Posted in efl, ELL, elt, esl, web 2.0 tools

Cool Sites and Tools for ESL & EFL Learners

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If you are learning English in the 21st century, you are lucky because you will have numerous alternatives to practise the things you’ve been learning.

There are thousands of great sites which will help you, but if you don’t have a place to store these cool sites, then you’ll lose track so I will suggest you to bookmark them.

I use scoop.it, diigo and pinterest for the sites I love. You can start a pinterest board for the listening, reading or writing sites, or start using scoop.it to curate links for learning vocabulary, practising reading, etc. You can follow other learners and learn from them as well.

Here you will find some cool tools for you to practise what you’ve been learning.

EngVid is a free site to learn English for free with video lessons. New Lessons are added regularly, covering grammar, vocabulary, TOEFL and more. Students who are willing to improve their English can visit the site at least once or twice a week.

5 Minute English is a site designed to give the learners short and easy explanations and exercises. The learners can have a quick look at grammar, reading, listening, vocabulary and idioms. They can also find answers to questions that can be confusing for other learners. This is under the Question and Answer section.

If you spend 5 minutes a day here regularly, you will benefit a lot.

News in Levels  is another great site that can be recommended to enthusiastic ESL learners to study English.

There are short news articles for different levels. You can choose your level and read the news and listen to it. You then can try the other levels for the same article. The words in the original news have been changed and adapted to 3 levels. The vocabulary definitions are also given.

I just came across with ETTC, a site where you can try writing poems on your own. The site allows the users to write fun poems, guiding them to use certain vocabulary.

This is a great way to learn and recycle vocabulary.

Listening to songs is one of the greatest ways to study a foreign language. That’s why Lyrics Training is another site you can visit daily. You can listen to the songs and try to fill in the gaps according to your level. If you can’t catch up the words, the video stops and you have to listen to it again.

oneword.com is a great site which will allow the learners to write on a word given in 60 seconds. When you click on the link and access the site you will see how simple it is to use. Click on ‘GO’, you will see a word and will have 60 seconds to write about it. The words given are very simple and that way even the beginners can find something to write.

Esl.fis.edu is a site to provide resources that will help ESL learners improve their grammar, reading and vocabulary skills. The site contains activities and quizzes which will facilitate learning. You can choose an activity and start doing and you get immediate feedback.

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Posted in activities, creative tasks, creativity, efl, ELL, elt, esl, exercises, fun, fun activities, games, online games, pair work

Looking at Digital Games and Heroes

image taken from yahoo images
image taken from yahoo images

 

I am not a fan of online games. I don’t play any but my son spends most of his free time playing online games. I have lots of students who do the same and when the subject is online games, even the quietest one starts to speak. A few years ago I had three students in my class. They were very much interested in games. They were very interesting boys because they were not ordinary players as they learned a lot about mythology and literature playing these games. One of them is writing stories and probably he’ll become a famous writer one day. That’s my hope for him.

I was clearing my files during the break and I came across a handout I coped from a book (unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the book) on literature. There were questions about favourite titles and characters. I put the handout among the ones I’d like to use this year but then suddenly I thought about another activity. Why shouldn’t I adapt it to games that the students are fond of playing and would work on the activity eagerly?

So here are my questions. I’ll be very happy if you can suggest other questions for this activity.

Think about the online games you love playing. First finish the sentences then compare your answers with your partner.

  1. I think I’m like the character ————————– from the game ———— because ———————-.
  2. I like the title of the game ————————— because ———————-.
  3. The game which I find very challenging is ———————————.
  4. I want to meet the character ———————- from the game —————- because ————————-
  5. The character whose action I admire is ————————– because ——-
  6. For me the most interesting 3 online games are ———————————.
  7. It is easy to win a game in ————————– because ———————–
  8. It is difficult to win a game in ———————– because ———————-.
  9. The game ——————- is set in a ——————————. It is —————–.
  10. 10. In the game ———————— you need to be a team to win.

Here you can find the handout I prepared for the activity.

Links to some blogs and interesting posts on online games

 

 

Posted in connecting words, efl, ELL, esl, linkers, mixed ability, narratives, sequencing, writing, writing a paragraph, writing a story

A Drill-like Narrative Writing Activity

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We were working on narrative tenses and the writing task of the lesson was ‘writing a story’. My class is small and it’s a real mixed-ability class. although it’s small, it sometimes takes very ages for the students to master something. The book we’re using organized the activity very well – first making students to know and use the connectors to make them aware of the sequences in a story. We did the exercise on the book and wrote a paragraph using At First, Then, After that, Eventually, Finally but some of the students had problems writing their own paragraphs so I decided to continue.

photo credit @AClilToClimb #eltpics

I divided the group into two and told them they would write a story using At First, Then, After that, Eventually, Finally.

Each group now had a good students to help the others.

I changed one student from the groups and exchanged them with each other after they finished writing and reading their paragraphs aloud.

I left the good ones in the group, changing one students after writing a paragraph for four times.

In the fifth round, all the good ones were in one group but two groups managed to use the connectors and produced their own sentences.

Then they all went back to their seats and wrote their own paragraphs.

As a follow-up, they wrote another paragraph, creating a book with bookr.

 

 

 

Posted in 37th ELT Blog Carnival, blog carnival, celebrations, efl, ELL, esl, esl ell efl blog carnival, ESL. ELL Carnival

#37th ELT Blog Carnival

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Welcome to the 37th ELT Blog Carnival. Many thanks for the colleagues who shared their lessons here and Many thanks to my PLN who spread the news of the carnival when I tweeted or FBed about it. OK, Folks… Let’s begin … Do you hear the merry sounds, songs, giggles of a happy moment from a celebration. Life without these days will be ‘like everyday‘. Right …. Here I go …. Let’s celebrate all together.

I’ll start from the first entry I received …

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1. Vicky Loras sent and amazing entry for the International Book Day. Vicky, as a book enthusiast, describes ways how to make this day memorable and promote reading at the same time.

2. Then we have 2 wonderful ideas from Movie Segments for Warm-ups and Follow-Ups by Claudio Azavedo, You have a look for “Four Christmases How Grinch Stole”  and “New Year’s Eve When Harry Met Sally”

3. Teacher Marija is present at this blog carnival with a Christmas Test that you can print and use in the class.

4. A Christmas classic that most of us use in our reading classes during the holiday season is The Gift of magi by O’Henry. You will like the lesson Ceri Jones  wrote and shared on her blog.

5. When I posted about the carnival on celebrations I did hope to find more resources on various celebrations. Larry Ferlazzo’s famous “best” list is for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa can be bookmarked for numerous visits.

6. Carissa Peck contributes to the blog carnival with lessons for all seasons. Clicking on the links you can find great ideas to use with your own classes.

7. Claudie teaches people from all over the world – many different countries, different religions and she describes how she uses December in her classes in her post.

8. EFL Classroom 2.0 has loads of holiday related materials. David Deubelbeiss presents 50 Holiday Activities for Teaching English.I’m sure we can find something that will appeal our students.

9. My contribution to the carnival is a post I wrote last year just after Christmas and New Year and I hope this time I’m not too late to share it.

10. I really don’t want to finish the list with an odd number so I’ll add a project I and a very creative and enthusiastic teacher, Alexandra Fransisco started back in 2009 and continued for two year. With Celebr8u&medigitally, I had the chance to meet the students’ of my PLN. The wiki is full of web 2.0 projects for many celebrations.

I hope 2014 will be a happy and prosperous year and there will be peace and calm everywhere. Enjoy the holiday season.

You can always revisit the previous carnivals to get inspiration for your lessons from The ELT Blog Carnival home page  

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Wishing you a Happy Holiday Season 🙂

 

 

Posted in drill, efl, ELL, esl, web 2.0 tools

Happy Drilling in EFL Classroom

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WHY?

Drills are the most important exercises at the 1st phase of learning a new structure. They may be neglected thinking that they are mechanical and meaningless but they may be very effective for some learners. They are repetitive so they can make the form memorable. Making a drill type of exercise a little bit meaningful and adding a pinch of creativity to it can be challenging but it is worth it. I want to list some ideas here and I’ll divide them into two categories. Tools and the Activities …

TOOLS?

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1. Ask students to take photos of people or pets at home,in the street or give them your own photos or tell them to draw.

2. Give them an A4 size paper and show them how to fold it as a tiny book , or show them how to fold as 6 equal rectangles, or see more foldables here 

3. Introduce them some desktop tools to work with or some web 2.0 tools like bookr, bubblr, imagechef, animo to, glogster, 

4. Buy colourful post-it notes with different shapes.

ACTIVITIES

1. Tell them to write what they were doing/ had done / did when,after before the photo was taken ( I was —ing when my mother took this photo) / I had eaten my sandwich before this my mum took the photo.

2. Give the skeleton and ask them to write a poem. You can see another example here.