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FUN READING with Miss Moureen!

FUN READING with Miss Moureen!

Typical reading will always start with a lengthy text to be read! It will definitely shaken students’ motivation to further reading upon seeing a lengthy text to be read.

So, what I have prepared is I come out with a word search sheet first. Normally, students will become fascinated when they first see a task that seems fun- like a word search. In order to complete this word search, students need to read a text and answer the questions and then followed by searching for words in the word maze. How about that? Isn’t’ it sounds more appealing to do a reading? Below I provide an example that I adapt from the ESL Galaxy websites.

Fellow teachers, try it!

Example:

Based on the reading text, students ca be asked to do a Word Search before they can actually answer the questions.

Fun and Funny – How are they different?

This video helps students to understand how some words like “fun” and “funny” are different. This video will explain the differences of the two words and how to use them.

More videos by Lingua Spectrum.

Teaching Literature in an Interactive Way

Shared by Johnny Tiang Kah Hoe (A126075)

Literature is an excellent method to introduce other varieties of English. Literature is able to open up multi-traditional aspects of human life, which encourages students to broaden their horizons. According to Muniandy et al. (2010), by introducing literatures that is very much Malaysian, students will be exposed to new uses and forms of their own language.

The ministry of Education has introduced English Literature as a subject into the secondary school curriculum. This subject is claimed to be able to replace PPSMI (Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris , which is planned to be abolished in 2012, to play a role to improve English language proficiency among the students.

There are several teaching approaches such as video, role play, dramatisation, questioning that can be used in teaching literature to the students. In this essay, I will suggest the use of interactive game produced by an application called “Hot Potatoes” in teaching literature. Below is a simple interactive task that is created using “Hot Potatoes” to teach a short story “QWERTYUIOP” to the form four students. The game requires the students to arrange the events in the short story in a correct sequence. Students can evaluate thenselves by click the button “Check” after they finished their events arrangement. Teacher interruption in the task accomplishment is at minimum level. Thus, students can practice independent learning in their task fulfillment.

An Interactive Game

You can download the tutorial and installer of Hot Potatoes from http://hotpot.uvic.ca/ to create your own interactive games. It is a simple application to be utilised.

References:

Muniandy, Mohan K., Nair, Gopala Krishnan Sekharan, Krishnan @ Shanmugam, Shashi Kumar, InnaAhmad,      Norashikin Mohamed Noor. 2010. Sociolinguistic competence and Malaysian students’ English language proficiency. English Language Teaching 3(3): 145-151.

Fun Mazes

ACTIVITY

Giving Direction: Solving Mazes

Time: 60 minutes

Preparation: 15 minutes

Level: Intermediate

Instruction:

  1. Before the activity begins, teacher had a short discussion with the students regarding vocabulary used in giving directions.
  2. Then, teacher explains the activity to the students and what they are expected to do.
  3. Students are divided into pairs.
  4. Each pair will be given a task sheet (maze) to be completed.
  5. One student will give direction whereas the other student will listen to the directions given by his partner in order to solve the maze.
  6. After a maze is completed, students change their roles and complete another maze given by teacher.
  7. After that, students compare their answers with other students.

After the activity, teacher conducted a short discussion again with the students on what vocabulary that they employ in giving directions to their friends and the difficulties encountered.

This activity allows students to practice their listening and speaking skills. At the same time, students have to incorporate appropriate grammar and vocabulary while giving instructions to their partners. Thus, this activity helps students to enhance their vocabulary as it creates an opportunity for the students to use the language in their conversation (giving direction).

There are varieties of mazes that can be found on the internet. Here are examples of simple but fun mazes that can be used for kids of lower and intermediate students. Printable Mazes For Kids

Listening on the Net!

By: LEE CHEN PING (A126076)

In an ESL learning context, listening means to understand, recall and respond to speakers’ implicit and explicit meanings. Strategies to enhance listening skills are techniques or activities that contribute directly to the comprehension and recall of listening input. In other words, listening strategies can be classified by how the listener processes the input. Therefore, first of all, a teacher should conduct the listening activity in the classroom around a contextualised task. Contextualised listening activities are connected to real-life task and will give the listener an idea on what information to expect and what to do with the information after the listening process. For example, asking students to listen to a short radio broadcast to obtain information would be authentic and applicable in real-life situation.

Next, listening skills can be enhanced when the teacher defines the activity’s instructional goal and types of responses. Recognising the goals of listening comprehension will help students to formulate appropriate listening strategies. The students will be able to identify specific details of the message, determine the major facts about a massage, differentiate between main ideas and supporting details; and finally reproduce the message orally or in writing.

The third strategy to enhance listening skills among students is that teacher needs to check the level of difficulty of the listening text. It is very important to ensure that the information presented is well-organised. Listening will become effective when the text is presented in natural chronological orders, which have an informative title with obvious organisation – main ideas first, followed by details and examples. This will enable the students to conceptualise what they have heard and organise the information in their working memory easier.

So, I have discovered a great free website to enhance listening skills. AGENDA Web. They provided various types of free topics for students to choose.

Not only that, there are also recorded audio for students to practise listening. The files of the audio are very small and this makes the audio loading quite fast and convenient. The picture below shows the media button to control the audio from this website.

There are also tapescripts from the audio presented. The picture below shows an example of tape script of “Cloning Pets”.

There are also some exercises given based on the audio text. Exercises such as vocabulary, cloze, crossword puzzles, true/false and MCQ are included to give students variety in choosing the exercise that they prefer.

All in all, this website is a joy to visit for those who want to practise their listening skills 🙂

This is what I call creative writing!

by Johnny Ling Leh Wui

Who says that writing has to be all in papers. With the latest technology, we can even integrate technology into our writing. Hereby, what I am suggesting here is to create creative learning environment in classroom.

What I am promoting here is to use storyboard as a form creative writing. Why using storyboard? Well, first, of course, it is fun. Secondly, it promotes creative thinking – students have to think of what to put in (sentences, video, pictures). Creative a video does not mean just to put the pictures in and it is done. It also has some connection with writing process – planning, developing and publishing. Besides, since schools nowadays are all provided with ICT, why not utilizing them? All day work makes Jack dull. As English is already dubbed as bored language subject by most students, it is the time to make a change!

So here is a free website that student can access through internet and create their own movie in the web. Besides it is for FREE!

a)      Jaycut

b)      Photo Story 3 http://www.photo-freeware.net/microsoft-photo-story-3.php

What can be done here?
Well you can ask your students, instead of transforming theirs in writing lengthy essay, put their ideas into video making by adding some extra into it. Although, this is something that cannot be done in academic field, well, I personally think that having this a performance assessment would be great and once in a while giving students some entertainment in writing.

All the best

Learning to Speak English in Interactive Games

Standing on the brink of an golden age of technology, language learning has taken a major shift where computer-based learning is beginning to gain prevalence all around the world. When it comes to learning English language, four of the major language skills one has to master in order to gain proficiency in the language are speaking, writing, reading, and listening.  Conversing in English would not be an easy task for some of the English learners where they would struggle for the right words to articulate. However, elearning company has offered an advanced alternative in learning to speak English.

Learning to speak English deluxe is developed by elearning company with the collaboration of language experts as well as university language professors. It is meticulously designed to meet the needs of English learners. On top of that, this software offers more than 25 interactive activities where English learners will engage in conversations to hone their conversational skills. Some of the primary focuses in the learning activities are conversation, pronunciation, simulations, vocabulary and grammar. These are some of the most important aspects in speaking as one has to learn to choose the right words and articulate it in the correct pronunciation.

Apart from that, the software has included a flexible immersion system where it allows users to choose the learning path that suits individual learning style. The learning system is integrated with real-world context and one can even converse with native speakers using engaging interactive videos and speech recognition tools. This is exactly the software that would serve as an effective teaching aid in conducting an English speaking class. Now, students no longer have to conform to the majority in learning to speak English. One can learn to speak the language in one’s preferable way to achieve better competency of the language. In short, learning to speak English is never an easy task but technology offers better alternatives to facilitate everyone’s needs in learning to speak good English.

 

Yu Ching Hung