Friday, 27 February 2009

Subtitle Movie Fun

We often forget just how much communicative meaning comes from visual clues rather than linguistic information. This site is a great one for reminding students of just how much of the communicative message they can pick up just by using their eyes. It's also a lot of fun, particularly for anyone like me who likes Indian movies.

The site is called BombayTV and it has a collection of Indian film clips. Each is quite short and has space for you to add 3 lines of subtitles. You can select from a range of clips then add the subtitles and then either send it to a friend, get a URL or best of all, get an embed code to add it to your blog.

Here's one I created.

It's really easy to do, just go to BombayTV and click on 'Make a Movie'.
You should then see the movie player with the movie index. Select a movie and watch it in the player, then write your subtitles in the fields at the side.

Once you have done this you can send it to yourself to get the URL. After sending it you will also see a text to click to get the embed code and you can copy and past this into a blog.
You can choose whether you get your students to guess what they think the characters are really say or just make up some dialogue of their own. Hope you have some fun with this, and if you enjoy it, then you also check out BombayTV2 which allows you to select a number of scenes and build a sequence, of Futebol TV which has clips of football matches and your students can type in commentary.

I owe a big thank you Özge Karaoğlu as I first spotted BombayTV over at her blog on the BBC | British Council Teaching English website. Where she is writing about technology in ELT.

Thanks Özge Karaoğlu .

Related links:Best

Nik Peachey

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Very Easy Video Conferencing

Fonomo is one of the simplest and easiest free video conferencing solutions I have seen. If you're looking for no frills, no downloads and no charges, then this could be a good place to start. Just go to the Fonomo site. Decide if you want private or public conferencing.

Choose an option for sending invitations to the person you want to conference with.
Generate the code and then send it to them.
Then go to your page and make sure you allow access to your video and audio.
And there you have it. You are video conferencing.
It looks like the private option is one to one and the you need the public option for more than two people. I'm not sure what the maximum is and how well it would take the load of having groups, but for just two people it looks simple and easy and best of all no downloads or charges.

Hope you find it useful.

Related links:

Nik Peachey

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Clothes Vocabulary

Polyvore is a great site for exploring clothes and fashion vocabulary at different levels and with varying degrees of complexity.

Basically what your students can do is go to the site at: and then click on 'Create a look'. They then create a 'look' by dragging in various articles of clothing from the tabs at the sides.

They can even add text and label the articles they have added, add different backgrounds and even match their 'look' to a style of music by dragging in album covers.
Nice one for the girls and perhaps even the boys too.

If you register you can save the various 'looks' you create. The website does have a commercial side to it as it is a showcase for different products, so be sure your students don't start getting out their credit cards, unless of course they are old enough and do actually want to buy some of the products.

Students can have fun creating labelling and comparing 'looks'. They could see who could come up with the best look for a particular type of music, or even see if they can create a 'makeover' look for their teacher!!

Hope you have fun with this.

Related links:


Nik Peachey

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Darwin and Evolution

I've just been having a little play with a great feature on one of the Open University's websites Devolve Me.

The site is dedicated to Darwin and as well as having some useful information and resources about him, has a wonderful little tool to take yourself backwards through the evolutionary process.

Just upload your image adjust it for position and then watch yourself transform back for a few million years.

So if you would like to see how I got from this:
Through this

To this
Then just click on this link here and watch as I go back through time: Nik Devolved
Be sure to play with the little slider to take me backwards and forwards.

As for classroom exploitation:
  • You could transform a few people using images of famous people then see if students can guess who they are.
  • You could also get your students to transform images of themselves and guess who they are.
  • Or you could be serious and use this to start a discussion on evolution. Students can post and compare their opinions to the 'Have your say' forum

Anyway, hope you enjoy it.

Related links:

Nik Peachey

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Simple Tool for Collaborative Writing

I've just been having a quick look at writewith, a nice simple tool for collaborative writing. It looks like it could be a nice tool for process writing classes. You either create or upload a .doc and then give other users the right to edit it or change it is some way. Their edits show up highlighted and various versions along the way are stored so you can always track back to see who has done what.
I know you can do all this and more with Google Docs, but writewith looks simpler, and simple is always good in my book, and doesn't require that you have a Gmail account of any kind, though it does require registration.

It's also quite easy to specify different tasks and also set deadlines by which time they should be done, so that would seem to work really nicely with the kind of work flow you could set up to get your students written homework done and marked online.

Another nice feature is that you don't have to have a word .doc, you can just start typing your text in online and then just save it. The interface has all the normal formatting tools you would expect on a standard word processor too and you can even switch to an html view which I guess means you can add code and embed other online objects into the page.

There's a short video clip from the creators here showing the basics of how it works. Also wort checking out is the FAQ section which tells you in a little more detail what it can do and how to do it.

Hope it works for you.

Related links:

Nik Peachey

Monday, 9 February 2009

Blog Carnival

I'm very proud to say that I have been asked by Larry Ferlazzo to host the next EFL/ESL/ELL Blog Carnival which I will be posting here on April 1st 2009, with submissions due in no later than the day before.

If you have a blog and have posted something over the last month which you think would be of interest to teachers of English (examples of student work are also welcome!) you can contribute posts from your blog using this easy submission form.

To see examples from the last Blog Carnival go to David Deubelbeiss' blog and check out some of the entries there at: EFL Classroom 2.0

Look forward to receiving your submissions. Don't be shy.

Related links:

Nik Peachey

Friday, 6 February 2009

Coffee With Dennis Newson

Sunday 15th February 2009 (GMT 18.00 = 10.00 PST) sees the return of Coffee With.

This is the forth in our series of 'Coffee With ..' educational chat shows on Edunation III in Second Life, so please do come along, join our audience and meet other people interested in developing education and learning within Second Life.

In this show I'll be interviewing Dennis Newson (aka: Osnacantab Nesterov) Formerly: University of Osnabrück, Webhead and member of SLexperiments

In the show I will be talking to Dennis about his experiences of starting off his Second Life as a digital immigrant, his observations of language teaching within Second Life and his recent foray into teacher training and development.

If you would like to come along and watch the show and join in the discussion, then go along to Edunation III and click the sign-up terminals or email Gavin at: The event is free, but we are limited to 100 places. The show starts at GMT = 18.00 (GMT is 8 hours ahead of Second Life time, so that's 10.00 PST and 19.00 CET)

If you don't have a Second Life avatar but would like to know how to set one up then you can download instructions from here. Setting up a Second Life avatar

Related links:

Nik Peachey