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EFL Best Practices

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Teaching EFL Best Practices


Rafael Murillo and I (Jose Rodriguez) ESL (English as a Second Language; in the States; English as a Foreign Language, everywhere else) teachers in Los Angeles, CA (USA), will be hosting a live talk. Join us as we discuss English As a Foreign Language Best Practices. Fellow ESL/EFL teachers will share best practices for teaching English. How do you embed technology into your Language Teaching?


9:00 a.m. on Saturday August 11, 2007


This is live, interactive webcast. Participants will be using text chat at http://webcastacademy.net/chat You can listen to live conversation at http://webcastacademy/listen

To participate in conversation live you need. Skype http://www.skype.com; requires download and set up. You'll need headset with mic. or a computer with built in microphone. USB all in one works best. Otherwise you can listen to stream on Internet and text your comments and questions in chat room.


I. Introduction:  Give a few minutes for everybody to get into chat room and start listening to stream.  About 5-7 min.  Also before intro.  Acknowledge who is in the chat room. Chat question; If you teach EFL, tell us where you are and what level you teach? 


Who we are and why we are doing this show.  Do official intro at 9:10

(Jose talks)  Welcome everybody to  Teaching English As a Foreign Language Best Practices Webcast.  My name is Jose Rodriguez and my co-host Rafael Murillo. We are Adult ESL teachers in Los Angeles CA.  We are Webcasting live on Sanbox A in the Webcast Academy.  (Rafael talks) Thank you for joining us. Our topic today is "How do you use technology in your EFL classroom?"  We are going explore the following themes;  What we are doing now, introducing Web 2.0 into the EFL classroom and Connecting with other classrooms and EFL teachers.  If anyone has any questions during the talk, please put them in the chatroom.  We will also have an open forum at the end where you can come into our skype conference to share your ideas with us.  Let's start with some background. 



II. Background; what we are doing now.  What are we doing now?  This question can be answered by looking at how we present content or the curriculum and how our students practice language skills learned.  Technology can be as simple as using an overhead projector to present lessons  or using cassette players to play dialogs.  If we lucky enough we may have access to a projector to present our lessons in Power Point. Depending on  where you teach; you may be able to supplement the curriculum with resources found on the internet. 


1. How are teachers using technology to teach English (EFL or ESL)?

  Teachers can find resources online to teach grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and other essential language skills.  These resources can even be used by students to practice these skills.  Some examples of resources found online are sites like;

    English Club: http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/index.htm

    Activities for ESL/EFL Students;  http://a4esl.org  We'll go ahead and drop the link for you to take a look.  You can search for google and flikr images to teach and reinforce vocabulary. You may  have your own favorite sites.  Nevertheless these kinds of sites do not do anything new.  It is traditional teaching with bells and whistles.




III. Introducing Web 2.0 into the EFL/ESL Classroom

             We want to offer a different model to teach and learn English.  Bringing in Web 2.0 tools into your classroom can help in achieving this.  We are looking at tools that allow our students to Interact with the Language they are learning , thus becoming active participants. 


a. Using classroom Blogs

             With the read write web came tools like blogs. Creating a classroom blog is an opportunity to engage your students in a conversation about learning English.  You can create a classroom blog where they are responding to teacher prompts or even posting their own reflections. They practice their reading and writing skills in an authentic learning environment.  As a teacher you can post pictures to reinforce vocabulary. You can even create a group blog where every student has an individual blog.  Here is an example of a classroom blog I began with my summer school students;  http://englishlearnings.wordpress.com/ This is still in the beginning stages.  I was using one teacher computer. 


b. Using audio and video

             There now so many audio visual tools to make language teaching and learning more interesting.  There are podcasts for language learning;  An example is ESL Pod;  http://www.eslpod.com/website/index.php  It has complete lessons for teaching language skills. The challenge is creating you own.  This can be achieved by exploring the current theme.  You can then produce a skit or dialog.  This can be recorded with an mp3 player.  A lot of mp3 players come with an internal microphone.  This mp3 file can be uploaded to classroom blog for students to listen to or download.  Wouldn't this be a great class assignment? You can train your students to do the actual production, editing and posting of audio.  The possibilities for video are also great!  Teachers are posting language learning videos to places like teachertube; an example is Homes Around the World. It does a tour of different homes all over the world; http://www.teachertube.com/view_video.php?viewkey=c83107e5e385ccc6429d  


IV.  Connecting with other classrooms

a. EFL teachers and Social Networks like Webheads in Action.

             With the development of the World Wide Web we are now able to go beyond our classroom walls.  We can connect our students with all over the world.  Graham Stanley has done the World Conversation Club;  Where students learning English meet and have a conversation to practice their English this is and example; http://eflbridges.net/node/99  An Idea I had also was to connect my ESL classroom blog with another classroom blog. I thought of using the idea blog buddies just like we had pen pals before.  For teachers of EFL and ESL. The recent WiaOC 2007 (Web heads in Action Online Conference) was an awesome experience to see what other practicioners are doing all over the world.  The link is here;  http://webheadsinaction.org/Presentations   That's not even mentioning what is happening in other online environments like Distance Learning and Second Life.  It's all about developing as educators and building independent learners. 


II. Roundtable Discussion: Participants to give their thoughts on ideas presented in show.

             Now we are going to move on to our Round table discussion.  We would like to invite anyone who would like to give us your thoughts on what we presented today.  You can put your question in the text chat room.  You can also skype us directly; Jose's skype id is coordinatortwo. We are dropping it into the chatroom now.  You can skype him directly and he'll bring you into the conference call.  Also share with us how you use technology in your classroom. 


1. How do you use technology in your classroom?

2. Question and Answer Session


          This has been Jose Rodriguez and Rafael Murillo. Thanks everyone for stopping buy and participating in our Webcast.  Special thanks to all the Webcast Academy interns for your support and our Coaches; Jeff Lebow, Susan Ettenheim, Cheryl Oakes, Lee Baber, and many others that bring these tools to teachers like us.  We have been broadcasting on the World Bridges Network .  This session is recorded and will be available to all at the Webcast Academy Site; www.webcastacademy.net


Ok Jeff go ahead and kick us off the stream!  It should now be between 45 after showtime. 





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