25 February 2012

Blogging in EFL

Here's a Storify pulling together articles from the web about blogging in the classroom.  If you're new to blogging, you'll find some handy tips and ideas here.

23 February 2012

Live Typing

LiveTyping.com looks like a fun way to get students writing.  I came across it on Live Feast, Ana Maria Menezes blog, while looking for ideas for mini sagas.  I like doing "live writing" with my students which involves appointing a typist or passing the keyboard around the class and getting them to create a group story or other writing text.  With LiveTyping.com students can replay what they've written and it can be emailed or posted on your class blog.  If you're working with tweens or younger teens, it's better to put the students in smaller groups

22 February 2012

English for Critical Thinkers

English for Critical Thinkers is a project by Don Wilson to create lesson plans based on video.  What's interesting about this website is that the content is based on topics often not covered in course books so can sometimes be controversial, which makes it all the more interesting!  Suitable for CEFR B1 to C2 older teens and adults.  I love using materials created by other teachers as a change from the coursebook and I find students appreciate them too - the lesson plan about Garzon looks especially interesting as it's a big topic in Spain at the moment!

21 February 2012

Phonemic Typewriter

Phonemic Typewriter is one of many phonemic typewriters on the Internet.  What I like most about thiswebsite is that you have a lot more control over what you want to type, such as marking stress, which many other websites don't allow for.  It's easy to use, just click on the phoneme you want to use, and you can easily copy your online texts into a Word document.

It's especially useful for transcribing listening texts to show the changes that occur in connected speech.

NY Times - The Learning Network

I've just rediscovered this fabulous website The learning Network at the New York Times.  There are lots of activities based around news articles that are very accessible to Intermediate+ English Language Learners and many are also suitable for teens. 

As well as using for non-exam Intermediate and Upper Intermediate (teenage) classes, I've found articles that are especially useful for exam classes and can be used for extended reading and speaking activities that relate quite nicely to course book topics.

Using authentic materials is always stimulating and motivating for students, especially teens, so it's well worth spending some time to look on the webiste for activities you could use to supplement your course.  

FECEI Madrid

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to talk at the first FECEI event in Madrid.  Speakers included Carol Read and Russell Stannard who, although ill, was able to "attend" via Adobe Connect.  The atmosphere was very relaxing and friendly and the whole event was a pleasure to be at.  Let's hope it's the first of many more!