Veterans Day – A Tribute to The American Soldier

I found this lovely video tribute to the American Soldier online which seemed like an appropriate way to say happy Veteran’s Day to those serving our country in the military and to their families! We remember and honor your service with respect and gratitude. Be safe wherever you are!

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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:

 

 

Listening for Content: How Geography Shaped Japan

What Does Failure Really Mean?

Good for class discussion, research, writing, and/or oral presentations. What does failure really mean? What words do the students think are synonymous with failure?What can we learn from failure? Can we learn without ever failing? Who is Brian Acton? What was his failure? What happened to him after his “failure?” Can you name anyone else who “failed” and became, not only rich and famous but one of the world’s most influential people? Is it possible to change the way we feel about failing? Might there be a more positive way to refer to failure? Take a look at the video below, and then find out more about these “failures,” their life stories, and that of other “failures” you may be familiar with. ​Maybe after this discussion, the students can come up with a different definition of what failing really means.

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An ESL Listening Activity: Black Holes

black-holes-opener-615

Black Holes Part 1            Black Holes Part 2

(To run this presentation, you will need PowerPoint as well as Poll Everywhere, which has a free version, installed on your device.  (This does not play, however, on PCs. I am currently trying to figure that out!)

This is an interactive listening activity for intermediate to high-level English language learners who are interested in learning more about science and black holes and who appreciate the opportunity to listen to native English speakers talking at their normal pace. This two-part lesson utilizes the YouTube video, Black Holes for Beginners by Gleanix, which I edited into segments, each with a follow-up question based on the content of that segment. The free version of Poll Everywhere is used as the medium for student interaction and assessment.

An ESL Listening Activity: Black Holes can be used in the face-to-face or blended classroom as well as online. Students may be polled anonymously in a group or individually to get an overview of their understanding of the material presented. Students are able to respond to the questions on their cell phones, tablets, or computers, and they can see the group’s responses immediately for further discussion.

Because of my familiarity with PowerPoint for Windows and my new Mac, I chose PowerPoint for Mac as my lesson’s platform, which also requires the use of PowerPoint Presenter App for Mac, a free download. I understand that the apps I have used lend themselves equally well to Keynote although I have not experimented with that program yet since I am a new Mac user.

This lesson is divided into two parts only because of file size. It is meant to be covered in one class period.

black hole trivia

 

 

Exercise: Using the articles, “a,” “an,” and “the”

Listening Activity: Theme Song from the Movie “Titanic”

Here is a listening activity for my ESL students based on Céline Dion’s multiple platinum hit, “My Heart Will Go On.” We are reading about the sinking of the Titanic, and I simply thought this would be an enjoyable listening activity for the students, and a way for them to sing along with this very popular song. I hope your students enjoy it, too.

Watch the YouTube video, and then select the correct missing lyrics.