Tuesday, 20 December 2011


MailVU is a useful website for video recording. It serves as a tool where users can record videos of themselves by via webcam.

What I like about MailVu?
  • The best thing about MailVu is the fact that it is free. No sign-ups or registrations are needed for users to use it. This website is totally affordable to everyone.
  • MailVu is also one of the easiest video recording websites ever created. It only takes three simple steps for users to record themselves. The videos can then be sent to others and to users’ own email address.
  • Although MailVu is intended for business purposes, I believe that it can also be used in ELT classrooms, especially in conjunction with the idea of ‘connected classroom’. For example, as a homework, students will have to record themselves presenting about the topic that they learnt in class earlier. This acts as supplementary or ‘follow through’ exercise so that the learning process does not stop when schools end.

What teachers should bear in mind:
  • Proper equipments (computers, microphones, webcams, decent internet connection) are needed in order for this website to work properly. This may be an issue as not every student has these facilities at home.
  • There is a limit of 10 minutes per recording for free users. Subscription of premium account is needed in order for users to record longer videos.

For video on how to operate MailVu, please click here.

If you find MailVu interesting, you may want to check out Keek.

Friday, 25 November 2011

ELLLO English

ELLLO English comes from the abbreviation of English Listening Lesson Library Online (ELLLO). This website hosts lots of listening exercises with different topics and formats.

The listening activities are divided into five sections which are views, mixer, game, scenes, and news. Each section has different format for its listening materials. For example, the news section contains listening materials in the format of news while the views section is more on people talking about their views and opinions on something. 

There is also a section called ‘Video Lessons’ (as shown in the picture above) where people around the world upload their videos talking about various topics. As the speakers come from different parts of the world, this collection of videos contains speeches with various English accents.

What are the benefits of Elllo English? 
  • Elllo English is one of the best resources for listening materials and exercises. Even better, the listening materials are downloadable as audio files and the exercises are available in printable formats. It will benefits teachers in teaching listening to language learners.
  • Besides listening, the exercises also cater other language skills such as reading (students read the transcriptions of listening materials) and writing (students write (spell) the answers in the boxes given).
  • The website has a neat and organize layout which makes it user-friendly. Basic computer skills are adequate enough for users to operate the website. It also allows users to check their answers at the end of each exercise. As this website is accessible to students, it can be used as a supplementary to what students have been learning in class, thus promotes autonomous in their learning style.
  • The ‘Video Lesson’ section is very useful in introducing students to global English. As English language is being used all over the globe, students should be exposed to a variety of accents used across the world. This will prepares them in using English language globally.

Things to consider when using Elllo English in an ELT class:
  • The exercises featured in this website do not have pre-listening activities to activate students’ background knowledge. As most exercises come from places all over the world, students may not have the schema on respective topics. Therefore, teachers may want to consider of designing their own pre-listening activities as addition to the listening activities.
  • Some exercises in the website are simplified in order to make it easier for students. Although this is good, it may be focusing too much on facilitating students rather than to challenge students’ ability and language proficiency.

For more information on Elllo English, please click here

Sunday, 20 November 2011

National Film and Sound Archieve of Australia

National Film & Sound Archive of Australia (NFSA) is the Australia’s national audiovisual archive. Its main aim is to preserve and to maintain the collection of Australia’s audiovisuals, as well as to promote and to provide access for people to access the collection.

How NFSA can be used in ELT?
  • This website is one of the useful resources for teachers to search for teaching and learning materials. This is because NFSA hosts lots of videos, documentaries, as well as written materials such as journals. Most of these materials are made for general viewing and authentic. In addition, there are also materials which are non-authentic and made for educational purpose.
  • The videos featured in NFSA vary from different topics and interests. Thus, teachers can use this as an advantage to have teaching materials that suit students’ interests. This will make lessons more personal and interesting. Using materials that suit students’ interests will also motivate them to pay more attention towards the lesson.

Things to bear in mind:
  • NFSA contains videos and journals that can be used as part of teaching and learning. However, these materials are not accompanied by further exercises and activities. Teachers still need to come out with their sets of supporting exercises so that the materials become meaningful and suitable for ELT.  
  • Most materials are produced within Australian context. Therefore, teachers may need to activate students’ background knowledge before attempting to use these materials, as lack of schema may results in poor comprehension level among students.

Saturday, 19 November 2011


Wordle is a website that helps users to produce ‘word clouds’ from texts of their preference.

The size of each word is based on its frequency in the text. The more frequent it is used, the bigger it gets.

What is good about Wordle?
  • Wordle is one of the most easy and user-friendly ‘word clouds’ producing website available. Users will only have to copy and paste their text and click the ‘Go’ button, and the ‘word cloud’ will be generated for them in a few minute.
  • It can be used to produce 'word clouds' from any language and not limited to English language only. All language teachers should salute Wordle!
  • This website saves teachers’ time of preparing teaching and learning materials. The fonts, layouts, and colour schemes are customisable to suit its purpose in a lesson. Plus, the ‘word clouds’ can also be printed or shared online.
  • There are lots of 'word clouds' made by people around the world stored in its gallery. Users are free to view and adapt these 'word clouds' for their personal use. 

  • The ‘word clouds’ are merely a tool to help teaching and learning. It does not promote students to use the target language without encouragement from teachers. Therefore, it should be use with relevant supplementary activities that leads towards theories in language learning. 

p/s: If you like Wordle, you might also be interested in WordSift

Click & Learn

Click & Learn is one of the useful language learning website available online. What makes Click & Learn different from normal language learning websites is the fact that it focuses not only on English language but also on other languages such as French and Spanish.

Even though it is not stated on the page, I believe that this website is made for Spanish learners in order to assist them in their English, French, and Spanish language learning. One of the obvious reasons is because most introductions and instructions in this website is in Spanish, including the instructions for English and French exercises.

Why Click & Learn is useful in ELT?
  • Clisk & Learn hosted thousands of English language exercises that vary from low level to suits each proficiency level. 
  • Answers checking are also available at the end of each exercise. This will benefit users (students) as they can attempt the exercises at home. This will be a supplementary of what they have been learning in class, thus promoting autonomous in learning. 
  • The exercises covers the all four language skills which are reading (students read the words), writing (students write the words in the space provided), listening (students can listen to the pronunciation by clicking on the words), and speaking (students practice their speaking skills and pronunciation by repeating the words). 

Precautions that should be considered:
  • It contains animations that require Adobe Flash Player in order to run it. Therefore, computers with proper requirements are needed in order for teachers to use this website in their lessons.
  • Although the animations are made in order to create interactive learning environment, there is a redundancy of animations and sound effects which might be annoying. For example, on the English exercises page, the word ‘interactive’ that follows the cursor as well as the loud noise distracts me from paying full attention on the page.
  • There are no/unclear instructions for each exercise and activity featured in this website. Unclear instructions will make it difficult for students to understand the tasks thus de-motivated them from attempting the tasks.

For further information on Click & Learn, please click here.

Saturday, 12 November 2011


Brainshark is an online tool that is very useful in making presentations interesting. With this website, users will be able to combine their Powerpoint Presentations with their own voice presenting the slides.

Here is an example of how useful Brainshark is:

For video guide on how Brainshark works, please click here.

What I like about Brainshark:

  • This amazing website is currently free to be used by everyone. Therefore, it is affordable and accessible to everyone. 
  • A majority of second language learners are afraid and not confident to communicate using the target language in public. This issue can be addressed by having them to do presentation slides with Brainshark, in which they can do it personally and with confidence. 
  • Getting students to speak and use the target language verbally will also assist them in improving their pronunciation.    

However, bear in mind that:

  • Teachers should assign students with easy and accessible topics depending on their proficiency level. This is important as for second language learners to speak using the target language is considered as a big test for them. Teachers should start easy and gradually increase the difficulty level as students progress. 
  • This website is not accessible for first tome users. Basic training may be needed in order for students to operate this website. 

Saturday, 29 October 2011


Wallwisher is an online ‘wall’ where users will be able to write and share their thoughts and comments. This website is similar to the analogy of notice board and stick-notes, where users will write their thoughts and comments on stick-notes and stick it on the virtual notice board (the ‘wall’). The comments will then be shared among the participants of the discussion.

Before users can start sticking their notes, the ‘wall’ has to be created by a host. Then, users who wish to participate in the discussion must enter the virtual ‘wall’, write their names on their stick-notes, and they are now ready to stick their thoughts on the notice board.

The ‘wall’ can then be embedded to users’ web pages and blogs. Users can also share the link of the ‘wall’ by copying and pasting its URL on their websites or blogs, so that their page visitors can open and join the ‘wall’ as well.

What I like about Wallwisher?

  • It makes sharing better and broader by allowing users to insert images, music, videos, and webpage onto their stick-notes. Comments and discussions are no longer limited only by words.
  • The fact that it is free and share-able makes Wallwisher as one of the best tool in brainstorming and discussion. 

What might be the problems?

  • The host does not have the power to control users’ comment until it is shared on the wall. It might result in improper use such as students posting ridiculous answers or explicit comments. Therefore, teachers should make it compulsory for students to write their own names for supervision purpose.
  • Depending on how active the discussion is, the ‘wall’ will be packed with stick-notes at some point which makes it look messy and un-organised.

For further information on how to use Wallwisher, a video guide can be found here.

If you like Wallwisher, I would recommend that you have look at TodaysMeet.

Friday, 28 October 2011


Bookr is a website developed by a website called PimPamPum.  It serves as a site for users to produce their own photo books from selections of photos available. These photos are taken from Flickr; a website that hosts thousands of pictures uploaded by people around the world. Users will also be able to write about each picture in the text box provided.

In addition, users are given the options of emailing the photo book that they have produced or embedding the photo book onto their site and blogs.

How Bookr will be useful in ELT?
  • What is best about Bookr is the fact that it is a free source. No payment is needed in order for teachers and students to use it. Plus, every photos used is linked to Flickr and not taken physically. This saves users from violating the copyrights.  
  • Applying the concept of using pictures as teaching aids, Bookr saves teachers' time and effort of preparing actual pictures to be used in lessons. 

However, bear in mind that:
  • Bookr is merely a tool where students produce compilation of photos. It does not encourage students to use the target language. Thus, it is crucial for teachers to come out with ideas on how to integrate the use of target language with Bookr.
  • The photo book produced is not printable. Therefore, computers are needed in order for students to produce their final product. 

For more info on how to use Bookr, visit here.

Websites with similar concept: Bubblr!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Lyrics Training

Lyrics Training is a website that transforms music videos into useful ELT tools. On this website, users (either teachers or students) will be able to listen and watch their favourite music videos from a range of music videos provided. Each music video is included with its lyric, and certain words in the lyric will be left blank. While the music video is being played, students will be given time to fill in the blanks.

What I like about Lyric Training?)
  • Songs and music videos are part of teenagers’ life. Therefore, the use of songs and music videos in ELT will make lessons more interesting and help teachers to grab students’ attention. 
  • This activity covers all four language skills which are reading (students read the lyrics), writing and spelling (students fill in the blank), listening (students listen carefully for missing words), and speaking (karaoke version are also available for students to sing along).
  • Activities are divided into three different levels which are beginner (10% missing words), intermediate (25% missing words), and experts (100% missing words). Hints are also provided if students are unable to get the correct answer. 
  • Students can upload their score each time they completed an activity. This will promote the sense of healthy competition where students will try their best to beat the top score, and therefore improve themselves.

In addition, I will put these points into consideration before using Lyrics Training in my lesson:
  • In order to play the music videos, stable internet connection is needed. This might be an issue in certain countries. 
  •  Some music videos are inappropriate for young learners as it contains explicit images and languages.
  • It is usual for songs to use ungrammatical structure such as ‘wanna’ and ‘gonna’, as well as incomplete sentences. This might caused confusion students thus leads towards fossilisation of incorrect grammar.

For more info on Lyrics Training, click here.


Dvolver is a website that provide easy and simple way of making flash videos. Users are given a selection of background pictures, music, scenarios, and characters to choose from that they think suitable for their video. Once the storyline has been set, they will have to create the dialogue for the characters, click on the ‘finish’ button and the flash video will be generated for them. The video then can be sent to an email account or embedded to any virtual spaces like blogs or websites.

Here is an example of a video made using Dvolver:

What I like about Dvolver?
  • It makes video-making process easy and accessible. Basic computer raining might be needed, but there is no need for users to have advance ICT skills. 
  • The use of videos and animations in classroom makes teaching and learning fun and interesting, not only for young learners but for adult as well. 
  • Constructing own dialogue gives learners an opportunity to attempt the target language as well as a production stage of what have been learned in class.    

However, I would put these points into consideration before using Dvolver as my teaching aid:
  • Technology can be boring if used incorrectly.
  • Learners might be diverted into ‘enjoying the technology’ rather than completing the task. 
  • Some characters might be explicit and inappropriate for certain age and culture.
  • As learners have to construct own dialogs for the characters, more attention and guidance should be given to beginner and intermediate learners as constructing sentences can be difficult for them.  
  • Do learners have access to ICT facilities (computers, internet) either in classroom or at home?

For more info on how to use Dvolver, click here