Home > No. 67 Social Media, Songs, Puzzles, Culture, and Teacher Networking

No. 67 Social Media, Songs, Puzzles, Culture, and Teacher Networking (2011年02月10日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
■ The Treasure Hunt Club No. 67
February 2011 Treasure Hunt Social Media, Songs, Puzzles, Culture, and
Teacher Networking
Marcel Van Amelsvoort (Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign Studies

It’s February, my grades are turned in, and I can get back to sortingthrough all the links to learning sites that I have accumulated thelast few months.

First up is a collection of social media sites that might be ofinterest. I’ve been saying for years that the Internet offersopportunities for authentic language use in online communities. Ioften recommend to learners to find a blog with an accompanyingpodcast and join the community. This is usually met with a blankstare. So much of the message learners get as they proceed through thesystem is that they shouldn’t expect to be an English user until theyhave managed to reach a certain high level of proficiency. This is, ofcourse, nonsense, and the web abounds in specialized sites forspecialized interests. To be sure, there are cultural, language, andtechnology barriers that can make finding and participating in acommunity very difficult, but when someone has rather specializedinterests there is usually a way to match their will. Recently, manysocial media sites have appeared and learners are becoming morefamiliar with the concept. The most famous of these are Mixi andFacebook. These both allow users to start or join special interestgroups. For people more interested in exclusive communities―that is,sites dedicated to a specific hobby or lifestyle―here are a few totry. As always, net etiquette and best practices for staying safe needto be followed. If you send learners to sites like these, it’s best togive them some training first. For knitters and crocheters, there is Ravelry:https://www.ravelry.com/account/login WeeWorld is for teens who want something like Ameba Pigg(avatar-based social media) in English: http://www.weeworld.com/ For karaoke singers, there is Red Karaoke: http://www.redkaraoke.com/ For (female) fashion fans, there is Stardoll: http://www.stardoll.com/en/ For cat lovers, there is Catster:http://www.catster.com/For dog lovers, there is dogster: http://www.dogster.com/And for hamster lovers, there is Hamsterster: http://www.hamsterster.com/And finally for zombies or those who like that sort of thing, there isLost Zombies: http://www.lostzombies.com/

Lyrics Training is nice little site for improving English throughmusic and lyrics. You choose the song and the level of difficulty forthe task. The videos (usually via YouTube) stop when you makemistakes. Brilliant self-guided fun. Songs are rated for difficultyand there are some languages other than English, too.http://www.lyricstraining.com/index.php

At PuzzleFast, you can quickly make word searches, crosswords, and
other puzzles for your learners. http://www.puzzlefast.com/

And for culture learning, there is Fasten Seatbelts, a site where you
can learn about culture through short videos. You can browse by
country or region, theme (body language, table manners, etc.) or type
of lesson (audio program or do’s and don’ts). There are also notes and
some discussion through comments. http://fastenseatbelts.eu/en/0/

And finally, a new international teacher training/networking site has
appeared called School of TEFL. It features training for teachers by
teachers. Anyone can join or just browse for new teaching ideas. Very
global. http://teachers.schooloftefl.com/