I learned Japanese in school. You would never know it today because I can hardly speak a word of Japanese. The classes were interesting, but one of the big problems was that I never had the opportunity to practise what I had learnt outside of class time. Japanese was just an academic subject with no connection to the real world for me.
But that was in the 80s – we had never heard of the Internet. EVERYTHING has changed! The role of the teacher has changed – we are now motivators and facilitators, we help learners to help themselves learn.
If you would like help to achieve your English or French learning goals, talk to us at englishonthe.net. Contact us here for a free lesson.
The role of the learner has also changed. Learners no longer sit passively and listen to information, they go out and find it themselves.
There are so many possibilities for live online language practice with native speakers. Here are a few links to help you start :
Claims to be the world’s largest EFL/TEFL social network with 50,000 visits a day. It’s main strength is the forums where learners ask all their questions concerning grammar, vocabulary, idioms, puzzles and games, distance learning, pronunciation, learning software etc. There is a large number of faithful teachers who give their time freely for advice and support, and generally questions are answered very quickly. There are also other social networking functions, such as photos & videos, live chat, and special interest forums. This site is HUGE – you need to go and explore for yourself.
A completely free network for language exchange. Connect with native speakers of the language you are learning who have similar interests to you.
Ning hosts a large number of social networks related to language learning. These are just a few:
EFL Classroom 2.0 Definitely the most active Ning network that I use. Although it seems more directed to teachers, there are also good resources for students (try the “English for Fun and Friendship” group). 4,900+ members
View my page on EFL CLASSROOM 2.0
Teachers and students have FUN (Frivolous, Unanticipated, Nonsense) to learn together in English and Spanish (500 members)
L’école hors les murs Teachers and students (from middle school up) from several (mostly European) countries join for educational projects through social networking (900+ members)
Voir ma page au L’Ecole Hors les Murs – School Beyond The Walls
Campus FLE Education
Educational social network for teachers and learners based in the University of Leon Spain – some excellent learning materials on their front page.
Foreigners in Lille also looks very good for French, but unfortunately it seems to be limited to people who live in Lille, France, and although it is based in Lille, France, they are open to members from anywhere.
Only four days into the new year and the first resolution for 2009 is already accomplished: Englishonthe.net is live to the world! This site will not only become the portal for a number of language services, but we are planning for it to be a space for learning about what web 2.0 can do to help us learn and teach languages.
So what can you expect if you come back to the blog?
If you’re a learner of English you can find tips on improving your reading, writing, listening and speaking, and my favourite aspects of language learning: grammar and vocabulary development. It’s amazing the free tools that are out there to help us.
If you’re a language teacher you can follow my adventures as a face-to-face EFL teacher translating his skills to the live online environment.
You can find out a little more about who I am in the about page.
Why don’t you subscribe to my feed? If you haven’t got into using a feedreader yet, it’s really time to start. It’s the only way of keeping yourself from Internet information overload. I use Google Reader, but there are many other options. Englishonthe.net is still in beta (isn’t everything?), and as I find my rhythm for posting new material, I won’t bombard you with too much information.
This site is also available in French, although there are a few more bugs in the French version that I’ll be working out over the next few days.
Thanks for your visit – stay tuned.