Monday, 17 October 2011

Lyrics Training - A fun way to practise listening!

Lyrics Training is a website where students could listen to a song of their choice, and type in the lyric of the song while listening. In other words, this website practising listening skill through songs.

Practically, songs are one of the students' source of English. Luckily, English songs are popular worldwide. Students are expose to different genre of songs and memorize the lyric and learn simple vocabulary. Songs are naturally fun. Using it in classroom, why not? Something that is fun is always engaging.

Beside, students may want to enjoy doing this activity, fill in the lyric, while at the same time sing the song. If they stuck at words, they could look the meaning up and learn it. It encourage autonomy in learning where students could practise this on their own, for the purpose of improving their knowledge of target language.

Song: The Way You Are
Singer: Bruno Mars

  • Choose Song - Type the name of the singer or the song title in the search box.
  • Select the Game Mode - Beginner, Intermediate, Expert.
  • Listen and Type - Start typing the lyrics. 
  • Help -  The 'help' button shows how to rewind, skip etc.
  • Sign up - If you want to.

    1. Fun - Anything that is fun, attract students and encourage them to learn.
    2. Preference - They have a choice of their own preferred song. 
    3. Level - There is a level of difficulty. It promotes different level of proficiency and making the task comprehensible for learners at appropriate level.
    4. Autonomous learning - Students can practise on their own at home. 
    5. Vocabulary - If you sign up for the website, there is better option where you could view your scores and the vocabulary of the songs. I find this helpful because learners could review the vocabulary and learn new words.

      1. Appropriate song - Teacher may have to guide students of choosing the right song that really benefit students for learning. Some of the songs are good, but the content does not really contribute to learning.
      2. Appropriate lyric -Some of the music videos or lyrics may not be appropriate for certain culture perspectives. 
      3. In term of score, there might be a question of validity because there is a penalty if you spend a long time through the song where it could be a matter of typing speed.   


      Listening to songs in the target language is a fun and creative way of learning that particular language. Fortunately for English teacher, there are numerous sources of English songs that is suitable for language learning. Rather than listening to a song and doing a task on paper, technology makes life interesting. So, start now, promote this website to your students. :)

          Listen and Write - Variation in listening activity



          Listen and Write is another website that focus on dictation, which is another approach to practise listening. It is a useful website for learners because the authenticity of the text is a good approach in preparing learners in real life situation.

          In language learning, listening to authentic source should be the main source of English. Adapted conversation is suitable for beginner and if the content is high. Students should be exposed to the real language and practice listening to the accents and get use to the speed of speaking.

          This website is a good tool to practice listening and students could check straight away whether they listen to the correct word. Spelling and vocabulary are emphasised here. Thus, Listen and Write is an activity that aim for few skills at one.

          Topic: Scientists, Engineers Help Elementary School Teachers
          Level: 19

          You could try doing the task here.

          • Level - Learners could choose the appropriate level and also the article that they would be interested with. 
          • Log in - You could log in using your facebook account or simply signing up for a new account. By signing up, learners could review their score and keep track of their improvement. 
          • Three modes - (Full mode, Quick mode, and Blank mode) where each promote different approach of performing the task.

          • Some of the audio are taken from authentic source, which is a good practice for learners to prepare them for real life.
          • There is an auto repeat  function: It is necessary to give student time typing out and listen for the audio more than once untill they get it right.
          • There is a hint button and dictionary, that assisst learners with unknown word. I find this helpful because learners could look up for the new vocabulary straight away, while they are trying to understand within context.
          • There are degree of difficulty for a certain text and learners could choose which one suit them best. There are sentence level as well as word level. 
          • Besides news, there are also videos from youtube that could be more interesting because it has visual and audio rather than listening alone. 
          • Suitable for autonomous learning. Student could do this activity on their own.

          • Some of the text are using American English, and may have slight different in term of spelling. 
          • There is no clear description of the levels. Students may find it challenging at certain level because they do not know which level suit them best (or where to start with).  


          I have to say that this website is a practical activity that use a very simple concept, listen and write what you listen to. It is very similar to spelling bee, or any other spelling activity in classroom. What make it different is, it test listening as well. It will be a good activity for students.

            Thursday, 13 October 2011

            Dvolver - Creating interesting comic!

            LINK -

            Dvolver is a fantastic website for English teachers who look for variety in their language teaching. It is a video making website that include a cartoon comic strip where we choose from few themes, characters, and backgrounds given. In brief, learners could create their own dialogue and present it in the form of movie, depending on their own creativity.

            Rather than asking the students to create dialogue on paper, in pairs or group, Dvolver promote a more interesting and fun way of creating dialogue. Due to its colourful and animated nature, students will have more interest and feel excited to create a dialogue. If they are excited about it, it is more likely that they will remember what is being taught and language is processed effectively.

            The activity of creating comic strip also contribute to cognitive development, especially when students have to create a scene that suit their intended dialogue.

            • Select background and sky

            • Select the plot. It has four plots. 

            • Choose the character.

            • Type in the character line. 

            • Choose the background music. You may want to add a new scene, depending on your story line. 

            • Select the movie title and include your name too. 

            • You can preview the movie, and send it to anyone through email. You could also choose 'back' button to make some changes. 


            Title: Teach me dvolver
            Author: myself

            1. No sign up - It is easily accessible where you could start right away without signing in. 
            2. Choices - There are choices of background and theme as well as characters, which are interesting and able to encourage dialogue making. 
            3. Free - This website is totally free. 
            4. It is simple - You just follow the instruction and you could always go back to the previous step if you made some mistakes. 
            5. Allow creativity - It is a good practice of English because learners will come out with their own idea while performing the task. 

            1. Choice - The limited choice of theme or plot. It means, learners may not possibly come out with a broader theme aside from what is given.
            2. Speakers - The maximum speakers are two, which is also limited. 


            The fact that multimedia is always an interesting tool for anyone regardless age and gender make Dvolver a powerful website. Everyone would favour a comic dialogue, especially when it is simple and easy to make. Language teachers will not escape any opportunity to create another classroom activity that apply this concept. For that reason, I do not fine any limitation not to use this in classroom or as homework or project. Though they might be issue of technical problem (lack of computers / no internet access), it can still be done with careful plan. Good Luck