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Teaching Vocabulary to EFL Learners

  • What is involved in knowing a word?

    I. Form

            1)   Spoken:

                   i.      What does the word sound like?

                   ii.      How is the word pronounced?

            2)   Written:

                    i.      What does the word look like?

                    ii.      How is the word written and spelled?

            3)   Word parts:

                    i.      What parts are recognizable in this word?

                    ii.      What word parts are needed to express the meaning?

    II. Meaning:

            1) Form and meaning:

                      i.      What meaning does this word form signal?

                      ii.      What word form can be used to express this meaning?

           2) Concepts and referents:

                       i.      What is included in this concept?

                       ii.      What items can the concept refer to?

           3) Associations:

                       i.      What other words does this make people think of?

                       ii.      What other words could people use instead of this one?

    III.  Use:

            1)  Grammatical functions

                             i. In what patterns does the word occur?

                             ii. In what patterns must people use this word?

            2)  Collocations

                              i.What words or types of words occur with this one?

                             ii.What words or types of words must people use with this one?

            3)  Constraints on use (register, frequency . . .)

                              i. Where, when, and how often would people expect to meet this word?

                              ii.Where, when, and how often can people use this word?

  • How should vocabulary be effectively taught to EFL learners?


  • Stage 1: Noticing and understanding new words

  • Introducing nouns, things, objects, animals, etc…

  • Introducing adjectives

  • Introducing abstracts

  • Stage 2: Recognizing new words


  • Bingo

  • Matching

  • Fill in the blanks (with options)

  • Stage 3: Producing vocabulary

  • Descriptions

  • Fill in the blanks (no options)

  • Mind maps or brainstorming

  • Guess what I’m thinking


Facebook Group

100 Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in Your Classroom

Facebook isn’t just a great way for you to find old friends or learn about what’s happening this weekend, it is also an incredible learning tool. Teachers can utilize Facebook for class projects, for enhancing communication, and for engaging students in a manner that might not be entirely possible in traditional classroom settings. Read on to learn how you can be using Facebook in your classroom, no matter if you are a professor, student, working online, or showing up in person for class.

Check out our updated version of this article for even more suggestions on Facebook in your class.

Class Projects

The following ideas are just a starting point for class projects that can be used with Facebook in the classroom.

  1. Follow news feeds. Have students follow news feeds relevant to the course material in order to keep current information flowing through the class.
  2. Share book reviews. Students can post their book reviews for the instructor to grade and other students to read. If it’s a peer-reviewed project, then students can more easily access each other’s papers online.
  3. Knighthood. Playing this game promotes strong reading skills. This teacher explains how he used it with his ESL class.
  4. Poll your class. Use polls as an interactive teaching tool in class or just to help facilitate getting to know one another with the Poll app for Facebook.
  5. Practice a foreign language. Students learning a foreign language can connect with native speakers through groups or fan opportunities.
  6. Create your own news source. A great way for journalism students to practice their craft, use the Facebook status update feed as a breaking news source for sports results, academic competition results, and other campus news.
  7. Follow news stories. Keep up with news through Facebook on groups like World News Now that provides video clips of world news.
  8. Keep up with politicians. Political science students can become fans of politicians in order to learn about their platforms and hear what they have to say first hand.
  9. Create apps for Facebook. A class at Stanford started doing this in 2007 and still has a Facebook group profiling their work. A class at Berkeley also did the same.
  10. Participate in a challenge. Look for challenges like the one held by Microsoft and Direct Marketing Educational Foundation that challenges undergrads and grad students to create usable products for Microsoft in return for experience and, in some cases, certification.
  11. Bring literature to life. Create a Facebook representation of a work of literature like this class did.

Facilitate Communication

An excellent way to ensure students are more engaged in the learning experience, whether in a traditional classroom or at accredited online colleges, is by strengthening the communication between students and student-to-teacher. These are just a few ideas to do just that.

  1. Create groups. You can create groups for entire classes or for study groups with smaller subsets of students that allow for easy sharing of information and communication, without students even having to friend each other.
  2. Schedule events. From beginning of semester mixers to after-finals celebrations, easily schedule events for the entire class using Facebook.
  3. Send messages. From unexpected absences to rescheduling exams, it’s easy to send messages through Facebook.
  4. Share multimedia. With the ability to post videos, photos, and more, you can share multimedia content easily with the entire class.
  5. Post class notes. Post notes after each class period for students to have access for review or in case they were absent.
  6. Provide direct communication with instructors. Instructors and students can contact each other through Facebook, providing an opportunity for better sharing of information and promoting better working relationships.
  7. Allows shy students a way to communicate. Shy students who may not want to approach their teacher after class or during office hours can use Facebook to communicate.
  8. Facilitate classmate connections. When students get to know each other more intimately, they become more involved in the learning experience. This is helpful in both large classes that wouldn’t normally promote such intimacy and in smaller settings that regularly depend on that connection.
  9. Make announcements. Instructors can send out reminders about upcoming tests, upcoming due dates, or any classroom news.
  10. Brainstorm. Students can have the ability to add their thoughts to the class any time they occur allows for more opportunities for brainstorming off each other.
  11. Share interesting websites. Students and instructors alike can post interesting websites that add relevancy to the class.
  12. Post homework. Posting homework through Facebook not only provides easy access for students, it also puts in writing specifically what is expected and when it is due.
  13. Grassroots movements. Students at University of British Columbia learned that the weight room at their aquatic center was slated for closure, and through Facebook, won to keep it open.


Why use Facebook with your class? Here are some of the benefits you may see when you decide to use Facebook as a learning tool.

  1. Inviting atmosphere. Since Facebook isn’t exclusively the instructor’s any more than it is the students’, this offers students an opportunity for active participation on a level playing field.
  2. Students are comfortable with Facebook. Most students are already users of Facebook, so implementing it into class provides a comfortable way for students to participate in class.
  3. Informal. The informality inherent in Facebook’s connections lend to yet another reason students may be more willing to participate in class activities here.
  4. Promotes collaboration. Facebook’s design promotes social interchange between participants, thereby increasing collaboration between students working on activities.
  5. Keeps schools current. Mark Federman asserts that universities must move from a skills-centered approach to learning to one of connectivity to stay relevant to students.
  6. Students engaged outside of class. When students are accessing the class content more often, that means they will be thinking about and engaging in the lessons more frequently.
  7. Ambient awareness. Facebook provides an excellent opportunity for students and instructors to participate in ambient awareness, a way of getting to know those you follow on social networks in more meaningful ways.
  8. Teach personal responsibility. Instructors can take this opportunity to teach students how toresponsibly use Facebook and other social networking sites so it helps their future–not the opposite.
  9. Access to guest speakers. Instructors who have stayed in contact through Facebook with past students who have moved on to their careers have an excellent resource for guest speakers for the class.

Tips for Educators

Educators should check out these suggestions for ways to use Facebook effectively and professionally.

  1. Create a separate account just for your classes. Keep two accounts if you want to use Facebook personally as well. This keeps your Facebook relationship at school on a professional level.
  2. Manage privacy settings. If you don’t want to manage two accounts, use these tips to manage privacy to keep your personal and professional lives separate.
  3. Friend students carefully. Make sure you are friending students in current and former classes for professional purposes. Keep as professional a distance on Facebook as you would in person.
  4. Ask students to put you on limited access to their pages. This keeps you from having to see their Spring Break photos, status updates that may indicate why they really missed that midterm, or any other information that may compromise your professional working relationship.
  5. Create lists. Create a list for each of your classes, then keep students in each class on that list. This is a great way to organize your students.
  6. Publish notes for recognition. If you want to recognize accomplishments of particular students or the effort of an entire class, be sure to write a note indicating what you are recognizing and tag all students involved.
  7. Include your class blog. If you have a class blog, import it to Facebook so it shows up there when you add a new blog post.
  8. Use as a course management system. Use in place of other course management systems such as Blackboard to access all your online information and connections with fewer restrictions.
  9. Stay active. Keep posting messages, use as many Facebook apps and resources as possible, and update status reports so your students know you are engaged and you stay an important part of the Facebook experience.
  10. Get over the term “friend”. Many professors are disturbed by the idea of making friends with their students. Instead of adapting the Facebook term in the common way, try to think about the relationship as one of a mentor, or in an Aristotelian version of a utilitarian friend.

Facebook Resources for Students

Students can use these applications and groups to enhance their usage of Facebook in school.

  1. weRead. Students can manage the books on their reading lists, connect with others in discussions about the books, and more.
  2. Flashcards. Create flashcards on any subject to help reinforce what you need to know.
  3. Notely. Organize assignments, classes, notes, and more with Notely. You will need a Notely account to use this Facebook app.
  4. Study Groups. If you don’t want to create your own group for a study group, use this app instead that allows for easy collaboration.
  5. Hey Math! Challenge. Students can watch flash movies explaining difficult math concepts with this app.
  6. CourseFeed. Find online classes or follow your current class when you add this app to your Facebook account.
  7. CampusBuddy. This app helps you connect with classmates on your campus.
  8. DoResearch4Me. Use this search engine to find online information instead of relying on Wikipedia.
  9. SkoolPool. When students use this app, they can research schools, find students, and more to make sure they are embarking on the best education.
  10. Notecentric. Take notes during class, then post them for other students with Notecentric.
  11. Class Notes. Snap a photo of what the teacher wrote on the board or a copy of your class notes and post them here so everyone can share their visual notes.
  12. Used Text Books. Students can buy and sell used text books through this group.
  13. Homework Help. This group is a place for students to find and offer help with homework–or just to get a better understanding of difficult concepts.
  14. CiteMe. Get properly formatted citations according to APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA, or Turabian style with this app.

Facebook Applications for Teachers

These Facebook apps can make your job easier and more engaging for the students.

  1. Calendar. Use this calendar app from 30 Boxes to keep your classes on track with upcoming assignments, tests, due dates, and more.
  2. Courses. Manage your courses with this app that allows you to create an instructor page, manage assignments, and more.
  3. Mathematical Formulas. This is a great way for math teachers to share formulae and their solutions.
  4. Webinaria. Record your class lectures and post them for the class to review on Facebook.
  5. Book Tag. Tag books for a class reading list and even create quizzes with this useful app.
  6. Language Exchange. If you teach a foreign language, turn students on to this app that gives them a chance to practice what they learn in class.
  7. Files. Upload all the important files you want to share with students such as your class syllabus, supplemental reading material, or assignments when you use this app.
  8. Make a Quiz!. Easily make quizzes to test your students’ knowledge and see how they score.

Facebook Applications for Both Students and Teachers

These apps are great for both students and teachers and include access to documents, research material, and presentations.

  1. Links. Easily post links to interesting things found on the Internet that may be relevant to class.
  2. SlideShare. Instructors and students can use this app to create awesome slide presentations as a part of class or to complete an assignment.
  3. To-Do List. Who couldn’t use a reminder list of all there is to complete in a day? This app helps with that.
  4. JSTOR Search. You may need to access this through your library’s proxy, but this is a great way to find full articles through JSTOR.
  5. WorldCat. Search for material available at libraries around the world to find help with your research.
  6. Zoho Online Office. If your class is using Zoho for documents, spreadsheets, or presentations, then this app is an invaluable way to access them all through Facebook.
  7. Google Docs. Just like Zoho, if you are using Google Docs, access them through Facebook with this app.
  8. Podclass. Teachers and students who use a classroom management system can access their courses, assignments, and more through Podclass.
  9. LibGuides. Access content from your library with this app.

Facebook Groups for Teachers

These groups show how other instructors are using Facebook in education or work to unite educators through Facebook. You can connect with educators across the nation, including teachers at accredited online colleges by state and teachers at traditional colleges or K-12 schools.

  1. Educators using Facebook. This group of educators is over 1,300 strong and shares information and support for using Facebook in education.
  2. Facebook for Educators. Join this group to learn how to best use Facebook with your students.
  3. Classroom Instruction in Facebook. Find out how this group uses Facebook as a supplement to teaching library class instruction.
  4. Education. Find plenty of educators as well as others concerned about education in this group that has a bit of a political focus.
  5. Educators of America. This group has some discussion, mostly about the politics of education, but they also post online resources for teachers.
  6. Science Educators. Science educators from around the world congregate in this Facebook group.

Facebook in K-12

Facebook isn’t just for higher education. Use these resources for Facebook in the K-12 classrooms, too.

  1. Educators Network. Started by a high school teacher in an urban school, this group is all about uniting those who teach young people.
  2. Global Educators. These teachers are mostly in K-12 and are focused on teaching globally.
  3. ART Educators. Art teachers and those concerned about art programs for students will enjoy the activity on this group.
  4. BrainPOP. Teachers who use BrainPOP in their classrooms will definitely want to add this app to their Facebook page.
  5. Become a fan on Facebook and access notes, discussions, and more with the other teachers here.
  6. Have Fun Teaching. Started by a teacher experienced in K-6, this is an excellent resource for teachers.
  7. Primary Teachers – Resources, ideas, stress relief!. With over 49,000 members, you are sure to find great ideas here.
  8. Teachers- sharing ideas and resources for the classroom!. This group is for primary and secondary teachers and is another good place to go for resources.
  9. Participate in a summer project. A Kindergarten teacher describes how she used Facebook to keep students engaged and connected over the summer. This idea can work for any grade level.

Facebook to Help Find a Job

Whether you are a graduating student looking for a career or an instructor moving on, these tips will help you use Facebook to find a new job.

  1. Get the word out. Guy Kawasaki suggests LinkedIn to get the word out, but Facebook will do just as well when it comes to letting everyone know you are looking for employment.
  2. Establish a positive web presence. Use these five suggestions for ways to create a professional web presence on Facebook.
  3. Use Facebook job search apps. Most of the major online job search sites such as Career Builders and Indeed have apps on Facebook, so take advantage of them to help you start your career.
  4. Understand the importance of social networking. Estimates indicate that only 5-25% of available jobs are actually posted. It’s all about who you know and good timing after that.
  5. Find your target company or school. Many companies have a presence on Facebook. See if the companies or schools you are interested in joining are there and follow them to learn about their culture, hiring practices, to see if you know anyone there, and more.
  6. Include your resume on Facebook. Be sure to include a link to your online resume on your Facebook page so anyone can access your credentials.
  7. Include Facebook on your online resume. Make sure your Facebook page is professional, theninclude it in your online resume with a profile badge so prospective employers can take a look.
  8. Use networking to your advantage. Learn how this woman succeeded with Twitter and think about how you can do the same thing on Facebook.
  9. Use Facebook ads to help employers find you. Read about how these students used Facebook ads to get noticed by their future employers.
  10. Look through Marketplace. Marketplace on Facebook has a jobs section where you may just luck into your future career.
  11. Add Professional Profile. Add the Professional Profile app to your Facebook page to consolidate all your professional information in one place.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is a blended learning platform for schools that aims to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way. It was introduced as a feature of Google Apps for Education following its public release on August 12, 2014. On June 29, 2015, Google announced a Classroom API and a share button for websites, allowing school administrators and developers to further harness Google Classroom.


Google Classroom ties Google’s many services together to help educational institutions go to a paperless system. Assignment creation and distribution is accomplished through Google Drive while Gmail is used to provide classroom communication. Students can be invited to classrooms through the institution’s database, through a private code that can then be added in the student interface or automatically imported from a School Information Management System. Google Classroom integrates with students’ and teachers’ Google Calendar. Each class created with Google Classroom creates a separate folder in the respective Google service where the student can submit work to be graded by a teacher.  Communication through Gmail allows teachers to make announcements and ask questions to their students in each of their classes. Teachers can add students directly from the Google Apps directory or can provide a code that can be entered for access to the class by students.

In contrast to Google’s regular services, Google Classroom does not show any ads in its interface for students, faculty, and teachers, and user data is not scanned or used for advertising purposes.


Assignments are stored and graded on Google’s suite of productivity applications that allow collaboration between the teacher and the student or student to student. Instead of sharing documents that reside on the student’s Google Drive with the teacher, files are hosted on the student’s Drive and then submitted for grading. Teachers may choose a file that can be treated as a template so that every student can edit their own copy and then turn back in for a grade instead of allowing all students to view or edit the same document or copy the same document. Students can also choose to attach additional documents from his or her drive to the assignment.


Google Classroom supports many different grading schemes. Teachers have the option to attach files to the assignment which students can view, edit, or get an individual copy. Students can create files and then attach them to the assignment if a copy of a file wasn’t created by the teacher. Teachers have the option to monitor the progress of each student on the assignment where they can make comments and edit. Turned in assignments can be graded by the teacher and returned with comments to allow the student to revise the assignment and turn back in. Once graded, assignments can only be edited by the teacher unless the teacher turns the assignment back in.

Applications and add-ons such as Flubaroo can also assist with Google Classroom grading. By creating a Google Form and uploading it to your Google Classroom account, teachers can have the Flubaroo add-on automatically grade and send student grades to them via email for instant feedback.


Announcements can be posted by teachers to the class stream which can be commented on by students allowing for two-way communication between the teacher and students.[5] Students can also post to the class stream but won’t be as high of a priority as an announcement by a teacher and can be moderated easily. Multiple types of media from Google products such as YouTube videos and Google Drive files can be attached to announcements and posts to share content. Gmail also provides email options for teachers to send email to one or more students in the Google Classroom interface. Classroom can be accessed on the web or via the Android and iOS Classroom mobile apps.

Ways to use

  • Flipped classroom
  • Solicit daily, weekly, or annual feedback from students or parents.
  • Share anonymous writing samples with students
  • Create “by-need” groups by class (for example, based on reading level)

Why you should use Mediafire

MediaFire includes features such as cloud storage, file synchronization between multiple devices and access to stored files via Web browsers and MediaFire Desktop or MediaFire Mobile app. Other features include direct reproduction of different forms of media, such as songs, videos and photos, and an option to collaborate on projects with other users by sharing access to files.

The MediaFire Desktop app supports Windows and Mac OSX operating systems, including support for older versions such as Windows XP and Mac OS X 10.7. This app enables users to share content directly from the desktop and set up a media folder to have the content within it synchronized automatically, allowing immediate access on other devices with the same MediaFire account. The MediaFire Desktop icon in the system tray lets users manage updates and peruse notifications. Another feature includes the option to capture the entire screen, or a small part of it, add annotations and share the screenshot with other users. The mobile version of this app offers similar functionality, and it supports iOS and Android devices.

As of 2015, MediaFire supports the reproduction of over 200 file formats. When sharing files, MediaFire users can invite others to participate in a collaborative effort via social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter. The free plan provides up to 50 gigabytes of storage space, whereas the Professional and Business plans provide 1 and 100 terabytes, respectively.

Why you should use Dropbox

1. Backups and Versions

Dropbox automatically creates backups of files. While it does this, it also keeps versions of each file. Not only can you restore deleted files, but also roll back a file to a more desirable save point. With business accounts, Dropbox includes a feature known as “Packrat’, which extends the time backups are kept from 30 days to unlimited.

Unlimited Versions + Unlimited Backups = Limited Problems

Their backup system is also complete with a rollback feature, in case of disaster. Say something happens and all of your users’ files get changed or deleted; give Dropbox support a shout, and they can roll a specific folder or folders back to a time of your choosing.

Dropbox Packrat

With this, Dropbox also keeps a log of changes made to a file. This is extremely helpful for administration, since it can help pinpoint which users created, edited, or deleted files.

Dropbox Changelog

2. Instantaneous File Syncing and Shared Folders

Shared folders were a great factor as to why we switched to Dropbox over their competitors. Dropbox folders behaved most similarly to the NAS devices we previously used for collaboration. Exactly as the name implies, it’s a folder that contains shared data and is updated in real time. For our use, this was VERY important. Since many people in our company work on the same document at one time, it’s nice to know there aren’t multiple copies that will need to be compared later.

dropbox shared folders

3. Ease of Integration with Software

Most of our Dropbox users are running Mac OS X and Adobe Creative Suite. Dropbox supports features that are crucial to our company’s workflow, such as highlighted files (now called tags) in Finder, or the ability to check out text in InDesign. These things can seem trivial, but when used as frequently as they are here they become a huge time saver.

4. Dropbox User Organization and Customization

Users have the ability to choose what syncs to their hard drives and what doesn’t, which is great when we’re stuck with a finite amount of disk space to work with. Also, many of our shared folders have files that not everyone needs, including several large image folders. If a user doesn’t need something, no problem. We can go into selective sync settings and tell the folder to stay off the drive. This doesn’t mean said folder or file is gone forever. It can be reselected to sync just as easily as it was deselected.

dropbox folder customization

5. No VPN Necessary

We have a fair number of home users that formerly connected to our NAS devices through the use of a VPN connection. It was a great solution in theory and was used for years. The biggest challenge with this process was caused by the ISP of each home user. Those with much faster network speeds or better routers were able to work just fine, but those with average or below average speeds continually had connectivity issues. Most of these issues were related solely to the amount of time it took to open and save files. Since Dropbox integrates the user’s local disk and ultimately transfers less data at specific points, it is a night and day difference for those with slower connections.

In the end, Dropbox works for us in part because it has common sense features and quick performance, but also because we work in the media industry. As a technology solution, it fits our need for many people to be working on many documents, and to support hundreds of different text documents, images and videos simultaneously. Dropbox is adaptable to many industries, and the service fit seamlessly into our existing workflow; that’s why we ultimately chose Dropbox.

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How to use Dropbox

There used to be a time when sharing computer files meant placing them in physical media storage devices such as CD’s and flash drives and then lending or giving said media to someone. But the Internet, through a development now known as Cloud Computing, has provided a way of sharing files online through certain websites. is one such site. Let’s take a look at how to share files using Dropbox.

Method 1

Using the Web Interface

  1. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 1
    When you arrive at, here is what you’ll see:
  2. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 2
    Jump right in by creating your very own Dropbox account. Fill it out with your name and valid email address. Use a strong password to ensure the security of your Dropbox. After providing all required details, click the ‘Sign Up’ button.

    • If your registration is successful, you’ll then be directed to the Web Interface of your Dropbox. It looks something like this:
    • Now that you have a Dropbox account, here’s how to share files.
  3. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 3
    Click the ‘Share a Folder.‘ button.
  4. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 4
    You’ll then be asked if you want to create a new shared folder or share an existing one. A shared folder automatically appears in the Dropbox of the person you want to share it with. Choose the option to create a new shared folder and give it a name. Then click ‘Next.’
  5. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 5
    You’ll arrive at a page with two text fields. In the top field you can place the email address of the person you want to share your folder with. The bottom text field is for an optional message to the person. When you’re done accomplishing the text fields, click the ‘Share Folder’ button.
  6. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 6
    If all goes well the next page you will see is your newly created shared folder. Time to upload some files!
  7. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 7
    To upload a file, click the ‘Upload’ button.
  8. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 8
    Then on the menu that appears click ‘Choose Files.
  9. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 9
    A window pops up. Go to the directory where the file you want to share resides. Highlight it and then the ‘Open’ button.
  10. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 10
    You will be taken back to the upload menu where a progress bar appears and automatically uploads your file. Here you can choose to upload more files.

    • Once the upload finishes the file should be visible inside the shared folder. All done!


Using the Desktop Application

  • You can also share files using Dropbox without having to use a web browser like Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. Dropbox has a desktop application that is free to download from the main site. To download it go back to’s homepage and click on the ‘Download Dropbox’ button.
  1. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 11
    Once the download is done, click on the file to run the installer application. After it opens, click ‘Install.’
  2. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 12
    After the install completes, a menu should pop-up. Enter your e-mail address and password that you registered with Dropbox earlier. Then, click ‘Sign In.’
  3. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 13
    A “Congratulations!” message should appear, informing you that your Dropbox was successfully installed. Click ‘Open my Dropbox Folder.’
  4. Image titled Start Using Dropbox Step 14
    To transfer files to your Dropbox, you can either use the ‘Drag and drop’ method or the ‘Copy – Paste’ method. After the transfer completes, a check mark will appear to indicate that your files are synced. All done!