ETAS learning technologies

ETAS learning technologies blog

Archive for the ‘communication’ Category

Summer fun

Posted by Illya on 18 June 2013

After a long stretch of cold, wet weather, summer has started!

The digital storytelling workshop is blossoming into wonderful stories and ideas, and soon all will be out and living their own stories away from teaching English. Stories aren’t jsut for kids. Don’t we all love a good one? And they can be powerful if used thoughtfully for business English or other specific Englishes. One of the reasons why is that a good story is often based on a problem, and solving problems are a driving source of communication.

You can read more about digital storytelling in the ETAS journal or, f you are interested in looking into digital storytelling while hiding away from the heatwave, below are a couple of websites to browse.

Edtech teacher

educator technology

Using i-movie with i-pad

digital storytelling

Posted in communication, digital storytelling, etas, links, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Anel on 3 March 2013

Hello everyone,

As Illya told you in her last post, I’m joining this blog.

My name is Anel, I teach French and English as foreign languages in a private school in Lausanne.

In terms of professional development, two important things happened to me in 2012. First, I embraced my workshop addiction and started going to as many teacher training events as I could. Second, I did a CELTA course in IH London and started a Delta preparation course shortly afterwards.

As a result, my head is almost always spinning with questions and ideas about learning and teaching. I’m happy that Illya gave me a chance to share some of them!

Things that I will most probably blog about:

  • past and upcoming workshops;
  • ideas for classroom experiments;
  • ELT community buzz in general – names, videos, websites, etc.

Posted in communication | Leave a Comment »

E-books: a new generation of digitality

Posted by Illya on 23 August 2010

Just these past days I’ve been reading link after link of new e-books, written more than not by teachers for their students.

Here are just a couple.

Dead in Dublin by Jeremy Taylor, and here a short exerpt (taken from the website):

Dead in Dublin, a fast moving murder mystery based in modern Dublin. Milan Schwab, a Czech language student dies in his American teacher’s classroom. Daniel, the teacher, tries to piece together how he died – and most importantly, who killed him.

Here are more books by the author:

And here is something for smaller children: Sandcake

And here are books for kids to read along . The stories are read by kids and word for word is highlighted as it is read out loud.

And here is one more for kids with a bit of an extra touch:  Zooburst

These days iphones and other smartphones are becoming more and more popular. Computers are in every classroom, no longer just in the computer labs, and reading material has become extremely accessible on different kinds of media, and smartboards are slowly becoming the new standard.

All this will most certainly have an effect on our learners and how we can help them learn, so it is good to know what materials there are to use on them.

If you happen to have experience in using them in the classroom, please leave a comment and tell us about it.

Posted in communication, Tools, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

AGM 2010 – Biel Coming this January!!

Posted by Illya on 3 January 2010

Welcome to 2010, and I hope this year will be a fabulous one!!!

Well, it’s starting out with a bang.

Closest to home is the AGM in Biel on 30-31st January.

It is full of interesting workshops on everything from vocabulary and grammar to drawing and drama, and of course technologies and specific interests.  Two less common exam formats in Switzerland are being looked at in more depth – the IELTS and the PTE  (previously London Test of English), and exercises are being made interesting while learners learn to learn.

It’s too late to register on-line. but you can certainly come and register on-site.

You can find more information about it here.

Posted in communication, etas, Workshops | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Follow-up of ETAS SIG day Reading into writing workshop

Posted by Illya on 13 September 2009

FIrst of all, a big thanks to Fiona Joseph, who gave us an excellent workshop.

It was the second of two to be given through Skype and with a pre-recorded presentation.

You can find the pre-recorded part below, but you will need Flash installed to ensure it works properly. There are also all the links mentioned during the workshop.

Flo-joe for ETAS

One of the links that we looked at is LibraryThing but there is another social network for books at Shelfari.

We discused how to include literature in the classroom and agreed to share any experiences, problems and ideas as comments to this post. I am looking forward to your input!

Posted in communication, links, online conference, podcast, Podcasts, presentation, relevant sites, Tools, Uncategorized, Workshops | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Twitter again

Posted by Illya on 26 June 2009

If you’ve been reading here, you’ll see that my tweets seem pretty disconnected,but if you begin following others, you will see conversations, information, news, music, and of course, a lot of noise mixed in.

And now, some of the experiences I’ve had with twitter:

While on a trip to the States, I was tweeting for my students. When I mentioned my visit to South Carolina, I got a tweet about the local culture of Gullah, which I naturally shared with my class.

A friend wished me a good time during my trip.

Others welcomed me back home (on twitter??)

I found a great link to a lesson plan about Susan Boyle just as I was contemplating what to do in the next lesson.

And I’ve found many a relevant link about other topics.

Graham Stanley and I negotiated his workshop at the last SIG day.

There was a discussion about the appropriacy of twitter for primary school, and a better tool for this purpose was mentioned (

I have completed a survey for someone writing a paper, linked and thanked for through twitter.

Last night I went onto Twitter and learned that Farrah Fawcett had died only a couple hours before. Of course, she was an icon in my youth, not just because of Charlie’s Angles. Shortly after, it was on the news, but I’d heard it before!

and I JUST read that Micheal Jackson has also died. That makes 2 icons in 2 days. I don’t know exactly when he did, but I just saw the news on twitter.

So here are just a few ways. You have to get used to the noise, but you do get a feel for what’s going on in the world if you are prepared to listen.

New task if you are on twitter: On the right there is a box that says ‘Direct messages’. Click on it and send me a private message (illyac). Only I’ll be able to see it, so you can see there is room for privacy as well.

Oh, and here’s a song from one of my fellow twitterers – fresh off the press!

Posted in communication, links, Uncategorized | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

What the tweet is twitter?

Posted by Illya on 15 June 2009



In the months of June/July I will spend a bit of time looking at twitter, what can be done with it, and maybe even encourage a couple of you readers to join the club if you haven’t already.

There have been several articles in the newspapers recently which mention twitter and question whether it is the next big thing or just another passing hype. Reason enough to have a closer look!

First, what is it? It is a web-based tool in which you can share up to 140 characters (including spaces) with your followers. And you can follow other people and see what they write. I’ve added my own rss feed on the side and will try to be consciencious and update regularly (also known as to tweet), showing the different ways of use.

How is it used? Well, one of the reasons for all the headshaking as to why it is so popular is that many people use it simply to inform the world of what they are doing at any single moment. It seems to many that this is very voyeuristic and more like a public diary. Probably the most oftenly asked question concerning twitter is :


I asked this myself and thought this is certainly a bandwagon I’m NOT jumping on. However, curiosity got the better of me and now I too am on twitter.

Here are some of the ways it can be used:

  • to find relevant websites that others are tweeting or to share websites with others
  • to give live summaries (using a cell phone) during conferences or other such events. – this is becoming more and more frequent, even among politicians in meetings or during football games!
  • to get advice and information. You can send out a call for help and if there are many people following you, the chances are pretty big that someone will be able to help out.
  • to share bits of information with others. You can make groups and share information within these groups, but more on how to do that later.
  • to keep in touch with colleagues from all over the city/country/world, forming an occupational network. An example of what a great resource this is can be seen when Susan Boyle was in Britain’s got talent. Within a week there were lesson plans for how the youtube video and her experience could be used for language lessons!
  • to share what you are doing while you are on holiday. If you have a blog or website, you can add the rss feed (see blogging 101) and your students, friends and family can be informed – a continuous postcard!
  • to get your students to write. 140 characters aren’t many and a certain amount of skill is needed for language learners to be eable to express themselves clearly in so few words. It can be used for creative writing or for summaries. Obviously, they need to be on twitter too, but you can do twitter virtually (in this case, on paper :-D)

I’m not the only one who has written about twitter. A very good article is on Larry Ferlazzo’s blog. He also goes into depth, and I’m sure there will be quite a bit of overlap, but I’ll also try to give examples in the next couple of posts.

If you’ve decided to join and check it out, feel free to follow me too. I’m illyac. Let me know that you are from ETAS so I don’t end up blocking you, and I’ll gladly follow you too! If there are enough ETAS members on twitter, then I’ll set up a twitter group later on. And remember, the more people you follow, the more useful it will become to you.

Tweet tweet 🙂

Posted in communication, links, Tools, Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Brush up on technology in the New Year

Posted by Illya on 19 December 2008

I’d like to invite you, dear reader, to an excellent opportunity to expand your technology skills and get new ideas for teaching using technology and blended teaching.

Every year a group of educators called the Webheads offer a number of courses free of charge online between mid-January and mid-February. These experienced people are devoted to passing on their knowledge and helping others come to grips with new technology. It is here that I too have learned so much and made so many contacts around the world.

Have a look around, and I hope to see you there in the new year!

Don’t worry, there is something for everyone and even true beginners in this area. AND you get a chance to meet some of the most wonderful people (next to the ETAS gang, of course :-))

And here is the official invitation:

The CALL Interest Section of the international TESOL
professional association is pleased to offer the
opportunity to participate in the Electronic Village
Online (EVO) 2009 sessions. This is a professional
development project and virtual extension of the TESOL
2009 Convention in Denver, CO . The intended audience
for this project includes both TESOL 2009 participants
and those who can participate only virtually.

You do not need to be a TESOL member to participate in
a free, six-week, wholly online session of the EVO,
Jan 12 -Feb 22, 2009. Please visit our Announcement
Web page to select one among the various offerings.

Yours in TESOL,

The EVO coordination team

Posted in blogs, communication, links, online conference, presentation, relevant sites, Tools, wiki, Workshops | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Another school year, another learning opportunity

Posted by Illya on 25 August 2008

The school year has begun once again and the next SIG day is already drawing near.

So I’ll take this opportunity to consider new ideas for the ETASblog.

First, what is this blog for?

Blogs are meant to be interactive, and all you need to do is to click on the ‘comments’ button to make your word heard.

Are you happy with the information on the blog? Would you like to see the development of other topics here? Do you think there should be more frequent or less frequent updates?

Or do you simply agree with, appreciate, or disagree with anything written here? Would you like to have guests featured here?

It’s up to you to tell me so that I can make this blog a useful platform for all you ETAS (and non-ETAS) members. Just go to the bottom of the post. Here you will find the button to push. It only says ‘no comments’ until one is left there.

I also have a series lined up for this year which I’ll call ‘What is…?

Here I’d like to look at different tools on your computer and on the internet which may be useful in teaching or for your professional development.

If there are any specific tools you’d like to see, you know which button to push!

So stay tuned for the first ‘What is…?’ entry coming soon.

Posted in communication, Tools | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Exeter follow-up 2

Posted by Illya on 22 April 2008

Join Exeter on-line homepage to watch and listen to 15 different workshops and numerous interviews, inlcuding one from a dear friend, who says why SIGs are so important in IATEFL. You could certainly say the same applies for ETAS!

Here are a few more I hope you will enjoy.

Marion WIlliams, President of the IATEFL, introduces people responsible for bringing EXETER to you on-line. A big applause!!!

Gavin Dudeney and Julian Wing talk about the future of EXETER ONLINE . We really appreciate your work guys!

Here’s a truly international interview for you. I really enjoy the enthusiasm of this multicultural group. In these interviews with Hornby scholars you will get an idea of some of the workshops which took place and the research they are involved in.

And here is one about gender issues by Silvija and Jaroslaw.

Of course, there are many more, and I hope you will have a look at them. I’ll add another post with more links in the meanwhile.

Posted in communication, links, online conference, videos, Workshops | Tagged: | 1 Comment »