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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Podcasting in Language Classroom

   
    This week we have learned how to incorporate podcast in language teaching. I have no idea what podcast is until I learned this mod. I am glad that I found out podcasting is a wonderful resource for language teaching. It is not a great tool for training listening skills, but also great for learning about latest news, technology, and different cultures. Moreover, both teachers and students can easily access to it without difficulties.
     Yesterday was the big day for England. It seems that people are crazy about royal wedding. Therefore, I have found this episode:World News for School: 28th, April, 2011 on BBC World News for Children.  
      Before listening to the episode, I would have students brainstorm what a royal wedding should look like. After students have some background information about the royal wedding, they would listen to the episode for two times and meanwhile answer the following question such as when was the royal wedding? What people are crazy about the wedding? Why this day is special for the world? What celebrity attended the wedding? What people did in England to celebrate the wedding?. I would like to use these questions to check their comprehension and also lead them to discuss this issue in depth. After the listening activity, students may go home to find more information on England and England Royal Family. The follow up activities would talk more about British culture.       
        Podcasting has a wide variety of topics that can satisfy the needs of teaching and the interests in learning. I think it is a easy and effective way for students to learn about the world while learning English.

Friday, April 22, 2011

ePals


      I think the most useful features that e-Pal can benefit my students is it create a forum for EFL students to communicate can cooperate others all over the world. In EFL context, sometimes students are lack of motivation in English learning because they don’t see the necessity of learning English and using English as a tool for communication. They learn because they are forced to do so. Not all of the students have the chance to travel abroad so that it’s not easy for them to aware globalization.
    E-Pal is a great tool for students have the opportunity to use the language they learned and learn with other students. By working cooperatively, they can both share their own culture and learn other culture. Thanks to technology, students can communicate and learn with e-pals with email and discussion forum. It would be an exciting learning experience. 

       For my future teaching, I would like to use e-pal to mediate cultural awareness for my students. By following the activity guide, I would like to have my students well-prepared to learn and contribute their creativity. After they finished one project, I would upload their works I order to motivate them by enhancing the sense of achievement. By engaging them in cultural project, I would like to have students start to use digital media and Internet to develop digital literacy.

   

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Flickr and L2 classroom


I made this photobook with Bookr. I think it could be used for my teaching past tense and "used to ...".
I would like to show this  photobook to the whole class and share my childhood stories with them. Via experiences sharing, the whole class practice the use of past tense and "used to " in oral discussion. As a homework, the students would work in groups and make their own photo book to introduce one thing happened in the past. They could talk about how their campus/neighborhood used to be like. They could also talk about their childhood memories. By making notes with pictures sharing, students can practice the grammar in a meaningful and communicative way.

Creative Commons Licensing


Julieta is back! by dhammza / off
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License
Creative commons license are tools that give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The combination of the tools and users contribute a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon without going beyond the boundaries of copyright law.
There are types of creative commons licensing application in Flickr:

 Attribution means you let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work ---and derivative works based on it---but only if they give you credit.
Noncommercial means you let others copy, distribute, display and perform your work---and derivative works based on it---but for noncommercial purpose only. 
 No Derivative Works means you let others copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.
Share Alike means you allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Did you tweet yet?

      This is a Twitter Love Song. I love the way it says about twitter.
It’s my first time to use twitter and I am fascinated about how it could not only broaden my horizons within minutes but also facilitate my teaching in second language.
According to the blog post by Joe Dale, he clearly addressed how twitter can help teachers. Twitter opens a dialogue with teachers, experts, educators. Without being out of the classroom, a bunch of people contribute and share ideas, opinions, reflections, techniques that have be tested, links to useful websites and tools,  resources, books in a consciousness string. It is a space that teachers can ask questions and get answers. People provide feedback for each other. The network is not only social but also became a personal leaning network (PLN). What makes twitter great is that there won’t be too much information allowed unless I decide to take a deeper look at it. I can have my own choice to decide whether to follow the information depends on the quality or my interest.
I myself also found twitter is more useful and interesting than I thought. After I clicked “follow” on some of language educators, with only in one hour, I read teaching materials and websites that they shared. I found twitter provide me more instant interaction with people on-line. After following twitter for a whole week, I already deemed it as a fresh when I was tired of preparing for midterm exams and papers. When feeling tired, I would go on twitter and see what’s new. For example, I just saw a twit by Larryferlazzo. It is a video link about Skinner and Teaching machine. I have never heard that before and found this quite interesting. Few days ago, I also found a post on tools to create my own vocabulary test by kalinagoenglish. This is useful because it saves a lot of time.
So far, I think my ways for leaning are changed by online social networks. I would keep working and see how it brings surprise and inspiration for my life and teaching!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Box of Chocolates


Are we going to talk about how to make chocolates?
Or are we going to talk about how much do we believe in “life is like a box of chocolates” ?

Yes, I am addicted to all kinds of chocolate but A Box of Chocolate is actually a blog set by Cecilia Lemos, who is an English teacher in love with teaching, languages, books, music and art.
I think this blog is interest and useful me because it shares kinds of English teaching activities which are very useful. Last week, Cecilia shared three activities related to Valentine’s Day which I found very inspiring. The post called Love is in...The ESL Classroom! These activities are not only motivating because they are so related to students’ lives but also they can introduce how different cultures react to the same issue or festival. Because we don’t have Valentine’s Day in Taiwan and most students have misconception about this day. Therefore, I think it’s a good opportunity for them to think about it via English learning.
Besides, Cecilia has shared her beliefs on teaching and various activities with attached documents, which I think very helpful for me to teach high school students or advanced adult learners in the future.
There are still numerous of blogs and websites that share resources and ideas for teaching English. And I think one of the biggest reason accounts for recommendation of this blog is that this is set up by a teacher who seems to close to me. By reading her posts is like listening to my classmates’ speaking. Moreover, her passion for teaching language and life motivates me to be an English teacher just like her. I am glad that there are so many resources I can use which would facilitate my future teaching.  

Friday, February 11, 2011

Ning: A Powerful Social Network for Learning

Social networking group is a kind of social software that people and share and exchanges ideas on specific interest or professionals. Ning is a good example of this.
Ning allows people to create their own free social networking site around any topics, complete with personal profiles, photos, videos, links, groups discussions, blogs and so on. Besides, a Ning site is totally contained. All the posting and sharing happens under the same roof. And the creator can decided who the participants are.
I think it is a great environment for both educators and learners. For learners, Ning provides them an opportunity to test out their writing skills in a communicative way by comments and interaction in between. Also, it can be a great place for students to present their works which could be a learning collection and resources on the Web. Take St. Joe H20 for example, it’s a Ning set by Sean Nash for his Marine Biology students. He not only built various conversations on the related subjects but also he invites experts to have dialogue with students, which activates the learning. According to Sean, the site becomes a living community and connects former and future students as well as a growing list of experts in the field. Therefore, the site enlarges the domain of learning. Also, by sharing pictures and video clips with peers and commenting and reflecting, the site forms a learning community that students believe they are belong to. Seam further addressed “Now my students never really “leave” our program; they are all just a click away from future interactions in a way that moves us together forward as a learning community” which impresses me a lot. I think the Ning not only enables students to learn deeper and wider, it also inspire students’ interest in learning, which is hard to achieve by a one-way communication between textbook, teacher and students.
For educators, Ning is equally useful because teaching resources are widely spread and easily attained; among them EFL CLASSROOM 2.0 is my favorite. There are forums that people discuss topics related to English teaching. People share all kind of teaching strategies and activities. People also share worksheets and ppt, which is so helpful.  People also ask questions related to English learning and teaching and other members would reply. I feel excited to see this website because it’s so great to share and learn from English teachers from all over the world.