Speech Class

Speech class is an activity designed to you to read and talk about what you have read. We are supposed to have one at each two weeks or at least once a month. Which do you prefer? For this activity you are supposed to read as many stories or articles as possible and choose one to present to your classmates. You are going to talk about what you have read in a group of 3 or 4 students. Everybody in the group is going to do the same. At the end, the group will choose someone to present his/her reading to the rest of the class. The articles can be from any source. You can find articles on the Internet in Speak Up Magazine , Reader's Digest or any other source you want. You can also try Newsweek or even talk about something you on TV in English. 

How about blogging

Dear T. Flexers, I am here to invite you to blog with me. Blogging is a little similar to a virtual diary. This is a space for us to be in contact when we are not in class. Some things you can do here are, for example, to place a comment about something you liked or did not like about the class. It can also be about something you have read, heard or learned. Another thing you can do is comment on what I or somebody else has written. In our first unit we are talking about some subjects like traveling and sports. How about starting sharing some ideas on this topic? Or how about saying what you think of the idea of blogging? If you have ever blogged, and so on. Let’s see how it goes. All the best 

José Antônio  

 

Speech Class

The speech class is an activity designed to you to read and talk about what you have read. We are supposed to have one at each two weeks or at least once a month. Which do you prefer? For this activity you are supposed to read as many stories or articles as possible and choose one to present to your classmates. You are going to talk about what you have read in a group of 3 or 4 students. Everybody in the group is going to do the same. At the end, the group will choose someone to present his/her reading to the rest of the class. 

The articles can be from any source. You can find articles on the Internet in Speak Up  , Newsweek, Reader’s Digest or any other source you want. You can even talk about something you read in Portuguese as long as you use English to comment on it. 

 

Let´s Blog

Dear Top Flexers, 

Welcome to my blog page. Actually it is not only mine it is ours. This is a space for you to express your views on subjects related to class or get information on what to do for some of our meetings. You are invited to post comments on any subject you might find relevant for our class, for example, things you liked or disliked, doubts you have, etc. 

As a starter we could start talking a little about yourselves or about ways of communicating, which is of the themes of the first unity. Do you think this a good idea? What else do you suggest? Please post a comment.You can also write some lines about yorself if you want.

Welcome guys

Dear 2nd year 

First let me thank you for the warm reception you gave me on my first day of class. This is really a nice group. I know it is not easy to substitute teacher Joana, actually it is impossible. What I can tell you is that I will try to help you learn some English. 

This is my blog and you are invited to write anything you want to say about the class on this page. You do not have necessarily to use English. You may write in Portuguese or mix Portuguese with English if you don’t know a word. You can also ask questions about things you did not understand. You can also write messages to someone in class or comment on something they said. 

So let’s see what will happen to this page. I promise I will read all the postings and reply to them if needed. 

Take it easy 

José Antônio 

 

ICT in ELT: Resources and use of technology

We are now in passed the middle of our online seminar. This has been a great experience for me. I have been posting too much on the open threads of discussion on the panel. However I have been reading all the posts, which keeps me quite busy. Every time I open my mail there about 30 new messages to be read. Some of them I copy, paste and save into my computer because they discuss valuable issues for my practice as an English teacher. Some of them have links which sometimes I open and add to favorites. 

This online seminar is for me an eye opener showing how much you can learn through ICT. While I am being exposed to the different tech gadgets they talk about I am thinking on how to use this with my students. It is really amazing to see how much technology is out there that I do not know to use, actually I did not even know that they existed. Some of them I knew they existed, but did not know what they were called. 

At this point I am better off than when I began. So far I have found out a lot about Cop (Communities of Practice) and their usefulness for teacher development. I am part of a community of practice already and I want to create another one with some teachers from the school where I work to discuss relevant things in the field of language teaching. 

The approach to technology, I am adopting form myself is playing around with these new gadgets and found out how to use them. So far I have learned hot use Odeo, which is a voice mail device. With Odeo or Springdoo you can record your voice and send to someone’s e-mail. I am having fun with this one. Concerning the class work, I am going to introduce these new things to my students through tasks. My approach will be taking them to the lab and teach step by step how to use ICT and then move on to more complex tasks. 

That is all for now. I will keep you posted. 

 

 

ICT in ELT: The Future of CALL

In the forum we are now discussing the use of ICT in ELT. One of the readings we did was especially interesting. The article written by Stephen Bax examines the history of CALL (Computer Assisted Language Learning) and makes some important statements about where we are now in the use of technology in the field of language teaching. According to Bax, there are three approaches in the use of CALL. The first one he terms restricted. The restricted use of CALL entails closed drills and quizzes with predetermined answers to work on grammar or vocabulary. In the restricted mode interaction between students is minimum. The next approach is called open. In this one, we will find simulations, games, and CMC (Computer Mediated Communication). The third approach is integrated CALL. This one is characterized by frequent interaction with others and some interaction with the computer.  

The author explains that he does not name these three uses of CALL as historical periods because they are still present. Although a genuine communicative use of CALL is possible nowadays, some teachers, school administrators do not have an open attitude towards its implementation. Besides that, much of the software being produced is still of the restricted type. Concerning where we are now, Bax argues that we are in an open phase of CALL with each institution still exhibiting some restricted and integrated features.  

Bax says that true integration of CALL is still a long way to be achieved. To illustrate his point he introduces the idea of normalization. This has to do with the diffusion of innovation. Technological innovations are normalized when we do not recognize them as technologies any longer. An example is the watch which is so integrated/normalized into our lives that we take it for granted. Normalization of CALL will happen when teachers and students use it as they use a pen or a book. Better yet, CALL will be normalized when it is treated as secondary to learn.