Taking your language teaching online: Part 5

3 de April de 2020 at 9:22

Using Padlet to foster interactivity

pixabay free licenceDue to the current confinement situation, you may already be keeping in contact with your learners by offering them materials and activities online. You might be finding that online teaching and learning can be very effective. You might also have begun to see areas that need to be improved. One of those could be motivation. For our learners, it’s not always easy to motivate yourself to sit in front of a screen, work through materials and tasks and then wait for the teacher’s feedback. Learning online can be lonely. It’s therefore important to add social elements into your proposed learning activities. One possibility is to ask learners to create something together. In this post I’ll introduce you to an online tool that allows you to generate a variety of learning activities that can be carried out in pairs or small groups.

Taking your language teaching online: Part 4

30 de March de 2020 at 16:21

Providing feedback and assessing collaborative work

As a follow up to my previous blog post on how to set up collaborative work, here are a few ideas on how to deal with feedback and assessment of collaborative work.

Taking your language teaching online: Part 3

27 de March de 2020 at 12:21

Ideas for group work and collaboration

Many teachers and institutions are struggling to move their entire courses and programs online in an effort to minimize the effects of COVID-19. However, while many teachers think synchronous meetings with their learners using one of the freely available apps to do group video calls (Skype, Hangouts, Zoom, Whatsapp, Houseparty, Facetime) is the answer to all their problems, video calls with students might not be very easy. There may be connectivity problems because several people in the same household might be running calls simultaneously relying on the same wifi connection or there might be a shortage of devices to use in the case of young learners. Also, these video calls tend to be very teacher-centered, a teaching approach we moved past a long time ago.

One alternative is to have them engage in collaborative projects. Here are three examples:

Taking your language teaching online: Part 2

23 de March de 2020 at 11:04

Making instructional videos

Since the COVID-19 situation began, many teachers have had to move their teaching online to continue offering education to their students. For those of you who haven’t sat in front of a webcam for teaching before, here are a few tips for making instructional videos for your students.

They’re divided into three stages: before, during and after recording. 

Taking your language teaching online: Part 1

20 de March de 2020 at 12:37

Forum discussions in Moodle

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, many of you were already using Moodle with your students. This may have been for providing students with extra resources or for letting them know about assignments in case they missed a class. However, you may not have tapped into the potential of Moodle to allow students to interact with one another and put into practice their language skills. This was natural since communicative activities were already taking place in the classroom. These days, though, as meeting up face to face has become impossible, many of you are looking for ways to replicate that interactivity in an online format. To achieve this, one idea would be to set up a discussion forum in your Moodle classroom. 

Here are 6 simple tips:

Cats, cats and more cats

12 de February de 2020 at 13:22

Source@Wikimedia commons

It’s the Year of the Rat according to the Chinese zodiac. In fact, the rat is the first in a cycle of twelve animals that take turns representing each passing year. Besides the rat, there’s the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the sheep, the monkey, the rooster, the dog and the pig.

What do we do for Christmas?

20 de December de 2019 at 13:05

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What do people do at Christmastime in a country, like Japan, with no Catholic or Christian tradition? Well, we also celebrate Christmas, but in our own way. Businesses kick off their Christmas campaigns well before the holidays, and the most celebrated time in Japan is actually Christmas Eve, rather than Christmas Day itself. In fact, 25 December is not a bank holiday.

Summer English for Work courses

18 de June de 2019 at 14:02

If you’re looking to polish your English skills over the summer, sign up for one of our summer courses in the “English for Work” series: Speaking Skills for WorkWriting Skills for Work, or Presentation Skills for Work. In these one-month, one-credit modules, you’ll get to practice professional English language skills that are useful in the workplace, such as writing business emails, participating in a meeting, talking to clients, delivering a presentation, and many more! These are multi-level courses, but we recommend you have at least a B1 level before signing up to take full advantage of them. The courses start on June 26 and they finish on July 23.

Goethe wonders: “Is that ‘Gyoete’ me?”

18 de May de 2019 at 8:07

Source@Wikimedia commons

This post’s title is the translation of some verses popularly attributed to the writer Ryokuu Satô (1868-1904, “Gyoete towa ore no koto kato Gête ii”). At one time, the name of the great German writer’s name was transcribed in different ways in Japanese, giving rise to the coexistence of a variety of transcriptions. Nowadays, the names of the classic writers have established transcriptions; for example, that of Goethe is ゲーテ (‘Gête’).

The second button

20 de March de 2019 at 11:34

Source@Wikimedia commons

In Japan, March is the month of graduation. Colleges, schools and universities alike hold graduation ceremonies, which mark the end of one stage in students’ lives. For some people, graduation evokes memories of an era full of school uniforms, cherry blossoms and tubes containing their graduation certificates. Graduation is also a time to say farewell to fellow students who won’t be attending the same school the following semester.