles here but it can be quite a process to learn how. You have to use "Rapidshare" , a bittorrent site and unless you pay money for their service, a wait time is necessary and also you can only download one item at a time. Premium memberships can cost a lot. I'm sure there are ways around it and we have two members here who use English Tips regularly and who might be of help. Coffee and Stovokor who might want to give some tips and provide more information.
It is a particularly good site to find academic publications, dictionaries, grammar books etc.......
They also have chat and a forum for questions which is a handy place to go to if you have questions about the site and /or requests for a particular book that you can't get your hands on. Check English Tips out, a great resource.
I just got a story book from them and made it into a video for some high school students doing a unit on it. The Coldest Place... Thanks English Tips! I'll share here later....
Brain Connection is an amazing site, offering lots of insight into how the brain acquires language. I love the library and articles on everything from language acquisition to why we stutter.......I've also posted a few of the main games they have onsite, in our Games directory. Visit their library for some amazing reading. In particular I like the articles on reading and the brain......
Joshua, one of our teckie members, shared this site awhile back. I'd already been using Slideshare to share ppts and presentations but this site MyPlick, just offered so much more functionality. It makes it so much easier to share, load and display your powerpoints! They stream great and offer quick big screen playing. They offer audio and friendly response - a pleasure in this day and age of automated replies. Infact, I've decide to give them this plug because today they quickly responded to my own wish to have "albums' of different presentations stored on the site and also bulk uploading. Two of the limitations I see there.
Other than that, they have it all (well almost, it is still impossible to make action buttons and to sync music/sound) as well. But I'll be uploading everything there and you can find it for your use in the classroom shortly. Thank you Myplick! Thank you Joshua.
I mentioned this in another post but I want to post it up here to get more attention. It deserves it. Free Rice is a site where you can practice your knowledge of English vocabulary. If you get an answer right, you get 10 grains of rice to help feed the world. Get an answer wrong, you get easier questions! A great idea and read more about it on the site and send your students there NOW! Help feed the world as you educate them.
PS. Can anyone beat my score of 45?
This weekend I had the pleasure of sitting in on a conference presentation on technology by the VP of Pearson Longman adult learners. I wasn't going to attend but the others on offering weren't too meaty so I opted for it. SO glad I did! She didn't hawk books but instead gave a dynamic, interactive, stimulating presentation. When we chatted afterwards she asked me to check out English Baby!. English Baby is a chat site for students of English. Users can go there and create profiles, chat and make friends to learn English. It is pretty easy to get around but I found the chat boards often full and just with too too too much happening for good conversation. The lessons aren't that bad for students. But it IS a good way to hook up with people learning English from all over the world and this will certainly be a thing of the future. I'm currently helping test the beta version of "Myhappyplanet.com" and it uses more video and I think will be an improvement. We will see. Maybe it is first to the trough?
Anyways, send your students to check this out! Look at the RSS I've put on the main page also...
I've been the biggest of Andrew Field's fans for years. I"ve used and promoted his Fling the Teacher game extensively (see in our ppt games folder) and he's a great light and shining example of a dedicated teacher creating useful games for use in the classroom. USEFUL. Not click and blow up but click and think.
Classtools is a large array of well thought out "organizers" which a teacher or students can use in the classroom to display information and supplement games. I really like the time line feature. I've made this one about myself.
I also like the slot machine. You can use it to play games and chose class members or for students to explain the random word from the vocab list that turns up (like charades). Check it out, so much more there for a teacher. Most importantly, if possible, maybe get the students using the tools and making their own timelines and electronic organizers!
Kids love comics! Any kind, they just devour them. So why not use it as a motivating tool/method in your language classroom?
Today I will mention two online tools where students can make their own comics, fast and easy. A great way to practice their language and share.
Comic creator from Read/Write and Think is the easiest one. It is simple and has a good variety of layouts, images to work with. I'd start here with students. Unfortunately, it only allows you to print the result. If you want to keep it, you have to use some screen capture technology like Snagit, to capture the image, make a photo and then assemble. But I like the look of this one! Try it.
Make Beliefs Comix is more dynamic and has the added feature of emailing your final product to an address, so you can share it. Here is my own that I created in a matter of a few minutes. Lots of good features.
EFL Classroom 2.0 member Maya asked me about using comics in the classroom and I'll put up a thread for us to discuss this great language teaching method/tool. Further, you can find lots of great, ready to use materials for members in our media fire account, in our comics folder.
Self styled after the grand daddy of them all "Youtube", Teachertube is a video site for educators. Teachers can upload and share video for use in the classroom. A great idea and I have used many of them in my own classroom and you'll find some of them on the Batcave.
Some videos offer extra resources for download. There is a good search and rating function but I do find the site loads rather slow. But you are allowed to download the videos once registered and this is very handy. Take a look, I'm sure you'll find lots that might help you in your classroom. Here is one of my favourites, produced by an ESOL teacher for his students. An excellent example of a teacher making very relevant materials for his/her students.
Teacher TV is great for "spying" on other classrooms and keeping abreast with the fast changing world of education. It is British based but very accessible and offers videos on teaching. Teacher TV also offers supplemental materials and links for most of its videos and book reviews. Also interesting to follow some of the comments about the teaching videos.
Two of my own favs are Tony Buzan's speech about creativity in the classroom.
and Teaching with Bailey, a series of videos where a skilled instructor sits with a teacher and reviews videotape of a lesson. He offers sound advice for many classroom problems. I've uploaded onto our video page, an excellent example.
I"ve "raided" these videos many times and just right click to "save target as" - to save on your computer. Lots of classics and my two favs are The Amazing Bone and Why Mosquitoes Buzz in your Ears (with great narration!). I've uploaded here, another amazing story, The Crow Boy. Take a look...
The University of Hawaii, Honolulu has a very good site for information on teaching adult learners. But in particular, they also have excellent staff development materials which outline so well -- how to be a good teacher. I'd urge any educator/teacher when they have the time, to look at some of these tips and gain insight into their own efforts in the classroom. Excellent stuff!
Joey's ESL is a portal website. Lots of interesting links. And while the focus seems to be on jobs, I like the video section and in particular the Country profile/video section. I hope as time goes on, with this new site, Joey will develop the reference and teacher videos section of this site. It would be great to have at hand, a peek into other countries English classrooms. Take a look and comment when you have the chance. Always good to support new sites in particular. That's how things get better, change, change and more change. Nothing sits still, especially a teacher!
I'll make it public. I'm a news junkie! I usually devour 3/4 papers a day, if I can get my hands on them and can squeeze in the time. I read on the toilet, while eating, while walking to the bus, on the bus. A newspaper is my ticket to the world.
ESL World News Report is a new attempt to offer ESL / EFL students a chance to also read about the news and at the same time, acquire/enhance their English language fluency. Darby, an adult EFL teacher with a long journalism background has started this up and I applaud the effort.
EFL really needs good resources, at an appropriate level, for students. Current events/news should be an important one and not much is offered here. Usually news stories are far too "idiomatic" and deep in vocab overload to be effective teaching tools for anyone but the highest levels. I know I've used the "Metro", the free newspaper offered in many cities. It has lots of pictures and students like it. Still, the vocab is daunting, no matter how simplified.
So I hope this takes off. Thanks to Larry by way of our own DaveESL for letting me / us know about this resource. I hope it takes off and we can get a good, even monthly 4 page newspaper to print for students and use in the classroom.
The ESL Oscars at Spoken Skills is a unique idea. Allow students to practice a TV sitcom sketch (in this case - from Friends) and then preform and send in the tape to be judged. The judges offer every tape sent in comments, even if they don't make it to the top.
Interesting to view this "student" work and could be motivating for other students. Take a look and maybe you can send in a clip of your own students! Lots of interesting videos.
I particularly like the listening area. Students can listen to stories read by other student authors and transcripts/illustrations are provided. An excellent resource for authentic listening and sharing.
Billy Collins is a past poet laureate of the U.S. and is very accessible in style to EFL/ESL learners. Further, his poems are short and many can be found on video. Play the video and give the students a script to follow. Or play one of the many audio files.
I will be uploading a whole folder of his video poems to our Karaoke Video site, many I subtitled myself. Here is one example below.
I first came upon this site, 20Qa few years ago when I visited my sister and found my niece entranced by a hand held game. I was ready to give her my old "why not play something educational" speech when I looked and noticed it was educational! This site is the online version of the hand held game. Simply put in an answer and the computer asks the questions and will most times -- believe it or not -- guess right!!!! I couldn't believe it either but it works. I've used this in class with students reading the questions and only some students knowing the answer. Good fun and something to throw into your classroom mix on a rainy day.....
Quintura for kids is a search engine that let's kids visually find out info. on whatever they are interested in. Super way to harness kids curiousity. First, you click on one area of interest in the "cloud" . Then, quintura offers you more options, narrowing down the search. Very kid friendly and the perfect tool for classroom projects or just for teachers to refer students to, for use at home....try it, you'll like it!
Two sites to briefly mention today.
1) A great list of teacher's free resources . Browse around and you will find lots of great, downloadable stuff to compliment your lessons.
2) From the site above, 101 ways to integrate technology into literacy activities. So much here! I particularly like the rebus mention (a kind of way to teach writing and reading, where students see pictures inserted into the text. Learners thus, bit by bit, decode the text and become real language competent. ) I've attached a few examples. Kidpix gets a big mention here and I will also highlight this site in the future.....Take a look, so many great ideas and I'd love for members to tell others what they found that is really useful, practical, exciting for our EFL / ESL classrooms.
I"ve used Jan Brett's site on many ocassions. In particular, I've downloaded the delightfully designed alphabet pictures and laminated and used them above my blackboard as models for spelling/handwriting/printing. Lots here and I'll let another teacher comment. Here are his comments with links....Enjoy!
One of the best websites for teachers, especially elementary teachers, is lovingly developed and shared by the author Jan Brett.
I was amazed the first time I saw Jan Brett's website. She constantly improves and adds technological tools as time passes. Jan Brett continues to add content, e-cards, contests, and materials to her site every month. You can sign up for a monthly HedgieGram. There are podcasts, called Hedge A Grams, videos and audio books on her site as well.
Every time she writes a new book, there is an opportunity for kids to win a copy for their school or public library. Right now there is a contest called "Lunch on the Bus with Jan Brett". It is an opportunity for you and two of your friends to have lunch with Jan Brett.
My daughter and I first met her in 2002, and she was very interested in what my daughter was reading, etc. Other colleagues and I have found that she is very accessible. If you email her, she will answer your email, personally.
I have seen a multitude of good websites, but this website is Jan Brett's mission, her personal effort to help teachers and parents encourage children to love reading. It is the most helpful and useful site for anyone who loves books and technology.
BTW: Each link is different, so you will have lots to access. ENJOY!
ESL Flow is a general portal site with links and materials on all sorts of subjects. Lots here for the teacher but it takes some time to browse/surf through everything. But it is well categorized and accessible. In particular, I like the Ice breaker ideas and survey activities.
One big beef! Lots of the links are old and just come up dry. Very frustrating. But atleast it isn't like the many/usual PAY ME for very little sites...... That said, you'll find lots of materials to download here and if you find something great - SHARE! Either tell us here or upload to our media fire account.
Happy ESL Flow hunting!
Expert Village is a no nonsense, practical video site. It features loads of "how to " videos on every subject. They range from how to do a magic trick to how to dance Salsa. Clear language and step by step, they are useful for language instruction. Particularly effective because they are also at the same time, teaching another skill. This type of task based learning is very effective, students get motivated and concentrate to learn the task (how to). Also, they will be familiar with much of the action and thus, the cultural content conflict for language learning is low.
Take a look, very interesting and adaptable for the ESL / EFL classroom. Particularly useful because they also offer a transcript of most of the dialogue/script. Caution though, choose your subject well and preview! I like the magic tricks, self defense, cooking and craft stuff for teaching. Here's an example of one I like....
Real English isn't really a website. It is a series of practical, short and learner friendly videos which show "real" English in action (or close to it). What I like about these is that they highlight a variety of English language "voices" / speakers. They also repeat the language a lot which allows for a lot of initial learning/interaction with the sounds/text. The topics run the gambits from ABCs to Money to Zoo talk.....check them out. I've loaded the player with them. If you like them, I have a large number on the Batcave more videos site, just scroll the pages and download what you like/can use.
This is a great site with lots of essential reading for new EFL / ESL instructors. Not just to learn the lingo but for great reference to better materials and instruction for better teaching. A TEFL course on its own. In particular I like the case studies and questions here. Worth reading and reflecting upon. What would you do? Irregardless of experience, teachers should check out this site and its worthy materials.
Discovery does a great job for teachers (despite their "selling"). I use this site to gleam / browse for creative lesson plans and ideas and also they have great wordsearch and puzzle makers. Just pop in the words and then print. (but I prefer using a blank one and having the students make their own! I have a template in the teaching folder). Lots more here and no sign in needed.
I'm a Discovery Star educator and you can find out more about this at their very very teacher oriented site - United Streaming. I contribute a lot on their Star educator community as well as getting ideas/videos from there....Worth a look also, for the videos alone.
Happy hunting, let us know what golden eggs you find!
Alan Levine on his blog has put together a bang on display of Story toolsHe lists his top 50 and has many examples too! Lots to discover here about the marvellous world of storytelling/making as an instructional tool to help your students learn and communicate in English. Stories are the bedrock of language teaching and good teachers know their power.....Find so much here. Thanks Alan!!!! I've also bookmarked this on our EFL Classroom Buzka of links. Invaluable.
My personal fav? Still without a doubt - voicethread. I'll start up another EFL Classroom voicethread shortly, it's a great web 2.0 tool.
Tonight, this evening, I needed inspiration. Something to take me away from my worries and most importantly, to get my brain pumping and filled with blood. TED's talks are the drug of choice. This site won't give you anything to use with your students but it will offer a wealth of stimulating discovery and thought. Curiosity that won't kill you because you are not a cat.
Ted.com has the best of the world's thinkers, delivering quality and stimulating lectures. A way to motivate yourself and inspire yourself. I've posted here before two of my fav's in the video section - Richard Baraniuk speaking out against copyright and education and the need for instant publishing. Also, my big fav. Ken Robinson giving the lecture of the year, on education and the need for quality teachers. Tonight I watched a fellow Canuck, Steven Pinker speak about Language and Thought. I"ve long been a disciple of his "The Language Instinct" (it sits in a place of honour, next to my toilet). Wow, you'll find great ideas here....Get inspired today, this drug delivers to needy teachers!
Larry Ferlazzo is an EFL / ESL teacher who has blazed the way in sharing and ;helping teachers. He teaches in Sacramento, California and is one of our members! I salute him on the Site of the Day and his blog/links and especially writings and communicating with other EFL teachers has been amazing.
THANKS FOR ALL YOUR EFFORTS LARRY! They have benefited innumerable students........(the goal).
It is so funny how the world works. This site is right along my "sharing" philosophy, teachers "learning" from other teachers. I bumped into this site while helping out a teacher who is teaching new preservice teachers. The person who organized this was also helping. No wonder we met!
Open court resources is about other teachers sharing their resources. So much there and much of it at a level that can be used in the EFL classroom. After hitting links, scroll down, go down deep! that's where the good stuff is (just like fishing.). A great resource!
Best on the web for teachers is a portal site and listing of links. Like our Buzka here but much broader. Since this is the beginning of a school year/semester and there are many new teachers looking for resources/inspiration, I thought this would be a good site to post. It is the way a teacher gets inspiration for lessons, just by falling upon a good site/a good idea on the web. Then they think it through and go for it!
Another great site in this vein and probably deserving a post of its own is Blue Web 'n , by AT & T. Search by category and find some great materials. Happy searching! And let us all know what you find here on EFL Classroom 2.0!
This site is handy for those EFL teachers lost in different parts of the world and who need a quick translation of something. Nothing slick, just the basics and it is done. Bablefish, from Altavista does just that and it's got a lot better since its start. Now a lot more options/languages offered. Also fun sometimes to just translate and then translate back and compare! Can be hilarious.
As a former geography teacher (my specialization is Jr.Int Geography) and also Anthropology graduate, I love teaching students about the big wide wonderful world. Geography at the movies is a fantastic tool for that.
This site has soooooo many cool and useful videos that teachers can use in the EFL classroom. I've put up a few on the main page about Japan and FRance but sooooooo many more. See this one to counter the Borat disease below. I like the videos about places but click on the other themes on the left and find many more. Happy travels!
A-Z Teacher Stuff offers a lot for elementary teachers especially. Lots of printables and teacher helpers. Lesson plans, wordsheet makers, holiday lessons. In particular I like how it is easyily layed out for themes (say Apples or The body etc...). Easy to find material for a lesson.
Much is not free! Ugh! But atleast look and it will give many teachers good ideas to spin off for a lesson. Invaluable in that way. Take a browse, worth it. Also they have some free minibooks but look in our media fire account and see the ones I've put up there. Graded/leveled readers you can use in many ways in the class. Cut off the words and let them write their own stories! Go here!
This digital storytelling site is a one stop shopping bonanza. If you are curious about using digital storytelling or getting your students to use technology to tell "their" story, check out the examples here. You will also find amazing links to other sites and step by step instruction as to what digital storytelling is and why it is so important in any language classroom. See our video site for many examples I've uploaded. Heungu Nolbu, just the most recent one. Learn here how to make a digital story using Photo Story 3, free from Microsoft or even Movie Maker (check your programs, I'm sure your computer has it!). Or even just powerpoint. Check out all these great stories for possible use in your classroom!
Teacher Training Videos.
I think this site is a gem! A pearl! A candle in the wind! Why? Well Ralph Stannard, a professor teaching technology to ESL teachers in Britain, has set the standard so to speak. Really practical, easy to follow screencasts of most applications teachers need to use to make teaching materials. I especially like his powerpoint tips and explanation of blackboard. Click on the links on the left.
Further, see his link and screencasts of his favourite 11 sites. Some nice ones that will be of interest to all EFL teachers. I leave you with his own introduction to the site.
"Teacher Training Videos
These videos were created for teachers to help them to incorporate technology into their teaching. My own background is in teaching English, so some of the sites are specific to ELT and are grouped separately. The rest are for all teachers and there is also a section for those interested in more difficult multimedia products like Flash and Director. Simply click on a topic and a page will appear with a large menu on the left hand side. The videos will start playing straight away or you can click on a specific topic to know about it. My suggestion is that you open up the tool you want to learn so you can jump between using the tool and watching the videos. Just click on one of the topics on the left hand side. The page might take a few seconds to load, be patient and I think you will find they are very useful."
Video Jugis a site offering many videos. Yet it isn't just a youtube wannabe, it ROCKS! Why? Well for one, the videos are more about explanation and intelligent discover. Lots of educational stuff. I also like the How to make ... videos (recipes). Also, the site has an "ask the expert" component and check out the teaching part for lots of good classroom advice. The best thing about videojug also, is the fact it has a great, clear search function. Go to their category section and easily find what you are looking for. Here is a great screencast introducing Video Jug and many other good ESL/EFL sites. Also check out on the main page, Joshua's ESL video site. He has lots of Video Jug videos....
Rubriks, a grid that is used for evaluation by teachers and which categorizes levels and the descriptive ability of students, is almost standard now in teaching. But they can be time consuming. Not any more! Welcome to this great tool, Rubistar.
With just a very short, free registration, you can have loads of well laid out rubriks at your fingertips. I've used them for writing classes, presentations, digital storytelling etc.... Great way to categorize student ability and achievement. Do a search for ESL or EFL and see all the great rubriks. Happy Rubrik making!
I just discovered this off of Larry's site/blog. Interesting tool and I love how easy it is to use. Fliptrack allows the user to select music, pictures and then add captions to make a music video. See my quick offering below. (I'll work on it more later :)))
I found it very easy except for the text part. That definitely sucked and just about impossible except for a slow or very repetitive song, to add words. So not likely to replace karaoke. Also, video is great in class but it also is TOO visual and that's why I prefer karaoke which is more script/text focused. Video has too much happening and takes away from the language component.
that said, I love how this might motivate young learners. Get your students to make their own as a project!
I'm a typically proud but very understated and NOT nationalistic Canuck/Canadian, however much that is a paradox. One of the greatest things Canada has offered the world has been in the arena of animation. Not just Hollywood but the National Film Board (nfb) has long been an academy award winner and great maker of thoughtful and innovative animation. I've used their animation site often and for years carried around their video tape "Discuss It" as a bible of EFL video in the classroom. Today you can get it online. Fast, user friendly, full screen. I have used Neighbours, The Big Snit and George and Rosemary with great success. Get one student to turn their back and the other, describe the action. Have them retell afterwards or rewrite with a different ending. Or just use it for discussion or vocabulary prompting or predicting....so many uses. Great CANADIAN stuff.
Today's site is something really exciting and a perfect example of new forums of multi media learning available freely to all those around the globe who want to learn English and are self motivated. The Daily English Show.
Sarah, a teacher of English, has a video lesson that appears daily on youtube. Lots of episodes and lots of REAL English about many issues/topics. So well organized and the technology is great. I ask you to visit and subscribe to her broadcasts, as I have done. Go to the link, browse the shows and also find out more about Sarah and her video community. Cool. And you'll find the Aussie accent endearing....Here's her latest episode/broadcast.
Today's site is a place your student's can go to learn to type in English. Very friendly and cartoonish but effective. I think typing skills in English are a very necessary skill students should learn when young and also by doing so, they learn a lot of English at the same time! This site goes through 4 stages, just follow the dinosaurs instructions. In flash and flash and dynamic! Check it out!
Sorry for being away. Overwhelmed but happy - teaching teachers at my summer camp. 3 weeks of 24/7. But spreading the gospel of sharing teachers and web 2.0 and technology in the classroom!
Today's site should be on everyone's list. Really up my alley and belief system. ScribdOn this site after just a short, email address/pw registration, you can upload all your documents and then share them. Very dynamic and great, clear layout and instructions. Further, you can download in multiple formats word .doc or .pdf or even MP3!!!! Yes, you can download a voice file of your document and this is great to improve reading skills. Just load up the document you want read, download the mp3 and play for students ...... students can play their own written reports. Even one teacher I know, has his students at camp, send home mp3s of students letters to parents!
You can also copy code and put the document for display on your website, like I've done below. This is an example of a newspaper project the teachers I teach produced. They did a great job, all classes. Also, do a search and you'll find tons of copy write friendly documents/lessons/articles you can use as a teacher. Bookmark this one.
EFL Classroom has an account. As always, ID - email@example.com
PW - eflclassroom
Use it and share!
Today's site is about a place you can go and have a conversation, with a virtual woman!
I've also uploaded a bot onto this site and you can talk to him (Dave) about anything! Go there and continue the conversation with Dave. About anything and he'll answer back. Dr. Wallace, an AI (artificial intelligence genie/genius) has developed some neat stuff and I think it applies directly to conversation, EFL studies and learning a language. Great stuff and read this Discovery article for how astounding it is! Also, a list of "chatbots" be found and visited here. Enjoy!
I've previously mentioned www.voki.com and www.sitepal.com where you can acquire, dress up, personalize bots. But there is even more.
Pandora's Bots offers this, a site where you can talk to a "Bot" (short for robot). Students can have a fun conversation, copy and paste and bring to class where they can practice it for the class. Super fun! Thanks to Susan, a site member, for this link. Here is the demo where you can type and chat with the Bot at the same time. She speaks just like a real person. Here is another teacher's example. Enjoy , this is fun stuff.....
The Internet TESL Journal
For Teachers of English as a Second Language
A very practical, functional site for teachers. It has great academic articles about EFL teaching that come with a real practical, what works in the classroom bent. Handouts and lesson ideas/plans plenty here. Also, it has a large collection of conversation questions sorted by theme, that many EFL teachers can't live without. Lots more and click around, this site won't disappoint. Also visit the link library -- very complete and that is its one weakness - too much!!!!
Ever wonder why you spend so much time "surfing" and not getting the info. / the content you want? Well, I faced this dilema and would like to recommend the solution. Google Reader. It allows you to let all the sites come to you and then in one convient place, you can scroll and read what you want/only what's been updated. Super cool. See a series of demos hereor go to the site directly for a short tour.
If you don't have a google email account, you can still use it, just hit the button, set up account and enter you own email address......
The best way to start using it, is to either hit Add Subscriptions and add the url. To get EFL Classroom's new posts, just add our url eflclassroom.ning.com that's all! Also, you can search for sites to add. Just click browse and then search.
Whenever you see the little rss sign, that means you can put this in your reader and have it come directly to you! Just click the icon RSS and get the url and add it to your reader.
Use your reader and get some new cool ideas here at SITE OF THE DAY or please let us know of your own!
I've seen the future and it is Voice thread - www.voicethread.com
This site I only found yesterday!!! But it is truly something special. Susan a new member here, showed the true power of sharing and I thank god for finding this. You will thank her too...
What is it? Well it is a place where a picture is posted and any registered member can then record a comment about the picture. Such a simple concept but their software is amazingly clear, fast, dynamic.....a great example of what 2.0 should be. Check out the demo and explanation here
But this tool can also be used in a classroom, to comment on class photos with language, about your school, school year, class trip or curriculum. Also educators such as myself can post our presentations with full comments/audio so to share with others our ideas. Families can post photos and have others comment on their memories.....
I've posted my Famous photos there and hope others will look at a photo and tell others what these historical photos mean to them.....
I will also post a map for us, in the INTRODUCE YOURSELF forum, so we can all introduce to each other where we are from and where we are and where we hope to go next, someday. But look at this tool -- soooooo amazing. Thanks again Susan. I'll also be adding some of my fav. voicethreads here for educators....this is like candy to me, the kid.....
Two very useful tools,
Buzka.com is a social bookmarking app in which you save your links to different "spots" ie folders. The links to the different "spots" can be shared - A "spot" opens in two frames, the left frame for navigating the list of links, which open up in the right frame. Here's an example http://iteachr.buzka.com/EFL_elementary - some great sites for EFL elementary.
Here's an example of a buzka spot containing a shared mediafire folder http://iteachr.buzka.com/EFL20 (resources for teachers) (an idea for sharing our resources)
This is the blurb from the site :Creating folders on MediaFire is easy! You can create an unlimited number of folders and sub folders to store, organize and share your files and images. MediaFire also provides easy to use privacy tools allowing you to keep some files hidden as private and other files downloadable as public. You can even set passwords for your sensitive files allowing you a flexible and adaptable free file hosting system. With MediaFire's easy to use sharing tools, and embedding links you can share entire folders of files and images by email, instant messenger, or on your MySpace page, blog or forum. Folders also double as image galleries so sharing all your vacation photos or graphic design work in one place just got a whole lot simpler.
MediaFire supports all file types (up to 100MB in file size) as long as they fully comply with our Acceptable Use Policy and Terms of Service.
By limiting the maximum file size to 100MB, MediaFire can offer features that no other single file hosting service offers for free:
Unlimited disk space
Unlimited bandwidth to serve any files under 100MB
Unlimited downloads of any files under 100MB
No waits, lines, or queues to download files
No daily download limits
No download speed limits
Support for most popular download managers/accelerators
Multiple simultaneous downloads"
Today's site of the day is Open Educational Resources Commons. There are some very important "collective" initiatives going on, outside the mainstream of google and microsoft. Initiatives which collect people or content together, to make for better educational possibilities. One on the university side of things is http://cnx.org but the big one for educators of all realms is Open Educational Resources.
You'll have to login and register but it is well worth it. You can tailor your search by grade and subject and as well, all materials are fully covered by Creative Commons, another great outreaching site which seeks to allow users more access to content by making copywrite more open and adjustable. Creative Commons governs all materials that are created when granted by the creator and allows others to use their material, copy/rip their material and alter and share their material depending on the type of license granted. Read about them at their site. I'll be trying to make others more aware of this BIG issue behind the scenes and also make sure the license is visible/knowable to others regarding my own materials (I do get that question almost every week -- can I alter this, use this...?????
Here is one example I just downloaded off of oercommons. PBS documentary that every teach should watch. About Jane Elliot who in 1968, just after Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, did a little social experiment in her classroom. She made one half of her junior classroom superior in light of their blue eyes. She made the other half inferior, in light of their brown eyes. Watch and see the remarkable lesson learnt. Also other segments on a round table of the students as adults and also her same experiment in a prison in Iowa. Fascinating.
Thanks for the qualification about registration. True and I guess I was thinking "registration" because I'd just gone there and got the Jane Elliot video for use with a discussion / debate class I'm holding at a teacher's summer camp.
I'd love to see more EFL resources on OER Commons for us "English" teachers. I've used a lot of the Qedoc resources but they are mainly for student self study. I will get my own resources in order over the summer and "reinvite" my own website where at preswent teachers can have access to resources I've collected and many of which I've made. It's a valuable thing you are doing because one of the main problems for teachers and especially in our field where a large majority of teachers are untrained and young, is access to resources without having to plough through the plethora of content on the internet. I'm trying to make it easier and glad you are too.
Today's site of the day is Quibblo. Here, you can quickly (and I mean quickly) design a survey, questionnaire or quiz and load it up to your own site or link it (just give your students/audience the url and let them go directly there). With one quick click of the button, you can see the results. You can also just use one of the many, many surveys, quizzes, already made......(just do a quick search for your interest/theme).
On our main page, on the left, you can see EFL Classroom's first quibblo survey (yes - classroom management problems rule!). Shortly, I'll be putting up a new one and if you have any suggestions let me know. Quibblo is great for display of results and especially just for Yes / No votes Try this one on the site, about EFL Classroom!
Today's site is Writeboard. If you teach EFL writing of any sort, it will be an invaluable multimedia tool.
Basically, it allows you to create a "whiteboard" where students can go and write. They can correct others work (great for promoting peer editing) and add to their classmates work. With one click of a button, you can see the edited changes and compare all the different versions. I've created an EFL Classroom 2.0 writeboard. Go here to see how it works and add something to our story! Each class/writeboard user needs a password to access. As always, our own is "eflclassroom" .
Here's what the website page says about Writeboard.
Writeboard makes it easy to...
Write without fear of losing or overwriting a good idea
Compare different versions of a document
Collaborate with colleagues on copy, proposals, memos, etc.
Subscribe to documents via RSS and be notified of changes
Keep your writings organized with Backpack integration
Writeboard is perfect for...
Authors, journalists, PR folks, editors, and publishers
Bloggers or freelance/independent writers
Letter writers, songwriters, poets, comedians, creatives
Students, professors, and groups collaborating on a paper
...and plenty more! Writeboard is great for personal and business use (check out some example uses). Read more about Writeboard below or create a free writeboard at left.
Today's featured site is Natural Reader. It is an award winning text to speech application from AT & T that allows the user to listen to any text. This kind of technology has come a long way and now the voices are very natural. Although this FREE download only has the basics, I'll be uploading into media fire, some more natural voices I have (Nuvoice).
You can listen to any of your documents and students can read any of their writings. Just paste and press play. You can open documents in the free version but you'll have to go to the document first, click Save As .txt and then open as a text document. Then you are ready.
I used the more complete version with my grade 4 students and it worked wonders to help with their reading levels and motivation too. For language students, it works wonders and though you might not find many applications for use in the classroom - students should be told of this and download it for use at home. If you want something "plugged in" to your browser, I'd also recommend AspireReader. You open your internet browser with it, highlight anything and it reads it. They have a 30 day demo.
This technology also allows an mp3 file to be instantly made. So you don't need to take the book, just make an mp3 file and away you go. Students also no longer need to read silently, they can make language more "whole" by listening to a sound file, reading homework with the reader etc....Many applications, possibilities.
Today's site demonstrates the power of self learning combined with cutting edge video technology. Produced by Yabla, tvESL is a place where students can watch videos, test themselves for comprehension and listening and get instant feedback. For the most part, videos are very contemporary and motivating for younger learners. About movies, cool stuff, music, wanting to be.....
What's more, there is a drop down subtitle menu where you can see a subtitle in English and also French, Spanish, Korean, Chinese depending. All videos can be slowed or speeded up. All videos have a very dynamic dictionary for difficult vocabulary. Teachers can monitor students in virtual classrooms.
Very interesting and I would recommend you try it out. If interested in more than the few demos and don't want to buy it, PM me to use my account. I'm good til the end of August and you can see more...Here's what the website says.
Yabla Interactive develops cutting-edge multimedia technologies designed with language learning and media localization in mind. Further, Yabla develops products which expoit these technologies by blending them with authentic television, film and music in a variety of languages, providing non-natives with effective, content-driven acquisition experiences that are enjoyably pursued on a regular basis.
Today's site is for elementary teachers. One resource that although seemingly Korean, is an absolute NECESSITY. You'll see why. It is called Jr. Naver
Lots of songs, stories, games here. All in flash. On the main page, despite the Korean, just click around. You'll get to the music page or the story or game page eventually. Then on the left column will be the individual files.
what is cool is that they easily/quickly go full screen, for full class teaching/practice. When I get some time, I'll make a library of some of their best flash files. One note of caution, be careful about a few of the items. Some are definitely a little racist (5 little Indians comes to mind) but for the most part, everything is good fun. Some have too much Korean text also, I must say. But this site is a good example, showing how hitech Korea really is.
I've used this site as part of a computer lab. The students used the internet site, English Space, the only of its kind, computer online lab for English learning. Check it out and also a great resource. The second half after they'd finished their module at English space, the students could use / browse Jr. Naver. Great way to set up a lab class or summer camp course.
Today I'd like to mention two sites which have very good listening and current events material. I've used both and in my booknook folder, you will be able to read many of these stories on karaoke. Makes it even more dynamic. Look under NEWS in the front of the file name.
Voice of America English I like because it used a standard vocabulary, so the vocab doesn't become a problem with intermediate and higher level EFL students. Very clear and thoughtout, well produced podcasts/sound files.
Breaking New English is British but the accent isn't very noticeable at all. (but even an accent can be beneficial and let's face it - English comes in many styles/accents/dialects and students need to be introduced to a variety - THERE IS NO STANDARD ENGLISH) . This site is to be highly commended. Articles often have high and low level listening and activities. Most activities are basic pair/match/check for comprehension but also there are conversation questions, pre reading activities included. Very thorough and a great way to interest many adult learners especially. Here's their latest article/news item
Listen and fill in the spaces.
Dubai tower tallest building in the world
A building developer in the United Arab Emirates has ___________________ the world’s tallest building. Emaar Properties says its Burj Dubai tower, still under construction, has ___________________ 512.1 metres and 141 storeys. The current record holder, Taiwan’s Taipei 101 building is 508 metres and 101 storeys. The Burj Dubai is ___________________ in 2008 and will reach nearly 700 metres in height, with approximately 160 storeys. The exact final height is being kept _________________________ by the developer, ___________________ other constructers from challenging the record. Taipei 101 will keep the official "tallest building" record until the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, _______________________ achieving height records for buildings, evaluates the Burj Dubai in late 2008.
Dubai is ___________________ construction boom and the Burj Dubai is the centrepiece of a $20 billion residential and commercial project, which will _______________________ shopping mall. However, there have been many criticisms of the working conditions for builders in Dubai. In 2006, a Human Rights Watch report ___________________ migrant workers, entitled "Building Towers, Cheating Workers", documented labour abuses. It highlighted "extremely low wages…___________________ employees’ passports, and hazardous working conditions ___________________ high rates of death and injury." The salaries of migrant construction workers in Dubai range from $106 to $250 per month, while the national average wage is over $2,000 per month. Trade ___________________ in the UAE.
I also bought the Breaking News English 1,000 ideas book and it is well worth the $10 dollars (I believe that was the price).