Useful links to fruitful websites, blogs, online dictionaries and language references and much more…
One of the problems facing those who want to start a blog, is understanding terms used in blogging. For those who are unfamiliar with those terms, follow the link below. It is a list of terminology and definitions for terms that are frequently used while talking about building blogs.
Wallwisher is a web 2.0 application that enables users to share brief notes, pictures and videos in the digital classroom. It is a really easy way to connect your classroom with Web 2.0. Wallwisher is located at wallwisher.com.
Wallwisher can be used to teach in different ways:
Ask a question and let students provide answers.
Let students discuss a topic. Make the wall a free zone where they can argue about a topic, convince their peers, or simply have their say.
What are plugins
Wikipedia defines plugins as follows:
Plug-ins are sets of software components that add specific abilities to a larger software application. If supported, plug-ins enable customizing the functionality of an application.
In the same way wordPress plugins will add new features and functionalities to your blog. They can extend WordPress to do almost anything you can imagine.
You can have a look at the most popular plugins in this page:
The most popular WordPress Plugins
Five WordPress plugins for teachers
The following are some plugins for teachers:
It is meant to simplify the process of …
Six web tools for teachers. This includes helpful writing and vocabulary tools for designing lessons using on line material and websites. You can get more details from Nick Peachey blog.
Connecting people with meaning. The words you want defined.
Contextualize your words
phraseup assists you with writing by finding and filling-in the words you can’t remember
Telescopic text is primarily a set of tools for creating expanding texts. Very useful for practicing writing.
Movie maker. Useful to create dialogues and dialogue scenes.
Helps students create visual slide shows of sentences or short texts.
Julian Treasure says in this video that we exercise filters when listening. According to him, we “filter out ” the less important to reach what we really pay attention to, in the following order:
Julian also states that people are losing listening skills. We are unable to really listen to what is happening around us. It has become harder for us to pay attention to the quiet, to the subtle, the understated. Julian also stresses the importance of conscious listening because it creates an understanding. He provides exercises to train …
The battle of the sexes, is it a myth?
I’ve just finished reading an article bout how the world came to organize the relationship between men and women in the way it is nowadays.
If the topic of gender inequalities, sexism, patriarchy/matriarchy, etc are of interest to you, you need to read this article by Roy F. Baumeister:
Is There Anything Good About Men?
In-service Training Module Guide
In-service Training Module Guide for Moroccan Middle and High School English Language Teachers:
Here is the link:
Training Module Guide
What makes a magazine great?
But most importantly, a good magazine relies on the way it catches readers attention.
Top Ten Magazines
These are links to ten world magazines that I found interesting.
Time Magazine – Breaking News, Politics, Analysis…
Newsweek – World News, Entertainment, Health…
The SmithSonian Magazine- History, Travel, Art, People, Places
Life – Your World in Pictures
Money – Businenss and Financial News
This is another website that offers free ebooks. You may brows a list of resources arranged in alphabetical order or search for a specific book.
The Online Books Page
Bibliomania is a free library. It has thousands of e-books, poems, articles, short stories and plays. You can read the world’s greatest fiction by authors such as Dickens and Joyce, Sherlock Holmes mysteries, all Shakespeare’s plays, or just dip into some short stories by writers such as Mark Twain, Anton Chekov and Edgar Allan Poe.
Here is the link:
Bibliomania is a free library. It has thousands of e-books, poems, articles, short stories and plays.
What distinguishes good readers from bad readers is the extent to which they master some specific reading strategies. In this article, there is a clear description of what students should be able to do to become good readers.
The writer explains how students should:
activate their knowledge (schemata),
ask questions before reading
use words to see (visualize) meaning
determine important information
summarize and synthesise
How to grow your personal learning network?
If you don’t know it yet, Nick Peachey’s succinct posts are a pleasure to read. In this post, he describes how you can grow your Personal Learning Network (PLN)
He presents everything you need to know in order to start your PLN using tools available on the internet:
Bookmarking Sites like delicious, diggit…
and much more…
I really encourage you to bookmark Nik’s blog to keep in touch with his great posts about using technology in teaching.
Glogster is a website that provides the possibility for students to create interactive posters called glogs. Before using gogster, you have to register. The site offers a premium or a free registration.
What is a glog?
Simply put, Glog is a kind of poster – fully designed by yourself!
Glog is a creation from text, images, music and video. It can be used by students and teachers as a perfect tool to express themselves.
How to use glogster?
Visitors may use different formats to write their stories:
Students can tell what they think about themselves, about …
This is a great link for those of you who are teaching how to write a book review. The link involves stating clear objectives when dealing with a book review by asking and answering the right questions in order to understand, analyze, and evaluate books according to bloom’s taxonomy which involves the following categories:
Here is the link:
Bloom’s Taxonomy Book Review Questions
Building a Better Teacher
good teaching must be purely instinctive, a kind of magic performed by born superstars
This is a New YorK Times magazine article about how to build good teachers. When actual teaching, the daily task of getting students to learn, flounders, what should be done? Fire bad teachers? Train them? Read the article. Here is the link:
ManyThings is a website for people studying English as a Second Language (ESL) or English as a Foreign Language (EFL). There are:
a random-sentence generator
and other computer assisted language learning activities.
Classic and contemporary books
NovelGuide is a free source for literary analysis on the web providing study guides as an educational supplement. It offers:
sample study questions,
and sample essays.
This web-only article,which I discovered thanks to Larry Ferlazzo, is a special rich-media presentation of the twelve events that will change everything around us. It can be used as a language resource for English language teachers. The presentation includes the following topics.
Creation of life
Room temperature supercondutors
Cloning of a human
Teachers can use this rich presentation, as I said, as a resource for efl and esl students.
This web-only article,which I discovered thanks to Larry Ferlazzo, is a special rich-media presentation of the twelve …
English language teaching links in different categories prepared by Sean Banville.
Sean needs your contributions to develop his new website. You can suggest new links or submit your own blog or website. Enjoy!
Free ESL materials
Lesson plans and activities blog carnival
I am honored to be part of the ESL/EFL Carnival of Lessons which was hosted by Karenne Joy Sylvester. The blog carnival includes so many useful and insightful lesson plans. Teachers will have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of activities that they can try in their EFL and ESL classes.Kabreene kindly put the carnival in the form of a prezi which bloggers and site owners can embed.
Thank you Kareene for the effort you implemented to organize these lesson plans.
The ESL …
The English Baccalaureate Exam Specifications All Streams
There has been a change in the bac exam specifications.
Changes were mainly in the language section. It comprises three content areas: vocabulary, grammar and functions. The objective of the language section is that students should be able to respond accurately and appropriately. The scoring is as follows
The exam sections consist of
Reading Comprehension (37.5%),
and Writing (25%).
The weighting for all streams:
For more details on the new specifications click to download a PDF file:
Baccalaureate Exam Specifications
This is a link to a cool websites which provides free esl activities:
Teachers can build their own listening quizzes.
There is also a shared list for such quizzes.
You can also embed the code of the quizzes in your blog or website.
ESLvideo.com :: Free ESL/EFL Video Quizzes for English Students :: Free ESL Video Quiz Builder for Teachers — Send Students Quizzes — Track Results.
This is a link to a cool websites for free esl activities:
Teachers can build their own listening quizes.
There is also a shared list for such quizes.
You can also …
I’d like to share with readers the posts I’ve read recently. They all carry insightful thoughts and creative ideas that I hope will be of great interest to teachers and educators.
Would da Vinci learn in Today’s Classrooms?
The habitudes that separate creative and genius minds from “the rest of us” and which are discouraged in our schools.
Failure is not an option but it should be!
Failure as part of the learning process.
T is for text
Using texts to teach grammar.- Very insight post and comments on how to use texts as the basis …
How to teach Grammar by using texts
I have recently discovered Scott Thornbury’s blog A-Z of ELT. I think that this is one of the best English language teaching blogs. Just to give you a hint of how useful it is to English teachers, this is a post which attracted so many useful and inspiring comments. The post is about how to teach grammar using texts.
There were so many brilliant contributions on the part of teachers to suggest different ways to teach the simple past. This shows how successful our …
MSMformation is an interesting website that offers free video tutorials in French on different softwares.
Macromedia, Flash MX
In order to take advantage of these tutorials you need:
Registration (it is free)
WordNet is a large lexical database of English, developed under the direction of George A. Miller, professor of psychology at Princeton University.
Word Net is a useful tool because of many reasons:
Nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs are grouped into sets of cognitive synonyms (synsets)
Each synsets expressing a distinct concept.
Synsets are interlinked by means of conceptual-semantic and lexical relations.
The whole network of meaningfully related vocabulary items and concepts can be navigated through a browser
You can also download a free version of the tool.
Note that the database is still under construction. But it’s …
This is the third of a series of posts about how to create blogs. The platforms that I chose to give tutorials about are Blogger, Edublog and WordPress. These are the links to the different tutorials:
Here is how you can set up a blog using the WordPress platform:
Creating a blog with WordPress
This is how you can create a blog using the WordPress platform:
Go to WordPress website
Click on “Get a WordPress blog now”
Provide a username, email address, agree on the terms of service and check “gimme a blog”
Blogs for teachers
This is the second of a series of posts about how to create blogs. The platforms that I chose to give tutorials about are Blogger, Edublog and WordPress. These are the links to the different tutorials:
Here is how you can set up a blog using the edublog platform:
Creating a blog with Edublog
This is how you can create a blog using the Edublog platform:
Go to the edublog website.
Click next …
There is no doubt in my mind that technological tools, such as blogs, will be at the heart of education in the 21st century. Teachers will be able to set up blogs either as a personal development tool or as a professional means of instruction. Here is the first of a series of posts about how to create blogs. The platforms that I chose to give tutorials about are Blogger, Edublog and WordPress. These are the links to the different tutorials:
I will start by a tutorial on how to create …
Brainstorming is a very effective technique to generate ideas. To understand what exactly brainstorming is and how to use it in EFL and ESL classes, have a look at these previous posts.
Brainstorming Lesson Plan
Brainstorm on line
In this post, however, I want to share with you this website which both students and teachers can use to brainstorm online:
Solve your problems step-by-step
This tool is a free, easy and interesting way to collaboratively brainstorm and attempt to solve problems online. A detailed description of how it works is given by Nik Peachey.
A classroom management issue
“Why Do You Let Others Control You? ” said to a student may be a clue to ending a fight in the classroom according to Larry Ferlazzo’s experience with a bad class. Instead of using punishment, this kind of straight forward strategy can work perfectly to solve classroom management problems. It focuses on the psychological outcome, on valuing the self, humanizing the students and building a tolerant peaceful personality.
What would have happened if Larry had sent them out? AN OTHER FIGHT. The secret to successful classroom management …
Google wave is an online application that allows for:
Having a Gmail or Google account doesn’t give you permission to use Google Wave. You must be invited so as to sign in.
What is a wave?
A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave …
A lot of the terminology we use to describe our assessment practices is sometimes blurry and has to be clearly defined.
The link I suggest is a guide to a description of key assessment terminology. The authors of the list intend to describe current educational assessment practices and establish a clear and common understanding of what these terms mean.
Follow the link:
Wordle is a tool that creates word clouds that you can print and use in teaching English.
Here is the link:
What is it?
Wordle is a tool for generating word clouds from text or a URL that you provide.
The clouds take into consideration the words that appear more frequently in the source text or web page.
It is possible for you to tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.
You can use the images you generate as you like.
You can save these images to the Wordle gallery to share with …
Eyeplorer is a an amazing educational tool. It is a research and study tool based on Wikipedia which enables students to make research about specific terms to prepare for writing assignments and class projects. It is especially useful to help students develop their:
writing skills through the process approach involving the collection of data and it organization before
Here is the link:
A little tutorial
You can use eyeplorer as follows:
Eyeplorer will start to search and sort links as soon as you type the term into the centre space.
Eyeplorer will find …
The thirteen edition of EFL, ESL, ELL Blog Carnivals is hosted at ELLCLASSROOM.I’m honored to be included in this edition with many other excellent bloggers. A lot of innovative ideas for teaching and thought-provoking articles are presented. I have been so interested in and inspired by the post dealing with teaching tools presented by Nik Peachey and the tutorial about how to use twitter presented by Karenne. Of course there are other posts that I’m sure will be as inspiring and that I haven’t had time yet to “scrutinize”…
Information technology has made it possible for internet users to access information, knowledge, and the world news much easier than ever. It was inconceivable 20 years ago to think that one day you will have access to a library with thousands of free books on line that you can make use of as you wish.
Readprint.com is a website where you can satisfy your reading needs: thousands of free on line books at your finger tips. It is a free library for students, teachers, and the classic enthusiast. The website was …
Learning strategies or study skills determine the approach for achieving the learning objectives. The strategies are usually tied to students needs and interests to enhance learning and are based on many types of learning styles. However, not all of our students develop strategies to deal with their studies spontaneously. Sometimes teachers need to make students learn how to learn. Here are some strategies that can help your students be successful in their studies.
Set small, achievable goals
Encourage students to start with small steps to reach higher targets. For example, for an …
The June edition of Teaching K- 6 blog carnival has been posted at the Teaching Challenges blog. I’m honored to be part of this month’s edition, alongside many excellent posts focusing on innovative ideas for teaching. I have had a lot of pleasure in reading this month’s edition which includes many interesting and thought provoking articles.
Thanks to Penny Ryder for her work in putting this together!
GCompris is an educational software for kids from 2 to 10 years old. It is a suite that suggests activities which are game orientated, but nonetheless still educational. Here are some of the activities it proposes.
computer discovery: keyboard, mouse, different mouse gesture, …
algebra: table memory, enumeration, double entry table, mirror image, …
science: the canal lock, the water cycle, the submarine, electric simulation …
geography: place the country on the map
games: chess, memory, connect 4, sudoku …
reading: reading practice
other: learn to tell time, puzzle of famous paintings, vector drawing, …
GCompris is a …
The second issue of the Teaching Blog K – 6 Carnival has been posted at the Teaching Challenges blog. I’m honored to be included in this month’s edition, alongside many excellent articles focusing on innovative ideas for teaching and thought-provoking articles .
Thanks to Penny Ryder for her work in putting this together!