ENGLISH TEACHING

We people are most of the time visual learners. We just cannot visualize things without any visual aid. Likewise, we like to SEE what we have learnt or taught. Some software people are working out there to make things easier for people in this aspect to launch:

Glogster

Glogster is a fun to use website which gives the opportunity to create posters with the use of texts, visuals, videos and more. It may come in handy if you are on a project with your students. They and you will love great colorful sights. Let them use it once and they will ask for more.

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Are there ways to improve English via Facebook? Here is a nice article about that.

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I remember the first days I had my mobile. I was 12 years old, did not know how to silence my cell in class and was blamed for putting on air! It was quite challenging to hide it from teachers, too.  “Hide” is a keyword here! I will not talk about the how the technology improved in 10 years but when I think back, it makes me shiver.

Having been educated by very strict teachers, I took my oath so as to be a friendly and up-to-date teacher, in the way I had wished to see my teachers. The first step was the use of technology in classroom. Being a techlover was a plus. I will tell the details in other posts, but here I want to talk about mobile phones.

Why should we use mobile phones in classes?

Mobile phones are the most widespread communication devices in the world and they are convenient. You can perform several actions using a little device.

How can we use it in our lessons?

Learning a language is all about practice and mobiles are super useful tools for that. Here are some ideas:

1. Recording device: If you want your Ss to record any activity (i.e. pairwork, interview), mobiles will be really helpful. Once they record it, they will listen to it. If they don’t like it, they may do it again. It’s really simple and convenient.

2. Telephoning: Let’s say you’re teaching one of the task-based  “How-to-Survive”s. And say, your subject is “Booking a room”. First, teach them common phrases to use, explain them if needed, do some practice. And then, hand a student a mobile and tell him/her to leave the classroom. S/he will be the customer or hotel clerk. The other party will be in the classroom and you will hear the conversation along with the other Ss. This activity will increase anxiety for once but the students will be ready for a real conversation after some practice.

3. Countdown device: If you are a teacher who is fond of classroom games (like me), then you know how crucial it is to have a countdown clock. Mobile phones are great for this.

To perform these activities, all you need is a classic mobile phone. No wonder that there are more ways to use it. I will add more once I collect them.

Hi everyone! As a music lover teacher, I always believe that students learn better with the help of song lyrics. So, I’d like to share some lyrics websites and teaching ideas about teaching with lyrics.

Lyrics Training: This website offers a game with lyrics. Basically you select a song video and the lyrics are displayed. However, some words in the lyrics are deleted. You need to write those words before the singer comes to that part. If you do NOT write the word before s/he sings it, the video will automatically stop. Once you write the word, it will start again. There is no wind-back unless you write the word. It may be really challenging and enjoying at the same time.

Youtube: Youtube is the biggest video database on the Internet. There are many videos that have been arranged as karaoke, as you can see below. You can do this as an activity in your classroom. It will improve listening skills and reduce learner anxiety.

Karaoke Party: This website is great for those who like to sing. You select a song, the music starts and the lyrics are displayed. You sing while looking at the lyrics. There is also a battle option: at least two people sing at the same time and they are ranked according to their singing quality. The good side of it is that you only hear your singing, and nobody hears yours! So you can let your students challenge together yet alone.

Gap filling activity: If you want to apply a rather old but effective technique, you can use gap filling activity. It’s really easy to prepare. All you need to is copy/paste lyrics of a song on a word processor (Word, OpenOffice etc.) and delete some words off. The students should fill in those blanks as they listen to the song. Remember to have original lyrics with you! Also remember to add some visuals to make it look more attractive and add exercises like:

1. Fill in the blanks with the correct forms of these verbs (This is good for practising tenses).

2. Locate the reported phrases in the song (useful for reported speech).

3. Before listening, match the words with their definitions (this activity broadens the vocabulary knowledge and creates learner autonomy for the future). You can simply add a glossary.

4. Answer the questions. You can always ask questions about the content of the songs like “Why do you think she…?, What does she mean here?, Why doesn’t he accept…. ?”. It is a chance to let students express theirselves in English. If you show your enthusiasm, they will find no excuses to discuss it!

Note: You can also apply word omitting for lyrics activity. You may add an unnecessary word to each line and ask them to find them and delete. Here is an example of it:

Madonna Lyrics Activity

Such lyrics activities will make your lessons more enjoyable.

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