A good way of providing significant learning is making our students aware of the possibility of communicating with people from other parts of the world. Our students must see the need in learning a language; we all learn a language with the ultimate goal of communicating through it.
If we give them the tools, they can easily improve their linguistic skills and why not, find a friend from another country.
In the following site, our students can chat with people from other countries and cultures in a friendly and safe way.
Why not using Skype in the classroom? Skype is a free tool we can use in class in order to communicate in English with students from another countries and we also have the possibility of talking to experts on the fields we are studying if we join a community.
Another interesting website in which we can find: penpals, blogs, forums…etc.
If you are interested in how to teach English interactively and provide your students with opportunities they won’t ever forget, take a look at those websites! Maybe you are not a teacher, but, why not improving any language by having penpals from all over the world?
Today I want to share with you an amazing tool called Storybird!
It is a website in which we can create stories for free. You just need to create an account, choose some nice illustrations (they are great!) and then start typing your story. You can share your creation with other members, send it to a friend or share it wherever you want!
We could use Storybird in class to present new content in an attractive way or tell our students to become writers for a day and write their own stories! It is a way in which we can encourage our students to develop their writing skills and also spark their interest in literature
Here is mine! I created a story for my 3-year-old students called “What a day!”. It is useful to teach little kids different topics as: animals, weather and some basic vocabulary. My students loved it!
What about you? Would you like to become a storyteller?
In the last session of the master’s class our teacher gave us some time to work actively on our blogs. Mine was already done so I took some time to go through the posts, re-read and edit them and also add some nice pictures.
I have enjoyed a lot the subject; not only it has been useful for my final project of the master’s degree but to open my mind as a teacher. Before starting the master I still had the traditional view of teaching: following the course book, listening activities, etc. which is boring for them and for the teacher as well. But session after session I discovered and learnt new techniques and teaching alternatives we can use in order to make our classes more dynamic and engaging.
I liked the idea of working cooperatively with my classmates and to work through stations because we learnt how to teach English actively by working ourselves that way! We had to work cooperatively through the sessions to get a final product: learn how to teach actively. I also loved the idea of the blog because this is my first blog on education and I like a lot writing on it as it is useful for me to reflect on the way I’d like to teach my students in a near future.
I wish I could use all of these amazing techniques and tools with my students in a real class because I have lots of ideas and I think they are tired of how is English taught in Spain due to the fact that when they finish their studies they are not able to mantain a basic conversation in English. We, as teachers have to present the content in an innovative way and provide our students with significant learning.
I think that active methodologies can change the way in which students see English, we can help them to maintain a positive attitude towards the language and show them that English can be fun and useful for them.
For me, Prezi is the new PowerPoint; not only the layouts are amazing but it is easy to use and free. It can easily be applied into education: we can change the way in which we introduce content in the classroom and through Prezi, attract our students’ attention. We should also teach our students how to create amazing Prezis they can use in order to make projects or even for their own interest, because they have a friend and it’s his/her birthday and they want to create something special for him/her.
We can use Prezi in our active classrooms; for example, we can tell our students to get into groups and become teachers for a day and teach us something new using a Prezi. They’ll love it for sure!
Here is my Prezi explaining what are digital story tellings about. A digital story telling is another technique we can use in class as it is very innovative and students can improve their creativity, linguistic skills, team work skills…etc.
Another active technique we can use in class is the webquest. A webquest is a sort of webpage we create to encourage our students to read or do projects in an active way. The teacher is the guide who provides students with the sources and links they have to visit in order to work on some tasks. The student is the one in charge of the learning process here so he/she has to become an active member in order to produce knowledge.
First, we create an introduction that catches our students’ attention, then, we set some activities for them but we have to recommend the sites they should visit in order to successfully complete the tasks, they have to work cooperatively in groups and then present a final project which will be evaluated. Through webquests, we evaluate the whole product and not only the final result and students develop lots of skills as: team work, creativity, autonomy, time management…etc. This is just a suggestion, you can use webquests with different purposes but I’ll show you an example of a webquest for teaching literature in English to Spanish secondary education students.
Here you can find a webquest I created on Lewis Carroll’s novels: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I hope you like it!