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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Want to know about the LTs I've used for a couple of decades?

I would like to share the same post I wrote in the Forum a week ago. I hope you like it and comment on it.

This post is divided into three parts:

(1) Using Learning Technologies(LTs) as a recently graduated EFL teacher,

(2) Using LTs when some years passed, and

(3) My current use of learning technologies as an EFL teacher at the IPC.

1. When I started working as a n EFL teacher, about 2 decades ago, (don't start doing any math, hehe) some of the technological resources we used to help our students learn were mostly cassettes, slides shown with an overhead projector, and beta tapes with videos and movies. Those were definitely hard times for us, as teachers, to find good authentic materials to expand the ones some textbooks included.

2. As time passed, those of us who dared to explore other options in class besides the textbook, started using other technologies such as Lotus (similar to excel but more primitive), WordPerfect (like word, but less complete), VHS, CD's, DVDs and what became a boom in the late 90s: Internet. I still remember the first time I created my username and password to have access to some kind of electronic mail on a black screen with green letters…

3. Currently, I’m the same curious teacher who graduated in the 90s whose major interests were - and still are- having fun while teaching and making our students learn by encouraging the same curiosity and joy while learning.

In my opinion, this is not so difficult. As EFL teachers there are plenty of things we can do to do to keep our students motivated to learn the L2, but I’m certain LTs help a lot.

These are some of the LTs I use in my classes nowadays:

- CDs,

- MP3 files,

- Power point presentations,

- Groups (Yahoo, FB, etc.)

- YouTube, etc.

- Osmosis (similar to Moodle)

This is the shortest way I can put these years of practice and experience using learning technologies. There might be other tools I’m missing, but in general this is what I’ve used along my career as EFL teacher.

I hope this reflection can serve:

  • those of you who are starting working as language teachers, to continue working hard in the search of your own inspiration (and resources) to teach, and

  • the ones who have been juggling for years with new curricula, paradigms approaches and the like -just like me- to keep enthusiastically learning to feel renewed every time a new course begins.


Netiquette has existed almost since the very first time people started to use Internet to communicate. Back in 1997, I took a course with an excellent teacher from the IPC - Prof. Sol Castro- who opened a new world to me: the World Wide Web (WWW). I never thought this was going to keep me interested till the present time. Among the things I was taught in this course, I remember the emphasis she made to the correct use of 'Netiquette rules.' Nowadays, I think this should be taught in each and every class in which students are asked to communicate. Although we may have different opinions or disagree with our interlocutors, we should always show respect and good manners when we write...

Some of the most common Netiquette rules are:

1. Avoid using all capital letters. This may be taken as if you are shouting.

2. Try to use clear language that does not make the reader think you are offending him/her.

3. When writing an e-mail message, make sure that the subject line contains a good description of what you are sending.

4. Acknowledge before disagreeing. You may have a different opinion, but show respect to the others ideas before you present your position.

5. Use emoticons and abbreviations to shorten messages and make them more friendly. However, do not overuse of these devices for the information may be difficult to understand.