Sunday, June 21, 2015

TESOL Teaching Vocabulary and Grammar Online Course Week 3

This week was more of the same: exploring online resources and posting on the course wiki

Here is my post for the week:

I read the article “Modality of Input and Vocabulary Instruction” at

The study reported in this article was interesting for me because, having studied a bit about how to accommodate students with a variety of preferred learning modalities, I always try to ensure that my lessons and materials appeal not only to visual and aural learners.  I often use a lot of video, which was the focus of the study (the use of video with and without audio and with and without captions), I usually show the video in class – once without captions to allow student to focus on the imagery and the audio and a second (and often third) time with captions, especially for those students whose listening abilities are below others’ in the class. 

The author of the article writes, “While existing research indicates that the presentation of a video with audio and captions is superior at least for written vocabulary learning, the concern of many teachers is that learners might not attend to audio when they also have captions, which would hinder their listening skills development,” and that describes me exactly!  When using video, I always ask myself the purpose – is it to simply activate schema, to introduce new vocabulary, or to have students practice top-down and bottom-up listening skills.  If the real purpose is listening skills practice, then I feel that captions make the task too easy and defeat the purpose because students whose reading skills do not match their listening abilities are not really honing their listening skills.  Hope that makes sense.

However, for vocabulary learning, I think that video (and/or images) with audio and captions make good sense, as we are appealing to a great number of learning modalities.  The next step is adding in some note-taking or active listening activity to make sure that learners are not passively watching but interacting with the video content (and thus appealing to learners with kinesthetic learning preferences).

Last, I would just mention that in the United States, we must provide captions for videos, as required by law, for students who may have disabilities (Americans with Disabilities Act). Adding captions to your own videos posted on YouTube is easy, but sometimes we find others' videos that we would like to use but that aren't captioned (or have inaccurate captions). A resource I would like to mention is Amara.  It's free.  You can caption others' YouTube videos as long as the videos stay posted on YouTube.


      1. Audio recorders (web-based)
      2. Dictionaries
      3. Exercise Creator Software
      4. Lesson Plans
      5. Vocabulary and Grammar
      6. Other Resources
      7. Links from mods & participants of PP104

Audio recorders (web-based)

howjsay: A free online Talking Dictionary of English Pronunciation
Fonetiks:   Online pronunciation guides to 9 varieties of the English language and 9 other languages  ·  Instant sound (you get the audio when you mouse over the image)
Lexipipedia - "where words have meaning" - Thanks Heidi for sharing this site!
Lingro ("Enter a website address to make all words on that page clickable")
Merriam-Webster Online (dictionary & thesaurus)
Reverso ("translation, dictionary, grammar, conjugation, language learning")
Variation in English Words and Phrases (Mark Davies / Brigham Young University. "Easily search for a wide range of words and phrases of English")
VisuWords (graphical dictionary)
Wordia (brings words to life through video)
Wordsmyth (dictionary-thesaurus)
Wordweb (downloadable to consult offline)

Exercise Creator Software
Cambridge English Online: cartoon and flashcard makers
Dipity (interactive, collaborative timeline creator) & see Journey of Mankind for a fabulous example of the use of a timeline to explain "the peopling of the world")
Dragster (Drag and drop activities)

EducaPlay (12 types of interactive embeddable activities)
EdPuzzle: edit video segments and add interactiviy
ESLvideo (create multiple-choice quizzes using videos) & QuizBuilder
FineCrosser (crossword puzzles)
Game-O-Matic (the original version)
Google Drive (click the "Create" button on the top left and choose "Form" to create a quiz) ("a Web 2.0 application to support learning and teaching processes with small interactive modules")
LearnClick: A powerful and flexible, yet easy to use tool for creating online gap-filling exercises
as well as drag & drop, dropdown and multiple choice quizzes
Online Exercise Makers (Glossmaker, Evalmaker, Matchmaker) - Exercises developed by the CLA Language Center. Here are some examples. They were not created for actual use:

ParagraphPunch: The site provides online interactive exercises that guide users step by step through pre-writing, writing, organizing, editing, rewriting, and publishing (Educational FREEway by Professionals & Professors)
Question Tools (not free)
Quia (not free)
QuizRevolution (former MyStudiyo: create embeddable quizzes) (not free)
  • Note: access to Spellmaster is now forbidden; this link takes you to the Internet Archive where you can download both packs; one of them includes the possibility to insert sound in the exercises
  • you will download a zipped folder in both cases: click "Save", choose the folder where you want to save it and then doubleclick on it (to open the different files); finally, click on "Extract all files" and follow the "Extraction Wizard"; I work with Windows XP)
  • now you're ready to follow my tutorial at
  • exercise with sound: (you may need to increase the size in "Zoom")
StudyBlue flashcard creator (text, images, audio). To be used online or on mobile devices.
Tagxedo ("tag clouds with style")
Thinglink: making images interactive
Tools for Educators (Worksheet wizards, game creators, 100% customizable worksheet generators with images)
Word Dynamo (glossary maker with interactive exercises) - Worth a try!
Wordle (graphic generator using words from a text)
Wordsmyth Glossary Maker and Quiz Maker
Wrds (students can create their own vocab lists; good for vocab & pronunciation practice; also includes vocab games) & Tutorial by Russell Stannard

Lesson Plans
LessonPro (template to compose lessons online)
LessonWriter ("Create lessons & differentiate instruction")
TeAchnology (It also includes worksheets, graphic organizers, games and much more)

Vocabulary and Grammar
Grammar Bytes (notes and exercises, for advanced sentence-level writing. Adults with a sense of humor)
Movie Segments for Warm-ups and Follow-ups (you're welcome to look at the BaW12 "Session page" for Claudio Azevedo, look at his presentation and listen to the recording of the live session.)
Road to Grammar (for YLs)
The Grammar Aquarium (Grammar notes, online and handout exercises for EFL and ESL)

Vocabulary (Puzzles) (Worksheets)
ESL Galaxy (Worksheets and games)
Free Rice (for a good cause)
Learning Chocolate ("to help students to memorize English vocabulary in an easy and efficient way, by using pictures, sounds and games")
Lextutor (concordancer)
LyricsGaps ("learn and improve your foreign languages like English through musicand typing in song lyrics")
MiCASE (Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English)
QuizHub (games, puzzles, and quizzes)
Spiderman Spelling Game ("This free word puzzle game will help students develop their English ability while entertaining them at the same time")
VocabPractice (A self-access wiki to learn and review vocab)
VTrain ("large vocabulary files with sample sentences, audio and pictures")

Vocabulary & Grammar
77 Educational Games and Game Builders (sites collected by Richard Byrne) (see 1-11, 16, 18-19, 27-28, 30-31, 37, 42-46, 56, 59, 63, 70, 75)
English Attack (one whole free exercise daily)
Web-Based Activities (custom-made activities I created by Teresa Almeida d'Eca)

Other Resources
Animated movie creators


SnipURL (to make long URLs short)
TinyURL (to make long URLs short)

Sites to follow
Interesting Ways (Tom Barrett)
Learning Technology (Nik Peachey)
Teacher Training Videos (Russell Stannard)

TurnItIn (Preventing plagiarism et al.)

Diigo (Social Bookmarking)
WebSlides (turning bookmarks into interactive slideshows)
Wikis: Collaborative Learning Spaces for the Digital Era (Presentation by Teresa and Dafne, May 2007)
Webheads in Action (Community of practice)
Bedford/St Martin's (Mary Scholl)
OLE Page (Resources on Online Learning compiled by Teresa Almeida d'Eca)
dotSUB (Upload videos, subtitle them or translate them)
Rich Internet Applications for Language Learning ("Innovative tools to enhance language learning. Create, embed, share") (links organized by tags)
VARK Learning Styles (Learning styles)
EFL/ESL Page (Resources compiled by Teresa Almeida d'Eca)
Cities-Buildings podcasts (Dafne Gonzalez)
A Webquest about Webquests! (Shannon Smith, 2007)
House Design Webquest (Dafne Gonzalez, 2005)
VoxOpop (a tool for voice threads)

Links from mods & participants of PP104
Otterwave (app for pronunciation practice)
SCVNGR (app for doing challenges at places)
Text-to-Speech (TTS)
AudioPal ( It is free, very user-friendly and it provides different voices (female and male) with British, American, and Australian accents. You do not need to sign up, and a link to the recording, in MP3 format, is sent to your email box. You can download the recording or embed it in your wiki, blog or web page

Voki ( With this free application, you can create talking avatars which can be embedded in your blog or wiki

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