Monday, January 26, 2015
Sunday, November 16, 2014
This entry is about how to plan a writing skills lesson and the reason for it and the accompanying videos is that often trainee teachers and sometimes also teachers cannot identify the main stages of a writing lesson. Writing, like all the other skills, needs to be approached by looking at what specific sub skill(s) we want to focus on in the classroom as simply saying 'We'll do some writing today' or 'We'll write a letter today' is enough.Needless to say, we need to exactly which are of writing we are going to focus on in that given lesson e.g. genre or text types, accuracy, fluency, coherence, cohesion, punctuation, layout, paragraphing, etc. Often when observing writing lessons either on teacher training courses or as part of the internal teacher training development program, stages are not clearly identified and this usually means there is not enough of clear scaffolding for students to complete the tasks successfully and benefit from going through the process.
Now, there are different ways to approach writing depending on what you want to achieve with your group of learners, what level they are, what their immediate writing needs are, the course syllabus and the time available. Here I just want to offer a set of suggestions on what stages may be followed when approaching Writing skills in the ESOL classroom as found in the literature available.
I created both a longer video which addresses all the stages one by one and also give ideas for each stage - ideas which I have tried and tested over the years :-)...
and a shorter one using PowToon for those on the go and which may help you quickly revise those ideas you are already familiar with.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
The Methodology Pill No. 24 Planning Language Focused lessons aims at showing different ideas and examples for the different stages of any of these lessons. Something to take into account is that all the suggestions made are while adopting a Guided Discovery approach so very different from the traditional PPP (Presentation Practice Production). Again, the reason for this video was also in response to my trainees' request for extra ideas and a way to be able to access these ideas other than through their notes.
I hope you find both screen casts useful.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Thursday, August 14, 2014
I've got AppsGoneFree in my iPad and it's great because every day you get a short listing of apps that are free for the day. I always make sure I take a few minutes to browse through to see if there's anything that would capture my interest for the classroom for students, trainee teachers or my own professional development. One very nice and super easy to use app I came across recently was Adobe Voice. I initially thought it looked cool but I didn't give it much attention until last week when I was trying to find a way to make a quick video to help my trainees with the Guided Discovery and Receptive Skills Frameworks, which they always struggle with at the beginning. I decided to give it a look and so I went and watched their tutorial video and voila, I realised it was easier that I thought. In minutes I created two 3 and 4 min videos for the topics above:
The feature I liked the most is the simplicity with which you can choose your images and record the audio. All you have to do is type in a key word and lots of options come up. For the audio, press the record button and then say what you want to say. I must admit that I had to record several times so that I would have clear and complete thought groups on what I wanted to say but the fact that each stage is individual means you don't have to worry about editing the audio as you can re-record each time your slide from scratch and when the app puts the whole video together it does it seamlessly! OK, I think it's now for you to go and enjoy using it!
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Anyways, one of the topics I was discussing with trainees the other day was that of how to run searches on the internet in a more efficient way other than simply writing a string of words and hitting enter. At the same time, I was to update a task on the course I tutor on and which initially led me to the creation of this blog some years back (the CertICT) and so after getting some ideas from colleagues, suggestions from trainees and trolling the internet, I came across several options which I then decided where too 'textual' and not very engaging for my taste! I like colour, visuals, sound and the like and manage to retain information longer if I'm exposed to these so I created the Powtoon below with the info I found. Hope you like it! ;-)
Monday, March 17, 2014
Sunday, February 2, 2014
In this methodology pill I explore the planning of lessons for a young learner audience. I work as main tutor on the University of Cambridge Young Learner Extension to CELTA course (Age range 8-13) and so the aim is that of helping trainees get their head round how to plan lessons for young learners. Now, these are simply guidelines and needless to say I do not claim that this is the only way to do it - extremes are never a healthy approach and there are many other ways of doing so approach the screen cast with a flexible mind!
Saturday, January 25, 2014
I've just come across this post by Richard Byrne in his Free Technology for Teachers Blog and I felt compelled to share it through my blog too as I think it's very clear and informative besides the fact that I'm a blogger too! Thanks Richard!
I'm sure you will draw your own conclusions after reading his post and table. I'd say it is rather straight forward as Blogger offers far more possibilities and options to you as a blogger, and the only fee incurred in would be if you wanted some custom domain mapping which sounds fair as it would require extra work.
I've been using Blogger since 2008 and my experience has been very positive. As you may have read at the top of the main page this blogging experience started as an experiment, grew and continues to grow as a personal repository of tools I come across, try and experiment with, and then mention here reporting on what I found out. I now have 19 followers and so I think it's no longer just a repository of tools I find but I somehow feel obliged to them - thank you so much for following my blog!
Ok, I'm sure you'll find Richard's post interesting and informative, and that if you want to get into blogging then that you go for Blogger!