Verbling: practice the language with native speakers

In this post, I want to talk you about Verbling, a website designed for students of English as a foreign language to get in touch with native English speakers from around the world and practice in real time. It is meant to be an exchange between you and your chat partner: 5 minutes for each language.

On top of that, if you don’t know what to talk about, the site itself gives you the possibility of choosing a topic you like and proposes a question that could help as a conversation starter. All you need is a mic, a webcam and an email address. About privacy, these guys are in control of everything and they will not provide any personal information to anybody. You should also remember not to do it yourself!

Ups, nearly forgot! This website is not meant for under 13.

English Central: A fun way of dealing with pronunciation.

 

http://www.englishcentral.com/en/videos

First of all, I must thank Maria from EOI Santa Brígida for the tip. English Central is a new attemp to make English Learning fun and effective. The idea is to watch a video, record your own voice repeating  the lines on the screen, then their speech recognition technology will analyze yours and give inmediate feedback. The aim is to help ESL students with their   pronuntiation by comparing their speech with that of a native. If you are a group of students who enjoy on-line gaming, you can also set a challange for your group and compete to see who is the best.  There are more features to this brilliant site, but I’d rather let you discover them by yourself. 

How to video chat easy and for free

 

Well, this is another one of Google ‘s brilliant ideas: the possibility of  having a face-to-face chat for free. And really easy to set up. There’s no excuse now not to have a proper conversation with those you like, love or both.What’s more, just imagine the great tool this could be to improve your speaking skills. Take a look at the video guide the guys from Google have made to introduce this fabulous tool. 

Grandmother’s guide to video

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>Pronunciar Ingles: An interesting blog to help with pronunciation

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Hello everyone! Hope you have had a nice start of the year. I bet in the resolutions for 2010 there is a place for your English learning. Know you well, don’t I? Well, I would like to introduce you to “Pronunciar Inglés”, a blog set by Iciar, a Spanish girl living in London who has decided to put an end to her problems with pronunciation and, therefore, helping others to do so. Aware of the difficulties Spanish speakers have with the sounds of English, she decided to devote her time to showing us how to improve our Achilles’ heel. “Pronunciar Inglés” is in Spanish and there you will find very useful tips, exercises and even videos leading to a better understanding of how the sounds of both languages work and help those with pronunciation problems and bad habits.

>Flashcards for the speaking exam

>Hello! The English department has already posted some links to a few documents with very helpful examples of flashcards for the oral exam. These stuff comes from the EOI in Valencia and looks pretty good. Here is the link to their blog. I know they’ll be of great use. See you.

>Carlos classroom- a wikispace for contribution

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Hello! Hope you have had a nice Easter break. After so much relax, it is time to get back to the cruel reality and start making your few neurons left work again. Remember that in the second half of the week, we are having the speaking exams planned for March. For that reason, I have decided to open a wikispace where you can find some flashcards in order to begin working as a group the details to be taken into account before we give a speech (vocabulary, main ideas, secondary ideas, etc.) Let’s do it all together, it’s much easier and we can all learn from each others’ contributions.

Here is the link to the wikipage

>Language Exchange via Skype

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Mixxer

I have already explained in class that there is a possibility for you to practice your speaking skills with native speakers. All you have to do is log on at The Mixxer, a free website where all those who are learning a foreign language advertise themselves searching for conversation partners. The rules are quite simple: half an hour in your language and another half in the partner’s one. Once, you start filling the application form to become a member, they will require a user name for Skype. Do not panic if you do not have any, you will find a link next to the box which will lead you to Skype’s website and start the process. Do not fear anything, nobody is going to steel your identity or do anything nasty to you. If you do not like what you see or hear. Turn the skype off and delete the contact. Dead easy!


>More interesting English blogs

>Hi there! Just about to start the weekend, isn’t it? But before we switch off I would like to introduce you to some good initiatives our colleagues from the EOI in Santa María de Guía have been running for a while and which you may find quite useful and handy. They are three different blogs, each of them devoted to the corresponding level and full of stuff to help you with your English. Below you have the links to each of them, don’t miss them!

>Fame Star

>Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying the stuff I’ve been posting here. Today, I would like you to become celebrities yourselves. You may be wondering how you are going to do it if you do not sing, act or have any special abilities, apart from driving your English teacher mad, no bitterness, and the answer is my famestar. It is a website where you can create your a celeb personality of your own and they do the rest. It is real fun! Below, you will find an example I have made up myself. I wwould like you to do one and send it to me so we can show it in the classroom and practise the autobiography. Hope to hear your stories soon.

Time Warner CableCreate your ownOddcast Powered

>VOKI, a way of practicing your speech.

>Hello, once more I’ve been browsing the Internet and came across this fantastic gadget which, I think, may help you with your speech competence. It is called VOKI and allows you to give your voice to a kind of cartoon character which you can “model” your way. Here you have an example I have created. Why don’t you try to create one and send it to me by email. I will publish it here and assess it. Looking forward to hearing your vokis.

AC_Voki_Embed(300,400, ‘fec5e192e4bc849cc56e77aa6c03b23c’, 1086465, 1, ”, 0);

Get a Voki now!