Posted in Recommended Websites

Habitica

Image credit: habitica.com

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

A few weeks ago a friend introduced me to this amazing app designed to boost personal productivity. It’s kind of a cross between a role-playing game, a tamagotchi and a to-do list. It’s pretty damn geeky but it works a treat!

Want to go to the gym or write a blog post every day? Habitica can help.You simply put all the good habits you’d like to start doing (and all the bad ones you’d like to stop) into the app and then every time you do them your avatar receives experience points or gold. As you level up you can equip yourself with better weapons, armour and pets that you can ride into battle against the bad habit monsters. You can team up with friends to do battle together and earn more rewards. As I said, it’s pretty geeky and probably not to everyone’s taste but in the week I’ve been using it I’ve flossed every day, written 5 blog posts and taken up a new sport!

Obviously you have to be honest about what you have and haven’t done but it has definitely given me a push to do things I would often put off or simply not do.

Applying it to language learning

It could be the push you or your students need to study some vocabulary or read for pleasure in their L2 outside class. Advise your students to set a target of 10 minutes reading or studying a day and see how they get on. I’ve done it myself and I’m currently on a 7-day streak of reading for pleasure in Spanish!

Check it out at: https://habitica.com

 

Posted in Recommended Websites

Playphrase.me Amazing Video Resource

Credit to my colleague Katy Wright for this great online resource.

Check out this amazing site. It allows you to search for specific phrases in a database of video clips from popular films and TV shows, like an online corpus of authentic spoken English. I can see tonnes of uses for this, primarily for presenting new vocab; can’t think of an example sentence for some vocab? Stick it in to playphrase.me and Doctor House, Ross from friends or even a Game of Thrones character will come out with one for you! Below is a search for the phrasal verb “put off”:

http://playphrase.me/en/search?q=put%20off&p=544841c309bd000ab757c725

Posted in Conversation Classes, Recommended Websites

Englishwithjo.com – Conspiracy Theories

Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

I’ve just recently found the excellent englishwithjo.com. It’s a great site full of engaging video based conversation activities. I’m going to do her new one on conspiracy theories with a proficiency class tomorrow. I’ve made a little worksheet with some extra vocabulary for higher levels. Download it below:

Conspiracy Theories

Posted in Conversation Classes, Exam Preparation Class, Recommended Websites

Macmillan’s free online resources are amazing!!

Thanks to my colleague Raquel Gomez for introducing me to Macmillan’s amazing database of resources:

http://www.macmillandictionary.com/learn/english-language-resources.html

She focused specifically on the pragmatics section in a seminar she recently gave in my school. She ran an experiment last year using the materials to boost scores for FCE and CAE speaking exams so I’m going to try them out for myself today, starting with this one on agreeing and disagreeing:

http://www.macmillandictionary.com/external/pdf/expressing-yourself-agree.pdf?version=2015-09-07-1650