Our Advent Calendar

advent-calendar

My students this semester are all Christian, celebrate Christmas, and want to learn more about how Christmas is celebrated in the United States. This calendar gives me the opportunity to share with them many cultural icons and traditions, also facilitating conversation. The website I used, AdventMyFriend, makes it easy to fill each date with your choice of “gifts,” and gives you some hints as to what you can do to personalize it for your friends, family, or students!

Click on the link to access my calendar, and then click on the dates as the month progresses. https://adventmyfriend.com/20138/62c2a98120/?embed I hope you enjoy it.

Merry Christmas to all!

My Family’s Thanksgiving Celebration

For beginning level students, a Google Slide presentation of regular verb activities we do to celebrate Thanksgiving as a family. (You might want to add a slide, “We watch football games!) Use the language prompts to generate conversation. (Who cooks at your house? Do you cook? What do you cook? Does your husband cook? What does he cook? Do your children cook, too? What do they cook? What time do you cook? Etc. Don’t forget to have your students ask you questions.  (Be sure to include negative questions and responses as well as short answers to the students’ questions.)

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to yours!

Dem Bones

Dem Bones.png

In keeping with the Halloween season and the body/health posts of recent here on Web 2.0 for ESL, the link below is to a nice little video about “Dem Bones,” which identifies and explains the purposes of the bones and joints. The English will be somewhat difficult for beginning ESL students, but see what “body” vocabulary the students do recognize. You can then sing or play the song and have the students point to the bones. Later, they can sing along with you while pointing to the appropriate bones. Enjoy, and happy Halloween!

http://www.schooltube.com/embed_force/28e699a29b2be8e4520b/

Aches and Pains

aches-pains
Aches and Pains, another Nearpod presentation with audio and interactive activities, is to help your beginning-level ESL students learn to say what hurts. It requires minimal computer experience and will give the students practice using a computer mouse, mouse pad, or tablet/iPad. I suggest that this lesson be presented by the teacher first to demonstrate how to advance the slides, use the audio, and complete the interactive activities, and then assigned to the students to use either individually or in pairs as a study tool.

For additional practice for your students on describing how they feel and responding to others’ feelings, take a look at these online resources: ESL Health Unit, Aches and Pains, Injuries/Parts of the Body, Expressing Pain, Showing Sympathy/Injuries.

Many thanks to the producer of the Body-Parts presentation.

Labor Day in the U.S.A. and Canada

Labor Day.pngDo your students know why they don’t have classes on Labor Day? They may appreciate their day off more if they know the history of the holiday here in the United States. Unionizing has been in the news a lot in the United States in the past few years. This could be a great discussion topic in your classes. I hope this exercise will help generate that conversation whether it is managed as a classroom activity or assigned to the students individually.

Students working independently should click on this EDpuzzle link to watch the video about Labor Day with the accompanying oral questions. They will have to stop the video from time to time or the oral questions will overlap with the video’s audio. Next, have the students look at the questions and the directions for each on the Google Form below. Then, when they are ready, they should play the video again and answer the oral questions, stopping and starting the video as necessary or as assigned.

Voice of America: Let’s Learn English

Let’s Learn English is a new course for English learners. Certified American English teachers designed the course for beginners. The course continues for 52 weeks. Each week, there will be a new lesson with video and instruction in speaking, vocabulary and writing.

Just thought you should know about this new, ESL/EFL free resource!

From: VOA Learning English

Segmenting YouTube Videos for Better Comprehension Opportunities

I like my students to have opportunities to view content videos delivered in English that are NOT designed for English language learners, in which the speakers sometimes speak too fast and use unfamiliar vocabulary. In other words, they speak like many college instructors or business people whom my students will need to be able to understand sometime soon. So, to break down the information and make it more easily understandable for them, my goal was to edit YouTube videos on my Mac into various segments, chunking the information and interspersing reflection and discussion questions to assess, “sooner than later,” my students’ understanding of the material presented. This was easy to do in a face-to-face (f2f) class simply by stopping the video, but I wanted to be able to assign the videos to students who were not present in f2f classes whether they were studying online or maybe just absent on the day of the presentation.  So, this is what I learned to do so easily, and you can do it, too. Here’s how:

First, open clipconverter.cc on the web which converts the YouTube video to various formats. (I chose the MP4 format because, from what I understood, it was the most useful on different platforms.) Paste the URL of the video you want to segment into clipconverter.cc, and press Continue.

Screen Shot 1

Decide what quality and file size you want your video segments to be, or use the default settings. Click Download and Start.

Screen Shot 2

Wait for the message that the conversion has been successfully completed.

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When it tells you it is successfully completed, click Download on this new screen.

Screen Shot 3

Once the movie is downloaded, click on it, and it opens up in Quicktime Player. Click the Edit command, decide where you want your video segments to start and stop, and click Trim.

Screen Shot-J

 

So, now you have your first segment. Upload this segment to your YouTube account by clicking on Creator Studio and then upload, and then wait for it to be processed. (Since the segments are generally quite small, this won’t take very long.) Repeat these steps as often as needed to segment the video the way you wish.

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Now  you can upload your new YouTube video segments to your presentation. I used Google Slides for my presentations because it is easy to upload YouTubes to my Google Sites and my blog here on WordPress.

In my presentations, I add a vocabulary slide or two to discuss before watching any of the video segments, and I generally leave two slides after each video segment, one for a question or reflection and the next for a response. You  decide what works best in your presentation for you and your students. At the end of the presentation, consider adding a brief re-check via Google Forms or Socrative for students to do individually or in pairs as one final comprehension check to finish up the lesson.

Enjoy! I think your students will appreciate this as mine do. It gives us ample time for discussion and assessment of comprehension between segments.

For related information: