After spending time with Nao (Softbank robotics) in February I am not in the slightest bit surprised at one of his many skills is the ability to write any word asked, and spell the word as he writes. Through speech recognition programming, the robot is able to perform many tasks, but the one of writing is a profound tool that can help those with literacy skill deficiencies, and of course those wanting to learn a language. Another interesting feature that will support my current research.
Memrise is particularly appealing to visual learners, because the learning is realised through the use of static image flashcards, audio and drilling the lexis and language chunks. Although the learners become prosumers, as they create and use the visual learning content to build their own multimedia vocabulary and/or set phrases, the language chunks are selected by Memrise. Learners are encouraged to upload their own ‘Mem’s” therefore personalising their learning experience to a certain extent. A good way to engage with English while on the go, with the option of competing against other learners too.
Available for iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone, Android Phones, Windows Phones and desktop computers.
The Evernote app enables the user to store handwritten notes, clips of web articles photos and images on iPads, iPhones, Android Phones, and Windows phones with the objective of creating a digital workspace that can be accessed from the device you own by syncing between. This way information can be stored and used on iPads, iPhones, Android Phones and Windows phones for use while on the move or in the study space. It also allows learners to make presentations using by selecting the presentation option, which will transform the notes into a presentation automatically.
Available for iPad, iPhone, Windows Phones, Android Phones
Pictionary is a great activity to use as a warmer, to introduce topic specific lexis, or as a reward at the end of a hard lesson. The lexis can be graded depending on the level of the learners. To generate the lexis, there are many options:
- Reward Upper Intermediate – ‘Don’t Say It’
- Lexis from previous chapters in the course book
- Students select their own words and write a list of 10-15 words each before starting the game
- Students choose words they know in their L1 but not in English
In groups students describe their words for the other students to guess. Smart phones can be used when the students know the word in their L1 but not in English. They look up the word on a dictionary, and check it matches with the original. Students can then note down the new lexis in their notebooks.
Another variation is that students show their group a picture of a word they don’t know in English from Google images. The chances are that if one student in the group doesn’t know the word, the others won’t either! The students look up the translation in English and the first one to guess correctly gets a point. All students then note down the new lexis in their notebooks. This activity works well as a brainstorming activity for a new topic.
If you try this activity, let me know how it goes in the comments!