Thursday, 7 June 2012

ELTchat summary: What web tools / sites are there that can benefit EAP students and teachers?

This was the evening #ELTChat on Wednesday 6th June 2012.
The discussion, about web tools and sites to help EAP teaching and learning, was proposed by @ShaunWilden who wanted help to find sites which could be used by himself and his colleagues.
It looked as if it was going to be a long list of useful sites- and so it proved:-)
First we needed a definition ;What is EAP? @sandymillin wanted to know how broad the definition was and what it covered. This is a good definition of English for Academic Purposes:
We began by looking at sites for exams such as the Cambridge suite or IELTS/TOEFL. These are often needed as entrance exams for university. The point was made that there needs to be careful selection of sites, as there is a great deal of  poor material on the internet. It is actually easy for students to find material themselves, but knowing what is useful is time-consuming.
The links offered were: which is our very own @rliberni's blog, with great IELTS practice material.
@esolcourses: @rliberni's #IELTS collection of links and resources:  Jason Renshaw's site for IELTS and TOEFL for Cambridge exam practice; from PET to CPE  @esolcourses offered her own exam practice material too. another good site for IELTS
@SueAnnan: Macmillan has a good academic section as do the other academic publishers.
@timjulian60: PET Quiz (3)
@andivwhite: has a lot,  some relating to IELTS, but also critical thinking, reading, listening :

Shaun explained that he was particularly looking for post IELTS material ."Well I am thinking of things that students need to do like writing, researching, dealing with the academic word list... " @eannegrenoble reminded him that this was where the teaching and guidance had to become subject specific.
At this point, the links began flying thick and fast .

We had links to corpora:
A very useful Academic Word List
@muranava :this video: talks about BAWE (British Academic Written English corpus)  for written work: but you need to get approval to use it.
byu academic corpus:, used by Marisa with her translators and Delta candidates.
@lexicojules: Some good (free) academic corpora include BAWE & BASE - both good for checking NS student usage
A good spoken academic corpus - good source to demo discussion skills/language

And links to tools for teachers and students:
Mind maps from mind tools
@CliveSir : Teaching EAP vocabulary: and here  (PDF)
@Marisa_C: Searching the web - tutorial by Russell Stannard
@Marisa_C:  The Plagiarism Checker
@andivwhite:  #IATEFL ESPsig has a lot of possibly useful links halfway down this page Academic skills resource from NSWU.
@lexicojules: I use AWL highlighters to pick useful vocabulary out of reading texts - techy Students love it too to put their essays through: AWL highlighters: Compleat Lexical Tutor
@Marisa: training in note taking and info transfer -include some graphic organisers & diagram making tools like mindomo
@lexicojules :  - an absolute goldmine for teachers and Students.
@SueAnnan : YouTube has some good EAP material too.
Make your own corpora, although this could be time consuming:
@muranava:  @Charlesrei1 shows one way to make your own corpora:

Links to study skills:
Google Study Tips
@andiwhite suggested a university site with useful links to study skills.
A nice study skills wiki from brunel uni
@Marisa_C: Top 50 bloggers for study skills from edutastic
@naomishema:  Great post on working on note taking skill (SS just copy slides) 
@Marisa_C : The Dartmouth Academic Skills centre includes Khan lectures & study skills training 
 @lexicojules 1 more good spoken academic corpus - good source to demo discussion skills/language
It was agreed that many universities had good study skills pages.

and bookmarking tools:
@esolcourses recommended backing up bookmarks at regular intervals, in case tools you use disappear or cease to become free. @Marisa_C says that's why she uses both Diigo and Delicious.
@esolcourses: is good for collecting/curating links
@Marisa: I have started Diigo groups for my different courses - can create grps
@SueAnnan:  google bookmarks. Can pick  up on my i-google homepage

 Links for teachers' resources:
@CliveSir: EULEAP: EUropean Lecturers of English for Academic Purposes
 #EAPchat summaries
TESL Canada session Customising web tools for EAP classrooms:
@Marisa_C: Here is a great post with a variety of useful tools for EAP
@seburnt hosted a #eapchat before and some rel tools listed here
@lexicojules :  iTunes U is a good source of authentic lectures for listening - in class or as hwk tasks.
@andivwhite: Has anyone seen Prepare for Success?  Seems choc o bloc full of good stuff at first glance:
@annehodg blog mentioning new EAP group:
And the ning network from @annehodg for EAP: 

 Report writing, Blogging and Presentation tools:
@Marisa_C mentioned that she was having to support some syllabus writing asssignments for EAP more frequently, and asked for useful links.
@SueAnnan:    report writing guides
@analiakandel  For presentation skills "5 Unusual Ways to Become a Better Speaker" 
@andivwhite: Presentation skills books- Dynamic Presentation by Mark Powell and Bob Dignen's 50 Ways to Improve Your Presentation Skills
@muranava:  @seburnt has posted focus on reading with reference to using blogs.

Marisa suggested that today EAP should include how to develop a PLN and learning to use twitter and social networking tools. This struck a chord with many of us and we discussed the CELTA syllabus and whether trainers were guiding the candidates in this direction, something which  is already at the heart of Marisa's programme. She mentioned that Facebook was where the trainees felt comfortable at the beginning, and it was agreed that some academics tend to dismiss Facebook as serious, whether through snobbery or not. Shaun thought that it was increasing in professional use.
We were delighted to be able to make use of the experience of @lexicojules, who is an EAP specialist She wanted to know why none of the others from the EAP group were in evidence, although Shaun had invited them. We were invited to take part in  #EAPchat, which is held on  1st and 3rd Monday of the month, 6-7pm UK time, as Jules didn't think that there was enough online presence at the moment. She wanted to know whether any of us belonged to BALEAP, as she would be presenting a CPD session at an event soon.

On a final note : there is a lot of material out there. It isn't all user-friendly for non-tech-comfortable students and/or teachers. Check out the links before sharing them, particularly if you haven't made sure first that they are still live links:-)


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