26 May 2010


If you are always struggling for copyright free images and clipart, try www.openclipart.org.  It's still in beta but there are thousands of what look like really good clipart images.  If you're an artist, you're invited to upload your own images.

23 May 2010

Google Search Stories

Use Google SearchStories to create a short story video with music in less than 5 minutes. To create a video story,

 1. Type the key points of your story.
2. Choose the type of search (map, news, blog, images, etc).
3. Choose your music - there is a good selection of sound tracks.

Here is one I created in about 3 minutes!

How to use it in class?

1. The video I've created will be used as a warmer to revise future forms with Upper Intermediate teenagers.

2. Students can create their own using vocabulary and/or structures learned in a unit or section of the coursebook. The video would be a useful revision resource reminding students what they know (and have forgotten).

After the video has been created you upload it to the Youtube searchstories channel - from there you can embed it in a blog, share it on Facebook, email it to friends or share it in some other way. You will need a Google account to do this.

16 May 2010


I've been playing around with a free online presentation tool that I came across last week.   www.prezi.com has been around for about a year now and has made big waves in the world of presentations.  I've seen it around but only just got round to giving it a go myself over the past week.

It works on the principal that you use size to emphasise and after years of using Powerpoint this was the most difficult thing to to get used to.  The application itself is simple and easy to use - much easier to learn than Powerpoint.  Well....this is my first presentation, and there aren't enough images and too many zooms no doubt, but I'll definitely be using this again.  I'm sure it'll get easier and I think it will be much easier to use in the classroom - and should grab the students attention (or make them motion sick!).  The zooming effect is certainly very powerful when using a projector.

08 May 2010

English Attack!

www.englishattack.com is another new video website just starting out - it looks like it's going to be very interesting.  Students learn English from video clips - something especially engaging for students.  The site gives full instructions on how to use it.  There are also plans for a teacher's area in the future - I imagine where you can register your students and monitor their progress.  Great for homework tasks!

The student watches the video, goes through a series of exercises including comprehension, vocabulary, expresssions and grammar, then play games to consolidate new language learned. Looks pretty good so far.

Apart from giving students homework tasks - how would I use it in the classroom?

1.  I'd show the video and do the comprehension questions as a team quiz.

2.  Copy and paste other questions into a Word document and create a normal listening gapfill, quiz, etc.

3.  Have students consolidate their learning at home for homework by playing games.

As already mentioned, it is still a very new site and some areas will no doubt be improved as time goes on.  The main problem is speed.  Another suggestion I would have for the builders of this website is that students can skip a step.  At the moment, you have to go through all 7 stages - I guess this is to ensure that students have learned something, but there are always times when you are interrupted and want to pick up where you left off (or as a teacher you might want to quickly look through all the activities without actually doing them!).

Best EFL Teaching Videos

David Deubelbeiss, the found of EFL2 Classroom has compiled a video list of the Top 100 videos to use in the EFL classroom. Some of them I've used (with positive results) and others are new ideas. A good place to start if you're looking for an inspiring video for your lesson.

To view the playlist, hover your mouse over the top right corner of the video and click on the right down button. The video list appears. Scroll down to view the list and click on the video you want to watch.

06 May 2010

05 May 2010

Life of an EFL Teacher - Intermediate Reading

www.readableblog.com is a blog written by an English teacher in simple "readable" English for Intermediate and above students.  Possibly an additional resource for authentic materials - or extra reading practice at home for students?

03 May 2010

Guide to Creating Videos Online

www.freetech4teachers.com has produced this video making guide - no need to purchase expensive video or editing equipment! Here is a summary of some of the best online video making tools, as well as things to consider when making a video using images from the web.

Making Videos on the Web - A Guide for Teachers

Youtube Worksheets

With Vidinotes.com  you can create a worksheet from a Youtube video. This is another free website where there's no need to register.  To create a worksheet following these steps:

1.  Find Youtube video.
2.  Go to Vidinote website and download video in flv format using KeepVid (follow instructions on website)
3.  Upload the flv format video to vidinotes.com (this may take a couple of minutes).
4.  Play the video.  Click on the "capture" button for the scenes you want to capture.
5.  You can give the images titles if you want.
6.  You can capture up to 30 frames of the video.

Once you have all the images you want, you can either print directly to your printer or create a PDF with it.

I think this would be a great way to create storyboards of videoclips for students - get the students to write the story.

Thanks to Nik Peachey for spotting this tool.

02 May 2010

Conjugating English Verbs

www.conjugation.com is another new website for students of English.  They type in the word and get the conjugation tables for that verb.  Another good use would be for verb structures - ed and gerund structures.  One feature I like is that you can submit your own examples.

How would I use it?  Well...apart from letting students know the site exists to help them with homework and writing, a nice activity would be to get students to write an example of the use of a verb and submit it to be posted on the site.

Free Technology for Teachers.

If you are interested in knowing more about free web 2.0 tools on the internet, subscribe to www.freetechnology4teachers.com.  The blog is not dedicated to EFL so not everything is useful for the EFL teacher. Take a look - you'll be amazed at what is available!

Create a comic strip!

www.chogger.com is a new quick and easy to use comic strip creator.  To use you need to register (very quick and simple).  You can either upload photos/pictures from your computer, take photos of yourself with your computer webcam or draw the pictures directly on the storyboard (you can use Paint to do this).

01 May 2010

Online Jeopardy Template.

 www.jeopardylabs.com is a website where you can create an online jeopardy game without any technical knowledge.  After a quick registration process, click on create a template and you're ready to go.  All you need is the questions ready.   After you have finished the game, remember to either email it yourself, bookmark it or post it to your blog so you can use it again. Here is a template I created.    My Jeopardy Template

Make a Beast!

The Beasthttp://bit.ly/bFpOmP
Create a beast on this website.  No need to register or login - all you need is an email address to send the postcard.  Students create their beast (very good body vocabulary revision) and send it to their friends after writing a short message.  Get your students writing - and having fun in the process!