Wednesday, March 23, 2016

ESL Video Listening - Sophia the Robot Wants to Destroy Humans?

This is a great conversation starter and a very interesting way to discuss technology. Watch the video and answer the questions in order to learn more about this robot and her scary words at the end of the video. Do you think that she was serious?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Learn English Through Music

Have you ever wanted to learn English in a fun, easy way? Do you like music? Would you like to learn English while getting to hear your favorite English songs? Well, now you can with Lyrics Training. This post will focus on reviewing the usefulness of Lyrics Training for ESL and EFL learners as well as teachers.  I recently gave a presentation on this application at TESOL 2015 in Toronto.

This website allows students to competitively do fill in the blank exercises from popular songs.

It has a  great search feature with many great songs from many genres, or you can browse a list of different musical styles. It even has movie clips and talks as well. 

It is a best to sign up for the website, as this allows you to keep your scores, invite friends, and compare your standing to other players.

After signing up, you can choose a difficulty level, which is based upon how many words that you want to be deleted. Beginner has 10% of the words removed, while Expert has all blanks.

The game has two types of games: write mode and choice mode. For ESL beginners, I recommend choice mode as it is much easier and allows for quick word recognition practice without worrying about typing ability.

As you play the game, if you do not get the answer, the time runs out and you have to start again. If you have to, you can get help by pressing the arrow button in right hand corner, but that lowers your score in the end. When you finish, you can see your scores on a dashboard with three tiers of scoring: the world, my country, and my friends. 

This is where I believe that this tool could be most helpful for teachers and students. Students could challenge each other to a "lyric off" and see who gets the highest score using the same modes. The teacher could post a link to a desired video and then have a game in which all students participate. 

Also, there is a sign up feature in which teachers could make their own lyrics training games. The one drawback to this is that the teacher cannot choose which words will be deleted. This is automatically done by the teacher. Also, if you want someone to review your lyrics before publishing, you will have to wait a while as they only have a few people working on the website. 

Overall, this is a great tool to engage, motivate, and challenge students to improve their English. I enjoy it and have used it to help create a listening lab at our school. Also, I plan to use it to help me to learn more other languages in the future!  Let me know what you think of it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Best Way to Open a Presentation with a Question - Video

Questions are always given as a solid way to start a presentation or an essay. However, there are some questions that gain the attention of the audience much better than others. This short video will teach you how to take a boring question and make it a good one.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Movie Trailer ESL Video Activity - #AmeriCAN - Racial Tension (Fact, Inference, Conditionals)

In the wake of the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting of Michael Brown and the chaos that has ensued, many Americans are asking questions about race, the police, education, and power.  While looking to find a good video that showed both sides of the story on the shooting, I found that there were really no great sources that sufficiently showed enough detail for both sides at the same time.

Therefore, I looked to a fiction story that really helped to send a message about race that hits home no matter which side of the fence one may be sitting on with this issue.  Please consider using this in your discussions for your ESL class.

This discussion focuses on facts, inferences, and unreal conditionals.  I believe that a video like this can help to open up interesting and helpful conversation where there are usually only inflamed rhetoric and emotional judgments.

#AmeriCAN - Short Film from #AmeriCAN on Vimeo.

I recommend that each class/person WATCH the video first, then look at the question sheet, so there are no spoilers!

#AmeriCAN Downloadable Worksheet

Friday, September 26, 2014

Movie Trailer ESL Grammar : Mockingjay - Prepositions

This is a beginner prepositions exercise for ESL. Mockingjay will be the 1st part to trilogy that completes the hunger games. See how you do on this fun Mockingjay ESL grammar exercise. Also, be sure to check out all of my other Hunger Games and other movie trailer activities.

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