Stay home ... for a little while
While others are surfing the waves, surf the Web. May be a 2-hour presentation of Steve Jobs (Apple CEO) about absolutely new, breathtaking technologies will be too much for you, but you could see some glimpses of it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_C1TZIT-qQ (skip ad). In 8 minutes you will be introduced to the concept of iCloud and how this service relates to the Contacts, Calendar, and Mail apps. Even if you are not tech savvy, it is never late to start to learn something new, especially now when you just touch the screen and the work is done. But the main point to think about is what skills we, teachers, should develop to work successfully in the post PC era in order to not lag behind our digitally native students.
Conferences are the perfect place to pick up new ideas, to re-establish contacts, to learn about new products and projects and to share your own success stories. In the end of June about 300 teachers will be attending 2 conferences:УSharing Key Concepts and Teaching Methods to "Unlock" Culture PuzzlesФ and УNew Communication Opportunities on the Cutting Edge of Linguistics, Technology and MethodologyФ in Irkutsk (Bravo to ISLU and ISTU and ESELTA!). The 17th NATE Conference УNEW TIMES Ц NEW SONGS: ELT AFTER 2010Ф http://www.kantiana.ru/international/partners/kate/events.php in Kaliningrad will bring together about 400 participants and will feature TESOL President Christine Coombe and a top-notch expert on teaching young learners Dr. Joan Shin. This is a great KATE achievement! One hundred more teachers in Yakutsk will attend Yakut/TESOL Summer School. There is still time to find sponsors and come to these events!
Go to the beach
Beach setting might be the best place to help you open up your mind and get the creative juices flowing. Look around- there might be kids playing games on an iPad. Bridget Gersten has shared this link with you: Children's Book Apps: A New World Of Learning http://www.npr.org/2011/03/28/134663712/childrens-book-apps-a-new-world-of-learning?sc=emaf These enhanced e-books include narration, animation and interactive features. Some children are even getting their first exposure to books on a digital device. You might Уjust stand back in aweФ or Уto see the morass of technological gadgets, whose manufacturers purport their necessity in our lives to enhance their own bottom line, take over what parental interaction should be accomplishing, in a far superior way.Ф You have to make up your mind which side to take, but first it is necessary to get into kidsТ shoes and enjoy.
Head out for parts unknown Ц here is what your colleagues in Mexico write about the use of IT in ELT: http://www.mextesol.net/journal
Is it time for NATE to start a similar product?
УThereТs a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiotФ (Steven Wright) - this was the Quote of the Day on an awesome site УQuite InterestingФ http://www.qi.com/ In addition to QIkipedia and interesting stories, you can watch older series of the BBC Worldwide TV show with Stephen Fry on Dave or in short clips on YouTube. Many advanced students get stunned with an intellectual put-down from Stephen Fry in these hilarious clips. Will you?
Enjoy the barbecues at dacha
The family barbecue is a cool place for a quick quiz Ц you can show this picture to your friends and in half an hour they will update your knowledge providing succinct information on what these symbols stand for what. Teenagers could be very helpful.
If you havenТt discovered yet the world of iTunes, it is the right time to explore what is there for you. It is a true fact that many teenagers get motivated in studying English through popular songs. You could use this motivation factor and while away some time creating collections for different age groups. And your best experts who could give you guidance will be your kids and their friends. And these are the sites that could help you: www.azlyrics.com
Give Yourself a Break
If you are trying to escape from numerous tutoring requests and encourage students to try to learn on their own, you could recommend the following resources. Autonomous learning is a hot topic these days and the next academic year this will be the major point for research and discussion at various conferences and seminars. Please check the website http://www.eltrussia.ru to follow what is going on in the Russian ELT community.
Resources for Practicing English Alone or In Class (shared by colleagues from different countries)
Х Here is a new site of Voice of American Special English Program: http://russian.goenglish.me/
1. Stories and excerpts: http://www.fonetiks.org/dictations/
or (alternate link) http://www.dictationsonline.com/
2. Real-life situations (medium level): http://www.englishclub.com/listening/dictations-medium.htm
3. Real-life situations (high level): http://www.englishclub.com/listening/dictations-long.htm
4. News dictations: http://www.listen-and-write.com/audio
Х News Broadcasts:
1. VOA America Radio: http://www.voanews.com/english/index.cfm Ц news reports are read at a slower speed with limited vocabulary.
2. National Public Radio (USA) Ц http://www.npr.org
3. BBC Radio: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/
4. Story telling: http://www.storyteller.net/stories/audio
5. Listening Lab: http://www.englishlistening.com/startListeningNow.do
Speeches: These are famous speeches, movie clips and radio broadcasts. Some are written out as well. www.americanrhetoric.com
Х News Reports:
1. CNN: http://www.cnn.com/
2. USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/
3. Newsweek: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/
4. BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk
5. Newsweek International: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3037881/site/newsweek/
6. Time Magazine: http://www.time.com/time/
Х GRAMMAR, VOCABULARY and TOEFL practice:
Х 1. http://www.tolearnenglish.com/cgi2/myexam/index.php (do it yourself stuff!)
Х 2. http://esl.about.com/library/quiz/bl_toefl1.htm - 33 questions, gives answers after you answer the question. Questions in structure format
- in written expression format. Different levels. Pick the bottom 3.
4. http://freetoefl.net/ - do this one with a partner. Race to see who finishes first and has the best score.
1. Purdue University: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl
2. Chicago Style Manual http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html
Х BUSINESS ENGLISH