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Tag archives for englishcentral

“Functional” Videos


Language functions are a great way to focus student learning on communication. Showing students and having students study examples of language in use, language used to actually do and accomplish and communicate is a great methodology. EnglishCentral now has many videos focused on all the important language functions. Greetings, talking about family, apologizing, using the […]

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Kinetic Typography Generator


I’ve long been a fan of KT – Kinetic Typography, videos where the text is displayed in a “contextual” and visually appealing fashion. Find Here or many of my favs, all collected for teachers to use. This one is a beautiful example. Made with Adobe Affect Effects, it isn’t for 99% of teachers, even the […]

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Get students practicing by embedding EnglishCentral videos


I was speaking with a few teachers this weekend and found out that though they are enthusiastic supporters of EnglishCentral, they didn’t know that they could embed EC videos on their moodle and get students practicing the videos right there! Yes, it is that simple. Put them on a class wiki or your blog. Teachers won’t […]

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Pronunciation and Vocabulary Courses (like you’ve never seen before)

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Today, EnglishCentral released the first version of their Pronunciation and Vocabulary courses. They’ll be making some changes and additions as they go along but what they have right now is just “out of this world” and a great leap forward in how students can both gain clear pronunciation and build academic vocabulary quickly. Join my […]

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Video Courses For All – Coming Soon!

I wear many teaching hats. Besides my courses at the university teaching education & schooling and tending to EFL Classroom 2.0 and my own online school, most of my waking hours are spent working with video for language teaching through EnglishCentral. I’m keen and bullish on this approach to learning/teaching a language – authentic video […]

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All my “tech”books

I like the term “tech”books. I’ve been busy the last couple of years creating lots of free books for teachers, books meant to bypass the clutter of the textbook vultures out there. Kind of born of my angst against how textbook culture (and it is a culture, so many are so deep into it, so […]

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Hitler Reacts to poor language teaching

I’ve previously blogged about the “Hitler Reacts” series of remixes. It’s a great activity for students and I finally got to making my own video remix, about textbooks. Here it is. Thoughts welcomed and I’ll comment more later and relate more about how I feel about textbooks. Get a glimpse of how I feel in […]

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Listening Practice Made Easy

Listening is a very under taught skill by almost every teacher. It really should be a focus and is such an important part of language learning. I’ve written a popular post offering a lot of suggestions on how to do this – however I can’t think of anything easier than using EnglishCentral‘s “hidden challenge” function. […]

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“Listen In” to student audio

This week, EnglishCentral released their “Listen In” feature. Now, not only can students “speak” youtube videos, teachers can also listen in and provide assessment and feedback to their students. I’m not going to outline how to access this. Just register as a teacher, sign up students and then find this on your Teacher Tools reports […]

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My Perfect Classroom

{ I originally published this in Barbara Sakamoto’s wonderful blog – Teaching Village. I revive it here because I think its message is pertinent and important. } “The problem with our profession is that there is too much teaching and not enough learning”. I said this recently during a discussion and I think it is […]

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Extensive Watching

The last few years, I’ve been very focused on the role and possibility of video in the classroom. Thus, my recent work developing EnglishCentral and my focus on the potential of a “Flipped Classroom“. I had an interesting skype discussion with Dan Soriano (@danhummsoriano ) at the BC in Mexico City. He’s thinking of adopting […]

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EnglishCentral: What’s coming. Part II

This continues the first post about forthcoming changes to EnglishCentral – the website that gets students motivated through authentic video and speaking. EnglishCentral I must admit, is slowly becoming a powerful “video corpus”. Imagine taming the unruly thing that is youtube so that it might be easily used in class. Pull out any grammar term […]

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EnglishCentral – what’s coming

As an “insider”, I’m privy to a little of what is going on at EnglishCentral.  The team has really been working overtime and coming up with some fantastic changes that will be in a new release. Here’s my insider’s sneak preview! I hope you like the new look and changes. Please comment and let us […]

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The Video Teaching Revolution

My work over the years has brought me into thinking heavily about the role of video in language instruction. Even more so now with my work with EnglishCentral. I’m a big fan of video and have been from the get go. I saw its power as a university T.A. – tramping around the campus showing […]

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On and Off (line) materials

Part of my job as a materials developer and consultant involves thinking through the role, purpose and process of combining online and offline learning. How do you link what physically happens in the class with what is possible online? Where are the borders? How to facilitate the transition and support of these two media? It’s […]

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Teaching Online – some tips….

I’ve been doing lots of work with EnglishCentral – helping them develop strong teacher tools and support. Slow but sure! (and if you have used EnglishCentral as a teacher – fill out our survey and get an incredible coursebook for your few minutes of time!) Here, I outline some tips for using EnglishCentral as a […]

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Using Technology to teach Speaking

I recorded my talk at the recent KOTESOL National Conference – Getting Students Speaking: Harnessing the Power of New Technologies. It’s a pretty comprehensive overview of online tools and technologies. Here’s the presentation of only the websites (click the images to go to that website). Thanks to Aaron and all the hard working Kotesol organizers […]

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Blended Learning – EnglishCentral Style

I’ve made a very beta coursebook for beginning level learners. It uses a set of EnglishCentral videos which the students can then use for practicing their speaking using their state of the art speech recognition technology. Teachers can use the videos in class, along with the book. The exercises are very simple. One – personalizing […]

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Embedding and Hidden Challenge on EnglishCentral

EnglishCentral, a site where student can practice “speaking” English using authentic videos and “hip” content – just got better. I’ve been working closely with the EnglishCentral team and you can expect more developments along the lines of sharing and social media. Also, being able to search and use this powerful “video corpus”. You’ll be able […]

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Using the Guinness World Records book as a “textbook”

I am writing today about something I STRONGLY feel. Not stepping on anyone’s toes in particular but forgive my own passion in advance. Today, I’d like to publicly advocate my detest with textbooks and in particular, the gross deficit of thought, creativity, respect for learners, price gouging, addiction and lack of reality that most, if […]

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