Saturday, January 28, 2012

Week 3 : Aural/oral skill-building reflections

In week 3, we discussed important facts about aural/oral skills building using technology. I think listening and speaking are essential and important skills for second language learners. When you first meet the people, you have to talk and understand what they say to have a proper conversation. This is why I always love teaching these skills to my students who mostly are shy speakers. For shy learners, I need some ways to motivate them to speak more in the class. Honestly, there are times I’m a bit worried for my shy students that they would give up learning English. I teach with a variety of speaking activities where they all engage actively in the lesson. As my school follows international curriculum, students have to speak in English only during the school hours. Apart from that, I have never used speaking practice lessons with online tools. I have known a lot of great speaking practices websites in this week from my tutor and colleagues.

Some of my favorite aural/oral skills building sites which I have already added to Delicious are :

I found them really suitable for my students to enhance their aural/oral skills through listening, watching video dialogues of native-speakers etc. I will try to test all the sites from Larry Ferlazzo’s list and see which ones work best for my students though it’ll take quite some time to review all of them. Using technological tools allow students to learn at their own pace in privacy which is really good for shy ones. Moreover some students don’t get enough chance to talk in a group activity because of some dominant learners. Since they don’t talk much, their ability and confidence of speaking with others become weaker. For those students, they can gain their confidence gradually while practicing the online speaking lessons. I will try to teach at least one period per week (45 minutes in one period) using online tools to practice their oral/aural skills. I believe that students will improve the target skills if they have a chance to speak both inside and outside of the class. What a great way! Oh if you are interested in teaching English through music, here is a great site, Musical English Lessons International, England.

Another task is about reading and discussing about a past sample project report. I enjoy reading the review of my colleagues on Nicenet. It helps me a lot to see how others use the technology for various objectives in different situations. I’m already excited for my own project. 

Have a nice day to you all!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Week 3 : bookmarking with Delicious....yum!

Social Bookmarking Journey...........wanna join?

I can’t believe week 3 has nearly passed so quickly. For the past three weeks, I have learned a large amount of innovative teaching methods using technology. I love to read all the assignment articles too. Guess what, I have learned something delicious this week! It is yummy just as I have a special feast in an Internet party. I found out about an amazing website called Delicious which is a popular social bookmarking site. What I like about this site is saving all my favorite web links in my Delicious account and I can access them anytime on any online computer. I’m so thrilled to know such a great place to have a collection of my selection websites. I used a notebook and pieces of sticker paper to note down all the useful web addresses. Yes, this is my antique way. It’s funny and boring, isn’t it? And worse, I keep losing those pieces of paper as frankly speaking, I’m not very good at handling all my paper neat and order. Sometimes when I don’t bother to tidy my desk, it is always with piles of paper for the corrections (students’ work corrections are one of the priority parts in my school) and of course, lots and lots of pieces of sticker paper with frequently used website links instead of family and friends’ photos. Well now, luckily, my work place will be neat and tidy and no more bits and pieces. Thanks to Delicious and Webskills 2012 for giving me such an amazing tool which is definitely useful for me and makes me happy. Lately, I’m busy adding all the useful links to my account and it’s really fantastic to see all my colleagues’ links. Now I need to do some stacks to categorize all the related links into groups. I’m so interested in delicious that I found some top tips which will make you more convenient using Delicious from  Here they are:

     5 Tips to use Delicious

  •  Write Great Titles 
  • Add a Great Description                     
  •  Use Relevant Tags

  •  Ask for Bookmarks

  •  Make Friends

You can see the detailed explanations of each tip on the above link. It’ll worth a try, trust me! 

I’ve found another interesting link ‘Top 10 ways to use Delicious’ from So now, I’m going to add my favorite links and discover new and useful sites from other users’ archives. What about you?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Learning ABCD in week 2

Whew! I have finally finished all the tasks of this week. It’s kind of tough for me as I run both my full-time work and online course at the same time. But like always, I really enjoy learning and upgrading myself for my professional development and I love teaching. I think this is the key thing to get happiness in life when someone enjoys doing what he wants to do. I am absolutely overwhelmed by the various innovative teaching methods using technology during these two weeks. Mostly everything is new for me and I can see some of the things from different views and love the way I have a lot of options to do with my students. One of the tasks in this week is writing learning objective with ABCD model. I have been writing objectives, aims and goals since I was a novice teacher while taking the Fundamental of Communicative Language Teaching course from British Council Burma five years ago. This is one of my favorite parts of lesson planning and I do concentrate first on what I want my students to achieve in learning English by the end of my lesson. Like some of my peers, I didn’t have any experience of using ABCD style objective. I thought I would be confused with this new method and surprisingly, it is an easy and simple way of showing different aspects of the objective such as Audience, Behavior, Condition and Degree. After reading this fantastic article of ABCD model from Penn StateLearning Design Community Hub, I can write more clear and precise objective with measurable behavioral learning verbs. Since choosing the correct key verbs is the heart of the objective, I’m really glad to learn all the use of right verbs to express the expected behavior for students to produce. You can check these out on Bloom's Tax Verbs which is a great site I found. Another interesting site about writing objective with ABCD is Illinois Online Network.

Week 2 has passed successfully with lots of new things. I’m sure another week waits ahead with amazing techniques too. Have a nice learning experience!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Week 2 : web searching is fun!

Web Searching is fun!

For this week task, I have to participate in the discussion about web searching. Frankly, I wouldn't expect to know more about this topic as I thought that this is one of my strengths.
After reading some good articles about search engines and discussing about them, I realized that without search strategies or techniques, finding what you need could be like finding a needle in a haystack according to Learnwebskills.
Fortunately for me, I have learned a great amount of fantastic search engines and techniques in the first part of the week. I didn't realize how these amazing strategies could help me improve my web searching skill. Now I have many options when I want to find something in specific area. If I want to know about academic resources, I can go to INFOMINE and Intute. To avoid finding a particular topic out of thousands of results, I can refine and narrow my topic by using SurfWax and iSeekEducation. I also found a great engine to find background on possible topics on SweetSearch and Columbia Encyclopedia

how's google sounds like?
Moreover, I found fascinating and useful engines for my students. Twurdy, KidsClick and Ask Kids are all great sites for the students which absolutely make them enjoy their web searching in an easy way.
I have already introduced those sites to my students and they really found interesting to use them. Though some might still stick to Google as their favourite, it’s pretty pleased to see most of them are willing to try out something new out of their comfort zone. They talked to me about the differences they’ve found during their search. To make this more fascinating, I’m going to give them a task to present about their opinions of the new search engines.  After all, effective web searching is definitely an important part of enhancing my professional.

Oh, nearly forgot to mention. In this week, I have to describe the population of my class in Nicenet as a first step of the final project. It’s really nice to know about my peers’ classes and their teaching environment.

Now, I’m off to work on how to write a behavioral learning objective with ABCD style. I will blog about it later this week. Don’t miss it!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Week 1 : blogging and teaching ...........

It has been four days I am attending the course. Even in the first week, I learned a lot of new online teaching techniques. I think creating the class discussion through Nicenet will be a good useful tool for creating online teaching and learning environment. Even though I am attending a distance course, I feel really close to my tutor and peers when discussing the focused topics. Thanks to my tutor, Janine who is always there to make our course lively with the clear detailed instructions. I like the way most of the course structures are created using the user-friendly Google applications. Now I know how to create survey form using Google application. The most favourite part of this week task is creating my own blog. Before this, the only place I express my feelings and opinions online is on facebook where I can share my status with my colleagues and friends. I have never reflected about my professional experience using the technology. However, I always wanted to make my own blog one day. And I never try to use blog as I thought that it would be difficult to handle one. Now I am writing on my lovely blog and I feel wonderful and proud of myself being part of this course. Still, I really want to explore more about changing the beautiful template for my blog.
I found that writing is more fun and enjoyable on this blog. So, I can't wait to tell my students about this fantastic online tool which can definitely improve their writing skill. And I really like the fact from the reading article "Blogging for ELT" which says, With weblogs, students can find themselves writing for a real audience that, apart from the teacher, may include their peers, students from other classes, or even other countries, their parents, and potentially anyone with access to the Internet. 

I think that my students will enjoy writing more if they have the real audience who can reply, give comments and appreciate their works. I bet they won't even notice that they are practicing one of the language skills.

Well, that's all for this week. I'm going to add my blog to my course wiki and nicenet now. This first week is full of surprising and amazing online tools I have learned. I can't wait for the next week.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Week 1 : new beginnings

This is the first week of this fantastic course. I am really happy and excited to write on my very own first blog. As I enjoy writing journal, I am sure that a blog is a very useful tool to reflect my thoughts and ideas to enhance my teaching skills. I have never created a blog before and I thought it would be difficult to create one. 

Luckily, I can create my own blog successfully by following the instructions from Blogs Blogger how-to PDF file.

Moreover, I understand more about how blogging can be useful to my teaching after reading an article Blogging for ELT

So if you want to have your own blog like mine, just go to
It will just take a few minutes to create one.


Zun Phyu