The Young Learners Edition (23rd) of the ESL/EFL/ELL Carnival

Welcome to the 23rd edition of the ESL/EFL/ELL Carnival with the focus on Young Learners! Let us start the month with some fantastic resources on motivating and managing young learners. These resourceful reading materials are from many of the finest bloggers, authors, and educators of the English language teaching world! So brew your favorite coffee and indulge in the quotes I share from each post.

You can also enjoy this slideshow with clickable links and music. Just click play and on any of the images to be taken to the post! And, feel free to embed this Vuvox slideshow on your own blog :-)

Tips, Lessons, & Issues

In Carol Read’s ABC of Teaching Children blog, she asserts in her post, S is for Storytelling:

It is arguable that stories can play a similar role in the context of children learning a second, additional or foreign language as well. From my own experience over many years of teaching, I am convinced that it can. In our classes with children, the magic of stories seems to lie in the way that they provide shared contexts for promoting participation and developing emerging language skills in a natural and spontaneous way. Stories also potentially engage children’s hearts and minds, as people and as thinkers, with issues that are relevant, real and important to them.

In Richard Whiteside’s I’d Like to Think That I Help People to Learn English blog, he describes in his post, Let’s see what the magic bag thinks:

Sometimes in class we want to choose one child to do something and often this can be difficult because the kids get annoyed if they aren’t chosen. What criteria do you use to choose which child is going to do whatever it is, or go first? … I recommend a simple technique that I learnt a couple of years ago.

In Dave Dodgson’s Reflections of a Teacher and Learner blog, he describes in his post, Student (De)generated Dialogue:

My attempts to include more drama and more ‘unplugged moments’ in my lessons have continued in the new semester and so last week I decided to try some ‘unplugged drama’ with a twist on the classic ‘disappearing dialogue’.

In Sabrina De Vita’s weblog, she reveals in her post, Dogme with Young Learners:

Been thinking quite a lot about dogme recently, and it has just struck me that I am applying it in my young learners classes without even having noticed it.

In Leahn Stanhope’s Early EFL blog, she illustrates a lesson for us in her post, Tried and Tested Drawing Activity for Young Learners:

This is a really simple but highly adaptable  controlled practice activity that most children really enjoy. Quite simply take a piece of paper show the children how to fold it into 4 or 6. It depends on you. Next get them to number the boxes 1-4 or 1-6. Now you’re ready to draw.

In Sandie Mourao’s Picturebooks in ELT blog, she describes the book in her post, My Nose, Your Nose – Celebrating Individuality:

There’s a nice rhythm here, the two children shown as different, each on different spreads, then brought together with a similarity onto one spread.   Melanie Walsh uses this rhythmic, visual structure to reinforce her message, which culminates in bringing all four children together.

In Jason Renshaw’s English Raven blog, he points out in his post, Ways to Extend News Articles in the ELT Classroom for Multiple and Integrated Skills:

On my World News for Kids Teacher’s Page, I demonstrate how I build extensive ‘kits’ based on initial news articles, working through reading, extending into listening with additional topical content, then working through a variety of different speaking and writing activities.

In Barbara Sakamoto’s Teaching Village blog, she reminds us in her post, Rocco’s Day: A Student-generated Story Activity for Literacy Practice:

This foundation of spoken language is the perfect base from which to begin reading and writing. If students have a good teacher and/or a good course book, then the language they have learned helps them talk about the things that interest them, which means they can learn to write about the things that interest them, and can practice reading things that interest them. It’s a winning situation!…Today, I want to share a very simple  activity I use with emergent readers and writers.

In Marisa Constantinides’ TEFL Matters blog, she tells us in her post, Watching Young Learners at Work: From Practice to Principle:

This post is based on three activities on video with a young class in their first year of English videotaped as part of a training project for a course on teaching young learners.  At the point of  being video-taped, this class of Greek children attending classes in a small language school in Athens, had had about 40 hours of English in total, mostly concentrating on oral work.

In David Deubelbeiss’ EFL Classroom 2.0 blog, he posts a poem and illustrates how to use it in his post, Imagine…. (a poem about school):

Listen to the original song and share with your students. What do they imagine about education and school? Here’s what some elementary school students wrote me when I asked their class to give me questions they’d like to know answers about! Imagine if they had the time to explore as they wanted?

In Ken Wilson’s blog, he shares a guest post, Guest blog 21 – Beccy on teaching ‘difficult’ primary school pupils…:

I’d never met children with such a low opinion of their own abilities. And there were many like them in the class. The children were spectacularly down on themselves. They were disengaged. They thought they were “the worst class in the school”. Obviously, the urge to do something about this was strong.

In Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day blog, he tells us in his post, The Best Resources For Learning How To Use The Dictogloss Strategy With English Language Learners:

Dictogloss is primarily a listening and writing activity used with English Language Learners. It can certainly be done a number of different ways but, very simply-put, the teacher reads a short text, often one students are familiar with…Here are few of the best resources that I’ve found on using the dictogloss strategy.

In Erika Osváth’s For English Teachers – Angoltanároknak blog, she describes in her post, Our children transforming education in action:

Kids can do this so naturally, so why don’t WE, adults learn from them? It’s high time we paid more attention to what kids can teach us before they go to school and all their innate knowledge, abilities and aptitudes are slowly or quickly, for that matter, anaesthetised and then killed.

In Mark Chapman’s The TESOL Zone blog, he says in his post, ESL Writing for Children:

Writing is an important, if sometimes neglected skill, when teaching children English… It is needed at school, it deepens the student’s understanding of English grammar and vocabulary, it helps students develop their own thinking, provides an alternative creative output for children, allows students to work at their own pace alone, or can be used to encourage group work and more social interaction.

In Kevin Gallagher’s AbsolutESL blog, he says in his post, Humor in the ESL Classroom:

Whether I like to admit it or not, one of my biggest struggles in any classroom is maintain the attention of my students. It seems humor, especially in the East Asian countries where I taught, can help to break the ice.

In Mary Ann Zehr’s Learning the Language blog, she points out in her post, The Nation Sees a Drop in Latino Preschool Enrollment:

Yoshikawa observed that Mexican-American preschoolers have a very low rate of preschool enrollment in the United States, while the rate of enrollment for preschoolers in the country of origin of their families is very high.

Teaching YLs Effectively with Technology

In Burcu Akyol’s Blog My Integrating Technology Journey blog, she says in her post, DOs and DON’Ts of Blogging With Students:

This is a little reminder for the blogging ISTEK teachers. These guidelines are specific to our school but some of the suggestions might be valid for the other blogging teachers too.

In Eva Büyüksimkeşyan’s A Journey in TEFL blog, she describes in her post, Easy to Use Web 2.0 Tools:

They are digital natives, I know but they are only good at playing computer games and as they are young learners they are slower than the teenagers. However, they are more motivated and enthusiastic. I belive if they hear their voices published on their class blogs they will be more willing.

In Graham Stanley’s and Kyle Mawer’s Digital ELT Play blog, they describe in their post, Playing video games = Healthy body, healthy mind:

You’ve probably sat on a bus or train and see someone playing ‘braintraining‘ and finding out how old their brain is. You may even have played it yourself. This popular hand held puzzle video game was designed by a prominent neuroscientist who claims that playing the games’ puzzles reduces the chances of dementia in old age.

In the Pumkin English blog, the new free Iphone app for kids is described:

Learn the colors for free with our new iPhone app. We were on the iTunes “Whats New and Noteworthy” area. So you can be assured that it is noteworthy. In fact it is much more than noteworthy it’s amazing!

In Jennifer Verschoor’s My Integrating Technology Journey blog, she says in her post, Virtual Worlds for Young Learners:

Motivate your young learners by introducing virtual worlds in your daily teaching. I´ve been uploading several virtual worlds in my Web 2.0 online calendar!

In my post, Survival Tips for Teaching Kids English: 30 Tips & Resources, I reflect:

I remember teaching a group of 14 seven to eight year-old students. They climbed the walls (oddly there were racks on the walls), fought a lot, and flew paper airplanes everywhere. I went home after a 9 hour day and cried. I wanted to quit. I have a fighting spirit, though, so I went online to research lessons and ideas. Throughout the four years that I have been teaching in Germany I have collected some great research, resources, and tips to make me a much better English teacher of young learners!

Looking forward to the next carnival?

The Carnival welcomes any blog posts, including examples of student work, that are related to teaching or learning English. You can contribute a post to it by using this easy submission form. If the form does not work for some reason, you can send the link to Larry Ferlazzo via his Contact Form. The following edition will be published by Eva Buyuksimkesyan on September 1st. The November 1st edition will be hosted by Berni Wall. Let Larry Ferlazzo know if you might be interested in hosting future editions.

You can see all the previous editions of the ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival here.


Try any of these resources with your young learners.

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Let’s Play! 20+ Sites for Young Learners

Part of the Cool Sites series

Sometimes, the teachers of young learners get a bad reputation for playing all day in their classes. Let me tell you a secret. Any great teacher of young learners is definitely playing a lot in and out of the classroom! Play is an important part of development. Children are motivated by learning through play and learn a lot through playing such as:

  • problem solving
  • completing a small task before a larger task
  • pacing
  • following instructions
  • collaborating
  • developing skills to accomplish tasks

Play and Video Games

Many more lessons are learned by today’s digital games which have the social component to them. Try checking out the Playstations, Wii, and other game consoles. Many have ways for children worldwide to communicate and play with/against each other. Children are motivated to accomplish tasks and learn skills. They can continue the challenge until they accomplish it. Some get so obsessive they will spend all night trying to achieve the task so they can advanced to the next level! If it’s too tough the kids will research online forums, ask others experienced in the game, and apply what they learned into accomplishing the task. What I have described should be what learning in schools should look like. Below are some websites to find games for young learners to develop skills and learn English! I add these by theme to my class wiki, English Storytime, and encourage the parents to help the children play the games and monitor them. The children love playing these games and entering these virtual worlds! Some of the websites are games but do offer English adventures for children where they get a chance to have fun learning English! These websites are definitely preferable to children sitting in class completing worksheets.

9 Digital Sites that Make English Fun for YLs

Kindersite- The Kindersite spearheaded by Joel Josephson (@acerview54) has 1000s of educational and fun content specifically designed for preschool, kindergartens, elementary, primary schools and special needs students. Register for free for full featured access, but it’s not required. The age level and themes are listed next to each game! Interactive stories, games, and activities are included. I get many of the games we play in class for my 4 to 10 year-old English language learners from this website!

ELT Digital Play- This blog lists reviews various games, describes their value and how to play them. I love the pictures shown and the kind of games they find which have children complete tasks and advance to different levels! These games are the kind children love to play and aren’t just simple tasks. Once again a great place I find treasures for my class wiki! Graham Stanley (@grahamstanley) and Kyle Mawer (@kylemawer). You can follow their Twitter account to be updated, @eltdigitalplay.

Pumkin English- Love this virtual world for children to learn English through cute characters accomplishing tasks and winning points! In addition, the site has 100 lessons and over 750 learning activities that help children practice pronunciation, listening, reading, and writing skills. Teachers have free accounts and there are free trial periods for parents. Children learn English through videos, games, songs, puzzles and quizzes. Parents are given daily reports of the child’s learning. Children can explore 5 virtual worlds and have over 100 animals join them along the way. There is also a foundation that is going to be set-up for kids who can not afford to play outside of school. You can follow their Twitter account to be updated, @pumkinenglish. Sometimes I play the games myself for fun!

Brainnook- a free online virtual world for kids to develop math and english skills with children worldwide. This site is in Beta so parents and children feel free to explore for free!

English Story Time Wiki- In my class wiki, you’ll find several activities, videos, fingerplays, and chants listed by theme.

Nick Jr- A free website that has several developmental games for children based on popular children’s shows. My 4 to 6 year-olds’ favorite game comes from this site, Wonder Pets Save the Baby Dinosaur!

English Attack- Adolescents and teens learn English through games, videos, news, music, and more. Paul Maglione (@paulmaglione) runs this website. Test the beta for free! I recently saw his presentation at TESOL France and the website looks really fantastic for older children and teenagers.

Webkins- Children buy these characters and get a code to enter the virtual world. It’s not made for English language learners but motivates children to speak English with millions of kids worldwide. Children really enjoy this virtual world.

Learn English Kids- Has several interactive stories, games, and printables for children of all ages!

YL Curriculum Resources

I remember when I first began teaching young learners how difficult it was to find great material. For this reason, I’d like to recommend you check out these 3 great sites for YL resources. Not all are free and nope they didn’t pay me to write this for them. Just appreciate their great materials for YLs.

Potato Pals- Accompanying this cute book series of potato pal adventures are Youtube videos, a Facebook community, drawing contests, a blog of their adventures, and more! All children’s books should have these elements to involve their communities. I really enjoy how the Potato Pals has children worldwide submit drawings and features them on a slideshow. It makes children feel special when the characters they read about communicate with them. The Potato Pals series is unique and forward thinking on how they involve kids through social media. Imagine a child sending their favorite character a drawing then looking on the website to see that drawing published. Children are on Facebook these days. At least my 12 year-old niece is and I can only imagine the joy she feels when befriended by a character she loves! The Potato Pals series is uniquely different than any other children’s series I’ve encountered for English language learners.

English Raven- I have previously written about English Raven’s games, lessons, flash cards and more! You pay what you want to have access to 1000s of materials and ideas! For one YL curriculum I paid megabucks so this is an absolutely bargain in my opinion. You get access to some great videos of Jason Renshaw playing the games with his very cute children :-) Here’s just one of Jason’s great ideas to create a live reader for children starring them!

Cullen’s ABCs- This free video curriculum has so many creative ideas, finger plays, chants, and songs for young learners. I watched so many of Cullen’s videos to figure out how to engage my learners to learn the language. This free program really saved me when I began teaching 2 year-olds English and I share her videos with my parents to help them play the fingerplays at home with their children! Cullen has a free online pre-school for children and an iPhone app of 5 felt-board stories. Below is one great example of her free videos!

Young Learner Blogs

Here are some great blogs that often share YL lessons and ideas. I always find some fun ideas! Check them out and subscribe in one click with this bundle! These include the blogs by Digital ELTplay and English Raven above!

Early EFL
Teaching Village
Reflections of a Teacher and Learner
Sabrina’s Weblog
Esra’s Englishous Blog
Carol Read’s ABC of Teaching Children
For English Teachers – Angoltanároknak
Ozge Karaoglu’s Blog
So This is English
Picture Books in ELT


What is the amount of time you’re playing in your YL classes? By the end of the day you should be exhausted and in great shape from all the movement. Try increasing the amount of play in your YL classes for at least one week. Try having very few worksheet activities that week if possible and reflect on the difference.

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18 Resources for English Language Learners to Learn via Blogs

Part of the Cool Sites series

Perhaps your students are like mine and are not quite ready to make the leap to begin blogging. I work with very young language learners and adult language learners. Many of my adult learners will not put the effort into blogging but that doesn’t mean they will not try learning from a blog. I have found several valuable blogs for my students to learn English. Daily they can receive a lesson through e-mail or through RSS readers. Last semester I decided to teach my students how to learn with blogs.

This was how the first lesson plan went:

  • We were learning about travel in America, therefore I had my students read Shonah Wraith’s post, Big, Bigger, BIGGEST.
  • I asked students to leave comments on Shonah’s post.
  • Shonah did a great job of responding to my student’s questions and comments. Scroll down to the end of the post to see the fantastic results!
  • You can do the same lesson in any subject by telling a blogger ahead of time that your students will visit the blog and asking the blogger to answer the students’ questions.

2nd Phase: Video Tutorials

In the first phase, my students became familiar with the process and realized the amount of learning they could receive through interacting with blogs. Therefore, my next goal was to get my students to subscribe to the blogs. In order to teach them how to do this I made a video tutorial on how to subscribe to blogs with e-mail and get a lesson in their inbox regularly.

I shared this video so that students could also subscribe by Really Simple Syndication (RSS).

List of Blogs

I also shared a list of blogs the students could subscribe to. I told my students to explore the various blogs and subscribe to the ones that best appealed to their learning styles and interests. Each of the blogs had different aspects. Some had audio, others had video, and some had written words. I put these links in my wiki for my adult students to explore. Below are the English lesson blogs I suggested sorted by e-mail subscriptions and RSS subscriptions:

Blogs with e-mail/RSS subscriptions:

Blogs with RSS subscriptions only:


Have your students learn English by interacting on blogs. Gather a list of blogs in your subject area for students to explore.

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What are your favorite blogs in your subject area (math, history, science, English, etc.)? You can have your students even interact on their own blogs?

Do you want to add more blogs to my student list?

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Fifteenth Edition of the ESL/EFL/ELL Carnival

Welcome to the fifteenth edition of the ESL/EFL/ELL Carnival. Let us start the week with some resourceful reading materials from many of the finest bloggers, authors, and educators of the English language teaching world! So brew your favorite coffee, relax, and enjoy. Our posts include tips to help educators with their social media experience, ways to integrate technology effectively into the classroom, advice on giving presentations at conferences, and suggestions to help improve methodology from various experts.

I recommend subscribing to each of these blogs, which you can easily and quickly do by clicking on the button below:

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Having trouble reading this online? Feel free to download this free pdf file of the carnival with clickable links.

PDF file of the 15th Edition ESL Blog Carnival

Thought-provoking Pedagogy

In Ken Wilson’s post, Ten Things I Think I Know (Part I), he delineates five points that may make you question your approach to teaching English. These include that most students are there because they have to be, most English classes are monolingual, most English teachers are not native speakers, most teachers have to use a coursebook, and most English courses are exam directed. Make sure to read the insightful comments and debates that are taking place.

Never make a big deal about how many people learn English and pretend this is some kind of carrot for learners. It isn’t. – Ken Wilson’s Blog

Marisa Constantinides gives various tips for helping instructors build a sense of community to facilitate learning in her post, Storming out or Norming in?.

If our objective is to make of our learners effective communicators and to acquire the much sought after communicative competence, then we have to create a social environment in which the members will have the DESIRE to communicate with each other about matters that are of personal interest to them, which will provide them with a PURPOSE and will generate INTERACTIVE situations.- Marisa Constantinides, TEFL Matters

Nick Jaworski offers advice on having a more learner-centered approach in the classroom in his post, The Teacher as Narrative: Moving from a Teacher-centered to Learner-centered Classroom. His suggestions include using drama and video.

The students think, “Oh what’s our crazy teacher up to now?”  You can talk to the students casually for a bit and point out who you are, what year this is, and what you’re doing in their class.- Nick Jaworski, Turkish TEFL

Ms. Flecha relates how she uses the L1 of students to help them learn to spell in her post Incorporating Languages I Don’t Know Into My Teaching. She also share’s her student’s story about the struggles her grandmother encountered as a young girl in  A Stunning Moment.

Alia told me her grandmother, when she was 8, had to get a job because she didn’t have the $3 it cost to go to school, plus her parents had just died.- Ms. Flecha, My Life Untranslated

Nightwalker provides several examples of effectively using L1 in the classroom in the post, Should L1 be used in EFL classes?. Moreover, he gives a nice description of the monolingual and bilingual approach.

Using L1 is not the problem. The problem is when and how to use it. -Nightwalker, My English Pages

Dominic Cole encourages us to let students cheat in his post, Spelling acivities 12 – Let them cheat. He even provides us with some lessons that ensure students cheat. One of my favorite lines of this piece is posted below.

The lowdown scumbag is actually looking to see how the word is spelled. I like students who look to see how words are spelt.- Dominic Cole, The Really Boring English Blog.

Jason Renshaw describes how teachers can be more effective by using the Engage Active Study Activate instructional approach in his post, ESA vs EAS(A) and the Fear of Failure in ELT. Jason prefers the EASA approach for many reasons and expands on its merits in this post.

EASA is somewhat discovery and task-based, assumes students can (and should) use existing language to communicate before doing any specific building or practice (without assuming anything too specific about what they already know), and is reflective where ESA is predicative. – Jason Renshaw, English Raven

Barbara Sakamoto reminds us of the importance of reflection of those who influenced our instructional styles in her post, Lessons Learned from Great Educators.

If someone had come up with a crystal ball and told me that I’d end up teaching English as a foreign language, and living nearly half my life outside my home country, I’d have thought it was a great joke. However, looking back at what I learned from the great educators in my life, the path becomes easier to see. -Barbara Sakamoto, Teaching Village

David Deubelbeiss provides several great micro teaching skills and acts that will improve student learning in his post, It’s The Small Things That Count. Some of these include personalizing lessons, using personal space wisely, and knowing when to step back.

So many teachers believe that their teaching would be better if they had a better book or they had fewer students or the administration were better or if the classroom were arranged differently or if ……… I’m skeptical. -David Deubelbeiss, Teaching Village

MarmaraELT posts research and findings about The Role of Input in the Child’s Acquisition of Language. In his research he notes the importance of adult and peer input in helping children learn a language.

Children react very consistently to the deep structure and the communicative function of language,and they do not react overtly to expansions and grammatical corrections. -Marama ELT/ EFL Resources

Congratulations to Johanna Stirling who will soon have her book published. She shares some of the topics in the book in her post, Spelling Bees- How Do You Spell…? Some ways include through sound, sight, and patterns.

While I was playing with the Times spelling bee game (I told you it was addictive) I was trying to work out HOW I knew the spellings that I knew. -Johanna Stirling, The Spelling Blog

Henrick Oprea talks about the traits he looks for when hiring teachers in his post, About Teachers. These include listening skills and the ability to inspire.

I find that one of the most important things in a language classroom is building rapport with your learners. Rapport facilitates learning, and therefore teaching.- Henrick Oprea, Doing Some Thinking

Before we begin learning about important technology tips, Marisa Constantinides reminds us Don’t Forget the Pedagogy.

“Very little is said about the methodological issues surrounding some of these new tools, their advantages and drawbacks, in fact, what most well-trained teachers instinctively start thinking about.”- TEFL Matters

Teaching Effectively with Technology

If you are like me you love integrating technology effectively into the classroom. One of the best ways to do this is by having your students provide you with feedback about your use of technology in the classroom.

Larry Ferlazzo and his colleague surveyed their students to determine which activities they enjoyed. You can read more of the results in his piece, How Do Students Feel About Using Computers to Help Learn English posted at Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day. Many of his students asked to blog more, have lessons where they create movies, and visit the computer lab more.

I fairly regularly try-out different instructional strategies with my students that also include surveys and assessments in order to help analyze what has worked and what hasn’t been particularly successful.- Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day

Nik Peachey presents 10 Teacher Development Task for Web 2.0 Tools posted at Nik’s Learning Technology Blog. These tasks involve incredible web 2.0 video, audio, writing, and dictation tools. Visit his post for the several tasks.

I created a number of tasks for teachers which I hope will help develop their ability to use technology and to evaluate and create materials using web based tools.- Nik’s Learning Technology Blog

Karenne Sylvester presents several different ways to revamp the Getting to Know You, Getting to Know Me activity with students in her post, Powerpointing Me -EFL Tech Tip #13. These include using Wordle, Photopeach, Flickr and more.

Objective: Create an atmosphere of sharing right from the get-go. Find out your students’ communicative abilities and weaknesses: particularly when making small talk /asking and answering questions.-Karenne Sylvester, Kalinago English

Vicky Saumel presents 40 Things you can do with a Data Projector in an EFL/ESL lesson.  Some of these activities include view and solve interactive problems in groups and displaying images for brainstorming.

There’s no doubt that IWB’s are very popular these days. However, many schools do not have them, but have data projectors instead. – Vicky Saumel, Educational Technology in ELT

In Jamie Keddie’s post, The Third Conditional- A Lesson Plan, he provides us with a creative lesson in pdf format to download for free. In this lesson, students learn the third conditional by searching on Google and analyzing a Homer Simpson quote. The students are bound to have a lot of fun.

Homer Simpson once said something along the lines of: “If God had wanted us to be vegetarians, he wouldn’t have made animals out of meat.” This is the starting point for a lesson plan on the third conditional. -Jamie Keddie

Sean Banville presents a clever way to introduce yourself to students through a glog in his post, Glogster – My Glog.

I hope a lot of what I had included on the glog provided them with some kind of model (more in terms of content than language structure) for them to write about themselves. The scripts I got back from them were definitely more creative than those I’d received in previous years. -Sean Banville’s Blog

In Eva Büyüksimkeşyan’s post, Best of My Students, you do a lot of enjoyable exploring of her students’ glogster projects.

It is a great tool and I believe it enhances their creativity because of that I often assign projects with glogsters.- Eva Büyüksimkeşyan, A Journey in TEFL

Janet Bianchini shares examples of how to use several web 2.0 tools to manipulate images Images4Education and Moodle for Gardening and Cooking: Course Update. These include making motivational posters, an Oscar’s award, book cover, and more.

As you can see, I have been able to combine some of the new things I am learning from my Images4Education course. I am delighted to share them with you here.- Janet’s Abruzzo Edublog

Arjana Blazic shares an interactive quiz she created on the site, Words Related to Books and Literature, which is posted at Activities for ESL students.

Sue Lyon-Jones presents some fantastic tongue-twisters in her post, Tongue Twisters for The Digital Age. You must read them all.

We all wailed when the Fail Whale failed!- Sue Lyon-Jones, The PLN Staff Lounge

Tara Benwell presents a partner interview activity, Writing Challenge #13: An Interview with a MyEC Member – My English Club.

You are going to interview your partner about a topic of your choice. Tara Banwell, MyEC Writing Challenges

Berni Wall shares 10 Top Tips for Improving IELTS Scores. Some of these tips include practise often, join an online community, and use the language around you.

The test is a means to an end not an end in itself and the danger of only concentrating on the test is that you are not seeing the wood for the trees! Berni Wall, Radical Language

Marisa Pavan describes how the Internet and educational technology have improved her teaching methods in her post, Reflections on Edtech.

The use of the Internet has been great help for me to be able to make my students expand on what they are learning. -Marisa Pavan, Linguistic Consultancy

Presentation and Social Media Advice

Jeremy Harmer gives some advice for presenting in front of audiences in his post, On Being Nervous. He personalizes the post by sharing his own experiences with shaky legs and hands.

Sometimes the audience seems to ‘get away from you’ and you find yourself talking into a vacuum and have no idea how to get back in touch with them.- Jeremy Harmer’s Blog

Burcu Akyol invites educators to mentor other educators in social media or to be mentored by becoming involved in this important European Union project, European Union Request and Invitation for Associate Partners.

Using a PLN language educators will be able to find their way through the jungle of ICT resources on the net and find language teachers, just like themselves, that will help them use the resources. -Burcu Akyol

Gavin Dudeney stirs quite a debate in his post On Going Public. He advises those new to Twitter and blogging to learn about the culture, respect those who have been in the field for awhile,  and be consistent with your opinions.

Be a responsible global citizen – listen to the people in your PLN. It’s not all about you.- Gavin Dudeney, That’SLife

Ozge Karaoglu provides 10 ways to become a webhead in her post, How to Survive in 2010 – Digitally. Some of these include start blogging and tweeting, Google your name, and attend online sessions.

The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.- Ozge Karaoglu’s Blog

Graham Stanley believes this is the year more educators will become active on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook. He describes his reasons in detail in his post, 2010 Year of the Personal Learning Network.

All of this is why I think 2010 will be the year when teachers many more mainstream start to embrace the idea of the PLN and begin to take a more active part in belonging to the global staffroom that is out there waiting for you, offering you friendship, support, help and advice – if you want it!- Graham Stanley, Blog EFL

Dominic Cole provides a useful tip for both English language learners and educators in his post,  Use iGoogle as Your Home Page.

What you need to do is think about how you can use your computer to get the experience of living in an English speaking country. -Dominic Cole’s Learn English Daily.

Issues to Ponder

Mary Ann Zehr presents Most-Read Blog Posts in 2009 posted at Learning the Language. Some of the great articles she posted are Obama Visits School Where Large Number of Students Are ELLs, Research on Push-In Versus Pull-Out, Resource: Research Brief on RTI for ELLs, Ten-Year Anniversary of Proposition 227, and For Some Students in L.A., Once an ELL, Always an ELL.

The attention to these two blog entries tells me that educators are seeking to expand their repertoire of strategies that work with ELLs.- Mary Ann Zehr, Learning the Language

Lindsay Clandfield makes six predictions for our field in his post, Six Language Teaching Trends of the 00s. These predictions include English as a Lingua Franca will rock the boat and technology will become the new imperative. Lindsay has also started another great blog on the Global site. He describes it, “What about a travel blog, full of reflections on teaching in different parts of the world, trip anecdotes, inspirational photos of teachers and classrooms in different countries and short video clips done in a documentary-style with a handheld camera? Kind of like a global tour of language teaching today?”

More than anything else, this decade could be seen as the decade in which technology muscled its way onto the teaching scene amid a mixture of delight and anguish (perhaps more anguish than delight in many teaching contexts). -Lindsay Clandfield, Six Things

Tom DeRosa presents 5 Tips for Building a Quality (non-ELA) Classroom Library. Some of the tips include providing several books in a series, books with characters the students’ ages, and including newspapers and other media. Additionally, he provides tips for funding a library and getting started.

One way to ensure your success is to build a quality classroom library full of books your students will actually want to read.- Tom DeRosa, I Want to Teach Forever

If you are not an ESL teacher, we end with the perfect post for you! Seth Baker details what it takes to be an ESL teacher in his post, ESL Teaching: The Easy Way to Live Abroad. He brings up issues like what factors to consider when teaching abroad and paints the reality of the situation.

I need to qualify my title: living abroad is never easy. It’s fun, it’s rewarding, but it sure isn’t easy. -Seth Baker, Happenchance: Useful Stuff for Creative People

Looking forward to the next carnival?

The Carnival welcomes any blog posts, including examples of student work, that are related to teaching or learning English. You can contribute a post by using this easy submission form. If the form does not work then feel free to dm Karenne, @kalinagoenglish, on Twitter or email it to Larry Ferlazzo through his contact form. If your post was not included, then I may not have received it through the form.

Karenne Sylvester at Kalinago English: Teaching Speaking Using Technology will host the following carnival on April 1st. Mary Ann Zehr at Learning the Language will host the Carnival on June 1st. Please leave a comment if you’re interested in hosting a future edition.

You can see all the previous fourteen editions of the ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival here.

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Cool Sites & Tools

Every week, I share my favorite finds in this weekly series! Test these tools out. If you want instant access to these fantastic websites connect with me on Google reader!

IGNITE: A New Way to Present

In a previous post, I shared my Pecha Kucha Youtube playlist. I now have added an IGNITE playlist. IGNITE is Tim O’Reilly’s adaption of a Pecha Kucha except the entire presentation is only 5 minutes. I found this IGNITE video, Adapting with Technology, by Mark Argo on the Speed Geek Learning website which was tweeted by Diana Dell. Find more great IGNITE presentations by visiting the Speed Geek Learning website.

PinDax: Online Message Board

Sign-up for the free message board tool, PinDax! This message board service allows you to embed sticky notes with videos and audio files. You can also access your message board on your smartphone or embed it in a blog! Below is the demo board displayed on the website! Have fun exploring! A similar tool to Wallwisher, with a better design and features.


While attending the Virtual Round Table Conference, I learned about Kindersite. Educators and parents can register for free and have access to various tools for young learners learning various languages from English to French. These resources include comic strips, games, lullabies, songs, stories, and more.

Planbook Edu for Creating Online Lesson Plans

PlanbookEdu is a tool for online lesson planning. Register for a the free basic service and have access to the premium service for 30 days! Some of the features include the ability to attach files, check spelling, export to Word or PDF, access from anywhere, and share with others. The template looks very easy to use and I believe this is a great tool to get educators to lesson plan. Each year, educators repeat the same lessons so this tool with additionally save an educator lesson planning time in the long run.

Google Wave Index of Education Waves

Have you got Google Wave fever? I do and have added several people to various education waves. However, you can follow various education waves yourself by visiting the Wave Education Index. There are several waves listed to choose from, including some of my favorites:

Even More Cool Links

  • For a list of cool websites, check out Ozge Karaoglu’s series, Faves of the Week!


Use one of the tools! Leave a comment if you found the tip useful or if you noticed a problem with the tool! Join one of the education waves if you are on Google Wave!

You may want to subscribe for free to receive regular updates, leave a quick comment of how one of these tools helped you, tweet this, or share this series with your Personal Learning Network (PLN) through your RSS reader or Delicious account.

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