Category Archives: Intermediate

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) 😀
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Game of the Day, ‘STOP THE BUS’

Below is a game I really enjoy playing with my students.  The joy about this game is that it’s completely adaptable for all levels of students and really challenges their vocabulary.

I play this often with my English club students, who really get into it, especially loving the competitive nature of the game.

I have attached a worksheet which you can download easily and adapt to your students abilities.

This is another activity which requires little or no preparation if you are looking for something effective and enjoyable for both you and your students at minutes notice.

Please click on the title to download;

STOP THE BUS


Ingredients:

  • 1 worksheet per pair of students

Directions:

  1. have the students make pairs (you can have them in 3s or 4s if you like)
  2. give each group a worksheet
  3. draw the first ‘stop the bus’ grid on the board with a space for each teams answers.
  4. Choose one student in the class to stand and say the alphabet in their head (I usually have them play ROCK SCISSOR PAPER to decide who does this)
  5. Have another student shout stop for the alphabet student to stop on a letter of the alphabet
  6. That student calls out the letter he/she stopped on
  7. Use that letter for game one (each grid has 3 games)
  8. When a pair/group of students completes all categories they have to shout, “STOP THE BUS”
  9. At that time all teams must write on the board the answers they came up with
  10. If any team have the same answer neither team gets a point for that word
  11. Points are only allocated to words which no other team has used.