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Archive for July, 2011

Snowy White- Bird of Paradise

DICTIONARY, thesaurus, word games

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ΑγγλικάΦωτογραφία από Margarita Nitz


Workshake graphic
Your rating: None (908 votes)
Tue, 02 Nov 10

How many points can you get in 3 minutes? Longer words score more points!

PIC YOUR WITS game, by the British Council

Pic your wits logo
Your rating: None (158 votes)
Mon, 14 Feb 11

What’s the picture? Is it a rug or a cooker? You have 20 seconds to beat the clock. The faster you guess the more you score. A really fun way to learn vocabulary!

CARTOON STORY MAKER…the best application ever.

Sentence game maker icon Cartoon Story Maker

Cartoon Story Maker v1.1 Windows XP, Vista & Windows 7(2.6MB) To install click on the link, select ‘Run’ (or ‘Open’), and follow the prompts.Storyboard planning sheet (pdf 56kb). Plan your story first. Black and white master for photocopying.

Help files (pdf 493kb). Print friendly version.

A quick look at the Cartoon Story Maker

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Make 2D screen based cartoon stories to illustrate conversations and dialogues. Stories can include an unlimited number of frames and are view frame by frame. Each frame can include:

  • Images: Drag and drop library items onto the frame, or import your own digital photos or images saved from the web.
  • Text bubbles: Select from a range text bubbles and information boxes. Drag and drop onto the frame and start typing! Text can be in any language and any script.
  • Voice recordings: Add new voice recordings using the simple built in recording panel. You can also add recordings already saved on your computer.

Stories are saved on your computer as HTML page (webpages), and can easily viewed by others on any computer using a web browser such as Internet Explorer. Stories can also be printed. Completed stories can also be loaded back into the Cartoon Story Maker and edited or added to.

A character from the image library sits infront of an imported background image found on the web.

Features list

  • character and background libraries
  • import your own images
  • text bubbles and information boxes
  • accent key panel
  • import voice recordings
  • built in recorder to add your own voice recordings
  • unlimited number of frames
  • copy and paste frames
  • preview
  • print function
  • saved stories can be opened and edited
  • copy and paste text from other documents
  • help files (available online and included in the program)

See the Help files for more details.

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Cartoon Story Maker in the classroom

  • Teachers can make cartoon stories to model language and cultural conventions.
  • Students can make them as a stimulating and engaging way to practice their language skills.

The Cartoon Story Maker has been designed with a focus on applying language learning. It is easy to use with simple controls so students spend less time manipulating tools and more time on the language. Within a few minutes of opening the Cartoon Story Maker students can be typing text or adding their own voice recordings.

Students can:

  • create dialogues with their own text or voice recordings to demonstrate proficiency
  • create using digital photos of themselves acting out a situation and add either text or voice recordings to the photos
  • search the web for culturally authentic images and import them into the Cartoon Story Maker as backgrounds to a story.
  • Students can place pictures of themselves in front of culturally authentic images: they can imagine they are really there!

Teachers can:

  • provide a script or storyboard which students use to create a story
  • create partially completed stories which students can then open and complete
  • provide text only and students must add their own matching voice recordings
  • provide text in English for students to translate into the LOTE
  • provide questions to which students generate appropriate answers in the story
  • use Cartoon Story Maker in other subjects!

Cartoon Stories can be used:

  • as a medium for students’ writing in a number of modes: conversation, narrative, persuasive or informative.
  • to revise a language topic
  • as an assessment task
  • to practice pronunciation and spelling
  • as a collaborative task
  • as a window into culture

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Installation and operation


To install and run the Cartoon Story Maker the computer must have the following:

  • Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 (all require ‘.net framework 2.0’. This is standard on ‘Vista’ and Windows 7, and common on XP. If it is not installed on the computer, a prompt will appear allowing the download and installation of the file. It is free.)
  • a sound card
  • screen resolution of at least 800 x 600
  • 256 colours or greater

Installation in schools

Installation of software in school systems is often restricted. This may mean that only your IT technician is able to install software. Talk to your IT support about how the software is best installed in your school.

When a cartoon story is saved a new folder will be created with the name and in the location specified by the user. The folder will contain:

  • A html page (with the same name as the folder). Open this file to view the cartoon story.
  • A ‘data’ folder which contains all support files:
    – two swf files; the player and a shared library
    – an xml document
    – a ‘media’ folder with any imported images (jpg, gif or png), or any voice recordings (MP3) used in the story.

Some schools’ IT systems prevent students from saving these files. Check with your IT support that students are permitted to save these files in their folders on the server. If not, it may be possible to create a new folder without these restrictions where students can save their games.

The default save path for completed games is ‘My Document’.
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Version history

Version 1.1November 2010

  • Temporary files no longer saved on in Program File directory. This caused an error when importing images or recording sounds on Systems that did not have permission to write to that directory. Temporary files and not saved in the users ‘AppData’ folder.
  • More text bubbles have been added.
  • Bug fixed that stopped some text bubbles from appearing when a story was printed.

Further Information and help

See the Help files. (these are also available by clicking on the ‘Help’ button in the top bar of the program.)

For further assistance contact the Languages Online Team (languages.online@edumail.vic.gov.au)
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Victorian State Government - Logo Contact: Languages Online Team (languages.online@edumail.vic.gov.au)
Created on: Wednesday, July 19th, 2006 | Page last updated: Monday, 1st December 2008

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Express Publishing (ELT) Teachers Corner – Topics

Link to Express Publishing ELT


Posted: 19 Jul 2011 08:11 AM PDT

Most EFL course books are organized around topics – themes such as the body, transport, clothes, animals or sports. At higher levels the concepts may be more abstract – the environment or culture. This seems logical as we need something to talk about; a topic provides a context making language learning and use more meaningful and purposeful.

The structural approach to language learning emphasizes knowing about and being able to use grammar and vocabulary items. The communicative approach seeks to provide tasks in which learners use language to do the sorts of things they would do in their native language. Activity-based learning realizes that children learn by doing, exploring their interests and experimenting. Teaching through topics can draw on all three approaches. Learners are also using their own knowledge as well as learning something apart from the language.

Your course book uses topics to present and practice language and develop skills.

Click on the image below to see a large pdf version

Image of Access INTER(1-4)_leaflet_ part_a
      “Sample Page from Access 1″

Let’s take a topic – animals – and see how we can expand it.
We can firstly brainstorm around the topic and draw up a topic web from which we can select classroom activities relevant to our particular learners’ level, age, interests and needs.

Image of a Mind Map

Here are some specific ideas. I’m sure you can add to them.
* Compare different animals (faster / bigger than)
* Perform rhyme Incey Wincy Spider
* Sing song There was an old woman who swallowed a fly
* Match animals to origins
* Guess which animal I am (I live in… / I can… I eat…)
* List your 5 favourite / least liked animals
* Listen to story The hungry caterpillar/ How the leopard got its spots
* Survey who has what pets
* Complete crossword with animal names
* Watch nature documentary and note down how many animals you see
* Make models of animals
* Do a project on endangered species
* Imagine you are an animal. What would you be and why?
* Read and tell elephant jokes. Draw pictures to illustrate them