February 23

FOR BUSY TEACHERS – YOU CAN’T MISS IT!!!!

Do you want to start your lesson with something different? Something that everybody is talking about? Something that everybody should know? Do you need to find information quickly?

REFDESK.COM REFDESK.COM might be very useful . It can be accessed via computer or smartphone. It gives you:

Site of the day – for example Earth Cam. I’ve just seen what’s going on in Bangkok. Live! Good for DESCRIBING PICTURES.

Fact of the day – I’ve just learnt that many historians believe football (European version) originated in China around 1000 B.C. Good for DISCUSSION about – football, China, other inventions, you name it.

Thought of the day – “Better to be occasionally cheated than perpetually suspicious.” – B.C. Forbes, hmmm, I don’t know, I guess so. But I’m not going to tell my students!

This day in history – “The first American attack on Japanese soil during WWII, the Battle of Iwo Jima(…)”. No, I’m not choosing that. The page gives me other option for example BBC. So, I’m choosing 25.02 – well, well – 1982: Parents can stop school beatings: The European Court of Human Rights rules corporal punishment in Britain’s schools is a violation of the Human Rights Convention. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/25/default.stm) Good for COMPARING and CONTRASTING different school systems, CHATTING about school days; USED TO  etc.

In the newsDISCUSSING CURRENT EVENTS

Article of the day – homework: READING COMPREHENSION; WRITING A SUMMARY

Today’s birthday – good for WRITING A BIOGRAPHY; PRESENTATIONS

Today’s pictures – One of my favourite –  stunning images, shocking images, informative images, street photography, political images, etc. Good for SHORT TALKS or DESCRIBE THE PICTURE activities.

Word of the day – Love it! Every day – a new word. Today – a stalking-horse.

Dictionaries of different sorts (visual, talking, technical), translators and many, many other things which can be used easily and fast.

This website is a real gem for busy teachers. A real time saver!!!! And excellent for LEARNING ON THE GO!!!!  

February 3

LINOIT – finally organised!!!!!

This is a fantastic tool that can be used as a  personal cork-board; easily talking to your Google calendar and sending reminders of what you have to do to your email box. YOU CAN USE IT WITH YOUR STUDENTS. I’ve started using it with my NC ESOL for EMPLOYABILITY (pic 1) and DPSI (pic 2). Jill, Mark and Ula don’t know yet what is waiting for them – but I’m planning to use it with SCP ESOL as well (pic 3). AND IT’S FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There’s also a paid option for these teachers who want to have more control and know who was this cheeky student that had peeled off the sticky note reminding about the exam. But, since we don’t have cheeky students, a free plan is more than enough. You share this interactive notice board with your classes and you won’t have any more excuses “Test? So we have a test today?!!”

February 3

LINGRO – THE “WOW!!!!!” DICTIONARY

Go to http://lingro.com/ and paste the web address into the box and LINGRO 

 

Choose the language options (there are 11 languages available, including German, Polish, Spanish Russian, Dutch and Chinese) and click 

The webpage will open. Click on any word that you don’t know and read the meaning. You can add your translation and you can make your own vocabulary list. 

 

From the creators of LINGRO:

Knowledge and information essential to human communication and interaction should be free and accessible to everyone. This is why we created the most comprehensive set of free dictionaries available under open licenses so that anyone can contribute, download, redistribute, and modify the dictionaries for their own needs. These licenses guarantee that they will always remain free and useful to society.”

February 1

NO MORE PRONUNCIATION PROBLEMS

If I say MERRIAM-WEBSTER, it speaks for itself. This time it shares a collection of activities for practising pronunciation. The activities cover issues such as syllable stress, pronunciation of individual sounds, short and long vowels, or sentence intonation. Altogether 14 sessions 5 exercises each. All sentences also include audio Good for class practice, excellent for self-study  http://www.learnersdictionary.com/pronex/pronex.htm

An excellent idea for a class activity. Go to http://howjsay.com/a free online Talking Dictionary of English Pronunciation and key in the words that learners find confusing such as “caught; cot; cat; cut”. When they appear in pink, hover the mouse and you will hear their pronunciation. This website also offers free iPhone and Android applications.

And finally, a collection of online dictations for self-study http://www.dictationsonline.com/