reviews

Review: NILE Technology-assisted Language Learning course

I took the MA module in Technology-assisted Language Learning through NILE back in 2017. Here are some thoughts on the course (views my own).

Overview

The course “covers the uses of technology in language education and includes theoretical perspectives, practical applications and opportunities for hands-on practical experience.”

Module content included the following…

  • The role of edtech in ELT
  • Evaluating edtech in your own institution
  • Working with the web: search literacy, tagging literacy, etc
  • Working with media – images, audio, video, remixing
  • Mobile learning- what is it and how can we use it? QR codes, virtual reality, augmented reality, e-readers, SMS, etc
  • Syllabus design; implementing tech
  • Teacher development online: PLNs etc

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Review: NILE Materials Development course

I completed the MA module on Materials Development through NILE back in 2016. Here’s a quick review of the course (all views my own).

Overview

The online course runs for 8 weeks, with a mid-course break. It explores ‘many aspects of effective materials development, from key principles to practicalities.’

After an introductory unit, the rest of the course content covers the following:

  • Learners, contexts and materials
  • Cognitive demand
  • Language input and output
  • Exploiting texts
  • Affective factors in materials
  • Visual design and image
  • Teacher notes

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Spelling races with mini-whiteboards

I don’t do enough spelling practice. I should develop in that area, definitely. But one fun thing I do is a simple whiteboard spelling game as a review.

Give each team (about 4 students) a mini whiteboard, pen, eraser. Say one of the target words, and students spell it on the board. But…

  • Each student can only write one letter
  • They must then pass the board to their left
  • The next student writes the next letter
  • Students can collaborate over the spelling
  • When they’ve completed the word they hold the board up. The first team to finish gets a point.

Not got mini whiteboards? Just use a laminated piece of paper and some tissue as the rubber.

One team keeps winning…

Ha! Always happens. The game is just for fun. If a team keeps winning just get them to use their wrong hand to write each letter! Educational value, a bit. Fun and hilarity, plenty.

Alternative:

On our CELTA YL course one teacher put piles of letters (cut up) on each desk. He said a word and students worked together to construct it using the letters. One student tended to take over, but you could introduce some rules to prevent this.

I’m writing a series of short posts in response to Martin Sketchley’s blog challenge. You can view his new blog here.