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Category Archives: web bits

Catch-up part one: some interesting sites.

1. A book, really – and a site that introduces it.

whiffling_ukcoverThe Wonder of Whiffling is a tour of English around the globe (with fine coinages from our English-speaking cousins across the pond, Down Under and elsewhere).

Discover all sorts of words you’ve always wished existed but never knew, such as fornale, to spend one’s money before it has been earned; cagg, a solemn vow or resolution not to get drunk for a certain time; and petrichor, the pleasant smell that accompanies the first rain after a dry spell.

Delving passionately into the English language, I also discover why it is you wouldn’t want to have dinner with a vice admiral of the narrow seas, why Jacobites toasted the little gentleman in black velvet, and why a Nottingham Goodnight is better than one from anywhere else.

I am a sucker for things like this, and you can do a lot worse than to become interested in odd and curious words, and above all in the fascinating stories that lie behind so many words.

2. A good reference site for ESL teachers

It doesn’t hurt that this site is included there! 🙂 — 15 of the Best Blogs for EFL and ESL Teachers.

efl

3. Ed Tech, e-learning, e-literacy.

There are some good posts on Barking Robot. For example: Study: Children Who Blog Or Use Facebook Have Higher Literacy Levels.

Research conducted by The National Literacy Trust on 3,001 children from England and Scotland showed that schoolchildren who blog or own social networking profiles on Facebook have higher literacy levels and greater confidence in writing…

Among the key findings:

  • 56% of youth reported maintaining an active profile on a social networking site such as Facebook or Bebo, while 24% said they maintained their own blog;
  • The study also found that 49% of young people believe writing is “boring.” However, 57 per cent of those who used text-based web applications such as blogs, said they enjoyed writing compared to 40 per cent who did not;
  • 56% of youth who had a blog or profile on a social networking site (SNS) reported to be confident in their writing ability: 61% of bloggers and 56% of social networkers claimed to be good or very good at writing, compared to 47% of those who had neither.
  • A total of 13% of children surveyed had their own website, 24% kept their own blog and 56 % had a profile on a social networking site like Facebook or Bebo;
  • Social web activity was also credited with encouraging children to engage with more traditional forms of writing. Those who were active online were "significantly more likely" to write short stories, letters, song lyrics and diaries than those who had no online presence;
  • The National Trust urges that kids should be encouraged to write blogs and use social networking sites like Facebook to improve literacy levels and encourage them to engage in writing…
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Visualising new media

Pretty, eh! Not the new template, but this.

2735401175_fcdcd0da03_b

It’s called “Conversation in the digital age”.

Hat tip: The Tubes are Diverse and Crowded (Reverend Jeremy Smith).

 

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ESL Podcasts

Thanks to James Rudd for this. James is an ex-student whose computer credentials are most impressive.

eslpod

About the site, linked above:

Who is ESLPod.com?

ESLPod.com is run by a team of experienced English as a Second Language professors with over 30 years of high school, adult, and university ESL teaching experience. Dr. Lucy Tse writes scripts and story ideas for the podcasts, and records many of the dialogs and stories. The host for the podcast is Dr. Jeff McQuillan, who helps read the scripts and provides explanations for them.

Both Dr. Tse and Dr. McQuillan received a Ph.D. in applied linguistics and education at the University of Southern California. Dr. Tse was a professor of applied linguistics and education at Loyola Marymount University, Arizona State University, and California State University, Los Angeles. Dr. McQuillan was a professor of applied linguistics at California State University, Fullerton, and Arizona State University. Both are currently Senior Researchers at the Center for Educational Development, the sponsor of ESLPod.com.

Why are you doing this podcast?
For many people around the world, learning English is very important. Unfortunately, there are very few useful, effective sources for learning English. Most people take English classes, which help them up to a certain point. ESL Podcast is designed to help you continue to improve your English.

What’s so different about ESL Podcast?
Well, first, all of our podcasts are free to anyone who wants them. Second, ESL Podcast uses a very different approach than other courses or websites.

We believe the fastest way to improve your English is to listen to conversations and discussions you can understand. Many people try to improve their English by
listening or reading things that are too difficult. They understand only 40-50%, which means they are wasting half of their time!

At ESL Podcast, we provide English at a slower speed and use everyday phrases and expressions. We explain what these expressions mean and how to use them. That’s all! It’s simple, it’s obvious, and it’s very powerful.

It is directed towards adult learners, but I am sure secondary school teachers and older ESL students will find much to look at and/or use as well.

 

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