Category Archives: English Language

Using Pocket In Education

Pocket is an application which allows a person to save articles for reading it later. Over the last one year, it has been one of my most favourite application. It has helped me to become a much better reader. It has a neat and beautiful interface and its very easy to use. The aim of this article is to explain how it can be used on a personal note and how it can be implemented in the classroom environment.

Installing Pocket on your mobile devices

Android users can install it from the playstore

iPhone and iPad users can install it from the iTunes store.

Install pocket just like any other software and create and account. Remember pocket offers two types of accounts, free and premium. Free users can add upto 999 articles, more can be added, but it will be stored as archives, you can also access them by searching in archives. Premium users can add articles which are not at any limit, however the advantage is that premium users can build a permanent library of articles.

Installing Pocket on your Desktop

A dedicated mac version is available at the Pocket website.

However if you have a widows desktop, you need to set it up by Using Google chrome. If you don’t have Google Chrome, then install it. Then go to the chrome store and install pocket, it is a standalone application which can be run on your desktop as long as you have google chrome installed on your desktop or laptop.

Install pocket from the Chrome Website

Pocket App

After installing the pocket application for Chrome then you need to install the pocket extension for chrome so that you will be able to save articles from any website.

Install the pocket extension from the Chrome Store.

Save

 

Take a look at the picture above and note the red icon in the top right corner, after installing the extension, you will find that icon, now when ever that icon, the current page that you are viewing will be added to chrome.

Please do not that the save to pocket extension is available for Firefox as well, i haven’t used Opera or Windows explorer in a longtime, therefore i do not know whether its available or not.

Saving Articles

From Your Android Device

Go to the share button on any news application and select add to pocket, and it will automatically save it to pocket, and it will be downloaded, in all the devices, that you have it installed, provided that they are using the same account.

Screenshot_2015-01-07-10-05-31

 

Saving articles from your iOS devices

Select the share button and add to pocket ( iOS 8 only) in iOS 7 and earlier you need to copy the web link and paste it to the pocket application.

Note : the articles that you add can be tagged, into various categories that you may prefer, this will make it easier to search later, when your library becomes bigger

ipad pocket

 

Now that, pocket is setup on your personal devices, let me share a few ideas how it can be used in the classroom environment.

A place where all the students and teacher share articles

An English teacher could create, a seperate account for his/ her classroom. It could be setup in a away which is feasible for the teacher. In some cases, where the students are well mannered and disciplined and if the teacher feels that the students will not do any abuse, i feel that the teacher can share the account with the students, this way while at home, students can add the interesting articles that they come across, in the meantime, when they are using the same account, they will also see the articles which are shared by their friends. However in order to do this, there should be a good understanding between the teacher and the students, cause a student may share an age irrelevant materials as-well. Therefore, it can also be controlled by the teacher, if the teacher feels that an issue like that may arise.

In the computer lab, as a library of articles

Here i am guessing that all the computers in the school computer lab will be in the same network, the setup is very easy. Just install the Pocket application and extension on all the computers and sign in by using the same account. If all the computers are connected to the internet, it will download the article automatically.

This can be setup as a reading program for the students, teachers can do this along side a dictionary, when students are reading they can check the words as well for the meanings. When the students come on their specified time, all the students will be seeing the same articles cause the same account is used on all computers.

Here, the English Department can select and add the articles.

Hope this is helpful, any comments and suggestions are more than welcome.

Using Umano In The Classroom

A few weeks back i discovered an application named Umano. The main feature of the application is that it has many newspaper articles which are narrated by real people. The good thing is that most of the articles are famous articles from some of the most widely read newspapers on the planet, and also it contains a wide variety of topics, therefore these narrated articles can be used perfectly in the classroom. From the articles that i have listened, i can say that all of the articles are narrated by professionals in the field of narrating. The main aim of this writing is to explain to most of you how it can be used.

Android, iPhone Or Web Based

The app is available in all of the above platforms. Install the application on your device, it is the same as installing any other application.

Android users click here…! Umano On The Playstore

iPhone users click here…! Umano On The iTunes Store.

Or if you simply prefer the website go here… Umano.me

Now all you need to do is create an account with Umano, once the application is installed.

Downloading The Audio Files…..!

Umano offers two types of the accounts, free and premiums, unfortunately downloading the audio files is a feature that is only limited to the premium users. With that in mind, unless you have a premium account, there is no way to download the articles into your mobile device while using the application, however if you are using the website, then you can download the tracks, provided that you have installed Internet Download Manager.

Now install internet download manager the same way as you would install any other software on your desktop.

When you have successfully installed internet download manager, it will enable you to download, videos and audios from any website, therefore please make you that you have the latest firefox or chrome web browser installed on your computer.

Now select an article from the Umano website and press the play button. Take a look at the picture below.

Untitled

Now if you have successfully integrated internet download manager into your web browser you will see a very small window in the browser like this.

ddd

Click on it and it will start downloading the audio file.

Now that you have the audio file, you need to find the real written article. It only takes a a while when you do a little bit of magic on google.

The article in the above screen-shot ” Waiting To Live To 100? Here’s What You Should Be Eating Right Now’, the source of the article is the telegraph. So on google you can type like this.

” Waiting To Live To 100? Here’s What You Should Be Eating Right Now’,  the telegraph” and i’m sure you will find the original article.

Here is the result that i got.

Telegraph

Now you have the article and the narrated audio file. Why not spend sometime, preparing some comprehension questions or a listening excercise.

Hope everyone find this guide useful.

Any issues, send me a comment and i’ll get back to you.

 

43 Reading Comprehensions For Grade 4

esl-150x150

These are 43 reading comprehensions that i have made during the course of 2014. As i am already working on a new set of them for 2015, i have no intention of keeping this file for my own use.

Most of the texts have been taken from new Cutting Edge, new Headway books and so on. There might be a few typing errors here and there….!

It was made to expose my fourth grade students to various texts which contain various information about various things! I hope that the readers will find it useful! Most of the texts can be used for grades 3, 4 and 5 depending on the standard of the students!

Download it here…!

 

ESL Summary Writing Exercises

 

esl-150x150Here are 13 summary writing exercises, these have been typed from Marian Barry Books. I know that many teachers photocopy these from either a scanned book or the original, which makes the quality worse, and sometimes difficult to read.

Any teacher who wishes to have the original word document file, may share an equivalent work in return.

Download it here…!

ESL – Note Making Exercises

notetaking

Here are 15 ESL note making exercises, which can be used for both core and extended level students. They have been taken from Marian Barry Books and typed into a perfectly formatted PDF file. Since I have already done all these exercises with my students, I really have no need of keeping this work for myself.
I know that many of you photocopy these exercises from the books and they are difficult for the students to read due to the quality of the photocopy or the scanned material. This will resolve your problems in that area.
Please note that the articles have been proof read by me and there might still be minor typing errors.
Any teacher who wishes to, have the original word document file may share an equivalent work in return.
Download it here….!!!!

November 2014 ESL Tracks

esl-150x150Here are the tracks of the latest November 2014 papers. In order to decrease the upload size, i have converted the tracks to 64 kbp/s mp3 files. However, since it has been ripped from the original CD’s the quality is more or less the same.

Click on the links below to download the tracks.

Core Paper 32

Question 1-6

Question 7

Question 8

Question 9

Question 10

Click here to download the paper.

 

Extended paper 42

Question 1-6

Question 7

Question 8

Question 9

Question 10

Click here to download the paper.

 

November 2014 English As A Second Language Papers

esl-150x150Here are the November 2014 Cambrdige IGCSE English As A Second Language Papers, the papers have been scanned at 600DPI and converted into OCR, so that users can copy the text, however due to the large file size of the PDF files, i have optimised the files, but don’t worry the PDFs are still perfectly readable.

The Tracks For The Listening Papers Will Be Published Soon.

 

Paper 12 Reading and Writing Core

Paper 22 Reading and Writing Extended

Paper 32 Listening Core

Paper 42 Listening Extended