Technologically and linguistically adventurous EFL teacher, trainer, writer and manager

Archive for the ‘eltpics’ Category

Images in the classroom (Torun Teacher Training Day 2016)

ELTpics session IH Torun TTD Sandy Millin 23rd April 2016 title slide

This was a slightly shorter version of an online workshop which I ran in January 2015 for International House called Picture This. You can find all of the links to the posts and online tools I mentioned, plus a recording of the one hour webinar, on the Picture This page.

You might also be interested in my recent review of the book Working with Images [affiliate link] by Ben Goldstein.

The talk was part of the Torun Teacher Training Day, which also featured talks by Marjorie Rosenberg, Hugh Dellar, Glenn Standish, and various local teachers from Torun and Bydgoszcz, including some from IH Bydgoszcz.

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Conversation jumble with ELTpics

I’ve recently been sorting out some of the files on my computer and came across a worksheet I created for low-level students to help them practise punctuation within a basic conversation. I thought I’d share it with you as I’m sure there’s somebody who’ll find it useful.

The sheet uses ELTpics by Kevin Stein and Laura Phelps. Kevin, I just realised that I said you lived in South Korea – obviously I wasn’t quite so aware then, and was just keen to use one of my all-time favourite ELTpics! Sorry 🙂

There are no contractions in there, but you might want to encourage the students to add them, maybe as a second stage after they done the un-jumbling task. There are also no exclamation marks, as I originally designed it for beginner Arabic and Chinese speakers and I thought that would be a bit too much for them to deal with. I’ve included them in brackets in the answers below.

[I believe you need a free SlideShare account to be able to download the worksheet]

Here are the answers:

A: Good morning. (!)

B: Hello. What is your name? (!) (What’s)

A: My name is Kevin. And you? (name’s)

B: I am Laura. Where are you from? (I’m)

A: I am from America. I live in South Korea. What about you? (I’m)

B: I am from the UK. What do you do? (I’m)

A: I am a teacher. What do you do? (I’m)

B: I am a teacher too. I love my job. (I’m) (!)

A: Me too. (!)

Camera

If you’ve created materials using ELTpics, why not share them with us (I’m one of the curators)? If you need inspiration, take a look at the ELTpics blog and start exploring the collection, which now has over 25,000 images!

Creating two PowerPoint games

Most people think that PowerPoint is just for presentations that put you to sleep. In fact, it’s a very versatile tool and fairly easy to get a lot out of, despite seeming a little scary at first glance. Here I’ll show you how to create two simple PowerPoint games.

Hidden Pictures

I made this example a while ago, and if I did it again I’d probably use #eltpics! Although it doesn’t look like much here, if you download it you can see that each time you click a box disappears, gradually revealing a picture and a word underneath. As this happens, students call out or write down what they think the picture/word are.
http://www.slideshare.net/SandyMillin1/adjectives-for-people-hidden-picture-game

[To download, click ‘view on slideshare’. You may have to log in (not sure), but it’s completely free. You should then be able to click on ‘download’ above the document.]

This is great for revising vocabulary especially with young learners, who get very into it – definitely a stirrer rather than a settler! It could also be used for introducing or revising modals of speculation – as you reveal a picture, students have to guess what’s in the picture, or what the people are doing.

This is how to make  it. I’m using PowerPoint for Mac, so my screen may look a little different from yours, but the names of the menus are normally fairly similar – click on a few things and see what happens! If it really doesn’t work, let me know and I’ll add screenshots from a Windows computer.

Creating the basic template
  1. Open PowerPoint. You will normally see a title slide already in your presentation. Delete it.
  2. Add a blank slide. Insert new slide > Blank
  3. Decide how many boxes you want covering your picture – I would recommend four or six, unless the picture is quite complicated, in which case nine could work. Generally students guess quite quickly, so lower numbers are better to avoid boredom.
  4. Insert a rectangle. Shapes > rectangles then click and drag the box where you want it to appear.
    One box
  5. Copy the box using CTRL + C (CMD + C on a Mac).
  6. Paste it three, five or eight more times, using CTRL + V (CMD + V on a Mac)Four boxes stacked
  7. Click and drag the boxes so that they fill the slide.Four boxes grid
  8. As you can see, my boxes don’t quite fill the slide. This normally happens, so resize the boxes to fit or to leave space for some visible text at the bottom of the slide.
  9. If you want to, you can change the boxes so that they are different colours. This makes it easier for you and your students to see at a glance how many boxes there are and what part of the picture they cover. To do this, double-click on the box you want to change. A box should appear. Edit the ‘fill’ and the ‘line’ to the colours you want.Four boxes coloured
  10. Next you need to animate the boxes so that they will disappear. Click on the box you want to disappear first. Then click Slide Show >Custom Animation, select ‘exit animation’ and choose the style of animation you want to use. I would recommend something simple, as you don’t want it to distract from the purpose of your activity. I would also suggest using the same style of animation for all four boxes. There is normally a preview so you can see what happens with each effect.Exit animation
  11. Repeat this process for all of the boxes on your slide.Exit animations
  12. Once one slide is ready, copy and paste it a few times so that you have as many slides as you need. Multiple slides
  13. To make the slides a little less predictable, go to some of the slides and change the order of the animation so that the boxes disappear in a different order. On my version of PowerPoint, you do this by selecting the name of the shape (‘rectangle 5’ in the example below) and using the arrow keys to move it up or down the order.Animation order
  14. If you want to reuse this type of game for different purposes, save what you have now as a template so you can reuse it without having to start again from scratch.
Adding your content
  1. Choose the images you want to use in your game. I would recommend using #eltpics as you don’t have to worry about infringing copyright, as long as you credit the photographer. To find out how to download #eltpics, watch this screencast. I’m going to use the jobs set in this example. Collect the images that you want to use in one place – I normally put them on my desktop, then delete them when I’ve finished. Don’t forget to record the source!
  2. Returning to your PowerPoint, insert the first image on the first slide. Insert > Picture > From file > [your file name] It should appear on top of the boxes. Resize/move it if necessary.Farmer slide
  3. Right-click on the image, then arrange > send to back. It should now have magically disappeared behind the boxes.
    If you want to see it again, right-click on any of the coloured boxes, choose ‘send to back’ and you should see a corner of the photo. You can then right-click on the photo and choose ‘bring to front’ to see it again.Send to back
  4. Add any words you need, as well as the source of the photo in text boxes. Insert >Text box, then click and drag where you want it to appear. Farmer slide with text
  5. Right-click on the text boxes and choose  arrange > send to back again.Send to back text
  6. Repeat this process for all of your other slides, so that you now have photos and text on all of them.
  7. Preview your slideshow to check how it works. Slide show > View slide show You might want to change the order of the box animation on some slides if it is too easy to guess what the hidden image shows. For example, if removing the orange box first shows the farmer’s body, it will probably be a lot easier to guess than removing the blue box first.
  8. Save.
  9. Play!

Here is the finished version of my example. Click to download it: Jobs hidden pictures game eltpics

Flash vocabulary

In this game, pictures or words flash up on the screen for a few seconds each. Afterwards students write as many of them as they can remember. It is great for revising old vocabulary, especially if it is a few lessons old.

Manual version
  1. Choose the images you want to use in your game. I would recommend using #eltpics as you don’t have to worry about infringing copyright, as long as you credit the photographer. To find out how to download #eltpics, watch this screencast. I’m going to use the same photos as above from the jobs set in this example. Collect the images that you want to use in one place – I normally put them on my desktop, then delete them when I’ve finished. Don’t forget to record the source!
    Alternatively, for every stage saying ‘images’ below, you can do the same with text boxes so that words flash on the screen.
  2. Open PowerPoint. You will normally see a title slide already in your presentation. Delete it.
  3. Add a blank slide. Insert new slide > Blank
  4. Insert the images on the slide. Insert > Picture > From file > [your file name] Resize/move them so that they are all arranged on one slide. Alternatively, you could place each image on a different slide.All pictures
  5. Next you need to animate the pictures so that they will appear and disappear. Click on the picture you want to appear first. Then click Slide Show >Custom Animation, select ‘entrance effect’ and choose the style of animation you want to use. I would recommend something simple, as you don’t want it to distract from the purpose of your activity. I would also suggest using the same style of animation for all of the pictures. There is normally a preview so you can see what happens with each effect.
  6. With the same picture still selected, choose an ‘exit effect’.Appear disappear
  7. Repeat for all of the pictures.All animated
  8. Preview your slideshow to check how it works. Slide show > View slide show
  9. Save.
  10. Play!

You can now play the game by manually clicking through the images so that they stay on the screen for as long as you like. However, if you want the game to be a bit more automatic, you can now add timings.

Adding timings
  1. Click Slide Show > rehearse timings.
  2. Your game should appear as a full-screen slide show. Click through the pictures so that they stay on the screen for as long as you want them to. For this game, 2 or 3 seconds is probably enough.
  3. Once you have shown every picture and clicked out of the slide show, you should be given the option to save the timing to use in the future.

Here is the final version of my example, including timings. Jobs flash vocabulary game eltpics

I hope these two games are useful to you. Please let me know if any of the instructions are unclear.

Enjoy!

11 from 11

A month or so ago Adam Simpson posted an 11 from 11 challenge, inviting bloggers to choose their favourite 11 posts from 2011. I’ve enjoyed reading other people’s selections (there is a list of everyone who has taken part at the bottom of his original post), and have finally got around to choosing my own.

10 + 1

1+10= : Photo by @cgoodey from #eltpics

January

What I learnt on #eltchat today (Materials / Online Professional Development)

This was a summary of two of the first eltchats I took part in. I was in the middle of a week at home off sick, and therefore I had lots of time on my hands. Taking part in eltchat, looking at Twitter and writing on my blog kept me sane. It was also the start of a long line of eltchat summaries.

February

Videoing my students

This video has great memories of a great lesson. I really enjoyed helping my students to film the parts for this video, which as then excellently put together by Matej, one of the members of the class. It was our entry for the ‘Learn a language with International House’ competition. The video which won is now on the IH World homepage, and ours was highly commended 🙂

March

Authentic Listening with British Accents

The videos collected here were an ongoing list with my students. It was fun to collect the videos with them, and it’s turned into one of my most-visited posts.

Cuisenaire Rods

Ceri Jones and I wrote this post together. It was the first attempt at cross-posting for both of us, and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Since there, Ceri has helped me out with many things on Twitter, and I met her in November in Paris (see below). She was the first person from Twitter who I collaborated with, and it was a great way to start!

Diary of a Beginner: First Lesson

I used my blog to write post-lesson plans for this series of lessons with an adult complete beginner. It was really useful to reflect on the lessons, and the posts also allowed me to keep track of the materials I made and shared with my student.

April

Tools for the 21st-Century Teacher

One of my most-read posts, based on a plenary session I saw at a conference which didn’t go as well as it could have done. Most of the tools were ones I was already using, and it gave me the chance to share them with others. In the process of putting the post together, I also discovered how useful Quizlet is for learning vocabulary.

May

How to join in with #eltpics

One of the first things I did when I joined Twitter was start to contribute photos to eltpics, a collection of images by teachers for teachers, shared under a Creative Commons license so that copyright infringement is not a problem. In March I became one of the curators for the site. I wrote this post to help people work out how to join in if they just stumbled across the site. I’m really proud to be part of the team, and to see how the hashtag and collection have developed over the year. We even have our own blog now, Take a photo and…, where you can find lots of ideas for how to use the nearly 6000 pictures we have in the Flickr collection now.

June

Edmodo

I discovered Edmodo back in September 2010 when I was still lurking on Twitter. I found it the day before I started teaching for the year, and it completely revolutionised my relationship with my students and the way that I gave homework. At the end of the year I asked the students to fill in a questionnaire about their use of Edmodo, and this post was the result.

July

Brno and the Czech Republic

In July I moved to Newcastle, UK after three years spent teaching in Brno in the Czech Republic. This post contained a video including many of my photos and memories from my time there, which makes me cry every time I watch it.

September

Twitter for Professional Development

Over the last calendar year writing a blog and participating in the teaching community on Twitter has completely changed the way I approach my teaching. It has also given me my first topic for seminars and helped me to get into presenting. This post was the result of the third seminar I did, and was the one I am happiest with. The previous posts I did contained the presentations I showed the attendees (1,2), whereas this one is (hopefully!) a step-by-step guide for anyone wanting to take advantage of the amazing world of continuous professional development, whether or not they are standing in the room with me 🙂

November

TESOL France a.k.a. meeting my PLN for the first time

My final favourite post was the appropriate culmination of a year on Twitter, since it covers meeting a lot of the people from there in real life. I will never forget the first time I walked into the conference venue and saw all of these avatars come to life 🙂 It was an amazing weekend, and I’m looking forward to repeating it at IATEFL Glasgow in March 2012.

Thanks

Thank you so much to everyone who has helped me out during my first year of blogging, and to Adam for posting this challenge inviting us to reflect on the posts we’ve written this year. 2011 seems to have flown by. Here’s to 2012!

Compare and contrast: two cities

This is my contribution to Brad Patterson‘s Compare and Contrast Photo Challenge.

I chose to share with you pictures of two of my favourite cities. The first is Durham, UK.

DurhamThis view was taken from the railway station, where many people get their first view of the city. This includes Bill Bryson, who became Chancellor of Durham University while I was there, and who I was lucky enough to get my degree from. The weather is fairly typical! It shows the cathedral and castle, which together form a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Durham Cathedral is my favourite building in the world 🙂

The second is Brno, Czech Republic.

BrnoThis view was from the balcony of the second flat I lived in there. You’ll understand why it was difficult to get any work done, with my desk positioned so that I was looking out onto this! This was an early morning shot, one of probably about 100 shots at various times of day and in various weather conditions which I took while I was living there. If you want to see more about Brno, you can watch a video I made about it here.

My questions for students are:

  • What do you think it’s like living in these two cities?
  • What might be the advantages and disadvantages of living in a city like this?
  • What tourist attractions do you think each city has?

Thanks for setting the challenge Brad!

Enjoy!

How to join in with #eltpics

eltpics Shape collage

Made using shapecollage.com

All of the pictures in the image above are taken from the #eltpics photos on Flickr. #eltpics was started in October 2010 when three teachers (@VictoriaB52, @vickyloras and @cgoodey) decided to tweet pictures to each other on a given theme each week. As Victoria said in this interview with tefl.net:

The idea blossomed, so we asked ELT folk on Twitter to join in and share our diversity. In 3 weeks [we had] over 200 images from 20 countries on our Flickr site.

As of this week, we’re up to 3000 images in 30 categories including all of the following:

eltpics topics wordle

Made using wordle.net

You can see the 10 most recent pictures in the bottom-right hand corner of this page.

So how can you join in?

1. If you are not a member of Twitter, sign up for free.

2. Find out the topic for the week by searching for the #eltpics hashtag or asking @sandymillin, @fionamau or @cgoodey (the current curators of the site). A new topic is announced every Sunday. (By the way, if you have any topic suggestions, feel free to let us know!)

3. Choose the photos you want to share and upload them to a site like flickr, yfrog or twitpic. You can also use a Twitter client like Tweetdeck. Please ensure that the photos are your own and that you have the copyright.

4. Tweet the links to the pictures you want us to upload. Don’t forget to include the hashtag #eltpics so we can find them! If you want to help us out, you could also mention the set you want us to add the photo to.

5. Sit back and wait for us to tell you they have been uploaded. If we don’t reply within a couple of days, please let us know, as we sometimes miss one or two pictures.

Using the pictures

All of the photos are shared under a Creative Commons licence:

Attribution-NonCommercial
CC BY-NC

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

If you’re not happy with your pictures being shared and used in this way, please don’t send them! 🙂

Once they are on the flickr page, all of the images are available for teachers to use in their classrooms, for materials or for teaching-related blogposts. We would love to hear how you use them.

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