Category: Using Technology in EFL Classroom

Using Video in The Classroom – Why and How?

There are many benefits of using video in the classroom. some of them are:

  • Students enjoy language learning with videos.
  • Using videos makes language learning a happy experience and creates an attractive enjoyable learning environment.
  • Using videos provides students with a good opportunity to study body language and learn more about feelings.
  • By watching videos students can learn by absorption and imitation.
  • Videos communicate meaning better than other media.
  • Videos present language in context in ways that students can see who’s (or what’s!) speaking, where the speakers are, what they’re doing, etc. All these visual clues can help comprehension.
  • Using videos represents a positive exploitation of technology and match with the positive attitude of students towards television and videos compared to using books.

The possible purposes of using video in the classroom:

Once the decision has been made to use a video in class, thought should be given to what purpose the video is being used for. There are some roles that the video can take in the classroom. Below are four possible roles for video in the classroom.

  • Developing listening skills: Listening for global understanding and listening for details.
  • Providing information: Providing content relevant to students’ needs and interests.
  • Presenting or reinforcing language: Grammar, vocabulary, functions.
  • Stimulating language production: As a basis for discussion, a model for learners to follow, a visual aid, … etc.

However, using a video in the classroom may include more than one of these roles. students may watch a video to find out information about, for example, a famous person. The same lesson may also include work on developing listening skills to enable students to extract the relevant information. It could then be used to develop vocabulary on the topic of ‘lives’.

Criteria for selecting a good video:

When selecting a video for use in the classroom, the following points should be kept in mind.

  • The video should be so interesting that a young native speaker wants to watch it.
  • The ideal video clip tells a complete story or section of a story so that students will get the enjoyment when watching the whole video.
  • The length of the video shouldn’t be too long, perhaps between 30 seconds and 10 minutes depending on the learning objective.
  • The content should be suitable for being viewed in the classroom in all cultures.

Moreover, It is better to use videos which have been adapted from books or come with ready-made materials that can be used for language teaching.

However, if the video will be used for presenting language or for comprehension tasks, the following further factors should be considered when selecting it.

  • The scenes should be very visual. The more visual a video is, the easier it is to understand – as long as the pictures illustrate what is being said.
  • The pictures and sound should be clear.
  • The language spoken in the video should not be difficult for students to comprehend. Grammatical structures, language functions, and colloquial expressions presented in the video should be suitable for students learning level and age.
  • The linguistic content should be linked to the language in the curriculum or the coursebook, thus providing a way to integrate video work into the course as a whole.
  • The language level of the video should be appropriate for the level of the class without the teacher having to explain too much.
  • It is good if there is a lot of repletion of the key language in the video.

What types of videos can you use?

There are a lot of types of videos you can use in the classroom. The following are some:

  • Animation/cartoons.
    Educational programmes.
  • TV documentaries made for children about science/nature etc.,
  • TV advertisements suitable for children.
  • Music for children.
  • Simple drama.

P.S. If you want to know the stages of using a video in the classroom, go to printables.

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Why and How to Use Multimedia in EFL Class

There are various types of multimedia that we can use in an EFL lesson. Among these are DVDs, CDs, video clips, flash presentations, audio files, … etc.

But why do you think we need to use multimedia in our lessons? The following are the main reasons.

  1. To maintain a high level of interest in the lesson.
  2. To expose learners to life-like language.
  3. To promote greater student participation.
  4. To simulate an English speaking environment.
  5. To sharpen learners’ memory.

In the Past written passages were the main way to get the language and most of our comprehension drills were boring and not very effective. In addition, ideas were either vague or too simple

Nowadays multimedia are available everywhere and pupils find them interesting and attractive. Sight and sound evoke pupils’ curiosity for learning and capture their attention in a better way, which results in a more effective learning and enhanced retention. Multimedia encourage pupils to use the language, comment on a scene or act it.

We can mention more and more advantages for using multimedia in EFL lesson such as they:

  1. increase learners’ retention.
  2. add variety to your lesson.
  3. provide better details.
  4. enhance the persuasive appeal of your lesson.
  5. reach learners by addressing different learning styles.
  6. can be used to show abstract concepts.
  7. reduce your public speaking anxiety.
  8. improve pronunciation, intonation and word stress.
  9. help minimize teachers’ talking time.

How to use multimedia effectively?

First of all, you should:

  1. choose a suitable material.
  2. prepare additional aids, such as pictures, slides, wall sheets, etc.
  3. prepare handouts containing all types of questions.

Steps in sequence:

  1. Playing for enjoyment (non-stop).
  2. Giving blank sheets of papers.
  3. Asking pupils to write down their notes, ideas, questions and difficult words.
  4. Second play for “note taking”.
  5. During the second play, making many stops for the sake of repeating a word, a sentence or asking a question.
  6. Final play for checking answers.
  7. Wrapping up by making pupils act or retell what they have seen.

Seven Top Technologies Will be Used More in ELT in the Near Future

These technologies represent some of the latest tools and trends in ELT. While some are being implemented now, the use of others is on the horizon. So you need to prepare yourself for them in the next one to five years. Here is the list of them:

1. Smart Watches

Smart watches promise for new ways of learning. Its motion and pressure sensors can make it more applicable for activity-based learning.

2. Smart Phones, Tablets and Mobile Phones

Students who have these gadgets and used to access to the internet using them have been growing. Students can easily use these tools for their learning. It will give them an opportunity for more independence and openness in addition to more collaboration with tons of learning resources and apps.

3. Cloud Computing

Google Classroom  is one of the cloud-based tools which more schools will use in the next five years as it make easier for students and teachers to have access to information wherever they are, on whatever device they have.

4. Social Media

Using social media nowadays is the standard. They will be used more in the near future across schools and universities for research and share information

5. Open Source Software

Blogs, eBooks MOOCs and other open source content will be used increasingly as they provide students with a chance to have control on their learning.

6. Flipped or Blended Learning

This approach will become more commonly used in the next five years as it allows students to be responsible for their learning and gives opportunity to teachers to spend more time preparing challenging tasks to their students.

7. Gamification

Using games in learning increases the stickiness of the lesson in students’ memory as they – according to many researches – remember 90% of what they do. For that reason it is expected to use gamificaton more in the next two or three years.

In Sum: These new technologies continue to emerge and be used in the learning community in general and particularly in ELT field. As a teacher, you should be ready for that use evaluating them to see how to get the most benefit from each one.

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