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



Saturday, 30 April 2011

Zimmer Twins -Make a Movie

Today's Website~

Zimmer Twins-Make a Movie

Zimmer Twins

What is it about?

●  Zimmer Twins is a website in which you can make a movie or create your own cartoon

    through the animation clips provided.

●  Though the function of the free version is limited, it is enough for learners to create a

    simple animation, leave comments and rate the movies.

●  Just send the link of your own movie to your friends and they can see it immediately.

●  You can save your movies in your own account.

Why is the content good for language teaching?

●  It is simple and fun to make an animation of your own.

●  Learners have to make the plot or story smooth, readable and coherent.  It engages them

    with careful planning, word-choosing and the skills of story telling.

●  To make a movie needs collaboration.  Collaboration involves negotiation of meanings,

    communication, idea sharing, brain-storming, compromising and synthesising.

●  Students can apply what they learn in class according to the topic teachers set.

●  It helps engage students in seeking resources related to their task and broaden their

    language learning.  The authentic resources make their learning meaningful.

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

●  I would have students work in group, exploring the functions of the tool first.  Then, I will

    list several topics related to the unit we are learning right now.  Students can choose one

    and start to plan their story or plot.

●  In order to make students feel more comfortable about using this tool in language learning,

    the story should be short.  And they have to use the vocabulary and grammar we learn in

    the unit.  And the clips should be no more than 15 clips (It's for beginners).

●  Teachers could also make a movie with an open-ended question for students to continue

    the story.

●  Students then show and share what they create.  They are encouraged to leave

    comments, (in English if possible) or rate the movies of other groups.

●  The links of students' work can be pasted in the class blog for students and their friends

    or family to see.

●  The outcome could be one of students' assessment.  It can also be used to check

    students' understanding of what they have learned in class. 


  The function of free version is limited, for example, you could not change the characters,

    places or actions at will.

●  There is no voice of the actor or actress' lines created.  The lines can only be read.

●  Once you save the movie you create, you can not edit it.  You can only start over if you

    are not happy with your work.

Example~ Start to use Zimmer Twins 

●  Check the movie I made by clicking on


●  Log in and click on "Make a Movie".

Make a movie
●  Click on "Make From Scratch".

Make From Scratch
●  Now you can select "Talk Bubble", "Action Clips", "Close-up Clips", or "Star Clips"

    to make your own movie.  Explore and try each clip.  If you are not happy with the

    clip you choose, you can drag it away (on the bottom).  You can also rearrange the

    order of the clips if you like.

Animation Clips

Friday, 1 April 2011

Voki-Create Your Own Avatar

Today's Website~

Voki-Create Your Own Avatar

Voki for Education

What is it about?

●  Voki is a free tool that you can use it to create your own speaking avatar.

●  It is easy to customize your avatar, add voice, and publish it.

●  You can post your personalized avatars in your blog or your website.  You can

    also use it as your profile.

●  Voki provides lesson plans (different subjects, different grades) for teachers to use

    in the classroom.  The "Teacher's Corner" provides teachers with a community to

    share their ideas and teaching plans. 

Why is the content good for language teaching?

●  Voki can be used in education to practice speaking and communicating in target


●  Voki encourages learners to participate in language learning.

●  Voki engages learners in creative expression in target language.

●  Every student (especially shy students) has a chance to speak and

    communicate in target language.

●  It is interesting and motivating.

●  The personalized feature empowers learners and provides learners with choices. 

How might you use it in a language teaching context?

●  I would have students make a story related to the topic, grammar, vocabulary,

    or sentence patterns we learned in class.

●  For example, if the grammatical focus is on comparative adjectives, we can have

    students make a story or according to the adjectives we learned in class.  They

    can use more adjectives if needed.  The teacher should be around for help.

●  Some resources should be provided for students to consult. e.g. online dictionary,

    the websites related to the topic, the grammar rules.

●  If students are beginners of Voki, teachers should offer specific criteria for students

    to follow.  For instance, students can use the 15 comparative adjectives taught to

    create a 2-minute story or introduction related to the topic. 

●  For individual learner, the teacher can have each student to talk about their hobby,

    introduce their pet, family or themselves.  But sufficient computers and headphones

    are needed.

●  There are many other activities, such as tongue twisters, sing English songs,

    practice their pronunciation and intonation by playing different roles.  Check out

    Teacher's corner in Voki for more ideas. 

●  See a lesson plan using Voki in  TEFL Teacher.


  Need computers and headphones (microphones) for students to create their avatars

    and add voice.

  It is not easy for collaborative learning because one can only create one character.

●  Also need more time to teach students how to publish their avatars in the blog or


●  It might be very noisy when everyone records their voice at the same time.

●  The teachers need to organize the questions or content they would like their students

    to answer in case it looks messy on the screen.

Example~ Start to use Voki

●  Log in and click on "Create your own Voki" or "Create".

Log in and Create
 ●  Customized  your Voki.  Choose the character you like, dress it and add accessories.

Choose, Dress and Add bling
Select the character

 ●  Add a voice to your character.  You can record your voice via phone or microphone,

     text to speech, or upload an audio file from your computer.  Here, we use "text to

    speech" function.  We type the text, choose the language, the voice and accent

    you like.

Text to Speech

●  Select the background  you like.  Publish your Voki now.

Select Backgrounds and Publish

●  You can embed your Voki in your website or blog, or send a link to your friends.

     You can click on "My Voki" to edit your characters.
Send a Link to Your Friend or Embed Your Voki

●  An example of my Voki character.

●  You can watch  Voki Tutorial in Russell Stannard's Teacher Training Video for more 


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