Ideas for Applying the Edulinc Courseware (from Stage 2)
Ideas for using the courseware from Stage 2 participants. (Refer to the original "Ideas for Applying" glossary In Stage 2 to see who the contributor was.)
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NanoGong Voice Mail
You could create an activity around the Nanogong app about leaving a voicemail message. The learner could respond to instructor created scenarios – phoning in sick at work, cancelling or making and an appointment. You could ask the learners to evaluate their own recording for clarity and content. An additional activity would ask learners to transcribe each other’s voice mail messages. This could stress the importance of leaving a clear concise message.
Nanogongs can be used to track completion of LINC speaking tasks for the PBLA. Using Nanogongs, a file of learner's speaking samples are stored along with feedback and grades from the instructor. The feedback can be provided in audio or written format .This will allow the learner to track his/her progress over the term. This also incorporates technology into the PBLA which is too paper based.
Nanogongs for pronunciation
A good pronunciation exercise is for students to compare their own pronunciation and intonation to that of a native speaker. I would create a new page with a voice recording of myself reading a nursery rhyme, a simple dialogue, or a sequence of sentences. I would then provide the text for that audio with emphasized words and intonation highlighted. Next, I would include a link to a Nanogong activity so that students can record themselves reading the same text. Students can listen and compare to the teacher's recording. As an option, students can submit their final recording for grading.
Using the Choice option, or poll for needs assessment purposes. This will be a great way to solicit information from my students on so many levels.
Needs assessments can be created and used in courses by creating a questionnaire and the rate (scale 1...5) question type. For each unit studied in the class, students can be asked to rate a list of potential themes (e.g. for Canadian Law there could be themes like: reporting a crime, understanding a news story, identifying Canadian laws, etc.). The teacher would then have a quick and easy solution when deciding what themes to cover with the students. Students could also have the option of suggesting additional themes related to these topics in a safe, anonymous way.
Needs Assessments Section
To help students identify their accomplishments as well as assess skills they still need to develop, I created a new course section called Language Needs Assessment which makes the Canadian Language Benchmarks, Can Do Statements and Can Do Checklists available for download. I plan to add other elements soon including a thematic needs assessment form.
New Uses for Old Glossaries
Here are two engaging ways to use glossaries with your learners. These ideas would be best for LINC 4+.
1) Class Cookbook - Learners add an entry for a dish they like to prepare (or eat), including ingredients and directions. Consider having learners take and upload a photo of the dish as well. In the end you have a delicious way to practice English online...and at the grocery store, and then again in the kitchen!
Learners can then use the comments section of the entries to give feedback, make suggestions, and talk about what they liked and didn't like (politely of course!)
2) Online Photo Challenge Contest - Use the glossary and the random glossary entry block to put together a photo contest. Go around your community and take vaguely vague photos of popular landmarks, important service centres, or community gathering spots. Add the photos to the glossary using the concept, "Where/What do you think this is?", and give the learners a week to guess and try to be the first to get the right answer in the comments on the entry. Use the random glossary entry block to remind them/pique their interest in the contest.
To take this one to a higher level of learning, tell students that they must name the place, and phone for/look up the business hours and address as well (for higher levels - the history/social importance if applicable). This is a good way to spice things up, make community connections in a fun way, and to use the 'contest' to fire your learners up.
Thanks for reading, I hope you find these ideas useful and engaging for your courses.
News discussion forum
Excellent tool for students to compose short paragraphs in class and then type out the edited version.It also enables them to comment on each others writing.
News Discussion Forums
Each day/week, the teacher can post a link to a news article for students to read. Students then respond and post what they thought about the article. Students can learn to agree/disagree respectfully, how to share opinions, and demonstrate comprehension of the reading exercise. Responses are monitored by the teacher.
News Forum as a trigger for encouraging "real world" activities
I love sharing my passion for community activities with students. Most of my learners need a little "push" to practice English in "the real world". I try to think of activities that correspond to learning tasks for the unit. In August, I encouraged students to go to the "Celebration of Light" downtown. They were given directions to follow, encouraged to upload and share photos and write about their experience. It was great to see even 3 of the students participate and encourage other students to experience a variety of cultural events.