Sunday, October 16, 2011

When Listening Comes Together with Writing

When Listening Comes Together with Writing (mp3)

Let Dictation Do The Work!

Dictation is mainly about the act of manner of transcribing words uttered by another person. Through the definition itself, teachers may expect this particular blog is about a listening activity to reproduce words from a dictation. However, we can say that dictation, in the current teaching process, can be considered as a old and boring way of teaching English. And this may demotivated student to continue to learn language, making teaching and learning unproductive. Nonetheless, there is a website that may change the perception about dictation.

Listen and Write - a free online website which uses recorded voices on various sources, such as current and past news reports, a short clip from a movie, or YouTube videos to produce dictation activities. Below is a printed screen of the website and a link is provided at the bottom of the photo:

Listen and Write, as stated in the above, expose students to most recent news and videos around the world. However, one important to be taken notice is that most of the voice recordings are taken from Voice of America. There a few types of activity provided in the website: full mode, quick mode and blank mode. Each mode has its own unique and way of completing the task, making this website even more interesting to be explored and used as an activity in the classroom for English language teaching.

Full Mode

Lets take full mode as an example. Firstly, teachers have to make sure about the text is:
  • The right level of text for the students.
  • The right topic for the subject.
As a reminder, the lowest level of the text maybe fairly hard to complete. Hence, teacher will have to constantly monitor the students, and provide oral advises to any student. In the listening activity, the text is divided into group of sentences. The online device will keep on repeating the displayed sentences until the students are able to complete re-writing the repeated sentences. After the students successfully completed re-writing that segments of the text, only then the media player will move into the next phase of the sentences of the text. The same process will be repeated until the students completed the whole text and obtaining a score for the activity done. Below is an example of a text that recently uploaded and can be done in a language class:

Level and Age of students

Based on the lowest difficulty designed in the website, i will recommend to be an activity for secondary schools students or above. I am not stating that this activity is not suitable for primary school students, but if teachers insists of using this activity for primary school students, close monitor has to been applied by the teachers so that those primary students will not be demotivated by the difficulty of the texts and general topics all around the world. Nonetheless, it will be a great activity for secondary school students or college students as it involves general knowledge and they should be able to cope up with the difficulty designed for the activity. It may be a challenge to students who does this activity, but it will be a great experience and it will guarantee enjoyment in doing it, especially when this activity is done in pairs or groups.


As this website originally promotes listening as well as writing(or typing) skills, both skills are great advantages to the students who do this activity. Below are more example of the advantages to be discovered by the students as they indulge themselves into solving the segments of texts on this website:

  1. Introduction to new vocabulary
  2. Practice pronunciation through listening skills
  3. Using cognitive skills to solve the text
  4. There are variety of levels for the students to text themselves
  5. Practice spelling skills
  6. Grammar usage in the texts
  7. Fun and challenging
  8. Exposure to new languages


There is no doubt that this activity has disadvantages as well. The disadvantages are:

  1. Schools need to have some of the important facilities, such as internet connections and also computers.
  2. Distraction of going to Facebook as there are Facebook application stamped on the website
  3. Students will get motivated due to the difficulty of the texts.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Lets learn English using MUSICS!!

Lets learn English using MUSICS!! (mp3)

Improves your English Through Music

Has teaching and learning through memorization and drilling had became one very common and boring process in the classroom? Well, i guess is time for a twist in teaching the students English using a very interesting method- Lyrics and Music. People may be guessing what an odd way to teach students using music, but Lyrics Training has made this unique yet wonderful activity a fun activity to be done in a classroom, or as game during bored times at home.

Students nowadays have taken music as one of the important part in their way of life. There is a increase of music listening as radio gained popularity and music videos are inserted to make music. Hence, by using music's fame, we teachers and this magnificent can use music as one of the medium to teach students English in a more motivating and fun approach. In Lyrics Training, music users just have to choose a YouTube-hosted music video and select one of the three mastery levels: Beginner, Intermediate and Expert. As the video begins to play, the lyrics of the song appear.

The link is as below and a picture upload to show the example of the website:

Below is a picture when the activity is been done in the intermediate level.

As the video begins to play, the lyrics surface up. The students need to re-write the original lyrics as the words will be left out as they are sung. The song will repeat the same line of lyrics until the students are able to fill in all the missing words. However, students need to fill in as fast as possible as Lyrics Training will keep track of the time spent in completing the whole song. In other words, this activity may not only serve as a webpage to teach English, it too can be a competition for students to achieve the highest score for playing the game. And this may increase the motivation and interest of the students to learn English through music.

Level and Age of Students

For this activity, students as low as beginners level and as high as advance level can make use of this web site to learn English. This is because there are different levels of mastery for different level of students to choose from to play. The age of the students usually begins from primary schools and can be as matured as college students. This is because music is such a powerful trend in today's society that any student of any age may have the interest to learn when it comes to music. Hence, this activity may just prove to be one of the most efficient yet exciting tool to teach English.


Through the thorough explanation above on the website, teachers should be able to see the benefits through using Lyrics training as the medium to teach English in the classroom. Nevertheless, i will try to voice out a few advantages, so that readers will be able to understand more why i have chosen this website as one of the activities in teaching English. There are a few advantages using Lyrics Training as one of the activity in the classroom to teach English. Advantages are as below:
  1. It's lots of fun.
  2. Increase the interest and motivation of the students to learn.
  3. Learning new vocabulary
  4. Promote autonomous learning
  5. Students are required to use different skills, such as listening and cognitive skills.
  6. Spelling training
  7. Teachers able to monitor students in doing the activity.
However, there is a few disadvantage of this activity, in the sense of utilizing it or reaching the aim in learning English. Here are some of the disadvantage:


  1. Schools need to provide internet connection and also computers, which may prove as a nuisance to rural schools.
  2. Speakers of the computer need to be fully functional as students get the answers through listening skills.
  3. Students may not learn important part of acquiring English such as grammar and sentence structure.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fun in Learning English through Movie Making

Fun in Learning English through Movie Making (mp3)

The Movie Making engine Educates English (Dvolver Moviemaker)

English learning in this current society has expended to a certain limit that English learning is possibly through variable ways. One of the biggest contribution towards English teaching is via technology. No one can doubt that technology now may act as a necessity in one's life, compared to as a luxurious service.So, today, i will introduce a website that, in my opinion that will sure come in handy in language teaching and also learning. The link is as below:

Here is an example of the main page of the website

A brief explanation on Dvolver Moviemaker

Dvolver Moviemaker is an interesting website in enabling users to create their own movie. Well, isn't movie making a complex process? The process will include selecting the characters, the settings of the movie, the dialogue, and etc. However, as complex as it may sounds, this superb website intelligently provide step-by-step processes in creating a fun and creative short movie to be presented in class or simply as a homework to be sent to the teacher via email (provided at the end of the movie making process).

Level and Age

This movie maker is an excellent tool for teachers to teach English in various levels. Students as low as primary school or as high as college students, in learning English, will certainly find this website useful and simple to use. Well, teachers should expect the levels of English in the dialogues to differ, as students of levels such as primary school will create a movie with a more simple context, and the expectations may grow as the age of every students increases. Nonetheless, regardless of any age or levels of English the students have, this movie maker will be an enjoyable activity to be done in the classroom or outside the classroom.

The above short movie is a movie made using Dvolver Moviemaker. It may look complicated, as there are dialogues, characters and also music inserted into that short movie, however, the steps are as simple as 1,2,3. Below are ways on using the online media:

Advantages and Disadvantages:

Dvolver Moviemaker has taken English teaching and learning to a whole new level, as compared to the traditional English teaching methods, such as drilling, communicative language teaching and etc. All this methods has its own strong and weak points. Hence, what are the strong points of using Dvolver in teaching an English language classroom? Here are some key points which may prove the importance of adapting technology into English language teaching.

  1. Students are able to express freely their thoughts and ideas in English.
  2. This activity will build up interest among the students, as this activity is fun and enjoyable
  3. It focus more on the language used compared to traditional grammar.
  4. Teachers are able to monitor the progress of the students while they are making a movie.

With these advantages, teaching and learning English in a language classroom not only will be efficient, it will to be an enjoyable and fun class. Nonetheless, there are walls that stands between these so-called 'advantages'. Below are some of the important factors that may prevent this activity from proceeding or back-firing the main aim of the activity.

  1. Students may apply inappropriate language in the dialogues as students are granted the freedom to insert any form of dialogues.
  2. Time consuming
  3. Not every students or schools are provided with computers or internet, especially rural areas.
  4. The knowledge in using technology between a teacher and students may differ vastly.