Monday, April 15, 2013

The Use of Podcast in Classroom




From the list of the links, I found ESL Pod is really beneficial for English as foreign/second language learners. ESL Pod podcasts and transcripts for English as a second language learners. These podcasts can also be accessed through iTunes, which is rather convenient for students since most of them got the devices.

When I searched the homepage, I found a list of latest podcasts, which was easy for first time user to browse. I listened to the ESL Podcast 885 – Talking to a Bank Teller,and I think it is a great resource for EFL/ESL learners to learn English as well as the culture. At first,I heard the introduction of this Podcast, and then a conversation between a student and the bank teller. As a international student, it is beneficial for us to learn how to deal with daily issues, and how to communicate with the employees. After the conversation, the man who pod casts just go over the whole conversation and explained the difficult/unfamiliar vocabularies and phrases, such as endorse a check, deposit slip. Actually, I am not quite familiar with these words before I listened to this Podcast. After the explanation the original conversation would be played again to help students memorize it.

It is a great tool for teaching. Teachers can find resources for students to get them involved in the target culture, and at the same time, it can help students practice their listening skills. On the other hand, teachers can also ask students to podcast their own thought about a specific event or just what they have learnt. I believe it will help students exchange their ideas and broaden their horizon.

Monday, April 8, 2013

ePals- Connecting people

The ePals site is really a great tool for teachers and students communicating with others all around the world. Several projects are deserved to be mentioned. For instance, the ePals Teacher Spotlight recognizes teachers who engage their students in great projects and share both the projects and student work with the ePals community. Sharing great projects enriches the entire community. Teachers whose projects are rated most highly by the community will be eligible for the Casey Global Education Award. This project will not only increase students' interests to learn and create new things, but also encourage teachers to develop new projects.

I also like the student forums in Global Community, students have the opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts on a specific topic, which can widen their horizon, enable them to know the world from varied perspectives. I will probably use this forum as a tool to require my students exchange their ideas with others throughout the world,and they may make friends as well. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Stupeflix

This week I found a very interesting tool to create a story combined pictures and texts, music together, which is called Stupeflix. I used this tool to tell where I had been for last winter break. It is fabulous to make all my pictures become animation with my favorite music.

I can also ask my students to use it as a tool to tell their own stories and also express their feelings and opinions. It can also cultivate their interests to enjoy the beauty of art and make them realize the interest of study.

The Use of Voice Thread in Classroom

Voice Thread is really a great tool to use in a language classroom. Students can not only type their opinions, but also post their voices and videos to communicate with teacher and other classmates.I created a voice thread to ask my students' feelings as international students. Here is the link.

I also act as Ge Xu's and Ci He's student and answer their questions. Their questions are based on our program, related to second language acquisition. Ge asked whether English TV shows have facilitating influences on our English abilities, and Ci asked us to briefly introduce ourselves and also talked about our objectives and interested part in learning SLA course.

It is a really good way to express our opinions through Voice thread.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bookr: Great Tool for Digital Storytelling


Bookr is a really great tool to use Flickr images to tell a story or illustrate a poem online, especially for a language classroom. I just created a Bookr called "Meaningless" Things. I  really enjoyed the whole creating process, and I was like an experienced editor.

There are several uses of Bookr in a language classroom. First, teachers can ask the students to write a weekly journal with the topic such as the meaningful thing happened this week. On one hand, students can add images to this "virtual book" to make the story more vivid. On the other hand, teachers can evaluate the students's competence of grammar and vocabulary. Second, teachers can encourage students to express their own understanding by adding different pictures to a poem and then use it as a presentation tool. Third, students can use Bookr to create a book to illustrate things about themselves such as hobbies and interests so that teachers can better know them.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Digital Storytelling

According to 7 things you should know about Digital Storytelling, Digital storytelling is the practice of combining narrative with digital content, including images, sound, and video, to create a short movie, typically with a strong emotional component.

I just watched a digital story called Chinese Footbinding, and I was really shocked by the pictures and the cultural background at that time. It was said that women can not have a good life and reputation unless they bind their feet. Actually, I heard it from my grandmother before but she just told me it is cruel and painful, I never thought what it really likes until I watched the digital story.

In a classroom, digital stories make things more vivid to the audience, and also enable students express themselves with both their own words and voices, developing their creative ability.In addition, digital stories make students to do relatively more researches to finish this "self-representation"—telling a story that highlights specific characteristics or events. Moreover, digital stories are a natural fit for e-portfolios, allowing students not only to select representative artifacts from their academic careers but also to create compelling resources that demonstrate the student’s learning and growth.
As language teachers, we can ask our students to create their own digital story with different topics, such as the cultural background of the target language, the origin of language.

Fullerton Gleam
Photo by Scintt

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Word Zen & All My Gods

From various kinds of games, I just chose this one called Word Zen. First, It is not difficult to understand the rule of the game compared with others. Students can just combine words that they know correctly and then they will get the score. Second, it is not much time-consuming, which means students can play it as long as they have little time. Third, the game itself focused on an object, which is to practice students' vocabulary. Unlike other online games, it doesn't contain so much unnecessary and distracting information.


After I found this game, I played about seven times to get my level upgraded. When I was playing, I searched every word in mind very quickly to match the letters shown on the screen.

Through this game, students can be forced to go over vocabularies they have learnt. As we all know, students can be easily addicted to games and expect to get a higher score. Thus, in order to get a better score, this game can be a good way to urge students to learn new words.

By viewing their score and level, we can easily interpret their performance. Besides, we can have a small quiz in the classroom to test their vocabulary. If they can finish the quiz very well, it will indicate they work hard on memorizing the words. We can also design our own word zen based on our textbook, make students do it as daily homework, by check their homework or test them in the classroom can be an effective assessment.


There is another game I want to mention, called All My Gods. It is a strategy game, the games is about things happened when Saturn decides to retire, he wants his son to take his place. The council of the gods respectfully accepts his will and welcomes an heir to take Saturn’s place on one condition: He has to prove that he is worthy of their trust and divine powers he is about to receive.

I have played the game for like three times, and met several gods. This game can make students learn some cultural background of the myth and also students can learn vocabulary throughout the whole game with the picture describing every phrase.

Similarly, to assess their performance, we can have small quiz on vocabulary and also the name and description of every god. It definitely will be fun for students.