Saturday, 20 November 2010

EUROCALL symposium on corpora and computer mediated communication

In cooperation with the Eurocall CorpusCALL and CMC SIGs, the Applied English Linguistics group at the University of Tübingen (Germany) is organising the following CALL research symposium:

Authenticating Language Learning: Web Collaboration Meets Pedagogic Corpora
17-19 February 2011


Monday, 15 November 2010

Review of "Talk Now", a CD-ROM for learners of Mandarin Chinese

Further to my November 2010 posting on MYLO, in which I criticised the pedagogy underlying the MYLO project and described my (failed) attempt to use it to learn Chinese, I decided to have a look at an existing commercial product, namely “Talk Now” Mandarin Chinese by EuroTalk, to see how it fared. Here is my review:

The package was extremely easy to install. It is supplied on CD-ROM and all I had to do was pop the CD into my computer and then most of the process was automatic. The package has the following features:

- You can choose which language you want to learn FROM. The default is English, but you can also choose to have the interface and translations of the Chinese in a huge range of other languages. This means, for example, that if you are a native German, French, Spanish or Polish speaker you don’t have to struggle with English as the “Trägersprache”.

- The interface is simple, and the screen is clear and uncluttered.

- I signed in as “Graham”, the name under which my scores and progress would be recorded. Records are carried over from session to session, so that you can see how well you are doing and what you already know. If other students were using the package at the same time they would be able to sign in under their individual names and sign back on from session to session.

- I was presented with a choice of learning words and phrases in the following categories: First words, Food, Colours, Phrases, Body, Numbers, Shopping, Countries, Time. I chose First words.

- I could click on the English translation of each word and hear how it was pronounced both by a native male and native female speaker. At the same time each word and phrase was presented to me as pinyin text, as Chinese characters and with an associated cartoon. The sound quality was excellent.

- I was able to click on a microphone and practise pronouncing each word and phrase as many times as I liked in order to hear how I sounded, using the male or female native speaker as a model.

- I was able to print a full-colour list of the words and phrases that I was learning as pinyin text, Chinese characters, translation into English, and with a cartoon image associated with each word or phrase. I sat down in a comfy chair and read through the words and phrases after I had finished practising pronouncing them on my computer.

- I worked my way through four game-like quizzes at increasingly difficult levels that tested how well I could remember the words and phrases that has been presented to me. I discovered that the program remembered my weak points and homed in on them so that I was offered additional practice.

- I was able to click on a button that stored all the recordings of the words and phrases in iTunes on my computer, and I was then able to transfer them to my iPod and iPhone so that I could listen to them while walking around.

So what’s missing? There’s a lack of explanations about the tone system, the pinyin writing system and how to recognise and write Chinese characters. I also missed images and videos showing real people in China speaking Chinese, and something about Chinese culture – but I found all this at the BBC Languages website:

I needed explanations of Chinese grammar too, but I found it difficult to find anything on the Web that explains Chinese grammar in simple terms. I also needed a dictionary. This was easier to find. The “Useful links” section at the BBC site led me to Other links can be found here:

My verdict: “Talk Now” is not perfect, but it’s not at all bad, and it does an efficient job. After a couple of hours of practice I was actually LEARNING Mandarin Chinese. I could recognise and pronounce about 50 words and phrases, and one day later I could still remember around half of them. “Talk Now” is good value for money at £24.99 for a single-user licence or £110 for a school site licence, but it needs to be backed up by other resources. There are other packages for more advanced learners and the range of languages on offer is enormous. There is already a EuroTalk Facebook page at, and EuroTalk products will be going online early next year. For further information see

I am not alone in criticising the MYLO project. A lively discussion is currently (November 2010) going in in the Linguanet Forum.

Graham Davies

Friday, 12 November 2010

MYLO - a new way to learn languages?

MYLO is a UK goverment-funded project that aims to offer secondary school students a "new way to learn languages", specifically French, German, Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. See my February 2010 posting on MYLO.

I have had a quick look at the MYLO Website and the MYLO YouTube videos. My first reactions:

The following message on the homepage (as of November 2010) does not inspire visitors with confidence:

"A new UK Government took office on 11 May. As a result the content on this site may not reflect current Government policy. All statutory guidance and legislation published on this site continues to reflect the current legal position unless indicated otherwise. To view the new website, please visit"

Why does the MYLO URL continue to use DCSF? The DCSF changed its name shortly after the new government took over in May 2010, and most old DCSF addresses have been updated.

As a former teacher of German, I looked first at the section on German Basics, Greetings and Goodbyes. The word "tschüs" (informal "goodbye") is introduced here. There are different ways of pronouncing and spelling this word, depending on the region, personal preferences, etc. The "ü" can be long or short and the spelling must correspond to the pronunciation. In the sound recordings in MYLO the "ü" is pronounced short, and therefore the spelling should be "tschüss", but MYLO presents the written form as "tschüs", which is the correct spelling only if the "ü" is pronounced long. I remember having this discussion when I worked on German Steps for the BBC: You will find "tschüss" in the BBC materials. Not trusting my own judgement or memory, I checked the spelling/pronunciation at This confirmed that, since the 1996 spelling reform, "tchüss" is correct when the vowel is pronounced short and that "tschüs" is correct when the vowel is pronounced long. Duden agrees: 23rd edition (2004) and later. MYLO has promised to correct this error, but someone should have done some thorough checking in the first place.

The MYLO YouTube presentations are slick and the advice given in the “Learning to Learn” clips is sound, but I think it will wash straight over the heads of most teenagers.

I decided to put myself in the position of a learner. This is a bit difficult for me as I speak German fluently, my French is tolerable, and I have good survival skills in Spanish. I don’t know much Chinese, however. I followed a BBC radio course in spoken Mandarin over 40 years ago, and I have forgotten most of what I have learned, so I had a go at MYLO’s Mandarin Chinese exercises. I scored 100% on all the exercises that I attempted (matching sounds with the pinyin texts and the Chinese characters), but I learned nothing about the tone system and how Chinese is structured. Half an hour later I could not recall most of the words that had been presented. These important elements are lacking:

1. The possibility of recording and playing back one’s own voice, which is vital in the early stages of language learning and features in many software packages that have been published in recent years by companies such as EuroTalk and Virtual Languages.

2. There are no “real-life” images or videos. See, for example, the BBC’s introduction to Mandarin Chinese at Furthermore, the BBC materials are much better in terms of presentation, e.g. the tone system, pinyin, Chinese characters, and what the words and phrases actually mean. There are also useful links to external sites.

3. There is negligible feedback in the exercises in MYLO, and I don’t recognise the pedagogical and cognitive principles on which they are based - maybe a variation of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development? Feedback is crucial. We learned a lot about interactivity and feedback (both intrinsic and extrinsic feedback) while working on the TELL Consortium software in the 1990s. See ICT4LT Module 1.1, Section 7.1 and Section 7.2:

MYLO advertises itself as a “new way to learn languages”. Well, not really. Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) has been around since the 1960s, CILT’s first publication on CALL - aimed at secondary school teachers - appeared in 1982 (I was one of the authors), and multimedia CALL has been around since the early 1990s: see my EUROCALL 2010 keynote,
“Where have we been, where are we now, and where are we going?”

We have learned a lot of lessons on this long journey, but MYLO does not appear to have been listening.

I am not alone in criticising MYLO. A lively discussion is currently (November 2010) going on in the Linguanet Forum.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

10 best languages to learn right now

This is an interesting list of languages, compiled on the basis of the numbers of community speakers of these languages in the USA - and also the prospects of using these languages in international business. The list of 10 best languages to learn right now comprises:

1. Spanish
2. Chinese
3. French
4. German
5. Tagalog
6. Vietnamese
7. Korean
8. Polish
9. Russian
10. Italian

What would such a list look like from a UK point of view? We often talk about the "best" foreign language for us to learn, but weighing up the various reasons for learning a particular foreign language is not easy. As native speakers of English we find life far too easy travelling around a world where English is so widely spoken both as a first and as a second language.

French is currently the No. 1 language that is taught in UK schools, mainly for historical reasons and because France is our nearest neighbour, but strong arguments have been put forward for learning Spanish, German, Chinese and Japanese too.

And what about our community languages? Polish or Panjabi might be the first choice in the area where I live.

What do you think?

Top 25 world languages blogs

We are delighted to announce that the ICT4LT blog has been listed at No. 15 in the Top 25 languages blogs.

No. 1 on the list is Lisa Stevens' blog ¡Vámonos! - a useful and entertaining blog for primary school language teachers. We list Lisa's blog - and many others - in Section 12.2.2 of Module 1.5 at the ICT4LT site under the heading Useful blogs created by and for language teachers.  

Friday, 24 September 2010

SLanguages Conference, 15-16 October 2010

SLanguages 2010 is a 24-hour virtual conference on language teaching and learning in Second Life. It will run from 10:00 SL time (5pm GMT), 15 October, 10:00 SL time (5pm GMT), 16 October. Wherever possible, sessions will be repeated to enable people in different time zones to see them. There will also be group discussions and social events and the opportunity to visit an exhibition of SL tools for educators. Further information can be found in the AVALON Ning:

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

EUROCALL 2010 Conference, 8-11 September, Bordeaux

The EUROCALL 2010 Conference took place in Bordeaux, 8-11 September. As in previous years, the conference was covered in a Virtual Strand to enable people who could not attend the conference in person to follow the main events. The EUROCALL 2010 Conference Blog, with embedded CoveritLive windows, was the main element of the Virtual Strand, but other social networks were also used:


Videos of the plenary presentations have now been made available, as well as photostreams of the parallel sessions and social events: EUROCALL 2010 Videos and Photos.

Further information about EUROCALL can be found at the EUROCALL Website.

Friday, 16 July 2010

The 1920s Berlin Project in Second Life

This is the website for The 1920s Berlin Project in Second Life:

More information, with screenshots and videos, can be found in the AVALON Ning:

Second Life is a 3D world in which simulations (“sims”) of any real or imagined location can be created and in which people can interact in their avatar guises. The aim of the project is to stage a German course in a historical setting. Participants are asked to wear clothes of the 1920s, and a free set of clothes is provided for your avatar. There is an active role-playing community with great characters like Jo Yardley, a war widow, and Petrus, the barman, who might give you a glass of Absinth when the police are not looking.

Here is the SLURL:

The German course is an experiment to see whether language teachers in Second Life can set up a sim and a community where they can offer their courses and where the lessons offer real added value for the learners, introducing them to a community and place which they can come back to by themselves and practise their German.

Here is an extract from the description of the project at the above website:

“Berlin in the 1920s was a very interesting time, politically, culturally and in many other ways. We wanted to try and recreate the atmosphere of this fantastic city in that amazing era. But we wanted to show a realistic and authentic view of the darker side of this city. Most historical sims show a somewhat romanticised, clean, charming view of the past. We wanted to show our visitors what common people lived like in the backstreets of the poorer neighbourhoods. No big houses, palaces, lanes and glorious theatres in our sim, but tiny apartments, a cheap modern looking cinema, a theatre that has seen better days and a dance hall that is situated in a damp basement and where they have lukewarm beer in dirty glasses.”

Second Life - the long goodbye: re Gavin Dudeney's blog

There is a very lively discussion taking place right now in Gavin Dudeney’s That’SLife blog in a thread headed Second Life - The Long Goodbye. Gavin has decided to say goodbye to SL, at least in terms of continuing to play a role in using SL for teaching and training. He has decided that SL is not the most suitable environment for educators, citing technical problems, the unfriendliness of Viewer 2 and the general lack of real improvements during the last two years.

As Gavin puts it: “It’s frustrating not to improve at a better pace, it’s frustrating to see competent users still having voice and other problems and, well, it’s just frustrating sometimes.” Read Gavin’s blog and the large number of comments by people who agree or disagree with Gavin.

What do you think? Is SL “ too demanding and too unreliable for most educators” and are there “better ways of doing most things you can do in SL in terms of education”?

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Hard to teach - teaching foreign languages at secondary school level

This Teachers TV video shows three imaginative case studies of teachers using ICT  to teach modern foreign languages at secondary school level.

1. José Picardo's students at Nottingham High School for Boys use Voki, Glogster and Stupefix to practise speaking Spanish.

2. Fiona Joyce at Kingstone School in Barnsley uses the Web to stimulate her students' interest in French life and language. She uses French-language videos to trigger vocabulary work with her students, encourages them to use the Web for research and to use an inter-school social network to communicate with French-speaking students around the world.

3. At Cramlington Learning Village, the emphasis is on encouraging students' self-assessment skills. Chris Harte's students practise their spoken French, using Audacity, by creating an audio-visual presentation about Haiti. 

See also José Picardo's Box of Tricks blog.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

New UK government to close BECTA

See this article in The Guardian, 24 May 2010:
Government to close BECTA

BECTA is the British Education and Communications Technology Agency, which is responsible for information and support regarding the use of ICT to schools and other educational institutions throughout the UK.

Way back in 1981 BECTA was known as the Council for Educational Technology (CET). I was invited in that year to a meeting with representatives from the CET and CILT (now known as the National Centre for Languages), which led to the first major UK conference on the use of computers in language teaching and learning - at which I gave my first public presentation on computer assisted language learning.

The CET changed its name a couple of times in the following years, first to the National Council for Educational Technology (NCET) and later to the Microelectronics in Education Support Unit (MESU). I have some good publications on my bookshelves that date back to that era, e.g.
  • Learning languages with technology (printed materials), NCET, 1988
  • Videocassette on the Granville simulation, NCET, 1988
  • Accent on IT (videocassette and printed materials), MESU, 1997
In those days representatives of BECTA’s predecessors were often in evidence at national conferences for language teachers in the UK and at the international EUROCALL conferences, but then they disappeared into their hi-tech shell. BECTA expressed an interest in becoming a partner in the ICT4LT project, which was initiated with European Commission funding in 1999, but then they withdrew, indicating they would rather just play a role in publicising and supporting the project in a more informal way – which never happened.

The name change to BECTA took place in 2000, and from this point on I think the agency began to lose the plot. It became more technology-driven, and the needs of language teachers (and other non-technical subject areas) were overlooked. The 1980s was a good period, but pedagogy faded into the background in the 1990s, and then BECTA got involved in expensive, grandiose (but short-lived) schemes such as the National Grid for Learning (NGfL) and Curriculum Online. There is very little at the BECTA site now that focuses on language teaching and learning.

Teachers do not need a costly government agency like BECTA. There are hundreds of sites on the Web where useful information about ICT can be obtained, and teachers also tend to use social networks if they are looking for information or advice. Frankly, I am happy to see BECTA disappear.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Language learning and social media

Language learning and social media is an EC-funded project that embraces a mix of activities exploring the relationship of language learning and social media in the Web 2.0 era:

Participatory debates, award-winning competitions, policy recommendations and reports, scientific publications and field studies.

The 14 partner institutions will examine six key dimensions of language learning and social media:
  1. Language learning, social media and social inclusion.
  2. Language learning, social media and development of language resources.
  3. Language learning and teaching through social media in new EU countries: Romania, Latvia and Poland.
  4. Language learning, social media and multilingualism.
  5. Language learning through social media: evolution of teaching practices.
  6. Language learning and teaching in formal and non formal contexts through ICT.
Further information at:

Friday, 14 May 2010

New book on interactive whiteboards: Thomas & Schmid

Thomas M. & Schmid E.C. (2010) (eds.) Interactive whiteboards for education: theory, research and practice, Hershey, PA (USA): IGI Global. ISBN: 978-1-61520-715-2.

Interactive whiteboards (IWBs) play an important role in language teaching, especially in the UK, where it is unusual to find a school that does not have at least one interactive whiteboard. Most schools now have several interactive whiteboards installed in their classrooms. See ICT4LT, Section 4, Module 1.4, where we take a look at the use of IWBs in whole-class teaching and where other publications on IWBs are cited.

This new publication by Thomas & Schmid (quoting the publicity) “emphasises the importance of professional development, credible educational research, and dialogue between teachers, administrators, policymakers and learners. This book intends to guide and inform the process of technology integration in education, introducing valuable case studies for educators interested in present and future IWB technology.”

On the whole IWBs have been embraced with enthusiasm by teachers of foreign languages in the UK, as shown in my small-scale investigation, How effective is the use ICT in language learning and teaching? which I conducted in the autumn of 2008.

But IWBs have not been without their critics, for example Scott Thornbury, whose provocative contribution to the IATEFL 2009 blog inspired this thread (May 2009) in the ICT4LT blog: “IWBs are useless. Discuss” (Quoting Scott Thornbury).

What do you think?

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Flash forward: Language teachers using social networking sites

Flash forward is an article written by Yojana Sharma and Joe Dale, published in the TES Magazine, 9 April 2010

Many language teachers are sceptical about the use of social networking sites and other Web 2.0 applications. They question how such tools fit in with language teaching methodology and they often find that their school's network blocks wikis, blogs, YouTube, Twitter and many other Web 2.0 sites that offer potentialy exciting learning opportunities.

This article should convert some of the sceptics. It illustrates how an informal network of around 50-60 language teachers in the UK is making good use of such tools in the modern foreign languages classroom.

See also New growth from the grassroots, Joe Dale's blog, 10 May 2010.

Section 12 of Module 1.5 at the ICT4LT site focuses on social networking.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Second Life videos: Groovy Winkler tours the EUROCALL/CALICO HQs

I have recently created these three videos about Second Life. They aim to show you some of the features of the EUROCALL and CALICO HQs, which are managed jointly by myself, Graham Davies (aka Groovy Winkler) and Randall Sadler (aka Randall Renoir). All three videos were made using the Fraps screen capture software:

1. Tour of the EUROCALL HQ Building in Second Life

2. Holodecks at the CALICO/EUROCALL HQ in Second Life

3. Shared Media at the EUROCALL/CALICO HQ in Second Life

More videos are in the pipeline.

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Using Viewer 2 in Second Life: new opportunities for teachers and students

I've been experimenting with Second Life's new Viewer 2. It's a big advance on the previous viewer. The interface is easier to understand, having more in common with a Web browser, which should shorten the learning curve for newcomers to Second Life. But, most importantly, Viewer 2 opens up a host of new opportunities for teachers and students. It is now possible to set up a live Web page on any surface in Second Life - a flat screen, a cube or even a sphere. The user can interact with the Web page in the normal way, i.e. as one would using a standard Web browser. This means that Second Life can now incorporate a range of Web 2.0 tools, such as collaborative writing tools (e.g. Etherpad), Flickr, online PowerPoint presentations, etc. Video can be streamed in from almost any source, including YouTube and Teachers TV. This was not easy to do using the previous viewer - and I could not stream Teachers TV videos into Second Life, except by using a very cumbersome roundabout route. Now both teacher and student can embed Web pages or videos into Second Life without hassle.

Have a look at this blog thread in the EUROCALL/CALICO Virtual Worlds SIG Ning, which contains links to the Viewer 2 tutorials on YouTube and to Nergiz Kern's wiki, where she describes and demonstrates some of Viewer 2's capabilities:

Second Life launches its new Viewer 2

Keep an eye on Section 14.2.1 of Module 1.5 at the ICT4LT website. It's all about Second Life and continually updated.


Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Practice: the missing link?

Many changes have taken place since I first got involved in using ICT for language learning and teaching. In the early days of the microcomputer boom in the 1980s there was not great deal of choice in the range of software available. The first programs that appeared were rather dry text-only multiple-choice and gap-filling exercises, which were nevertheless very popular. Audio and video were not available and many schools could afford to buy only one single computer, which was moved around different classrooms, connected to a large TV screen and used for whole-class teaching. And the Web was just a twinkle in the eye of its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, finally reaching the public at large in 1993.

Now we have some excellent Presentation tools - interactive whiteboards and associated software - and a range of so-called Web 2.0 tools have appeared that are useful for the Production of language by our students, e.g. blogs, wikis, podcasts, animations, etc: see ICT4LT Module 1.5, Section 2.2, headed What is Web 2.0?

This may be misconception on my part, but am I right in thinking that there is a missing link, namely Practice? What has happened to the programs and authoring tools that teachers used to generate practice activities for their students? During the late 1980s and 1990s the range of published programs and authoring tools for generating practice activities - vocab, grammar, all the mundane but essential stuff - got better and better, incorporating audio and video, discrete error analysis and intrinsic feedback: see ICT4LT Module 1.1 Section 7.1 on Interactivity and Section 7.2 on Feedback.

I may be wrong but, judging from most of the blogs, wikis and forums aimed at language teachers, it now seems to be a case of either “Where can I find a PowerPoint presentation on XYZ?” or “Where can I find a Web 2.0 tool that enables my students to write a blog / record a podcast / create a cartoon strip?” Is Practice the missing link?


Monday, 8 February 2010

MYLO, the Open School for Languages

Setting up an Open School for Languages (OSfL) was one of the major recommendations of the Dearing Languages Review (2007). Dearing proposed that the OSfL should offer an innovative and exciting online learning environment to motivate pupils to learn languages and to help reverse the alarming fall in the number of young people choosing to study languages beyond the age of 14 (i.e. after Year 9) in UK schools.

In March 2009, the OSfL contract, worth £5.4 million, was awarded by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) to Lightbox Education, part of the RM group (Research Machines), Oxfordshire. The other key players are the University of Cambridge’s Language Centre, CILT (The National Centre for Languages), the Association for Language Learning (ALL), the University of Salford and the University of Southampton.

The working name of the Open School for Languages is now MYLO (My Languages Online). A MYLO Website and MYLO Blog have been set up.

Initial priority is to be given to those learners who might give up languages at the end of Year 9 and who therefore require more stimulation to maintain levels of interest and engagement. Year 10 and Year 11 are to be targeted in later stages of the project. In the initial phase the materials will focus on French, Spanish, German and Mandarin Chinese, with the capability of later expansion according to identified needs and allowing for the fact that different languages have different requirements. Materials will be provided for ab initio learners of particular languages as well as for learners with pre-existing knowledge. This may include the provision of intensive courses.

Activities proposed by Lightbox include producing a TV advert, working in a French fashion house, and designing a football kit. MYLO will also include a social networking element that allows learners to join a MYLO community. Students will be able create their online profile, comment on the work of their peers, get feedback from their teachers and even compete against other schools. Teachers will be able to create playlists of activities for their students to tie in with their own study requirements and personal interests.

This is a major project, with big money at stake and with high expectations. MYLO is also expected to provide:

1. Learner-focused practice materials and resources such as online dictionaries, information on grammar, functions and notions.

2. Information about and links to existing websites, services and other online learning resources.

3. A blended learning experience that reflects individual learners’ preferences and varying capabilities, including personalised evaluation routes.

4. Clear learning routes, i.e. the “core”, combined with a series of flexible modules to enrich, develop and personalise the core.

5. Maximum accessibility to all and appropriate use of interactivity, including learners at home using standard equipment,

6. Support for teachers to help them advise learners how to use the resources.

7. Support for teachers on how best they can use the materials in face-to-face classroom-based learning.

8. Support for learners directly as well as for teachers, including the provision of essential study skills materials on learning how to learn a foreign language.

9. Materials to support “languages in use”, for example how materials could be used to support languages in the new diplomas, or languages used in the context of sport or the arts.

10. Technology that clearly serves the pedagogical objectives. Access to the website, while delivering a personalised experience, will also take into account the fact that the target audience will utilise a variety of access points, for example, the young person’s home, his or her school, a local library, etc.

Consideration is also expected to be given to new developments in learning technology over the duration of the project. One idea that comes to mind is Second Life for Teens, a 3D world for learners of English as a Foreign Language, managed by The British Council.

MYLO was presented publicly for the first time at the BETT Show on 15 January 2010 and again to a group of practising language teachers at CILT, The National Centre for Languages, on 8 February 2010. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend either of these presentations.

Post your impressions here if you were one of the lucky ones who got a preview of MYLO.

Monday, 25 January 2010

The SAEL Project - online support websites for language teachers

The ICT4LT site and its associated blog have been mentioned as an example of good practice at the SAEL Project Website.

SAEL (Sites d'Accompagnement pour les Enseignants de Langues) is an EC-funded project that aims to facilitate the implementation of language policy recommendations with a view to improving the quality of language teaching in Europe. The project seeks to achieve this by promoting the creation of online support websites for language teachers to help keep them up-to-date with innovative approaches, resources and other information. See:

One of the final outcomes of the SAEL Project is a Guide that contains practical suggestions for creating and updating websites designed to support the work of language teachers. The Guide sets out to provide practical answers to the following questions:

• What is a language teacher support website?
• How are these websites designed, run and improved?
• Who is involved in this process and what are the main stages?
• Why does a support website represent real added value for the teaching community?

The Guide includes recommendations, examples of websites and good practice for setting up, improving and running support websites that match the requirements of your country, region or institution. The Guide can be downloaded in PDF format. Click here: SAEL Guide

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Links to blogs on ICT and language teaching

There are two very active blogs that I would like to recommend. Both focus on teaching foreign languages in secondary education in the UK.

Joe Dale's blog, Integrating ICT into the Modern Foreign Languages Classroom:

José Picardo's blog, Box of Tricks:

Joe works as an adviser for CILT, the National Centre for Foreign Languages, and José teaches in a secondary school in the UK. There are many other good blogs written by practising teachers. I have compiled a list of those that I look at regularly in Section 12.2, Module 1.5 at the ICT4LT site.

I would be interested in receiving feedback on what you find in any of these blogs, and if you know of a blog that you would like to recommend please let me know and I will add it to my list in ICT4LT Module 1.5.

Teaching Languages in a Virtual World

A TESOL Electronic Village Online (EVO) Course: Ref. TLinVW10
11 January to 21 February 2010

Teaching Languages in a Virtual World is a hands-on collaborative teacher CPD workshop to explore the relationship between virtual worlds and language learning. The course targets mainly ESOL teachers, but a good deal of workshop is relevant to teachers of other languages.

For further information about the TESOL Electronic Village Online (EVO) see: