Monday, August 4, 2008

EFL FLEX in Moldova

This summer ACCELS Moldova in collaboration with ALC (American Councils), where I am currently working as an EFL instructor, have organised a summer immersion program for the FLEX (Future Leaders Exchange Program) finalists from all over the former Soviet republics, who came to Moldova to improve their English, study about US culture and get ready to face an academic year in the States. This is a short video we put together with the activities we enjoyed the most: the first part is just a slide show of pictures and comments, the second represents a series of short videos with the FLEX students sharing their experience in Moldova. A couple of students have visual and hearing impairments. These interviews were taken during our last EFL Conversation class, when the students talked about what they liked doing during these 5 weeks and is they are ready to leave for US.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Check on our Voicethreads!

My students and I have explored Voicethread - and created a couple of presentations on different topics you might find interesting and fun to watch! For teachers: I have also uploaded a lesson plan you can find on my TeacherWeb page ("Lesson Plans" section).
Check on the following links if you want to find out more about:

1. Beyonce and her career as a singer and actress: and (or type in "Beyonce" in the Browse section of Voicethread);
2. My experience in NY by Gabi Lu
3. Advantages of Travelling
9. Yosemite National Park

Don't forget to create an account or sign in first to watch them.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What is a "Tornado" ?

What you need to know about tornados:

1. Scientists don't know exactly how tornadoes form, but that they usually occur in the United States when cool dry air from the north mixes with warm moist air from the south.
Find out by yourselves:
- What is a twist? - What is a tornado alley?

2. Watch the following National Geographic Videos. What did you notice about tornadoes?

3. Tornados are found most frequently east of the Rocky Mountains during the spring and summer months. Find out how tornados form here.
4. In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide, resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries.
5. The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Once a tornado in Broken Bow, Oklahoma, carried a motel sign 30 miles and dropped it in Arkansas!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Fun Facts about Niagara Falls!

Have a look at Niagara Falls, one of the most beautiful places in USA. Although they aren't the highest waterfalls in the world, the volume of the water that flows over the falls combine with their height to make Niagara Falls exceptionally spectacular. Find out who survived a trip down Niagara in barrel, how the Falls froze almost completely one year, why they "stopped" the water and what are Niagara's best attractions.
Niagara Falls at Night

Monday, March 24, 2008

Let's learn more about the Grand Canyon

1. This week we will be learning about Grand Canyon. I have put together some interesting sites we could explore and find out more information about this wonderful site.
2. Find out what a Skywalk is from this slideshare presentation : Skywalk in Grand Canyon
3. Watch this amazing video and feel free to share comments: Grand Canyon on Youtube
4. Learn about the Indian Tribes from the Grand Canyon: Navajo People

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Atomic Bomb Testing in Vegas

How did Atomic Bomb Experiments change Las Vegas? Was it safe to watch those explosions? What do you think about that?

The History of Bugsy Siegel and Las Vegas

You know that Bugsy Siegel was the first person to build a casino in Vegas. What else did you find out about him from this video?

Wedding in Las Vegas

What do you think of this wedding? Would you get married in Vegas? Would you like to invite Elvis to your wedding?

Elvis singing about Las Vegas!

Have you ever been to Vegas? Would you like to go there one day? What would you like to see or to do there?

Dresses on the Oscar Red Carpet

Did you like the dresses the actresses wore at the 2008 Red carpet Ceremony? which one was the best and which one was the worst?

More about Al Capone - History project

This is a short history project on Al Capone - did you find anything new? Tell us what you think about this man - did he deserve to go to Alcatraz?

The City of San Francisco

San Francisco

This is a presentation about the City of San Francisco Heidi and Gabi worked together on. What did you like about it? What was new for you? Would you like to go there some day? What would you like to see there?

Alcatraz - a very interesting island in San Francisco Bay

Cowgirls - and the Rodeo

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thursday, February 14, 2008

American Culture Quiz!

I have just created a really nice quiz on American Culture based on the texts we read and the videos we watched so far. Let's see if you can make 100%! Good luck!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Thursday, January 31, 2008

5 Must-Have Tools on your ESL Class Blog!

Blogs are wonderful free tools teachers can design to meet the needs of their particula syllabus, curriculum, students' learning styles and personal teaching philosophies. My students like our ESL class blog because it incorporates a variety of tools they are using EVERY day in and outside class. This is a list of 5 "must-have" tools I put together and recommend to any ESL teacher who wants to use blogs as a tool rather than as a simply instructional media:
1. Online Dictionaries
(with visual and audio/pronunciation features, also with ESL learner features)
Merriam-Webster online dictionary, , VisuWords, and Thefreedictionary:

2. Grammar Girl: wonderful free podcasts for anyone interested in improving writing skills in English:
3. Online Essay Map: great tool for students who can not organise ideas in paragraphs or don't know how to write a topic sentence:
4. Free online Puzzle and crossword makers, great fun tools to improve students' spelling and vocabulary: (a Web-based service, with a variety of puzzles to choose from (Letter Tiles, Crosswords, Fallen Phrases).
Kelly's Multiple Choice HTML Quiz Generator, (which may be used to generate interactive self-study quizzes, where the sample questions are replaced with one's own.).
5. Media Sharing Tools:
Slideshare - the world's largest community for sharing power point presentations on the web
TeacherTube – an online community for sharing instructional videos
Just demonstrate the students how to use them and then they will take over the classroom! How about your list of must-have blogging tools for teachers and students?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ugly Betty, SCI Miami, Grammar Girl and Merriam-Webster in one package!

It is true that Web 2.0 opened new horizons to both teachers and students. Anyone can easily access information on an infinite variety of subjects in just a couple of seconds: we are became legitimate participants in the world outside our classroom. The problem is now – how can we face the amount o information bombarding us n a daily basis. How can we teach our students select appropriate material and be effective while surfing the web? A possible answer is RSS – a great tool to make classroom blogging more productive for the students and professors. At the beginning of the semester, I included a list of links I want my students to check on a regular basis. These are online dictionaries (Merriam Webster check on the ESL Learner section!!!), CNN, US Today and BBC news, Grammar Girl podcasts, and of course some fun stuff: like Ugly Betty Blog (believe it or not, I am watching that too from time to time J ), or CSI Miami blog (I am a big fan of that !!!!). My students started complaining that it became time consuming to check on all these blogs and links daily, so the RSS solution was perfect for me! I asked all of them to create a Bloglines account, subscribe to their favorite blogs and check on the headlines that appear on the right section. This is how they can skim for information they might find useful, or just have fun browsing on the latest posts – just like browsing a newspaper! Easy, time saving and just very cool! Try it out with your students and let me know if it worked for them!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

English is a Crazy Language - Do you agree?

Dear ESL Grammar students! Welcome to our ESL Class bklog. this is the first post I want you to read and comment on.
English is the most widely spoken language on our planet, used in some way on every continent. Half of the world's books are written in English, and the majority of international telephone calls are made in English. Nonetheless, it is now time to face the fact that English is a crazy language. In what other language do people drive in a parkway and park in a driveway? Why is it that when we transport something by car, it's called a shipment, but when we transport something by ship, it's called cargo? Why are people who ride motorcycles called bikers and people who ride bikes called cyclists? Why -- in this crazy language -- can your nose run and your feet smell? Why is the word abbreviation so long? If olive oil is made from olives, what do they make baby oil from? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian consume? If pro and con are opposites, is congress the opposite of progress? A writer is someone who writes, but fingers don't fing and hammers don't ham. One goose, two geese -- so one moose, two meese? One blouse, 2 blice? ? One index, two indices -- one Kleenex, two Kleenices? If the teacher taught, why isn't it also true that the preacher praught? Why is it that the sun shone yesterday while I shined my shoes? Why is it that when the sun or the moon or the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible? English is a crazy language.
Do you agree with author that English is Crazy? Give examples of things that confuse you about this language. Have you ever had any confusing, embarrassing or funny situations related to misunderstandings in English?