Sing Songs while you learn English

I am back again and I have missed this little blog and you all! I didn’t realize how much this little space on the internet actually meant to me until I kept apart for weeks. I felt a little guilty not posting more frequently and although I cannot find a good enough excuse, I have to say that It has been a busy few weeks. This post is to encourage you as well as me to undertake new projects to learn and teach second languages.
To begin with I would like to start very energetic and courageous with this quote: “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can: positive thinking is half the work …”

Having said that, I would like to show you a new free on-line language learning tool that is particularly useful for students of foreign languages who want a fun and entertaining way to learn the correct pronunciation of words and it will improve their listening skills as students must identify words from a song. One of the best ways to learn English or any language is music. If you would like to know what the lyrics of your favourite songs say and, moreover, improve your English, playing Lyrics Training is a good alternative.

That is:  .

In LyricsTraining you can choose from a wide selection of songs and try to complete their letter while watching video clips. LyricsTraining also has a special Karaoke mode that lets you sing and enjoy the full lyrics.

There are three levels of difficulty Lyrics Training: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Depending on your choice, you have to hit a single word or directly the full track.

LyricsTraining helps you to learn new vocabulary and expressions, and reinforce grammar concepts through continuous exercise of writing the missing words.

But above all, LyricsTraining helps you train your ear to improve your capacity to recognize sounds and words of a foreign language in a very short time, training your brain almost unconsciously, whether you know the meaning of all the words or not.

Just try it and let me know your experience in this web application that allows you to read and listen to the lyrics from music videos and can be used as a fun and interactive way for language teachers and trainers to introduce new vocabulary and grammar to their students in a classroom setting.

Please write your comments or leave me a reply.

English is Fun with Sitcoms

English teachers have been using videos in the classroom for decades and, more recently online video clips from Youtube. A situation comedy, often shortened to sitcom, is a genre of comedy that features characters sharing the same common environment, such as a home or workplace, with often humorous dialogue. Such programs originated in radio, but today, sitcoms are found mostly on television. Sitcoms are an excellent classroom resource for a number of reasons:

  • Watching TV shows and films in English is a wonderful way of improving your listening skills and pronunciation.
  • Sitcoms provide us with authentic English in all its guises. The situations that the “sit” refers to are often situations that are universal.
  • Sitcoms are full of cultural references.
  • Students love watching videos that reflect Britishness. They like to see how British people live, what they eat, how they spend their free time. They love seeing typical British homes and institutions, British countryside and British weather. Our students like to confirm their perceptions of British stereotypes and they like to be surprised by aspects of British culture that they didn’t know about before.
  • Sitcoms are funny and everybody enjoys laughing. Watching a humorous video clip in class can be rewarding for students and helps to create a positive classroom atmosphere. After all, English is fun especially through films and TV shows.

One of my favourite TV Shows is Friends. I’m sure many of you have heard of and watched the American sitcom. It ran in the US from 1994 until 2004. My favourite characters was Joey Tribbiani played by Matt Le Blanc. He always played the slightly stupid guy, but he also had some fabulous sketches. Here is one of my favourites:

In this sketch, Joey (a native English speaker) follows a beautiful woman into a beginner’s ESL class (English as a Second Language), and tells the teacher he is in the right place. Trying to impress the girl, he competes with beginning English learners to prove that his English is the best. Enjoy!
Funny! Basil gives Manuel a language lesson – Fawlty Towers – BBC. Basil and Manuel have a conversation about how to dress the breakfast trays. 

Go to http://uktv.co.uk/gold/homepage/sid/5527 and click on a sitcom

For a comprehensive list of UK sitcoms go to http://www.sitcom.co.uk/list_top.shtml

What is “Fawlty Towers: The sitcom”?

Extract from: English is Fun Especially with Friends

http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/articles/sitcoms-a-tool-elt

 

Educate, engage and inspire your students with video!

YouTube’s educational section, YouTube EDU, is a valuable resource for schools. Now, It’s launching YouTube for Schools, an easy way for schools to access educational videos while restricting access to other content. YouTube for Schools is:

  • Comprehensive: Access over 500,000 free videos from over 700 YouTube EDU partners. These partners range from well-known educational organizations like StanfordTED and PBS to up-and-coming YouTube partners with millions of views, like Khan AcademySteve Spangler Science, andNumberphile.
  • School-appropriate: Students can only access YouTube EDU videos. Related videos and comments are disabled.
  • Customizable: Administrators and teachers can log-in and get full access to YouTube. They can also add videos that will be viewable only within your school’s network.
Visit YouTube.com/Schools today!

YouTube for Schools: Join the Global Classroom Today!

Youtube para centros educativos

Youtube es el portal de mayor difusión de vídeos de breve duración, de gran popularidad a nivel general y de utilidad en el aula tras la selección previa por parte del docente.

Desde hace unos meses, el propio servicio ofrece una sección para centros educativos, http://www.youtube.com/schools, por la que se accede a miles de vídeos educativos de canales diseñados al efecto para diversas materias, como PBS, TED o Khan Academy, en un entorno en el que los contenidos son controlados en todo momento por el profesor. De esta forma, se pueden evitar vídeos inapropiados y centrar las búsquedas.

Youtube cuenta también con un canal específico para profesores: http://www.youtube.com/teachers, que presenta las ventajas del uso de vídeos en las diferentes asignaturas y ofrece la consulta y creación de listas de reproducción por parte de profesores y alumnos. Está organizado en cuatro áreas de conocimiento para varios niveles educativos, si bien la búsqueda de contenidos por materias se puede vehicular de forma más extensiva a través de http://www.youtube.com/education.  Este canal de educación abarca diversos ámbitos académicos, distribuidos en enseñanza primaria y secundaria, nivel universitario y formación continua, así como en disciplinas específicas. Asimismo, se pueden consultar variados vídeos relativos a metodología didáctica a través del canal http://www.youtube.com/teachingchannel. Otra herramienta para la selección de vídeos, que contiene mayoritariamente grabaciones de Youtube aunque también de otras fuentes, es http://www.watchknowlearn.org. A través de este portal se accede a gran cantidad de vídeos exclusivamente educativos que están clasificados en un directorio temático muy práctico. Así, para la enseñanza de lenguas extranjeras, el profesor puede escoger entre varios idiomas y, a continuación, explorar las diversas categorías de estudio: vídeos de conversación, lecciones de gramática, dibujos para niños o canciones, entre otras. En la elección de vídeos de Youtube cuentan los tiempos, ya que una duración más breve puede facilitar la explicación y el debate en clase, así como la realización de más actividades complementarias en el laboratorio de idiomas. Las ventajas para los alumnos no son solo de tipo motivacional, dado que están acostumbrados a consultar todo tipo de contenido audiovisual; está demostrado que una correcta secuenciación de este material favorece el estudio de la asignatura. En efecto, el trabajo con vídeos educativos suele generar un mayor compromiso del alumno con los contenidos de la materia, así como un aprendizaje más exhaustivo y duradero.

http://www.youtube.com/teachers

http://www.youtube.com/schools

http://www.watchknowlearn.org/