Saturday, 3 December 2011

MailVU - Mail you can view

What is it?
MailVU is another Web 2.0 tool which enables you to send video emails to anyone you prefer. It is absolutely simple and easy to use - what you really need are microphone and webcam, and of course the computer as well. With just a click, you can record your video to a maximum time of 10 minutes. If you ever feel dissatisfied with the outcome, you can always re-record the video. Also, the instruction is very straight forward that a primary school students would understand it straight away.

Suitable for:
Since MailVU is very easy to use, I would suggest that this tool can be used for students of all ages and levels.

Activity Suggestions:
This tool can be used to create a 'connected classroom' which is an approach of extending or connecting the activities in the classroom to the outside world by doing tasks at home. Therefore, the teachers should set a speaking task like a debate so that the students can record a video of them debating on certain issues. In this case, the students could be put in a group, and they will have to sit together, and record the video of them voicing their opinions. After that, they have to send the video to the teacher's email. Besides that, the students could also be asked to do a video about important people in their lives using MailVU.

The Link:


1) It's really easy to use, no hassle at all. You do not need to sign up to make a video. Most importantly, it is free!

2) Improve students' speaking skills. What else a video could offer? Well, using MailVU, the students could practice their speaking skills. Consequently, their fluency of speaking in English will also be improved.

3) A new method of doing homework. Not like a traditional-paper-stuff homework, now the students can enjoy doing homework using technology at their fingertips. And it is fun too!


1) It can't be downloaded to computers, and it can't be uploaded to blogs as well.

2) Since this tool requires video recording, it is not that suitable to be used in the classroom as there would be loads of background noises inside and outside of the classroom.

3) Inauthentic speaking activity. This could happen if the students write the text and memorise it before recording the video.

So, there are some good and bad things about this tool. Nevertheless, I think it is still worth experiencing. Try it first, then if the outcome is good, then why bother thinking about the disadvantages? Anyways, if you need more help, do refer to Russell Stannard's Brainshark.

The Link:

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Elllo English

What is it?
Hello hello elllo! This time around, I'd like to introduce a fabulous tool which is called Elllo English. It is one of the largest source for teaching and learning materials on the net. Now, how amazing is that? This tool allows the students to learn language naturally through listening to authentic materials. There are thousands and thousands of texts with interesting topics available on Elllo English. Those texts are divided into six main sections which are Views, Mixer, Games, Videos, Scenes and News. Additionally, there are two more sections under Mixer which are called Songs and Talking Points. In each section, there are a range of activities provided, with loads of additional stuff such as the transcription of the listening task, free MP3 files, multimedia, vocab tasks and language notes. The printable version of the activities are included as well. In addition, almost all texts are provided with audio explanations of vocabulary items. Besides that, the students could also benefited from video sharing, a feature that allows them to upload a video about their thoughts and opinions regarding certain text. Not only that, they could listen to other videos of people from all around the world sharing their opinions as well.

Suitable for:
I would say that Elllo English is suitable for secondary school and college/university students since the listening task might seem too complex for primary school students.

Activity Suggestions:
This tool is definitely could be used as a listening activity material. The teachers should choose the appropriate videos according to their students' levels. Additionally, the students could also be encouraged to use Elllo English outside school period so as to encourage towards greater learner autonomy.

The Snapshots:






Talking Points


1) Authenticity. This tool provides authentic materials of listening activities. The English language that are used in the videos are all real, and it is very important for students since they can learn how to use the language in their daily lives.

2) Pronunciation. Elllo English includes audio files for vocabulary pronunciation. This feature is so great because students can learn and practice the correct pronunciation of certain words. Moreover, the definition of the words are also provided, and thus will be useful for helping the students to thoroughly understand the texts.

3) Variety. Since this tool offers thousands of interesting topics, there will be a variety in language learning process. Thus, it will make the learning process more fun and enjoyable.


1) Server down. If there are too many users, the system will be overloaded and thus make the tool nonfunctional. It will surely distract the learning process.

2) Crowded layout. The layout is too packed and crowded. Sometimes, it is confusing as well since there are too many things sprawled on one page.

3) The videos cannot be downloaded. What a shame, because the videos are interesting.

Though there are some limitations of this tool, they are all not that worth concerning. So, teachers, go for it! Anyways, as usual, this is the help provided by Russell Stannard regarding Elllo English.

The Link: