Category Archives: WRITING

Collocations with “make”

Collocations with “make”

As students find it difficult to learn with verbs go with which other words, they frequently male lexical mistakes. Their lack of vocabulary hinders all their language skills especially while especially speaking and writing. 

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However, collocation maps like the one above are very helpful for them to learn the targetted vocabulary in collocations. Preparing such a collocation chart is very easy. I have used simple word document tools while preparing the one above. It is also possible to prepare similar ones using mindmapping tools such as “text2mindmap”

A few tips to deal with collocation maps :

  1. After introducing the collocations to students and making sample sentences with them , you can ask your students to work  in pairs to write sentences. Afer checking and correcting the sentences the pairs have written, cut them in strips each of which has got one of the collocations practised. Then,   you can group the students in threes and ask each group to pick one strip. When they pick the strip tell them whether they are supoosed to use the sentence in the strip with a collocation in it  as the beginning or the ending sentence of the short story they are going to write. Tell the students that they have 5 minutes to discuss and decide on the setting, the characters and the events in their story and allow them 10 minutes to write their story as a group. After collecting the stories they have written and checking them, give the stories back to the students so that they can illustrate it with pictures, prepare a comic strip using the story or a poster to display on the class wall .
  2. Another activity you can do with the collocations is to ask students to form their own groups of 4 and to write a story using as many of the collocations as possible. The group that uses the most of them win the game. The time I allowed for my situdents was 15 minutes. Actually, I gave them a setting, some of the characters and a situation so that they could write more easily. After they finished their stories , they read it out loud in the class. Then I collected the stories so that I can check their mistakes. After checking their stories I gave the story to a member of another group to do the peer check and allowed then three days so that they couls spend more time on the story . They brought their stories written on a powerpoint document and illustrated with pictures. Finally I asked them a member from each group to upload their ppt stories on http://www.brainshark.com/mybrainshark  in order to add voice to their ppts. They really enjoyed working on their ppts, and after their voiced ppts were ready, they uploaded them on our class’ edmodo account to share them with the rest of the class.

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Penzu : A great free online diary and personal journaling tool

https://penzu.com/home

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The role of keeping diaries and personal journals in learning a second language has always been appreciated. For years, I have advised students who want to improve their writing to keep diaries, and I still do . This time with  a slight difference though. Keeping a digital diary is what we have been practising for years now and t
here are some available web tool for that such as OneNote ( http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/onenote/default.aspx), Evernote (http://evernote.com/intl/tr/) , and WordPress as well as the good old pen and paper. However, I personallt believe Penzu is totally different from then all in that it brings almost the same taste the tradition diaries. 
 
 
I have been usinpenzu 01g Penzu with my students for a couple of years now and what I have observed is that students love working with Penzu no matter whether they are working with it individually, in groups or as a class.  You can check out on the website how it is used  personally 🙂 
 
 
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      penzu 2       penzu 4     
There are some tutorial videos on how you can activate, use and facilitate Penzu and Penzu Classroom has also been available for some time now. 
 
Here are some different ways how I have facilitated Penzu in my classes :
  • In A1 and A2 levels, students keep their Penzu diaries to practise writing by telling about themselves and others, describing themselves and others, describing their rooms, or their cities , narrating their past experiences. In these levels , I always  value the importance of pair work, so I ask them to keep pairs a  writing diary for themselves.  the two students in the pair check each other’s writing and finally I check  their entries .
  • I also encourage my students to keep their own dairies where they can attach photos or insert videos that they have shot through their mobiles. The good thing about Penzu is that you can allow whoever you like to see and / or edit your entries. Once I remember keeping  a class writing Penzu with my A2 writing class . The content of that Penzu was the completed above average writing tasks of students ,and believe it or not  my students competed with each other so that their task was chosen to be worthy of being displayed onthe class Penzu. What I was trying to do, though, was to provide them with a writing reference book based on their own tasks whcih they can go refer to while they were revising for the final exam 🙂
  • In B1, B2 and C1 levels , Penzu has served  perfectly well as my students’ writing portfolio where they keep all their drafts and essay finals 🙂
  • In one of my repeating A2  classes I had to keep more than one Penzu as they liked it very much and wanted me to keep a seperate for posting the homework , assignments and tasks as well as the anser keys :))

Below is the link where you have access to Penzu tutorial videos and the introductory video to Penzu.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=penzu

 
 
 
 

Sample Student Essays – by Tuğba (C1)

Causes Of Car Accidents

A majority of individuals benefit from transportation, cars in particular, in order that they can facilitate their daily life. However, in the last fifty years, people have been affected negatively by cars because of the negative effects of traffic such as traffic jams and air pollution as well as car accidents. Every passing day, the number of car accidents is increasing for two major reasons which can be listed as alcohol and carelessness issues.

First of all, car accidents occur due to drink driving. That is, when individuals are drunk, their level of attention and concentration decreases immediately. As a result of this, they lose the control of their cars, and inevitably, car accidents take place. For instance, students who join a party with their friends consume a considerable amount of alcohol, and drive their cars instead of calling a taxi to get back home. As a consequence, students driving their cars back home after drinking alcohol may collide with another car. This situation may lead to injuries or even loss of lives. In short, driving a car after drinking alcohol may result in car accidents.

Another significant reason why car accidents happen is carelessness problem. That means, if people take care of something while driving a car, they may crash another car, and eventually they may get hurt or innocent people may die due to their carelessness. To illustrate, individuals who call their friends with their cell phones or listen to music loudly have more possibility to have an accident as mobile phones and loud music distract drivers attention. To illustrate, a person who is holding his mobile phone with one hand and the steering wheel with the other may not control his car appropriately when the car in front of his car stops suddenly.  Briefly, car accidents occur because of not being careful.

In the light of the ideas mentioned above, it can be concluded that the number of car accidents which go up every day can be at least decreased if people drive their cars without having drinks and if they are more careful in traffic. Therefore, governments should give a lot of commercials on television to prevent car accidents. There is no doubt that every driver should take into consideration these advertisements so that they can avoid accidents!

                                           Tuğba Varlık / C1-6   2013-2014 SUMMER SCHOOL