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Topics - ArielTheMermaid

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General Links / Google N-Gram
« on: May 07, 2014, 06:33:54 PM »
Google has started its own "corpus" site called n-gram viewer--here is the website:

Essentially you can see what words/phrases are being used more frequently over time. Help on how to use the site and input text is found here:

This site uses Google Books as their primary source of texts and up to this point, you cannot view your input text in context. However, this could be a good basic tool for seeing what words are being used, if you are unsure what word collocates with another word--such as : is it "give a doubt" or "raise a doubt" and you can see which one is more frequent. Could be cool to use with students, but I have not explored it much yet.

General Links / MemeMaker
« on: April 22, 2014, 09:08:11 AM »
I do not have a link to this because apps for the computer or phone actually work best. Mememakers on websites are froo-froo and commonly have other stuff you don't want to use. Apps on the computer or phone are easy to use, and all you have to do is save the finished meme to your computer and then upload to IMGUR--the only image hosting website you should ever use (

Memes are a good way for the class to study 1) meme culture, and 2) generally fixed language. Since memes have a "formula" which they must follow, all memes should be created equal. It would be a good way to introduce students to some pop culture, and also get their language learning on.

Critical Reviews of Technology / Critical Review of Jing!
« on: April 22, 2014, 09:00:35 AM »
Jing! is a screen-capture/screen-recording add-on to your computer similar in function to Camtasia.

Podcasting for Computer-Mediated Language Learning / Blogcasts!!
« on: April 01, 2014, 12:33:15 PM »
I think that a new way we can incorporate podcasts into class is to have students make personal reflective blogs, but instead of writing posts (or in addition) they can make podcasts. I think sometimes we forget about speaking when our Ss leave the classroom, and always we encourage them to talk to native speakers and engage in society. But this is not always easy for our students. Maybe by having them making personal blogs where they speak instead of write--they can listen to themselves.

In order to do this, I would not use a blog website--too OLD SCHOOL. Instead the students should make their OWN YouTube channel, I think that could be extremely fun and exciting. Everyone has some method of recording these days, and YouTube channels can be private, and to be honest, no one is looking for your journal reflective channel. All students can have access to each other's channel and leave comments.

This, however, needs to be an integrated component of the classroom. They need to be taught how to use YouTube, and more importantly, how to record, and upload things. I would even suggest a recording management tool to edit recordings if necessary. This would indeed take up class time, but I think it would be worth it. They can track their progress and even track their accent! Great for personal autonomy of their own learning!!

Social Networks and Supersites / FaceBook in the classroom
« on: March 11, 2014, 10:45:46 AM »
So--this idea to use FaceBook in the classroom was brought to me recently. It is an interesting idea to do with a unit on oral presentations. Typically, either the teacher or students record the video, upload it to dropbox or Google Drive, share it with teachers, then we write our feedback, send it to students, and other students write their peer feedback and then send it to the presenters. This approach is very convoluted and uses too many documents, and you have to spend a lot of time uploading, downloading, etc. So, a suggestion is to use FaceBook--I would suggest creating a "Teacher FaceBook" different from the normal one you may already have, and set up a group that you will invite the students in your class to. Then, students can upload their presentation videos here--comment on them in the FB forum, and everything is right there. It makes it simple and easy and give FB and special purpose in the classroom, other than stigmatizing it as something bad--it can also have an educational purpose. Then, students are also held accountable for what their post and it is easy to give students a grade when everything is right there.

So often, our students are unsure how to install dropbox, and we waste class time trying to explain it to those three students who do not know how to download it. In order to avoid this mess, I suggest using camtasia, or Jing in order to make a short video about how to install and use dropbox. In fact, you can make this for anything online---all you have to do is go to and install the video software to your computer. I know there are videos on YouTube, but that's not as fune as making your own. Plus, you'll get used to it and start to do it more often.

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