Monday, November 17, 2008

I'm not sure if you are here today

I'm not sure who will be here today in the computer lab. But even if some of you (or even all) are away, you can always access this blog from home, from overseas, and whenever you wish.

Today I shall set you a number of tasks. I am going to give you a list of the skills that we have practiced throughout the year. Are you able to do all of the following? If you can, then that shows you are able to use the resources that the Internet provides to make your English study fun, efficient, interesting and with variety.

  1. Can you navigate to (find) my blog by yourself?
  2. Can you search through my blog (try searching for the word 'grammar')?
  3. Can you click on a hyperlink? (click to see where I found today's image)
  4. Can you switch on or off the 'mute' button (look at the bottom right on the toolbar)?
  5. Are you able to use Youtube (and pause to allow the clip to download)?
  6. Do you know how to right-click and open a second window?
  7. Do you use 'bookmarks' or 'favorites'?
  8. Do you have another English site that you regularly visit?
  9. Do you have a set of headphones for listening?
  10. Do you know what 'archives' are?
  11. Are you able to send me an email (try now)?
  12. Are you able to see another random blog (hint: click on the hyperlink 'Next Blog' at the top of this page.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Let's visit Dave in his cafe

One good site for learning English is Dave's ESL Cafe. (I heard that it is the most popular one in the world.) Today we shall dip into the stuff he has for students. Together we'll look at:
  1. the Help Center (in NZ we spell it 'Centre')
  2. Grammar Lessons (do you really want to?)
  3. Idioms
  4. Phrasal Verbs
  5. Pronunciation Power (as much as we can without paying)
  6. Quizzes
  7. Slang
  8. Student Forums
I would just like to thank all of you for your support this year. Thank you for your farewell gift. One more link I would like to direct you to is an interview with Dave Sperling. Click on it and scroll down to the listening bar at the foot of the page.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Australian English

Today in the computer suite, we are going to look at an Australian site for learning English. After this class you will be able to use it to:

  1. support your English learning through another language
  2. read local (Pacific region) news stories
  3. listen to the news on the radio
  4. listen to podcasts
And finall, so that you don't leave NZ, here is the Radio New Zealand link.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Where The Hell Is Matt?

At the bottom of this post there is a link. It leads you to the blog that belongs to the dancing man we met last week. His name is Matt.

I would like you to click on that link and then click on "Where is Matt Now?". Zoom in to see in which country Matt is. Then zoom in as far as you can go. Use the map to find two other places in the world that you know.

where the hell is matt?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Dancing man

After you watch the video, answer 10 of the 15 following questions:

How would you describe his dancing?
What is his name?
Did he visit your country?
Would you be able to do what he does?
Why do you think he is dancing?
Do you recognize the music in the background?
Which animals do you remember?
Would you like to go to some of the places he visited?
Who do you think he made the video for?
At the end of the clip, how many other clips does YouTube list?
How old do you think he is?
Where do you think he comes from?
What question would you like to ask him?
Would he make a good friend?
Do you think he has had any problems doing what he does?

In the next few weeks we shall learn more about this man, and that will help us with our English.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Follow the leader

How are you at following instructions?

How are you at asking for clarification?

Today I'm going to get you to do both.

Please tell me when you are ready to start.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Best English Learning Sites

As I did last week, I'll provide you with more English learning sites. I typed the words "Interesting English Learning Site" into Google and was directed to this page.

Open up that site in another window (remember to right-click) and try to answer the following eight questions:

  1. Who put together the page, and when?
  2. What is the first hyperlink on the page?
  3. What is the last hyperlink on the page?
  4. Listening, Vocabulary, Grammar . . . how many categories of sites are there?
  5. How many Easy Level sites are there on the whole page?
  6. In which section, and at what level, is the Remarkable Translation Page?
  7. Go to Edit, go to Find, search for 'slang'.
  8. Go to 'Write a Funny Story', select 'Super Salad' and try the activity.
I hope you enjoyed yourselves today.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Treasure trove

Hi Everyone

I really enjoyed my weekend. Wasn't the weather gorgeous?

Recently, I've been clearing out the papers in and on my desk. I re-discovered something that I had forgotten I had. It is a 12-sheet booklet of useful websites for learning English. It is 4 years old, but many of the websites should still be active. So what I will do is spend an hour taking a look at some of them, and listing the best of them.

Please browse all of the following within the hour, and let me know what you like best.

  1. English zone (looks very useful)
  2. English page (looks similar to the above)
  3. Virtual language centre (this looks great. Try the web concordancer)
  4. Learning resources (it concentrates on reading)
  5. Study zone (start with a number . . .)
  6. English baby (I'm not sure what you will find here :-) Make friends on line?
  7. English learner movie guides (for people who like movies)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Explore your favourite music

Hi everyone

I'm sorry that I wasn't with you last week. Two weeks ago I promised that I would introduce you to a music site on the Internet. Today we will go there.

The site is called Last FM. I use it a lot. I think that you could get a lot of fun out of it too. Open up two windows so that you can view it and this blog on the same screen. Remember to right-click and "open in a new window or tab".

Try to do the following:

  1. sign up (see the top right corner)
  2. log in
  3. type in the name 'Beatles' and press "play"
We'll also try other things such as setting up your profile.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Hi Everyone

Is it cold enough for you?

Today, I'll give you something to read and talk about. Later, you will be doing an assessment about negotiation, so I searched for something on that topic on the Internet.

Below is a link to an English lesson on . If you scroll down the topics list on the right, you will find English as 2nd Language.

Here is a lesson that I found there. Read what it is about, and then later (another day) Pariya may have you work in groups and practise the negotiating phrases that are listed. One thing I would suggest is NOT to use the phrase "I disagree" too much. In normal conversation it is too strong. If you must, use the phrase: "I'm afraid I don't agree." It is softer.

After you have read and thought about the 3 schools, why don't you explore the rest of the home page? Just remember, some of it is written for teachers.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Visiting China

Hi Everyone

We're going to visit a listening website, and through that website we will visit China.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Ten steps to great conversations

Welcome back to class after the weekend.

Today's topic is conversation. I am going to pass on some advice from other people. You may need to open two or more windows. It's a useful skill when using the computer. Let's start with that.

What you do is to right-click on a hyperlink. That will allow you to open the webpage in a new window. Then, you can minimize, change the size and drag the two until they are size-by-size.

The hyperlink that I'll get you to open is a post on a blog by a man called D . . . P . . . He wrote the post about communication in 2006, on . . . The title of his blog is H . . . T . . . S . . . T . . . W . . .
He lives in C . . . and he does a lot of writing on topics that I am interested in. However, I don't expect you to read his writing. Instead, I shall go over some of his points with you.

Afterwards, we'll have a real conversation with someone ago. Search this blog for 'robot' and then click on the link you will find there. You will know thatI've introduced you to a few months you are on the right page if you see this picture:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Show and tell

Hello everyone. How do you like your new computer lab? It is useful for your English to do as many things in English as possible. That includes exploring Internet English learning and using possibilities. I am happy for you to choose your own activity in the computer lab. You know best what you enjoy. But every week I shall try and make a suggestion.

Last week we ended up in the Mac Lab. We didn't get very far :-( But this week there ought to be less problems. Did some of you come today with photographs or a camera. If so, let's try and create morphs of you, your family and friends. You can see some more morphs below and also here. When you are ready, click on the link to the My Heritage site.

Your English task for today is talk with other people as much as you can about this activity. You could write about it too. For example, you could send me a comment.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Do you know what a morph is?

"Welcome back for semester 2" if you are returning. "Welcome" if you are new.

I'd like to give you something interesting to talk (and read) about. It is all about faces. Some people resemble other people, and today's topic will explain how you can do that.

A website that you can you can use is this one.
(at .

If there are pictures of faces on your computer, you can upload them to see which celebrities they look like. Let's see how it works.

First, you upload one photo that has a large front-facing face (or faces). Do that by clicking on the 'Browse' button and searching on your computer. Second, click the 'Run face recognition' button. Here is the picture that I chose.

And this is the celebrity I look like.

And you can also create a moving morph. Ask me if you wish to try that. This is what I mean below:

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities

Monday, June 16, 2008

Fun with images

Hi everyone

Let's have some fun today. I'm going to show you how to create a slide show. After you learn, you'll be able to choose some of your own photographs.

First, select some pictures. Select some by using Google. Go to to Google Images and enter an animal's name e.g. cat, frog, elephant . . .

Next, click on a picture that you like so that you see it full size. Save this picture onto you computer by right clicking it. Save it onto the desktop. I would like to select at least 5 different pictures. Finally, go to this slideshare site and follow the directions. Good luck!

I tried this

Monday, June 09, 2008


Hi everyone

Today I'll try and call by and see what H611, our new room, is like.

I'd like you to look at some blogs today. What is a blog? Well, it comes from the words 'Web Log'. You take the last letter of the first word and combine it with the next word.

B + Log = Blog

But what is it exactly?

You know what a diary is like, don't you? A diary, journal, log, travelogue etc is simply something that you write on a daily or regular basis. When you put in online it is called a blog.

What you are reading now is a blog. It's my class blog. I write regularly for ESOL students. Let me show you another blog. It's mine too, but it is about another topic. It tells about my trip through Japan three years ago. Take a look at it, but don't read too much. Please come back here in no more than 5 minutes.

(Now go to for 5 minutes.)

Are you back? Good! Soon I'm going to send you away again. I will ask you to look at some blogs by other people. You will look at some at random. Mostly they will be boring, so don't waste time looking at them. I would like you to glance at at least 20. Then, when you find an interesting looking blog, I want you to do two things:

  1. Bookmark that blog's address so that you can find it again
  2. Email me (or write a comment) and send me the address of the blog

To visit random blogs, return to either my class blog or my Japan trip blog. Look at the top of the page. On the blue bar, you simply click on the words 'Next Blog'. That's all!

Good luck.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ship or sheep

Hi All

Today I shall certainly pay you a visit in the computer lab. I'm well. I'm not on holiday. I am double-booked, so I can't spent the full hour with you, but I shall call by.

Today I have a site that Jean Monk told me about, called Ship or Sheep. Using this site will help you with your pronunciation of vowels. Maybe it will get quite noisy in the lab today!

I have bookmarked that website to my delicious account. This is a very convenient way for me to remember useful websites. Perhaps there is a student in the class who uses 'Delicious' too. If you want to join up it is free. I can help you if you like.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Essay writing

This week I was absent again - this time because of gall stones. But I shall continue to work! Some students are starting work on how to write an essay. I did a quick search and discovered three sites that look good.

  1. This site looks clear, short and simple.
  2. This is a basic guide that also looks good.
  3. Finally, this is a ten-step guide that also looks useful.
Take a quick look at all of them, but choose only one to study closely.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sharing Slides

A couple of posts ago I first mentioned SlideShare. Here I've had a couple of goes at making a slide show myself. If you like, I could show you how to do this too.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Monday, May 05, 2008

Slide Show about Global Food

World's biggest photograph

Welcome back after your holidays. I was on holiday too. In fact, I will still be on holiday from this class, although I will come in and see you for a few minutes.

Today I have some reading for you to do. If you click here you will arrive at an interesting site with many interesting new stories. The story I would like you to read is about the world's largest photograph. It is larger than the picture above, which is the previous world's largest photograph.

When you are finished, please choose another story to read. There are 10 other stories listed underneath the words: Related Links. After you have read that story too, see what stories the other students in the class chose. Were they all different? (If there are more than 10 students in the class then they can't have been ;-)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

ESOL Tutorial Group

Today three students studied with me: Hannh, Afsona and Kwi-Ok. We looked at the following sites. Their work in class this week was looking at using resources, dictionaries, Internet and the library. One of their exercises was to look at the history of certain words like ANZAC, balaclava, Trafalgar, holocaust etc.

I searched online for "Etymology" and discovered an online Etymology Dictionary.

After trying a few words I browsed this site of interesting news stories for listening comprehension. The story we chose was about the world's smallest girl.

Finally, I played this item about Fuel Economy for understanding and vocabulary.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Dictation and Comprehension

Some of my old students have asked me for a place where they can listen to dictations. Here is one good site of free exercises to try.

They also asked for a site with interesting stories to read to test their comprehension. This site has interesting Asian stories.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Oxford Headway

Hello everyone.

Today I shall spend my time in the computer suite with you. Thank you for your comments last week. Keep practising writing emails and messages such as comments.

Today's site will help you to improve your grammar. If you to you can choose what level to work at. After you click beginner or intermediate or advanced, then click the grammar option. Choose any unit and start to work. If you have time, you might explore other features of this site.

Monday, March 31, 2008

You are on your own!

Hi AM3

Today you are on your own - Pariya included!

I am busy all day on some other work, but I shall help you online.

Here are your tasks for today:

  1. Send me an email (to unless your name is Upali, George, Chiho, Nola, Rasmey and Carol. Thank you to those 6 people for sending me messages previously. Sorry to anyone who I have forgotten.
  2. Everyone please (including Pariya) write a comment on this picture - what do you think the person in the picture is thinking? Four or five lines below, you will find the word COMMENTS. Click on that, and the rest is easy.
  3. Every week I shall recommend one new website for learning English. Last week you spoke with a robot. This week I have a good listening site for you to try. Click here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hi all,

Last week you did an assessment of writing an email. Are you finished? No!

First, I would like you ALL to send me an email. Send it to this address:

Second, would the people who HAVEN'T YET written their names on the previous post (Carol, George(?)) kindly come up to the front and do so. If you would like your name in colour, let me know.

Third, go to this address and start talking to the man in the picture.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Our second day

Hello there everyone. Did you climb the stairs after the fire alarm drill? If you are able to log in, please do so.
(If you can't, please put up your hand.)
Also, could you write your names on the sheet that is going around?

Then, come here one by one and write your name here:

Upali, Nola, John, Rasmey, Tony, Sanghee, Chiho, Don, Digna, Toshiki, Woocheol, Sunyoung, Christina, Helen.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Welcome Back

I would like to welcome you back, and to say hello if you are not. Remember, you can access this blog whether or not you are a current student.

This year there will be changes at the Language Centre. You may not see one or two old faces . . . including mine. I shall be working at the Learning Centre on the ground floor of F Block. I am taking a break from teaching ESOL in 2008. However, you may still see me for help. Also, I would like to help you access ESOL online.

I shall try to take a class every Monday between 11 and 12 for you.

If you are interested in keeping up to date with what I am doing, please visit this site.

If you are interested in seeing what else I am interested in, please visit this other site.