Friday, December 2, 2011

Useful Podcast in ESL Classroom

Those two broadcast are all about how to dining at a restaurant in the United States. Both episodes involve dining vocabularies, basic procedure of dining at restaurants, the rules of how to make order, etc.  

Language is a communicative tool that mostly used in people’s daily life. Dining at a restaurant is the most happened situation that L2 learners will face. In the United States, Some students may think that typical American foods are only hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries due to stereotypes, but in fact the American cuisine is much more international than that. Both episodes that I chose illustrate an Italian restaurant in a very nice part of Beverly Hills. By learning both episodes, It will be useful for L2 learners to get familiar with how to ordering in the USA, and what are the rules and talks in restaurants. For example, when people go out to eat in the United States, people will often need to wait to be seated. Sometimes a host or a hostess will put people’s name on a list if the restaurant is busy. Then after waiting some time, people’s name will be called, and people will be brought to a table.

There are also some cultural rules about how to ordering towards western culture such as the menu order: drinks, appetizers, main courses, and desserts. Teaching students about basic rules at restaurant in the US will help international student to know more about dining culture at a restaurant in the United States.

Besides getting familiar with the knowledge of western dining culture, the vocabularies from both episodes are useful for L2 learners to use in their real dining situation such as ‘treat’, ‘hostess’, ‘spot’, ‘check’, ‘split’,etc. All the vocabularies are explained clearly in the broadcast by illustrating sample sentences. Therefore, L2 learners will be taught about how to use those new vocabularies into practice.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The World Is Flat.

Epals is fun to explore. I love its idea of enabling student, parents and educators to communicate and collaborate in academic and cultural projects as well as establish international friendships from all around the world. The world is flat, global awareness is essential to students in terms of their development for building connections with other people and the whole world.  Epals can be the tool for students, parents, and teachers to increase their global awareness by interacting and communicating.

The section of search explorer is awesome. As the picture shown above, I typed teach oral English for 6 to 7 years old children and search for the information from China, tons of results came out that matches for the criteria.

From the result, ESL teachers and learners in China posted their information on Epals with their specific goals such as to seek language partners, to practice oral English and look for pen-pals,etc. I find this is good become I could use this into my classroom, let students post what they need in terms of second language learning. If they want to find a pen-pal and post their requires and information on Epals, they may get response from other peers who come from a totally different country with different cultural background, therefore they can collaborate and interact with each other in L2, enhance their L2 ability by making new friends and dismissing the distance barrier. Meanwhile, since Epals is a safe, educational online platform, I do not need to worry much about safe issue for my students’ usage.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

great online tools!

Animoto is such a great online tool to produce digital story and video! It is simple to use, and easy to create digital story. When I was creating my video, it blew my mind! I was amazed how professional the video looks and I think it is a great idea to encourage students to sign up and give them chances to create their own digital stories. Students are always fond of digital stuff, I believe students will be engaged and involved in learning by using Animoto. 

The digital story that I made is Play in the snow! Since winter is here, snow is coming; setting up a class discussion about how students are going to play in the snow would be a good idea for ESL students. My goal is to encourage them to speak out and to share their idea about what do they do in the snow and how would they have fun in the snow.

I think Animoto can be used as a perfect tool to have conversation and class discussion. By uploading pictures and videos, students can actually make their own movies and clips. The topics can be about anything, they can make bizarre stories as they want, and share their thoughts with classmates.

For ESL beginners, writing is always difficult and hard to have active effect in classroom. Animoto also can be used in writing activity; vivid video attracts students’ attention and therefore lead them to write in second language. By creating and sharing their own digital story, students are also encouraged to comment on the videos in writing form.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bookr is FUN!!

Here is my Digital Story!
This story book is about Halloween Pumpkin Carving Party and the book is for Oral English class for 3 to 5 grades elementary students.

The object of my class is to encourage and enable students to talk about their own experience by creating a friendly environment.
The reason I choose this topic because it relates to students’ real life. Halloween is a big event in United States, and carving pumpkin always makes Halloween joyful and special. By introducing my story and the steps of how to carve my own pumpkin, students will be attracted by the topic since this relates to their own experience, and therefore leads further talk about their personal Halloween pumpkin carving experience.
After introducing the whole story, students are encouraged to speak out their personal experience in terms of pumpkin carving and Halloween; they can also draw pictures about what they used to carve or what they would like to carve for their pumpkins. They are allowed to share their pictures with others.

Tell a story, become a life-long learner

                           NMC 2010 Day2 NMC Life Long Learners                                 
                                      By dreamponderCreate
One of my teaching goals in terms of second language is that not only to teach the language to students, but also to facilitate them becoming life-long learners. Digital storytelling can be a wonderful teaching tool in the classroom, and it also can be used in students’ daily life that forest them to explore more outside the classroom. The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling illustrates that “ the topics that are used in Digital Storytelling range from personal tales to the recounting of historical events, from exploring life in one’s own community to the search for life in other corners of the universe, and literally, everything in between.”  Therefore, telling and writing a digital story ignites a love of learning for others to share and enjoy. The process of learning a second or foreign language should not be dry.I believe that in ESL classroom, every student is a storyteller.  Students should be encouraged to have creative voice and their creative voice should be heard by others. Digital storytelling empowers students by letting their voices be heard and encourages them to learn and think creatively by enhancing technology-rich project learning. From my experience, if the teacher asks students which they would rather do between writing a traditional paper and creating a digital story that presents their research and learning, students will choose digital story telling without hesitation.

When I was reading sources about Digital Storytelling online, I had a brainstorm. Various Digital Storytelling projects that I can use for my future classroom are popped up. For example, Digital Storytelling of Autobiography can connect students with each other by telling a personal narrative. Students can share stories about themselves, and let classmates know their own personal background, hobbies, special moments in personal life, etc. 

Wouldn't it be cool by sharing such stories towards helping students become more proficient in English?  Telling Stories: Using Multimedia with ESL Students has some suggestions specific to digital storytelling projects in ESL classrooms that I think is useful for future ESL teachers.


Sunday, October 16, 2011

a share of link from Twitter

I would love to share a speech How to learn? From Mistakes from Diana Laufenberg. I discovered this speech from an educator that I am following on Twitter: Buthaina Aiothman. She asked a question about ESL teaching that will the multiple-choice question tests bad for bilingual/ESL learners or not. By discussing this issue, she shared this video link from TED. In the video, Diana considers that there is no one right answer because mistakes and failure is instructional during learning process. The speech from Diana inspires me a lot in terms of how to value students’ potential ability in learning. Here, Twitter is doing a huge favor for me to observe more from other educators and to share with others :)


Let the students Tweet!

To be honest, I have never thought about to use Twitter in classroom before. One reason not to using Twitter is that I used to have this stereotype that Twitter is for people with too much time on their hands. However, after reading What About That Twitter Thing? and Building community on Twitter , I found out that I have dismissed a very important thing in terms of language learning: building learning community for students by using different social network software.

Step by step, I joined the Twitter and followed some educators for couple days, and I am amazed how Twitter can break down the wall of classroom. It offers such a good platform to connect and interact with people all around the world. Once I followed couple ESL teachers on Twitter, the system automatically recommended me more relative ESL teachers to follow; therefore more connections were built up! After couple days observing, I changed my stereotype and began to enjoy using Twitter and started to think how I should relate this social network to L2 classroom. Building community on Twitter offers some awesome advices on this issue such as encouraging students to build their own professional learning network and therefore building a learning community. Twitter is like a face to face conversation. 140 maximum words with others involve a mixture of small talk, relationship building, getting help and sharing. The easiest way to motivate students to join Twitter is to show them the facts that join Twitter is similar to join the conversation.

By providing chances for connections, communications and collaboration, Twitter is a place for unbounded conversation. I think it would be a good idea to show students that once you follow someone, you can pass others’ useful tweets and discover more in search, and also can discover people and their contribution in many ways other than following them. Meanwhile, Twitter can also enhance blogging. Students leave comments on blogs all the time, but it does not mean that they are able to interact with each other and have conversation by using blog all the time. If teacher relates Twitter to Blog, the conversation can happens on Twitter, and it allows easy sharing of links and quick ideas about other people’s blog.