May 24, 2013

Using cell phones for dictations

After attending Nicky Hockly's session at IATEFL, I wanted to try a type of dictation which she presented to teachers. Students use any notetaking app from their own cell phones to type sentences the teacher dictates. DETAIL: the teacher dictates the sentences letter by letter and students add the gaps between words as they see fit.

The objective of the lesson yesterday was for students to be able to talk about obligations and necessities using MUST/ MUSTN'T , SHOULD/ SHOULDN'T, HAVE TO / DON'T HAVE TO.
The course book we use is New English File Intermediate (unit 3A). The language topic of the lesson is CELL PHONES. 

I decided the mobile dictation would be a good warmer for this class. I created  4 sentences using the modals mentioned above.

This is the sequence we used:
1. I divided the students into groups of 3 students.
2. Students would use their cell phones for a dictation (if any student didn't have a cell phone, they would use pencil + notebook for the same activity).
3. I dictated the questions, letter by letter, without repeating it. At the end of each question, students could compare their sentences with the other members of their group.
4. After the dictation, I elicited the questions on the board.
5. Students used the same questions to develop a conversation with their group.

  • I was surprised to see ALL my students had their cell phones with them.
  • They were totally involved with the activity and fully concentrated.
  • It was an excellent exercise for spelling and their perception for when a word would end and the next one would start.
  • Asking them to check their sentences with the group seemed to be a good idea as they interacted with each other.

May 22, 2013


The SUNSHINE AWARD is an award given by bloggers to other bloggers they admire.
According to Claudio Azevedo, who kindly presented me with this award,
It is given to "bloggers who are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere"

Receiving this award from you, Claudio, means a lot. You know I'm a great fan of the work you develop at MOVIE SEGMENTS TO ASSESS GRAMMAR GOALS and the time you devote to sharing your wonderful activities with fellow teachers.

As with other similar awards, there are certain rules that must be followed:
Rule 1.  Post the Sunshine Award logo on your blog.
Rule 2.  Nominate 5 to 10 other wonderful  bloggers.
Rule 3.  Announce their nomination in their blog’s comment section.
Rule 4 .Mention links back to their blog, including a link to the person who nominated you.
Rule 5. Answer seven questions about yourself.  This is designed to help people get to know you better.

Here are my nominees:

Carla Arena -
My inspiration!

Monica Veado -  (Portuguese)
I love her wise words and sense of humour.

Viviane Bengezen -  (Portuguese)
A brave Brazilian friend who develops inspiring work with her students.

Camila S Sakai -
Another Brazilian who's been spreading her shining light at American schools.

Roseli Serra -
A dear friend who's just started blogging. Loved what you've written so far!

Now, a bit about myself.

1. Favourite color: blue (no doubt about it)
2. Favourite animal: cats and dogs (no birds, please)
3. Favourite number: yes, the same as Claudio's, 13.
4. Favourite non-alcoholic drink: pineapple + mint juice, hummmmmm.
5. Favourite alcoholic drink: I love drinking wine with my husband.
6. Facebook or Twitter: Facebook, it's my playground area.
7. My passions: reading, travelling and dancing.

May 20, 2013

Quotes and QR Codes: a speaking activity

This activity was inspired by some posters I discovered at Pinterest by the ever so creative Tony Vincent.  

He created some posters where he provides the beginning of the quotes by famous people and then omits the ending by using QR CODES. In his post, he says he normally sticks these posters on the walls during workshops for teachers.

Last week, I tried something different. I created my own posters with quotes by famous people about the topic LEARNING and turned them into a SPEAKING ACTIVITY. 

1. Show a slide / a poster and ask students in pairs or groups to guess what the ending of the quote could be.
2. Elicit suggestions with the whole class.
3. Ask students to use their own cell phones to scan the QR code and see the ending of the quote.
4. In pairs/groups, students discuss what they think the quote means.

I tried this activity with a group of teachers and it worked really well. I supposed it would be appropriate for advanced EFL students.

To create the QR codes on the posters, I used 

May 18, 2013

VRT 2013: my presentation

What a great experience !

I'd like to thank Miguel Mendoza and Heike Philip for the moderation and kind words and to all participants who were in the room with us.

These are the resources  I shared yesterday:

May 17, 2013

Virtual Round Table : here we come

In a few minutes, one more Virtual Round Table event is about to start.
If you've never attended one, it's a FREE Web Conference for ELT teachers.

About 79 presenters from different parts of the world will be presenting talks on educational topics during 48 hours. You don't need to attend all the sessions, just have a look at the program, choose the talks which interest you and click on the ROOM NAME (Ex: ROOM MERLIN in the program) to join the web room. Participants can participate via chat sending questions and comments.

These are the links to the rooms:

The conference will also be broadcast live on FACEBOOK.

I've already attended previous VRT web conferences but this time I'll be presenting as well. 

The presentation abstract:

My presentation: Digital tools to help creative language use.
Friday, 8:00 p.m. (in Brazil) - 11 GMT

See you there !

May 10, 2013

My picks: IATEFL tech sessions

It's wonderful to see how much you can learn  (I was going to say "from your own couch") anywhere you are w/ a smartphone. In case you didn't have a chance to go to IATEFL 2013 personally, I've heard lots of people followed the conference via LIVERPOOL ONLINE . They recorded many of the sessions, unfortunately, not all. 

Like I said in a previous post, most of the sessions I attended were related to the Learning Technologies SIG.

These are some sessions I attended and truly recommend watching:

NICKY HOCKLY - Moving with the times: mobile literacy & ELT
 LUKE MEDDINGS and BURCY AKYOL - Unplugged and Connected: where ideas meet (DOGME + TECH)
 NIK PEACHEY - Evaluating web-based tools for language instruction
 RUSSELL STANNARD - Using technology to provide content-rich feedback
 GRAHAM STANLEY - Creative pedagogy, language learning and technology
 It's a pity I couldn't find the recordings of other SUPERB sessions I would love to share as well, such as : Carla Arena's, Joe Dale's , Gavin Dudeney's , Paul Driver's and some I didn't get to watch such as Shelly Terrell's, Heike Philip's and the list goes on.

 Hope you enjoy my selection.

May 3, 2013

My bookmarks this week

I guess everyone who uses the web on a regular basis has a routine for reading and bookmarking what they find useful. The two tools I use the most for BOOKMARKING are Diigo and Pinterest.
These are some of the bookmarks I saved this week and would like to share with you.

This is a QUIZ SCORER which I've learned via a colleague, Georgia Teixeira. You enter the names of teams and quickly can start keeping the score on the screen. Great for IWBs.

I've always been worried about helping students become aware of the digital footprint they leave behing and this blog post I found this week offers wonderful resources.


Another post I enjoyed reading was one about PLAGIARISM and how to avoid it.

I've also collected some more INFOGRAPHICS to my infographics board at PINTEREST, such as one about the history of smarphones and another about the evolution of the internet.

I read Isabella Villas Boas' blog post about her IATEFL presentation where she talks about her experience turning a f2f course into a blended one. I loved the way she described the path she followed.

Another video I found useful was one created by a chemistry teacher before the beginning of the semester explaining to students about the FLIPPED MODEL which would be adopted that year.

Oh, last but not least, I've bookmarked with stars an article about Avatars in Education published at the excellent website MINDSHIFT. I was contacted by them a few weeks ago about my work using VOKI avatars.

Well, these are just some the bookmarks I liked the most. If you're interested in exploring more resources you might want to check out my PINTEREST BOARDS.