I usually just do year-end lists many topics, but it gets a little crazy having to review all of my zillion posts at once. So, to make it easier for me — and perhaps, to make it a little more useful to readers — I’m going to start publishing mid-year lists, too. These won’t be ranked, unlike my year-end “The Best…” lists, and just because a site appears on a mid-year list doesn’t guarantee it will be included in an end-of-the-year one. But, at least, I won’t have to review all my year’s posts in December…
The websites on this list were not designed with education in mind, but which can easily be used for learning purposes — particularly, though not exclusively, for English language development. I only hope that creators of “educational” content can learn from the qualities that make these sites so engaging.
You might also be interested in:
Here are my choices for The Best “Fun” Sites You Can Use For Learning, Too — 2011 (So Far):
These would be fun clips to to use in any of the video activities I describe in The Best Popular Movies/TV Shows For ESL/EFL.
Five thousand people from Grand Rapids, Michigan came together to create what Roger Ebert has called “the greatest music video ever made.” And it is, indeed, pretty amazing. It was shot in one take. Even though the song’s lyrics are probably not the best for English Language Learners, the video itself would be a lot of fun.
Here’s a video of The Great Escape — Panda style:
This is a video of Remi Gaillard, known as France’s greatest prankster:
Here’s one of “Botaoshi: The wacky Japanese sport of pole pull-down”:
Luke Burrage juggles around the world in this clip:
Check out this Stop-motion animation and drumstick music video:
This is an interesting sport called Sepak takraw:
How about this surfing bulldog:
Show this next video, but only if you don’t think your students will be inspired to try some of the stunts themselves!
“Bridge” is a short and delightful animation that is perfect to show English Language Learners (in fact, to any students) and then have them write and discuss it. It’s a great opportunity for them to literally describe what they see, plus incorporating the messages of the film. As its creator says:
Bridge is a story about four animal characters trying to cross a bridge, but ending up as obstacles to one another in the process. The moral behind this story revolves around how there are often disagreements or competing paths in life, and the possible results of pride, obstinance, and compromise.
I’ve embedded it below:
ONLINE VIDEO GAMES:
“Dr. Stanley’s House 2” is what is known as a “point-and-click” adventure game. Its “Walkthrough,” or instructions on how to win, can be found here. You can my article, Free Online Games Develop ESL Students’ Language Skills, to learn how I use these kinds of games as a great language-development exercise.
These are excellent tools for students to write about and discuss:
Check out the illusion in this video. And if you like it, you can find more here.
Smurf Yourself lets you choose and dress a Smurf, record it saying something, and then send or post it on blog or website. No registration is required. It’s a fun and simple way for students to practice their English.
Feedback is always welcome.
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You might also want to explore the 700 other “The Best…” lists I’ve compiled.