Thursday, October 27, 2011


Concordance is a tool that can examine a text for pattern and occurrences of particular words or phrases. The database of occurrences are analysed and taken from a variety of sources including written and spoken collection such as from newspapers, journals, radio and television. It could also be from people's conversation on the street. The suggested website which could be used as resources are:
British National Corpus
# BYU Interface  
# Academic Word Lists

# Age of learners - Thirteen and above
# Level of learners - All level of students (lower, intermediate and advanced) because I believe that all level of students would need to write an essay.

Simply type the word that you want to search in the box provided. For example, you search the word 'cheeky'. Then, the lists of words that can go together with 'cheeky' will appear with the examples as well. Below is the example of searching the word 'cheeky' by using 'BYU Interface':

By looking at the example of the sentences, you would be able to understand the context in which the word is suitable to use.

Few examples are:

  1. Writing - students could use this tool to edit and check their grammar, collocation and and meaning of the words in the essay.
  2. Could be used for pre-listening or pre-reading activity. The teacher could use this tool to introduce the set of vocabulary which might be difficult for the students to understand.
  3.  Learning grammar - when students learn a new part of speech (e.g. adjective), students can have a look the example of sentences in this tool and from the examples, they can try to workout the rules.

  1. It is free!
  2. Could motivate the students to learn English
  3. Provides better preparation for the students to face the written or spoken English language 
  4. Authenticity in the learning context - students are given the example from the real conversation/sentence.
  5. Learning become more effective - learners are introduced to the words in context. 
  6. Save time - You do not have to look it up in the dictionary

  1. There are a lot of examples provided. Students might not understand some of the examples provided since it is taken from British context. 
  2. Students might get distracted from the unfamiliar words that they find in the example of sentences. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011


It is an online short movie making tool which could be used by the teachers and students to create animated movie scenes by using colouful cartoon style and characters. The dialogue for the scene will appear in bubbles.

# Age - Twelve and above (as long as students know how to use computer)
# Level of students - All levels include lower, intermediate and advanced (It depends on how the teacher use this tool for teaching. If the task provided is too easy, the advanced students might feel bored).

Well it is quite easy to use it. This is the movie maker web page: Dvolver Moviemaker 

Picture 1: Dvolver Moviemaker page

Few steps to do the Dvolver Movie Maker are:
#  Select the background and sky
#  Select the plot
#  Choose the character(s)
#  Type in the characters line. The limit is three speech bubbles per-character perscene
#  Choose background music
#  Finally, you can choose to add new scene or finish and preview your mini movie!
# For full tutorial of using Dvolver, you can click on this link: Dvolver Moviemaker Tutorial



  1. The teacher could use this tool for post-reading activity which is writing a summary for a reading text. After the while-reading activity, the teacher asks the students to summarise the article and use Dvolver to present their summary. The teacher could explain to the students that they make the summary in a conversation form using Dvolver. Then, once they have finished, they they will engage in pair work. In pairs, they would need to have a look at each others' work and see whether they have the same points or not and discuss the points that they have. 
  2. The teacher could also use Dvolver for teaching grammar form such as modal verbs (example of modal verbs are: could, would, shall, may must). The teacher herself make a movie and include the modal verbs form in it. Then, the teacher present it to the class and at the same time, the teacher explain about that grammar form. The students can do the traditional practises such as drilling or filling the gaps activity. Then, as the homework, the students could be asked to use Dvolver Movie Maker and make their own cartoon animation and they need to include about the modal verbs that they have learnt.
  3. Could also make a fun competition among students where the teacher divide the students in pairs or groups of three. The teacher gives few topics (such as weather, food, subject that they learn, holiday, etc) and the students can choose the topic based on their preference. Then, students make their own movie based on the topic that they have chosen and present it in front of the class. All the students in the class will become the judges. The teacher will prepare an evaluation form which includes criteria of what a good movie should have (for example - it should link to the topic that they have chosen) and the students need to rank it.

*Using Dvolver could be an alternative way for a fun language learning. In learning grammar, the students does not need to engage in drilling or memorising anymore. They can learn the grammatical form by constructing the form in a fun way which is by using cartoon animation*  
*It is highly recommended for students who are more into visual intelligence. Those students could maximise their potential for learning.*
*In addition, this tool also could leads to collaborative learning. This is because, some of the activities that I have suggested would need the students to work in groups and have some discussion.*

  1. It is an easy way to do the digital story telling in the classroom. 
  2. It is user friendly. The users just need to click on the option given and follow the steps and finally, the movie is done!
  3. It is free and users do not have to create an account or sign up. 
  4. Variety for learning in the classroom. Instead of watching a movie or using whiteboard, the students get the chance to do something different which is creating a mini movie. 
  5. Students can express their creativity. They can do they movie based on what they want as long as they can fulfill the requirement of the task given by the teacher. 
  6. Would be an advantage for the students who have visual intelligence -  the teacher can cover this type of intelligence during the lesson - can engage those students and vary the teaching style. 
  7. Th students can save their time. It will just take few minutes to do a simple movie. 
  8. The students are given various options with regards to setting, characters and background music. In addition, they can also choose on how the characters interact in the movie. 
  9. Students can freely write whatever dialogue that they want. They are given total freedom. 
  10. When they finished the movie, they can e-mail it to their friends to share or post it to their website or blog. 
  11. It would be fun and entertaining for the students normally, children like animation and cartoon.  

  1. Some of the characters are not suitable to be used by the students. For example, the character of Hottie whom a bit sexy. 
  2. As the students can freely write what they want, thus they might have the tendency to write inappropriate words. 
  3.  The end product is just the moving characters whom communicate through text inside speech bubbles. Thus, people cannot hear the characters speak. 
  4. The skills need to create the movie is minimal in which it only involves choosing the scene, choosing the characters and writing the text. The students who are advanced in technology might find this a bit boring and not exciting. 
  5. There are limited numbers of maximum characters which can be chosen - only two.  
  6. There are limited plots to write - The students can only do three scenes in the movie. . 
  7. The characters navigation are limited - the movie has fixed the way the characters move. Therefore, the users cannot navigate the characters in any way they choose. In addition, the characters' non-verbal communication will also be limited. 
  8. Once the movie is published, it cannot be edited anymore. As the consequence, if the students want to improvise their mini movie, they would need to make a new one. 


This is an online tool which could be used to practice listening/dictation skills by listening to an audio and writing the words that they hear in a box provided. The users listen to the parts of the sentence and at the same time, they need to type the words that they listen to a text field. The word will only appear if the spell the correct one. They are able to listen again to the sentence and can get some help by setting the activity to auto complete the words as they type them in. There are also other languages for dictation apart from English; Korean, Hebrew, Chinese, Finnish and Tamil. This website could be used for the students to improve their oral comprehension as well as spelling skill. 

# Age of students - thirteen and above 
# Level - suitable for all level of students (activities for different level are available) 

Click on the link below for the Listen and Write webpage: Listen and Write Website

Picture 1: Listen and Write webpage
The instruction is:
# Once you are directed to the page, Then You can choose the story that you prefer to listen to.The story are based on different level of difficulties. There are 25 (2 to 26) levels provided. # After that, you can choose any mode that you like. There are three options available; full mode, quick mode and blank mode. 
#Next, click the play button to listen and at the same time, you can try to write words in the box provided. If you unable to spell the word, you can click the hint button. A red 'good' will appear at the end of line if you write correct sentence. You can also submit your own oral recording as part of the bank of recorded items. 
# In order to save your score, share and save audios and collaborate with other to dictate and do audio recording, you need to sign in and establish an account. 
# For the tutorial on Listen and Write, you can click on this link: Listen and Write Tutorial


  1. Teacher can do differentiation in the classroom based on students level. For weaker students (who has low language competency), the teacher can assign the listening story from low level, which is below level 5. Thus, by doing this, all students have the chance to try out the activity. In addition, this could be a motivation for low level learners since they still can do the same activity even though they are from different level as compared to advanced students. 
  2. Teacher can also make it as a game where students can compare their score with other students. In this activity, at least two students need to choose the same listening title/text. Then, individually, they would need to do the activity and finally compare their score with those who do the same listening title/text as them. To encourage students to engage in communication, the teacher may asks the students to discuss about how they could improve their scores and what are the interesting issue which occur regarding the listening text. This activity would make the students interested to speak and discuss with their friends. 
  3.  If it is done outside the classroom (for autonomous learning), teacher can make it as a homework and gradually check the students' score. The teacher can give comments and feedback whenever necessary. 
  4.  Ask students to find any article of their interest. Record it and exchange it with their friends to transcribe. This is a kind of personalisation since the students can choose anything to record. 

*In my opinion, this tool is highly recommended for those who are more into aural and linguistic style of learning since it involves more listening and dictation. * 

  1. Students can use this tool at home whenever they feel that they want to do some practice. 
  2. Students can develop their vocabulary on their own autonomously. 
  3. It can enhance the students' listening skill
  4. It is suitable for all level of students
  5. This could be a fun activities for some students 
  6. 'Listen and Write' tool could be an interactive way for the students in learning.
  7. Good system for evaluation and students can keep tract on their own progress. This is because, when the students sign up, they can review their scores. 
  8. Practice multiple skills which are listening and writing at the same time 
  9. It is a free listening practice!
  10. Students can choose to listen to any topics that they like since there are 7 categories available (Learning, news, music, kids, movies, TED and words stories). 
  11. Students can choose three different modes based on their preference; full mode, quick mode and blank mode.
  12. Students can choose the level of difficulty based on their language ability. There are levels 2 to 26 available. So, students can work based on their own pace. 
  13. Students can also download their own audio that they want to transcribe. 
  14. There are possibilities for learning other languages apart from English since the audio available in other languages as well ( example: Chinese, Korean and Finnish). 

  1. It is unsure whether the sources are reliable or not since it is based on Radio station in America. 
  2. Some students might not be able to use this tool if they do not have access to the internet
  3. The webpage for 'Listen and Write' has a Facebook and Twitter link. Thus, this could be a distraction while they are doing the activities. 
  4. As this tool is usually for autonomous learning,if the students use it outside the classroom, therefore, the teacher might not get the feedback about how the students progress in using this website.
  5. Not suitable for visual types of learning students since it is more on listening and writing.
  6. This tool does not allow the users to save their transcription and export them to a word processing program. 
  7. Some students might not be interested to listen to the topic listed as they are not really familiar with those topics. 
  8. The speaker in the audio uses American language, speak with quite fast speed and sometimes some of them have slang. It would be difficult for some students to understand the audio. 


Lyrics Training is a tool which could be used by students to learn and improve their second/foreign language skills (example: English) by listening the song and complete the lyrics as they are sung. The videos in this tool are being categorized based on three level of mastery namely beginner, intermediate and expert.The songs could be found in different language which includes English, German, Spanish and French.

# Age of learners- thirteen and above (this is the age where students like to listen to music)
#  Level of learners - beginner, intermediate and advanced (the lyrics available based on this three different levels)

First and foremost, go to this website: Lyrics Training Website and you will see the page as shown below: 

Picture 1: Lyrics Training Website

What would you need to do when you open the webpage:
# Choose the song based on you interest
# Choose the play level. There are three level available; beginner (Fill in the blanks 10%), Intermediate (fill in the blanks 25%) and expert (full lyrics).
# In order to continue playing the song, the students need to complete each line (the blank line). The song is paused once you start to write.
#  To listen again to the last line, press backspace key. If you get stuck, you can click the 'give up!' button and see the word. 
#  If the listener could not understand a word, they may press the tab key to jump to the next. 
# Once finished filling all the blanks, students can see their score. 
# Students can also record themselves, singing the song in karaoke style (sing the song along with the original one)
For full instructions on using this tool, you can check out this website: Lyrics Training Tutorial

Few examples of activities which could be conducted in the classroom are:

  1. Pronunciation activity - In this activity, students can use the karaoke mode and try to sing the song with correct pronunciation.
  2. Spelling activity -This could be done as a competition. Students could be divided into few groups with the same level of language proficiency. Each members in the group will get the same song based on their level. Then, they practice filling the blanks of the chosen song and compare the score with their friends from the same group.
  3. Teacher could recommended this website for the students so that they can practise for themselves outside the classroom. They can practise their listening skills in a fun way. I am sure they like songs!

*Lyrics Training could promote autonomous learning since students can do the exercise even outside the classroom. They can also use this for self evaluation in which they can see how good they are in spelling words.*
*This website is recommended for auditory, visual and linguistic learners since it combines the listening and spelling. The students need to listen to the song with visual and at the same time they can try to spell the missing words* 

  1. Fun approach to help students learn their second language - no more rote memorization. 
  2. The students can learn based on their language competency. They can listen to the YouTube-hosted music video for either beginner, intermediate or experts level. 
  3. There are various songs available which could be chosen by the students. 
  4. It is free to use and does not require registration.  
  5. Students still can see their scores although they do not register. 
  6. Teachers do not grade their quality of singing. So, everyone can have fun and do not have to worry whether their voice are nice or not. 
  7. Training multiple skills which are writing, listening, spelling and pronunciation. 
  8. Would favour the students who prefer visual,music and audio style of learning. 
  9. The score that the students get could be a motivation for them. They might try to beat the previous score which could be a motivation for them to try harder. 
  10. Students can submit their own songs and put the lyrics to them themselves. 
  11. There are a range of songs which not only available in English but also in other languages (German, Spanish and French). Therefore, learning other languages is also possible. 

  1. The Facebook link could be a distraction for them as they might log in into their Facebook account.  
  2. Some songs might not be suitable for the students since it may use inappropriate language.  
  3. Some students might cheat as they know the lyrics as they already familiar with the songs. 
  4. Not suitable for those who are more into kinaesthetic and reading style of learning. They would not be interested in listening to music and watching videos. 
  5. Some videos could possibly not suitable for the learners to watch. 
  6. Some of the words in the song is quite difficult to catch. As the consequence, it might demotivate the students to carry on the activity. 
  7. Facilities - some school might not have enough computers for all students and do not have access to the internet. Thus, this activity could not be done properly.