Monthly Archives: February 2011

RSA videos – Excellent Viewing

A man worth listening to;  David Crystal is a genius of the English language and in this video he talks about the myths and realities of texts and tweets.



Here is another.  I love this site!

“In this RSAnimate Steven Pinker shows us how the mind turns the finite building blocks of language into infinite meanings.”


Screen Casting in Second Life

As of today I have started thinking about effective learning tools for online language learning with a focus toward communicative competence.  A very broad focus I know, but here, I intend to document my progress.  The outcome will hopefully be a template for an online English learning course for future use. I’m very aware that technologies change day-to-day in the online world, so I feel this blog is a great place to catalogue my ideas and watch them develop.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been wandering around second life (SL) to find out what all the hype is about.  It seems that SL provides a great platform for a task based approach to teaching English offering a little more substance in terms of conversation practice compared to video conferencing and asynchronous online discussions and tasks. This is an area I’d love to explore a little further so through a little exploration, I found an English school on SL willing for me to become apart of their team.  Day one begins next Wednesday with a class observation then after a few training sessions they may let me loose on the students.   I’ll keep you posted on how it all goes.

My first thought was; how can I document student progress and provide demonstrations and feedback?   I know other SL members regularly record meetings, but had no idea how to go about this myself with limited means (me and my apple lappy).  Such videos would be great for not only documenting the learners progress and of course my teaching progress, but also for learners to record their own practice and watch themselves develop.  After a short youtube search, I found a website called Screenr which is a very user-friendly screen casting website (a short video tutorial on the site tells you all you need to know) which allows you to make 5 min screen recordings.  Once you have finished your recording, with the click of a button your video can be posted to your (or you class’s) twitter account.

Screen casting has great potential for language learning, one idea I have is for students to interview and record conversations with peers or other SL members then share their short conversations on a class twitter account open for discussion in future lessons.  How might you use screenr for teaching and learning?  Or do you know of better screen casting websites?

I’m looking forward to your thoughts (and criticisms) 😀

esl4word wikispace

Update –

It has been a while since the last lesson installment, however I hope the resources I have provided have benefited your teaching needs and were received well by your students.

My departure from Japan brought this blog to a halt, but not because I was fed up with life as an ESL teacher.  Actually, I felt the need to advance my skills, to delve deep into the world of EFL education, so that’s where I am today.  I have moved from the role of teacher to student and currently trying my hardest to complete an MSc in TESOL, which is demanding, but I’m enjoying every minute.   It’s early days yet, but I hope this course can help me on my way to become a better teacher.  From this experience, what is fascinating is; the more you learn the more you don’t know…  If anything, this course is teaching me to keep on top of what is out there, talk to people, share thoughts and ideas, and learn from others.  Which brings me to my new direction with this blog.  Until I can expand on what is here already, I need to learn more about the exciting possibilities of what I suppose is post-modern teaching, so I have created a wiki space, which opens up a platform for us teachers to learn from one another because I know everyone has great thoughts and ideas.  Let’s share them!

If you are intrigued, please request access by clicking on the link and offer a little info about yourself, where you are in the world and the types of contexts you are or have been teaching in.

I’m looking forward to your input – that’s the only rule 🙂 .


Hope to hear from you soon 🙂