Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Video Gaming and Education

Is video gaming a passing fashion? Is it only useful at home for entertainment? Have video games a more implicit educative values like developing new skills for future learning?

Some interesting facts and misconceptions about video games and education in this infography.

Really impressive!

. Video Games and Education
Via: Online Colleges Guide

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Times in Plain English

I have just discovered this resource and it is simply GREAT!

I've been trying to read English newspapers for a long time feeling a sense of a frustrating experience! (And I know some English native speakers feel the same, too!).    

Try using ‘The Times in Plain English’.
The Times in Plain English brings you important news from America’s best sources of information. The writing is in clear, readable English.  It’s great for learners of the English language because it avoids:
  • Complex sentences
  • Compound sentences
  • Distractions from the main thought
  • Comparisons
  • Metaphors, similes and analogies
  • Argot, slang and idiomatic words
  • Contractions
  • Adjectives

This is a great reading resource for teachers and advanced learners of English!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Feed the Dingo - A Fun Game About a Desert Ecosystem

Feed the Dingo is a fun game about the importance of creating and maintaining a balanced desert ecosystem.

Students have to add animals and plants and other nature items. Each animal un the game has enough food to survive over a period of 12 days, so players see how the different species of plants and animals in a desert depend on one another. They also experiment with how changing the amount of one resource affects the whole ecosystem.

Each day students have to add more elements in order to maintain balance in the ecosystem. At the end of each day students are given feedback as to which plants and animals are healthy, which are in danger, and which have died.
From Education Dynamics
Feed theDingo is a Plumb Landing PBS Learning Media game. Some suggested activities for teachers are provided in the web including a series of food web games.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Best blogs for Teaching English to Very Young Learners

It always makes me very proud (and really happy!) when someone mentions “Cockroaches and ladybugs” in his or her blog. Today it has been defined of a “good finding of resources of teachers around the world”.

Rosa Amelia Oropeza, blog publisher of ESL/EFL Preschool Teachers, has written  a new entry about her Favourite Blogs for Preschool and Kindergarten English Language Teachers.

And “cockroaches” is one of them! 

Her blog is a compilation of resources for the teaching of English in Preschool and Kindergarten. With more than 150,000 visits and 79 followers, is a must in the net.

She also has a Facebook Group: ESL/EFL Preschool Teachers with more than 1400 members in which you can find lots of Preschool Teachers sharing their thoughts and visions about teaching English as a second language to very young children.

I’m very happy to participate in it and to share part of me as an English teacher.

Do not miss this post! I really recommend you to have a look to these 10 best ESL blogs, according to Rosa Amelia.

 Thank you very much indeed!

Monday, January 05, 2015

Working With Images

Today’s learners are image-oriented, more visually literate; they are able to access and manipulate digital images as never before. So, in a sense we owe it to them to make the image an integral part of our teaching practice, to work with images in their own right and encourage a critical and creative reading of them” Goldstein, 2008

Some years ago teachers of English (or any other Second Language) used to build up a set of photos and flashcards as vocabulary teaching and practice aids, and at the best prompts for speaking, show&tell activities or writing. 

But today’s learner’s, as Goldstein mentioned, are more “techy”, more visually educated, so it would be wise to make use of on-line graphic material which may deeply impact on their acceptance in class. 

One of my last projects developed with my ESL students of grade 6 has been to introduce a “real” character for a creative speaking activity. I presented a letter from my “imaginary friend” and a set of images (see image below) from his life and I invited children to write a caption for each photo following the model of the letter. Then, they had to piece the story together by putting the images in order and decide what happened in the story. 

In this sample activity children have clear opportunities for speaking and creative writing, with both written and speaking follow up activities. 

But, what about the construction of “personalised fictions” by the learners? There are lots of sites where photos can be retouched or collaged to make alternate realities. They can be used in a variety of ways to bring some creative language practice to the classroom. 

Just have a go, take your time and you will see!

Fun Photo Box. 

One of the best site with tons of photo effects, collages and gift animations.


If you don’t get what you want from Fun Photo Box, you reallly need to check out this site.


We’d say, with Photo505, Fun Photo Box and Photofunia you’ll be buzy for days.


Make funny photos by embedding your face from the photo to the various templates.


Allows you to upload any photo and create "old photo", "wanted" and "puzzle" effects out of it. Why am I wanted dead or alive?


Lots of ways for you to customize your photos and express them wherever you want.

Yearbook Yourself.

Turn your face photo into yearbook alike black & white old school photo, and start speaking or writing about "your" past, vintage gadgets, old fashion, music, old styles...


Choose a photo for the left and right side and start mixing their hairs up. What about mixing you with an animal? You can create a "fantastic" character wih lots of imaginary features!

Hollywood Hair Makeover.

Love those celebrities’ hair? Wear them instantly and see how you look. Play with your "new syle" and "pretend to be" someone else!

Big Huge Labs. 

This is a great combination of many types of photo fun. From puzzles to a badge maker, there are lots of possibilities to be creative with your photos. But my favorite is the cube option! This lets you pick 6 images and then print a template with folding directions for turning the set into a 3-dimensional cube... a talking dice, maybe?