21 Oct 2009

Virtual Social Networking Conferences in November 2009

From November 5th to 8th, 2009, there will be an open-knowledge event, Social Networking, organized by AVEALMEC and ARCALL, two LatinAmerican associations, one based in Venezuela and the other one in Argentina, interested in promoting the use of ICT in the language classroom. It will be completely online and free, and its aim is to encourage practioners to reflect the role of communities of practice as social networks in ELT.

Many of the best ESL/EFL teachers and ELT professionals from different parts of the world have been invited:

All of them will be sharing their experiences and expertise with participants and will help us grasp abetter picture of how social networks can be used in the language teachingand learning field.
I think it will be a great experience to have the opportunity to discuss about the concepts and theories around social networks, communities of practice, the Web 2.0, experiences in the classroom, as well as about the use, advantages and drawbacks of social networking tools.

Docking at the Right Harbour

Have you ever had problems to find useful resources on the net for teaching English? Have you ever wonder what are the best ESL/EFL resources, the best Edubloggers in the English teaching field? Many times when we want to use Internet as an education tool, we get lost due to the great amount of information contained on the net. In order to avoid this, Gorka Palazio, professor of the University of the Basque Country, has developed two great sites: English Harbour and English Tube.

English Harbour, a RSS website where you will find a selection of the best content for English teachers and students. This tool captures the last posts of top English edubloggers. Therefore, you can be up to date with these teachers' experiences in the classroom and with advances in new technologies applied to English teaching. But the advantage of visiting English Harbour is not only to read interesting post written by other ESL/EFL teachers or ELT proffessionals, but also to interact with those teachers who are interested in the same topics that you are. In this way, we are contributing to create a real learning virtual community, which can be expanded Twitter. The URL of Twitter is English Harbour.

However, if you are looking for new resources, English Tube can add visual spice to your University lessons mainly. After class, your students can continue learning English at home, in a cyber café or wherever they wish, watching videos on this site. The videos, which have been taken from the major video services such as Youtube, Blip, Vimeo, Veoh or Metacafe, are organized by level (beginner, intermediate and advanced) and by skills (grammar, listening, speaking and writing).

One thing I love about English Tube is that its content is really well-organized. Besides, it is an interactive site in which students can leave their comments on the videos they have watched. I hope that this is only the first step to expand and create a bigger English Tube full of videos for primary and secondary students, as well. A great idea would be that all those useful videos included subtitles, and there was an option to show or hide them depending on the student's English level.

3 Oct 2009

20 places to study english grammar online

If you are looking for a fun and interactive way to study English grammar, you can find almost everything you need on the Internet. There are exercises, tests, study guides, quizzes, and many other materials that make studying English grammar both simple and entertaining. Here are 20 resources to try:

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) - The Purdue OWL offers a wide variety of exercises in grammar, punctuation, and spelling for English students. The exercises cover everything from basic grammar rules to advanced grammar understanding.

Daily Grammar - The Daily Grammar site provides grammar lessons and reviews that make it easy to study English grammar. Reviews cover parts of speech, parts of sentences, and mechanics.

GrammarBook.com - This free online site for English usage rules has fun and interactive quizzes and videos for reviewing grammar rules. This is the perfect way to learn and refresh your English grammar skills.

FlashcardExchange - The FlashcardExchange provides several pre-made flashcard sets that grammar studiers will find extremely useful. This site can also be used to create and share original English grammar flashcards.

Chomp Chomp - This free grammar site provides interactive exercises for testing your grammar knowledge. The exercises include accompanying handouts to increase retention.

Online English Grammar - The Online English Grammar site provides a list of free online tests and games for practicing grammar. Most of the grammar tests and games are designed for intermediate to advanced users.

HyperGrammar - HyperGrammar, a University of Ottawa site, has free grammar lessons with an end-of-lesson review test for testing knowledge and finding the weak spots in your grammar knowledge.

Newroom 101.com - Newroom101.com provides thousands of free exercises for writers, students, editors, and other people who want to study or review grammar.

English Exercises Online - English Exercises Online has a collection of online grammar quizzes that can be used as study aids. The quizzes are mainly fill-in-the-blank and multiple-choice and offer a guide for difficulty.

Oxford University Press - The online practice grammar guide from Oxford Press University features free online practice tests for basic to advanced studiers. The tests make it easy to figure out the grammar skills you have perfected versus the skills you still need to improve.

The Online Grammar Guide - This free online study guide is specifically designed for advanced English users. The guide, created by Jack Lynch, covers all grammar subjects from A versus An to Who versus Whom.

SpeakSpeak - SpeakSpeak provides advanced English grammar practice exercises for learning or studying grammar. Simply review the exercises and take the online tests to find out what skills you need to review.

English Grammar Exercises - These online exercises were written by an English teacher at College Claparede to provide grammar practice for advanced students.

Guide to Grammar and Writing - The Guide to Grammar and Writing features interactive quizzes and overviews for advanced English grammar study. The site also contains college level vocabulary lists and quizzes.

Quizlet - This free online flashcard site features 74 pre-made flashcard sets for studying English grammar. Users can use the flashcards to learn, familiarize, and test terms and usage.

Cengage Learning - This online study center features practice tests for learning and reviewing English grammar rules. Within this site users will find free practice tests for everything from apostrophes to subjects and verbs.

Learn4Good - Learn4Good, a free English study and exercise site, features grammar practice for SAT, PET, FCE, CAE, and more. The site lists and explains some of the more difficult grammar concepts and allows you to put your knowledge into practice with review tests.

Nonstop English - The Nonstop English site features advanced exercises for ESL students who are preparing for the TOEFL.

Activities for ESL Students - This site for ESL students provides a large collection of self-study grammar quizzes. Users can simply browse through the quizzes and pick the level that will challenge them.

The Tower of English - The Tower of English is a site created for ESL students to study and learn every aspect of English.
This post has been written by education writer Karen Schweitzer. She writes the Business School Guide for About.com and has been serving as an advisor to Business School as well. She also writes about online courses for OnlineCourses.org.

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