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Showing posts from March, 2013

Making Word Clouds Part 2

In a previous post I mentioned Wordle, a web 2.0 tool that creates beautiful clouds from words. There is another online application  Tagxedo, which offers even more variety of shapes and colours and can even create a cloud from a url, a twitter or a facebook acount. Here is a cloud I made from my blog:

If you are looking for ideas for using these applications in the EFL classroom you can visit Christina Martidou's blog. But I am sure that you can come up with some ideas of your own!...

Prezi: The Answer to Producing Collaborative Presentations.

Prezi is a web-based Presentation application which offers more flexibility and allows for more creativity compared to PowerPoint while the results can be really stunning. Among its many advantages there is one that is of particular interest to us EFL teachers (and teachers in general): Prezi allows you to collaborate with others on the same presentation thus making it a great tool for project work. It provides you with a link which the students can use so they can work at their own pace and time. Bear in mind that they first have to create an account and that the link expires after a week. Moreover the presentations you create remain online and anyone can see them unless you pay a subscription. If you don't mind that, Prezi is worth experimenting with. Below you can see the result of my experimentations, which are my idea of inviting my students to work on our next eTwinning task.

Twinspace chat

On the 21st March the Italian, the Polish and the Greek eTwinning teams arranged to meet on Twinspace for a chat and an interview on pop music. At 19:00 local time (18:00 for Italy and Poland) about 15 students and their teachers, Ms Lucyna Dlubak and Ms Alessia Marcon, had the opportunity to use English for real communication, to get to know each other better and come closer. The chat lasted for more than an hour and a half, and although it was an "after school activity", and even "exhausting" for some, we all agreed that it was a unique experience. Many students made new Facebook friends and even came back for more the next day! The students who took part were awarded with a special certificate in recognition of their work.

Making Word Clouds

Our first mission in our eTwinning project was to answer the question "What does Music mean to you?". So what did we do? We brainstormed words and concepts that came to our minds hearing the word Music. We put most of these words in our poster.
Recently I've heard about Wordle an online application that generates "word clouds" from words you provide. I put all the words we came up with in it and this is the result:

The wordclouds are editable (you can change the font, the direction of the words and the colours) and they are printable. They make a cheap and fun way to decorate the classroom and can help students recall and consolidate new vocabulary.

BBC's Word on the Street

BBC has produced a series of videos for learners of English called Word on the Street. What makes it interesting and different compared to older series is the fact that the language presented is everyday, natural English, spoken in a variety of accents. Learners are also given the chance to travel around England, like Oxford and Blackpool, and discover how young people live there. Each short video explores a different topic like music, art, sports etc and analyses different grammatical phenomena. Extracts from these videos together with online comprehension tasks can be found on

eTwinning Project: Where Words Fail, Music Speaks

The students of B4 in the Philipeio-1st Gymnasium of Veria are currently working on an eTwinning project titled: Where Words Fail, Music Speaks. We have teamed with Publiczne Gimnazjum Nr5 in Kluczbork, Poland and Scuola Media Statale in Pianiga, Italy. The students have introduced themselves, their schools and their towns using Powerpoint Presentaions.



School Chronicles: A student's Blog

Students from the A5 and B4 classes of the 4th Lyceum of Veria worked on a blog where they shared their school experiences as well as their extracurricular interests and hobbies. The project ran throughout the school year (2011-12) and despite the difficulties, namely our inexperience concerning the creation and maintenance of a blog, the result was more than satisfying. A warm thank you to all the students who worked for it even if it was by just voting or commenting on posts. The blog is now closed, but you can find it in