Saturday, 28 January 2012

CALL for teaching pronunciation, speaking and listening activities

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. 
Henry Ford

It is unbelievable that the Week 3 is almost at its end. The week was full of challenges. Oh, how many useful things we learned. Those things will be rewarding for our students and for us, too. In this week, we had to read the materials for CALL teaching of pronunciation, speaking and listening activities. At first, I will mention developing listening skills with authentic materials. In my opinion, this skill is an important part of learning the second language. There are many useful web links which can help us to create a motivated learning atmosphere. Students can also boost their listening skills by listening to the native speakers of English. If you want to read more, you can just visit the following page: . I have discovered a lot of useful web links which can be advantageous for teaching and learning ESL. I will mention one of useful ESL learning and teaching tools. It is the radio and TV station which are designed for learners of ESL. Students can choose the topic their want to listen to and they can also pick out which level is suitable for them. If you want to find out more, it is available at:

 The second section deals with teaching pronunciation. I was so intrigued by this thread, so I read the article at . I discovered many useful pieces of information about this topic. One of the sentences that caught my eye was that ‘the goal of Computer Assisted Pronunciation Training (CAPT) systems is to provide learners with private, stress-free practice with individualized and instantaneous feedback of information’. And one of the greatest advantages of the application of CALL is that it offers a private environment for working on pronunciation without fear of the number of repetitions needed for full comprehension or accuracy of production. This way of practice enables students to get rid of their fear which is often present. The most interesting thing is that there are many electronic tools for speech analysis. Students can record their voices. Then, they can listen to it and if it is necessary to make some corrections they can do it by recording their pronunciation again.
The second topic is The Employment of CALL in Teaching Second/Foreign Language Speaking Skills. This topic is also an interesting one. I also discovered many useful pieces of information about this section and it is available at: 
There are also many useful tech tools which can help students to improve their skills of listening. One of them is ‘Conversation’. It is a type of software designed to allow users to “talk” to computers. This software also allows learners to choose a situation, study the dialogue, record themselves and then play the recording back and compare it to the model.
While reading about CALL for all three activities, I realized how much these modern tech-techniques of teaching and learning will contribute to boost students’ skills and it will also build their self-confidence to promote these skills even outside the classroom.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Early in my career I felt that organization would destroy my creativity. Whereas now, I feel the opposite. Discipline is the foundation that allows you to be creative. Verna Gibson

Wow, delicious! Fairly,my confession is when I hear the word ‘delicious’, it reminds me always of my favourite food. No, no, no… It is not something to eat, some kind of cookies.
Try to guess what it is… It is a way of saving and keeping your favourite web links in one place. As in our weekly assignment we had to create our Delicious page, I have to say that I felt a little bit perplexed about it. I could not predict what advantages this page offers. Hence, I decided to begin this week by creating my Delicious page. So, I was not familiar with this I have read the instructions how to do it. The instructions can be found at: . After I finished reading the material, I have created my account and I have logged in. Then, what to do? There were many tabs asking to do something, but I have felt lost for a moment. I searched out for the first web link and tried to save my link. Fortunately, I did it. What a relief! So, I went on with searching for other useful web links and it was a successful. 

In my opinion, every word is redundant to say about this Delicious page. This way of keeping our favourite web links is amazing. There is no any mess about keeping the web links. Everything is stored in one place and one does not need to write his/her web links on the paper or to remember them. We can even share our web links with our friends. Another advantage of this page is that we can visit our Delicious page whether we are at home or not. 

If you want to share your links with me, just visit my page. My URL is:

Saturday, 21 January 2012

..the ABCD model...

You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives.  ~Clay P. Bedford

At the very beginning, I have to confess that, when I saw the ABCD model in our weekly assignments, I felt a little bit anxious. It seemed like I will never finish reading and I will never understand this way of writing the learning objectives.
 While I was reading the first instructions how to write a learning objective by using the ABCD model at  , I felt like I was in a big city for the first time and I will never find a way out of this city.

When I finished reading, I tried to write the first learning objective but it was not successful. As I was eager to cognize about this thread more, I continued reading the additional resources. The second source was Kizlik, B. (2003), How to write effective behavioral objective, Boca Raton, FL: Adprima, Retrieved May 14, 2003, from .

While I was reading this, it started to become clearer and clearer. The sentence that attracted my attention was that the purpose of a learning objective is to communicate. 

In the second thought, when the ABCD model is used there is no any mystery about preparing a lesson and thinking how we will make our learning objectives more effective.
It is divided into four segments where everything is so clearer and more precise. We know who we teach (A-audience); we know what we expect from the audience to do (B-behaviour), we know what sources are used to demonstrate a certain topic (C-condition), and at least we can know how much of it will be acquired (D-degree).
A last thought, this way of writing a learning objective makes me feel happy and more confident.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The search step...

At first, I have to point out that I could not wait for the second week to come. I have really missed my classmates and our course instructor, Janine Sepulveda.
When I opened my e-mail, I have found new assignments for the second week. The first assignment was to read about using new search engines. While I was reading the available material, I discovered many useful search engines which can be used for all academic levels. The first one was 'A9 Open Search'. The most fascinating thing about this web browser is that we can search inside the book. 
The next search engine I prefer is 'Twurdy',  . I like this web browser because it is on the academic level and it has got all specific information we need about teaching and learning. 
 Ask Kids is also an interesting search engine where many kids' movies can be found. In my opinion, learning of the second language can be improved by listening. So, this web browser will be advantageous for me and my students. One of search engines that attracted my attention is Intute’s  Arts and Humanities Hub where I also found amusing subjects about learning styles, the assessment of learning preferences, students’ self-evaluation of their responses.
I look forward to introduce all these search engines to my students and I think they will be able to use them. Students will also have the opportunity to enhance their IT literacy.

Today, the technology is a vital part of one’s life. We can communicate; we can teach and learn; we can visit far-away countries by utilizing the technology.
It is also important part in teaching and learning. In my opinion, we can make our teaching environment and students’ learning more effective and more motivated.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

As the time goes by...

As the time goes by, I am trying to understand all these topics about the course. After creating my first reflective blog, I had to take another two steps. The first step was logging into Nicenet classroom.,  I read the instructions how to sign in the course classroom from PDF documents that were attached in our e-mails. When I logged in, I found three assignment topics. One of them was a discussion about the Ground Rules1st Draft. The discussion made such an impression on me as it was the first time for me to take part in the discussion like this one. "Introducing yourself" was also an interesting part. I was so excited about this because I have met many dear colleagues and next-to-be classmates from different settings and it was amusing to find out about each other.
In my opinion, the course classroom is a useful tool where we can discuss about different topics and where we can build many ideas how to develop better skills of communication. 
The classroom has inspired me to create one for my students where they can meet with other students and where they can discuss about certain topics and feel free to express their thoughts without fear to be criticized. 
My second step was visiting the class wiki where I and my classmates posted our URL addresses. 

I believe that the path of small triumphs leads us into achieving every objective.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Creating my first reflective blog

This was something new for me because it had not been used in my school before. To cross my heart, I have to  admit that I was excited , confused and impatient about creating my first blog, but I want to thank  our course  instructor,  Janine Sepulveda, who encouraged me to go further and not to worry.
By creating my first blog, I learnt  that this way of learning  and teaching is a great way to develop and improve learning and teaching skills, too. It was interesting to read all available material at the site(, where I found out the importance of the blog and how blogging can be helpful  both for students and teachers.  I do want to emphasise that the most interesting part for me  is that students can have the audience. Students' friends from other schools and other countries, even their parents can read their written assignments.  So, teachers are not the only ones who do it.
I have figured out how the technology is an important part of learning where students can interact with each other and where they can learn and explore.
I think this is going to be a great way of gaining new skills of teaching. My plan is to introduce this way of teaching in my school even to my colleagues who are not teachers of English.
As one puts it that the process of learning  does not require only learning and applying but also forgetting and remembering again, the blog and blogging will be very useful for students to revise everything they missed. I hope that my students will be able to learn more about English language by using this new way of learning but not only from their books and that they will be more interested in learning English.
Students will be also able to give comments and to share the material (grammar exercises, learning English through games, writing exercises, songs) which they can find on this page with other students, too.
In my opinion, the atmosphere of learning will be also improved. The blog will be also useful for my colleagues who also teach English in different environments. I am also excited about sharing different experiences with my colleagues who are also involved in this course and I hope that I will pick up a lot from these experiences which I will be able to use in my class.
In my second thought, it is important to introduce a new way of teaching through the web in order to  encourage and to stimulate my students to achieve better and more satisfactory objectives.