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KidsWWrite - Kalamalka Institute for Working Writers

Grades
1 to 10
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This e-magazine features work by children from ages 5 - 16 from all around the world. The student writings are divided into three age levels (5-8, 9-12, and 13-16). The ...more
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This e-magazine features work by children from ages 5 - 16 from all around the world. The student writings are divided into three age levels (5-8, 9-12, and 13-16). The writing includes both poetry and stories. Students can also submit book reviews of favorite works and also art. The book reviews are anecdotal and personal and also include a drawing or copy of the book cover. If students wish to search for stories on a certain topic, a search box and archives are available.

tag(s): creative writing (166), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Share samples of students' writing on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to preview for content inappropriate for your classroom. Have your students create cover art and write stories, book reviews, or poetry to submit to this site. Of course you will want written parent permission before submitting student work to this online magazine. Students should submit their work without identifiable names and location, according to your school policy.If your school prohibits using blogs to post student writing, this is a middle ground alternative to get their works in front of a wider audience.

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Vocabulary Word Lists for Academic Vocabulary - Gerry Luton

Grades
8 to 12
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As an addendum to the Academic Vocabulary site, this site is invaluable for testing students interactively with the word lists created. As a general vocabulary checker, it is a great...more
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As an addendum to the Academic Vocabulary site, this site is invaluable for testing students interactively with the word lists created. As a general vocabulary checker, it is a great pre-testing tool as well. Check out the link The Exercises to find the free word lists.

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

The interactive nature of this site makes it good way to involved students in their own learning. While it offers a purchase of the software used to create the list, you can use the exercises offered on the website for free. This is possible only if you use the list of words available on the site as sublists. Having students check their own work (the sentences offered are upper level, 8-12) frees you to work with individual students and allows all students to work at their own pace. You could also use selected lists (with credit, of course) as the basis for a student-generated class vocabulary wiki. Ask students to "define" the words creatively on the wiki and see what happens!

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Cepstral Text-to-Speech - Cepstral

Grades
1 to 12
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An exciting "text-to-speech" service offers voice readings of text you enter into the reader. In addition to having any text read, you can choose the type of voice you want ...more
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An exciting "text-to-speech" service offers voice readings of text you enter into the reader. In addition to having any text read, you can choose the type of voice you want (male or female) the language you want (American English, UK English, German, Spanish, French, etc..) and change its speed, tenor, and "effect." This great tool for ESL, ELL, special education, and limited-sight students does show some distortion if you choose the very lowest rate of speed, but the adjustments are helpful. New digital voices will be added, so be sure to check the selection frequently. Warning: much of this site is for a fee, including a software download that has a cost. The "free stuff" is in this Demos area. This site uses Quicktime. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), italian (33), listening (91), pronunciation (44), spanish (108), speech (92), text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

Type or paste what you'd like to be read into Cepstral's demo box. Listen to American and British English accents with your ESL and ELL students and ask them to note specific pronunciation differences. This site would also be useful in foreign language classrooms. If you teach Spanish, Italian, French, or German; why not display the demo on an interactive whiteboard or projector and turn up your speakers. Show students how to use the site, then share it as a link on your teacher web page for them to use when practicing at home or outside of class. Why not assign students to learn several "homework" phrases on their own each week, assuming they have access to computers at home or during study times at school. Speech and language teachers will like offering a new way for students to play and replay good speech "models." This tool will help your auditory learners and visual learners (being able to listen as they see the words).

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Constructing the Paragraph - Dr. Elizabeth Hanson-Smith

Grades
7 to 10
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For students learning or struggling with creating effective paragraphs, this site is helpful, since it allows students to self-test and then go through the steps themselves. It includes...more
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For students learning or struggling with creating effective paragraphs, this site is helpful, since it allows students to self-test and then go through the steps themselves. It includes topic sentences, topics and comments, support statements, transitions, and organization. It is appropriate for any level of student who still needs help with the basic principle of writing a paragraph. The presentation is "plain vanilla" but effective.

tag(s): paragraph writing (17), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Perfect for middle school students who can work ahead independently or for high school students who are still struggling a bit, this site gives you the option of having students practice on their own, particularly through the self-testing stage. This would be great as a learning station on writing for students.

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YourDictionary - LoveToKnow Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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A definitive authority on words, this free site gives you definitions, thesaurus entries, spellings, pronunciations, and etymology results. Add to that list an audio pronunciation system...more
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A definitive authority on words, this free site gives you definitions, thesaurus entries, spellings, pronunciations, and etymology results. Add to that list an audio pronunciation system that allows you to hear the word as well. YourDictionary also provides resources to help you find foreign language translation sites. It even directs you to medical, computer, or electricians' dictionaries, and many more. Haven't you always wanted to say a tongue-twister in the Asante language? Words have never so much fun. This site does include some advertisements.

tag(s): thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Send students to this site to look up those difficult words. ESL and ELL students can use this site to practice the pronunciation of new words. Be sure to mark this site as a favorite or share on your teacher web page for easy access.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Older Readers - Johnnie's Story Page - Johnnie Wilson

Grades
4 to 12
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This website offers a compilation of links to interactive stories designed for older students (and adults). The site was created by Johnnie Wilson, a mentor math coach and former 5th...more
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This website offers a compilation of links to interactive stories designed for older students (and adults). The site was created by Johnnie Wilson, a mentor math coach and former 5th grade teacher. He has found the "best of the best" interactive stories for older students. Some of the stories include Pulp Fiction, Nightmare Tales, American Folklore, and several others. The color coded descriptors let you know if the story includes text, pictures, sounds, animations, and videos. The reading levels vary, so preview the story before sharing it with your students.

Be aware, there are minor unobtrusive advertisements at this website. Nearly all of the interactive stories require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): folktales (65), interactive stories (32), mysteries (25)

In the Classroom

There are many ways to use this site in your classroom. Share the stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have students investigate the sites on their own (using headsets). Save this site as a favorite and list this site on your class web page. earning support and ESL/ELL teachers will love the variety of options for aural stories, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Spoken Skills - InSpot Development

Grades
3 to 10
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At this site, ESL and ELL (or speech/language) students can listen to spoken English, record their voices, and compare the two. Topics include basic vowel and consonant sounds, idioms...more
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At this site, ESL and ELL (or speech/language) students can listen to spoken English, record their voices, and compare the two. Topics include basic vowel and consonant sounds, idioms and other fun topics, and variations on English for Special Purposes. An interesting component is the section on Oscar nominations and winners: students view videos of what other students have to say about movies. Students can then record their own videos and add to the site. Of course, you should have written permission to load video of students online, and make sure you are within your school policies! As of this review, the Oscars area is free.

Be aware: only the activities listed on the reviewed page are free. If you come to a link that requires a log in, this activity will require you to pay a fee. Although the student recordings of their own voices are not saved with the free part of the page, students can record voices and listen after they have heard the native speaker's pronunciation. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): business (58), idioms (44), pronunciation (44), sound (101), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Share this website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students listen to the words and phrases and repeat them together. Or allow students to do these activities on individual computers or with a partner, each student making suggestions for the other student's pronunciation improvement. Perhaps you want to create your own class podcast with an Oscar-type pronunciation game!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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English Interactive - A. Gil and H. Massingham

Grades
2 to 10
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This wonderful, highly interactive ESL site includes survival topics, grammar, culture, and vocabulary at three levels for English learners. The BIG caveat is that the explanation for...more
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This wonderful, highly interactive ESL site includes survival topics, grammar, culture, and vocabulary at three levels for English learners. The BIG caveat is that the explanation for the teachers and students and a lot of the metalanguage is in Spanish. Click on menu, though, and all the topics come up in English. The intermediate and advanced levels are still under construction, but the highly interactive quality of the beginning sites offers a promise of continued excellent material. Click on the "P" on the left side of the interface to see printable reviews of many topics, especially grammar, all in English. The most in-depth portions are survival vocabulary and grammar.

Be sure to turn off your pop-up blocker so you can "see" all the site content. Although the pronunciation is in British English, this is a great, high-content site. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): grammar (216), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Save this site to your favorites so you (and your students) can easily find this site. Include this site on your teacher web page for students and parents to access as a reference and for engaging extra practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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ESL Podcasts - Internet TESL Journal

Grades
5 to 12
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This site offers a continually updated variety of podcasts on news subjects at a level appropriate for ESL and ELL students. A short description tells the subject of the podcast ...more
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This site offers a continually updated variety of podcasts on news subjects at a level appropriate for ESL and ELL students. A short description tells the subject of the podcast as well as other extras like quizzes, speakers, and creators or originators. Students and teachers can listen from the Internet or download to an MP3 player or local computer. A "Read the Web Page" link takes viewers to the news article or other special feature mentioned in the broadcast. Be certain to preview the podcasts that you plan to use in your class. Some are not appropriate for elementary students and young adolescents. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (91), podcasts (52), stars (61), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Use this page to listen to current events news in simple English. Play them on your speakers for an entire class or provide headphones for individual listening. Have the students try to write the main points of the podcast they listen to and then check their listening against the webpage with the original article. Special education teachers may want to use this resource as an adapted way for students to read and submit weekly current events articles. Mark this site as a favorite on your classroom computer so students can use it during their free time with headphones. Share the link on your teacher web pages for parents and students to access quickly from home, but be sure to suggest that parents of younger students monitor the topics for appropriateness.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Digital Dialects - Craig Gibson

Grades
2 to 12
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Want to learn just a little or a lot of a new language? This is a great place to start learning vocabulary and basic phrases. The reviews and games are ...more
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Want to learn just a little or a lot of a new language? This is a great place to start learning vocabulary and basic phrases. The reviews and games are in cute interfaces, but there aren't many sound files. Since the description says the developer is adding more to the site each day, hopefully there will be more pronunciation added. The scope of the site is amazing: 44 languages. The languages include Albanian, Bosnian, English, Filipino, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and MANY others. The sound files, few as they are, feature native speakers pronouncing the basics. The games allow the student learner to guess and practice as much as possible by presenting the same words several times. The advanced feature provides more advanced vocabulary and the geography features the geography of the language group. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): arab (18), arabic (20), chinese (48), french (88), german (64), greek (41), hebrew (14), italian (33)

In the Classroom

Try a few words in another language with your class as you study world geography and history! This site is especially useful in ESL, ELL, and world language classrooms. Have your students plan a pretend vacation and study a few words of the target language before they go. Ask students to go beyond the games by guessing the answers before they appear on the screen.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Look Way Up Dictionary/Thesaurus - RES Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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This online dictionary claims to correct misspelled entries, so ESL and ELL students might want to try it. The spelling correction is a bit quirky, however, often suggesting an alternate...more
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This online dictionary claims to correct misspelled entries, so ESL and ELL students might want to try it. The spelling correction is a bit quirky, however, often suggesting an alternate word that is NOT the intended word. Students can download it to any web browser including those on cell phones. The dictionary itself is extensive; each item shows a series of definitions. Students can then click to see the word used in a sentence, synonyms, and related terms. There is also information on homonyms. Finally, definitions sometimes include a link to more information on the subject, including links to outside sources. The site can translate to and from German, Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Dutch. Note that there are Google ads on the page, so you will want to be sure that students know to avoid these. The necessary plug-ins for installation on other web browsers are included on the web page.

tag(s): homonyms (12), thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Mark his site as a favorite on your classroom computer for ESL and ELL students who have problems looking up words in the dictionary. Make a game with this site: have students deliberately misspell words and see what they come up with. Give prizes to those who can find the worst guesses in the dictionary. Have them calculate how many times the dictionary actually finds the words they were looking for. This will help students understand how important context clues and contextual "does this make sense" strategies are. Students can also opt to sign up for "word of the second."

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ESL Reading Lessons - 5 Minute English

Grades
4 to 10
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This teaching site has a variety of short readings at various levels that could be useful in an ESL, ELL, special education, or regular ed classroom. Some of the topics ...more
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This teaching site has a variety of short readings at various levels that could be useful in an ESL, ELL, special education, or regular ed classroom. Some of the topics include sentences with grammar errors, students must figure out what is wrong with each sentence. This is excellent practice for any student learning proper grammar. True/ false comprehension questions follow the reading in most cases. Most of the answers are provided at the bottom of the website - so don't scroll too quickly. Before the reading begins, students can study difficult vocabulary words presented in an attractive format. There are full units (with many mini-lessons): grammar, reading, vocabulary, listening, pronunciation, and writing. This site does have unobtrusive advertisements, but watch out for the audio announcements when you open the site. Some of the listening activities require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): grammar (216), listening (91), pronunciation (44), reading comprehension (116), short stories (25), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use this site if you want your students to do additional reading. Project the topic, story, and questions on an interactive whiteboard or projector for group discussion. Have your students make up their own questions to go with the site. Have your students write up a similar subject relevant to their own culture and present it, along with questions to check for comprehension. This is a fabulous site to list on your class website for students to use for at-home practice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word Power - English Portal

Grades
8 to 12
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This is a great site to use for in-context vocabulary acquisition for ELL and ESL students. The site has over twenty general topics with banks of words and examples of ...more
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This is a great site to use for in-context vocabulary acquisition for ELL and ESL students. The site has over twenty general topics with banks of words and examples of how they are used in different situations, phrases, and idioms. Some of the topics include Cars and Driving, Family and Relationships, Soccer, Personal Finance, The Body, Shopping, Air Travel, and several others. Definitions and pronunciation of some expressions as well as their definitions precede examples of the expressions in a variety of sentences. After taking a look at the definition/pronunciation page, students can select a variety of checkups, including drag and drop, true/false, and fill in the blank. This site requires Media Player. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): idioms (44), phrases (6), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Check this page to see if any of the general topics has relevance to your lessons. Students can work on their own to increase their vocabulary knowledge of specific expressions used containing the topic focus word.

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Talking About - English Portal

Grades
8 to 12
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This English language site is great to use for in-context vocabulary acquisition for ELL and ESL students. The site has twenty-five general topics with banks of commonly used words...more
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This English language site is great to use for in-context vocabulary acquisition for ELL and ESL students. The site has twenty-five general topics with banks of commonly used words and examples of how they are used in different situations, phrases, and idioms. Some of the topics include weather, telling the time, lies, cars, trips, letters, vacations, Christmas, and numerous others. Definitions and pronunciation (British) of some of the expressions are provided. There are also examples of the expressions used in a variety of sentences. After taking a look at the definition/pronunciation page, students can select a variety of checkups, including drag and drop, true/false, and fill in the blank. This site requires Media Player or Quicktime. You can get this plug-in from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): idioms (44), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Check this page to see if any of the general topics has relevance to your lessons. Students can work on their own to increase their vocabulary knowledge of specific expressions used containing the topic focus word. For example, at Christmas time, ESL and ELL students can add to their cultural knowledge as well as language usage by using the Christmas pages.

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English as a Second Language Podcast - Center for Educational Development

Grades
6 to 12
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These up to date podcasts of high interest differ from other podcast sites: the language used and the speed of delivery are simpler and slower. ESL and ELL students will ...more
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These up to date podcasts of high interest differ from other podcast sites: the language used and the speed of delivery are simpler and slower. ESL and ELL students will readily comprehend the podcasts and learn new vocabulary in context. Difficult vocabulary is explained. Summaries of each podcast on the opening webpage provide the main content and pedagogical focus. The podcasts on this site are free; students can listen to them directly from the web, download to a local computer, or place on an MP3 player. Each podcast does contain a brief advertisement for other purchasable features, including Learning Guides, complete transcripts, cultural information, and vocabulary assistance. Be sure to preview the podcasts before sharing them with your students to ensure age appropriateness. Topics are generally for older students or adults. If you download the podcasts to the computer, you will need Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (91), podcasts (52), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Have your ESL and ELL students listen and write their own summaries in groups or independently. Or ask them to write comprehension questions and answers to check their own understanding and challenge classmates. Have them compare information from the podcast to information on the same subject from other sources. Challenge students to present a one-minute summary. Have them prepare their own podcasts using the same format on subjects of their choice.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Phil Shapiro Websequiturs - Phil Shapiro

Grades
3 to 10
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Readers will enjoy clicking on sequential phrases as they build sentences and paragraphs while reading parts of a story. Students pick one phrase and, when it's correct, it appears...more
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Readers will enjoy clicking on sequential phrases as they build sentences and paragraphs while reading parts of a story. Students pick one phrase and, when it's correct, it appears in a box below the three choices. As students make choice after choice, the box fills up with the complete story which they can reread by scrolling up and down. Lots of comprehension checking, context clues, grammar review, punctuation, use of transitions, and paragraph organization work are wrapped up in this activity, all while students are anxious to find the next phrase to "make sense." Fiction, non-fiction, and humorous excerpts are available.

tag(s): humor (15)

In the Classroom

High intermediate and advanced ESL and ELL students will enjoy the stories and review their grammar usage at the same time when using this site. Reading teachers looking for a way to practice with context clues will find this site a refreshing change. Use this site as a complement to reading stories using sentence strips. Have your students create their own story building activities following the format of this site.

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Center for Language Education and Research - Michigan State University

Grades
7 to 12
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Power up your foreign language classes with free Internet-based tools for foreign language students and teachers from the Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR). The CLEAR...more
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Power up your foreign language classes with free Internet-based tools for foreign language students and teachers from the Center for Language Education and Research (CLEAR). The CLEAR project leverages the power of the Internet to provide a suite of tools that give students audio and video learning experiences while supplying teachers with smart effective tools for lesson design and assessment. Teachers who are comfortable with technology and those who are confident creators of multimedia content will find these tools easy to use and backed up with good documentation and video tutorials. The tools require no download or installation for use. The supported languages include, Chinese, German, Russian, Korean, Arabic, French, Vietnamese, and others.

Teacher registration is free and students don't need email accounts or registration to access the tools. Go to http://clear.msu.edu/teaching/online/ria/index.php to click on the link for Rich Internet Applications. The tools provide great ways to create interactive audio and video language prompts, record student responses, and collect them into audio dropboxes for teacher assessment.

The website also includes an extensive library of interactive multimedia modules for language learning, practice, and assessment. The modules are based on video clips that show native speakers and nonnative speakers interacting in natural, unscripted situations.

tag(s): arab (18), arabic (20), chinese (48), french (88), german (64)

In the Classroom

Language teachers can create a series of audio/video prompts for their students with the program "Conversations." Learners can access the questions in practice mode or real-time mode. Students' responses to the prompts are automatically saved so that teachers can monitor their work. SMILE is a collection of templates to create interactive language practice exercises that can be accessed from web pages. A record-keeping function allows learners to log their work for their teacher to view. Go beyond paper-based worksheets by adding interactive and multimedia elements such as drag-drop matching, instant feedback, and audio recording and playback with the worksheets tools. The "Broadcasts" program lets teachers record audio files and distribute them to students for playback on the computer or on their portable media devices. Viewpoint is an audio and video repository that lets teachers record audio/video online using a microphone or webcam, or upload existing media.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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On-Line ESL News - VOA

Grades
5 to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site features news stories and articles of general interest in simpler language. Text scripts of the news features appear on the screen as students open the page. Most of ...more
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This site features news stories and articles of general interest in simpler language. Text scripts of the news features appear on the screen as students open the page. Most of these news articles offer streaming audio for listening as students follow the text.The general interest articles range in topic from science and technology to global culture to studying in America. There are minor advertisements at this website. The news is available using RealAudio. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): listening (91), news (261), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Ask intermediate to upper level ESL and ELL students to research, write, and record a podcast of similar news. Poll students to find out which words in the broadcast are difficult for them, and assign a few words to each student to look up and explain. Ask ESL and ELL students to share similar stories from their home cultures. Learning support teachers will want to share these easy-to-understand news stories for their students' weekly current events "articles."

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Lingro - lingro.com

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A ...more
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This study tool and open content dictionary allows you to enter a web address (URL) and make all of the words on that page clickable for definitions and translation. A clicked word immediately displays its definition from the Lingro dictionary pages. The website looks visually the same within the Lingro window, but all words become clickable. You can also use Lingro to translate to and from English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Polish with more languages to be added. When students use the translation/definition tool, the site keeps a short-term record of their words and web pages, allowing them to study their own wordlists and to play games with these words. The wordlist and history feature only works short-term and at the SAME computer, unless you register, for free, to be able to take your personal history to any computer. With the translation capability, you can read websites in other languages. If you spell a word incorrectly, Lingro has a "best match" feature which finds likely definitions for your word of choice. There is also a tool to create electronic flash card type games from your saved wordlists.

Important technical note: Lingro cannot "see" words included in Flash interactives such as the "What's New" rotating content on the TeachersFirst home page. If you RIGHT click on an area of text and see "About Adobe Flash Player...," this means that the text is displayed in Flash and not "legible" to Lingro. Often pages offer a non-Flash version as an alternative.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), germany (28), italian (33), spanish (108), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

When your ESL/ELL, learning support, or weaker readers do Internet research on sites above their independent reading level, have them open Lingro first and then enter the URL (web address) they wish to read. Use Lingro for vocabulary development in any subject. Mark this site as a favorite on your classroom computer or on your teacher web page so that ESL/ELL, world language students, or weaker readers can use the definition and translation feature and benefit from instantly-created word lists. If your school permits individual student accounts on web tools, this is a good one. If not, create a single teacher account to compile class word lists.

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Power Point Games - Jefferson County Schools

Grades
2 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This site contains several templates for familiar TV games useful for teacher (or student) created review. The activities include Concentration, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants to be a...more
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This site contains several templates for familiar TV games useful for teacher (or student) created review. The activities include Concentration, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Password, Twenty Questions, and others. Most of the games are done in PowerPoint. Depending on the version of PowerPoint you have, the formatting may be slightly off once you input your words, questions, or answers. Original games created by a teacher complete the offerings. Our editors note that the sound files included with some templates may be copyrighted material, and TeachersFirst does not condone the use of this content without the permission of the copyright holder(s). Most templates are "clean" of such potential problems. This website requires PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat. Download both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): air (163)

In the Classroom

Use these templates with any subject you wish to review: foreign language word lists, social studies terms and concepts, science, language arts, art, music, sped, etc. These activities offer an excellent method to review information through a fun and different approach. Teachers can also have students create their own versions of review games.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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