Sunday, May 6, 2012

“How would you use Real English website with 1st grade students-intermediate school in Yanbu”

 “How would you use Real English website with 1st grade students-intermediate school in Yanbu” The level of the students is false beginners.

At the beginning, I would like to clarify the site Real English. It is a completely free site for learning English. Original videos & interactive lessons, an English teacher always present to help you, and a Community of teachers & students learning together. It is one of the sites that distinctive and very useful for learning and teaching English from the beginner to advance levels.

Now, let me explain how can I use it with my 1st grade students-intermediate school in Yanbu. First of all, watch them the video without subtitles. Second, let them try to solve all the exercises of that video. Third, watch them the video again but with English subtitles, and let them listen carefully to the people in this video, because they speak fast. Finally, let them try to make same dialogue between each other inside the classroom to develop their communication skills.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

” The role of WebQuests in learning a foreign/second language”

WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity that uses resources on the World Wide Web. WebQuests pull together the most effective instructional practices into one integrated student activity. WebQuests are interesting and motivating to teachers and students. An effective WebQuest develops critical thinking skills and often includes a cooperative learning component. WebQuest is “an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all of the information that learners work with comes from the Web”.

Critical thinking is aspect of WebQuests that is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information. Teachers can improve students' critical thinking skill by using WebQuest when they are uploading a task that helps them to Identify and articulate similarities and differences between things. They could help them through the task that require students to identify and articulate errors in one's own or others' thinking Or Identify and articulate personal perspectives about issues.

WebQuests promote collaboration when students learn how to collaborate with their classmates, with students in other classrooms, or with students halfway around the world. They can also contact area experts by using e-mail, the Internet, and video conferencing. Webquests tend to be student-oriented and collaborative when students engaged in constructivist activities resulting in shared learning experiences and new knowledge based on enquiry-oriented language use and Web research skills.

Project-based learning (PBL), one of the enduring approaches to education that supports the use of Webquests, is focused on the learner constructing meaning and knowledge from an assigned activity. PBL gives a variety of learning styles and multiple forms of intelligence have a real world authentic orientation. It allows students to choice, encourages higher-order thinking, and uses hand-on experiences and various modes of communication. It makes Students responsible for their own learning and the teacher's role is that of a facilitator.

Finally, I think I will use WebQuest with my EFL students, because WebQuest help students explore issues, solve problems, and collaborate with their peers. Also, It promotes high-level thinking and problem-solving skills.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Websites Evaluation

We found this website for learning English to a foreign language students EFL.
The accessibility and usability of this website was excellent. The text size and style was good and easy to read and using colors was excellent, it was very clear for kids and very attractive. The text and links were good and well organized. The page and graphics were excellent and load quickly. The graphics also very good, it fits with the theme and purpose of the page. The links were good and easy to read. The links good and clearly state what page or site they lead to and they were good when clicked, the links worked correctly. Wonderful things from this site that there was a space for chats and give opinions and this site also supports different languages such as Arabic, Chinese,,etc.

Also we found this website. It's for teaching and learning language as a second language.
It includes activities and quizzes for ESL learners, it was very easy to access and the links were very clear. What we didn't like about it was the style and the colors used in the site were very pale, there was no creativity at all, learners will not find it interesting or attractive. Also, in some pages the font was very small and it will be difficult for learner to read. We found in some quizzes (it was MCQ) that the learner should write the correct answer instead of just clicking it, we didn't like it. In summary, the contents were good but the way it has been presented was very boring. 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants

I consider myself as a Digital native student, because I prefer to learn by using media, networks and graphics rather than the old 
traditional way.

Marcy Prensky said; today's students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors. The digital natives Prensky describes are surrounded by digital media to such an extent that their brain structures may be different from those of previous generations. On the other hand, he describes Digital Immigrant teachers as a teachers who are typically have very little appreciation for these new skills that the Natives have acquired and perfected through years of interaction and practice. These skills are almost totally foreign to the Immigrants, who themselves learned – and so choose to teach – slowly, step-by-step, one thing at a time, individually, and above all, seriously. They don't believe their students can learn successfully while watching TV or listening to music, because they can't. They didn't practice this skill constantly for all of their formative years. Digital Immigrants think learning can't be fun.
There are many differences between Digital Immigrant teachers and Digital Native students. Digital Immigrant teachers learned themselves and choose to teach slowly, step-by-step, one thing at a time, individually, and above all, seriously and Digital Native students receiving information really fast. They like to parallel process and multi-task. They prefer their graphics before their text rather than the opposite.
The “digital immigrant accent” can be seen in such things as turning to the Internet for information second rather than first, or in reading the manual for a program rather than assuming that the program itself will teach us to use it. There are a lot of examples of the digital immigrant accent. They include printing out your email and bringing people physically into your office to see an interesting web site (rather than just sending them the URL). Also “Did you get my email?” phone call.

According to Prensky, hat is the biggest serious problem facing education today because our Digital Immigrant instructors, who speak an outdated language, are struggling to teach a population that speaks an entirely new language.

Prensky said; that Kids born into any new culture learn the new language easily, and forcefully resist using the old. He suggested reconsider both our methodology and our content to coup with the Native students. First, our methodology. He said; teachers have to learn to communicate in the language and style of their students. This doesn’t mean changing the meaning of what is important, or of good thinking skills. But it does mean going faster, less step-by step, more in parallel, with more random access, among other things. Second, our content. There are two kinds of content: “Legacy” content and "Future” content.
Prensky said; as educators, we need to be thinking about how to teach both Legacy and Future content in the language of the Digital Natives. The first involves a major translation and change of methodology; the second involves all that PLUS new content and thinking. So we have to invent, but not necessarily from scratch. Adapting materials to the language of Digital Natives has already been done successfully. The solution Prensky proposes is for today's teachers to learn the language of the natives, to speed up instruction, and to provide "random access". Prensky argues for a new way of looking at educational content as well. A category that he calls "legacy content" consists of traditional subjects such as reading, writing, and logical thinking; "future content" is "digital and technological," including such subjects as "software, hardware, robotics, nanotechnology and genomics" as well as the "ethics, politics, sociology, languages, and other things that go with them". His preference for teaching Digital Natives is to invent computer games to do the job, even for the most serious content. After all, it's an idiom with which most of them are totally familiar.
Finally, If Digital Immigrant educators really want to reach Digital Natives, all their students they will have to change. It's high time for them to stop their grousing, and as the Nike motto of the Digital Native generation says, “Just do it!” They will succeed in the long run and their successes will come that much sooner if their administrators support them.

“How would I use blogs, wikis and delicious with my EFL students?”

“How would I use blogs, wikis and delicious

 with my EFL students?”

In my opinion, I think using different social networks and book marketing such as; Blogger, Wiki space and Delicious, will help EFL students in so many ways. Nowadays, using technology in education become more important and very useful for deliver information to EFL students in easy and enjoyable way. For me, if I become a teacher of EFL students I will use these sites to develop them in different ways as I'll explain that below;
Blogger is a blog-publishing service that allows private or multi-user blogs with time-stamped entries. Blog is one of the very good and useful tools for students. I would like to teach my students first, how they can be use it. Second, ask them to create an account and following each others. Third, ask them to write posts and add comments for each other's without copy and paste. I think by using this way they will learn faster how to communicate with others and how to connect with any teachers or students of English around the world. Also, they can share their ideas with others confidently.
Wikispaces is a hosting service -sometimes called a wiki farm-. I would use wiki with my students and first, I will teach them how to use it and how to create an account in it. Second, ask them to divide themselves to a group works and give them tasks and activities related to the subject. So, every group should work together and then I will ask them to put their works on wiki group link –e- profiles side.  

Delicious is a social bookmarking web service for storing, sharing, and discovering web bookmarksI would like to use it with my students. First, I will teach my students how to use it. Second, ask them to make their own Delicious so they can bookmark the important websites and share them with their classmates. Third, ask them to  bookmark articles and links that relate to teaching skills; speaking, listening, reading, and writing to become better in English.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Application of Bax Normilasation in Saudi Arabia: The how!"

Stephan Bax argues that, "Our aim should be to attain a state of `normalization' in which the technology is invisible and truly integrated"

A. In brief, paraphrase the changes which Bax suggested and the means proposed of achieving normalizations.
When I read the article of "CALL—past, present and future ", I found it talked about the history of CALL and what it has been and where and the phases of CALL that Warschauerdiscussed. Also, a critical examination and reassessment of the history of CALLSince CALL was invented, technology was developing continuously in our lives because of its importance in teaching and learning. CALL was divided into three phases which are "behaviouristic", "communicative" and "integrative''.
Stephen Bax suggests changes and means proposed of achieving normalization. First, he requires using computer in classroom practice and in the syllabuses to facilitate and improve learning. Second, there should be training programs that can help teachers and students to use computer in a correct way. Finally, he requires fuller integration into administrative procedures and syllabuses. In order to achieve normalization, CALL should be invisible. In conclusion, if we take our aim to be normalization, and then work for ways of achieving it efficiently, computers can finally achieve their proper place and true potential in the classroom.

B. Explain how these changes and means could be applied to our Saudi context
I think it will not be easy process, but if we compare the education system in Saudi Arabia between now and before six or seven years, we will find a lot of changes. I believe we are able to include technology in our education since we have all the factors and materials to make such a technological educational environment because we have a good idea about technology.    So, I think it will not be difficult to achieve normalization, but first we have to do many changes in the education systems. First of all, computers should be use in classroom context as tools to improve learning. Second, teach students how to use communication web sites like face book and twitter to communicate with the teacher. Finally, provide schools and universities with good and useful tools such as projector, smart board and laptop. However, I think Saudi Arabia has a lot of abilities and achievements which can develop our education in a short time.