The tell-tale heart

*No, not Edgar Allan Poe, yet.

You and your pupils 🙂

“Once upon a time, in the lost gardens of a virtuous land, there was an aspiring but naive teacher who started an educational blog. She was so enthusiastic about writing on that very teeny-tiny blog. Every day and night, she dreamed of what to write; she planned ceaselessly countless essays with titles yet nothing more. Alas, a wicked, atrocious, petrifying day had come. She dropped all hopes and dreams into a fathomless, putrid hole where never-ending, severe, heart-pounding, mind-numbing remorse roamed with terror and agony alongside…” 

You are all hooked on, aren’t you? It makes you wonder now what that terrible day was if she has overcome or not. It is not magic. It is the power of words, the power of storytelling. I could have bluntly just told you how lazy I was, but it would not have engaged you this much to this post. It would be yet another thing I wrote here. Because storytelling is not just randomly telling or talking about something. It requires imagination, immense description skills, and a little bit of acting.

Here is what I mean: 

Now, try re-reading the story by imagining that I am right in front of you, telling you the story of my laziness by using my gestures, my voice, and a little bit of drama. I am moving around. You are with me, sitting on your chairs or cushions, etc. Try feeling your presence. You are watching me, listening to me attentively. It does change the whole experience, doesn’t it? 

As we all know, storytelling has an impact on foreign and second language learners.  Many researchers and educators have published research papers and books on the benefits of using it in our classrooms. Even the acclaimed book series; “Resource books for teachers” by Alan Maley had a storytelling book with activities. However, how much of this knowledge do we apply to our day-to-day teaching? When we use storytelling as a tool, how much of it is storytelling? Is it just read, listen and do worksheets? More importantly, as educators, are we aware of the difference between reading a story and telling a story?

I decided to write a post in two parts on this topic and my ultimate observation on storytelling, Denmark, and its Friskoles.

From my mouth to your ears

It shouldn’t be shocking that storytelling is not only part of our lessons, but also our everyday life since we all (incl. the whole world) started to preserve and communicate our cultures through the oral tradition or oral storytelling. Before we wrote, we spoke. It functioned to entertain, to educate. Socrates taught his pupils, such as Plato, with storytelling, not just with heated discussions or debates on forums. Plato, who must have been influenced by his mentor, actually gave quite a huge importance to education and in his Socratic dialogue Republic, he mentioned stories to educate mind and character which were more paramount than educating the physical body: 

“What kind of education shall we give them then? We shall find it difficult to improve on the time-honored distinction between the physical training we give to the body and the education we give to the mind and character.

True.

And we shall begin by educating mind and character, shall we not?

Of course.

In this education you would include stories, would you not?

Yes.”

–Republic: Book II, Plato 

Nevertheless, we always forget that storytelling is not just stories, but songs, poems, epics, etc. It is limitless. As we are more evolved and have other mediums of transferring information, we do not look at storytelling or the oral tradition as we used to. It is simply fantasies, and that is exactly when we start to lose the essence of reality in storytelling. Particularly, when it comes to our lessons, our storytelling is not that authentic as it is in our life. I am not implying that everything can be told for the sake of storytelling, not to forget, our purpose is not just storytelling, and of course, there should be a good and beneficial selection, effective planning, and a purpose but we can at least make our stories less fabricated, superficial and dull.

For the past 8 months, I have been in a very different school in Denmark. They have in fact, a unique methodology and approach when it comes to teaching. The method is based on the teachings of two sweet and old Danish guys, Grundtvig- Kold. In another post, I will talk about these Dane Platos and their methodology, one thing that I want to mention though, is how they relate storytelling with their approach:

“Since Christen Kold began to use it in his pedagogical work, the story has had a special place in the Grundtvig-Kold schools. Kold discovered that through storytelling, he could teach children much more in certain school subjects than through ordinary book teaching. But for Kold, the narrative became not just a pedagogical method in line with other methods. It contains under the right conditions in his view some dimensions that ordinary teaching does not. And the right conditions are partly the teacher’s commitment to the content of the story and partly the idea that the purpose of the story is not only to achieve a certain school knowledge but even more to become wiser about what human life is and what difficulties and joys there are. It is living the life here and now. When it is understood in this way, teachers and students are equal in their approach to storytelling – and therefore storytelling is not only a pedagogical method but also a way of being together. A great way to create mutual understanding and community.”

—Source: Fortælling –http://grundtvig-koldsk-skole.dk/leksikon/fortaelling/

You may think that “Yes, in theory, that sounds nice and *ahem* éducatif. But you cannot just tell stories all the time. There are things to do; homework to check, revisions before exams, etc.” True, but that is why we plan our lessons. Believe me, a revision with storytelling would make much more impact on just us, constantly explaining stuff, and asking them to do the next question. Especially in a language classroom, we expect them to use the language exceptionally in written and *wait-for-it* in oral. Besides, the storyteller does not always need to be the teacher. Our students can become one as well.

It is a continuation of oral tradition. It is a natural and unique human trait. So, we are back to basics. Our ancestors knew none another way than storytelling to educate. In this chaotic era, storytelling is still a way to document. We reminisced a lot on storytelling, and we are almost reaching the destination point. In the second part of this post, we will continue with storytelling and our classes.

Thank you for reading and hanging in there.

K.

More on Storytelling

https://www.nationalgeographic.org/article/storytelling-and-cultural-traditions/

https://study.com/academy/lesson/oral-tradition-of-storytelling-definition-history-examples.html

http://www.virtualmuseum.ca/Exhibitions/Holman/english/storytelling/index.php3

https://owlcation.com/humanities/Oral-Storytelling-an-Ancient-Myth-and-a-Narrative-Poem

https://www.philosophytalk.org/blog/evolution-storytelling

https://thestorytellers.com/plato-on-storytelling/

https://www.scu.edu/character/resources/education-in-platos-republic/

PS: I have even found a Masterclass on storytelling, if you are interested in that, here is the link:

https://www.masterclass.com/classes/levar-burton-teaches-the-power-of-storytelling/chapters/the-importance-of-oral-storytelling#

Another PS: I have just realized, I had another post on storytelling a couple of years ago. At the time, I mainly focused more on digital storytelling, and it was part of my assignment. The reason I emphasize the assignment part is I re-read it and didn’t like it at all. I missed the whole point of storytelling.

Story of a virus and success

About a year ago, there was a huge, heated argument on success within my community. The argument, of course, was ignited by unfair decisions. Nonetheless, the timing was perfect to have such an argument. During a catastrophic pandemic when the education was -obviously- “offline”. At that time, instead of saying a few things on it, I decided to stay silent to observe and see how others were responding to the questions on success.  But why am I writing about it now and bringing it up especially when this blog was long overdue? Guess what pandemic 2.0.  

Academic success?

When the argument started, the center of the discussion was the academic success of high school students. You may be familiar or not, in Turkey you must take the national exam to enroll in a university. Depending on your exam score, you choose to study at which university you want. Private or public. Generally, public universities in Istanbul are considered to be prestigious with a few exceptions from some private universities.  Private universities are always seen with a mentality of “you pay, and you get in.”  The argument indicated that high school graduates from X high school had always enrolled in a private university and private university students had been “unsuccessful” because they couldn’t “score enough” for public universities and this led to the school being academically unsuccessful. Eventually, so many were offended, others agreed, etc. Then long Facebook posts arrived. I have read them. One thing that was common for both parties in this argument was they all defined success as academic. They described the success and defended themselves with the universities they went to with the departments they studied. Only one linked her success to her happiness whichever university she was in or whatever she studied. (Don’t forget this one, we’ll talk about her happiness and success.)  You may think that the proposal was off, so people had to say it the way they can only understand. But for me, it was the same logic with different paraphrasing. Then I started to ponder. What was “success”? Success is an umbrella term. Academic success can’t be the one to represent it, at least for me. I’ve never defined success as something academic. I could have been a dropout or never chosen to study in higher education which would have been fine. But I know that it wouldn’t have been for my community. So, I said hypocrisy.

The hypocrisy of academic success

Academic success has always been important for every school in Turkey whatever their status was. We always congratulated the ones with higher scores. It has always been like that. We only congratulated the school’s honor student’s enrolment on the school page and others are mentioned just in the list. But what about others and the ones who didn’t get enrolled anywhere? My issue was how success was perceived overall. ALL-ACADEMIC.  I went to a public university which I wanted to but I was treated that I was the next Einstein -also my two other cousins-. Being praised was of course always amazing but not because of what university it was. I was bothered by how my success was recognized by the university I went to. If I did not enroll in a university, I am sure that I would be treated differently. We always praise the good, the degrees.  I have never seen someone being praised for not going to university, but you know, just working where s/he is happy in my community. When the schools only focus on academic success, there are also issues between the ones who chose to study and those who chose not to study. It turns into an ego fight. One started to define itself by its academic success and degrees or studies and the other with everything materialistic but neither of them counts as success.

Pandemic and success

As the world is going through a troublesome phase, Covid-19 changed the term success just like everything else. Especially academic success. From this point on, it will not matter in what universities the students enrolled. Because we know that education has taken a toll during these past two years. Some students couldn’t access online around the world. While private schools worked hard to keep education going so many public schools failed. The result was a devastating inequality of education. On the bright side, pandemic showed us that success is nowhere near academic.  We realized that learning is through life. Whatever people can accomplish is a definition of success – major or minor-.  We learned that achieving happiness in something we do is a success. Therefore, all the arguments held last year have no value anymore.

The happy girl and “success”

Back to her, why did I need to mention her? Because she knew all along -just like me- what success was all about. She did not need a catastrophic pandemic to realize this. She did not need anyone’s acknowledgment for what she did. She was in her happy place. Whatever university she went to, she found something she wanted to study.  It should be that way for many of us. How happy we are equals how successful we are.

Let’s ask again “What is success?”

Success correlates with happiness no matter what. It is excelling at something how big or small it is. A minor thing that you do, that makes you happy or others in your everyday life, is a success as well. I am sure whoever has read her ode to success, has gotten the same idea as me. At least that is what I hope. Do not make success something so hard to achieve something that needs a lot of hard work or effort. Let’s remind each other i ta can also be easy.

Something is in my bag…

OMG! Teachers all around the world, I HAVE A HUGE RESPECT FOR YOU! I’M AMAZED. As you know, I’m new to being a full-time teacher, so i might be struggling a bit to organize, prepare lessons, set objectives, search for new & creative materials and in the meantime try to live my youth.

Do not get me wrong, as a student I’d been like this as well. I’d even tried to solve this problem by making New Year’s Resolutions, yet here i am, still whining. On the bright side, this is an another experience for me, I’m learning how to be a teacher while teaching. It’s all right, right?

My last post was an act of chivalry and I was ahead of myself to make all those promises. But you can find the reason above. I have drafts of the things I want to write but I AM INCAPABLE OF MANAGING MY TIME. THE TIME IS, UNFORTUNATELY, BECAME MY ENEMY. Thus, those posts will arrive soon, no need to rush things. I have sth in my bag for you.It’s about a post I’ve read on the blog “Free Technology For Teachers”.

The schools have started and we all are very happy about the new school year. We all have so many great ideas and i was looking up for creative projects and new ideas of creative writing prompts and i came across with the post of FTFT. Now, we all love free, high quality stuff. Basically, the post was promoting a free e-book on a great website. The e-book is also amazing but i want to talk about the website itself.

Make Beliefs Comix is an amazing website for creative writing tasks. You can find various of free comics as well as you can create your own comics or ask your Ss to create their own comics. Now, you may think that this isn’t something new, yes, true it’s not something new but the things the site offers are pretty cool for EFL/ESL classrooms. The site has a lot of printables and it’s basically an ESOL site. Nonetheless, it has a guide for Ts on how to use the website. I found the website creative and unique. You can create your own lessons by using the free e-books or comics of the site according to your Ss’ level. FL teachers are really creative and I’m sure so many Ts benefit -will benefit- from this website. Take a look at it and give it a chance!

Thanks,

K.

Back and There Again!

Such a good title after the last post and yes i may have been under the influence of “Tolkien” as i’ve seen the latest film on him and rewatching the LOTR series. Anyway, I welcome both you and I.

This blog has been left in the dark for a while so I need to turn on the lights, sorry and be careful while reading. YES! Let me start!

I wanted to start focusing on the blog again and i’ve already planned two posts these past months BUT I was being lazy and i was trying to find a job. I will publish those posts soon enough, however I didn’t want to leave the blog with the last post so I decided to write an “update post” and talk about how and towards which direction this blog will be shaped.

No more just an ELT teacher blog

As you know, I started this blog when I was a preservice teacher and the main focus of this blog was the technology in ELT classes. Although this was for a course I had I liked writing and developing ideas about the technology and English. I will still continue to post the things i find interesting and useful but I also want to share my experiences about being a preservice teacher. That’s why, i will have a section about this topic to help other preservice teachers.

Another thing i want to post on this blog is the educational philosophy. I believe that every teacher has a philosophy on teaching and education. I also would like to discuss more about the educational system around the world. Our approaches to the system and governments’ perception of education etc.

Last but not least, i will write about the language itself. Of course, I’m not going to talk about what is language, why we need it etc. as they have been discussed a lot but i will take a different route about the language. I want to share my language adventure and the attitudes towards the FLs and people’s perception of them.

Vous ne pouvez pas oublier le Français

C’est-à-dire, I will also create something on this blog that i’ve had at the back of my head since i started this blog. I will also post in French all the things i mentioned above and maybe slightly different things as well. You may jump into a pool full of ELT blogs but you have to dive deeper for French ones. I really like French and I really want to make a room in this blog for it. It will be good to discuss French Language Teaching, learning French and the approaches, the attitudes towards it and i will again share my experience as a french preservice teacher and compare these two experiences. Je ne sais pas ce que vous pouvez attendre mais on vera ensemble.

I’m quite excited about how this blog will turn out to be. I hope for the best and I will try my best. Please bear with me and be with me when all these things above happens!

Thanks,

Bilbo Baggins ✨

Illustration by unfortuantely i couldn’t find it sorry

Goodbyes are never easy…

Hello again!

A whole academic year has come to an end and frankly this is my last post for Instructional technologies & Material Design. As you all know by now, my aim in this blog was to talk about tech in an EFL/ESL class since it was mainly our assignment. For this final post, we will reflect back a bit and discuss again the importance of Ss use of technology.

The technology as a way of seeing new horizons…

If you remember, earlier this semester i’ve posted my philosophy on the technology. I’ve come so far and i still believe in this philosophy. The technology gives whole new experience to the learner. From web quests to digital tools, the power and the effect of technology is limitless.I’ve found so many useful digital tools through this course and so many ways to integrate them into my teaching. The technology allows self-learning, self discovery which is what we want in 21st century learning. The technology makes the world they live in so small, thus removing the borders. We can’t deny the fact that EFL/ESL class with technology is essential and fun. We can engage Ss more with something they’re born into, with something familiar to them. For the last time, I like to think the technology, as a way of seeing new horizons beyond everything.

Overall, as a preservice teacher this course broaden up my vision on the technology and English. I’ve discovered myself a bit as a teacher and what to do with technology. I know that i’ve never given deep thought on the use of technology in an English classroom. Truth to be told, i always wanted to use technology with my future Ss but just to have fun, not with a meaningful purpose (I believed that i had purpose!). I like how this has changed within me thanks to our Instructional technologies & Material Design course. I’m happy to see how this blog also helped me and how improved i am. I guess i will continue blogging as it became part of my life as a preservice teacher since i’ve seen the benefits of it as well.

Thank you for being with me for all this time! Don’t take this as a “goodbye” but remember that this is the last post for my course. I hope that we will see each other in my future posts.

K.

Illustration by: Bratislav Milenkovic

Reading made easier!

Hello my fellow friends!

The Internet is growing day by day and the new information keeps entering the web. As there are a lot of information, it becomes harder to follow and harder to stay updated. It consumes a lot of time to visit our favourite sites one by one to keep ourselves informed. We need to keep the necessary information in one place . Therefore, we can actually use RSS Feeds Readers.

At the beginning of Instructional Technologies & Material Design course, before we created our blogs, we talked about RSS Feeds,how to use them and why it is essential to use. We started to use RSS Feed readers throughout the academic year and as a task, we were assigned to share our experiences about RSS Feeds Readers. Before i tell you about my experience with RSS feeds Reader and the blogs that i follow, i would like to talk about RSS Feed.

What is RSS Feed?

RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it. It is easy to use and it solves the problem for people who regularly use the web.

What is this problem and how RSS Feed can solve this?

As I mentioned above, for people who use the web all the time,it is difficult to follow so many blogs and websites. RSS Feed allows them to easily stay informed by retrieving the latest content from the sites they are interested in. They save time by not needing to visit each site individually. Moreover, they ensure their privacy, by not joining every site’s email newsletter.

How can we use RSS Feed?

It is very simple to use. You can use web-based readers such as Feedly, Bloglines, Flipboard or Pocket. If you don’t prefer a web-based reader, you can find other platforms. You can choose from numerous RSS Feed Reader programs such as FeedReader, AmphetaDesk or Feed Demon and download them.

RSS Feed Readers and I

I chose a web-based reader as i didn’t want to download a program on my computer . I think that web-based ones are a lot quicker than the program ones. You can add your web-based reader in your bookmark and with just one-click, you can follow and read your favourite news and blogs. Thus, Pocket is very suitable if you prefer this type of reader as it has an extension for the web browsers. Before this assignment i used to use Flipboard and Pocket unconsciously which means that i didn’t know that i was using an RSS Feed reader. But, this time i wanted to try something else and use the RSS Feed with its full potential, i wanted to follow more education-oriented blogs so i chose Feedly and i was really impressed by its simple interface. The site is very easy to use and you can collect the sites you follow under a category.

A screenshot from my Feedly Account

I mostly follow educational content in Feedly and one of my favourite blogs is Free Technology for Teachers. I am more aware of the use of technology in ESL/EFL classes thanks to our course and I’m trying to find information as much as possible, from integration of technology to technological tools. The blog suggests various of activities with technological tools and how can Ss and Ts can use them. In addition, in this blog you can also see some alternatives for certain features of a technological tool if they are removed.

A screenshot from the feed of Free Technology for Teachers Blog

I do believe that every ELT teacher can benefit from this blog as its content isn’t only limited to activities with technology but so many review of technological tools, how to use them, how to solve issues related to the tools etc. We’re not technology experts and sometimes certain tools are too complicated to use , this blog facilitates them. The tips and suggestions are efficient as well. If you’re an ELT teacher or an EFL/ESL student, follow this blog and I’m sure you will enjoy it.

To sum up, using RSS Feed Reader is helpful in so many ways. As you’ve seen, it is very easy to keep track of the content from your favourite sites. I really do enjoy using Feedly on a daily basis and i feel like I’m reading more thanks to Feedly. I absolutely suggest everyone to try RSS Feed Readers. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Thanks,

K.

5 Favourite Web 2.0 Tools

Hello my fellow friends!

Throughout the year, I’ve created so many projects by using web 2.0 tools for Instructional Technologies & Material Design course. This week, our task was to create an infographic with our favourite tools on it. I’ve created mine using Adobe Spark which is a great tool for creating posters, notices, infographics etc.

What is an Infographic?

“An infographic is a collection of imagery, charts, and minimal text that gives an easy-to-understand overview of a topic.” It is ideal to use in ELT classes, English literature classes. Moreover, i think it’s a fast way for presentations. Infographics will engage Ss to the task and it will develop their summarising skills as well.

My 5 Favourite Web 2.0 Tools

My infographic include my all time favourite web 2.0 tools. I’ve been using some of them for a long time and some of them are the ones i’ve discovered through this course. I wrote them down on my infographic and gave some information on these tools. My all time favourite tools are Prezi, Storybird, Animoto, Thinglink and Adobe Spark. The list could be longer, but these are the tools i use the most as a student and as pre-service teacher, i will make my Ss use almost all the tools i know.You can find information about these tools on the infographic. Let me know down in the comments what are your favourite web 2.0 tools?

Thanks,

K.

Of Love and Other Demons

Hello my fellow friends!

The title of this post -if you’ve ever read it- might sound familiar. I know you’re thinking about it right now and if you’re associating it with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, you’re on the right track!

“Of Love and Other Demons” is a novel by the Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez who is one of my favourite authors. BUT, today I’m not going to talk about this novel -like we did on this blog a few weeks ago as one of my assignment for Instructional Technologies & Material Design course- I will talk about its imaginary movie adaptation which is coming to the imaginary cinemas on 20th May.

What do i mean by “imaginary”?

This week we’re asked to prepare a poster on either a movie adaptation of a book or a magazine cover. I decided to create a movie poster for “Of Love and Other Demons” and i was curious if the novel had a movie adaptation, what its poster would look like. I’d created a movie poster before based on a book in high school with a group of friends and were assigned to prepare a presentation of that book’s movie adaptation. At that time,I used BigHugeLabs website to create that poster, but this time I wanted to make my poster a bit more professional. I was uncertain which tool to pick. I knew few sites which are free to use such as Adobe Spark, BigHugeLabs, Canva etc., all these tools are great for preparing any poster you want but i think Canva offered more things to create a movie poster. It was a bit challenging in terms of creativity part and Canva has limitless features, if you’re picky like me and a perfectionist, it’s really difficult to choose pictures, texts etc. I had so much fun creating the movie poster of one of my favourite novels and as I’m someone who likes visuals and illustrations, this assignment made me really happy.

Why posters? Should we make our Ss create posters on certain topics?

As I told you in this post and if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may have seen that i’m someone who likes using visuals, illustrations, paintings etc. I love colours and designs. As a student as well, posters would always catch my attention. Creating posters actually motivates Ss, engages them in the task. It makes their learning easier and fun. Especially, it attracts the Ss with visual/spatial intelligence as they love visualized tasks. Moreover,posters nurture Ss creativity. They are free to create whatever they want, they design, make collages, write quotes etc. The ideas are limitless. In addition, Ts can display their posters throughout the whole academic year. Furthermore, Posters can be used with any topic and I believe that it would be more fun to use with graded readers. Ts can assign their Ss to create a movie poster for the reader – like us- or to create a new book cover etc. As a preservice teacher, posters will be part of my lesson plans. Don’t forget to check out my poster!

Thanks!

K.

Storytelling at its best…

Hello my fellow friends!

Do you listen to your grandpa enthusiastically when he starts telling you all his youth stories or you pretend to like it while counting the minutes? If your answer is yes to the first question, congratulations you’re an amazing listener. Don’t forget to thank your grandfathers for their interesting, creative storytelling skill.

Storytelling is a creative way to breath life into written works and the good news is grandpas ARE NOT the only ones who can tell amazing stories. Students and teachers can tell a lot of creative stories in ESL/EFL classrooms.

Why should we use storytelling?

The answer is simple. Storytelling,in fact is quite popular. So many youtubers have storytelling videos and “Draw My life” was actually a digital storytelling trend. Moreover, learners can tell their original stories and share this in a very vivid, fun way  with their peers. Storytelling will let them improve not only their writing skills but also their pronunciation as well. They will develop their speaking abilities and will be able to talk freely.

Why Digital though?

Back to grandpas. Some of us enjoy listening to their stories but unfortunately some of us lose interest listening to them. Have you ever asked yourself “why”? Is it because of their old age? NO! The reason is, we find it boring. Not the stories. The way of telling. We don’t want our students to get bored while telling stories so teachers and students should make these stories as attractive, as effective as possible by providing audios, videos, images, posters etc. related to them. They can even draw or make animations! They can use various tools to make their stories digital from online tools to movie making programs.

Our Digital Storytelling Experience

My friend Murat and I tried digital storytelling for our course to experience it and show you how you ,as teachers or students, or grandparents 🙂 can use digital storytelling. We’ve talked about our friendship, we made a video with our photos as slides. We used “iMovie” to make our video but you can find many alternatives for yourself and students. It was nice to tell our story of friendship and how we perceive friendship. Digital storytelling is actually something quite powerful if you can carry your message in an effective way. You can watch our video here and check out Murat’s blog as well. We’ll appreciate it.I hope you like it!

Thanks

K.

Websites to use, websites to teach!

Hello my fellow friends!

How have you been? I’ve been busy all this week but that’s how a student’s life is, right?  I couldn’t even get a chance to sit in front of my laptop and check on my blog. All I could do -when I had the chance- was visiting certain websites and just spend a few minutes there before I doze off.  

We all have a few websites we visit on a daily basis. But as an ELT teachers and learners, how many of us have an ELT website that we cannot stop using? Or why do we need them and how useful are they? In this post I want to share an ELT website and my evaluation on it.

Websites -either authentic or created for English learning and teaching purposes- are part of our teaching in the classrooms. There’re thousands of ELT websites all over the Internet for students and teachers to benefit. One of these websites that I have found is EnglishClub.

EnglishClub is a website dedicated to English language learners and English language teachers by offering various activities, games, tests etc. for learners and lesson plans, worksheets, articles etc. for teachers. The website is part of TEFL and EasyEnglish and founded by Joe Essberger.

The Purpose

EC is a free website designed to help students learn English online. It allows students to;

  • make their own English page with blogs, photos, videos, music, groups and friends
  • test their level in English and get help with English grammar
  • study English grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation
  • play English games and do English quizzes online
  • chat in English with other students and teachers
  • find schools where they can learn English at home or abroad
  • find penpals for English practice

The Site and the Author

Joe Essberger is the author of the site which was found in 1997 and is the contributor almost all activities on the website as well as the others. He is an English native speaker and an English teacher. As far as I could observe he is still active and writes post on the blog and forums regularly.

The Content

As I mentioned above, the content of the website is extremely rich. From listening activities to games and more, you can find what is suitable for yourself. If you want to improve your speaking skill, not only you can check the activities on the website, but also use the forumsand MyEC section to find pen pals and communicate with other English speakers. Moreover, I think the content is original as well. You don’t see typical topics to teach certain vocabulary but some different functional content. The site allows you to contribute articles as a guest for the learners of English. In addition, EC is written mainly in British English. But they have pages about other varieties of English such as American or Canadian. Overall I liked the content they have so far.

The Accuracy, the Broken Links and the Images

As I went through the content of the website I haven’t seen any mistakes or irrelevant, unrelated topics or stuff. Even if you encounter some spellings that you can take as a mistake, do not act on a whim! In fact they’re not spelled wrong, they are just written/pronounced in either American accent or Canadian. Although everything was going so well, I didn’t like the website’s organization. I find it quite dense. The images of the websites are in high quality and mostly relevant to the topics they are presented in. There’re lots of exterior links in the website and I tried a few of them and they were working just fine. I don’t think you can see a broken link as the site gets updates frequently.

Is it applicable to EFL teaching?

After all these points I’ve discussed in this post, I believe that the website is already meant for EFL/ESL learners and teachers and I can say that it can be applied in EFL teaching. Teachers can benefit from the worksheets and lesson plans of the website and they can still use it as an online tool as well since the website has lots of online activities, games etc. Students can use EC easily at school and at home yet the website lacks attractiveness for students, it is just so simple.

My overall evaluation is that we can make EnglishClub as a part of our classrooms as it has useful sections and keeps students engaged.

Pay a visit to EnglishClub and tell me if you agree with me or not in the comments section below. One more thing, if you already have some websites you use for English, put those in your comments as well.

I hope you enjoy my evaluation.

Thanks,

K.