11-Content Area


In general all were user friendly enough for me to get around easily. I haven’t introduced them to students yet so I don’t have any feedback from their experience. The quality of the resources I share on this blog are all good to excellent. The ESL resources on iTunesU were abundant but varied in quality. I will need to screen carefully before using them.

Audio Resource 1– Following the theme “Native American Culture” that my students are currently researching I looked at iTunes, iTunes University and NPR. I found some interesting short segments on NPR such as Native Americans. The presenter was slow and clear but the English was still too complex for my students to follow without a transcript. NPR has transcripts that can be purchased for many shows but I couldn’t find any for the topic I had chosen. Audio without text has little or no value for my group unless the audio is very slow and in very simple English.  I did find some podcasts of Native American music on iTunes that the students will enjoy.

Audio Resource 2-iTunes U – I searched “ESL” and found many audio resources with excellent potential for my group. I will need to evaluate each of them for several criteria including:

  1. How relevant is the content for my group?
  2. Is the podcast spoken in American English?
  3. Does the speaker talk slowly and clearly enough for non-native speakers?
  4. Is the vocabulary at an instructional level for my students?
  5. What additional materials are available to support the audio such as transcripts, worksheets, etc.

Audio Example 1 – Culips ESL Podcast

The podcasts are available for free on iTunes and on the website. Additional materials are available through a paid subscription ($59 US/year). The additional materials include transcripts Culips Transcript Example, detailed explanations and quizzesAll are available in a mobile version as well. These materials are Canadian but Canadian is close enough to American English that they will still work well for my students.


Audio Example 2 – ENGL 026 by Anne Kelliher from Harrisburg Community College. Some of the podcasts in this series are about English pronunciation and include a video of the lips  making two contrasting sounds. The podcasts and video are available online and the IOS version includes worksheets with symbols from the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Audio Example 3 – Now I’m in trouble!  I made the mistake doing a search for “Native American Culture”  and fell down the rabbit hole. Thats where I’m writing from now. I am doomed. Maybe I will get out of this one, but I will fall down another one!

native amer culture podcasts

This series Native American Culture Podcast is in an interview format with very pleasant background music. Each speaker is interviewed about his/her experience growing up as a Native American. The content is very interesting and both interviewer and interviewee speak slowly enough and in short segments so that my students should be able to follow along.

Video 1Youtube – Telling TimeMy beginners needed a review of time telling basics. I removed the introduction and segmented it in EdPuzzle, adding formative assessment questions. I haven’t presented this activity yet. Edited in EdPuzzle


Video 2 – School Tube – so many resources. I’m proud of myself for not going down the rabbit hole. I wouldn’t have made it out:). I found some great presentations such as this one with music and subtitles: Southeast Native American History



TED is a rich resource for quality content and features beneficial to adult ESL students including audio, subtitles, transcripts and translation into many languagesEven students with very limited English can benefit. Since many videos also have optional subtitles, students can watch, listen and read. I can also segment a video with a tool such as Zaption or EdPuzzle. These tools take the activity well beyond augmentation into redefinition.

The screenshot below highlights some of the features including 35 subtitle languages and interactive transcript.

TED features for ESL students

A huge WOW and bonus is TED-Ed. Here a teacher can create a lesson to accompany a video talk. The lesson can include various types of questions, discussion and supplemental material.

I haven’t shown this one in class yet. I showed a different one about Bhutan. Watching without subtitles was difficult, but as soon as I turned on the subtitles everyone became very involved and we had a lively class discussion.



Activity 1 – Teaching Channel many many resources of teachers in their classrooms modeling various strategies. I chose this one called Picture Power Reading Workshop in Kindergarten in which the teacher uses pictures to help students visualize and “guess” vocabulary words. My modification is that my students will use the computer or their iPads (depending on their experience level with technology) to look up words they don’t know using an image search tool such as Google images (within or outside of Google Docs). or a visual dictionary app such Clipart. They will then organize their words and images either in a Google Doc table or an iPad app such as Baiboard, Bitsboard, or Puppet Edu.

Activity 2 – MIStreamnet – I was thrilled to discover that the MACUL keynotes and a few other sessions are available. I wasn’t able to go to Macul, but I heard from friends that some of the sessions were excellent so I can now watch these sessions that will be very helpful. For this activity I decided to watch Google Forms for Formative Assessments to learn about the new features. Last week I wanted to set up a quick assessment. Even though I have used the old Google Forms a few times, I am not proficient as I am with Docs.  I have made printouts and used them as practice tests with all the students but I haven’t made the jump to having the students complete them digitally. So for this assignment my modification will be to take my practice tests to a new level by implementing them online instead of printed.



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