ESL Partyland: an Incredible Tool for ESL Learning and Teaching

As I give privImageate English lessons to one of my friends, I often run out of resources for us to use. While looking for more activities to give her, I found quite a good site. ESL partyland is a website created both for teachers and learners of English as a second language. It is ranked among the top 10 ESL websites by BusyTeacher.org.  The site is even mentioned on Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching.

The Site

The user of this website has to be self-reliant because there are many sub-divisions on the main page. This web page is free of charge, which makes it affordable for anyone. The only problem I encounter when using this website is that some of the links do not open the window they are supposed to.

On the main page, the user can choose to visit the site as a teacher or as a learner. All sub-categories are on the left menu; blue links are for learners and red links are for teachers.

Learners

The website can be used for learners from grade school to college, and even for adults. The learner must be old enough to read by himself or at least use that site guided by an adult. English lessons are divided by themes so the learner can deepen knowledge in the wanted field. Learners can also practice their English skills by doing quizzes and games on grammar, idioms, vocabulary, etc. Forums can also be used for peer tutoring, practicing with peers and chatting about different topic (always in the target language).

Teachers

There is a lot of material available on the website for teachers. It goes from lesson plans, to teaching strategies without forgetting activities and articles related to the English language.

I think that Esl partyland can be very valuable in an English class because of all the material provided on it.

For those who would like a demonstration of how to use the website, here is a video that can help you.

Stories 2 Learn, how to become socially integrated

I personally don’t have much experience with children. Doing my practicum in elementary school made me think about difficulties in language learning. Every child learns at a different speed and some display much difficulty in their social interaction.

Stories 2 Learn (S2L) is a really good application for use with children with special needs. This application allows parents and teachers to create their own stories to improve good attitudes and to promote adequate social interactions. This would help autistic children a lot by having personalized stories to help them learn. The story writer can add a picture to his text, which would help the understanding of the child a lot . An audio message can even be added to sequences.

This application comes with preloaded stories that can be used to teach social skills. Moreover, S2L can be used as a virtual schedule providing visual supports for the child to go through his day by himself.

Also, parents can create stories for their children even if  they do not need special attention. Using pictures of what they know or of their current environment will keep the child’s attention on what needs to be learned even longer than usual.

The beauty of this application is that the interface is very easy to use and that it can be used on many Mac devices: the IPod touch and all versions of IPhone and IPad.

This application would be interesting to integrate to English classes to help young children memorize school rules, good habits and values as well as new words. It would also give be a great support for teachers with special needs students.

Even though this application is not free, it is worth the investment for any first cycle primary school.