Thursday, 23 October 2014


Last spring I attended a webinar by Joe Dale and learned about some great iPad apps for language learning.  Yesterday we finally got round to testing Tellagami in the classroom.  At the same time we also tested our brand new Apple TV.

The students had already been studying adjectives and how to describe people. Thus we decided to use Tellagami for this purpose: The students introduced their characters and described what kind of persons they were. This required the use of variety of adjectives.  I was truly impressed how well they  all spoke given the fact that some of them have been in the country for only three months (!).

Here are some observations on using Tellagami:
  •  It is fun to create the character and choose the way he or she looks. At the same time the students can revise some key vocabulary (body parts, colours, clothes etc.)
  • It’s possible to preview your message and record it again. Many students took advantage of this and recorded their messages a few times until they were happy with the result.
  • Everything went well apart from one iPad that got stuck after recording and the student had to do the work all over again (this time on her classmate’s iPhone).
  • In the end we watched everyone’s gami messages on the screen. I am so pleased about having an Apple TV in the classroom now. The voice quality was also surprisingly good.
We'll definitely be using this app more in the future!
Please share if you have any ideas or comments to add on the use of Tellagami!

Lately we've been also working with apps such as Micro Phone + Recording Pro, Decide Now! and Dragon Dictation. More about them on another posting!

Monday, 6 October 2014

Quizlet with photos

A few words about Quizlet: It is so great for learning languages!

As an EFL teacher, I have used Quizlet a lot with English-Finnish-English phrases and words. This term I am mainly teaching Finnish as a second language for young adults. I will be teaching EFL for them later in the spring term but as for now, the focus is on the Finnish language. They don’t all speak English so I had to give up using translations. Instead I am using photos, and it is working really well.

Using Quizlet image search is such a time saver! In addition, it is great how the photo sources are listed below each set.

I only now discovered the folders, which makes it easier to find a certain set. However, it seems to me that my folders are visible only to me, my students can’t see them. Can anybody shed some light on this? Is it so? Or perhaps the folder function requires logging in? So far, my new students haven’t done that.

The only disappointment with using photos instead of translations has been the reduced amount of study modes (Cards, Learn, Speller, Test, Scatter, Space Race) when studying the vocabularies on iPads. I was looking forward to the students having a go at Scatter but instead they got a notification “You cannot play scatter because there are images for every definition. Please try another mode.”

Having said that, I still think Quizlet is awesome. Easy and simple to use, very efficient and also so much fun for the students with the competitive side of it! And I love the idea of sharing!

If you want to have a go at practising the sights in Helsinki, click here. 
Or have a try with the colours in Finnish.

Helsinki sightseeing