Friday, March 25, 2016

What Falls To Your Share From BBC?

Guess what came into my head while dealing with the question mark of the first question that has been following me since the latest post; What next? Your newsmonger is in charge once more! With this post that have just come out of my oven you will have a chance to achieve valuable information about an ELT website specifically designed for language learners of English.
I will evaluate the website considering your training requirement of learning English and give recommendations to teachers with some reasonable reasons.Interested?Follow me

 As part of the BBC World Service, BBC Learning English has been teaching English to global audiences and has been inspiring language learning since 1943, offering free audio, video and text materials to learners all around the world.

The team includes producers, writers and ELT specialists and you can have extensive knowledge about their qualifications and credentials in the section of ''Meet The Team'' with their profiles and you can meet the team, literally.
   There are three courses you can get with ease on the home page.These include; Intermediate, Upper-intermediate, Lower-intermediate.To set an example;
If you are studying English at intermediate level or thereabouts, you can get 30 units with 5 sessions in each unit.A new session is published everyday from Monday to Friday so every weekday you have new materials to study and enjoy. Each week new episodes of popular programmes like 6 Minute Grammar or 6 Minute Vocabulary, News Report, dramas, articles 
(available on Features section) as well as BBC original audio and videos are published by language experts for you to use interactively.In the Features section  there is also a video news product for higher level learners LingoHack which makes it possible for them to reach authentic BBC News every wednesday.Here also you will find Pronunciation,Drama,Words In The News sections.In the Pronunciation section, there are lots of activities and videos available to help you improve your pronunciation whatever your level is.In the Menu section, you can reach news, sport, weather and radio parts and you can take advantage of them by integrating them into your learning process. If you are using a desktop you can download audio mp3 files and pdf transcripts.

     The website is currently BETA which means they are still developing it. They will add new materials and features over the next few years.So it's planned to create extra full and short courses at all levels of English.

     BBC Learning English website aims to guide you through your journey of learning English with it's interactive tools as mentioned above so that unit by unit and session by session, you will be able to improve your grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and comprehension of written and spoken English. It provides multimedia English language teaching materials to meet learner needs. All courses are designed to work on mobiles, computers and tablets, wherever you are you will be able to enjoy studying English.
    There is not a date which shows when the site has last been updated but I rely on it's currency and up-to-dateness. Based on my observations, neither I doubted about the accuracy of the information nor came across any errors or broken links. Such instances are not likely to occur at a website of such a professional company as BBC, anyway.

   The site does not only make an education-based accompaniment for you through your learning journey it also appeals the target audience with it's high quality images and give the message to the target audience that they are taken seriously and respected. All images serve their purposes and catch learner's attention right from the beginning of new experiences with available courses and materials.

       This BBC site is one of the limited in number websites for me to recommend to all the ESL/EFL teachers and preservice teachers.No doubt that it will be a valuable web source and a technological tool for goal-oriented teachers and students to make use of. Because the content is media rich and the site presents authentic, up-to-date, real English needed for learners' development in learning English.
The site can be integrated in EFL teaching easily thanks to it broad sections of learning materials. Each component of the course can be studied on its own and this means the learner can choose the best way to study them by following a full course or individual materials which they see appropriate for their learning process. Teachers can set the sections of courses as homework assignment by deciding the right level of their learners and contribute their development with materials and available interactive tools. They can also make learners follow News Report and give written assignments, ask learners to make a summary of what they've seen or teachers can make learners follow the radio program and make a brief summary of what they've heard and caught from the native speakers' conversations. Also,teachers can lead students to use ''Drama'' section and want them to display one of the episodes in the classroom setting.Actually there is no limit for taking advantage of such a valuable and up-to-date website of learning English. It's up to you, creative original innovator EFL teachers and preservice ELT students !


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Reading Feeds With One Click

   Hey! If you spare much time online to check latest posts of blogs and websites you follow, it's likely that you are not familiar with RSS(Really Simple Syndication) feedreader as a way keeping up all the stuff. But what exactly is this technology? It is developed as a format to make it possible for users to view frequently changing content of websites. Instead of having to search each individual website and see if there is any new content, contents come to you in one centralized place. By using a RSS reader you can easily scan through each article and decide which ones are worth reading.
   A variety of RSS Readers are available and I use an online reader service, FeedReader. I just write the websites' names and add their RSS feed to the list of feeds the feedreader checks. As I regularly use the web it makes it possible for me to stay informed about latest content of the sites I am interested in, which saves my time. 

  My favourite blog that I also recommend to all ESL/EFL teachers and preservice teachers is Nik's Learning Technology Blog   
  Nik's Learning Technology Blog was created by Nik Peachey, a learning technology consultant and teacher trainer. It is one of the most useful blogs for educational technologies. It encourages educators and students to use web tools and technology in language learning classrooms and raise their awareness about educational resources. The blog contains various teaching materials, tips, tools and resources that teachers can utilize. They can find information on teaching English by using picture phrases, videos, animated vocabulary and much more. Peachey provides visitors with flexible tools to create online learning, explains what he likes about them and how to use them with students(create multimedia posters, combine lectures with visual notes, create interactive animated work sheets...) The blog suggests apps and activities to make lectures and lessons more enjoyable. 
  Teachers should follow Nik's Learning Technology Blog if they want to increase learner involvement and  reach ideas on how to integrate technology in classrooms. On the ''Free Downloads'' page, it is possible to download some of the articles and documents free of charge. They help teachers teach themselves to use technology and provides tutorials on how to use different web tools. It will be fun to explore Nik's ELT world. Take a look. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

What's In The Frame and What's Out?

  You are on the point of watching a movie with your buddy and make your popcorn ball ready but somehow can't decide what to watch? What took you guys so long?
  My up-to-date project that was conducted with my coworker Gizem Okan aims to provide you with a film review on Wiki and gladden our audience with this new experience.
   Movie review is actually giving judgement about a certain movie without spoiling the end part of the story.In this sense, Wiki enabled us to collaborate in forming and editing the content of a website freely.
  This week's task was literally entertainment for us all by itself. First both of us watched the film 'Stoker' then put our heads together. What's good and what's bad? Actually, the thing that shines out in this week's task is collaboration. Learning is something students ''do'' with the cooperation of one another, it is not something students get as passive receivers of a process. We watched the film, formulated our ideas, came to conclusions and created a useful review for the sake of you. But it was much more than an assignment, Since it made it possible to eliminate the monotony and obviousness of an ordinary writing task. If you want to read the review, you can click here 

   As an experiencer of Wiki, it's up to me to say that integrating these services into classrooms will bring benefits more than meets the eye. It can encourage students for collaborative learning and interaction among the users. They are effective tools to convey information within a classroom. By this way students become online organizers and creative presenters. The most important feature of a wiki is that information should be easily accesible. Students will search the information and quickly find answers.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

PODCASTS: Music For The Mind

    Are you a recording artist hoping to have your voice heard by the masses? Decades ago, you would have needed a lot devices or a fortune to get heard. But thanks to the instantaneous access to the internet, dreams can become reality. Me and my fellow worker Gizem Okan is here to serve our dear audience with our latest project; Podcasting. 
    Podcasting is a free service that allows internet users to pull audio files from a Podcasting website to listen to on their computers or personal digital audio players.The chant we recorded for this project aims to serve young learners and it is also seen more suitable for them.
    What about the recording process? Let's read on...
    Let me give the highest priority to some difficulties we faced. Because we wanted to create a chant for young learners, the first difficulty we had while completing the task was about conveying feelings. As we wished to serve them efficiently, sometimes we had to record just one part of the chant recurrently. Besides that it had to have rythm and rhyme in an enjoyable way and we tried to make it being sentimental apart from being educational. When considered from this point of view, it was a weary process. 
   However I recommend all EFL teachers of young learners to implement chants in their classes. It will help children increase their vocabulary bank of lexical items and multi-word structures, their memorisation of longer word strings will be facilitated, it will increase creative uses of classroom time outside of the specific time alloted for ''English'' and it will give pupils more opportunities to practise new language skills. Use music for the mind and increase your classroom rapport!
   We used the fairytale ''Cinderella''. Cinderella sings a chant about her sadness upon not going to the ball held in the palace and The Fairy suddenly appears, consoles Cindirella and you will also hear what it says in a chant. You can find lyrics below.

Voice Recorder >>


A ball was to held at the palace and while everyone was getting ready to go Cinderella, dressed in old rags, didn’t even dare ask if she also could go. She knew very well whatever stepsisters’ answer would be. The cat murmured and Cinderella sighed ‘’Oh dear, I’m so unhappy’’. Suddenly something amazing happened. There was a burst of light and a fairy appeared.
I’m staying at home to scrub these dirty floors
Wash the dishes and turn down dirty beds
While my sisters are going to the ball
I’m staying at home for cleaning up the hole

Don’t be sorry pretty little girl
Get me a pumpkin bring me seven mice
Do not forget that dear Cinderella
The mice you’ll bring should be alive

I was  dressed in rags and wearing torn clogs
Want to throw my old and dirty clothes
Thanks a billion you beautiful fairy
I just dont believe in this nice surprise                       

Please tell the prince that he would marry you
And be at home before the descent of the sun
Even your cat smiled and said:miaow
Your pretty face will be such a lovely gun