Thursday, September 13, 2007

mailbox sharing - mixed bag

Maybe I should just call this "from the (e)mail bag." And it's quite a "mixed bag" too. I'm sharing some pages / posts / items from my mailbox that you might find useful or at least interesting:

Posted to TESL list:

Online activities from Multi-CulturalEducational Services

From Merton Bland on teaching spoken English:
ÏéÎä ÃÏ (mengxiangwu) wants to know how to teach spoken English. There is no better way than by using the language to communicate real ideas. Please don't try to make your students memorize rules, or recite vocabulary lists. Make them need to express themselves in English. Make them need to understand English. Teach anything else in English: science, history, foreign culture, or whatever. Let them watch movies in English (without subtitles). Have them make reports in English on the VOA or BBC news broadcasts, explaining the importance of individual news items. Do not let any other language be spoken in your classroom, especially announcements that effect them. To teach spoken English, use it.

Copyright-free reading material on the Internet:
Posted on TESL list by a non-native English teacher in the Phillipines:
I am a student teacher here at the University of Santo Tomas, Philippines. I would like to share to you one of the things that I've learned from one of my English professors. According to her, students using English as their second language may tend to think in their native language and translate their thoughts in English as they communicate. This may be why some students ask to translate a certain word to their native language to be able to understand the meaning of that word. However, as English teachers, we should not let our students learn the language this way. Instead, we have to encourage them to think in English so that they will be able to communicate spontaneously. I suggest that in teaching vocabulary to second language learners, we can use context clues. The students may not know the meaning of a word through its translation, but at least they can relate a certain word to their schema and that would make it much easier to decode its meaning. Plus, there is another advantage in using context clues to figure out meanings: it can alsoimprove comprehension skills.

Resources at
  • "Smithsonian Global Sound"found at features a searchable database of collections of music from all over theworld (1000s of tracks). You can get a small sample of each clip forfree and then purchase a track as a download if you want.
  • "Radio Global Sound" streams selections from the site for free at At the Radio Global Sound site, there is a"recording info" button to click on to find out just what you are listening to, because many times, unless you're a longtime fan of"folkways" records, you'll have no clue!
  • "Global Sound Live" section at features videos of live performances of an incredible variety of musical styles from all over the world.

This should be more than enough to keep you busy, give you something to read in English, provide study resources and above all - more to think about.

Needless to say, feedback and comments welcomed and encouraged.

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