Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Using animated Gifs in presentations

I like using animated GIF images here and there (wherever appropriate of course :)) although they seem to be somehow older technology. Today, I was preparing a PowerPoint presentation about "noun clauses" and at one point in the slides I'm asking students if the sentences are correct or false. And after their responses, to show which sentences are OK and which ones are not, I decided to use animated GIF images (nodding-yes and no). Thus, Googling I found these two websites:

- http://replygif.net/
- http://giphy.com/

and I serached for "Nod, yes, no etc" and then from the library of animated GIF images I picked the ones I liked and put them in my slide (referring to the sites).

- There are also online & offline animated GIF makers if you feel like creating your own animated GIf images. Some of them...

- http://gifmaker.me/
- https://giphy.com/create/gifmaker
- http://ezgif.com/maker
- http://gifcreator.me/
- http://www.gif-animator.com/

- Of course, with the advance of mobile and smart devices, one can easily create animations & videos using their smart devices as well. Actually, Google-Photos, for instance, has an "Assistant" feature via which you can create animations from your photos. And I'm sure there are other Adroid or "I-" applications available to do that.

I think using such items in presentations from time to can add to the liveliness of the presentations (perhaps even a bit nostalgia...)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Vocabulary Video Dictionary






Students can watch videos, listen and find out about words. There is a search tool and you can also search for different words by focusing on meaning and how it used.

It might be fun and effective way to learn vocabulary and collocations and context.

When you log in as a user the site can keep track of your work. It creates a list of words you study and sends it to you at the end of the week. One can also create flashcards, read the transcriptions of videos.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Using Google's Ngram Viewer might be interesting

I've recently been interested in Google's Ngram Viewer regarding differences in spelling of some words such as travelling vs traveling, busses vs buses or learned vs learnt. Of course, there are many reasons for such spelling differences, however, it might attract the attention of students to see how the common use of some words (they don't really have to be problem words in spelling, could be any word) has changed over time. This might help them to understand the idea that language is like a biological organism and that it changes over time and that there is not just one exact fact or true answer to every question they may have. Also it might be helpful for us teachers as well to explain them why they see one spelling more than the other.

Here is an example looking at the phrase 'Merry Christmas' versus 'Happy Christmas'. Upon closer inspection to the dates, it appears that the peaks and troughs are associated with major wars: World War One, World War Two, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.