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ESL video

April 15th, 2010

A great video site for ESL classes.


Prezi – now with an educational license

April 12th, 2010

One of my favourite tools is Prezi – it’s an alternative to Powerpoint and lets you create really cool presentations. The educational license lets any qualifying educator use the programme for free without the need to make presentations public (a requirement of the normal free version). Find out more here.


The blog is taking an Easter break

April 2nd, 2010

Happy Easter!!


March 27th, 2010

Found this on Lifehacker. Langladder is a Firefox extension that combines several tools for vocabulary learning such as translation and flashcards. Haven’t yet installed it myself but it looks like an excellent little free tool.

LangLadder Screencast from Erik Larson on Vimeo.

Interesting new book

March 25th, 2010

Just found an ad for this book in Edunation. Looks interesting (but OMG, look at the price…). You can get it here.



March 24th, 2010

What a great project! You can find it here.


Audience participation with a mobile phone

March 21st, 2010

I came across this application quite some time ago and thought it was a fabulous alternative to those silly clickers (which always seemed like a transitional technology to me). This lets students respond or give feedback using SMS or Twitter, and displays the results straight into a Powerpoint. I’m sure prices for this sort of thing will come down considerably.


A great tool for critical reading, writing and discussion

March 18th, 2010

Just came across this WordPress plugin that lets readers comments on individual paragraphs in a text/blog post. The comments appear to the side of the original blog, not underneath it, making it much easier to see which section of a text a comment pertains to. This would be a very useful tool for an academic writing class.


Call for papers – AILA ReN symposium on CALL and the Learner

March 15th, 2010


AILA ReN Symposium

Call for Papers

Background and Aims

Recently, attempts have been made to make learning more flexible for the learner. With developments in mobile technologies, learners have freedom that was previously unavailable to them, and researchers have started capitalising upon this, through provision of lessons that learners can access whenever and wherever they wish (e.g., Stockwell, 2007, 2008), or through encouraging them to access audio and/or video resources of their choosing (e.g., Gromik, 2008). Other researchers have chosen to use these mobile technologies as a supplement to class activities (Levy & Kennedy,
2008; Reinders, 2008) and to make increasing links between formal and informal learning, for example by capitalising on the potential of computer games (e.g. Ranalli, 2008).
Social networking sites such as Active Worlds and Second Life have also empowered learners to make decisions about who they wish to converse with, by what mode (i.e., text chat or oral communication), and freely engage in discussion with a real audience who shares similar interests (e.g., Dudeney, 2008). This is a growth area, where researchers examine the way technology facilitates interaction between teachers and learners, between native speakers and learners, and between learners themselves and the unique characteristics of this type of communication. Another related strand of research looks at the identities learners create online and the ways they develop and build on communities of learners for their language development (e.g., Lam, 2004).

These recent developments in the area of social networking and mobile-assisted language learning are of particular interest to researchers interested in understanding in changes in the way learners approach the learning of a second language. In saying this, however, a crucial question that remains is how best to support learning in these environments. We are only starting to develop methodologies for investigating these forms of language learning, where the teacher’s role is less dominant in controlling learners’ actions, but rather one where the learners must be guided to use the existing resources in a way that has the potential to lead to personal development and to language acquisition. Furthermore, in such an environment where a good deal of the learning may occur outside of a classroom situation, methods of ensuring maintenance of learner motivation also become paramount.
Although research is carried out in the above areas in many parts of the world, the research is not connected and studies done in one field may not be informed by research done in another. It is the aim of this Symposium to bring together people working in the different areas related to the role of the language learner in CALL.

Themes of the symposium include:

- Learner motivation
- Computer-mediated communication (with a focus on the role of the learner)
- Learners’ beliefs in CALL
- (Materials development for) individualising instruction
- Social networking and computer games and second language acquisition
- Mobile-assisted language learning
- Supporting out-of-class language learning
- Teacher education for CALL (this follows on from the AILA Symposium in Essen).

Submitting a proposal
We are inviting proposals for contributions to the symposium. Each paper will be given 20 minutes and there will be time for questions and discussion at the end. To submit a proposal, please send a 250 word abstract to
You do not need to submit your paper to AILA, as ReN symposium papers are vetted separately.
You can find more information about the conference here:
To find our more about, or to join the Research Network, please visit:
The deadline for submitting a proposal is May 30.

learning languages with music videos and lyrics

March 12th, 2010

The lyrics training website lets you choose a Youtube music video and will then play the song together with its lyrics. Depending on the level your choose, it will then remove a number of words which you have to fill in. Quite fun!


Bookmark and Share
Recommended reading
Transforming Teaching and Learning Through Data-Driven Decision Making

Cases on Digital Game-Based Learning: Methods, Models, and Strategies
Recent finds

What I am reading now

Language Learning with Technology: Ideas for Integrating Technology in the Classroom

Cognitive Processing in Second Language Acquisition: Inside the learner's mind

Neurolinguistic and Psycholinguistic Perspectives on SLA
© Innovation in Teaching 1998-2009. All rights reserved.
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