Ten Things Worth Further Investigation (#03)

20 Jun

More items emerging from the black hole of the internet that is my “Further Investigation” folder.  These are the links to various interesting things I’ve saved to look at later and which have languished there unremembered until today.

Where remembered, the original sources are credited – apologies if you spotted this first and I’ve forgotten where I found it – let me know and I’ll update!

If you liked this post – why not take a look at the first two posts in the series:  #01 or #02 ?

(1) Spotted via Nik Peachey’s Daily English Activities – “The 100 most common words in English” game.  This is a time limited challenge game where you have 12 minutes to find and enter the 100 most common words in English.  This would be excellent for any exam group, particularly those who need to do a Cambridge Use of English paper  (open cloze tasks!).  It would also be good for anyone teaching with an interactive whiteboard – particularly as motivations and attendances drop towards the end of the year!

(2) Another Nik Peachey spot – this time from Nik’s Quickshout – is free online video conferencing rooms.  I haven’t tried playing with it in any great depth, but it looks like it would be an invaluable tool for anyone working with distance lesson provision, business classes, or of course – meetings!  Nik has a range of suggestions to further exploit this tool, so check out his post.

(3) Not so long ago I wrote “In defence of: The Test” – Annie Paul has written a similar piece for TIME Magazine: “In defence of School Testing” which takes a similar line to my own – don’t blame the tool for the way that it gets used!

(4) How many ways are there to plan a lesson?  More than five according to Barbara Hoskins Sakamoto, who summarises and links to posts describing five different approaches to lesson planning from herself, Anna Loseva, Steven Herder, Cecilia Lemos, Yitzha Sarwono & Scott Thornbury.

(5)  I spotted my colleague Neil doing another one of his fantastic computer room lessons, learners all fully engaged, all using English, all working to task (and not looking up dodgy videos on you tube) – in short the opposite to most of my computer room lessons.  On this occasion his secret appears to have been Comic Master – an online graphic novel creator.  I think, having experimented with it myself, I would probably pre-print a layout page and get the learners to storyboard it before they hit the computers as I think this would reduce faffing around time later on.  But a great resource to get learners, especially younger learners, writing.

(6) Arising out of the Comic Master, by way of an accidentally clicked link, are the “Read Me” Resources.  Aimed specifically at 11-14 year old boys, this site includes ten different lesson plans and downloadable materials to encourage reading “in and outside of the classroom”.  It is aimed at native speakers in the UK education system – but I don’t think it would take much to adapt things.  Definitely worth a look if you have recalcitrant readers!

(7)  Copyblogger has a nice looking infographic with some of the more common mistakes found on the internet “15 Grammar Goofs that make you look silly“.  I can think of two ways to use this – firstly you could just print it out and stick it to the wall of the classroom.  Secondly, you could send your students on a “grammatical fail” webquest – get them to find one example of each error from the internet, but no repetition of websites allowed.

(8)  Three typing games from TypingTest.com – which also, as you might imagine, has a free typing speed test available.  The games are relatively simple and are designed to encourage keyboard layout knowledge – the better a touch typist you are, the better you’ll do in the games.  So not strictly language learner related, but possibly worth exploring as part of digital literacies?

(9) Another one for the digital literacies folder – I’m not sure where I came across this, so apologies to whoever should really have the credit – The Gwigle Game.  The game asks you to guess the missing component of the search term – as the game progresses the player learns more about how to make most effective use of the Google search engine – and no doubt many others.

(10)  Finally – Chris Tribble reflects in The Guardian on the discussions in India arising from his latest BC publication “Managing Change in ELT: Lessons from experience” – education reformers or those interested in the process should read this.  The BC publication is available as a free download on their English Agenda portal.

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