Another test post

Just embedding a Vocaroo file as I work out the options for a fall research project.

Record music with Vocaroo >>

The link sharing works well but I would prefer to embed the audio and avoid the advertising content. Will this work?

Sample Audio Dropbox from CLEAR

Try out this tool for capturing audio with your students.

It is a simple embed code to set up and the access through the CLEAR RIA site is very straightforward.

This is a test post to check on the possible Flash issues.

Copyright at REALize!

I'm presenting an online session at Canada's first ESL/EAL online conference on Friday, January 24. The conference is  REALize! The National Online conference for ESL/EAL professionals.  I'm going to be talking about copyright in Canada.  Never did I imagine I would have the role of advisor on this topic. But when I took on the role of Curriculum Coordinator at my institution, I had to become very familiar with the ins and outs of what were allowed to do as far as the coursepacks we compiled for instruction and that just extended to what is permitted on our course management systems and then what can be used for in class materials... it goes on and on.

I initially gave a presentation on copyright at the 2011 ATESL conference.  It was the day before Hallowe'en and for our reality - post Access copyright and trying to make our way before Bill C-11, it was a scary tale indeed!

Photo by RBerteig (CC on Flickr)

Not so much now, thank goodness.  I almost wonder why I would continue to talk about it with the new Educational exemption that has been added to Fair Dealing but it still isn't exactly spelled out. The law is still "untested" so the comfort of knowing that what you are doing has been considered by someone with legal authority makes the process of decisions for the classroom easier.

A much more positive outlook on copyright today!
Photo by Mystic Musing (CC-BY-NC-SA on Flickr)

I'm looking forward to everyone else's sessions. So much offered for PD without the cost of traveling to a conference. I think it will be a fantastic opportunity for all of us and appreciate the very helpful (and patient) team at English Online as we prepared for this experience.


Remembrance Day Resources for ESL

Creative Commons photo by Tony Oldroyd (belkin59 on Flickr)

Poppies can be seen everywhere on people's lapels.  It is time to introduce your students to Remembrance Day in Canada. Here are some links with resources appropriate to use with your ESL students.

A Photo Gallery for Remembrance Day in Canada

Reading, vocab and quiz about "Remembrance Day Poppies" for Intermediate ESL
(scroll down to this article)

A reading and quiz from ESL Forums

An illustrated definition of Remembrance Day in Canada

A Video and quiz: In Flander's Field (with text and pictures) followed by Bryan Adams: Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day in Canada video

A video tribute

A collection of resources for Remembrance Day in Canada


ProProfs Quiz Maker

Here is a sample quiz copied from an existing template. I just wanted to test out the embedding feature of the site for the free account.

If you choose to pay for an account, you can remove ads, add media and customize the view. But if you just need a simple quiz (other question formats available) the free account is great.


Discussion » Tools for recording Audio

Discussion » Tools for recording Audio

After looking at some other options, why not join the conversation at Voxopop and share what tools you have used in the past and try out another audio recording tool at the same time.


For the Tech Testdrive 2012, I shared an audio app called Soundcloud. This is a tool that allows easy audio recordings which can be saved and shared. An added feature is that the listener can add a text comment at any point in the recording as they are listening. If you don't have a smartphone or want to use this in the computer lab, you can work directly on the Soundcloud site, but the ease of using this in the classroom is a real plus.

I first learned about this tool at the TESOL conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Tyson Seburn from Toronto gave a presentation about some of the ways he had used Soundcloud for his language instruction and I thought it was worth a closer look but it took me another year to get around to it. I was experimenting more with using Voicethread in the classroom and how this tool allows for a discussion to be held with a group but there are some applications that Soundcloud might be a better choice for some actvities. That said, here are just a few ideas from an initial brainstorm. (Tyson provides some other ideas as well as more information about the features of using Soundcloud in his blog post so be sure to check it out as well!)

Here are a few ideas for how to use this in a language classroom with teacher created audio:

  • Model or create exercises for grammar practice. You can record examples of sentences using one or a mixture of grammar skills. 
    • Read a list of sentences using different verb tenses. Students can add comments identifying the verb tense used.
    • Read a passage but leave out all the articles. Have students add the articles in at the appropriate locations using the comment feature.
    • Read sentences containing grammar errors. Have the students listen for the error.
  • Model or create exercises for recognizing pronunciation features.
    • Rising and falling intonation in question forms. Students can identify up or down after each.
    • Sentence stress to answer a variety of WH questions (see below) Students identify the appropriate question for the stress used.
    • Show how connected speech is used. Students use the comment feature to identify incidences of connectedness in the sample.
    • Introduce pronunciation of a new list of vocabulary words.
    • Sentence stress and intonation to express different meanings with the same words. Students identify the emotion or meaning based on the different intonations.
  • Record sample quotes or passages for students to respond to.
    • In order to use the passages for a variety of activities, record a list of numbers after the passage and prepare questions on a handout or online to accompany the recording. Respond to questions of comprehension, vocabulary use, require dictation of parts of the passage, give opinion etc. (see below)
The students can be given a link to take them to the Soundcloud page to listen and respond or you can use the embed code directly in your blog, wiki or other course management system.

Now a few ideas for having the students create their own audio. They can share the secret link with you by email or they can make the file public and share their page with all the audio they create.

  • Tasks for Accuracy checks
    • Sentences applying grammar correctly.
    • Words, Phrases or Sentences modeling pronunciation features.
  • Fluency based tasks
    • Introduce themselves to the class.
    • Talk about a subject using vocabulary, ideas from in class lessons.
    • Two students can create a dialogue/role-play using the app and share with others.
    • Retell a news item they have read.
    • Describe a scene or picture and see if their partner can draw it.
    • Give directions using a map and have a partner follow them.
I'm sure there are a lot more. Please add your own ideas in the comments section. You can find more of my audio samples using Soundcloud here.  Have fun!


Fotobabble is a tool that allows you to record an audio clip to accompany a photo.
I used the mobile app for iPhone but you can do this directly on the website as well. Once you have uploaded the picture, you can add a caption, special effects to the photo and record your audio.

After you create your fotobabble, and you can share the picture and audio using email, Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites. You can also share a link, or embed the file in Flash or non-flash format. When you share, you can choose to set the photo to private or public. If the public option is off, it can only be viewed by the creator and someone with the link.

How could you use this with students?


How We Learn

A great visual to share with students that reinforces the need to repeatedly practice and review before you have truly learned something. So many times I hear "I've already learned this" but there is no demonstration in language production that they have. They fail to understand that the introduction of a skill does not immediately lead to the mastery of it. Worth a watch!