Tuesday, 24 March 2009


Gandhi was born in Porbandar, India, on October 2nd 1869. His father died when he was still a teenager. At the age of 13 he married Kasturba Gandhi who was three years younger and the marriage lasts for 62 years until her death in 1944.

As a young man Gandhi left India to study law in London. Then he spent two decades working in South Africa securing rights for Indian expatriates. It was during this time that his political reform through non-violence which he called Satyagraha was born. This movement meant resistance of tyranny through mass civil disobedience, firmly founded upon ahimsa, total non violence, which led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. This way, when he returned to India, Mohandas Gandhi emerged as a political and religious leader in the fight for independence from Great Britain and was accorded the country's Father of the Nation. India freed itself from Britain on August 15th, 1947. Five months later, on January 25th, 1948 Gandhi was shot by a conservative Hindu.

Saturday, 7 March 2009


“LIFE IN 2050”

Level : Form 4 (Intermediate and advanced)
Time : 70 minutes

Aims :

By the end of the lesson, students should be able to obtain, process and use information from the website and present the information in written form through posting it in Yahoo! Group.

Technical Requirements:

One computer per 2-3 students, with an Internet connection and a web browser. Each student or group should have joined the class Yahoo!Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/o_emp



1. Locate site offering information on life in 2050.

2. Check site before the lesson.

3. Make sure students have joint the Yahoo! Group

4. Prepare task and worksheet to be answered by students


1. Teacher asks students to describe how the world would be like in 2050.

2. Teacher relates the discussion to today’s lesson.

3. Students are sent to the chosen website

(http://articles.famouswhy.com how_will_life_in_2050_be_like_/)

4. Teacher instructs students to read the article ‘How will life in 2050 be like?’ by Cristina Nuta.

5. Using the worksheet given, students are asked to extract main ideas from the text.

6. Teacher discusses the exercise with the students.

7. Each group is then asked to sign-in the Yahoo! Group and follow the instruction posted.

8. Teacher guides each group.

9. Every message will be first read by the teacher (the administrator of the group) before being approved and posted in the group.

10. Teacher discusses with students the activity conducted.

Follow-up activity:
Step 7 is not expected to be finished in the classroom. Student are given 2-day duration for them to post their answer.

* In the next lesson, students are to write an essay on the same topic based on the extracted main ideas, yet in their own version of writing.


Hi students! I'm sure that all of you have read the article `How will life in 2050 be like?' by Cristina Nuta. I believe all of you have already mastered the main ideas presented in the article.

Now, I want you to state your agreement or disagreement on one of the main ideas written in the article. Do state your reason(s) why you choose to agree or disagree upon certain points discussed in the article. You may also add any other relevant supporting details that could be reached by your imagination! Be creative!

Your answer must at least be 80 words in length.

Let me show you a sample of how you should go about doing it...

Main Idea 3: Transportation in 2050

It is stated in the article that cars will run on new, clean fuels and they will go very fast. Cars will have computers to control the speed of the car and there won't be any accidents. I totally DISAGREE with this statement. I strongly believe that human factor is the greatest determinant in causing road accident, regardless how wonderfully-technology-equipped the car is. However, I agreed that one day the computer will control the car and drive it to our destination…..

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Another PREVIOUS Lessons...

It's due to uploading problem that i have to create a new post...

Other exercises with HOTPOTATOES...



PREVIOUS lessons...

Hi everyone...

It has been two weeks we learn creating exercises using hotpotatoes. Here is one of them ...



Today, I learn creating a crossword puzzle using HotPotatoes. It's interesting! Let's take a look at it...

Sunday, 8 February 2009


Website name : ENGLISH MEDIA LAB
Website URL : http://www.englishmedialab.com/
Targeted user : ESL LEARNERS

1. What does the application attempt to teach?

The application attempts to teach Basic English language for English-as-a-second-language (hereafter ESL) learners. It covers areas like vocabulary, communication (listening and speaking), grammar as well as pronunciation. Besides that, this site also provides lessons related to survival and business English.

2. What sorts of things is the application user expected to do with regards to learning the content?

The targeted users, ranging from children to adults and from beginners to advanced learners, are expected to listen to and watch the videos provided in learning the lessons. The lessons are theme based and skill-level based, in which users are free to choose their own learning content, based on their schemata or knowledge that they have already acquired. While watching the video, the learners are expected to listen and repeat the words and verbal expressions shown and articulated.

Besides learning English through videos, the users are also expected to try out the exercises available. The quizzes and tests provided are based on learners’ proficiency levels (beginner, elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate, advanced and business English). This shows that this website caters to all ESL learners regardless of their command of English. The exercises given cover aspects like grammar, vocabulary, facts, proverbs and pronunciation. Some of them are in the forms of matching exercises, cloze exercises, word search puzzles, crosswords puzzles and many more.

3. What sorts of computer skills is the application users expected to have in order to operate/access/use the application?

The application is very user-friendly in which it requires the users to have only basic computer knowledge. The users are expected to have internet application knowledge in order to get access to the internet and to the website. Once the users get access to the site, they are only required to click the specific link and follow the instructions provided. In short, it is easy to access and use the application.

4. While you are “playing”/”accessing”/”assessing” the application, does it remind you of anything you do in a classroom, or with a teacher, or with a fellow classmate or in self-study?

Yes, the application reminds me of how easy it is to learn English in today’s world as compared to my time when I was still schooling. I was not exposed to learning through computer at all. The teaching and learning processes, especially for English subject, were solely conducted in conventional ways (i.e. chalk and talk; reading on my own; etc.). I could still remember that I learned pronunciation solely by depending on the teachers’ pronunciation. If the teacher pronounced the word wrongly, so did I.

Nevertheless, having getting access to the internet, ESL learners nowadays are allowed to do self-study. Learners could learn through videos provided as well as through completing interactive exercises which provide immediate answers and feedback. Learning through electronic media, specifically computer, is proven to be more interesting and practical.

Having discussed about practicality, the application does not only benefit the learners, yet the teachers as well. Teachers could explore this website in getting ideas as well as making this website a source of English resources in conducting ESL teaching and learning in the classroom. It is more economical for the teachers as they no more have to waste their time and money buying and creating English materials. In fact, students will also get more attracted and enthusiastic to learn!

5. Can you pinpoint some theories of language learning and/or teaching underlying the application?

After having done some analyses, here listed some language learning theories underlying the application:

• Skinner’s Operant Conditioning

As stated in Brown (2000), Skinner believes that the learning process is far strengthened by the reinforcement the learners receive. It is believed that the exercises in this website are influenced by this behaviouristic tradition, in which immediate responses are given to learners’ answers. To illustrate, learners would receive this expression whenever they were able to answer all the questions correctly, “Congratulation you’ve won!” Besides providing reinforcement to learners, immediate responses could somehow enhance learners’ motivation in learning ESL, as motivation, as defined by Santrock (2006), is the processes that energise, direct and sustain behaviour.

• Krashen’s Acquisition-Learning Hypothesis

Krashen indicates that language learners have two means for internalizing the target language: (1) acquisition – which refers to subconscious process of constructing the language system; and (2) conscious learning – which learners are aware of their own process (Brown, 2000). ESL learners are surely categorized under the second of the two means – the conscious learning – as they operate the website themselves. By being aware of their own learning, ESL learners are said to have high autonomy in learning the language and are expected to grasp the ESL more effectively, specifically the form of the language.

• Krashen’s Input Hypothesis

It is believed by Krashen that learners would learn better if the input language contains structure a bit beyond their current level of competence. In this site, learners are provided with exercises for different levels (i.e. (beginner, elementary, pre-intermediate, intermediate, advanced and business English). This would allow the learners to go beyond their existing competence for new challenge would help motivate learners to learn more and more.

Besides the mentioned theories that underlie this application, there are also some methodologies that I find related and important to be briefly explained here. The most apparent method is the Direct Method. The application is said to apply the direct method as most activities provided are similar to the key features of the Direct Method, as summarized by Richards and Rodgers (1986:9-10) in Renshaw (2009) :

(1) Instruction is conducted exclusively in the target language.
(2) Only everyday vocabulary and sentences are taught.

(3) Oral communication skills are built up in a carefully traded progression organized around question-and-answer exchanges between teachers and students in small, intensive classes.
(4) Grammar is taught inductively.
(5) New teaching points are taught through modeling and practice.
(6) Concrete vocabulary is taught through demonstration, objects, and pictures; abstract vocabulary is taught by association of ideas.
(7) Both speech and listening comprehension are taught.
(8) Correct pronunciation and grammar are emphasized.

The above features of the Direct Method which have been bolded are the ones that seem to be similar to the application.

6. How well is the constructivist theory of learning applied to the chosen website(s)?

Santrock (2006) defines constructivism as “an approach to learning which emphasizes that individuals actively construct knowledge and understanding”. Since learning through computer is seen as a type of independent learning, yes, it somehow goes in line with active construction of knowledge and understanding as learners are expected to explore and discover the learning themselves. Besides, some of the grammar exercises do provide spaces for learners to learn the rule by themselves. This is also true to Piaget’s emphasis of the importance of individual cognitive development, in which learners learn actively as they relate the new information to the existing information while they are accessing the site.

However, Vygotsky (1978), a social-constructivist, as cited in Brown (2000), stresses that “social interaction was foundational in cognitive development”. Having said about social interaction, it thus reveals the weakness of learning through this website. There is no such social interaction space provided for the learners found in this website. After all, genuine communication is important in developing learners’ acquisition of ESL.

7. In 1980s and early 1990s, there was a major debate on ‘whether the computer was “master” of or “slave” to the learning process (Higgins and Johns, 1984). In relation to your evaluation – was the computer a replacement for teachers, or merely an obedient servant to students?

I would confidently say that computer is merely an obedient servant to students. A machine that is designed to facilitate learning can never replace HUMAN-TEACHERS. Students are not robot that things are programmed in their minds. Students are human with cognition and affection; in a sense of different students are likely to have different set of behaviour and reactions towards language learning, which can only be dealt with by human who are able to understand the needs shown.

Besides that, when it comes to second language learning, which is believed to be a complex undertaking, computer would not able to teach the four skills of language to the learners without the help of HUMAN TEACHER and the actual context. This is due to the nature of language that requires meaningful and authentic interaction. Communication is the main reason of learning the language, isn’t it? It is not Physics or Biology or Economics that we are talking about. Yet, it is LANGUAGE. Language is not learnt or acquired solely for answering examination, yet to be used as a mean of communication. So, learners need teachers, community and context for the language to be applied.

After all, “Language learning is not a set of easy steps that can be programmed in a quick do-it-yourself kit” (Brown, 2000). So, I believe that a computer can never control the human mind, which thus indicates that a computer is just to facilitate learning and can never replace a teacher.

8. Would you like to use the application yourself in your future work?

Well, yes, I would still use the application in my future work. Even though there are some weaknesses here and there, the videos and exercises the application provides are good and useful for language learning. Not only I will use the application as my own language enhancement tool, I would also use it as a resource site whenever I need teaching material(s) for my students later.

9. Suggestions/Recommendations.

There are some suggestions that I want to make. They are in terms of:

• Application Content

The content, especially the exercises are not organized properly. Yes, they are all classified under certain proficiency level, yet, the grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary exercises are scattered. It would be good if these exercises be arranged accordingly.

Besides the organization of the content, it would be good as well if the site be equipped with all the four skills of language which include reading, writing, listening and speaking. This would make the website a more holistic language teaching and learning tool.

• Application Appearance

The first impression matters. The appearance of this website is quite dull and uninviting. It is advisable that the homepage be made more colourful and be added with some appropriate graphics so that it would be more motivating.


1. Brown, H.D (2001). Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. New York: Longman.
2. Brown, H.D (2000). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. New York: Longman.
3. Renshaw, J.D. (2009). English Language Teaching Methodology. Retrieved on 7 February 2009, from http://www.englishraven.com/methodology.html
4. Santrock, J.W. (2006). Educational Psychology: Classroom Update: Preparing for Praxis and Practice. United States: Mc Graw Hill.

Reviewed by:

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The B.R.E.A.K....

Salam alaik!

Hi everyone! The break is next to our nose! Happy holiday! DO USE THE TIME WISELY.... A.e.A.E.a.e.A.e.a.A............. Start reflecting and start moving, n keep on moving on the right path, to the right direction! C U all after the break!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Creating ESL Exercises Through Ms. Word

Salam alaik...

So, last Tuesday, i learnt creating ESL exercises using Ms. Word. Here's the result!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

New semester and New 'N.I.A.T'


Hi everyone... I have just had a look at some of my friends' blogs... WOW! I have suddenly been infected with inferiority complex! Yeah, it overwhelms me...Yet, i'll try to internalise Dr.Izaham's words- CONTINUE TO BE POSITIVE...

Okay, forget about being 'little' for a while...

Now, friends out there... it's a new semester again. I know it's already the second week of the semester... but I believe that it's not too late for me to say something about it... (well, i mean 'write' something---- see? how i love verbal talking/communication rather than communicating via this so-called advanced tool???)

So, entering the new semester... let's reflect--- how did we start our new beginning? Have we set the intention in our 'qalb'? Have we reminded ourselves that this would be our final and last semester of all? Have we told our inner selves that we are here to REALLY learn lessons? Have we advised ourselves to think wisely and act appropriately? Have we???

Friends, Rasulullah always reminded his ummah--- "Innamal 'a'malu binniaat---"Verily, start things off with good intentions in heart" . So, wait no more, lets set our 'niat'. Believe it or not, good intention leads to good deed, and good deed leads to good result.

I guess, that's all for now. I believe in 'short-yet-precise- and-simple- but- meaningful' principle. hope we all learn something from each other.... till we meet again! Salam alaik.