2012 is round the corner, and after considering possibilities (time dedication, target hit, availability…), we’ll be moving activity to Scoop it. Blog & Teach will remain a s a blog for reflection on some issues concerning its original purpose (the use of new technologies in the ESL classroom), but most posts regarding new applications and resources will be published at Scoop.it/2-0-tools-and-esl, a site with quicker posts with more accessible resources. There you will find new posts on how to use new technologies in the classroom, especially in our English lessons. We’ll be also posting on new uses of mobile devices and its software, as well as the use of 2.0 applications. Feel welcome to enter and make the best of it!!!
I want to thank you all for your sympathy and your visits… see you in Scoop.it!
This article from la Vanguardia dwells on the permanent issue of using English in the classroom… why should it still be an issue? If we deprive our students of one of the possibilities to increase their imput of English language (In most cases the most relevant), what are our expectations as professionals? I still learn about cases where the teacher constantly uses his/her native language to teach… English. Sometimes they justify themselves by saying many/some/most/a few students do not understand… and they will stay like that if we don’t give them the chance to get in contact with the language!!! And even though those students had those problems of understanding… what about the rest of the class who eventually understands what the teacher is saying. I don’t understand what process these pseudoprofessionals have undergone which does not let them see the plain truth: Oral imput is paramount in the communicative language acquisition process. Of course I say “communicative”! If we only try to teach them how to differenciate past perfect from simple past and how to say all irregular verbs by heart (nice drill to help them find their way in the middle of London), then why bother?
Here’s a nice strip from Educacontic with a good suggestion for those who would like to know how to put some things together in ICT and ESL:
1- Search the Net
2- Create a Podcast channel
3- Digital narration / Storytelling
4- Create a classroom blog
5- Put all these things together
These are probably some of the most popular ICT tasks and projects that teachers do with their students… it’s really important to consider 5 as a step forward towards a deeper involvement with ICT… this will surely rise as a richer and more engaging project for students… and teachers!
Holidays are almost over, and a new schoolyear is around the corner. I’ll be ready to post new ideas and thoughts that may help you in your lessons.
Here’s a video for a start: Vicki Davis, a teacher in Georgia, USA, talks about the way she uses new media and new 2.0 applications in her classroom. It’s a short video from Edutopia, really worth watching. She’s not an English teacher, but she shows us the way into using all those tools and applications in our lessons. I would specially point out what she says about teaching these new tools: Sometimes she’s learning from her students as she’s teaching. This give-and-take concept can’t be neglected nowadays when it comes to building new projects. We can’t expect our students to ellicit everything out of inspiration or sheer practice, many things will still be in the teacher’s hands, but we can’t escape the fact that the future of project work in education and knowledge acquisition will be also based upon the process whereby teachers and students share the experience of learning.
Posting will become scarce in the following weeks… summetime has come!
Here’s my last post, just to show you that we still must work really hard if we want this country of ours to show some reasonable level in the use of English… and still harder if we want it to show some style and good taste!!
Memrise is a new application to improve our vocabulary skills. It has a very clear interface and encourages students to take up the challenge of learning new vocabulary through memorisation as words keep coming out on the screen in a caroussel…
Those words we learn and practise start as seeds…
…and these seed grow as we practise them and show our knowledge…
Students earn points and are ranked in a social network interface… really catchy!! There are different languages available.
We can add new words and mnemotecnic rules to help other people learn the words.
The BBC has a very good website where ELT students can check about their doubts when it comes to understanding grammar issues: Grammar Challenge
Grammar issues appear listed and with just one click you find a page where an ELT specialist gives you a clear explanation on the grammatical point you need to understand, as well as clear written examples. Explanations can be downloaded as mp3 files so that students can listen to them on the go. It is quite suitable for intermediate/advanced students.
There is also a teacher’s section with ideas to get the best of this website in class.
This video from the Escapist portraits the negative effects of a too-game-biased environment. Everybody talks abouts games in education (I do!!!), games in everyday life, serious games, alternate reality games… maybe it’s time to stop and see the drawbacks as well! No need to mention that it is only a warning to over-users!! Games are a wonderful tool for our job!
With Nota, mash your ideas and media together with friends in a dynamic whiteboard wiki. Using photos, videos, and other web content you can instantly create brainstorms and presentations. Easy and quick. It’s not too complex, so don’t expect amazing layouts… but it is really effective!!!
Here we are with some new wonderful stuff from The British Council. Now it is time for listening activities.
Big City Small World is a series of listening clips related to a group of young people from all across the world who live together in London.
Every unit deals with different topics and it contains different tasks which can be downloaded, printed and distributed among your students. You can optionally read the transcript of the audio as you do the activity. The topics are really catchy and up to date… very interesting drills basically created for teenagers and young adult learners.