Monday, April 7, 2008

End of Winter Term

4 months from now, when you are collecting portfolios, you need to think of something different you might do. Get them to write stuff out using WOD and idioms.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Review #6

Level & Skill: Skill is grammar, and you can find something for any level. It has basic noun, verb type grammar lessons and goes to essay writing and beyond.

: Affirmative.


What makes it good: The fact that you can find very specific grammar points helps out a lot. It provides teachers with lesson plans, activities explanations and even has power point lessons teacher can use in the class. There are online activities that the students can do. These range from crossword puzzles to quizzes. This would be a nice source for new teachers or teachers who need to save some time and need a quick lesson. However, I am sure a teacher who has been teaching grammar may not find much use for this site.

Friday, March 9, 2007



Level & Skill: Skill is pronunciation and listening. However, I think a learner from any level could use this website. It might be to much for an early beginner, who doesn't have an ear for the language yet, but for anyone who wants some extra practice could use this site.

Interactive: Affirmative.


What makes it good: It is the variety of activities available. There are minimal pairs activities, sentence listening activities. and the site provides complete lessons from their workbook in MP3 audio , as well as the PDF version. If the learner has a microphone even more activities are available. All the activities are geared towards visual and auditory learners, so they can hears the sounds, and see the phrases at the same time. There are also video clips of mouths making different sounds that morph into animated Sammy Diagrams that highlight positioning of the tongue and lips. Of course nothing could teach pronunciation as well as interacting with native speakers, and there is no way that the computer can correct the learner or interact with them, but this could still help the learners practice. And since the learners can practice in the comfort of their own home they might be more willing to let themselves go and speak aloud, taking risks. I highly suggest anyone who reads this to check out the site and play around with it.



Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Eric Learns a New Language: Review #4


Level & Skill: I would have to say just from the demo it was for a beginner reading, writing, speaking and listening. But, for the amount of money this thing costs I am assuming it can be used for higher levels.

Interactive: That is a big Yes. ESL/Non-ESL: ESL

What makes it good: This seems like a great program. There are a lot of languages and the beginner level was constructed perfectly. It started out with a voice speaking, picture and you could read the line that was spoken, and the program would build from this; slowly introducing new words and separating the written word from the spoken word. This allowed the learner to slowly learn the language, or remember phrases and then apply them to the picture. By the end of the first activity man, woman, horse, dog and cat were burned into my memory. The activity got really interesting when it introduced placement; whether it was under, on or in. By the end of the program I could either look at a picture and know what the phrase was, or hear the phrase and choose the picture. Eventually my brain was working faster than the program. Of course I did pick the German program, and even though I don't know any German I could still infer a lot of meaning through my English. However, this program did become tedious, even when I tried it with Japanese and Arabic. As useful as the program was I got tired of it. I don't think I could work on this everyday, as after a couple of minutes I got tried of learning a language off of a computer. AS good as this program is it lacks that spark that you can only get from learning a language with other people. This program would be good for beginner or practicing, especially if a person is nervous about learning in a classroom. But, this would be a useful too used in moderation.

Monday, February 12, 2007

ESL Website Review #3


Level & Skill: Lessons range from mid-beginner to advanced. Skills range from basic grammar to inferencing and fill in the blanks. Also, since these grammar exercises do employ music it is a listening skill too.

Interactive: No


What makes it good: This site has literally around a hundred or more lesson plans all surrounding the use of popular music, with three or more lessons of varying degress of difficulty attached to each song. If a teacher likes to teach with music or you have a class that likes learning through music, this is a great site. Its good to activate more than one skill when teaching, so music is a great source. Luckily the songs range in variety, and you will not be stuck with a bunch of lame songs that will kill your soul a little bit more everytime you listen to it. Another nice feature of the songs is that they are authentic, there are not "safe" songs, I am not saying you will find any death metal, but these are songs that explore topics of sex and drugs; but in typical rock fashion they are covered in clever metaphors and the such. So, if you were teaching an advanced level you could use the lyrics to explore deeper issues, or just get the learners to fill in the proper verb tense. If a teacher wanted to use different songs they would be able to create their own activities quite easily because they could just follow the same formula this site does. As a person who uses music in every aspect of their life, I would like to think this site would allow me to bring music into the classroom effectively.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Review #2


Level & Skill: It can cater to beginners and up to advanced level students.

Interactive: Definitely


What makes it good: I think a student could have some fun at this site, there is hangman game, crossword puzzles, cloze tests and many more grammar tests. Learners could definitely have fun with some of these games, other they may find frustrating, which is not necessarily a bad thing. This site even provides ideas for teachers; they have games that can be used to warm up the class and activate their schema. However, if there are any complaints to be made it is that the site is ugly, the colour of the site is ugly, and the layout of the site is not very professional looking. The impact of this is that a site that is other wise quite useful is that it dose not look very credible and dose not create a good vibe for learning, this site could use a bit of a makeover.