EnglishClub Blog


News and views from EnglishClub - see Archives

Find EnglishClub on Google+

Google is rolling out vanity URLs. EnglishClub can now be found easily on Google+ with our NEW custom URL: google.com/+englishclub. Don’t forget to add EnglishClub to your circles so that we can add you back! Be sure to fill out your profile so that all of your Google+ contacts know which circles you belong in.

EnglishClub on Google +

Look to see if your favourite brand or celebrity has a Google+ vanity URL. Type google.com/+_______ (name) into your browser.


Rainbow Nation Colour Song

Are you ready to check out a new EnglishClub music video (with subtitles)? Rainbow Nation Colour Song, by Jonathan Taylor, is a catchy reggae tune about colours. Sing along as you watch and listen to the video. You can’t help but learn the colours!

Related on EnglishClub


#Vocabulary Tip

Are you a Twitter user? Twitter is a useful social media site for English learners. Set your language to English, and learn the language in small bites. One way to do this is to follow people who are using the #twinglish tag. Simply type the hashtag #twinglish into the search box. Then follow those people, or check out their tweets. Tweeters who use this hashtag are usually English learners or teachers.

Another useful hashtag on twitter is #vocabulary. Teachers and learning site managers often tweet words and expressions with a brief explanation. Sometimes there is a link to a more in-depth explanation. Dictionary sites also tweet new vocabulary definitions regularly. You will also notice mini quizzes and exercises in some #vocabulary tweets. Read on »


The I Song – A Reminder To Use Caps

EnglishClub’s new release, The I Song by Jonathan Taylor, is a fun reminder about the importance of capitalizing the letter I when it stands on its own. Even if  you’re chatting, texting, or writing a status update, it’s still a good idea to use capital letters properly. Take the time to use the shift key even in casual conversations. Then, when it’s time to write a business letter, exam, or essay, you won’t have bad habits.

Related on EnglishClub


The Alphabet Song For Rockers

EnglishClub has teamed up with singer, songwriter Jonathan Taylor to produce a new music video for English learners. The Alphabet Song for Rockers is now available on EnglishClub’s YouTube channel. Please share this video with your English language learning friends. If you’re an English language teacher, we hope you’ll practise this song with your students.

Stay tuned for more English language learning music videos by Jonathan Taylor (coming soon)!


This Week In History Now On YouTube

EnglishClub’s This Week in History resource is now available on YouTube. Listen to short history clips as you follow along with the captions. You will find 52 weeks of news from around the world.

After you listen to the report, try turning the audio down and reading the words as they come up on the screen. Can you read at the same pace? Which words do you stumble over? Listen again and keep practising until you feel confident with your pronunciation and pacing.

If you need help with the vocabulary, be sure to visit This Week in History on EnglishClub, where you can review the definitions for some of the more difficult words in each report.  You can also download the audio, try a quick quiz, and see a historic image that goes with the story. A new story is featured every Monday. The archives are also available.

Here is an example of a This Week in History video from the EnglishClub YouTube channel:

EnglishClub YouTube Channel


Listening Practice in American English

Helping English Learners Find Listening Materials

EnglishClub recently received a question from an English learner about finding listening materials. We wrote back to this learner, but thought we’d expand a bit on our blog in case any of you have the same question.

Q: Where can I find audio practice in American English on EnglishClub? 

A: You may have noticed that EnglishClub is written in British English. Our About page has the following explanation:

flagEnglishClub comes to you from England. It is written mainly in British English. But we have pages about other varieties of English such as American or Canadian. Don’t be surprised if you see a word that you think is wrongly spelled! Some words are spelled differently in British English and American English Read on »


Thank You Nadiyah

The EnglishClub Team would like to say a special thank you to MyEC member Nadiyah who has been our Photo Gallery Moderator for two years. Before Nadiyah became a volunteer, the MyEC photo gallery was a bit of a junkyard. It was full of photos that were copied from the Internet. Most photos had no titles or descriptions, and weren’t very useful for practising English. Slowly, but surely, Nadiyah began to teach members how to make the MyEC Photo Gallery a space for learning and practising English. She did this with patience, dedication, and creativity. Like any great teacher, she provided great models that members could use in order to follow the photo guidelines. Nadiyah also held several Photo Challenges on her MyEC blog. People who participated forgot that they were learning English as they played along. Nadiyah’s English also improved tremendously as she taught members how to practise English with images. Nadiyah’s blog is a treasure of ideas for English teachers. The photos she takes are always excellent as well.

Nadiyah is a busy woman and has asked for a break from her duties as a MyEC mod. We will miss her help so much but are so grateful for everything she has done to make MyEC a fun, safe and creative place for practising English. We hope to have a new Photo Mod starting soon, and Nadiyah will undoubtedly have some tips to share. Perhaps she will return to her volunteer position when life gets a little less hectic!

Nadiyah's Self Portrait

Nadiyah’s Self Portrait

We are also in the process of turning the MyEC Video Gallery into an organized space, and we have much to learn from Nadiyah.


MyEC Video Gallery

The MyEC Video Gallery is full of useful videos that you can use to learn or teach English. The EC team is now in the process of categorizing the collection to make it easier for you to find useful videos for specific purposes. Many of the members on our site use music videos with lyrics to practise English. The new system will help our Karaoke Group members find suitable videos to practise with. Other categories include Grammar videos and Pronunciation videos.  Click on the Videos tab to view all of the categories. All new videos that are uploaded by MyEC members will be categorized by admin before being approved. Read on »


5th Virtual Round Table Conference

Virtual Round TableThe Virtual Round Table is an annual web conference related to language learning with technologies. The conference is organized by  a small group of English language teachers and is free for all attendees and speakers. The event, which takes place in Adobe Connect, attracts a global audience and provides quality professional development and invaluable networking.

Last year the conference was nominated for an ELTon. The ELTons are awards that recognize innovative resources related to English language teaching. Speakers use webcams, slide presentations, screen sharing, and chat to interact with the attendees. At the VRT (#vrtwebcon on twitter) you will find many similarities to a face-to-face conference, including pecha kuchas, symposiums, parallel sessions, and keynotes. When technology fails, as it often does in a traditional conferences and classrooms, speakers (English language teachers) are challenged to carry on. The moderators and organizers did an excellent job of making everyone feel at ease.

Teachers who are considering submitting a speaking proposal for an international conference such as TESOL or IATEFL may want to consider presenting at a web conference first.

Recordings

I attended live sessions throughout the weekend, but missed many due to parallel sessions and time zone conflicts. Thankfully I’ve been able to watch many of the recorded sessions.  Viewers should note that the timing is not always perfect in these recordings. The slides may not match with the speaker’s voice, and at times, speakers may seem to speak over each other. While the recordings are not perfect, they are still a great way to find new tools, tips, and resources that you can use in the classroom.

Recommended Presentations

If you only have time for a few, here are some sessions from this year’s conference that I highly recommend.

Joe McVeigh: Improving Your Virtual Presentation Skills (Fantastic tips I’ll be using next time I present online.)
Symposium: Building your PLN (Learn all about #ELT Chat – an ELTons nominee for 2012)
Jennifer Verschoor: Jazz up your language classes with technology (Discover some great sites!)

EC’s Session: The Learning English Video Project (LEVP)

Learning English Video Project
At this year’s conference, I introduced teachers to the “Learning English Video Project”.  This is a unique 7-part series of documentary films about learning English in different countries around the world. The series is free to watch or download with or without subtitles, and  comes with teaching and self-study materials.  If you are unfamiliar with this project, you can watch the recording here. I have recently followed up with a Video Project Challenge. Please join in the fun!

Related LEVP Resources

Video Project
Interview with the Director
Director’s Blog
LVEP on YouTube