Posted tagged ‘EnglishCafe’

Thanksgiving Thoughts: Last minute ideas for the classroom

November 24, 2010

Those especially teaching in EFL settings might like to have a bigger choice of materials to finish off this week. Here in the U.S. the school week is ending today so that we may prepare for Thanksgiving Day. If you would like to include one more activity to deepen students’ understanding of this holiday, please consider the following ideas.

  1. Did you catch my round-robin activity to practice gift giving and giving thanks? Click here.
  2. One of my very early videos on YouTube presented three turkey-related idioms. View here.
  3. A fellow EnglishCafe teacher, Jessica Dold, has uploaded a number of holiday activities. Students will get reading practice with her Fill-in-the-Blank Thanksgiving Description. There’s also a quick Word Search for students to recognize common vocabulary related to Thanksgiving. Beginners will appreciate the visual aids in her blog posting titled “Traditional Food Served at Thanksgiving”.
  4. Sarah from The Daily English Show discusses the difference between U.S. and Canadian Thanksgiving celebrations in show #520. The speech is appropriate for high intermediate to advanced students. In show #523 she follows up by interviewing people and asking what they are thankful for. This is good listening practice.

ESL/ EFL Videomaking: The past, present, and future

April 8, 2010

Almost one year ago I was approached by EnglishCafé, and I was asked to create a video series titled How to Make EFL Instructional Videos. This week I’m wrapping up production on the final video for the series. Reaching the conclusion of a project often triggers a reflective mood. This is true whether the project is writing book material, conducting a workshop, or producing a video series. I evaluate my work, think about what I’ve learned, and wonder about the potential impact of the given project.

Two weeks ago I stood before a full room of teachers, fellow TESOL members, who came to my discussion group. The title of the session? YouTube and Beyond: Blending Teaching and Materials Writing Online. I was delighted to see a strong turnout, and it increased my confidence in my chosen path as an educator. There certainly is growing interest in online resources. My message at the TESOL convention was that more qualified teachers are needed to provide those resources. If I succeeded in encouraging only a few to try some form of online teaching/ materials writing, I’m happy. I also feel good knowing that I’m able to offer support to those who want to explore this area of our field – support in the form of my How-to series.

Since my own start on YouTube back in 2007, the number of ESL/ EFL YouTubers has grown. It’s wonderful to see new channels debut, and it excites me to think how much more our field will transform and grow in the coming years. To what degree can English language instruction be a blending of online and offline resources? What new forms of collaboration will we find with the help of the Internet?

What do you think?

And finally, a warm welcome to some fellow teachers who’ve taken the plunge and are already making videos on their own YouTube channels!


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