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Larissa's Languages. Write and Improve: An Online writing helper. Writing is probably the most difficult area for learners to improve on by themselves. Writing demands an audience and if you have no-one to tell you how successful your efforts are – or not – then you are doomed to repeat your failures into eternity. Cambridge English have, however, just released a beta version of an online, browser based writing helper. Currently free to use and requiring only a facebook login (or email registration), the service allows learners to input their answers to one of the five questions provided (or submit a piece of writing of their own choice) and to get feedback on their efforts.

In the screenshot above, the highlighted text at the bottom of the image is the submitted text. The colour coding represents the program’s opinion of the learner level the different sections of the text represent. The deeper the green, the closer to B2 level (or above) the text is – the more furious the reds, the closer to B1 level (or below). So who should use this tool? Like this: Experimenting with English (Part 2) – Activities for learners to do outside the classroom [26 and counting!] In my blog post Experimenting with English: scaffolding learner autonomy, I discussed how I approached helping my learners to use English outside the classroom, drawing on learner autonomy theory and methodology (e.g.

Benson, 2011; Oxford, 2003; Smith 2003). Central to that project, alongside the very important element of discussion, was a handout I created for my learners. Here is a screenshot of a sample page, taken from the listening section: Sample page from my Experimenting with English activities handout, listening section. As you can see, the handout consists of a series of activities for learners to try, with space for them to record when they tried it and what they thought of it.

The handout is divided up by skill (reading, listening, speaking, writing). In my experience, as I mentioned in the Experimenting with English blog post, simply giving the learners this handout is insufficient. Here are the handouts: This one is for learners who use Edmodo Like this: Like Loading... Student Blogging Activity 4 (Beginner) – Helping Parents Connect with your Class Blog.

This week’s student blogging activity is a guest post by Kathleen Morris. This is the fourth activity in the “30 days to get your students blogging” series. In this activity you will: 1. Learn why parent participation in blogs is important. 2. Learn about some initiatives that can encourage parents to be involved in your class blog. 3. About parents and blogs One of the many benefits of having a class blog is the strengthening of home-school relationships.

A class blog can provide a virtual window into the classroom. After having a class blog for a number of years, I have got the message loud and clear that parents and families love being able to keep up with the classroom events and student learning. You can’t leave parent participation to chance. Educating parents At the start of each year when I introduce my class to blogging, there are rarely any students or parents who know anything about blogs or blogging. Introduction to blogging handout It lets parents know: Information on the blog 1. 2.