Category Archives: LANGUAGE PRACTICE

“CALL” IN THE CLASS: Writing blogs

This is the writing blog I have started for my students at BASICO2 at the EOI. They send me their tasks via the blog. We have a look at them in class. We suggest which points are worth considering in every letter. They check in groups for possible mistakes and correct them. We do a class correction and do some revision on writing rules (punctuation, spelling, for, etc.)

It’s good practice and they seem to get very responsible at sending their tasks on time.

EFL Web Explorer: comprehensive sites

English Study Direct is a site written by academic professionals with he following specific aims:

  • to promote quality online English courses that offer personal tuition
  • to provide an organised database of links to quality learning resources for students
  • to provide a database of links to quality web resources for teachers and researchers
  • to provide a database for consultancy services in academic English online to promote quality online English courses that offer personal tuition

It includes a useful Language Tests section where you can find Free Practice Exercises for students.

In this section you can do practice on:

a) Listening & Speaking

b) Reading & Vocabulary

c) Writing & Study Skills

d) Grammar

e) English Language Exercises and Activities – mixed

f) Test Practice – IELTS, TOEFL, CAEL, Cambridge

SOCIAL BOOKMARKING IN PLAIN ENGLISH

         Social bookmarking is used by thousands of people to cooperate on project exchanges.

         If you are interested in learning how to use social bookmarking at the EFL class, we suggest you reading Godwin’s article in Language Learning and Technology.

         In order to get a general overview of what it is all about, you can also see the following presentation released by Commoncrafts in August last year. Like all their presentations it is easy to follow and understand by intermediate students.

         If your students’ level is not high enough to follow the presentation, you can get it subtitled in different languages through dotSUB (translations) . I hope you enjoy the video!

 

 

SOME TEACHING IDEAS

I have been surfing the web…as usual. That’s where most of my teaching ideas come from today.

I came across a  blog written by a University teacher, Mindy Mc Adams, on Teaching On line Journalism. Her last post, Journalism students’ blogging assignment is really inspiring for the EFL class. She has prepared an assignment for her students which involve 12 weeks’ writing practice. Some ideas that I will follow next year for my Web 2.0. course addressed to intermediate-adavanced students. It is worth reading the comments other colleagues left in order to arrange the task and mark it.

IMPROVE YOUR LISTENING ON INTERNET (2)

One site I have visited recently is ELL English Listening Lounge, a site for people who want to practise listening comprehension. Their philosophy is simple: “To learn English listen a lot. ” With this motto in mind they have developed a site with passages spoken by “real people, speaking real English, talking about what interests them. There are passages for everyone: easy passages for beginners, and more difficult passages for advanced students. The English Listening Lounge is inexpensive and is a very effective way to learn English. If you listen often your English will improve.”

For every passage you listen you can choose to see questions (Q) questions and answers (Q/A) or transcripsts (T).

The recordings are clear and not very long.

EFL WEB EXPLORER (6): IMPROVE YOUR LISTENING ON THE INTERNET (1)

An excellent site with videos to do listening comprehension practice is Video Jug. Life explained on film.

It is an amazing site with all kind of How-to’s videos. The videos are good practice for any kind of sudents, with the exception of absolute beginners. Besides, the films are wonderfully edited and you can get their script. They don’t speak fast and the videos cover all kind of everyday activities.

For all these reasons it is a good resource both for students and for teachers to use in class. They may be used with the projector. You can get the script before the class and make some adjustments for a listening comprehension practice which you can make into a printout.

The videos on food are an excellent resource for vocabulary and describing process.

I strongly recommend to see and use these videos.

Angeles Hernandez
Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Santander
CALL and ICT Language Learning

EFL WEB EXPLORER (5)

Just a good site to teach or learn pronunciation. Phonetics Focus is a wonderland for phonetic practice: games, flashcards, charts, etc.

EFL WEB EXPLORER (4)

Today I will comment on one of this comprehensive sites you can go to whenever you look for something new to learn. Usingenglish.com was opened in 2002 and is written by a group of teachers. The reference section includes a good glossary of idioms, phrasal verbs, irregular verbs and grammar terms.  

Students includes tests and polls and articles on English usage. At the English ESL forum, they answer your questions about English usage.

Testing is a good source for English tests and quizzes, questions bank and selected online tests.

Forum.

Teachers is a good section with articles on teaching uses and resources written by other ESL teachers.

EFL WEB EXPLORER (3)

This week we will have a look at Wordplays.com. It is a tool originally designed to help people solve word games. It might also work well with the average language class to do some vocabulary and spelling practice. There are a couple of games, especially interesting to work with pre-intermediate or intermediate students:

  • If you use Words in a Word you will have three minutes to find all the words contained in a word given.
  • With Word Morph you must change one letter in a setting word to form a new one, then you have to repeat the same process until you spell the ending word.

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LISTENING COMPREHENSION. A web classification for the practice of Listening comprehension for Intermediate to advanced students

37 selected sites to practice listening comprehension

The following websites have been selected for their good language quality and we  have classified them according to any of the following categories. As this is a blog entry, the update of this classification will be posted at the permanent page Improve your listening in my blog:

(1) News services
(2) Language Laboratories
(3) Teachers’ webs
(4) Organisations, both private or public

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