I just made a new Voki. See it here:

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Dvolver Moviemaker – Daniel meets Susana

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Today, in my ICTs lesson at university, I have learnt about Dvolver Moviemaker, a tool for creating short movies and that can be used in the English classroom to enhance writing skills. 

Movies are very easy to create, you just need to write the story line in advance and then follow the steps you are given. 

Click on this image if you want to see my movie.

 

Story maker – Princess Vera

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There are many Websites that contain a story maker.  It allows you to create your own story following very simple steps.  I have chosen the British Council site to create this one:

Once upon a time there was a King and a Queen.  They lived in a lovely golden castle and had a beautiful daughter, Vera.  But Vera was very unhappy.  She never laughed or smiled.  “We will give a violin to the person who can make Vera happy,” said the Queen.  A musician came and played the piano, a fairy said a magic spell, and a joker came and told jokes, but Vera did not smile or laugh.  A young farmer came to work at the Queen’s castle.  He came with his little rabbit.  The little rabbit liked to play.  One day Vera saw the rabbit and started to smile – then she laughed.  The Queen heard her daughter and saw the rabbit.  The rabbit was happy to get a violin!

I you want to create your own story, click on this picture and follow the steps:  Choose one of the three different types of story (fairy stories, horror stories and science-fiction stories).  Then, answer the given questions and your story will be ready in just a few minutes.

Wordle – play with words

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I have recently discovered Wordle.  It is a tool that you can use to create “word clouds” from any text that you provide.  It is very simple to use and different types of activities for our students can be done.

I am suggesting one here: create different word clouds for students to put the words in order and form sentences.  Be very careful as it has an inconvenient for this type of exercise.  You have to choose sentences which do not have repeated words as they appear only once in the word cloud.   

Click on the image to see if you can unscramble the words to get a quotation from Miguel de Cervantes.

The magic of interactive whiteboards

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Digital whiteboards are a motivating material, both for students and teachers.  They are digital devices that we can use to project digital contents and interact over the images.  IWB can offer many possibilities in the English classroom, as for example:

–       They are an audiovisual support for the teacher’s lecture as websites, images, charts, videos, etc. can be used.

–       Exercises can be done in group.  The teacher can project interactive activities, asking questions and stimulating students’ discussions to find solutions. 

–       Exercises can also be corrected in group, in an easier and faster way. 

–       They make chats and videoconferences in the classroom possible, allowing communication with students and teachers from different countries.

Stories on the web – The snowman

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Stories play an important role in child development, especially in the development of language.  They provide a rich and significant context and the activities that can be performed from literary texts are an excellent way of learning.

If a story arouses interest and is told in an attractive way, it will attract students’ attention until the end.  If teachers can make stories attractive and interesting for children, adapting them so they are appropriate for the different student’s levels, they will be very motivating and will help with the development of positive attitudes towards English and language learning.

With the development of new technologies, we can find countless stories on the web.

Click on this image to find an example.

Resources on the web – my favourite website

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There are many educational websites which contain many activities children can work with.

There is one that I like a lot: http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/

Here, you can find online games, songs and stories to listen and watch.  There are many different activities to study grammar or to learn about different vocabulary topics…  I’m sure many children will be motivated when working and learning with these types of websites.

Click on this image to access the website.

Songs in the English Classroom

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Songs in the English classroom make learning English more fun. Through songs, students learn vocabulary and improve their pronunciation at the same time as they process grammatical structures without being aware of it. 

CD-players are one of the most traditional and cheapest resources we can take advantage of.  They are available at almost every school and have been helping teachers to improve their English lessons for ages. 

We can use listening material through CD-players to do gap-fill exercises.  Bellow, you can find an example that I have used with some of my students.

Listen to the song. As you listen, complete the gaps with a subject pronoun and the verb to be.

Baby’s good to me you know
_______________ happy as can be you know
She said so
_______________ in love with her and I feel fine

Baby says _______________ mine you know
She tells me all the time you know
She said so
_______________ in love with her and I feel fine

_______________ so glad that ______________ my little girl
_______________ so glad ______________ telling all the world
That her baby buys her things you know
He buys her diamond rings you know
She said so
_______________ in love with me and I feel fine

Baby says _______________ mine you know
She tells me all the time you know
She said so
_______________ in love with her and I feel fine

_______________ so glad that ______________ my little girl
_______________ so glad ______________ telling all the world
That her baby buys her things you know
He buys her diamond rings you know
She said so
_______________ in love with me and I feel fine
_______________ in love with me and I feel fine

ICTs in the English Classroom

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ICTs offer many possibilities to the English classroom.  One of the most important ones is the development of the autonomy that children can reach in their learning process.  Once students have acquired the competences that allow them to use and take advantage of online resources, integration between face-to-face learning and online learning can take place.   Although ICTs can help children to learn English, we mustn’t forget that the teacher’s role and support is absolutely essential for them.

With the use of ICTs in the English classroom, it is easier to achieve some objectives that are difficult to accomplish with traditional technologies.  ICTs enable instant communication and children feel much more integrated and involved in their own learning process and in the community they belong to.

ICTs give learners the chance to practice all the students’ linguistic skills: speaking, writing, reading and listening.  They also offer new ways for student and teacher’s feedback and assessment.

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ICTs are present in our daily lives, and this is a good reason to incorporate them in our classrooms.  The use of ICTs provides a very positive influence in the teaching-learning process.  Motivated students learn much faster and it is obvious that new technologies motivate students a lot.  They are receptive to work with ICTs, even without being aware of the benefits that they are going to bring; without being conscious of this new way of learning that uses more dynamic, attractive and varied content and that is going to help them to be more autonomous people.

As a future teacher, I consider ICTs as one of the most motivating resources for students, especially for the English class.  As today’s children have the opportunity we didn’t have to take advantage of all the benefits that ICTs can bring to their education, let’s not miss them.

Are you ready?