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Archive for the ‘Vocabulary’ Category

Perhaps you are already aware of this, but there are some new tricks in Internet Explorer 8, and one of them in particular might be of assistance to language learners. I recently attended a workshop given by one of my colleagues, Nancy Woodard. She specializes in and teaches technology. One of the things she talked about was using Accelerators. Her explanation was very helpful and clear, and so I asked her if I could add her explanation to this blog. She very kindly said yes. Nancy explains Accelerators in Internet Explorer 8 as follows:

“Internet Explorer, or IE for short, is Microsoft’s browser. A new feature in IE8 is Accelerators. Highlight a word or phrase on a web page and the blue arrow accelerator icon will pop up. Click on the Accelerator to quickly do things without copy-paste, and without navigation to other sites. Need to map an address? Highlight the address and use a mapping accelerator. Want to define a word? Install your favorite dictionary as an accelerator. Would you like to forward a link? Accelerators can help you do this quickly. Need to translate a word? Easily translate with Bing translator or many other translators.”

This feature will enable students to highlight a word and quickly

  • access a definition in English
  • access translations into other languages
  • view images associated with the word by choosing an internet search and then selecting images
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peanutbutterandjellyWelcome to a post by my very first guest blogger — Diana Booth! Diana is one of my colleagues and she recently gave a really interesting  presentation on wikis at the Illinois TESOL/BE conference. I thought you would enjoy seeing one of the examples of how she uses wikis with her students. In case you are wondering, the sandwich to the left is a reference to pbwiki (peanut butter wiki). This is the wiki farm that Diana uses and she filled me in on the peanut butter part — very cute.

Now here’s Diana:

This wiki was used to help students practice new vocabulary. They were studying some of the Academic Word List words, and in addition to in-class practice activities, they had to find native speakers and ask them to use the vocabulary words in simple sentences. The idea was for the students to hear the words used in the most natural contexts.  Also, to have a reason to approach native speakers (and possibly make friends) and to have fun :). Since there were students who did not feel comfortable using computers and since I couldn’t provide my students with native speakers (in case they didn’t have any American friends or colleagues), this activity was done for extra credit. The students who participated enjoyed it very much. Our class ended late at night, and many times by the end of the very next day, new sentences had already been added. I had 3-4 “regular writers.” This wiki also provided a good opportunity for self-reflection. When students realized how many words they had learned, it made them feel better about themselves and about the class as well.  If you would like to see this wiki, please go to Wiki to Work on Vocabulary. To see the front page of the wiki go to Diana Booth’s Wiki.

Source for the Photo:

Cornet, Renee. PBJ. Downloaded on February 26, 2009 from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PBJ.jpg.

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