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This is another post I have been meaning to write for a while. Oxford Owl is a free website created by Oxford University Press. It has a range of useful resources -I’ll briefly list a few here.
The reading section has a range of free ebooks from the Oxford Reading Tree series. Most of the books can be read online, and feature the art, text, and audio. This is a wonderful resource for self-study at home or in the classroom.
There are also a couple of online games and a range of printable resources for students.
Finally, there is a lot of advice for teachers and parents on how to teach reading and support students with reading practice. Although much of this is aimed at native speakers, a lot of it transfers quite well to EFL.
Is anybody using Oxford Owl? Any good features I have missed? Please leave a comment below:
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I have always wanted to have some kind of self-access centre (room?) at Cambridge English. I feel it would offer a lot of value to some students, as well as make what we do more effective.
The room would have books, computers, and comfortable chairs. It would have nice lighting and be a quiet, pleasant place.
Students would come and use the room whenever they wanted, and regular classes would also include self-study time (students would have to spend 30-60 minutes of a 90- or 120-minute class doing self-study).
We may have the chance to create something like this this year as our current classroom is too small and there is very little real estate available in Sendai after the 2011 disaster so we have rented an apartment above the school to have classes in.
I would like to do something like this at university as well. For now, I think the best chance is to work with the library.
Does anyone have any experience of implementing this kind of system?
(photo is the Self-Access Centre at Kanda University)
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I’ve been using Udemy, an online content delivery platform, to learn more about Excel, mac OS, and Windows 8. I think the site has a lot of potential for both teachers and learners, so I am going to do a quick review here.
Right now the site has thousands of free and premium courses, ranging from software to business to self-defence to language learning to automobile maintenance. The cost of a course ranges from free to several thousand dollars, but most are priced between 50-100 US$. There are a lot of software courses at the moment, but it is possible to find other topics.
The delivery system is basically video based, with the instructor talking learners though their topic in a series of lessons. In the courses I have seen so far, each video lesson tends to be just a few minutes long, allowing you to study whenever you like and repeat lesson easily.
The interesting thing for teachers is that it seems to be fairly painless to upload courses to the system. I am very interested in creating some courses, both as a way to diversify my income (I am worried about my future employment due to the recent changes in labour law in Japan, but that is a topic for another day) and also as a way of getting content to my students (by setting the price to zero and telling them to access content through Udemy.
So that is Udemy so far for me: useful for learning things and filling in gaps in knowledge (the basic excel course didn’t have anything groundbreaking for me, but I have learned something in most of the lessons so far), great future potential, and a very interesting player in the field of online delivery.
Has anyone else tried Udemy? What did you think?
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I’ll be presenting at the last ETJ Expo this Sunday, in my second-favourite city in Japan, Fukuoka.
The schedule for the event is here.
Directions to the venue are here.
Hope to see you there!
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I’ll be presenting at the ETJ Expo in Sendai this weekend, talking about useful online resources to help students study more effectively.
My workshop is at 12:30 -hope to see you there!