LAI 590 Blogs

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The PODCAST I recommend .

  In the process of learning English or any language, the very basic and initial phase is listening. Furthermore learners imitate the sound, speaking the language comes out the next stage. In Asia, school often focuses too much on preparing students to take part in tests; therefore, most of students I met before were good at reading as well as writing, but not the basic skills such as listening as well as speaking.

  Here is a very useful material on line to provide teachers and students to practice their listening skills. It is ESL podcast blog. The advantages of this podcast are the speed of the speaker, the various materials, and the detailed elaboration from the speaker. Teachers can broadcast those podcasts online to the whole class and ask students to dictate the lines that speaker says.

In addition, students can pick up many idioms, slangs, and vocabulary by listening to the materials. The textbooks can be updated like the materials online. Sometimes, textbooks can still provide students the old fashion idioms or slangs. ESL podcast might solve this sort of problem, and teachers can use this kind of updated websites to increase students’ knowledge.

Here are the phrases and vocabulary I wrote down for my students to learn.
No way- absolutely not
Out of my league- sb/sth is too good or of high quality that you don’t feel that you are worth it
Have nothing on you- you’re as good as the person, that person has no advantages over you
Confidence- the feeling that you are able to do something
Throw sth away- put it in the trash, dispose it
Out of the blue- unexpectedly, without warning
Creep- the same as a jerk, negative way of describe sb, behave in unlikable way
Bold- to show the ability to take risks, not to be fearful
Stole, steal- take sth that isn’t yours
To admire sb- to like sb very much, to respect sb very much, doesn’t have a romantic meaning, you can also look up to people like your father or a president.
Afar- at a distance, far away
Ask sb out- ask sb to go out for a romantic date
Come of as- make other people believe a certain thing, to see you in a certain way
Eat it up- to accept sth eagerly
No guts, no glory- if you don’t take any risks, you wont gain anything.
No pain, no gain- in order to get sth good, you often have to go through some pain.  

The source is from SUNDAY - NOVEMBER 27, 2011 of ESL podcast

Monday, November 21, 2011

EPals Schoolmails

  EPals offers a safe way for students, especially from K to 12, a safe environment to use e-mails. Besides the quick language translation, EPals provides students to write e-mails to other students who are in other communities, schools, and countries. One teacher recorded a video in EPals website and mentioned that EPals furnishes students opportunities to communicate with students from other areas. The teacher, Antella O’Brian, indicates that her students have the real contact to the authentic materials with American kids as they are learning American culture.  In addition, for the security concern, teachers can monitor students e-mail to ensure they go on the right track to use the Internet.

  EPals also pffers on-line space for teachers to upload and download their teaching projects to share with other teachers from all over the world. For me, it’s like a brainstorming for the teaching materials. Each teacher has his/ her own stereotype of individual topic and one good way to shun the traps of teachers’ stereotypes is to check what other teachers’ opinions are and how do they present their materials. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Step outdoors and gain adventures now!

Rolling on the road

Check out my digital story!

Students are having more and more stress as they are learning. Encouraging them to step outdoors is a good way to help them relax and refresh themselves by Mother Nature.

Personally, I like to  go biking. It does not matter I go with friends or by myself. The point is I expose myself in the natural environment but not staying in the library for whole day. Through biking, I make friends, get familiar with the place as well as the culture belonging, and also I gain health.

Life is more than having fun but grades. I would like my students to revalue their way to treat the nature of life (Taiwanese students have heavy pressure to pass exams to get into good schools in every stage of their life).
Through my own stories and personality, I want to teach my students the things not only in textbooks but also the value of life itself.

Monday, November 7, 2011

How nuch do you know?

Here is my storybook!

:: PIMPAMPUM :: Bubblr! .:.

I would like to apply this digital book for my students to intruduce them fairy tales from western culture.

Culture is always connected to second language learning. For young leaners, it is a good way to present them engaging stories with cultural things.

The premise of using this digital stroybook is that learners ahve already have few background knowledge about those fairy tale characters. Otherwise, those characters in this digital book will be more confusing to learners.

This can be a beneficial digital book for me to review maybe at the end of the semester for my students to review every story I have introduced them during the semester.

Digital Storytelling: A bridge from nontechnical world to the technical one

Bridges Digital Storytelling 4 of 5

Digital Storytelling:  A bridge from nontechnical world to the technical one
 Digital storytelling is like audio books with animation. Creators can edit it with sound, photos, video clips, or maybe their own artifacts to demonstrate any story, thought, and history with as much as information he/she wants to contribute to the audiences.  “The wonderful thing about storytelling is that students and teachers can create their own time machine by searching for interesting images, audio, and video clips on the web.” (Digital storytelling from University of Houston) This is not only a teaching tool but also a great tool to provide opportunities for students to practice, collaborate, and explore on a certain topic.

There is a center for training people to take part in digital storytelling. The nonprofit center offer training chances to people all over the world among every generation. Boosting digital storytelling can connect to the community as well as people from different corners around the world. Creators record meaningful stories to express their emotion or just simply to display their life. All kinds of materials can be covered by digital storytelling.


Digital storytelling is like audio books with animation. Creators can edit it with sound, photos, video clips, or maybe their own artifacts to demonstrate any story, thought, and history with as much as information he/she wants to contribute to the audiences. Digital storytelling allow students and teachers to deeply explore  various themes. By working together either among teachers and students or merely among students, digital storytelling can build up their relationship in every aspect.

7 things you should know about digital storytelling:

Friday, October 14, 2011

Classroom Incentives for Games

Last blog article, we talked about the components of making good learning games. Now, let’s discuss the useful incentives for learners’ involvement.

Candy Prizes

Rewarding learners with different kinds, colors, shapes, or various flavors of candy is a powerful allurement when they answer the correct answers in the class. The things need to be checked before employing this award in the class are to investigate learners history of food allergy and the permission from parents.

Extra Credit

This incentive is especially for playing learning games in the class. The way to count the extra points can be personally or with a whole group. The point of extra credit is to call different students to answer the task based questions for offering more opportunities of expressing and practicing in the class.

Pizza Party

Pizza parties are appropriate to reviewing the whole lesson information at the end of the lesson day. Students need to comprehend the main points of the lesson and answer the challenging questions from teachers by not missing too many mistaken answers to gain their pizza parties as their praises. This can also be used to compete with other class in school to arouse the sense of cooperation by learning.

Movie Day

This method of reward can be used for the whole class participation. The tips of choosing the movies are according to learners’ age, interests, and the mortal of the story. Students are allowed to bring snakes and drinks to share in the class.

What Makes a Good Learning Game?
Going beyond edutainment
By Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen / February 2011

This article discusses the factors to make games good games. The three msin factors are integration, motivation, and focus. 

When teachers are playing games in the class, they need to make sure that learning and playing are integrated into the games. 
Moreover, it is teachers’ responsibility to design the learning games intriguing and engaging. 
Furthermore, the games are required to be challenging to learners. These elements in learning games are good motivation to trigger the learners to involve the games more. 
The final component of a good learning game is focus. Players can focus on learning experience by collecting, discovering, and performing the games together.

Teachers can apply those factors as a reminder to exam their own designing games and also evaluate learners’ reaction and interaction in the class to check up how success the games are. In addition, the article states the ways to distinguish games and learning by substantives and verbs. Other facets of good games include a systematic rules for learners to follow. “When we design learning games we should therefore be very focused on how the rules in the games works, because they define the core of the game experience, and ultimately the primary learning results.” (Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen)