Wednesday, May 2, 2012

How would I use Real English website with my students

I would start by introduce my students to the site . The idea used in Real English  site is to show how English is used in real life situation, so I will show them an example of real life aspect where English is used each week . I will play  a video in the class  and then we start commenting on the video and play it again and again when needed . 
After that I would  ask them to make a small play and start acting like the people on the video using  the same expressions that were used in the video .   
For example : today's lesson is about greeting people. I will play them a corresponding Real English video for the function. Then we start playing roles together and great each others . students will take turns so each of them will play all the roles and use different aspects of language .
As a homework, I will ask my students to go over the exercise the site provides  for the video that  I have already show them earlier in class,  which are made with free software and  called "Hot Potatoes".
For example: I can design an exercise where the students have to type an answer, but if they are wrong x times, then the same exercise transforms itself into an easier multiple choice exercise! In this way, the student is challenged but never lost. All he has to do is keep on trying until he gets feedback about his/her answer.

We (my students and I ) can also join  Real English on  Facebook  page where questions about the videos or lessons are often asked, as well as questions about English in general. I will answer some of these questions myself , to help and encourage my students to do participate and so they will feel that they are interacting more than learning and that will make them more motivated to use their" real English ".  

This way, with the use of Real English website my students will watch and listen to real people, so they will be more ready to speak English as it is in the real world than other students who are learning the old way. Because as we all know, no one speaks " classroom English" .

Friday, April 13, 2012

The role of WebQuests in learning a foreign/second language

WebQuests  incorporate cooperative and collaborative learning, since students work on projects in groups. These concepts can play a role in teaching with Webquests. 
WebQuests can also help students meet standards focused on critical-thinking and analysis skills, and may be particularly useful for social studies and science. By using multimedia, WebQuests also help with multiple intelligence work. Alternative kinds of assessment can be used to judge the results of WebQuest projects. And, obviously, WebQuests are one way to use the Internet in education, and it also can be used to develop critical thinking skills among students to learn foreign language. 
WebQuest can promote critical thinking because it requires each member of the group to carry out a specific, meaningful role, and then pool their respective research findings to formulate a response to a complex, open-ended problem.  there can be multiple solutions to the problem in a Webquest. A good Webquest focuses on an issue that has multiple viewpoints, such as social, political, environmental, or health-related. It also requires more than information gathering; students must process the information in order to form their opinions.
WebQuests help develop higher cognitive thinking by requiring students to sift through extensive information from the Web until they can construct an understanding that not only connects to their schema, but also builds new knowledge .

a WebQuest is "an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the internet, optionally supplemented with video conferencing .
This tool allows learners to complete various tasks using other Cognitive tools (e.g. Inspiration, MS Word, PowerPoint, Access, Excel, and Publisher).

The conclusion When students are motivated they not only put in more effort, but their minds are more alert and ready to make connections. Webquests use several strategies to increase student motivation. First, Webquests use a central question that honestly needs answering.
The second feature of Webquests that increase student motivation is that students are given real resources to work with.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Website Evaluation

This website is about learning English as a second language. The author of this website is Kenneth Beare. Kenneth has taught general English and English for Specific Purposes in Germany, New York, and Italy. He has developed numerous multi-media ESL courses for clients in Italy, England, Canada and the USA.  he also knows what it means to learn a new language in order to adjust to a different culture.
His education:
Kenneth obtained degrees in the USA and Germany. He also received his Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) diploma from Trinity College in London.
The accuracy of this website is excellent. The Facts are correct. No spelling or grammatical errors. The objectivity of this site is very good. The author present a limited perspective on the topics. The language he used is simple and easy to understand. His arguments based on reasons not on his emotions. The links which are lead to other websites are easy to read, they work  and support the author’s claims. The graphics are good. the page and graphics load quickly. The graphics fit the theme and purpose of the page. The text size and the style  are excellent. The colors are clear and appropriate for the purpose of this website. The only negative point which we found that: the homepage has a long list and themes and so many related notes and blogs on the right side  of the page that could distract the reader and confuse him . Its really good and useful website to use it with the students. It will help them to learn or improve their English language.

This site is for kids who are learning English as a foreign or second language. its logo is “the place for fun learning “. It provide good learning on a fun way that attracts young learners and keep them interested . There is a small introduction that explain  and clarify each thing the site provides. It offers to the learners on line activities and hundreds of printable  worksheets. It also has games, quizzes, songs and resources for parents and teachers. The interface and design are wonderful for kids, it has nice images and icons that fits the themes.The text  is well organized ,clear and easy to read . The background color is light and comfortable to the sight so every thing is clear and easy to see and read . The links are well organized in the links area, easy to found  and work correctly. Based on all of the above, we think that this website will be a good use for young students that expose them to English with the help and guide of their teacher, because it seems a little difficult for children to use it by their own. 


Friday, March 2, 2012

how would i use blogs,wikis and delisious with my EFL students?

Blogs  are a very interested website that I can use  to bound a  good relation with my students that lead to a better teaching and learning in and outside the class. For example:
I can give my  students some homework s  or reading and ask for their opinion, or they can post their own material that they think it has relation to our topic and we (the rest of the class and me ) can add our comments.
I can also  post  an extra reading that are related to the previous topic we had in class and ask them to read ,reflect and add their own comments

on wiki , I can give my students some interested  learning games or online tests.

For delicious I can ask them  to subscribe in some English teaching website to help them improving their English . It will be a good use of online materials like  videos or online teaching websites .

 I can even chose one class a week that we take it in the  lap and start working on all of these three websites .
it will be a great add to my teaching style that will keep students ore interested ,and keep me more aware of my students  progress .  

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants

I consider myself a digital native because I grew up using this new  technology . According to Marc Prensky ,  we have spent our  entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. Unlike us  , Those who were not born into the digital world but have, at some later point in their  lives are digital immigrants.

 Digital Natives are used to receiving information really fast and they prefer random access , graphics before their text, and games to “serious” work  . They function best when networked. But digital Immigrants are more  typically have very little appreciation for these new skills, they learned – and so choose to teach – slowly, step-by-step, one thing at a time, individually, and above all, seriously.  

Sometimes  digital immigrants tend to  print out a document written on the computer in order to edit it (rather than just editing on the screen); or bringing people physically into your office to see an interesting web site (rather than just sending them the URL). They even might call you to make sure that you received a certain email.  This is what mark called accent ,which is what digital immigrants bring back  from their foot in the past .   

Should the Digital Native students learn the old ways, or should their Digital Immigrant educators learn the new?. This is what Prensky thought is the biggest serious  problem  facing education today. In order to try to confront this issue , he thought that we need to reconsider both our methodology and our content.
First, our methodology. Todays teachers have to learn to communicate in the language and style of their students. This doesn’t mean changing the meaning of what is important,
or of good thinking skills. But it does mean going faster, less step-by step, more in parallel, with more random access, among other things
Second, our content. There are now two kinds of content: “Legacy” content (to borrow the computer term for old systems) and “Future” content.
 “Legacy” content is all of our “traditional” curriculum.  It is of course still important, but it is from a different era. Some of will continue to be important, but will become less.
“Future” content is to a large extent, not surprisingly, digital and technological. But while it includes software, hardware, robotics, nanotechnology, genomics, etc. it also includes the ethics, politics, sociology, languages and other things that go with them. This “Future” content is  interesting to today's students . Marc thought it's a brilliant idea  if we let kids to be allowed to use computers only  in school .
Prensky thinks that we need to be thinking about how to teach both Legacy and Future content in the language of the Digital Natives. we have to invent, but not necessarily from scratch. Adapting materials to the language of Digital Natives has already been done successfully. His own preference for teaching Digital Natives is to invent computer games to do the job, even for the most serious content.
 So if Digital Immigrant educators really want to reach Digital Natives – i.e. all their students – they will have to change. It's high time for them to stop their grousing, and as the Nike motto of the Digital Native generation says, “Just do it!” They will succeed in the long run – and their successes will come that much sooner if their administrators support them.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Stephan Bax argues that, "Our aim should be to attain a state of `normalisation' in which the technology is invisible and truly integrated"

Bax's article offers a critical examination and reassessment of the history of CALL(computer-assisted language learning).
It seeks answers to three questions: where has
CALL been, where is it now and where is it going?. Accordingly, it is structured chronologically, beginning with a reassessment of the history of CALL, followed by a brief assessment of CALL now. It concludes with a detailed discussion of where CALL could go in future and how we as a profession could help it achieve its maximum potential.

 Bax thinks that CALL will be normalised when computers are treated as always secondary to learning itself, it may take several years for these practices to become commonplace. However, it is possibleand, he suggests, imperativeto plan for this normalised state and then move towards itindeed this offer and structure our entire agenda for the future of CALL.

He has identified a possible future agenda for CALL. Our
Aim can be the normalisation which he has  described, in which CALL finally
becomes invisible, serving the needs of learners and integrated into every teachers everyday practice. This will almost certainly require changes in technology
of the classroom computer.
He argue that we need more in-depth ethnographic studies of individual environments to elucidate the
relationship between the factors just mentioned. We also need action research in individual environments to identify barriers to normalisation and ways of overcoming them.

In Saudi Arabia , we still use the old tradition way if teaching  , when students are just listeners and readers, which is too bad because Students are already aware of using   technology in their lives for their personal purposes or for fun. Lately , some schools  started using more  technology in teaching although it was a small  incomplete experiment , yet it had a good reflect on students.
We need to change the school curricula ,methods ,school setting and train teachers  in order to achieve normalization in Saudi Arabia .
It's like what Bax said : " This will not be an easy process. However, if we take our aim to be normalization , and then work for ways of achieving it efficiently, computers can finally achieve their proper place and true potential in the classroom".