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Showing posts with label Teaching English. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teaching English. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Motivate Students to Use Class Blog - Part 2


6. Reccomend Online Resources for Learning
I highlight lists of Blogs and Websites with useful resources for my students.  There are so many sites out there it makes it difficult to find the ones that are truly useful.  My students ask for recommendations, so this way I can have somewhere to refer them to and it's always there not lost in an email. To get students more involved in this process for my advanced classes I ask them to find and recommend useful websites. I am pleasantly surprised at the great resources they recommend.

7. Post Unit Vocabulary
Posting the vocabulary online is another way of getting them to review it.  One good thing of posting it online is that I post the pronunciation and they are able to hear it as many times as they need to. I also embed Quizlet into my posts with the pertinent vocabulary. We play the games in class and my students use them to review for tests on their own. My scores for vocabulary have gone up since I began using this.

8. Post Unit Grammar
Sometimes our book does not give an in depth explanation of how to use the grammar we are studying. Also some students may need more help understanding these concepts.  I sometimes post my grammar lesson straight from my class or find other resources online that give a good explanation and link to it. Some of my students like to get extra grammar exercises, so I provide links for these too. Some of my students don't look at the blog until it gets close to test time. They tell me it's a great resource for them to review for tests.

9. Connect to Book Resources Online
If the publisher has taken the time to create resources for the units in the textbook make it easy for your students to find them and encourage them to use them. Some of the resources are boring, but some are games and are a great way to help students with the material your are studying.

10. Humor 
I post pictures of bad translations I find. I encourage my students to send me same and then we talk about them in class.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

English Language Exchange - Intercambios

Being able to go to an English speaking country to practice your language skills is the best option for your students hands down.  However, that may not always be possible.  The next best thing is to do a language exchange.  I did a language exchange when I was trying to improve my Spanish skills and it was excellent. I met my exchange partner for an hour. We alternated between Spanish and English between 10 to 15. We spoke about current events, our social life and more. 

There are several websites that offer language exchanges, but this one I found does a fine job and it is very easy to use.  mylanguageexchange.com is an excellent site that allows you to search for pen pals all over the world.  You can narrow down your search by selecting the language, the country and the way you want to interact with your pen pal.  You can choose from people who are seeking to text chat to those who can do voice chat through Skype or other services.  You may also filter by age, gender and last log-in date (this way you are sure to get only active links).   Also you can choose to do an exchange as a classroom. This would be great if you want to do the exchange for your whole class.   If you are interested in doing a live exchange you are able to filter for the city you live in.


If you are not ready to create an account you can enter their live chat as a guest and wait for a member to contact you. I tried it and got contacted within a few minutes by someone from Hungary it was quite interesting. The site has gotten good reviews from Yahoo Magazine, PC World and the Wallstreet Journal.  It also has some free features and some premium features for a fee.

Other Language Exchange Programs
Verbling
Language For Exchange
The Mixxer
Busuu