Sunday, April 29, 2012

Modals - Obligation

How to use the modal of obligation - "Be supposed to"



For More Modals Videos and Activities - Click Here

Friday, April 27, 2012

Best iPad Apps for ESL Teachers #8 - AppsGoneFree

Click To Download

This app is not particularly a language app, but it can be very useful to find new and exciting tools for language teaching and learning. Honestly, even ESL teachers need a free game once in a while too.

I have found many apps that I can use both recreationally and educationally through this app. It almost always has a photo app, a  word game app, or a puzzle game of some kind.

Each day there is a new list of apps gone free, so if you don't find anything one day, you will probably find one the next.

For info on other apps, check these other posts.


Apps for ESL/Language teachers.
  1. Evernote
  2. Skitch
  3. Flashcardlet
  4. CloudOn
  5. ShowMe
  6. DropMind Lite
  7. MailVu
  8. AppsGoneFree
  9. VoiceThread

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Modals - Certainty / Present

How to use modals of certainty in the present tense.



For More Modals Videos and Activities - Click Here

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Modals- Certainty / Past Negative

Here is my quick tutorial on modals of certainty, past negative. Check out more modals tutorials on the "All Posts" section on the left side of the blog.



For More Modals Videos and Activities - Click Here

Monday, April 23, 2012

Best iPad Apps for ESL Teachers #7 - MailVu

Click To Download


Would you like to send video email in one click from your iPad?  Now you can, easily and quickly with MailVu. Making video mail is a two step process with MailVu.  Record video, and send email.  No Youtube uploads or confusing steps to go through. In addition, the video mail is retractable, available on a PC account,  and stored on MailVu account servers, so up to 10 minutes of video can be sent, which is not possible in regular email accounts.

MailVu is a great tool for communcating with students and helping them to improve pronunciation, speaking, and even listening skills. I use it in my Listening and Speaking classes so that I can see as well as hear students' homework.

Below you can see the simplicity of this app. The pic shows the iPhone version, but the iPad is the same.












Here are some quick ideas for MailVu in a listening/speaking context:
  1. Assigning Work: Instead of repeating yourself over and over again in class, just send out a MailVu/post a link to it in your Edmodo/Facebook/Twitter/etc.    
  2. Homework: Students can practice tongue twisters, free speaking, or comprehension responses on MailVu. That way you can see their enunciation as well as hear their speech. 
  3. Collaboration: Students can use MailVu to cooperate and collaborate with each other.
  4. Presentations:  Students can use the press/record/send ease of functionality to prepare, present, share their presentations quickly with others in a different environment than the traditional classroom.
Please comment and let me know what apps are useful to you and check other apps I use below.

  1. Evernote
  2. Skitch
  3. Flashcardlet
  4. CloudOn
  5. ShowMe
  6. DropMind Lite
  7. MailVu
  8. AppsGoneFree
  9. VoiceThread
For an iPad apps presentation, click HERE.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Best iPad Apps for ESL Teachers #6 - Dropmind Lite

Click to Download
Mindmaps are  very useful tools for many students, whether they are used for vocabulary, grammar, writing concepts, or basically any subject that could be learned easier by visualizing information.

DropMind is an app that allows students to create custom mindmaps using various colors,shapes, fonts, and designs.  The "Lite" version is free and is pretty capable for students' needs.

I like it for creating outlines of various essay forms, vocabulary connections, grammar points, etc.  Students have some area for creativity in using this app, and it could be helpful for those students who are visual learners. For an example of a mindmap that I have done, please click HERE.

If you want  more useful iPad Apps, check out my Best iPad Apps Overview Presentation, and check these out.

Apps for ESL/Language teachers.
  1. Evernote
  2. Skitch
  3. Flashcardlet
  4. CloudOn
  5. ShowMe
  6. DropMind Lite
  7. MailVu
  8. AppsGoneFree
  9. VoiceThread

Please comment and let me know what apps you like to use for ESL teaching/learning.






Thursday, April 19, 2012

Writing - How to write a five paragraph essay diagram


Here's a quick illustration of the major parts of the five paragraph essay. The intro is one paragraph, the body is three paragraphs, and the conclusion is one.  You can also check out the video tutorial with more detail on the parts of the five paragraph essay by clicking  here.

Modals- Lack of Necessity/Prohibition

How to use Modals for lack of necessity and prohibition (Don't Have To and Must Not).



For More Modals Videos and Activities - Click Here

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Best iPad Apps for ESL Teachers #5 - ShowMe

Click to Download
ShowMe is one of my favorite iPad apps because it allows the user to narrate a picture, text, etc., and draw on the whiteboard at the same time. This has endless uses for language teachers, but here are a few that I came up with.

1)  Create an online lesson for an in-class topic. Record the main ideas of your lesson and give students a link or post your creation to an online social media site.

2)  Have students create a narrated visual presentation on a topic using your/their iPad and show it in class as opposed to a "stand in front of the class" type presentation.

3)  Create a Vocab Map using Skitch (see below) and ShowMe together.  Pick a picture that is related to a topic you are teaching and annotate it with Skitch  showing the vocabulary for the picture. Then, upload the photo and use it on ShowMe to narrate and pronounce the vocab. Click HERE for an example.

4) Download the presentation and upload it to YouTube so students have instant access to your ShowMes!

These are just a few uses for ShowMe.  I use it all the time, and I'm sure that you will too once you get used to it.


Other Apps for ESL/Language teachers.
  1. Evernote
  2. Skitch
  3. Flashcardlet
  4. CloudOn
  5. ShowMe
  6. DropMind Lite
  7. MailVu
  8. AppsGoneFree
  9. VoiceThread


Do you have any apps to add? Please comment and let me know about any that you use regularly and how you use them!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Best iPad Apps for ESL Teachers #4 - CloudOn

Click to Download
Cloudon is a great app for teachers and students who want to have access to MS Word, Powerpoint, and Excel programs from their iPad.

This app has most of the features of these programs and allows you to download to DropBox, which is an online storage app where you can always access your files, no matter where you are.

The pros of this app are that it is free, you can upload from/download to DropBox, it has a similar interface to MS Office programs for those who are used to them, the files you make on the iPad can be opened on MS Office from a PC, and it allows for slide making on the go.

For those students who may have an iPad but not a laptop/PC with MS Office and who are at a disadvantage in presentations, this could be a great help because students can use the ppt format on their iPad and upload them onto the PC through DropBox.

Check Out my overview of iPad apps HERE.

Here are some other apps that may be of use to you also.

Apps for ESL/Language teachers.
  1. Evernote
  2. Skitch
  3. Flashcardlet
  4. CloudOn
  5. ShowMe
  6. DropMind Lite
  7. MailVu
  8. AppsGoneFree
  9. VoiceThread

Do you have any apps to add? Please comment and let me know about any that you use regularly and how you use them!

Modals - Certainty/Future Time

How to use Future Time Modals.



For More Modals Videos and Activities - Click Here

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Best iPad Apps for ESL Teachers #3 - Flashcardlet


Flashcardlet  gets my vote for the best flashcard application on the iPad and for the web.This is because it works in conjunction with Quizlet.com (For my post on Quizlet, click here). The app itself is simple and has notecard-looking flashcards that students can use to study anything.

Click to Download
Students can create flashcards, add pictures to them, study them, keep count of how many they got right or wrong, shuffle, and change the order of the flashcards. Working together with Quizlet, this makes it one of the more powerful iPad flashcard apps because its use is not limited to those with an iPad.

Students can create flashcards on the web and use them on Flashcardlet or vice versa. If you are interested in learning about more iPad apps that are useful for ESL teachers, click HERE.



Other apps for ESL/Language teachers.
  1. Evernote
  2. Skitch
  3. Flashcardlet
  4. CloudOn
  5. ShowMe
  6. DropMind Lite
  7. MailVu
  8. AppsGoneFree
  9. VoiceThread

Friday, April 13, 2012

Modals - Would vs. Used To

How to use the Modals: Would or Used To.



For More Modals Videos and Activities - Click Here

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Best iPad Apps for ESL Teachers #2 - Skitch

Click to Download
Skitch is a great app for making drawings, mock-ups, diagrams, etc.
I personally like to use it in conjunction with ShowMe, which I will talk about in a later post.  

As an ESL teacher, I like Skitch because it has elegant text, arrows, and writing capabilities that allow for professional looking presentations.  You can take snapshots of webpages, use camera roll photos, create new blank pages and more. 

So, here are some quick uses for Skitch. 

1)  Make a vocab map.  What I do with my iPad is download a wallpaper related to a unit of interest (i.e. Mountains). Then, I go ahead and use arrows and text in Skitch to show vocabulary on the picture. This is a great feature for lower level teachers who need their students to visualize vocabulary. Click here for an example. 

2) Make an instruction map.  Take a snapshot of a webpage and show students where they need to click in order to register, get a login, etc.

3) Annotate a student's paper.  You can use the draw feature after you have taken a picture of a students work and then write your comments or use text to do so.  

4) Sync with Evernote Trunk and add audio to your comments on a student's paper. 

5) Create a classroom picture for substitutes. You can take a picture of your class, type in the students' names, and then give it to a sub on their email the day you can't be there.

These are just a few quick uses for Skitch, and I'm sure you can think of more. Please comment below and let me know how you use Skitch!

Here are some other apps you may like...


Apps for ESL/Language teachers.
  1. Evernote
  2. Skitch
  3. Flashcardlet
  4. CloudOn
  5. ShowMe
  6. DropMind Lite
  7. MailVu
  8. AppsGoneFree
  9. VoiceThread


Do you have any apps to add? Please comment and let me know about any that you use regularly and how you use them!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Build English Vocabulary - Feed the Hungry!

I love this website: www.freerice.com

This is an excellent way for students to build academic and high level vocabulary (or even low level) vocab while sending rice to impoverished nations. The student is given a word and then asked for a multiple choice answer for the definition.  10 grains of rice are donated for every correct definition given. The site is adaptive, so words will get harder or easier depending on ability. So, students at lower levels can still play it!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Modals - Certainty Present Time Negative

Here is a quick tutorial lesson the negative modal forms of certainty. I will be posting about 10-12 modal tutorials in the next couple of weeks, so keep your eyes out on the left "All Posts" area for many more modal instruction tutorials.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Movie Trailer ESL Speaking and Listening - The Hunger Games

















Attached is a worksheet that could be used for almost any level Listening Speaking Class.  It includes an opening discussion, True/False listening, and then a short activation activity for speaking.  You can also check out the Grammar Activity for the Hunger Games  or the Hunger Games Listening Quiz on this blog.  Click on the Blue text to download the worksheet. You may also like The Avengers ESL lesson.


Download the Worksheet -Click Here! No signup required. Preview below.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Icebreakers for ELLs - Human Scavenger Hunt

Here is a great ESL icebreaker activity to get students talking, listening, and getting to know each other.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Movie Trailer ESL Grammar Activity - The Hunger Games ESL Lesson

This activity uses listening and the Hunger Games to help students practice the unreal conditional in here  to download, or look below to preview the worksheet. Please also check out new Catching Fire Activities. 
The "If...then" format is used, and students will love to watch the exciting clip of the Hunger Games! This activity gives practice on listening for details, writing sentences,  and then writing a short paragraph. The worksheet  that goes along with the video is downloadable and is below the clip.The formatting looks wrong on the example, but when downloaded into Word, it will look right.  If you like this, please try out the NEW Man of Steel Classroom Activity!  There are two versions of the video clip if one of them doesn't work for you.





Best Flashcard App


I must say that I think that Quizlet.com has won my vote for the best flashcard application on the web. In quizlet, you can create flashcards like any other app. However, the cool things that Quizlet does with your flashcards after you make them is what sets this app apart.

For one, it allows students to play matching games with the words and definitions. It also has a typing race, where students type the words that match the definition. It also gives the audio for many words in 18 languages! Finally, the vocab can be uploaded to mobile platforms like the iPad, iPhone, or Androids!

Check it out!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Best iPad Apps for ESL Teachers #1 - Evernote

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Click to Download
For the next few posts, I am going to talk about iPad apps that I use that I think can be maximized for all ESL teachers or practically any teacher. If you are interested in an overview of many apps, Please check out my full presentation on The Best iPad apps for ESL teachers given at the CELEA conference in Philadelphia this year.

The first one I will promote is Evernote. Evernote is a note-taking productivity app that basically allows you to take photos, add audio, video, text, etc. and file and organize your notes.  The great thing about it is that it is searchable, so you don't have to look through all your notes each time to find the one you need. Also, it allows you to combine all of the above media types: audio, text, video, photo into one note.


Here are a few things that I use Evernote for:

1. I snap a picture of my test keys and never lose them.  Because I have a bad habit of putting all of my papers in a messy binder after class, Evernote helps me to be quick and efficient in grading even if I don't have that key since Evernote is available on all platforms.  It also gives me freedom from worrying about where I put the key when I have to give that test again in the future.

2. Give students a paragraph to read, give an oral feedback sheet by recording them in Evernote while you listen and mark a copy of the paragraph that they are reading. Take a photo and send it with the audio in the same note.  They can then go back over the mistakes that they made and see exactly where they made them while they hear themselves.

3. Record your spoken tests. It is very frustrating when you give a listening test that you dictate and because some students don't show up, you have to re-dictate the entire test in your after class time.   Instead, simply record yourself on Evernote and give an appropriate title. When that student has to make up the test, give them your iPad and a set of earphones and you'll save yourself time.

I have also heard of some teachers using Evernote for portfolios.  I have never done that, but I will look into it soon enough.

Please comment and let me know if you have any other interesting uses for Evernote that I haven't mentioned here.


Other apps for ESL/Language teachers.
  1. Evernote
  2. Skitch
  3. Flashcardlet
  4. CloudOn
  5. ShowMe
  6. DropMind Lite
  7. MailVu
  8. AppsGoneFree
  9. VoiceThread



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