Thursday, March 17, 2011


Level        : Form 2 (Intermediate to Advanced)

Time        : 30 minutes

Topic        : Celebrities

   :  Adjective, Nouns (Descriptive verbs) and Prepositions.

    : Students were exposed to different kinds of verbs including descriptive verb.

Aims        : By the end of the lesson, students should be able to:
                  1)    write short paragraph describing their favourite celebrity, with the correct tenses
                         and adjectives.

Requirements: 1)    A computer for a pair of students.
                        2)    A big white screen and projector.
                        3)    Internet connection for each computer.
                        4)    Web browser for each computer.

Preparation    : 1) Teacher prepares the information chart and exercises.
                          2) Teacher then needs to check all technical requirements in the 
                              computer lab before starting the lesson.
                          3) Lastly, teacher also makes sure all links are function.

Procedure    :

Set induction (10 minutes)

1)    Teacher  shows  pictures of famous celebrities on the white screen to students and asks what do they know about the celebrities, eg. Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Jessica Alba and Johnny Depp

2)    Teacher asks students to tell their partners what they know about the celebrities.
3)    Teacher then explains that they are going to search informations about their favourite celebrities.

Development (20 minutes)

1)    Teacher gives instructions:

         a)    You are going to complete some information about an actor or actress that you talked about
         b)    To start this activity, click on the button.

2)    Teacher asks students to complete the exercise with the help of a webpage, or

3)    Teacher walks around to monitor and assist students.

4)    Teacher then stops students, and starts discussing the answers. Teacher also stresses on the verbs and tenses, and asks questions to test students’ understandings.

5)    Next, teacher asks students to go to the link from the picture, and complete the exercise.


6)    Teacher asks students to write a paragraph about the celebrity that they like. They can use
       Health Ledger's biography as a model to write about their star. Teacher asks students to send
       the biography vie email.

7)    Teacher concludes the lesson, by asking students what they have learned in class.

ps: This lesson plan is done with the hope that it will encourage students to enjoy completing exercise based on writing.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi was born in Porbandar, India, on October 2nd 1869. His father died when he was still a teenager. At the age of 13 he married Kasturba Gandhi who was three years younger and the marriage lasts for 62 years until her death in 1944.

As a young man Gandhi left India to study law in London. Then he spent two decades working in South Africa securing rights for Indian expatriates. It was during this time that his political reform through non-violence which he called Satyagraha was born. This movement meant resistance of tyranny through mass civil disobedience, firmly founded upon ahimsa, total non violence, which led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. This way, when he returned to India, Mohandas Gandhi emerged as a political and religious leader in the fight for independence from Great Britain and was accorded the country's Father of the Nation. India freed itself from Britain on August 15th, 1947. Five months later, on January 25th, 1948 Gandhi was shot by a conservative Hindu.

A video on how Gandhi was shot

Thursday, February 24, 2011


1. Choose a journal article on the use of technology in second or foreign language teaching and learning preferably an online article. The article must be from the year 2006 onwards.
2. Write a review on the article you have chosen and post it on your blog.

 The Advantages and Disadvantages of Computer Technology in Second Language Acquisition

Journal: National Journal for Publishing and Mentoring Doctoral Student Research

Volume: Volume 3 Number 1

Year: 2006

  • Cheng-Chieh Lai - PhD Student in Educational Leadership, Prairie View A&M University, College of Education
  • William Allan Kritsonis - PhD Professor, PhD Program in Educational Leadership, Prairie View A&M University, Member of the Texas A&M University System

Link for the Article: HERE


              The major ideas that the author is trying to get across are that; there are advantages and disadvantages when it comes to using computer technology in the second language classroom. Some of the advantages include the fact that computer in language learning  could provide second language learners more independence from classrooms and allowing learners the option to work on their learning material at any time of the day. Besides that learning programs can also prove practices for students through the experiential learning, offer students more the learning motivation, enhance student achievement, increase authentic materials for study, encourage greater interaction between teachers and students and students and peers, emphasize the individual needs, regard independence from a single source of information, and finally enlarge global understanding. Currently, computer technology can provide a lot of fun games and communicative activities, reduce the learning stresses and anxieties, and provide repeated lessons as often as necessary. Those abilities will promote second language learners’ learning motivation. Another important point of advantage of computer technology is that through various communicative and interactive activities, computer technology can help second language learners strengthen their linguistic skills, affect their learning attitude, and build their self-instruction strategies and self-confidence.

The disadvantages on the other hand comprised of four major points as stated in the article. First, it will increase educational costs and harm the equity of education. This will cause unfair educational conditions for those poor schools and students. Second, most teachers today do not have sufficient technological training to guide their students exploring computer and its assisted language learning programs. Therefore, how will the teachers be able to educate the students appropriately if the teachers themselves are not aware of what they have to do? Third, the software of computer-assisted language learning programs is still imperfect as most of the courseware today deal with reading, listening, and writing skills. Fourth, computers cannot handle unexpected situations. This is due to the limitations of computer’s artificial intelligence, computer technology is unable to deal with learners’ unexpected learning problems and response to learners’ questions immediately as teachers do.


            For my personal opinion, the research does interest me because I do agree with the authors for this article. Although the use of technology in second language has proven to enhance the second language learning, it still has several limitations and that limitations have to be indentified in order to improve the usage of technology in second language classroom. However, I personally think that the research can be improved with some recommendations on how to deal with the disadvantages of using technology in second language teaching and learning. From the recommendations suggested, other researches can continue doing on more research to improve the usage of technology for today’s language classroom. The implication of the research in the teaching and learning of ESL in general actually help language teachers to be aware that although computer is a great tool in improving students’ competencies in ESL, the teacher is still in control of the classroom. English teachers should not rely much on technology, but rather they should focus on strategies in teaching that would encourage students’ motivation to master the language whether in writing, reading or communication skills. Technology is actually a medium that will only help if it is used with greater plans from teachers. Meanwhile, in Malaysia, the government encourages the use of technology in ESL classroom because the country is developing from day to day. The list of disadvantages from this research basically is pointing out the risk of using technology in ESL classroom in the Malaysian setting. With the list, educators now can question on how far does technology really help our students in their ESL learning especially those in rural areas? Students in rural areas have limited access in computer, and they have difficulties in using the computer. If a teacher does have computer skills and wanted to teach theses students, he might deal with frustration, as students will struggle in learning how to use the computer plus acquiring English as the second language. I believe that it all comes back with the teacher. How well does the teacher wants to improve his students in acquiring English as the second language. Technology should be used according to the environment and as mentioned in the research, technology can motivate students in learning. Teachers can use technology with simple games and simulations that students in the rural areas can also use. Carefully planned uses of games in the classroom (eg. Practicing certain verbs, tenses, questions, etc) add some interest to a classroom (Brown, 2001). When it comes to using technology in ESL classroom in Malaysia, I strongly believe that the main concern is those students who live in the rural areas. In conclusion, based on the research, teachers in general or in Malaysia should use technology in ESL classroom because of the advantages but also teachers should plan well according to students’ environment in order to achieve the target of enhancing English as a second language.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Monday, January 24, 2011


Friday, January 21, 2011


Question 1

What does the application attempt to ‘teach’?

    The application, which is an ESL website; attempts to teach English in an interactive and fun learning condition. The name of the website itself shows that the aim is to make sure students would enjoy learning English. Thus, clearly the website is built to help students learn English in another perspective and to help them having a new learning experience, outside the classroom. Research has proved that technology is useful and important for teaching children, especially children who are living in the modern era. I believe that the website is relevant for today’s education.

Question 2
What sorts of things is the application user expected to do with regards to learning the content?

    Specifically, this website aims to guide students to master English not only the four language skills but also to learn the language from a different view which is the American English. Therefore, through this website learners are exposed to variety of mediums such as television and radio. Through these mediums, learners not only learn English for educational purposes but also will have a view on the usage of English outside the classroom or outside the Malaysia setting. By using authentic materials, students will enjoy learning English and experience new learning environment.

Question 3
What sorts of computer skills is the application users expected to have in order to operate/access/use the application?

    The application,  is very user-friendly. Application users or students or teachers are not required to master any high computer skills in order to use the application. They are only required to know how to use the keyboard, mouse or  the speakers. Users only need to have access to the Internet or otherwise they could not open any links.  This website also does not contain any page that requires users to use Microsoft words, power point or anything related. Users just have to follow the instructions given and they can enjoy watching videos or listening to the radio and playing language games in just a click by the finger!

Question 4
While you are “playing”/ “accessing”/ “assessing” the application, does it remind you of anything you do in a classroom, or with a teacher, or with a fellow classmate, or in self-study?

    While I am accessing and ‘assessing’ , it does remind me of some activities that I did in the classroom. Normally, English teachers will try their best to create an interactive English lesson. For example, during my practicum days, I normally taught a lesson by asking some of my students to do a role-play as examples for certain conditions or terms or played some games that were connected to vocabulary and grammar lessons. By having a role-play, normally my students will understand better. The videos provided by this website use similar technique in which the moderator explains by acting out the examples. This website does not remind me of self-study especially with the videos provided. I am sure students or users of this website will be motivated and entertained by the videos while learning English, especially when the people involved in the videos are interactive towards users.

Question 5
Can you pinpoint some theories of language learning and/or teaching underlying the application? 

    The website is focusing on ways to help users especially students to acquire English in a way that is not available in language classroom. As H. Douglas Brown stated in his book; ‘Teaching by Principles’, “Carefully planned uses of games and simulations (eg. For practicing certain verbs, tenses, questions, locatives, etc) add some interest in learning second language. The English activities provided in this website can definitely motivate students to acquire the language because of the colourful illustrations, images as well as songs. A study by Elizabeth Meija proves that video is a great medium of exposing learners to acquire the language in terms of pronunciation and expression; “Videotaping classroom projects and presentations is a useful way to help students improve pronunciation and overall fluency”. Thus, that is why the moderator of this website uses videos in teaching the second language. The videos are authentic but at the same time, very educational.

Question 6
How well is the constructivist theory of learning applied to the chosen website(s)?

      Vygotsky argued that children develop more systematic, logical, and rational concepts as a result of dialogue with a skilled helper. Thus, in Vygotsky’s theory, tasks that are too difficult for the child to master alone can be learned with guidance and assistance of adults or more skilled children (Zone of proximal development). Therefore, the videos in the website provide help to guide students or learners as someone who has mastered the language teaches it. Besides the constructivist theory of learning through videos in learning a language, or provides language activities, the web site also includes several language tests that learners can take after they have understand the concepts such as grammatical tests, vocabulary, pronunciation or reading comprehension. The constructivist theory of learning is once again applied to the website as it encourages students critical thinking and inquiry by asking them thoughtful, open-ended questions. The website also provides follow up after the activities and explanations.

Question 7
In 1980s and early 1990s, there was a major debate on ‘whether the computer was “master” of or “slave” to the learning process (Higgins and Johns, 1984). In relation to your evaluation – was the computer a replacement for teachers, or merely an obedient servant to students?

    In my opinion, based on my evaluation, I think that the computer is actually merely an obedient servant to students. Students or learners are in control of everything and it is up to them whether to use it or not. The computer is generally built to help or assist learners in learning and the software or websites are created based on students’ needs. Further improvements or changes are catered based on learners’ needs. I could not agree that the computer is a replacement for teachers. No matter how useful the software or application is for students, they still need guidance from teachers, especially in term of direct communication. Communication between teachers and students are vital in the learning process (Tjeerdsma, 1997). This can only take place in the classroom and not through any software or websites.

Question 8
Would you like to use the application yourself in your future work?
Yes? Give reasons:
No? Give reasons:

    Yes I will definitely use the application in my future work as I find it very useful in second language learning. Teachers are encouraged to use technology in language classroom as a way to motivate students in learning (Brown, 2001). Thus, I might use the videos or language games or even exercises provided by the website as my teaching aids. Furthermore, I can expose my students with authentic reading materials or listening materials; like from NBC news or Bloomberg .I noticed how the website focuses on American English and so my students can have a clear view of how American English is different from British or even Asian. However, I do not think that it is relevant for my students who are in the lower proficiency level of learning English. They need simple explanations and exercises in order for them to understand or practice using the language. I will use different approaches according to my students’ level of proficiency. Even though the website provides learning activities and tools for younger learners or kids, I still find that the materials are still too hard for students with lower proficiency level in learning English, especially with the American accent.

Suggestions/ Recommendations.
    I must say that although the website is very interactive with the videos, tv application and also radio application but the only application that functions well is the videos which are hosted by youtube. Therefore, although the links are useful, but if learners cannot use it then it is time consuming for them to wait. I would like if the website does not only focuses on the American English but also the BBC English. It would also be easier if the moderator can organize the activities or content based on different levels from beginner, intermediate and advance so that learners can adjust their learning based on their level of English proficiency.

Monday, January 17, 2011

TASK 2: Exercise by using Microsoft excel


Click HERE

ps: I had a hard time on how to insert the images because I am using micro. excel for mac. To be honest, this is my first time using it so it took me hours to finish this up. A simple exercise that I am sure will attract students. I wish to discover more but most of the tutorials are for competent learners.