Thursday, 13 October 2011

Don't Just Listen, Please Write!

Assalamualaikum and Hi to all.

This time, I would like to share one website that is cool and fantastic which the students are able to benefit from. It is called Listen and Write. Similar to the previous website that I have published, this website is able to be one of the favourite website among students as it allows them to practise listening skill as well as writing skill. Most of the people are merely enjoying listening to songs and not doing anything. This website on the other hand, allows users to not only listen to their favourite song but also dictate the lyrics out. I found this very useful for students as they will be able to practise listening skills as well as expand their vocabulary knowledge. Students can choose from various listening materials from Youtube and news in order to practice. Students are required to listen and write down the missing words or sentences on the space provided. If they do not want to listen to songs, there are other alternatives such as news or interviews, which are more 'serious'. Therefore, more or less, it allows variety of materials because students can choose the materials based on their interest. The organization of this website is fairly satisfying because there are not too many items being put in the website. Students more or less will likely to have no problems in finding their desired materials. On the other hand, in my opinion, this website is suitable for students of beginner and intermediate level as it more enjoyable and fun. Apart from that, I think the activities are not of higher level because it does not require critical thinking or cognitive skills in completing them

How to do it?
It is not complicated and quite user-friendly because it allows repetition so that the students will be able to capture the words. I have done one of it by choosing a song from Youtube

Different sources available.

You can select preferable from
3 different mode.

Simple video interface, and activity at the bottom.

This is the sample that I have done from the website.

The advantages of this website are:

1. It allows multiple skills which are listening and writing at the same time.
2. It is free and enjoyable for young and intermediate learners as it does not involve critical thinking
3. Various sources are available.
4. It also has different level of difficulties for different level of students.

The disadvantages of this website are:

1. The students might not be interested in the topic available. This is because they cannot search the materials that they prefer but rather have to choose from the list. There is also no search button.
2. May not not suit advanced students which require more activities that involve critical thinking as well as cognitive skills.
3. Lack or physical resources as it requires all students to have their own computer.

Here is the link to the website

Lyrics training

Assalamualaikum and Hi to all.

In this entry, I am going to highlight another website that is useful for listening activity. It is called Lyrics Training. This fantastic website allows people to not only listen to their favourite songs but to do an interesting activity with the songs. Basically this website offers numerous songs, from out dated to the latest and the users will be able to choose any songs that they like. Apart from that, there are various languages for for the users to choose from, be it in English, Spanish, Germany and even French. While the songs are being played, users are required to fill in the missing words of the lyrics. The music will be paused until the gap is filled with the correct word which I found very convenient. The organisation of the website is not really confusing as there are not too many thumbnails in the website. Apart from that, if you are connected to Facebook, it will automatically connect to your Facebook account and you will be able to leave comments on the website.

Of course it is good for language learning!

Most of the people especially teenagers nowadays are addicted to songs. Almost everywhere, there will be young people with their Ipod or Mp3 player doing their daily activity while listening to songs. Language learning does take place informally when they are listening to songs as they pick up certain language style and vocabulary items in the lyrics. Then why not let the students learn language their own way? This website can be one of the best website for learning languages especially for second language learners. Students will not only enjoying listening to the songs but also have the opportunity to expand their vocabulary knowledge with the information gap activity. They are forced to listen carefully to the lyrics in order to have the gap filled. On the contrary, if the teacher is going to have a traditional vocabulary teaching such as spelling order, it will make the students feel less interesting because it does not involve any visual supplementary. However, it does not necessary for teachers to merely depends on this website for vocabulary teaching rather use it for supplementary purposes. This is because teacher have to consider other factors such as facilities and syllabus coverage. In my opinion, this website is suitable for both students of primary and secondary schools aging between 7 to 17 years old because it is simple yet enjoyable. 

Have a look at the page!

You can search your preferred songs.

There are 3 levels to choose from.

Gaps that needs be filled

The advantages of this website are:

1. Students can practise listening skill in a fun way. They can listen to their favourite songs
2. Students can choose the difficulty as there 3 different levels which are beginner, intermediate and advanced
3. It can accommodate speakers of various languages. There are some foreign languages as well to practise.
4. Allow students to listen to the song carefully and fill in the gaps.

The disadvantages of this website are:

1. Problems in resources. Not all songs available for students to choose.
2. Language abuse; some songs might contain inappropriate words

There are not many disadvantages that I found in this website as it is quite a simple website.

Here is the link to the website:
2. Problems in access where not all students have the access to the internet.

Get Involve in Dvolver!

Assalamualaikum and Hi to all.

This is my first entry for this blog and I am going to share a website which I find it interesting. It is called Dvolver.  Dvolver is a website where the users can make a simple, cartooned movie. This website is very interesting because it allows you to narrate a simple movie of you own based on the scenes and characters provided by the website. There are several backgrounds and characters to choose from and users can edit the dialogue according to their own script. The organization of this website is simple and is not complicated which makes it user friendly. Apart from that, it only requires the user to sign up (which is free) in order to make a movie and then share the movie with their friends by embedding it into their own blog or just email it.

Dvolver and language learning.

In my opinion, this website is useful for language learning because it allows creative writing. Traditional writing exercise may sometimes be boring for the students as they have been exposed to the same way of writing (using pen and paper). This seems rather unfortunate for the students as they do not have the opportunity to manipulate technology in language learning which sometimes will enhance their interest towards learning the language. Therefore, by using this tool, students will be able to incorporate technology into language learning and make the lesson more interesting. They can write about whatever they like for their own movie in order to make it more interesting. This is because they can share the movie with their friends which certainly motivate them to make it interesting so that people will enjoy it. Apart from that, it also promotes personalisation because students can make a movie based on their own experience. This will lead to authenticity because the movie that that they created has relation to their own life. In my opinion, Dvolver is suitable for primary school students, aged between ten to twelve years old who have an intermediate level of English. Although it may be interesting enough for advanced students to use this tool, I think, in terms of language learning, it is less challenging as it only involve writing and does not really promotes other multiple skills. The frequency of using this tool amongst students may depends on various factors such as syllabus coverage, facilities, students sociocultural background as well as resources. For example, teachers might want to consider covering the syllabus first before attempting to use this website as it is rather time consuming. Apart from that, the facilities play an important role because if the students are not equipped with computers, then this activity cannot be done.

How to do it?

As I mentioned, you have just to sign up in order to use this tool. And then just follow these steps:

Step 1: Select background that you prefer and click 'Next' 

Step 2: choose your preferable scene.

Step 3: Select Character in your movie

Step 4: Add dialogue to your movie. This is limited
to 100 text per character line.

Step 5: Select background music that suit the theme of
your music.

Step 6: When finish, you can add title and your name
as director. you can also add title design to your movie.

Step 7: Share it with your friends!

I have also made one of my own. 

The advantages of this tool are:

1. It allows students to express themselves without having a face to face interaction with the teachers. This may be a factor to increase their confidence to improve their language.
2. Students can also express their creativity in writing as they can write whatever they want about their story. Creative writing is likely to be more interesting and motivating with visual aid.
3. Encourage fun and autonomous learning. Students can use the website without the presence of their teacher
4. It is not complicated and easy to use which is suitable for students of beginner and intermediate level.

The disadvantages of this tool are:

1. Some of the characters might not be suitable for children as it portrays negative influence. For example there are character that smokes and as well as sexy which may influence the children.
2. Might resulting in inappropriate use of language. This is because students can write everything they want therefore they might write something which is offensive. For example they may write something bad about their friends which may resulting in dissatisfaction.
3. It is time consuming. If the teacher want to do this activity in class, it may take a longer time and the students might be carried away and does not follow the instruction given by the teacher.

Here is the link to the website: