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!).

1 comment:

  1. Hi Helen, and thanks for your encouraging and constructive comments about English Attack!

    We have received a number of suggestions along the line of allowing more random access the the various phases of a Video Booster. Originally we designed the phase sequence to gradually build up learner confidence by focusing first on gist comprehension, then detailed comprehension, and then lexical item familiarisation ending up with a nod towards inductive grammar, but clearly there is a lot of demand for more dip-in, dip-out use of the Video Booster format. We will definitely have a look at building more flexibility into this in the next version of the site.

    For your info, we will also be adding a Teacher Platform functionality to the site, allowing you as a teacher to select and assign specific content items to a class, and to monitor whether each student in the class has done the work and how he or she scored on the unit - great for homework assignments. Teachers will also be able to create their own Video Booster, starting with a wide selection of pre-approved video clips covering various topics and styles.

    If you are interested in learning more about the pedagogical principles on which English Attack! is based, check out our blog at http://blog.english-attack.com ; comments welcome!