Saturday, 3 December 2011

MailVU - A video email


Email is a the fastest way of mailing another person. Evolution of mailing system is increasing rapidly where email is not for an electronic letter, but video as well. Let say, writing a letter is too time consuming, why don't you just send a video of yourself speaking? MailVu is the website that allow you to send a video of you speaking (rather than writing) to the receiver's email adress. The receiver could reply using the same method, thus creating an enjoyable interaction. Simple enough?

Another speaking activity that could be done, in a more interactive way. Imagine video call, it use almost a similar concept, it is just that the conversation is delayed. Teacher could come out with different activity to encourage students to record themselves speaking. (explaining about students personal life, interview etc).

What best about this website is, it directly send it to the email adress, a very common way of communicating electronically. So, if teachers want the students to use target language during long holiday, ask students to send their video mails in English informing of their well being. Teacher could give feedback in the same way, to encourage communicative language. 


  1. Sign up (optional) - Basically, you do not really have to sign up and pay but still enjoy sending video mails.
  2. Allow access to video and microphone.
  3. Click record - start talking, :)
  4. Send - send to the receiver emel adress
  5. Share - it will provide you with the URL link of the video


  1. Interesting - rather than writing an email, students could send their video. If you see the video of the sender, facial expression, hand gesture is visible as well.
  2. Speaking - teacher will be able to assign homework that get the students to speak the target language outside classroom. 
  3. Promoting objects - Students would be able to share some solid object to the senders, rather than describing it in term of words. 
  4. Pronunciation - students would be able to practise pronunciation and discourse making, in order to make their speaking understandable.
  5. Free - It is simple and free so that students could use this easily. 

  1. You have to pay for better applications provided.
  2. It is not downloadable - it stay forever in the internet. 
  3. The limited time of recording.


I would definitely suggest this as one of the activity in classroom because teachers do not necesserily apply this during teaching but as a homework. Rather than writing an email (which is also a good activity), teachers and students or students and students could exchange real communicative language.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

elllo - English Listening Lesson Library Online


ello is a fantastic website that mainly focus on the listening skill, in conjunction with other skills. It has a vast collection of audio of various topic from personal to world knowledge acrross culture.

For second language learners, listening to native speakers might be a rare oppurtunity in own country. ello provides a medium to listen to how English is spoken all around the world by native speakers and non-native speakers too. Besides, students  may familiarise with different accents and use of language.

The different activities provided allow students to choose what they would enjoy most. Some might enjoy listening with visual while some might enjoy listening to a video. The power to choose what they want and the fact that it is acessible outside classroom encourage the autonomy in learning.

Taking control of their own learning, by choosing the topic of their interest make them engage to the learning. They become interested and take part in the activity. It means they have higher possibility to acquire the language effortlessly through meaningful learning.

It is divided to few sections:

Topic:1139 'Sea Turtles'
Speakers: Dusty (US) and Mike (Canada)
  • Views: It is basically a conversation between two people giving their view of a certain topic. The conversation is real and authentic (may include pauses, fillers and back-channelling).
  • Transcript tab - The transcription of the audio is provided. The speakers information are also given (name, picture and country). You may choose whether you want to hide or show the text.
  • Audio slide view tab - Listen to the audio with the help of visual slide. The whole text is divided into few shorts sentences, and subtitle is provided. 
  • Vocabulary tab - It explains the word or phrases in the text, in details with few examples. You could listen to the explanation and read it at the same time.
  • Activity - On the right hand side, there are exercises to check comprehension and test vocabulary. Students could check their answer after doing the task.
  • Further information - Related topic/link and video response of the topic is also provided for further discussion. 

Topic: Mixer 121 'Favourite Proverb'
Speakers: Various
  • Mixer: It has few speakers (with various accents from different country) and the opinion given individually with no interaction to each other. 
  • Transcript tab - The audio transcription. You could also click the words in blue to listen to the explanation or meaning.
  • Audio slide view tab - You can choose among the speakers and listen to their speech. A picture is provided in relation to the text. In this case, the picture of Confucious is shown when the speaker is talking about a proverb by him. 
  • Vocabulary tab - Similar to the view's section, it gives further explanation of a difficult word.

Topic: G70 'Yoga Pose'
Speakers: Jeff
  • Game: A listening game, where users have to listen and choose the right image of the topic being discussed.  
  • Choose the right image: Students will listen to Jeff description of yoga pose and listener need to identify which picture fit the description. 
  • Full audio and transcription is provided.

  • Audio downloads - The download link for the audio, vocabulary, and notes are provided
  • Activity - There are exercises provided (vocabulary, reading and speaking quiz) as well as answer. 

Topic:  1032 'Should the man pay for everything on the first date?'
Speaker: Steve (UK)

  • Videos: It is a recorded video of various english speaking users all around the world about various topic. It is interesting because we could see the view of people about random topics. 
  • Watch the video - Click to watch the video and choose whether you want it with subtitle or not. 
  • Transcription is provided on the right column. 

    • Activity - Video Quiz (multiple choice questions) to check understanding.
    • Further Information - A link for related topic is provided for further discussion. 

    Topic: 1 'an oil spill, a theft, a long walk, taxes and a new book'
    • News: It is a newscast of six different topics.
    • Animated cartoon with quiz - There is a quiz section with cartoons and multiple choice question after listening to a short information. 
    • Transcription - They could also listen to the whole news and read the text as well.
    • Activity - On the right, there is some excercises focus and vocabulary and listening (gaps fill and short answer questions).


      1. Real languages - ello use authentic language where English speakers from different background participate in the activity. Meaning, it provides various accents of English speaking. It prepares students with real communicative language and make student aware that meaning is what count in a conversation apart from correct use of language.
      2. Different approaches - It has few different sections, such as Game where students would enjoy it. Rather than listening for comprehension, they would also choose listening to answer quiz.
      3. Printable document - teachers and students could benefit from the exercises in classroom. For example, teachers provide listening, and hand out the printable exercises for student to answer. In other words, no technology is needed.
      4. Downloadable audio - This audio is in the format of MP3 and can be played through mp3 player, if interenet access is not available.
      5. Interesting activity - Teacher could create different classroom activity for students base on the topic provided in ello. For example after listening to a group of people about their favourite proverb, students could also discuss on their own favourite proverb.
      6. Easy and Free - It is easy, accessible, and free for all internet users.
      7. Skills Development - Most of the listening activity could then be extended to to other idea of teaching where students make a group discussion about the opinon given or write a summary of what is said by the speakers.
      8. Post Discussion - Most of the sections in ello provide a related topic and in 'view' section, there are also video responses from random speakers. This will allow more creativity for students who wish to extend their knowledge about that particular topic. The idea of differentiation is applied here.
      9. Topics cover many aspects -Obviously, it encourage personalisation because interesting content is chosen to fit students level and interest. 
      10. Answers -  Answers are provided so that students could check it straight away.


      1. Repeated exercises - The exercises here is repeated and students may find it boring after a few tries. 
      2. Searching topic - There is no tag or label that make the topic searching easier. 


      This is a very useful website for teachers and students. For teachers, they may have some teaching ideas base on the activity or topic provided. Meanwhile, students could learn from here by themselves for their own pleasure rather than for learning purpose. It will surely assist in autonomous learning, a very important concept of language learning.

      Wednesday, 23 November 2011

      Audioboo - A podcasting tool

      LINK :


      Audioboo is a nice webpage that allow students to record their voice and upload it on the internet, shared through itunes and twitter. I would like to introduce you to the idea of podcasting. Podcasting is a recorded audio that is shared through internet for anyone to listen to. It use a similar concept of radio show where there is a speaker and audience to listen to the podcast.

      Whenever there is a real audience, there is a tendency for the speaking activity to be real and meaningful to the students. This is how audioboo benefit english language learners. It function as an audio social network where internet users could listen and comment on students recorded voice.

      Podcasting is an interesting concept that may benefit language learners. In English learning, getting the students to use the language is important for students to acquire the language  naturally. It can be set as a homework, to get the students to speak about a certain topic. Using audioboo, students might be more concious of their own pronunciation after listening to the recording, due to the fact that it is published in the internet (which mean, it is accessible for every one). They have the tendency to speak correctly, with extra attention to the grammar and right use of vocabulary.


      Topic: Audioboo in language learning
      Speaker: Myself


      1. Start recording OR Sign up - via Twitter  or e-mail adress.  
      2. Click the 'Make the recording/Upload file' button.
      3. Start recording OR upload the audio file (if you prefer to record your voice using other recording tool, rather than audioboo)
      4. Add title, (required) tags, and picture (optional).
      5. Publish

      1. An audio social network - It works almost like other social network (facebook, twitter, etc) where you could add you twitter/facebook friends and comment on each other podcast. 
      2. Comment - Your comment can be in the form of audio or typed, encourage communicative language.
      3. Similar properties as youtube - you could search for related audio and visit the uploader's page for more audios.
      4. Shared - The audio can be shared on itunes and twitter account - invite more audience.
      5. Keeping in touch with others - You could follow others or being followed to keep in touch with the uploader's latest podcast.  
      6. Embedded function - you may want to embedd the audio to your own website or blog. 
      7. Email  the podcast to others - If you wanted someone who does not have an account to view your audio, you could email them the link.

      1. Limited time for recording - you have to pay for longer recording. 
      2. May not be of interest of some students - they would enjoy pictures and words, rather than listening to a podcast. 


      Initially, the speaking may be scripted and not using real language. Regardless, it is a good start to get the student to speak. It is better than no speaking at all. It is a nice oppurtunity to have a go on it. For example, teachers could have students comment the content in the classroom through audioboo, rather than directly give their opinon on the subject matter. It allow a passive students to involve as well.