lunedì 31 luglio 2017

Podcasts and ELT

Podcasts   offer great opportunities  for  listening in English .Teachers and learners can benefit from  working online  and listening to them. In some cases learners can also  download them  and listen to them  many times so that they can  work on the language and  on summarizing the content.

Good leaners  need to work on their  listening skills and today we can really  improve our level of English. Teachers can rely on  them for learning more about  the topics they are interested in and these podcasts can provide really interesting documents which are worth  listening to. 

This interesting  webinar with  Pete Sharma  explains why we should  use  them and suggest listening to them :  I cannot but  agree with him.  The Language exposure can develop our students' listening skills and  podcasts can provide good quality language input.

Some Useful Links for  Elt  Learners

Searching online : thanks to a directory you can search online and find many weblinks for  English leaners.   ( it provides with  some old  podcasts with  different levels of English)

VOE LEARNING  ENGLISH : this American  website offers interesting recording which students can listen to and which have been developed for  Elt leaners   (

The BBC: the webisite offers a lot of material, in some cases you need to download  the podcasts.

If you check online you will find a lot  of interesting podcasts and all of threm deal with culture and radios. Choose what might be interesting and  work on them with your students.

Learners of  English can benefit from  listening to activities with podcasts :   the British  Council offers really interesting  activities  online


I have discovered a lot of interesting websites where you can find  podcasts-
is one of the most important ones.

You can find interesting interviews in English and learn about many topics.

The Platform AUDIOBOOM  offers some more opportunities for listening to interesting  audios:

There are many  podcasts and we need to select what might be useful for our  lessons or for our  self-development.

Listen to what I have  found online, but  I am sure that there must be many more.

Enjoy  listening to them!!!

mercoledì 19 luglio 2017

Teaching Reading and Extensive Reading in ELT

Last year I could do an interesting Mooc thanks to Coursera and it was a Mooc which was focussed on the issue of Teaching  Reading Skills in English.
The course was  Teaching  EFL/ESL Reading : A Task-based Approach and  it was run by the University of London UCL Institute of Education.

One of the language  instructor was Dr. Amos Paran :

The syllabus was based on 6 modules :each week we had a task to do and to discuss the issue with the other learners.

These are the main topics which we covered in the syllabus :

- What is tasked based Language Teaching?
- What is Reading and what does it involve?
-  Teaching  reading in the Second Language Classroom
-  Focus on Language in the  Reading  Lesson
-  Extensive Reading
-  Designing  Reading Tasks

 I am particularly interested in reading as I feel that reading is a skill which needs to be enhanced    and which requires a lot of work done at home.
Good learners are usually good readers and most of the students I teach need to be supported by the teachers as they are struggling learners.

One of the activities which we had to share had to do with creating a learning  environment where students are encouraged to read.

This is my task where I explained the importance of a  classroom library and how technology can help them share their ideas about what they have learnt or read about:

All the activities were assessed by peers and I had to focus on the tasks of the other learners.
For the fifth week I had to present my Extensive Reading Assignment: you can find it online as I have published it:  

Coursera Module 5 Presentation About Extensive Reading Peer Graded Assignment

Finally in the sixth week  I created my  Task-based Reading Task:  I feel that if we  worked by following these ideas  dealing  with tasks we could probably reach better results in the students' language acquisition and improvement.   You can find my task  here :

I really liked the approach  and I think that we should more  focus on task-based tasks  as traditional approaches do not help our  learners.
Engagement, doing tasks which can help the learners to learn also by doing and reading to widen the cultural horizon of the learners is a way for achieving better results and becoming better learners.
I will focus on some websites which offer interesting reading tasks online and ebooks  in my next posts.

                                                Resources to learn more about  TBA
My post about  TBA:

Here is an interesting  interview with  Prof. Ellis  dealing with the issue of  task-based approach

venerdì 14 luglio 2017

PBL: interesting resources and ideas in today's webinar by Shelly Terrell

Project  Based  Learning

Project Based Learning

Friday night is  my  favourite day spent online  while learning from the others for just half an hour . I am a life-long learner and I love to learn from a  great  teacher and  expert in new  technologies I have met online: Shelly  Terrell.

You can see her  30 minute  webinars which  are  followed by  passionate  teachers and  learners from all over the world who want to learn about   the use of  new technologies and can help them develop  better  lessons.

Her webinars are free and can be followed  by anyone: here is the link to the service which you can access if you want to follow her presentations  - Uk time 9:00 p.m. in the  summer time.

This Friday she  worked on  PBL by  providing  some tips and  a long list of resources.  I had  followed her webinar last year too and  I am just embedding the many recources which she  shared on line and which I will check in the next weeks.

First of all, I need to say that after doing the Mooc about  PBL I became aware of the importance of collaboration and the use of webtools in education. PBL can really  change our way of working and Shelly  reminded us that  education and  learning  need to provide topics and issue for discussion and also for carrying out  researches.  When I was  a secondary school student  part of my tasks  were based on doing  researches and working in team but we could not work from home by using  internet or a smartphone. Now our  students can  work from home, in school and with  people living in different countries.

Project Based Learning with Technology from Shelly Sanchez Terrell

Shelly presented the main framework of what we  mean by  PBL and  provided  some tools and activities which we  can use when we work on  PBL  activities.

Why PBL?

There are many  reasons for  choosing   it .
Online you can rely on the  great  site  ttp://  which can  provide you with lots of ideas and tips.

"PBL is an effective and enjoyable way to learn - and develop deeper learning competencies required for success in college, career, and civic life. "  
See   more  online

Shelly has provided us with a webpage  where she has collected most of the resources related to   PBL:

The main  steps of  PBL  can be  summarized  into these   steps:

1) starting with a  problem

2) working with the students in Group to discuss the problem 

3) reseraching the problem

4)  finding  a solution

5)  working on a presentation or  a product

The driving   question

When dealing with  step one-  we need to be able to find a  driving  question that can explain the problem

The driving question is important as it will guide the project work.

 For the  students it creates interest and a feeling of challenge . 

Working on  PBL tasks implies  teaching  and working in a  different  way and  students will work with new tools and collaborate, they will work on different   skills and  develop skills which they need in real life.

More references are online:    ( ideas about  action  research)

Some examples of   PBL in  Europe :  E-twinning

In  Europe we have  good  examples of projects like   E-twinning  :
I have not worked on this project but   I know that classes  work together on some topics and they make videos, learning  diaries and webpages  showcasing   what the students have done. 

Link to some  projects


Shelly  reminded us of the importance of  evaluation and  provided us with some links  which  need to be  checked to find out more:       ( you can  find  a rubric for downloading)


After checking on line   I could  find these interesting  links for  webtools in  PBL:

A  good   website created by a teacher who shared tools for  PBL:

Thank you   Shelly for your  great support online: I will study more to develop  my   students' skillls and I really think that   PBL   can  be  a great   journey into learning. 

sabato 8 luglio 2017

Once you go global , there's no coming back - a webinar with Fabiana Casella

8th July 2017

An interesting webinar which I saw in July was presented by  Fabiana  Casella for IATEFL webinars online-
She is a great teacher who shares her ideas with other  teachers and has built a community of learners thanks to her network and her activities online.

Here is an interview which  she had with Shelly Sanchez  Terrell:

The main  focus of her webinar : the beginning was  about the way she became engaged in cultural awareness and global education.   She's from Argentina but she has lived in the USA and once she got back home she started to work on the idea of working with the others and sharing ideas about  the opportunities offered by  global education projects.
First of all she found a  great mentor online and then she started sharing and working online.
Shelly Sanchez Terrell made her change her attitude and while working online she  became an open educator.

She said that she is shy but after meeting virtual educators she started working online and sharing ideas and working on her  PLN:

The webinar focussed on the importance of being connected and how she built  great projects by using technology so that her students would work with other students.
She mentioned Skype as an interesting tool used for sharing ideas with other students living far away from her country.
You can find a report about her work online and her project in this  interview:

The other educators shared the project in their blogs too: I must say that  I loved what I saw.  Engaged educators loving working together in different parts of the world with  their classes.

This is her Padlet where she collected the main documents to showcase what this international
 group  had done together:

Made with Padlet

The project she shared with us is also described in these  slides :

We're on the air from Theodora Papapanagiotou

In the final part of the webinar Fabiana  shared her ideas about  the best tools that she likes using when teaching  English:




Thanks to IATEFL for giving us the possibility of meeting  FABIANA online.   She was really  engaging in providing tips and presenting herself as a connected educator who has worked on her  development and now has a social life which is in relationship with other great  educators.

It is true :  Once you go global, there's no coming back.

More  ideas  from  Fabiana Casella and education

Finally my  certificate of Attendance from IATEFL :