Energizing the EFL classroom through internet activities


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Energizing the EFL classroom through internet activities

  1. 1. Energizing the ESL/EFL Classroom through Internet Activities Dayna House, Senior English Language Fellow 2012 U.S. State Departmenthttp://argentina.usembassy.gov/english_teaching.html
  2. 2. Advantages of the Internet• Keeping students interested and engaged in the current topic or activity is a daily challenge for teachers in the ESL/EFL classroom.• The Internet provides new possibilities for assisting teachers to successfully meet this challenge. Internet-based activities can potentially energize the ESL/EFL classroom.• Teachers need to set clear goals and strategies for activities.
  3. 3. Several kinds of Internet-based Activities and StrategiesLet’s look at four basic ways in whichthe Internet can be used in the ESL/EFLclassroom as an educational tool anddescribe some strategies to helpensure that the activities will keep thestudents interest.Create classroom Lessons aroundsongs, videos, on-line magazines orlanguage learning sites that providelanguage input
  4. 4. (1) Search for and receiveActivities that are based on using the Internet as ahuge virtual library. In these activities studentssearch for and retrieve information from thislibrary.• Activities in the ESL/EFL classroom that are based on searching the Internet for information are not as social as those that involve conversation. But, if activities are well planned, they can generate enthusiasm among students and provide excellent learning opportunities.
  5. 5. Searching the Internet - A Wealth of ActivitiesOne Internet activity that falls inthe search category is a “Scavengeror Treasure hunt” in whichstudents are given the task ofsearching the Internet for somekind of information in English.
  6. 6. “Finding Favorites”An activity that requires the student topractice: reading comprehension, comparinginformation, and summarizing and reporting inEnglish.This naturally engages the students interestbecause the students search is directedtoward a topic that s/he is interested in.You can use small groups of two or three if themembers of the group are interested in thesame subject.
  7. 7. Procedurea. Students first chooses a topic of special interest- - a place, person, animal, event, hobby, sport, or movie - whatever subject the student finds appealing.b. Then the students searches the Internet for three web sites that are related to that interest.c. The students find web sites, read the material, and download one or two pages from the site to a Favorites folder.
  8. 8. Reporting on the activitya. The students then make two short reports, either written or made orally to the class. i. The first report is an evaluation of the web sites, telling which were the most useful. ii. The second is a summary of the main information that was found.
  9. 9. Factors to Address1. Students may get frustrated and loseinterest if they spend too much timesearching for web sites. Searching alsodecreases the time available for thelinguistic tasks. It is important thatstudents know how to use search enginesbefore beginning this kind of activity. ORTeachers can provides website addresses.
  10. 10. Factors to AddressStudents can provide their topics of interestto the teacher a few days before the activitybegins & teachers can prepare for the activityby searching for and recording the addressesof relevant sites for each interest.These addresses can then be provided to thestudents at the beginning of the activity orheld in reserve and given to students whohave trouble finding sites themselves.
  11. 11. Factors to Address2. Students should be taught Internet concepts &skills needed. Then, before the activity begins, theteacher should briefly observe each student tomake sure that he or she is proficient in theneeded skills.NOTE: Teachers should be aware of students, withlittle computer experience, who find it moredifficult than others to understand and use theInternet. These students will require additionalinstruction and practice.
  13. 13. You tube videos1. Real English - 4:12http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiuy8P7Ps702. Que Hora Es? – 3:06http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cKGyOE_jOI
  14. 14. GoAnimate: www.goanimate.comNeed an account to make videos. Easy and free to make anaccount. Can make public or private.Can do text to audio, record audio, create own video scenes,characters, backgrounds, etc.• (free account, can save and play video from within the account)• Must have a paid account to download or export videoTutorialVideo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCOCJKGi6xYUses: can be individual or colaborative activity for Ss.• Debates, Virtual role-plays, Storytelling,
  15. 15. http://www.makebeliefscomix.co m/Comix/
  16. 16. Voicethread: www.voicethread.com You Dont need an account to just watch or listen.However you must sign into your account to respond.Accounts are easy and free to create; Just Name, e-mail &password. Free account is limited to five (5) threads that havethe option to be public or private. You can use privateaccounts for one-on-one work (teacher-student) or group(teacher-students, student-student.You can add text, audio, and video response options oredit threads at any time. You can upload photos,documents, videos, podcasts, PPTs, etc.Uses: Discussions, Debates, Critiques, Teacher training
  18. 18. Sample (A day at school)http://voicethread.com/?#q+esl.b125131 5.i6727072
  19. 19. Tutorial video:Voice Thread Simply Speakinghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW2nb7FO7p8
  20. 20. http://blabberize.com/Need an account & Easy and free to make anaccountExamples: Ben Franklin (youtube)video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdsKOGXZ0aw&feature=relatedMy Stuff:http://blabberize.com/view/id/823594Uses: Introductions, Descriptions,Auto/Biographies & Storytelling
  21. 21. Collaborate and learnJoint projects that involve students intwo or more classrooms that might bethousands of miles apart.Collaboration between classroomsalmost always involves the use of email.Also, it may include the joint publicationof web pages or joint search activities.
  22. 22. Voxopop: www.voxopop.com• Dont need an account to listen but need an account to respond. Can be public, restricted, or private.• Audio forums. Students will have access to all public threads (very little monitoring)• Can set up a classroom.• Possibility for international speaking exchanges. http://www.voxopop.com/topic/2789db87-bab2-4e09-a6a3- 56a940890d39Examples: "Favorite Food" discussion thread (public):http://www.voxopop.com/topic/a868a341-d9f0-4063-883f-bee0307aac40Daily Routines: http://www.voxopop.com/topic/5e3d5192-b7d0-4604-a867-335c138e105f• Uses: Discussion threads, Polls/Surveys, Interviews, Debates
  24. 24. Zoom• http://www.usinfo.pl/zoom/files/June2012/ju ne2012.pdf
  25. 25. www.aesopsfables.com
  26. 26. On line learning, Songs and Videos1. On line Learning - http://www.learnenglish.de/2. On line learning - http://www.esolcourses.com/3. Songs -http://www.esolcourses.com/topics/learn-english-with-songs.html4. Videos -http://english.yabla.com/?gclid=CJqgo9Lz_7ACFQeR7Qod0gvVAQ
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  30. 30. Spotlight - www.radio.english.net•You don’t need to have an account but with an account you can post
  32. 32. http://www.learner.org/resource s/series71.html Connect with English
  33. 33. Publish and providePublication of informationactivities.This publishing is done on webpages, which are the basic placeswhere information is stored onthe Internet.
  34. 34. Web Pages/blogs - Creating and Publishing in EnglishOne of the most potentially valuable andenergizing Internet activities for students in theESL/EFL classroom is to create their own webpages/blog in English and publish it.The teacher must make many decisions aboutthe project before beginning.1. Who decides on the theme and the overall design of the site, the Teacher or the entire class.
  35. 35. Web Pages/blogs1. Pages on the site may be assigned either to individuals or to small groups of students. Some examples of kinds of web pages that students might compose for a class website are: i. brief autobiographies, day-in-the-life pages that tell students daily activities, and short stories. ii. Have a theme of the classs home city or country. iii. Different individuals or small groups might be asked to prepare pages of various kinds of information, such as geographic, economic, cultural, and so on.NOTE: It is very important that student addresses andphone numbers not be included in these.
  36. 36. Decisions about the Project3. Teacher may allow students to design their pages orfor the students to write only the text and for theteacher to manage the website.-The advantage of allowing the students to managethe website is that they will “own” the pages morefully and take the project all the more seriously.-However, too much time spent on page design canreduce the value of the activity. If students are giventhe opportunity to design their own pages, set limitsthat will ensure that their focus stays on practicingand developing their English writing skills.
  37. 37. Factors to Address• One of the most exciting characteristics of a web publishing project is the students knowledge that the pages they compose will be on the Internet for the whole world to see.• Knowing this can lead them to try hard to do their best work.• This may cause anxiety for some students because - as with email - they may fear making mistakes that can be seen by others.• To reduce any anxiety, the teacher can go over students work with them before it is published on the Internet.
  38. 38. Blogspot• http://www.blogger.com/home
  39. 39. Talk to and reply-Conversational activities that takeplace via the Internet throughemail correspondence and in chatrooms. Strictly speaking, thiscategory could also includeInternet phone conversations.
  40. 40. Internet Conversations - An Inherently Social Function• Email conversations provide a useful learning tool for the ESL/EFL classroom.• Although students have never met except on the Internet, they are social activities, and social activities tend to engage students interests especially if email correspondence turns into a close friends.
  41. 41. Internet Conversations• Most email conversations are casual and will not develop into friendship. But they are still an opportunity for the ESL/EFL student to try to make himself or herself understood to another actual person (other than teacher or classmates).• This makes the act of communicating in English not just a theoretical problem, but a practical one. The need to solve that practical problem can be a strong motivator for students to try hard to construct clear, grammatical messages that communicate their thoughts.
  42. 42. Factors to Address1. Making Mistakes - Some students may becapable of conversing in English via email but mayalso be afraid of making mistakes that others willsee. This fear can reduce the students enthusiasmand may cause the Student to avoid doing it.• Help reduce student anxiety about making mistakes by looking over and correcting email messages together before they are sent. Going over a students message with him or her can be an excellent learning opportunity for the student.
  43. 43. Factors2. Teachers should help students finddependable email partners. Erratic replies candecrease the students enthusiasm. Sendingemail is easy, but finding a pen pal who willreply consistently may be hard.Here are some sites
  45. 45. Pen Pals• http://www.epals.com - For K-12 classes, provides teachers information on classrooms around the world that are interested in email correspondence and collaborative projects.• http://www.theteacherscorner.net/penpals/ - provides teachers information on classrooms around the world that are interested in email correspondence
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  48. 48. One Word - http://oneword.com• Oneword widget, an application that provides users with a one- word writing prompt in English and 60 seconds of writing time.• You don’t have to sign up, it will let you participate without logging in.
  49. 49. Teacher resources U.S. Embassy websites1. Forum Magazine and much morehttp://argentina.usembassy.gov/english_teaching.html2. Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/EmbUSARG
  50. 50. Summary and Conclusion Internet activities can energize the ESL/EFL classroom byoffering new, interesting ways for students to practice and sharpentheir English skills. To ensure that students interest is maintained & that they getmaximum value from these opportunities, follow theserecommendations:• Make sure that students understand the basic concepts and have the hands-on practice that they need to perform Internet-based activities.• Make sure that the assigned activity (e.g., use of email) is not linguistically too advanced for the student.• For email correspondence, help students find partners to engage in a genuine conversation with.• Avoid anxiety by checking students’ email or web pages and correct them before they are sent or published and make it a learning opportunity for students.• When the activity is to create and publish web pages, be sure to keep the main focus on the language task, not on page design.
  51. 51. The ENDThank you for watchingE-mail elfdaynahouse@gmail.com with any question you may have about English Teaching