Wednesday, 8 September 2010

MY LESSON PLAN~!

LEVEL                                        : Form 2 (Intermediate)
TIME                                          : 40 minutes
THEME                                      : Social Issues
TOPIC                                        : There to be
LANGUAGE CONTENT               : Preposition of Places
EDUCATIONAL EMPHASES      : Thinking skills, Multiple Intelligences, ICT skills


AIMS: By the end of the lesson, students should be able to
 1. Identify the preposition of places.
 2. Apply information transfer effectively and efficiently in answering the filling gap questions.
 3. Construct simple and short sentences using preposition of places.
 4. Use internet browser and search engine to look for information.

TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS: • One computer per group of 2 or 3 students.
                                                    • Internet connection
                                                    • Web Browser

PREPARATION:
1. Locate the hidden objects' game website.
2. Browse through the website to make sure it is suitable for the students and match the topic.
3. Prepare worksheet based on the information in the website.
4. Determine a search engine that can cater to all the students' need during the activity.
5. Prepare the lesson and worksheet based on the information of the website.

WEBSITE:
http://games-free-online.net/?a=game&id=253
http://www.learnenglish.de/PictureIt/prepositionsplace.htm

PROCEDURE:

Set induction: (5 minutes)    
1. Teacher asks the students where the objects are in the classroom.
2. Students respond to the teacher's questions.
3. Teacher introduces the lesson for the day.
 
Activity 1: (15 minutes)
1. Teacher asks the students to form a group of 2 to 3 per computer.
2. Teacher instructs students to open the following website
    http://games-free-online.net/?a=game&id=253
3. Teacher explains to the students on how to play the game.
4. Students asks the teachers if they do not understand.
5. Teacher allocates 10 minutes for students to finish the game.
6. Teacher assists each group in completing the task.

Activity 2: (15 minutes)     
1. Teacher asks the students to open surf the following website;
     http://www.learnenglish.de/PictureIt/prepositionsplace.htm
2. Teacher clarifies the 'Preposition of Places' to the students.
3. Students asks questions to the teacher if they have one.
4. Teacher distributes worksheets (Task 1) to the student and asks them to complete the task using the 'Preposition of Places' that they have learnt previously.
5. Teacher guides the students in completing the task.

Conclusion:(5 minutes)     
1. Teacher recaps the lesson of the day.
2. Teacher inculcates moral values.


FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY: Teacher asks students to complete task 2 that will be given to them and e-mail it to the teacher before the next class.

EXAMPLE: 
 ACTIVITY 1
 ACTIVITY 2
TASK 1 
TASK 2





 
 

Monday, 30 August 2010

StilettO~!



       When you want to look your absolute best, you need to wear the best.  When your pursuit for amazing style takes you to your need for shoes, you can look for that mystical perfection in high heel stiletto shoes. Stiletto style shoes are one of the most known styles, earning longstanding respect as one of the finest fashions in the industry.
       You see, the stiletto style is named after a type of short knife or dagger that features a long and thin . Stiletto style shoes are one of the most known styles, earning longstanding respect as one of the finest fashions in the industry.If you want to make a statement with you image, then you’ll want to make sure you make that statement with the help of a gorgeous pair of stilettos. You can actually make a wide range of statements thanks to the luxurious variety they offer, including stiletto pumps, stiletto high heels, stiletto boots and more.
        The choice is yours, and when you choose from strictly stiletto, it’s impossible to go wrong. You see, the stiletto style is named after a type of short knife or dagger that features a long and thin blade. As a part of that, this style will always be on the cutting edge of new fashion. However, high heel stiletto shoes are also amazing in their ability to honor retro and classic styles as well, granting a truly varied and beautiful line of shoes and heels. Do you want to know how walk in stiletto without stumbling anything? Then, you should watch this......


Saturday, 28 August 2010

artiCle review

Title      : Investigating the use of social networking services in Japanese EFL classrooms
Volume : The JALT CALL Journal.2008 Volume 4, No, 1, pp, 40-52 Copyright  
Source http://www.jaltcall.org/journal/articles/4_1_Kikuchi.pdf
Authors:  Keita Kikuchi ,Waseda University, Japan.
                Toru Otsuka, Shizunai Senior High School, Japan.

          The article is about investigating the effectiveness of using social networking services in Japanese EFL classrooms. In this rapid changing world,  Social Networking Services (SNS) such as electronic mail (e-mail) and blogs are getting more attention not only in the United States and Europe, but also Japan. Therefore, the researchers intended to investigate some aspects of the participation's perceptions of SNS and make clear the nature of students' underlying motivations for writing blogs.
          The aim of this research was to identify forces that may make students want to learn English using blogs in Social Networking Services and indicate their reactions to the application of the use of SNS in their English classes. This research had been conducted on ninety two university students  in three EFL courses offered  in two Japanese universities. They all were taught by the same teacher and had been invited to participate in  an invite-only network. In this class, students were instructed to post any information that they wanted to share with their classmates in their blog. They were also promoted to make friends with anyone on the SNS  who they could communicate in English. The methodology of the research employed both quantitative and qualitative form of study, where questionnaires and one open-ended question had been used. The questionnaires consisted three parts featuring; (1) general background questions; (2) questions concerning the frequency  of computer use; (3) thirty items arranged in a 5- point Likert scale, ranging from strongly agree to strongly disagree to statement about their motivation for using computers in blog writing in the second language classroom. The questionnaires were formatted into online survey whereby the students were asked to complete the questionnaires through the website. The questions were all in Japanese so that the students could understand the content of the questionnaire sufficiently.
          The first finding of the research was underlying characteristics of motivation toward SNS. There are three factors which ; (1) Firstly, it was communication and empowerment through the use of computers whereby the computers facilitate communication between learners both inside and outside the class; (2) secondly, some respondents see the use of computers in English classes is useful though they recognize that it may be easier to write papers by hand; (3) thirdly, it was reluctance to use computers. The second finding of this research was participants' reactions to the practice of using SNS in their English classes. There were five feedback that the participants had given; (1) Appreciation of having the opportunity to type in English; (2) Appreciation of the commenting function of the blog; (3) Appreciation of increased opportunities through blog writing assignments; (4) Negative feeling towards blog assignments; (5) Negative feeling towards the use of computers in English classes.
          In my opinion, this study still did not cover the use of social networking services in Japanese EFL classrooms as a whole. It covered only some items in motivating the students to use SNS in English language classes. I suggest that if the research will be conducted in the future, the researcher need to emphasize on the pros and cons of using SNS in the English language classes.
           In relation to the Malaysian context, learning using the technology can only be observed in certain schools in the urban areas.  The real situation of learning second language by students today is the inability to relate what they learn in written form and their daily usage of second language that they have learnt in the classroom. Despite of lack of proficiency in second and foreign language among students, the use of social networking services can increase level of motivation in learning language. I strongly feel that language teachers in Malaysia should adapt this form of teaching language not just to give more exposure to the learners on how the target language is used but also to strengthen and improve  language learning.
         All in all, I believe that language teachers can make a big difference in learners’ learning by using the social networking services in the classroom.





Tuesday, 17 August 2010

HOT POTATOES?

Have you heard about HOT POTATOES?
Some may say yes! Some may say  no!
For those who are semester eight students and have been in semester eight surely a big yes! 
So, what is HOT POTATOES anyway?
It is not a freeware, but it is free of charge. It is for non-profit educational users who make their pages available on the web. It has six applications, which are JMix, JMatch, JCloze, JCross, JQuiz and The Masher. These application will assist you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching or ordering and gap-fill exercises and make them available on a web page. HOT POTATOES uses advanced Javascript but it does not expect the users to know anything about Javascript or HTML or any other programming language to get things done.
Therefore, these are some of the advantages of using HOT POTATOES that I could share with you, First, it can facilitate the teachers  in constructing the exercises with minimal training of using this application. Teachers do not have to be stressed to produce one piece of exercise to the students. In addition, the exercises that have been produced by HOT POTATOES are interactive as the teachers can includes sounds and pictures to attract students interest in completing the tasks. Moreover, the interactivity of the exercises will motivate the learners to act independently and  help them in keeping their motivation level high. Learners also will have more control (pace, choices, etc) in doing the tasks rather than a paper exercise where any one word can be the stumbling block to understanding as this type of exercise provides the tools to overcome the difficulty. Lastly, instant feedback in completing the task will help the learners in their learning.
Nevertheless, there are also the disadvantages of HOT POTATOES that I have discovered. Firstly, it has limited interaction between the learners, teachers and the computer itself. It is all too often a "click-and-go" approach, which can mean that the student is not given sufficient scaffolding or support in the learning process. Secondly, it creates the tendency of the learners to operate a binary correction strategy whereby the learners use the assumption 'If X is wrong, then Y must be the answer'. HOT POTATOES could only be used as a self-learning or a self assessment tool, but does not have merit as a testing tool.
In brief, HOT POTATOES is a tool that assist the teacher to embrace the technology in classrooms. It will give new opportunities to empower students to reach new heights. I believe when the teachers keep students away from technology, they take away the opportunities that are readily available overseas.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Friday, 30 July 2010

the address!

This is the address for the website that I'd evaluated: 
www.eslus.com/eslcenter.htm

These are the REFERENCES that I'd used:

Brown, H.D (2000). Teaching by Principle:An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. New York: Longman.

Santrock, J.W (2008). Educational Psychology.  New York: McGraw-Hill International Edition. 

Warscheur, M. (1996). Computer Assisted Language Learning: an Introduction. Retrieved July 25,2010 from http://www.ict4lt.org/en/warschauer.htm

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

ESL website evaluation

1) What does the application attempt to "teach"?
     This website application is designed for both learners and teachers in the course of teaching and learning English. It covers all for skills of English;(1) reading; (2) writing; (3) listening; (4) speaking which focuses more on pronunciation. This website offers three categories of contents which are Lessons and Exercises, Information and Tools and Resources and Links. Each category of the have different  contents. The exercises are prepared to suit learners' level of proficiency of English language. Most of the texts in the exercises are not up-to-dated since those texts do not cover the current issues. Those texts also do not suitable to be related to the Malaysian context. The website makes use of the language skills to its full potential. The skills do not incorporated in one exercise which is good for the beginner and intermediate learners. The exercises in this website can be completed by the learner himself or herself.  

2) What sorts of things is the application user expected to do with regards to learning the content?
    The application user is required to answer simple questions which are provided in the exercises. The user can just click on the right answer in every exercise. Once the user completed the question, immediate feedback will be popped out. Multiple choice questions, filling in the blanks and text completion are the examples of the exercises. This website promotes autonomy in language learning in which the users have to learn by themselves. Learners are expected to have general knowledge on the subject and they can do the exercises provided by the site. The user can simply choose the level of the exercises that he or she wants to do. Learner is given the choice of his or her own learning and he or she can decide to do exercise on a topic or to move on to other topics. In this website, the user can choose to do reading, grammar, listening and they  can improve their spelling, vocabulary, idioms and slang knowledge.

3) What sorts of computer skills is the application users expected to have in order to operate/access/use the application? 
   The simple skill by using the mouse is involved in most of the activities. A beginner computer-user with limited computer skills can run and access the application perfectly by himself or herself. There are no higher-level computer skills needed to operate the application. In brief, skill in operating a computer mouse is all the user needs in order to operate the application. The user only needs to click on the right answer to the question. Of course, for the listening activity, the user needs to have speakers (built in or a proper one) and Javascript and Flash application for the games.

4) While you are "playing"/"accessing"/"assessing" the application, does it remind you of anything you do in a classroom, or with a teacher, or with a fellow classmate, or in self-study?
   The language in this website appears in the forms of writing, reading, listening and speaking. In a deeper insight, the quality of task is not only concerning to language learning potential but also the language use that the learners normally come upon whether  inside or outside the classroom. Learning a language does not only mean the ability to speak in the language, but also to be able to understand the language in order to communicate effectively with other speakers. Moreover, the application in the website has created an environment in which an authentic communication can take place. In other words, the language form used in the application can be related to real-life situations in which it is a common conversation between the learners with teacher and fellow classmates. By accessing this website by myself, it reminds me the activities that  I used to do in class. It replaces the norm routine which is chalk and talk. This application is very much similar  in getting immediate remedial feedback from a teacher when the utterances or responses are incorrect. As suggested by Garrett (1991), internet is a source of limitless authentic materials.
5) Can you pinpoint some theories of language learning and/or teaching underlying the application?
    Obviously, when a computer is regarded as an assistance of language learning, it plays its significant roles as a tutor, a stimulus and a tool. Evaluating this website, two relevant theories of language learning and teaching can be taken into a worth discussion; Communicative Language Learning Theory and Integrative Language Learning Theory. These two theories will be discussed briefly from the perspectives of computer assisted language learning (CALL). According to John Underwood (1984), communicative CALL allows and encourages students to generate original utterances rather than just manipulate prefabricated language.
ESL Resource Center provides opportunity for individual learners to listen to the native speaker’s spoken language either in terms of dialect, pronunciation or intonation. Therefore, when they are listening to the language, they are able to put an attempt in pronouncing the words correctly at the same moment. Other than that, Underwood (1984) has also mentioned that communicative CALL does not judge and evaluate everything the students nor reward them with congratulatory messages, lights, or bells. Regarding to this issue, the success or failure messages in the application are similar in appearance. Consequently, the learners will be more appreciate their own pace and keep motivated in learning as the matter of individual different linguistic ability is taken into serious consideration. Next, the use of multimedia and the internet leads to Integrative Language Learning Theory. According to Mark Warschauer (1996), a more authentic learning environment is created, since listening is combined with seeing, just like in the real world. Undoubtedly, the application in ESL Resource Center allows learners to experience meaningful learning environment when listening, speaking and reading are integrated in a single activity. The lesson seems to be more interactive and the learners can feel the authentic educational setting while they are doing the task. In this respect, the quality of the application is in relation to the quality of teaching and learning strategies particularly in acquiring a second language. From humanistic approach, it seems like Experiential Learning theory by Carl Rogers goes well with this application. It emphasizes on the psychomotor aspects of language learning by involving learners in physical action into which language is included and reinforced (Brown, 2000). The user of the application may use trial and error technique whereby he or she will learn from making mistake in each of the exercise.
6) How well is the constructivist theory of learning applied to the chosen website(s)?
    Most researchers in educational field have suggested that constructivist theory of learning is a fundamental theme of many education reform changes. It can be concluded that the theory emphasizes on the higher order educational objectives. Constructivist theory is referred as a learner-centered approach that emphasizes the importance of individuals  actively constructing their knowledge and understanding with guidance from the teacher (Santrock,2008). The ESL Resource Center website is empowering the learners to understand the language beyond the lines as they have to understand the syntax that requires their cultural knowledge and wide worldview in order to give the right answers. The role of the teacher as the facilitator is replaced by the hint in the exercise. From the social constructivist viewpoint, it is important to take into account the background and culture of the learners throughout the learning process, as this background also helps to shape the knowledge and truth that the learners create, discover and attain in the learning process(Wertsch, 1997). To sum up, the application in the website offers not only the understanding of the correctness of language forms but it also emphasizes on the appropriateness of the language functions.
7) In 1980s and early 1990s, there was a major debate on 'whether the computer was "master" of or "slave" to the learning process (Higgins and Johns, 1984). In relation to your evaluation - was the computer a replacement for teachers, or merely an obedient servant to students?
     Taylor (1980) has expressed that computer assisted language learning programs can be wonderful stimuli for second language learning. It almost goes without saying but I believe no matter how advanced this world is, the teacher’s basic role as a resource person is still needed. Computer is used as a medium of student-centered learning thus independent learners can be produced. In fact, the computer remains the "knower-of-the-right-answer" (Taylor & Perez, 1989). The learners can simply evaluate and enhance their academic performance when the individual needs have been achieved. In this way, they are able to build their self-instruction strategies.Technology is used as a reliable time saving replacement for pen-and-paper task. The tasks of the language classroom remain the same, but now they are facilitated by a fast technology device. The technology becomes as much a part of the user's catalogue of resources as tabulated information and language know-how inside the head. As a result, this feature can promote a sense of intrinsic motivation among learners. Furthermore, this individualized technology-learning environment is beneficial for both lower and higher achievers of ESL learners.
8) Would you like to use the application yourself in your future work?
    Yes, I would like to use the application in my future work due to some unique and special features. The justifications can be derived from Malaysian context. The first feature can be seen from the empirical analysis of the learner’s performance. The language exercise is not only requiring the linguistic knowledge in giving the correct answers but also the cultural knowledge and analytical thinking skill. In this respect, the language learners are taught to understand the right syntax when the appropriateness of the language use should be taken into account as well. Indirectly, the moral values can be instilled. Thus, it gives positive impacts throughout the learning process. Second, the quality of the task is in line with the research in second language acquisition (SLA) theory. The focus on the language content is clear and accurate. Instead of constructing the questions in the form of speaking only, the application also constructs the questions in the form of written language. This is an alternative way for the learners to read the sentence if it is unclearly spoken by the native speaker. Nevertheless, there is still a requirement for attentive listening skill. As a result, the listening skill combined with the reading process can assist them to diagnose the pronunciation’s problem on certain English words. Third, the main purpose of the quiz is clearly and articulately understood. Plus, the instruction given is understandable. I believe that the application in the website brings the concept of self-learning in a very effective way. In other words, learners have a great control over learning. As proposed by Mark Warschauer (1996), web-based learning programs provide immediate non-judgemental feedback. Since, this is a kind of multiple choice questions (MCQ) so the learners need to intelligently decide the best answer among a list of options. The same thing goes to the writing component. They are able to mark their own answers as the computer itself is the trusty marker. A congratulation message appears if the answer is correct; “Super! Your answer is correct”. Meanwhile, an instant remedial action appears if the answer is wrong; “Sorry, please try again.” In this way, the learners are given the opportunities to select other options so that they are motivated to keep on trying.
Suggestions/Recommendations:
     Firstly, the website's appearance can be improved. The overall layout can be designed to be more appealing and motivating in order to attract the learners’ active participation. The improvements may include the choice of colours, font and settings. One or two suitable graphics are enough to be inserted so that the page could be nicer. Next, the learners’ performance in that application can be enhanced by adding more number of questions. Hence, the learners’ learning outcomes can be measured more accurately. All in all, the web-based learning program can facilitate an integrative approach to using technology.