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Barb's Bits and Bytes

Web 2.0 for learning and teaching - the continuing online adventures of a not-so-techie teacher

February 25, 2011

EFL Classrom 2.0: A community by teachers for teachers

I have a thing for teacher supply stores. I love browsing the aisles just to see what treasures I might find for my students. Most of the time, there's very little specifically for teaching English as a second (let alone foreign) language, but I still always manage to find something useful.

Visiting EFL Classroom 2.0 is like walking into a huge teacher supply store, and discovering that everything on the shelves is for EFL teachers, and it's all free!

EFL_Classroom.png

Since David Deubelbeiss started the group three and a half years ago, it has grown into an active community of 20,000 teachers from around the world. Members share specific ideas for teaching, links to resources from around the web, and inspirational stories about education. You have to be a member to see most of the goodies, but membership is free.

I always lose track of time when I browse through the resources. I don't know of any website, anywhere, with as much educational content for EFL teachers. Not even David knows how many things are actually listed on the site, but he does know that some of the activities have been downloaded well over 10,000 times.

There are multiple ways to search the site, but I generally have the best luck when I start with the site map.

EFL_Classroom_site_map.png

EFL Classroom's wealth of content is both a blessing and a curse. There's so much available that it's sometimes a challenge to track down something specific. Just as happens in a teacher supply store, I get distracted by unexpected treasures I never knew existed!

For example, I wanted to share one of the games from EFL Classroom that my older elementary students absolutely love, a game called Fling the Teacher. My students were willing to do a lot of reading in order to answer the questions necessary to fling the teacher into the air. Unfortunately, I couldn't remember exactly where I'd originally found the World Cup version I wanted.

In the process of looking for it, however, I discovered a link to the online version of National Geographic's Young Explorer magazine, which is going to be a great motivator for an animal-adoring reluctant reader in my class. Then, I came across a word family sorting activity from Read Write Think that will definitely come in handy with my emergent readers. Then, of course, I had to peek at the karaoke collection and found a new gem to download for my senior class.

Oh, that Fling the Teacher game I mentioned? If you search for the game by name, you'll get several pages of game variations, plus a tutorial so that you can create your own version of the game (and then post of EFL Classroom so other teachers can use it, too). Here's the World Cup version my soccer-mad students loved.

fling_the_teacher.png

I hope to meet you at EFL Classroom 2.0. Take your time browsing the site and meeting the teachers who are part of this vibrant community. I'm sure that you'll find some unexpected treasures, too!



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Comments

Barb,

thanks for the very concise and thorough review!

One comment - you can bookmark your fav. pages easily. Go to the footer and hit the "star" and it will put it in your folder. then when you return, click the "star" and go to your fav. pages.

Yes, always a struggle to make so much "findable". I recommend using the tag search and clicking tags.

I started the community 3 years ago and the agenda is there is no agenda. Just a teacher sharing and then others tagged along. Really kind of amazing.

thanks again for the article.

David

Thanks, David! I learned something new--now I won't lose my favorite activities again :-)

I think one of the reasons for the success of EFL Classroom is the model you set. Rather than making the site a measure of your personal popularity, you make it about shining the spotlight on other teachers. I like that!

I feel lucky to be a part of the community.

EFL Classroom has been encouraging and of great help. All the ideas I took from it were worth it, I have learnt a lot and I like to keep on learning. Thank you very much.

I agree with you, Maria. Thanks for adding your thoughts about EFL Classroom 2,0!

Simply an insightful community with innovative ideas

Dear EFL Friends,

I'm really excited and happy to share the benefits of being a member of this classroom. You can read and learn something interesting and attractive for your students at any time. You can exchange your practice and ideas with colleagues from all over the world. I highly recommend using this site, because as you know Practice Makes Perfect! Do not stop supporting it! Teachers, join us!

Good Luck for your further work!

Thank you, Mudassar and Sylvia!

I didn't tag along, I landed :D I have always gone to EFL Classroom for the FREEDOM and the love...to give and to get it. It is my online home, a place to stash my bags and know I can come back and find them anytime.

Tagalong! grr grr... I do not tag-along! You tag-along, David! :D

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