Apply ICT in English Teaching in the real classroom- Please click on Fu-Fong English Speciality Bloggar

(Fu-Fong Junior High School, Taoyuan, Taiwan)



Monday, 31 January 2011

WordSift- Teaching Vocabulary and Reading

Today's Website~

●    WordSift


What is it about?

●  Wordsift is a useful tool to capture and display the vocabulary structure of the text.

●  It visualizes vocabulary structure of the text.

●  It quickly identifies the important words and presents them visually.

●  It provides visualization of word thesaurus relationships and google search of

    images and videos.

Why is the content good for language learning?

●  Visual aids, such as images and videos from the google source help learners

     identify the vocabulary and link the meaning in the text.

●  It identifies 15 most frequently words in the text, shows the most common

    and rare words and categorizes the usage in different areas (e.g. academic

    word lists, science, or social studies) in highlight orange.

●  The word-web of the visual Thesaurus presents not only the definition but also

    the words and phrases that are related to the words in the text.

●  It also shows the examples of the word usage in the context to tell learners

    how to use the words.

●  The workspace provided could be used to help learning drag the words and pictures

     to do some activities.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

●  Have students predict what this text will be according to the 15 most frequent 

     words showed in the text.

●  We can also look at the roots of the new vocabulary from the visualized word-web.

●  Pick the unfamiliar vocabulary (or rare ones) and see the images and videos about

    the words. And read the examples provided from the online sources, and see how 

    and in which areas the words are used.

●  We could use "Create Workplace" and "Make Image Draggable" function to have

    students play the match game (match the pictures and the words)

●  You can have your students summarize the text by using the chosen words.

●  Not sure which corpus is used to tell the most common and rare words. 
●  Not sure how the words are chosen to present in the word cloud.  Some words

    you want to introduce might be left out.


● Paste your text.


● You could see 15 most frequent words in the text in bigger sizes.


●  You could use the Visual Thesaurus to see the word-web, its definition 

    and related phrases.


● Make use of the pictures and videos of the vocabulary you want to introduce.


● See the examples of the vocabulary and check how they are used in the context.

●  Create Workspace and drag the pictures to the workspace to play the match game.

● Have students to read the words and drag the words to the matched pictures. 


● You can also see the training videos below:

   Wordsift Teacher Training Videos


  Wordsift Online Demonstration Video

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Listen A Minute- Practicing Listening and Do Online Quizzes and Activities (for lower- level learners)

Today's Website~

●   Listen A Minute

What is it about?

●  This website provides short texts and MP3 files to practice listening skills.

●  These short texts focus on new words, grammar, pronunciation,

●  It provides online activities, handouts for discussion, survey and writing.

Why is the content good for language learning?

●  Provide various topics of short texts with MP3 files to practice listening

●  Learners can listen to one-minute text as many times as they like until they

    understand the whole text.

●  The handouts of the short texts (PDF files or Word files) can be downloaded.

    Students can either read the text and underline the key words or finish the

    activities on the handouts as homework or assessment.  In addition, students

    can keep the handouts and review the short texts easily.

●  The text constructing game and guessing activities are interactive and interesting.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

●  Take the topic "Advertising" for example.

●  Have students work in group and talk about what they think advertising is 

    and what kind of advertising they can see around them.

●  Before students listen to audio, ask them specific questions about the text, 

    e.g.  what does the author think about ads?  Ask students to take notes.
●  Ask students to compare their notes with one another and discuss the questions.

●  Give students handouts and have them underline the new phrases or the sentences 

    they don't understand.  Encourage them to look up the words through online

    dictionary and write down the meanings in English. 

●  The teacher explains the new words and sentence patterns which students feel 


●  Have students work in group to do online quiz 1 (construct the whole text).

●  Play the audio file and have students do online quiz 2 (no letter game).  Ask 

    students to listen and key in what they hear from the audio.  The teacher can 

    play the audio several times until each group finish the text. 

●  The teacher may ask each group to choose an English advertising they 

    are impressed and write a passage to introduce it to the classmates in 

    next lesson.

●  Like Breaking News English, there is only one broadcaster, and the quality of 

    the sound of broadcasting is not stable.

●  Too many ads and the layout looks complicated.  

●  Teachers will have to select appropriate articles for students, and may have

    to adjust lesson plans according to the teaching objects.

●  There are some mistakes in the handouts provided.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Breaking News English - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking with Current Events (for higher level)

Today's Website~

●   Breaking News English

What is it about?

●  This website provides lesson plans and podcasts of current events and news

     for learning English.

●  It also provides PDF handouts with activities of all language skills for teachers

    to select to use in the classroom.  

●  The MP3 file can be downloaded.  You can either play it through the Internet or

     your MP3 player.
●  It also provides interactive quizzes and games related to the content.

Why is the content good for language learning?

●  Provide the latest news and up-to-date events, and they are short.

     (Authentic English)

●  Provide audio files which can be downloaded.  Learners can practice listening and

    do listening activities as many times as they like.

●  Various activities and games help learners learn new vocabulary and be familiar

    with its meaning.  The sentences constructing game is challenging and fun.

●  The PDF handouts and activities can be used by teachers in class to encourage

    students to practice all the skills, particularly for the speaking part.

●  The interactive games and activities could be done many times without feeling bored.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

● Take "the word "Dear" disappearing in e-mail" for example.

●  Have students work in group and talk about their experiences in writing e-mail 

    and letters.

●  Have students listen to the news and then talk about the main idea they hear.

●  Provide students with handouts, have them underline the new vocabulary and

     guess the meaning from the context.

●  Have students play "Flash cards" in their group.  When they are familiar with the 

    new vocabulary and the meanings, have them to play the "Match" game. 

    Encourage them to try "Fill in the blank" and "Hangman" at home to be familiar

    with the vocabulary.

●  Have each group play "Sentence jumble" to construct the whole news.  Those 

    who finish "Sentence jumble" could then challenge the "No letter" game. 

●  Have students work individually to play "Missing words".  Students listen and 

    type in the words in the spaces.

●  Ask students some questions about the content (could use the ones in the 

    handout), and encourage them to have a discussion, take notes and present

    in class.

●  Have students write a 200-word e-mail sharing their opinions about the 

    content as homework. 

●  There seems to be only one broadcaster reading all the news and the quality 

    of the sound of the broadcasting is not stable.

●  The layout of the web page looks complicated and fills with ads in between, 

    which makes it hard to get the information.

●   Teachers have to select the news which is suitable for students' level.   

●   The news is difficult for lower-level students.   

  Flash cards

     the meaning of the vocabulary:

     Flip the card- the matched vocabulary:



    Choose the matched vocabulary.


Sentence jumble  

    What comes next?  Construct the news.

No letter game 

    Guess the words in the newsSee how many words do you remember. 

     Notice the sentence patterns and you can easily construct the whole text.


  Missing words 

     Dictation and check if you could spell the words correctly.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Dot Sub- Videos (Transcription and Translation) for English Learning

Today's Website~

●   dot SUB Video with Subtitles in Multiple Language

What is it about?

●  This website provides videos with subtitles in many languages.

●  You can upload your videos, transcribe the videos and create your own


●  You can also translate the subtitles of some good videos that other people

    uploaded into your mother tongue and share them with others.

●  You can work collaboratively with others to translate the unfinished subtitles

    into your language with others.

Why is the content good for language learning?

●  Provides videos with subtitles in many languages, especially in English

●  Videos with English subtitles help learners practice listening, and figure

    out the unknown vocabulary, complex syntax, the meanings they don't

    understand, or the linguistic features they miss when watching (or listening

    to) the presentation, videos or films.

●  Students can work collaboratively to translate English into their mother tongue(s),

    and vice versa. 

●  The translation activity help learners perceive the nuance of English, and the

    differences between English and their mother tongue(s).

●  Learners learn not only the language but also the cultures and critical issues

    around the world.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

●  Have students work in group

●  Select a video according to students level. (See examples below)

●  Divide the video into several parts (according to your time), and 

    play the video without subtitle.  Have students watch together.

●  Ask students to write down the words they hear, discuss what the main 

    idea is, and compare them with one another.

●  Discuss the omission, linking words and some incomplete sentences they

    feel ambiguous.  And have them watch the video with subtitle together. 

●  Have students work in group talk about the features of language, such as 

    intonation, pauses, fillers, or slang in the video (Students can watch the video

    as many times as they like in their group).

●  Have students choose one part of the video the teacher assigns and work 

    together to translate it into the assigned language (usually their official language).

●  Encourage students to check the related information online.

●  Students can always save it, change it and complete it later.

●  Once they finish the translation, have them watch together and discuss

    how to make the content more "readable and enjoyable".

●  Revise the content until they are satisfied.

●  Have students embed their work in their blog, share it with friends

    and have a reflect writing.

●  Need sufficient broadband for students to watch the video

●  Not sure if each group could log in together to work out on the same video 

    at the same time 

●  The substitle might not be synchronous with the video.  Might take time to deal

     with the technical problem.

●  The translation could be revise by others.  At the end, it might not be students' 

    original work.

●  Teachers have to select carefully an appropriate video that meets the 

     teaching object among loads of videos.
 Instrustion ~ 

  How to translate a video on dotSUB~ 

 Example 1 ~ 

  Translating "Annoying Orange" into Chinese  (for lower level students)

    Check out "Choose Language", there is only English version in this video.

    Students could start to translate it into Chinese.  Make sure students know

    the "puns" used in this video.


 Example 2 ~

  Translate "Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity into Chinese  
    (for higher level students)

    This one is already translated into Chinese (traditional).  You can have your

    students revise the translation if possible.  

    For exampl, at 4:58, "Frank sent this" (Actually it is "Frankincense").  Ask your

   studetns how they will translate it, and compare it with the original one. 

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

TED-Using Videos in Language Teaching

Today's Website~

●    TED Ideas Worth Spreading


          "Jay Walker on the world's English mania"

What is it about?

●  This website provides loads of videos with English subtitles.

●  The videos provides speech of successful people sharing their ideas.

●  The themes range from technology,entertainment, business, design, science

     to global issues.

Why is the content good for language learning?

●  Visual and audio aids help to infer what the speaker would like to express.

●  The speech is concise, condense and to the point.

●  The ideas are inspiring, encouraging and motivating.

●  The subtitles assist learners to understand the meaning.

●  Students can learn how to make a good presentation in English.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

●  Take this video "Jay Walker on the world's English mania" for example.

●  First, have students shares their ideas about English learning experience, 

    how they learn English, and why they learn English.

●  Then, students watch the video without sound, take notes and guess the main

    idea of the speech.

●  Students share what they guess in group, and talk about the main idea the 

    speaker might talk about.

●  Write down some questions, e.g. how many people around the world are 

    learning English? and have students watch the whole video with subtitles.

●  Compare the main ideas with each other and have students to work out 

    in groups to answer the questions.

●  Once students answer the question, have them listen to the answer in the 

    speech (the teacher has to know which track has the answer).  They could

    listen one more time.

●  Ask the students if there are any words, phrases, or sentences they feel 


●  Pick some difficult sentences, or good ones, and have students work in 

    group to figure out the meaning or translate into Chinese (mother tongue).
●  Have students write down their ideas about English mania (no more than 

    100 words) as homework. 
●  Provide the link and encourage students to watch the video again at home. 

●  The videos are for high-proficiency students.  Students of low-level may have 

    difficulty understanding the speech. 
●  It may take teachers lots of time  searching for a speech which is related to 

    the topic of the curriculum.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Learning Chocolate -Vocabulary Learning

Today's Website~

●   Learning Chocolate

What is it about?

●  Help the learners remember vocabulary in an easy and efficient way

●  Pictures and sounds come with the vocabulary.

●  Games are provided to make learning vocabulary fun

●  Select the category

●  Press the button of each vocabulary (below) the picture to listen

●  Try the games when you are familiar with the sounds and vocabulary

Why is the content good for language learning?

●  Pictures and sound help linking the words to the meaning

●  Learners could practice as much as they like, which leads to self-direct learning

●  Individual learners can learn at their rate.

●  The interactive function makes learning vocabulary fun.

●  Games are motivating and sometimes learners like challenge.

●  The repeating function enhances listening and pronunciation

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

●  Have students work individually

●  Select a category of vocabulary you'd like them to learn

●  Encourage them to listen carefully and try to remember as many words as they can

●  Encourage them to imitate and speak out the words

●  Ask them to write down or look up the words they are unfamiliar on the dictionary,

    and later they can compare them with their classmates.

●  Once they are familiar with the vocabulary, have them play the game.

●  Check their scores, and make sure they can pronounce each word

●  Encourage them to challenge "fill in" and "dictation" games when they are able to 
    spell the words.

●  If some of the students finished all of the session quickly, you can have them 

    challenge another related category of vocabulary. 
●  Encourage students to challenge each category of vocabulary at home.  It helps

    them foster their autonomous learning. 

●   Need sufficient computers for each students

●  The levels of vocabulary in each category are different.  Some are too difficult.

●  Vocabulary should be learned in sentences to learn how they are used.

The category:

●    Continents and Oceans

●  Review
    Learners can click the sound
   Try to be familiar with the pronunciation, the continents and oceans and

   their locations
●  Match up 1 

     Learners click the sound and drag it to the matched word.

●  Match up 2

    Learners drag the continents and oceans to their locations.

●  Match up 3

     Learners drag the sound they hear to the matched continents and 


●  Fill in

    Learners fill in the continents and oceans they learn.
 ●  Dictation

    Learners click the sound and fill in what they hear.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Lyrics Training- Learn English from Lyrics and Songs

Today's Website~

●   Lyrics Training
What is it about?

●  Learn English (or other foreign language) through the music and lyrics of the songs

●  It helps you with listening and pronunciation.

●  Search for the song you'd like to learn and start to play

●  You can listen to a song many times.

●  Select your level

●  Listen and write in the missing words

●  The song won't start until write in the missing words.

●  You could click on "help" to see the instructions. 

Why is the content good for language learning?

●  Music and songs help learning language effectively

●  Can be familiar with the pop culture of the target country

●  Authentic English/World Englishes

●  Learning with sounds and video makes it interesting and deepens the impression.

●  Interactive, challenging, and motivating

●  The repeating function enhances listening, pronunciation and memory.

●  Foster autonomous learning if students are willing to try it at home.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

●  Have students work in group, and play the song first.

●  Encourage them to listen carefully and hum the melody

●  Remind them of noticing some linking sounds

●  Have students guess the meaning from the video and the lyrice they hear

●  Then have them to start to listen and write in group

●  Encourage students to imitate the pronunciation and sing the song

●  Have them write down or look up the words they are unfamiliar on the dictionary

●  After they finish the activity, introduce related sentence patterns or vocabulary

●  Students' performance (singing the song) could be an assessment.

●  Encourage students to sign in and practice their favorite songs.

●  Might take time to finish the whole activity

●  Teachers have to select appropriate songs beforehand.

●  The levels of the songs are variable.  And some pronunciation is hard to figure out.

●  Need computers and sufficient broadband Internet. 

 Beatles: Yesterday

●  Lyrics Training Instruction- "Yesterday" by Beatles

●  Select the Mode.  Here we choose Beginner: Fill in the blanks

●  Start to fill in the blanks.

●  See your score or check the high scores

●  Check out the "Help" key.  The three keys you use the most often are:

    Backspace → Replay line

    Tab →  Skip word

    Enter → Play/Pause

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Today's Meet- Chatroom for Classroom Activities and Idea Sharing

Today's Website~

Today's Meet 

Today's Meet


What is it about?

●  It is more like a chat room for students in English class.

●  The teacher creates a room and invites students to join the classroom talk.

●  Students follow the link and start the classroom activities.

Why is the content good for language teaching?

●  Encourage students "talk" and communicate in the virtual room

●  Encourage students to read other students' language outcome.

●  Encourage students to share opinions and respect one another

●  It is interactive.  Everyone has a chance to speak out their ideas, especially shy students.

●  Encourage students to work collaboratively or individually

●  Sudents could learn from one another from reading the instant response.

●  Help teachers to assess students' language output after language input

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

●  First, introduce students Internet Etiquette in the virtual room, e.g. how to greet

●  The teacher could either ask individual student to make sentences (e.g.

    with past tense) to make sure they understand the grammar, or ask students

    to work in group to make a story (e.g. with past tense, words students learn

    in class or a topic related to your curriculum).  Each group takes turns to write a

    sentence.  The story should be cohesive and reasonable.  The teacher can give

    guidance to help students use appropriate linguistic meanings of  expression

    and generate appropriate content.  The story should be cohesive and reasonable.

    (The teacher could introduce conjunctions)

●  The teacher can encourage low-proficiency to key in the vocabulary,

    words or sentences they hear or they remember from the last lesson or

    some topics (e.g. Name one animal you know).  If the teachers would like to

    know whether students are familiar with the sentence patterns and the content,

    the teacher could ask simple questions and encourage students to answer

    them to check their understanding and students' language output  (e.g.

    What does Mary usually do before she goes to bed?).

●  The teacher could ask high-proficiency students what they know about the topic

    and the experience about the topic they are going to learn.  The teacher could also

    check students' understanding by asking them to answer certain questions

    in class or at home. 

●  The teacher could print out the script and assess students' in-class performance, and also

     it could be used to reflect the teacher's own teaching and revise the curriculum, adjusting

     to students' learning process.

●  The students could always go into the room and review something they are

    unfamiliar or reflect their answers, or print out the transcript.


  Might need computers for everyone in order to assess individual performance

●  If it is a large class, it might take students lots of time to read everything in

    a short time.

●  Students still need to "speak out" to practice their speaking, pronunciation and

    communicating skills.

●  Might take teachers too much time to assess students' performance if they

    have too many students to teach in a short time.



Our Tutors Russell and Tilly created a room for us to sharing the ideas about

the tool "Wordsift" we learned in class. The link is: http://www.todaysmeet.com/wordsift

Here is the transcript:

Transcript of the "Ideas about Wordsift"

    The transcript:

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Listen and Write - Using Videos and Audios to improve Listening Skills

Today's Website~

●   Listen and Write

 What is it about?

●  Listen and Write is a free website for you to practice listening. 

●  You could select a video or an audio according to your level.

●  The listening practice is divided into several tracks.

●  Dictate and listen to the content as many times as you want.

●  Try to listen and write until you have your dictation all correct.

●  You may use "hint" or change different Modes according to your learning rate. 

Why is the content good for language learning?

●  Variety of topics from the latest one to the knowledgeable one.

●  Can be familiar with different accent .

●  Authentic English/World Englishes.

●  Listening with visual aids makes it fun.

●  Interactive, challenging, and motivating.

●  Automatic repeating enhance listening.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

●  Have your students work in group.

●  Ask them to think about the vocabulary or sentences about the topic.

●  Write down or look up the words they are unfamiliar on the dictionary.

●  Make sure they can tell some linking sounds.

●  Could let students try Blank Mode first to fill in the blank.

●  Try Full Mode to be familiar with the content if time is sufficient.

●  Try Quick Mode if they are beginners.  They only write down the first sound of the word.

●  Learners can always try a more challenging Mode if they like. 

●  Encourage learners to use the "hint" function when they are in trouble. 

●  Ask them to write down the words they miss.

●  Encourage students to use the "dictionary lookup" function. (Problem Solving)

●  Encourage students to practice listening at home.   (Learner Autonomy)

●  Provide learners guidelines and select the appropriate video or audio for individual
    students (according to their levels) to practice at home.

●  It probably will be hard to work in group if students have to log in and listen together.

●  There are no sufficient materials for lower level learners.

●  The measurement of the levels seem inconsistent.  Some clips are easy 
    but they are classified  into a higher level.
●  There are still some technical problems.  For example, at the end of some tracks, the
    sound of the last word is cut off or can not hear clearly.



●  Select Full Mode

●  Start to dictate

●  Use the "Hint" key.  If you can't figure out the word, click "Hint".

●  Make use of "Dictionary Lookup" function.  For example, click the word "diary".

●  Select Blank Mode

●  Fill in the blanks


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Introduction to Technology- Russell Stannard's Teacher Training Videos

Russell Stannard

How to use ICT in ELT?  

Today's Website~

Russell Stannard's Teacher Training Videos Websites 
    (click the link to check it out)
What is it about?

●  Provide training videos for English teachers.

●  Introduce loads of great sites and tips.

●  Follow the short videos, and learn the teaching tools step by step.

●  Learn how to use technology tools in teaching. 

●  Use the tools to keep improving your English.

Why is the content good for language teaching?

●  Help English teachers keep up-to-date to the new technology tools in teaching.

●  Choose the selective tools fit for your teaching context.

●  The training video is simple and it is free!

●  Save you time to searching useful tools and material for teaching.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

●  Use the video to introduce the tools to learners.

●  Provide learners a way to review how to use the tools at home.


  Might still take much time to try every link.

●  Need a broadband Internet to watch the videos smoothly.

●  There is no search bar to search the tools you would like to learn or explore.

●  Videos are not tagged (or can't be tagged) in this website.  Perhaps a brief description

    about the tools (introudced in the videos), and provide them lables would make this

    user-friendly website more friendly.


Nik Peachey
         Useful website for online English activities

       ●  Useful websites to learn technology

           Nik's Learning Technology Blog

  "Free Technology for Teachers" is my favourite blog.  I have learned so many useful

    tools and how to integrate these tools into the pedagogy in language teaching.  Click

    on the link and check it out.

    Free Technology for Teachers by Richard Byrne

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