Monday, December 15, 2008

Our Class 2009

It's the end of the year once more! I've started getting our blog for next year ready. It looks as if my group of students will be AMEP (Adult Migrant English Program) ESOL level 3.

We'll start work at the beginning of February 2009.

Have a great festive season and we'll see you next year.

Keep watching!

Getting ready for 2009

Hi all. The languages section at St George College of TAFE, Sydney Institute is getting ready for 2009.


Please contact Course Information Office for interview dates. Building A
Phone: 9598 6111

EFS testing session:
Wed 28 & Friday 30 January
Building H1.08
9:30 am

OET testing session:
29 January
Building H1.07
10:00 am

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Web 2.0 forLTM 2009

Short video on Web 2.0 tools used in my blogs & wikis.

It was created to test Stupeflix and then upload onto bliptv to show both tools to LTM mentors.

Friday, December 5, 2008


Hi all, I couldn't be with you today and this is the reason why: elearning08 conference organised by the Australian Flexible Framework.

This is the type of event where teachers like me get our inspiration and professional development to then bring it to you in the classroom.

I hope you all have a great summer break. Keep save and keep learning! Dont forget to visit our websites (LEt's Talk (SI), Let's Talk (podomatic), ESOL f2f (and you can write on it), Time4English, our forum (you can wirte on any of the topics there), and most important:
Keep up with your blogs! We are all connected and following you! Let's talk!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Movie Reviews

Check out your classmates' podcasts on movies in Let's Talk.

Our college library has a good post on Internet Movie Databases. Very useful before you write a review.

This one is a very reliable film review website, Rotten Tomatoes. It has some professional film critics writing their reviews there, but also reviews by film buffs, like you and I. My class read two reviews of the movie we are going to see on Tuesday, Australia. One positive and one negative. Do you like to read reviews before seeing a movie?

Her is another review of Australia from the ABC programme At the Movies. What do David and Margaret think of it? Do they recommend us to go and watch it? How do they say it?

Marion was showing us a bit of Ellen Degeneres programme. I found this interview of Nicole Kidman wiht her in yappr. Check it out!

We also read some information about the Bombing of Darwin during WW2, as this is part of the movie Australia.

You can also read about another theme of Australia: the Stolen Generations and the Sorry finally given to them by our Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.

  • Do a search for the movie we are watching in class, The Castle, and see what the critics say about it. Do you agree with their views?
  • Write your own film review for The Castle. Remember to follow the structure of a film review we learned in class:
  1. Introduction of the film and its director
  2. Description of the plot
  3. Evaluation of the performances of the main actors
  4. Evaluation of the plot, music and photography
  5. Comment about the rating of the film (G, PG, M, MA 15+, R 18+,X 18+)

  6. Recommendation
I just found a very good wiki page about this movie, Australia. It's wendysclasso8. It has links to reviews, slides on the Stolen Generation and many more interesting links. Thanks Wendy!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fashion @ TAFE

Podcast coming @ Let's Talk!

Last Tuesday Marion & I went to Motion Fashion Parade by the students of Fashion Design & Technology , St George College of TAFE, Sydney Institute.

The photos you can see in the video are of some of the finalists at the Jeans for Genes design competition, which were on display at the fashion parade. I also took some photos of the hats and accessories.

Everything was professionally presented. The dresses were very beautiful and many of the them highly wearable, which is a bonus!

Have a look at the slideshow posted by the local paper, The Leader.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Sydney Open Air Cinema

Our new topic for the last three weeks is movies. One of the things we've been talking about is different kinds of movies, which is called genres. This wikipedia will give you many ideas about movie genres.

Movie interviews and reviews
One day in class we were talking about movies, film reviews, ratings, scores... watch this red-carpet interview with Keira Knightley talking about The Duchess. You can read as you watch and you can repeat sentences that you don't understand. (Thanks to Diana and Matt for pointing out this very good website!)

Just by chance I found another review of the same movie, this time in a craft blog! Instead of stars Melissa gives movies balls of wool (take note Elmira).

Time4English has a good selection of movies reviews. Go t Movie Reviews on the main page, choose one (preferably one that you have seen), read the review and do the exercises.

Use Audacity now to record a conversation with a classmate about that movie. Remember to make it an active listening practice for the person listening, as we practised in class with the Splendid Speaking worksheet on it, you can also listen to a model podcast by two students here: Active Listening.

When you have a spare moment, have a look at this great website, Twelve Canoes. Twelve Canoes is movie made and written in collaboration with Aboriginal people. Worth seeing (in the movies) or watching (at home on a DVD). The website gives visual information about many aspects of Aboriginal culture.

Monday, November 17, 2008


We are going to listen to another BTN episode this week.

Go to BTN. You have to watch episode 32.

Last week we heard about what it means to be the US presidentl. This week we can learn about Obama himself. There is also an item on ballroom dancing that some of you (especially Wendy) may find interesting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Oral Presentations

Before I forget, I published Valeria, Lara and Orietta's podcasts in Let's Talk. Read the comments in Valeria & Lara's post. Sophie, one of our students from a couple of years ago, left a very nice comment.

Everyone in level 4 has to prepare an oral presentation.Some of you started learning how to use Power Point at the end of last term. Today we would like you to have time to start working on your presentation using power point. Marion and myself will help you if you need us to.

You will find Power Point in Programs, Microsoft Office.

Check out the presentation below to see a good example of a slideshow (probably power point!) and to get some very good ideas on what to do or not to do in your presentation.

This wiki has excellent hints on Finding Images for your presentation or blog.

If you are happy with your presentation, you can upload it onto slideshare and then you can embed it in your blog!

Check Splendid Speaking for great examples of oral presentations by advanced learners of English and teacher advice on their performance. These ones Signposting Your Talk and Structuring your Talk, are about how to use discourse markers to help the audience follow your talk structure. You can subscribe to it and receive the scripts, otherwise ask me for a print out of these two episodes.

There are some good websites to give you more ideas about signposting, structure, etc. This is one of them, English Speaking: Presentations in English.

I just found a great new concept for oral presentations, it's got a Japanese name Pecha Kucha (pe-chak-cha), which means chit-chat. The idea is that you only use 20 slides (which seems a lot!), but each slide is there only for 20 seconds. So that's a total of 6 minutes 40 seconds. This is a brilliant example that you can watch at home as it is on youtube (still banned at TAFE!).

Try it for your oral presentation, but using half the time: 10 slides X 20 seconds= 3 minutes 20 seconds. Perfect! Remember how exciting it was to get your entries for Sculpture of the Sea ABC photo competition down to 25 words. This would be a similar exercise in carefully planning your words. To achieve a good presentation you'll have to practise, practise and practise!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Read the article on your right to find out what to do this morning.
This is a better link to BTN. You have to watch episode 31.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

College Counsellor

Have you listened to the podcasts about Sculpture by the Sea? Elmira, Sophie and Sue, Diana and Aneta talk about our excursion and their favourite sculptures. If you want to record your own podcast, you can start recording with Audacity. Ask Marion and Rosa to help you and show you how to edit your recording. When you are ready, call us to save it on a memory stick to publish it in Let's Talk.

The year is coming to an end very quickly. As usual for level 4 students, this means that you have to start thinking about what to do next year. On Thursday 13th November (in the downstairs Hogben Foyer between 12 noon and 1pm) we will have a Pathways session with teachers from different courses giving out information about those courses. We will be talking about it in class this week, so that you can understand the different possibilities better and prepare questions to ask about courses you may be interested in. This ESOL study pathways chart can help you, too.

Today I'd like you to listen to a podcast with the college counsellor, Luisa O'delli. Listen to her and do the work on the worksheet. You can publish a summary of her interview in your blog.

One of the sculptures in Sculpture by the Sea was the Ned Kelly mask lying on the shore (on your right). If you have time during the weekend or holidays, listen to this Bushranger Melange Podcast that an Australian high school teachers published for his students.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sculpture by the Sea Excursion Report

I hope everyone enjoyed our excursion last Tuesday's to Bondi to Tamarama Sculpture by the Sea. I had a terrific day, we were so lucky with the weather, weren't we?

Today you will be able to post your photos and your work on one of the sculptures exhibited this year.

You will need to use bubbleshare or flickr slides. Let's concentrate on bubbleshare today.

You have to register with bubbleshare first. Just follow the instructions to upload your photos from your pc or your camera. Marion and myself will help you if you need us to.

Once you have your album, this tutorial tells you how to embed (add and display inside a post) a bubbleshare slideshow in your blog.

If you haven't got any photos with you, go to p: drive and in the LANGUAGES folder, go to Rosa's folder and use any of the photos there to practise creating a bubbleshare slideshow. Embed it in you blog. Have fun!

When you finish, record a recount of the day in Audacity. Tell us what you liked about it, your favourite sculpture, if you went =back with your family and friends, anything about it!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sculpture by the Sea 2008

These photos are from Sculpture by the Sea 2007. Sooon you'll be able to take photos for your blogs of Sculpture by the Sea 2008!

Tomorrow is the big day! Remember to bring your camera and take photos of your designated sculpture and any other sculptures that take your fancy. You can also take a bit of video and upload it to bubleshare with the Add Video button (next Add Image). Next week I'll put a tutorial on how to add your bubbleshare album in your blog post.

If you've lost the excursion worksheet, get it here.

  • Here is a link to CityRail. Please check the timetable for the Kogarah 9:16 train to Bondi Junction and work out what time you should take it if you join us from another station (eg Elmira will catch the train from Rockdale).
  • Now check at what time we have to catch the train at Bondi Junction in order to be in Kogarah at 2:30 pm.
  • Now tell us what bus we should catch at Tamarama, so that we know when we should start leaving the exhibition.
When you finish, get headphones and start Audacity. We are going to use it again (IT fixed it!) to learn how to edit your recordings and save them as mp3 files. Marion and myself will be there to help you. You can talk about what we are doing tomorrow. Record it, listen to it, correct any grammatical or pronunciation mistakes and re-record that passage. When you are pleased with your work, export it as mp3 and save it in a memory stick. Have fun!

Monday, October 20, 2008

News: Sculpture by the Sea

This is the picture that I posted as a puzzle yesterday. You were right, it's called i-sea! Why do you think it's called that?

Part of our course is Reading News. This is an article about Sculpture by the Sea in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Read it and answer these questions:

  1. How many sculptures are described in the article?

  2. What materials are they made of?

  3. Give an example of interaction of the art work with the environment.

  4. What's a synonym of elephant?

  5. How do participant artists feel?

Once you answer the questions, write a short text in your own words and add it to the post you wrote yesterday on Sculpture by the Sea.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Sculpture by the Sea 2008

Last week Marion and I decided to introduce you to one of the most spectacular art exhibitions in Australia, Sculpture by the Sea. I took the pictures above at Sculpture by the Sea 2007.

We will be going next Tuesday by public transport, but thought that this would be a good opportunity for you to use the Internet to find out about the event and to plan our excursion .

Check the link Sculpture by the Sea and answer these questions:

  1. What is Sculpture by the Sea? Tell us a bit of its history as well as an explanation of what it is.

  2. When does it take place?

  3. Where does it take place?

  4. What type of art is exhibited?

  5. Why does it attract so many people?

Write the answers in your blog, but as a paragraph, without using numbers. It should read like a newspaper clip abut the event. You can borrow my slide show or some of the photos in it for your post. Next week you will be able to take your own!

Now a bit of guess work: Can you find out the name of this sculpture and the artist who created it? (hint: images in google search or official website for the event)

In your blog, write about this sculpture:
* Factual information (name, artist, date)
* Description: what it looks like, colour, material, size, location, figurative or abstract
* Your opinion: what you think it wants to convey, if you think it works, if you like it, what it makes you feel, is it serious or has it got a hint of humour?

Planning our day
How can we get there?

We would like to start our excursion at 9 am next Tuesday. Can you plan our day? What time should we catch a train? Which train do we have to catch to get there? Can we go by train only or do we need to catch a bus too? How should we come back? Where from? What time?

This website, trip planner, may be useful.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Paralympics Beijing 2008

Marion interviewed three paralympians while she was in Beijing for the Paralympic Games.

  • Listen to her interview with Wade McMahon, a paralympian javelin thrower: Marion: Our foreign correspondent at Beijing
  • Write an article about Wade McMahon in your blog. You have to use information from Marion's interview. You can also add information from your own online research, but remember to use your own words!
  • Now write a post about your holidays. Later you can add some photos or a bubbleshare album. See the previous post for ideas on photo publishing.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Photo editing and flickr slides

If you want an exciting way of editing your photos, go to picnik.

You can create photos like the one I posted last week (tea cups) or this puzzle one done with the same photo.

If you have photos in flickr, you can place a slide generator in your blog. This will find out your flickr id .This link will tell you how to do it.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

News time

A tea shop in Newtown yesterday arvo

A couple of weeks ago we were discussing how to get better in English. Helen was saying that she would like to do more work listening to the news. We can both read news from the newspapers and listen to radio or tv news. Let's start today, Answer this poll and keep watching it. It will keep changing as people do it. We will see which type of news people prefer.

Get your own Poll!

Here you have a very good site, Behind the News, produced by the ABC weekly. Watch the 26th episode. There is a permanent link to it in ELS links on the right hand sidebar.

Ask me to give you a print out of the exercises. Today I would like you to concentrate on the segment Copyrtight Crackdown. You can just watch one segment (part) of the whole program by clicking on it on the right hand side of the BTN screen.

In the college Learner Support Centre (B1.19), you can listen to many radio news items with exercises to extend your vocabulary and understanding of the news.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Marion's back! & Zhong Qiu Kuai Le!

Marion's back from Beijing. What do you want to know about her trip? Did she get your questions for an athlete? Did she manage to interview one of them? Write down the questions and we will ask her and publish her answers next week.
It's the Chinese Moon Festival this week. Read here about the legend linked to it. Did you celebrate it? How? Tell us about it in your blogs.

Watch the video below, What are You Wearing? with you talking about what you are wearing. Sorry that we couldn't record all of you last week. Audacity has something missing... but if you want we can do it today. I also posted it in Let's Talk (students) and Let's Talk, which you can subscribe to with itunes and download podcasts and vodcasts (this one is an mp4)into your ipod .

As we've been talking about clothes and fashion, today you can listen to Cathy's'podcast about Rozelle Markets, where she's got a clothes stall. Don't forget to do the worksheet. It will help you with the listening.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What are you wearing? & Marion goes to the Paralympics!

Hi there. Today you should publish in your blog your description of what Alison and Andrew are wearing. If you want to add my bubbleshare album in your blog, follow these instructions: How to add a bubbleshare album to your blog.

Now is your turn to record a short segment about what you are wearing. Remember to revise the language used by Alison, Andrew and the writers to the Fashion Police forum. Then practise with a classmate and when you are ready, record your short interviews in Audacity.

Watch this short video and follow the instructions on How to use Audacity to record and then save the file as an mp3 file.

  • Well done everybody with Marion's interview! Listen to it and read what I wrote about your performance. If you wnat to practise more, you could write a little article about Marion's trip just listening to her answers. Publish it in your blog.

    Marion is at the Paralympics right now. She is going to interview one athlete for our podcasting blog. What questions would you like her to ask? Write them in esol f2f in the Events: Olympics page/Marion
  • Last week I saw an interview with Kurt Fearnley, the World Champion Wheelchair Racer, on Enough Rope with Andrew Denton . Marion just sent me an email with links to his profile and to the interview. Wouldn't it be good if Marion could interview him with your questions? It doesn't matter if it's another athlete. We'll find out when she's back.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What are you wearing?

Welcome back, Marion!

Can you prepare a few questions to ask Marion about her trip? When you are ready we will interview her for a podcast in Let's Talk!

  • Listen to two teachers talking about what they are wearing. Answer the questions and write a description of one of them (or both) in your blog.
  • With a classmate ask each other about what you are wearing. You have to talk about the clothes, colour, type of material, origin, how you bought them or got them, if they were a present, etc.
  • You can get ideas from this forum, Fashion Police, but I would also would like you to ask/answer questions about how you got the clothes, were they a present?, did you buy them? where did you buy them? how much was it? are they any specific brand? did someone give them to you (hand-me-downs)...
  • Now record your description in Audacity. Marion and I will help you set up.
At home you can watch this video where people on the street answer the question what are you wearing? It has subtitles, so it's very easy to understand and learn from it.

The essence of written texts

Today's picture is an easy riddle. If you know what it is, write it in comments below. You can create your own wordle for your favourite song, poem, your blog or any piece of article that interests you. Ask me how to do it and save it as a picture for your blog .

Some of you wrote more suggestions for overseas visitors in Sydney during Thursday's class. Don't forget to add them to our esolf2f wiki!

Great work with your report writing. This week we'll look at writing a report about an object. You can start thinking about something interesting you would like to write about. For example a great invention, something iconic in your culture, or even a sport or event.

Andrew and I recorded an example of what to do when you can't attend class, which is to phone the teacher and let them know you will be absent. Listen to it and write down the dialogue. W will practise it later in class.

Now listen to this podcast about Andrew, Andrew: Nut & Num, and do the work at the end of the post. It will be part of your blog portfolio.

As part of your portfolio, you should listen to the podcasts we link to in this blog and do the questions and writing tasks in the worksheets included in each podcast. If you have and ipod, you can subscribe to the whole blog, Let's Talk, by clicking on the itunes icon on the right sidebar. This means the podcasts go into your ipod and you can practise your English while you catch the train, bus, do your exercise, housework, or you're bored and have nothing better to do.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sydney through foreign eyes

Friends and family are always welcome in our household. Last month we were showing off our beautiful city to our Spanish visitors.

What do you do when you have visitors from overseas? Today we can write down a list of suggestions in our esolf2f wiki.

Last week we decided we wanted to revise comparison in adjectives. Go to Time4English, click on Grammar book and in letter C do the exercises on Comparatives er / est ,more/most
You have been given a Welcome to TAFE kit with information about TAFE, rights & responsibilities and study pathways. Listen to these interviews with Djimi, an ESOL student in 2006. My class students from last semester ask her about her study pathways. Have a look at her chart and think about your own study plan.
Take time to write your recounts and reports in your blogs.

Well done to all the students who got a new blog. There is a link to your blog in your teacher's blog. Sorry we didn't have time to help everyone. We'll do it today. Now you can write a comment in your classmates' blogs. Remember to check your grammar before publishing.

Some of you didn't have time to finish all the work last week. You can try and do it now:

  1. Marion's interview: listen & answer the questions on the worksheet

  2. Type the questions to Marion in the World Map & record at least one of them

  3. Add some questions on the Olympic Games wiki page

Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympic Games Beijing 2008

The picture on the left is the answer to last week's picture-guess. Elmira was the only student to guess it, although she wasn't 100% sure. Well done! You could try and guess who the mystery man is. Write your guess in comments.

As you know, Marion is in Ireland. She has just left a message for us in the comments of this post. Read it and write something to her there. Listen to her telling me about her trip. Do the worksheet (type it and email it to me or print it and hand it in).Think of some questions to ask her. Write them down and we'll try and record them in our World Map.

  • Have you listened to your first podcast in Let's Talk? You can find it in the post below. You can send the link to your family & friends overseas.
  • Did you watch the opening ceremony at 08:08 on 08/08/08?
    One of our teachers, Nadia, has done a quiz, Olympic Games Trivia for you to answer. You can type the answers and email them to your teacher or you can print the worksheet and write down the answers. I've included the answers that she gave me, but in a code. If you are desperate, you can try to decipher it!
  • Add more questions to our esolf2f wiki Olympic Games quiz.
  • Have a look at the teachers page. Robert has added something to it!
  • Finally, check your emails. I have sent you one about my weekend. Read it and reply to it. You will be practising some of our assessment tasks for level 3: reading emails, writing emails and writing recounts. Good work!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

New FT Students

Hi everyone, I posted your introductory recording to our podcast, Lets talk!. Click this link to check it out: New Students FT Semester 2 - rosa

Friday, August 1, 2008

Library Skills

If you know what this is, tell us in comments

Hi again. I hope you managed to record your voice on our voicethread world map at home. If not, we will try it at the college.

  • This week Andrew is going to take you to the library. Before you go, listen to Patricia, one of our librarians, and answer the questions. It will help you understand what they tell you on the library tour.
  • The librarians at St George are producing excellent tutorials on how to use some of their facilities. You can find them in their wiki, St George Library wiki. There is a permanent link to it on the right sidebar of this blog. Keep visiting it to learn how to put money in your TAFE library to photocopy or print from one of the library computers, searching skills, etc. Today I would like you to watch their tutorial on how to start your TAFE portal access and change your password.

Marion has gone overseas. Listen to this casual conversation and answer the questions on the worksheet.

Finally, let's write a wiki page for the Olymppic Games. You can write the questions that you wrot e in class for the Olympic Quiz. Get the invite key from me.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Welcome to Our Class!

Read this newspaper clip:

Today we are going to work with Marion's class. Choose a partner from the other class and start working on the following activities:

  • Go to the World Map in our esolf2f wiki and record/type a short message introducing yourself
  • Interview each other using Audacity to record the interview. Your teachers will show you how to use the program.
  • Irregular verbs: Check Time4English (ask your teachers for the username and password) Irregular verb list, Verbs - infinitive / past simple / past participle & do the exercises on Verbs - regular and irregular
  • When working on the computer it's very important to think about your posture. You have to sit properly and at a good distance from the computer. To help you with it, read this information about Computer Health. Click on all the links (Stretches, Postures, Consequences)
    Do the Quiz. When you finish answering the quiz, print it and keep it in your folder in the blog section.Remember to get a ring folder to be well organised with your class notes. Andrew, Larry and I will be asking you to look at things done in previous lessons, so if you keep them in order, it'll be easy to find them quickly.Computer Health Quiz: Print it and give it to your teacher when it' s finished.
  • Answer this poll about hobbies. Keep checking to see the results changing and add your suggestions to the comments below the poll.
  • Finally, visit our Forum (ask us for the username/password) and tell us about your holidays. What did you do? How were you feeling with so much free time? Did you use English at all?
Don't panic if you can't finish all the work today. Rosa's class has more time tomorrow with Larry and everyone has all week to work on the blog. You can access it from home, the library and the Learner Support Centre.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Student Produced Digital Stories & Podcasting

In our esolf2f wiki you will find the students' page.

Check Elmira's very first attempt at a digital story. She used some photos and a bit of video from our party to create a very good example of what can be done. For her voice she used the video I took of her talking about what she was doing. She didn't want to appear on camera so she just put the video clip in the sound line. Easy!

Check Min's podcast talking her thoughts about winning lotto.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Digital Stories

Can you guess what this means? Just think of the workds: Digital Stories. Discuss possible meanings with your classmates.

Here is an example of a digital story created by one of my students, Robert. He interview Djimi, whom you met earlier this semester (and whose podcast I'm about to publish in Let's Talk).
Another short one is Salsa Lesson, from the end of the year party.
You'll find more in Sydney's People Podcast (Nikki & Carol), wher I added the recorded interviews to photos and bits of video.

There are many good examples of digital stories on the web. Here are some links to tutorials and examples (sorry but some of the links don't work, but they are not mine, so I can't fix them):

Stephan's wiki page has brilliant examples and tutorials (including guides by Robyn Jay, who gave us a fantastic workshop some time ago)
Creating the Connections, a fantastic digital stories resource kit for literacy
Digital Stories with Gail Casey
Teaching Visual Literacy is an interview with Martin Scorsese (script included) where he talks about the role of visual literacy (advanced students).
Digital Story Telling-CAP

Let's do it now!

  • In your computers go to Programs/PhotoStories 3. I'll show you how to use it. It's easy and lots of fun!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Recording your own voice

Today you worked very hard recording your voices in Audacity

You can download Audacity and lame at home. It's a good way of practising your pronunciation. Maybe you can open one of the listening exercises from Time4English or Splendid Speaking and repeat sentence by sentence. Then compare your recording to the original, until you are happy with it.

  • Here are some instructions on what to do. You just need to do the first 5 steps. If you want to publish it online, save your mp3 file in your computer and then go to esolf2f wiki and upload it onto your personal page in student pages. This is Min's one.

  • If you want to become an expert on podcasting (subscribing to podcasts or producing your own podcasts), go to Stephan Ridgway's Introduction to Podcasting.

Go to Let's Talk to listen to your podcast about Everyone's a Winner! or simply click on the screen below.

Have a great holiday and have lots of fun practising your pronunciation!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Last Session

My creation
Collage of my photos created by flickr

Hi everyone,

This is our very last computer session for the semester. I have enjoyed working with you tremendously and I hope you have learnt something from working with blogs, podcasts, slide shows (bubble share), voicethread, our esolf2f wiki, Time4English, the forum, etc.

The main thing is that you now know that there are lots of materials on the Internet that you can use to practise your English. Keep using Our Class 2008 if you wish. Send me emails if you want or write in comments.

It'd be terrific if you kept your blogs running. You can publish anything you like about yourself, your new courses, excursions, trips, movies, etc.
  • Today we are going to record a 1-2 minute speech on "Everyone's a winner". On your computer left bottom corner, click on Programs and then on Audacity. It's very easy to use this program to record your voice. You will need a pair of headphones with microphone. If yo need me I'll I'll show you how to do it.
  • Do it several times until you are happy with your pronunciation, fluency and intonation. Then export as mp3. Save it on the desktop, so that you can find it easily.
  • Email it to yourself as an attachment and send me a copy.
  • Now work with a classmate and interview each other about what you'd do if you won a big amount of money on the lottery. Save it as an mp3 and email it to each other and myself. I will try to publish it on our podcast, Let's Talk.
  • Some of you are looking for a job and will need to prepare a resume (also know as CV, from Curriculum Vitae, Latin for Life's , Go to Time4English Level 6, and then ADVANCED BUSINESS & ACADEMIC. There click on 2G, Resume (listening, reading and grammar). It will help you get started with a good basic resume.
  • More advice on resume writing can be found in this Australian website, my career. They also have some samples: IT professional resume, a production professional resume. You'll find advice and resume templates (models with different layouts)
  • Check out Sally's website for information about volunteering, interviews, etc. It's like a board game with links to relevant sites.
  • Finally the Centrelink website is full of information for job seekers.

Have a good holiday and I'll see you around!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Aussie Slang & Pathways

Matt is going to help you add to our 101 Health Hints (dental, back, footwear, etc). We're nearly there (81! 20 to go).

  • Read Suzanne's post about being Australian and write your opinion in the forum. You can also elaborate on it an publish it in your blog.
  • If you click on her "Typical Aussie" link, you can listen to a very popular song, Home Among the Gum Trees, by John Williamson. You may have to do this at home if the link doesn't work at TAFE. Here is the lyrics (the words of a song).
Aussie Slang

Find the meaning of these Aussie slang words in the Aussie Dictionary:

  • chuck a wobbly
  • ratbag
  • sanger
  • flat out


Part of our pathway session last week included EFS and Comms. Today we are going to do a bit more listening and thinking about those courses.

  1. Listen to Suzanne, the EFS coordinator

  2. Listen to Jennifer, one of the Comms teachers. The flyers are a bit old, but basically the information about the course is very similar to the current one.

  3. Write a summary of both courses (EFS & Comms) in your blog.
  • Finally, here are some exercises that will help you practise your tag questions (very useful for casual conversation), they're/their/there and conjunctions (very useful for more formal speech, like oral presentations or writing, like reports, opinions, etc).

Monday, June 2, 2008

Casual Conversation

I'm afraid I published some of this post by mistake last week. It was meant to be work for this week. Sorry!

    We are going to prepare for our casual conversation assessment. Please revise the following points:
    1. the language of agreeing and disagreeing
    2. the structure of an anecdote
    3. practise different ways of giving feedback
    4. Opening and closing the conversation in a polite way

  • To help you with content (what to say) for your casual conversation assessment, go to VILC Know your Consumer rights and choose a different topic per student. Use the story as an anecdote inside your casual conversation.

  • To improve your conversational skills, it's important to pay attention to your pronunciation. You can do it at home on the weekend. Check this website: Pronunciation with Alanna. Alanna Townsend, from Griffith TAFE, has recorded pronunciation lessons for her students on her blog, Griffith English News, visit it an do some of the exercises at home.
  • Finally, we are getting closer to our target of 101 health hints. Did you see anything last week at the Health Expo that we could include? For example, anything related to dental health, massages, women's health, mental health, diet, etc.

Monday, May 26, 2008


It's Health Expo Week again! Congratulations to all our students, both in Marion's and Rosa's class (Ivy, Li, Min) on the fantastic health tips left in our f2fwiki. Continue adding to it, we have to reach 101!

Meanwhile, you can do this cloze on Childhood obesity. Double click on each work to put it in the right place. Answer these questions:
1. What is childhood obesity?
2. Which developed countries are more affected by childhood obesity?
3. What is the meaning of epidemic?
4. What percentage of North American kids are obese?

Check this website, CalorieKing that Marion posted for her students. They will be preparing all the food for the Health Expo. We'll be there to taste their healthy food! Read the brochure and answer these questions:

1. How many stalls will there be?

2. Look up new words in your dictionary.

3. Choose one of the stalls. Write 5 questions to ask the stall holder.

  • Go to Time4English, News Library 7J. Read the article Hot Chips cause Cancer. It's a good idea to read the three levels, it will help you with vocabulary and comprehension.

  • Now read the article 7Y Take-Away Food Dangerous. Read the three levels.In your blog write a summary of both articles and tell us what you think.

  • Check the following links :
    Better Health Obesity. Do the worksheet Obesity. (You can print it or do it online)
    Better Health Skin Cancer, download the worksheet Skin Cancer.(You can print it).
    They have a BMI Calculator. You just enter your height and weight and it'll tell you your BMI and if it's healthy or not. (Thanks Marion for the tip!)
    Check their health quizzes .

Creative Commons Photos

Last Friday I met Peter Shanks, a TAFE IT teacher from Bathurst. He showed me a great tool designed by him that allows you to find pictures that don't break copyright. They are flickr photos that have a Creative Commons licence, like the ones I showed you last week in class. Creative Commons means that you can use them for free, as long as you show the attribution details, which means that you write the name of the author and a link to where the photo comes from (in this case flickr).

To find a photo you just write the name of what you are looking for in the Find window and then click on the picture you like. If you do it with the tick in the edit box, you can edit it before you save it, add words to it and a frame. You can add the attribution inside the picture itself or copy it and paste it on your blog below the picture. You save the picture as usual, by right clicking on it and storing it in your computer.
Ideally you should link the photo to its original page in flickr.

I'm leaving a permanent link to this tool below Useful Links in our righthand side bar.

This is and example I edited for our Money money week.

Original image: 'Money' by: Joshua Davis
Released under an Attribution-ShareAlike License

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Money, money

Last Sunday started with rain, but then we had a glorious winter afternoon, perfect for a bush walk around Manly. Here are some photos of the day (the quality is not brilliant, they were taken with a mobile phone). If you have time, take yourselves there by ferry, walk to the beach and follow the walk to Shelly beach. There is a bush walk up the cliffs that takes you back to Manly going past the old seminary. It's great!

BubbleShare: Share photos - Find great Clip Art Images.

Health Expo is coming! We are going to work with Marion's class, AMEP A (level 4) to build a page around health topics. Go to our f2f wiki, the Events page, and follow the instructions below the Health Expo.

Last week we started talking about money matters (one of the topics you wanted to work with).

AMES VILC has several stories about consumer issues, Mind your Money. The listening doesn't seem to be working (try at home, just in case), but you can do some of the exercises and also have a look at the links provided in other languages. Let's look at Mario and Marta's Wedding exercise 1 . Then do exercise 2. Finally read the whole story and check out the advice and links below it.

AMES VILC has also got weekly listening news items. Listen to this week's news here.

Next week we can do another one. The list of topics is here. Look at them in Know your consumer rights! and tell me which one you prefer to do first.
Today you can listen to a new podcast, John: Global Citizen. Print the worksheet first. It will help you with the listening and the writing.

We have a new f2f wiki, so you'll need to update your links. It's going to be on our permanent links on the right of this blog and will replace the pbwiki one.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Look at this!

Look at this watch. It looks like a normal watch, doesn't it?

It was given to an EFS student as a present. He came this morning to see if he could use one of the computers to print his homework.

When I said "yes, go ahead", he produced this watch.... and proceeded to connect it to the computer.

Look at these pictures!

Monday, May 19, 2008


  • We have been looking at modal verbs at a higher level. Please go to Time4English Grammar book, click on the letter M and do the exercises on can/could, can/could/be able to and must/have to. Write notes about how to use them in your note book. Add examples to help you understand their use and to help you remember it.
  • Last week we were also talking about how stress affects different age groups. Listen to this passage in Time4English, Are you stressed? (lower Intermediate 6I). It is a stress test. See what your stress levels are like!
  • Listen to this podcast of a casual conversation amongst 4 teachers about stress. Can you write down the topics we talked about? Also take note of the language used to change topic or to relate one topic to another. How is feedback given?
  • Let's catch up with our Audacity work. I will help you one by one to use Audacity to record your voice and improve your introductory podcast, This is us!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

This photo is for the geeks out there!
Good work everyone! Last week you learned how to create and post a photo album. I hope you continue using your new skills to send photos of your family to friends and relatives. You can also add sound and today we will try to do it.

Look at Bing's blog. He wrote a good personal piece on If I were an animal... . Try and write something yourself.

Today you will have some time to catch up with your podcast listening. Check last week's post for the links to the 4 podcasts due this term.

Last week we created our first podcast by recording it onto an mp3 player/recorder. Another way of creating audio files is the program Audacity. A couple of you tried it at the beginning of last term. Today I would like to find time for everybody to record your voice using Audacity. Follow this steps:

  1. Listen to your very first podcast: This is us! (Ft 2008). YOu will also find it in our podcasting blog: Let's talk!

2. Click on Audacity

3. Connect the headphones/speaker to the computer

4.Press the red button to record your voice

Time to relax!
Marion and Sally have told me about online karaoke and I found this blog, YouTube Karaoke, where you can practise your English (at home, as it is blocked at TAFE) while singing. Have fun

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