Posts tagged esl

Death By PowerPoint? No Thanks! – Digital Storytelling Using PowerPoint

PowerPoint has the ability to utterly, utterly destroy your soul with boredom – and yet it can totally engage your students’ attention and draw them into a digital story plot if used well. And how should you use it well? These slides will show you! 🙂

I have posted these before, but this is a slightly updated version that I made for the teachers and trainers at Bolzano Free University’s language department (a tri-lingual University in the north of Italy!)

I had wanted to upload this to VoiceThread so that you, my dear readers, could ask and answer questions and see how effective Voicethread is – unfortunately, Voicethread allows a maximum of 50 slides per presentation and … well… this has several more slides than this. Anyhow, the first slides are the digital story part. If you’d like to skip straight to the  PowerPoint hints and tips, go to slide number 48.

Hope this is helpful – if you have any questions, leave them in a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

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Teacher Development Webinar – “Using Virtual Meeting Tools with Students.” #besig

The excellent English360 online learning platform are holding a community webinar next week, with the guest speaker Mike Hogan. (Disclosure: English 360 is one of the companies I do consultancy work for.) The webinar is on the topic of Virtual Meeting Tools and even though it’s geared towards those using, or thinking of using the English 360 platform, it will definitely be of interest to any language teachers who are using online meeting tools, or who want to, with their students.

Valentina Dodge, on the English360 blog has the following to say:

Are you using English360 in conjunction with real-time tools?

Do you have experience teaching in WebEx, Adobe Connect, or on Skype?

How can these virtual meeting environments be used with learners?

Come along to our English360 Open Community Webinar to find out more on delivering lessons in real-time when learners are geographically dispersed or unable to attend face-to-face classroom lessons.

Register now to enjoy Mike Hogan ‘s expertise and experience of using virtual meeting rooms.

Send us an email to Register for the Community Webinar 28th Feb 13.00-14.00 CET

 

I’ve personally spoken to Mike about e-learning quite a bit over the last few months and he certainly seems to have a good deal of practical experience of what “synchronous” e-learning requires. As it’s being organised by Valentina Dodge, too – I’m pretty sure that it will be well worth attending.

Podcasting with Language Learners

At the Little POdcast Logo Thingend of 2011 I travelled up to Innsbruck, Austria to do some teacher training for one of the top language schools there, Die Sprache. We looked at a number of handy ICT tools for language teachers, with a focus on Podcasts. I thought I would share the slides from our training session here on the blog, so that other teachers who are thinking of using pod casts with language learners can take a look through and get a few useful hints and tips.

The presentation is basically broken down into three sections:

  • The first is a quick run through of what pod casts are and why they are (a really good) tool, suitable for language learners.
  • In the second section we look at podcasts used for active listening practice. Personally I think the fact that there are so many different topics of podcast available, as well as those made specifically for language learners, means that there are a great way of introducing regular listening practice to your learners.
  • Then the third and final part of our workshop looked at using the brilliant Open Source sound recording software, Audacity. At first sight audacity can be a bit intimidating. I don’t really mind admitting that I only ever use about 5% of Audacity’s capabilities, but the ability to edit and mix sound recordings really make your recordings sound more professional. At the end of the day I’ve used Audacity with a class full of 15-year-olds, and it went very smoothly. A surefire sign of simple software.

Please feel free to take a look through the slides, and even share them with your colleagues if you wish. If you have any questions or if anything is not quite clear, please do ask any questions in the comment section below (these slides are of course designed to be used in a face-to-face seminar with me present, online they lose something.) Of course, if you would like me to come to your school to deliver this seminar in person, just drop me a line for a quote:

Twitter: @sethdickens
email: i n f o (a t) d i g i t a l a n g . c o m

Finally, I promised the teachers at Die Sprache who taught languages other than English, that I would find a few podcasts suitable for them. I didn’t find a great deal of sites, but here’s what I’ve found so far:

Radio Lingua Language-learning – Possibly the best group of language learning podcasts I’ve seen yet!

Schlaflos in München – der Podcast mit Annik Rubens – A very classy podcast from Munich.

http://www.andreasauwaerter.de/ – Andreas Auwerter’s Posdast

Podcasting for Learning » Zwei neue Interviewpartner im Bidcast online – Andreas Auwerter’s blog about podcasting
In addition to these links, I also have a list of links that (might) useful for teaching German and Spanish on my Delicious account:

If you know of any more links good for teaching these languages, please do let me know in the comments.

 

Best of The BETT – Part 4

Etwinning LogoFor the third in my series of Best of the BETT interviews I spoke to Anne Gilleran, from eTwinning.net. I’m happy to say that amongst the hundreds stalls at BETT, eTwinning’s area was a real breath of fresh air. Their service is a real help for language teachers who want their students to get some authentic speaking practice, it’s also huge (currently there are more than 150,000 members) and best of all it’s free. In their own words:

eTwinning is the Community for schools in Europe. Teachers from all participating countries can register and use the eTwinning online tools (the Portal and the Desktop) to find each other, meet virtually, exchange ideas and practice examples, team up in Groups, learn together in Learning Events and engage in online-based projects.

I’m a big fan of free stuff that makes teachers’ lives easier and I’ll definitely now be looking into eTwinning.net further. I’d like to see how I could work it into some of the seminars I teach at the moment.

Anyhow, over to Anne, who describes (in a very noisy BETT conference hall) exactly what eTwinning.net does:

 

 

Tomorrow’s post will be my last, but I’ve saved the “big one” or scoop until then. I was very lucky to get an interview with William Florance, the head of Education at Google for Europe The Middle East and Asia.

Best of the BETT – Part 3

Logo for SmartPEns and LivescribeIn this second in our series of interviews from the BETT 2012 interviews, we hear form Simon Lee, the UK Head of Sales for Livescribe, the manufacturer of the incredible SmartPen.

I use a Livescribe SmartPen myself, and I can attest to how useful they are for helping you to concentrate on what is being said, not taking notes and so on in meetings. More importantly though, at least for this blog, they’re invaluable in 1to1 language lessons, where the teacher will be able to quickly and simply play back errors to the learner, so that can correct themselves, whether it be pronunciation, vocabulary or grammar mistakes. Without fail, after every single sales meeting I do for English360, the people I’m talking to ask “what’s that amazing pen?” or something along those lines!

In this interview, Simon tells us why Livescribe came to BETT and what teachers have been hearing from him this year:

 

The next interview in this series will be with Gareth Davies, the CEO of an amazing virtual learning environment that I’d never heard of before, Frog. Great name – and not a bad looking VLE either 🙂

Blogging with EFL Students – Part 3 – Get Your Blog Moving!

In this final part of my short series on how to blog with EFL students. If you missed the first two you can find them here:

Blogging with EFL Students – Part 1 – Setting Up a Blog

and here:

Blogging with EFL Students – Part 2 – Blogs Grow With Comments

 

In this final set of slides I’ll discuss a couple of the essential things every blogger should be able to do to whether they be a teacher or a student. This is certainly not an exhaustive list of everything a blogger should do, but it should help you get the final basics in place.

Uploading a photo to your blog post makes it far easier on the eye and therefore more likely to be read. Adding a link to other related posts or interesting information helps give your reader a bit of background and adds context to your post and finally sorting out your profile lets your reader find out a bit more about you which, hopefully, will make them more likely to want to connect with you.

So, on to the slides: Once again, please do ask if there is anything you’re unclear about or if you want a bit of help with something. If you think I’ve missed out another vital skill for bloggers, do tell me. I’d love to know and will happily update the slides in the future. Down there at the bottom in the comments section, let it rip! 😉

 

Take care and all the best,

Seth.

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