Thursday, 24 November 2011

[W8] Ello : Online Listening Library

Hello English language teachers!

Have you ever thought about expanding your recording and listening activity collections for English class? If you have, then you can easily log on to Ello and be surprised that you can find more than 1000 listening activities with multimedia, mp3 files, vocabulary task, language notes and many more that you can choose to be carried out in just a click. 

How to Use Ello:

Ello promises 5 active sections which can be explored by teachers such as Views, Mixer,Games, Videos, Scenes, and News. It is so well-organised that teachers can easily look up for the activities according to the number of task set and topics. So let us explore some of the section and see what it offers...

Picture 1: VIEWS section

  • VIEWS provides a downloadable recording conversation based on the topics with transcription for teacher use. 
  • The quizzes provided are vary according to the focus for example- Quiz 1: Vocabulary Focus and Quiz 2: Comprehension Questions. 
  • There is also an embedded video response with subtitles available that is shared by a respondent and learners can enhance their knowledge about related topics while listening to other people's opinions. 
  • VIEWS section also provides learners with Audio Notes which focuses on the elaboration of the vocabulary items that are introduced in the conversation.  

  • In MIXER, there is a combination of speakers from different regions with different accents.

  • GAMES provides merely the same tools and functions of what VIEWS has, but the only difference is on the task. GAMES provides 3 tasks which are believed to be more focusing on the language skills involving vocabulary, reading and speaking quizzes. 

  • In NEWS, learners may choose to listen to more than 20available news broadcastings before answering some vocabulary and listening questions. However, there is a slight drawbacks in this section, which attempts when we start to play the video. When we have played a news video, we cannot pause it until you answer the question. However we can still replay the video.   
Picture 2: VIDEOS section

  • One of the good thing about Ello is that it offers tutorials for new users to explore this website. 
  • It involves speakers from various regions and this may expose learners to variety of accents and  may as well enhance their intercultural competence. 

  • Ello can sometimes be confusing since there is no clear instruction for each sections, regarding how to carry out the task and how to use the audio notes (especially!).
  • Since anybody may send a video response, we may want to know about the background or perhaps the reliability of language and ideas being presented (but not really a limitation, because the world of internet is a free place for all!). 

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

[W8] Audioboo : Podcasting Even More Interesting!


Today we will look at an interesting tool for language teachers to introduce in the classroom which is Audioboo.

Audioboo is an online tool that is suitable for language learners to record prompt things such as interview, news broadcasting, story telling, music (and many more!) for a later review and of course, listening purpose!  

How to Use Audioboo?

  • Audioboo has a simple, clean yet interesting (because it's colourful!) interface which I believe is important for users to get motivation while using it.
  • Audioboo comes with a recording applications with sets of buttons to record, pause, restart, preview publish and even ask whether you are happy, which means you want to start create a title for your recording.

  • Audioboo also supports learners to upload files which they already have, and it makes a good archive for later review. 
  • Teachers can carry out learning activity by making students to work in pairs record an interview (let us say the topic is a celebrity interview for a inspirational and successful people magazine) and they have to send the recording to teachers via email or embed it into their blogs. Then teacher can choose to present it to the class or compile all the recordings before spread them to other students for listening purpose. 


  • Users can use with or without signing up for accounts.
  • Audioboo comes out with a incredible application which is downloadable for Nokia, iPhone and Android devices so users can apply recording at any time and any place!


  • If you want to do a recording, you must have an internet connection, which then change your interest into other more useful offline tool.
  • Interesting activities are in need to be used with this tool or otherwise, learning can become boring even though a superb tool is used. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

[W7] Visuwords

I believe that many of us are looking forward for an online dictionary which does not only offer us with different meanings and concepts of a particular word using graphic aids. These needing functions are available in this week's learned website, that is Visuwords. Visuwords is an online graphical dictionary that is carried out by Princeton Univeristy using the WordNet database. 

How to Use Visuwords?

1. Learners can use Visuwords by keying in a particular word into the box on top of the page (see Picture 1) before they press 'Enter'.
2. For example, learners want to look up for the word 'literature' and they key in the word into the box provided. After few seconds, Visuwords will produce a diagram that visualize the meanings and concepts of the 'literature' (see Picture 2).
3. The coloured arrows and links represented in the diagram that connects the synsets actually refer to the different types of concepts. Learners can view the meanings of the coloured arrows (or relations) at the right side of the page (see Picture 3). The coloured arrows that connect synsets can also show the relation between the synsets. For example, hyponymy, hypernym and subtance.
4. Learners can even zoom in and out to see the diagram at their best view.

Picture 1
Picture 2
 Picture 3

  • Visuwords portrays Tony Buzan's idea by representing information through the use of mind maps (or diagrams), and Visuwords demonstrates ideas using neural networks type of diagram. And we all believe that mind maps (or diagrams) are effective tools for learning. 
  • Visuwords has a convenient and adorable interface that allows learners to learn vocabulary meaning and functions, anytime and anywhere as long as the Internet connection is available.
  • It is forever free and users do not have to sign up for an account to use it. 

  • Even though Visuwords is belived to assist learners who opts for the visual learning style, however it can be demotivating for those who face colour vision deficiency the categorisation of the vocabulary details are presented by different variety of colours. 
  • Just like 'bell and whistle', Visuwords looks like an amazing tool for learning purpose, but I believe it is not suitable to be implemented in the classroom. 

Thursday, 3 November 2011

[W5] My Brainshark : Online and Mobile Video Presentations & Database

My Brainshark is another website that I learned this week in ICT in ELT class. This website is a cloud based software in which users can keep and modify their data from 'a static document' into a more active presentation. For example, My Brainshark allows users to change a boring Power Point presentation slides into an interesting video presentation by installing their voice and background music. Apart from that, My Brainshark can be a convenient database manager as it is capable of managing documents that it keeps. With these types of application, My Brainshark can be a powerful tool for ELT teachers to improve their teaching style for example, they can prepare a video presentation with recorded voice as a source of reference for students at home. Since My Brainshark has many features for learning purpose, it is sometimes complicated and acquires much skills to handle , therefore it is rather suitable for secondary school or advanced learners than the primary ones.

  • My Brainshark can be an interesting tool for teaching and learning. 
  • A very useful tool for 'connected classroom' - students and teachers' speaking activity outside classroom
  • Students can practice to use language and grammar and also record their practice so that they can revise it later
  • Users can embed the documents made and they can use it for blog or email it too

  • Its multi-features is sometimes complicated and can possibly be handled by advanced students or teachers 

[W5] PIMPAMPUM: Bubblr - Image Hosting Website for Presentation!

Hello there!
Today, I want to share with you another two cool websites which I think are very beneficial for teachers to use in ELT classroom - they are Bubblr and Bookr, introduced by Pimpampum. However, in this post I will only focus on Bubblr.


Using images in ELT classroom is common as it allows learners to learn using visual stimulus. Therefore, a systematic image hosting  that can help teachers in their presentation is very much welcomed in the world of teaching. Bubblr allows teachers to 'steal' photos without breaking copyrights, as it locates public images from Flickr database in such an accessible way and teachers are allowed to edit them by adding captions using bubbles to become comic strips. Since Bubblr does not have many features that make it not very complicated, therefore I believe it is appropriate to be used by students of all level to practice language using this website.

The example of Bubblr comic strips that I have done, is as below:

Here is some of the points on benefits and drawbacks of Bubblr and Bookr that we have discussed during the seminars, using the Wallwisher application. I will explain about Wallwisher application in the next post, inshaAllah.


  • Bubblr allows language practice opportunity trough the appropriate task that can be created.
  • Bubblr involves speaking skills opportunity since students might be asked to present their comic strips in front of the classroom.
  • Bubblr allows personalization since students are allowed to pick up their own images and topics.
  • It is free, and users do not have to sign up.


  • It is sometimes considered as boring, because it only focuses on one language practice activity.
  • Bubblr does not allow too much chance for students to really practice language.
  • Bubblr can be very technical, and sometimes is not a helpful technology.
  • The bubbles in Bubblr can sometimes distract the images because of the wide size.