Showing posts from 2016

Binge on learning English with Netflix

Growing up in Greece in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, with no Internet and very limited TV channels, especially when it came to foreign satellite networks, it was almost impossible to have an immersive English content experience and practice listening properly. By immersive, I mean no localization whatsoever. English content was available on TV, but it was subtitled in Greek. Thankfully, dubbing was a failure, so we stuck with the European countries that subtitled foreign films and TV shows instead. I still remember sticking pieces of paper at the bottom of the screen as a last resort, after failing to avoid reading the Greek subtitles. The bright white letters kept magnetizing my gaze. Therefore, practicing listening to English was possible, but only partially. Watching a programme without translated subtitles or with English subtitles (for the hearing impaired) was a much harder task. You would either have to buy a satellite dish and receiver (quite expensive back then) or, if you

All you need is Chrome

This post is as a sneak peek of the presentation I did at the 23rd TESOL Macedonia Thrace Northern Greece International Annual Convention, on March 26, 2016 and was originally published on the TESOLMTh e-bulletin. Computers have made it a lot easier to organize our work, do research and enhance teaching by incorporating creativity tools. The web has added flexibility and collaboration to the mix. Chrome is a web browser that brings everything together: Research, Collaboration, Productivity and Creativity. All this is achieved by both using the browser’s features and by adding third-party apps. Not like those on our smartphones, but web apps that bring additional features and functionality. Everything syncs like magic Got a new computer? Good for you! Been using Chrome? Once you log into Chrome on your shiny new laptop using your Google account, something wonderful happens. Have you witnessed it? All your preferences, your bookmarks, your saved forms and passwo

Can you hear that? Practice speaking and listening using free tools

Listen. How often do you listen? Especially to your own voice? For those learning a foreign language, speaking is a core skill and technology has made it really easy to practice speaking and listening back to our own voice. ESL learners are lucky, since most of the apps available today were made for English. It is, after all,  the language used in over 55% of the Internet. Practice speaking and listen to your voice It is very important for language learners to be able to listen to their own voice, since it helps them improve their pronunciation and intonation, both extremely important in verbal communication. There are many ways they can record their voice, play it back and share the recording with their teacher, relatives and friends. You could also do the same and share your voice comments with them. Using a mobile device iOS devices come equipped with the Voice Memo app, which allows easy recording and sharing via email or other apps, such as Dropbox. There ar