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English as a Second Language Podcast - Center for Educational Development

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
These up to date podcasts of high interest differ from other podcast sites: the language used and the speed of delivery are simpler and slower. ESL and ELL students will ...more
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These up to date podcasts of high interest differ from other podcast sites: the language used and the speed of delivery are simpler and slower. ESL and ELL students will readily comprehend the podcasts and learn new vocabulary in context. Difficult vocabulary is explained. Summaries of each podcast on the opening webpage provide the main content and pedagogical focus. The podcasts on this site are free; students can listen to them directly from the web, download to a local computer, or place on an MP3 player. Each podcast does contain a brief advertisement for other purchasable features, including Learning Guides, complete transcripts, cultural information, and vocabulary assistance. Be sure to preview the podcasts before sharing them with your students to ensure age appropriateness. Topics are generally for older students or adults. If you download the podcasts to the computer, you will need Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (91), podcasts (52), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Have your ESL and ELL students listen and write their own summaries in groups or independently. Or ask them to write comprehension questions and answers to check their own understanding and challenge classmates. Have them compare information from the podcast to information on the same subject from other sources. Challenge students to present a one-minute summary. Have them prepare their own podcasts using the same format on subjects of their choice.
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Phil Shapiro Websequiturs - Phil Shapiro

Grades
3 to 10
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Readers will enjoy clicking on sequential phrases as they build sentences and paragraphs while reading parts of a story. Students pick one phrase and, when it's correct, it appears...more
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Readers will enjoy clicking on sequential phrases as they build sentences and paragraphs while reading parts of a story. Students pick one phrase and, when it's correct, it appears in a box below the three choices. As students make choice after choice, the box fills up with the complete story which they can reread by scrolling up and down. Lots of comprehension checking, context clues, grammar review, punctuation, use of transitions, and paragraph organization work are wrapped up in this activity, all while students are anxious to find the next phrase to "make sense." Fiction, non-fiction, and humorous excerpts are available.

tag(s): humor (15)

In the Classroom

High intermediate and advanced ESL and ELL students will enjoy the stories and review their grammar usage at the same time when using this site. Reading teachers looking for a way to practice with context clues will find this site a refreshing change. Use this site as a complement to reading stories using sentence strips. Have your students create their own story building activities following the format of this site.

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Center for Language Education and Research - Michigan State University

Grades
7 to 12
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Power up your foreign language classes with free Internet-based tools for foreign language students and teachers from the Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR). The CLEAR...more
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Power up your foreign language classes with free Internet-based tools for foreign language students and teachers from the Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR). The CLEAR project leverages the power of the Internet to provide a suite of tools that give students audio and video learning experiences while supplying teachers with smart effective tools for lesson design and assessment. Teachers who are comfortable with technology and those who are confident creators of multimedia content will find these tools easy to use and backed up with good documentation and video tutorials. The tools require no download or installation for use. The supported languages include, Chinese, German, Russian, Korean, Arabic, French, Vietnamese, and others.

Teacher registration is free and students don't need email accounts or registration to access the tools. Go to http://clear.msu.edu/teaching/online/ria/index.php to click on the link for Rich Internet Applications. The tools provide great ways to create interactive audio and video language prompts, record student responses, and collect them into audio dropboxes for teacher assessment.

The website also includes an extensive library of interactive multimedia modules for language learning, practice, and assessment. The modules are based on video clips that show native speakers and nonnative speakers interacting in natural, unscripted situations.

tag(s): arab (18), arabic (20), chinese (48), french (88), german (64)

In the Classroom

Language teachers can create a series of audio/video prompts for their students with the program "Conversations." Learners can access the questions in practice mode or real-time mode. Students' responses to the prompts are automatically saved so that teachers can monitor their work. SMILE is a collection of templates to create interactive language practice exercises that can be accessed from web pages. A record-keeping function allows learners to log their work for their teacher to view. Go beyond paper-based worksheets by adding interactive and multimedia elements such as drag-drop matching, instant feedback, and audio recording and playback with the worksheets tools. The "Broadcasts" program lets teachers record audio files and distribute them to students for playback on the computer or on their portable media devices. Viewpoint is an audio and video repository that lets teachers record audio/video online using a microphone or webcam, or upload existing media.
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Bunyips - National Library of Australia

Grades
2 to 8
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This entrancing graphic site portrays the cultural and literary history of the fictional Australian characters, the Bunyips. Students and teachers will enjoy learning about all the...more
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This entrancing graphic site portrays the cultural and literary history of the fictional Australian characters, the Bunyips. Students and teachers will enjoy learning about all the manifestations of its appearance on stamps, in books, and in folk lore. There are links for Education, Aboriginal Stories, Imagination, Evidence, and Fun & Games. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.. Although, a non-flash version is also available.

tag(s): australia (35), folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Use this when doing a unit on Australian history, folk lore, or creatures of fantasy like the Loch Ness monster or the Wisconsin hodag. To encourage children to read books about the bunyip, show them this site projected on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Ask ELL and ESL students in your class to share similar legendary characters from their cultures. Conclude your folklore unit by having students write their own tales of fantasy creatures that lurk in the corners of your school.
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Stories for Children Magazine - SFC Magazine

Grades
K to 7
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This delightful ezine offers many stories for children of a variety of ages, a monthly author feature, games, crafts, book reviews, and more. For those who prefer to print out ...more
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This delightful ezine offers many stories for children of a variety of ages, a monthly author feature, games, crafts, book reviews, and more. For those who prefer to print out the entire magazine, that option is available. The pictorial table of contents along the right border of the page entices children with attractive titles and graphics. Each story title indicates the target age for the story. Warning: most of this site is free, but there are items for purchase available. There are also some simple advertisements.

tag(s): authors (120), crafts (41), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Choose one story a week to give children the idea of supplementary reading or to use as reading comprehension practice with main idea or other skills. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL and ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting them on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have them highlight the vocabulary words in the text using the whiteboard tools as you come to them. Encourage students to write or verbally share their own stories after viewing this site's offerings. Some school filtering systems may block this site because it it hosted on the tripod (user-created site) domain. Be sure to check it at school to be sure it will work in your classroom, and request that it be unblocked if it falls into the "tripod trap."

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On-Line ESL News - VOA

Grades
5 to 12
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This site features news stories and articles of general interest in simpler language. Text scripts of the news features appear on the screen as students open the page. Most of ...more
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This site features news stories and articles of general interest in simpler language. Text scripts of the news features appear on the screen as students open the page. Most of these news articles offer streaming audio for listening as students follow the text.The general interest articles range in topic from science and technology to global culture to studying in America. There are minor advertisements at this website. The news is available using RealAudio. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (91), news (261), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Ask intermediate to upper level ESL and ELL students to research, write, and record a podcast of similar news. Poll students to find out which words in the broadcast are difficult for them, and assign a few words to each student to look up and explain. Ask ESL and ELL students to share similar stories from their home cultures. Learning support teachers will want to share these easy-to-understand news stories for their students' weekly current events "articles."

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Kids' Vid - Mike Keating

Grades
3 to 8
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Leap into video production with help from the Kids' Vid site! Kids' Vid steps you and your students through the process with tips on scripting, storyboarding, shooting video, and editing...more
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Leap into video production with help from the Kids' Vid site! Kids' Vid steps you and your students through the process with tips on scripting, storyboarding, shooting video, and editing it into a visual masterpiece. The site has classroom ideas, short exercises for story writing and learning video shots, an online storyboard creator, and lots of useful help from experts and kids on how to make the whole process an exciting educational experience. Some of the activities require Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Start the activity by showing the student-produced videos on the web site. Use the resources on the site for a whole class jig-saw exercise. Assign small groups the task of learning one aspect of the process and then reporting and showing it to the rest of the class. Share the knowledge by creating working groups, which contain an expert from each aspect of the process. Use one of the many class ideas as practice activities for students to learn the finer points of video production before they start their masterpieces.

Video is a great tool for authentic assessment - especially for ESL, ELL, and Special Education students. Think about letting each of your students create a short video about what they know for their parent conference meeting or Open House. Explore the realm of possibilities by having students develop and ask peers a "Question of the Week" and document the responses on video. Let students produce a walking tour of the school and key personnel as an introduction for new students. Post this video on the school website, but check the district and students' Acceptable Use Policies before videoing any student faces. You may want to ask your school's funding sources to consider purchasing a few USB plug-in "flip" video cameras that cost about $100 each so students can do these projects with an "indestructible" tool.
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Lingro - lingro.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A ...more
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This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A clicked word immediately displays its definition from the Lingro dictionary pages. The website looks visually the same within the Lingro window, but all words become clickable. You can also use Lingro to translate to and from English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Polish with more languages to be added. When students use the translation/definition tool, the site keeps a short-term record of their words and web pages, allowing them to study their own wordlists and to play games with these words. The wordlist and history feature only works short-term and at the SAME computer, unless you register, for free, to be able to take your personal history to any computer. With the translation capability, you can read websites in other languages. If you spell a word incorrectly, Lingro has a "best match" feature which finds likely definitions for your word of choice. There is also a tool to create electronic flash card type games from your saved wordlists.

Important technical note: Lingro cannot "see" words included in Flash interactives such as the "What's New" rotating content on the TeachersFirst home page. If you RIGHT click on an area of text and see "About Adobe Flash Player...," this means that the text is displayed in Flash and not "legible" to Lingro. Often pages offer a non-Flash version as an alternative.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), germany (28), italian (33), spanish (108), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

When your ESL/ELL, learning support, or weaker readers do Internet research on sites above their independent reading level, have them open Lingro first and then enter the URL (web address) they wish to read. Use Lingro for vocabulary development in any subject. Mark this site as a favorite on your classroom computer or on your teacher web page so that ESL/ELL, world language students, or weaker readers can use the definition and translation feature and benefit from instantly-created word lists. If your school permits individual student accounts on web tools, this is a good one. If not, create a single teacher account to compile class word lists.

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Power Point Games - Jefferson County Schools

Grades
2 to 12
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This site contains several templates for familiar TV games useful for teacher (or student) created review. The activities include Concentration, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants to be a...more
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This site contains several templates for familiar TV games useful for teacher (or student) created review. The activities include Concentration, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Password, Twenty Questions, and others. Most of the games are done in PowerPoint. Depending on the version of PowerPoint you have, the formatting may be slightly off once you input your words, questions, or answers. Original games created by a teacher complete the offerings. Our editors note that the sound files included with some templates may be copyrighted material, and TeachersFirst does not condone the use of this content without the permission of the copyright holder(s). Most templates are "clean" of such potential problems. This website requires PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat. Download both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): air (163)

In the Classroom

Use these templates with any subject you wish to review: foreign language word lists, social studies terms and concepts, science, language arts, art, music, sped, etc. These activities offer an excellent method to review information through a fun and different approach. Teachers can also have students create their own versions of review games.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Comic Creator - ReadWriteThink.org

Grades
2 to 12
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Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic...more
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Your students will create professional-looking comics in minutes using this Comic Creator site. No log-in is required. Just type in the prompted information, such as the name of comic character, author, caption, and of course, the dialog that goes into the speech bubble. The 'creator' chooses the number of panels, type of characters, style of speech bubble, and various props. Two actions are needed: clicking and dragging the items to go into the comic strip, and typing dialog into the bubbles. Then, presto....a genuine comic appears, ready for printing. The tool DOES support accent marks pasted from Word. (Unfortunately, there is no way to save your comic masterpieces.) This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), sequencing (31), summarizing (13)

In the Classroom

Instead of writing boring summaries, why not summarize through a comic strip. It's much like storyboarding, but the drawing has been left to the Comic Creator pros. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year. That book will become the most read classroom book of all in an elementary classroom. Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying about characterization, create dialog to show (not tell) about a character. Another idea - why not use the comic strips for conflict resolution or other guidance issues (such as bullying). Sometimes it is easier for students to write it down (or draw the pictures) than use the actual words. World language and ESL/ELL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to traditional written assessments.
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Telephoning English - English Portal.com

Grades
2 to 8
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Students learn appropriate language to use when telephoning and also begin to understand voice mail messages at this site designed for ESL and ELL students. Since using the telephone...more
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Students learn appropriate language to use when telephoning and also begin to understand voice mail messages at this site designed for ESL and ELL students. Since using the telephone is a big challenge when learning a new language, this site will be extremely helpful for newcomers. There are three levels of difficulty available.

tag(s): listening (91)

In the Classroom

Have your students practice the language on this site in a simulated telephone conversation. Have them record the voice mail messages and then play them for other students to respond to. Share this site on your class website or in your class newsletter so ESL parents can benefit from understanding telephone conversation better, too. Teachers of world languages may wish to use this site as a model to create similar information for their students of French, German, Spanish, and other world languages. Special ed teachers working on life skills will find these phone skills helpful, as well.

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Slang Idioms and More - 5-Minute English

Grades
2 to 12
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This site provides extra practice with phrasal verbs, idioms, and slang for ESL and ELL students and any students learning about idioms. The thematically organized idioms and slang...more
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This site provides extra practice with phrasal verbs, idioms, and slang for ESL and ELL students and any students learning about idioms. The thematically organized idioms and slang choices provide definitions, sentences, and comprehension exercises, all attractively packaged. The phrasal verb sections with "do," "come," and "go" provide practice and explanations of some of the most confusing verbs in English.

tag(s): idioms (44), slang (15), verbs (41), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or whiteboard when you have 5 minutes left or you want your students to do additional vocabulary work. Or provide it as a resource during your idiom lessons. ESL students have a very difficult time understanding idiomatic language and will benefit from the definitions and examples here. Ask them to share an example with your class of a similar idiom from their language. Often the translation of their idiom is funny enough to provoke classroom laughter but also explains why someone might say, "it is raining sheep and cows" instead of "cats and dogs."

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UsingEnglish.com - UsingEnglish.com

Grades
5 to 12
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Check this site for things you need to help for ESL/ELL students. You will find lesson plans, reference links, grammar practice, reading comprehension work, tests, word lists for specific...more
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Check this site for things you need to help for ESL/ELL students. You will find lesson plans, reference links, grammar practice, reading comprehension work, tests, word lists for specific tests, vocabulary offerings, professional articles, and more. The site is easy to searchand well organized, present exercises and tests in a consistent and easy to read format. The "question bank" offers difficult grammar points in a poll format, with results constantly renewed; some answers are obviously wrong, but grammar, too, has its debatable points! With free membership registration, teachers get access to even more activities, exercises, quizzes, games, a newsletter, and more. NOTE: There is a Forum (bulletin board) feature on this site. If your school does not permit students to use such tools, be sure to spell out the consequences as you tell students to avoid that area.

tag(s): grammar (216), idioms (44), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Regular classroom teachers will want to use this site with ESL and ELL students fwhen they need a quick review on a specific grammar point. Use the professional articles for your own edification as well as links to other topics of interest.

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Loud Lit - Loudlit.org

Grades
1 to 12
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Loud Lit offers "literature for your ears and eyes" (although the site's visual appearance is quite plain!). This collaborative project with public domain offers recorded literature....more
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Loud Lit offers "literature for your ears and eyes" (although the site's visual appearance is quite plain!). This collaborative project with public domain offers recorded literature. You are given the options of listening to the literature, listening and reading the literature, or downloading the literature to an MP3 player. The number of items available for public use is constantly increasing. The current contents include novels, poetry, classic children's literature, a few historical items, and classic short stories. Some examples of the available literature includes A Tale of Two Cities, The Little Match Girl, The Gift of the Magi, The Declaration of Independence, The Gettysburg Address, and countless others. A separate column lets you know about newly recorded items. This site requires Flash and Quicktime. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): declaration of independence (13), gettysburg (26), gettysburg address (18), literature (275), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

This site is helpful for many subjects and grade levels. Have students use this website when they have to memorize poetry, the Gettysburg Address, or the Declaration of Independence. ESL and ELL students and many learning support students will benefit from the option of "reading" in multi-media format. Use the audio stories with younger students for listening skills. During a poetry unit, why not have students choose one of the poems to read and listen to? Have the students analyze and write in their journal about what they think the poem means. Then have the students share the original poem and their own opinions with the class, making this activity a listening, reading, writing, and speaking lesson. If you are into podcasting, encourage students to create some of their own poetry readings with commentary.
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Meg Cabot - Meggin Cabot

Grades
6 to 12
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This official website for author Meg Cabot is a tool to encourage journal writing. It has journal writing tips, downloadable journal pages, a bibliography of other journal selections,...more
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This official website for author Meg Cabot is a tool to encourage journal writing. It has journal writing tips, downloadable journal pages, a bibliography of other journal selections, an opportunity to journal with the author, and more. This website requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): writing (359)

In the Classroom

Use this site to encourage daily writing. Help students improve their sentence structure and use grammar painlessly through frequent personal writing. ESL and ELL students will enjoy journal-writing as a safe place to practice without corrections. Some journal-writing can also take place on classroom blogs, though you may want to keep uncorrected student blogs behind passwords until students are comfortable with the more public setting.
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Self-study Grammar Quizzes - Internet TESL Journal/ teacher contrbutors

Grades
6 to 9
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This website offers various interactive quizzes all related to grammar. Although written for ESL/ELL students, this is a good practice site for middle school students who have trouble...more
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This website offers various interactive quizzes all related to grammar. Although written for ESL/ELL students, this is a good practice site for middle school students who have trouble remembering grammar basics. All of the quizzes are interactive, with the answers underneath each question for immediate feedback. It encompasses a wide range of grammar-related rules, everything from "a or an" to "active-passive voice." This would make a good review or independent study site.

tag(s): grammar (216), punctuation (43)

In the Classroom

Choose which of these quizzes would most benefit your students and make the links available from your teacher web page for them to access the quizzes quickly. As students work independently on them, you can do individual support and final testing with them as they finish each section. The "Other Quizzes" section offers some challenging quizzes that ask students to identify sentence problems and various other questions.

Why not use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share the more challenging quizzes with your class. Divide the class into teams, project the questions on the screen, and see which team can answer the most questions correctly. This is great review before standardized testing.

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Awesome Comics Webquest - Grammarman.com

Grades
4 to 12
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This complete unit gives ESL/ELL students get an opportunity to create (write and draw) a new comic character for the Grammarman comic series. (See TeachersFirst's...more
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This complete unit gives ESL/ELL students get an opportunity to create (write and draw) a new comic character for the Grammarman comic series. (See TeachersFirst's review of the broader Grammarman web site for other activities that may require less time). Students are able to research the history of comics, drawing, manga, super heroes, character development, and more. Throughout the webquest, students can check out what other students have created. After going through the 8 stages of the webquest, reading, writing, and drawing, your students can submit the finished product to the student pages so others can enjoy their creation. Notes for teachers summarize each of the 8 steps and make suggestions about how to use this webquest in a shorter time period. Eager comic creators who aren't ESL/ELL students will also enjoy a modified version of this quest. This website requires FLASH. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), drawing (78), grammar (216)

In the Classroom

Share this webquest on laptops or a classroom computer cluster for students to accomplish the "quest." Use this project in an ESL/ELL class as a cumulative review of each student's specific grammar problem. Pair ESL students with a native speaker to work on the research and drawing. This creative activity is sure to excite ESL/ELL students and native English speakers.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Grammarman - grammarman.com

Grades
5 to 12
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This online version of Asian-created Grammarman regularly appears in foreign newspapers. Before reading, students can click on each character under Bad Guys or Good Guys to get the...more
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This online version of Asian-created Grammarman regularly appears in foreign newspapers. Before reading, students can click on each character under Bad Guys or Good Guys to get the character's background. The people of "Verbo City" need help with grammar problems when Grammarman comes to their rescue. Both still and movie versions of the various episodes feature his triumphs over bad grammar. This site is a refreshing break from grammar exercises and quizzes for all students (ESL, ELL, special education, and in the regular classroom). Downloadable Grammarman Dominoes allow students to carry the characters in their pockets and play a game with each other. You may notice some slight spelling or vocabulary differences, because this website was created using British English.

tag(s): grammar (216)

In the Classroom

What a fabulous grammar website to use with all students. Use your interactive whiteboard to share the "grammar story of the week." Challenge your students to find the grammar errors and help Grammarman "save the day." Use the free, downloadable templates to have students create their own Grammarman comics featuring their personal grammar "demons." Have another teacher judge the entries and allow the "winner" to wear the Grammarman "cape" for the week (or earn a homework pass).
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Skip's Radio Scripts for Language Learners - Skip Reske

Grades
6 to 12
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These adapted radio scripts assist ESL/ELL students with learning how to use articles and grammar correctly, increase vocabulary, and improve reading comprehension. A highly motivating...more
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These adapted radio scripts assist ESL/ELL students with learning how to use articles and grammar correctly, increase vocabulary, and improve reading comprehension. A highly motivating site, students can see photos of old movies and even enjoy clips from the movies as they work with the scripts.

tag(s): grammar (216), movies (65), radio (27)

In the Classroom

This website is particularly useful if your ESL/ELL students want to perform a portion of a play. If your students are having difficulty with article usage, try a different approach to teaching the skill in the context of drama. If you have access to DVDs of the films used, you may want to play a few clips for the students.

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Word Reference - wordreference.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This series of free translating dictionaries allows students to search to/from English in these languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and German. Once a definition comes up...more
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This series of free translating dictionaries allows students to search to/from English in these languages: French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and German. Once a definition comes up in English, there are links to other dictionary pages where the word appears in a sentence. You can click on the audio button to hear the word spoken in both languages. This feature is only available in more commonly used words

There are also immediate clicks to other languages, so a student could check the same word in Spanish and French very easily. In addition to the translation dictionaries, there are also "English Dictionaries" (non-interactive) available in Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Czech, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Arabic (coming soon). Many of the foreign language dictionaries will increase in volume as the site developers add more vocabulary.

Be aware: this site does include minor advertisements. There is a link to Language Forums. It is probably best to advise students to stay away from the forums.

tag(s): chinese (48), dictionaries (56), italian (33), japan (61), japanese (42), korea (15), portuguese (18), russia (38), russian (26)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers for use by ESL/ELL and foreign language students or for use when studying derivations and word families in English (compare the same word across several languages to see how close they can be!). Students can take an active role in vocabulary preview work by using this site in prior to reading. Be sure to list this site on your class webpage so students can access this information both in and out of the classroom.

If you are introducing new vocabulary words to your foreign language class. Have them use this site to find the appropriate translations. Then have the students work in cooperative learning groups to create online vocabulary guide books using a tool such at Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to keep the links for future students to use the guides, as well.

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