Category Archives: Class Notes

Vietnam Delegation

Last two weeks, we had fun with the Vietnam delegation. We did a lot of things together such as dancing, playing traditional games and much more. We get the opportunity to watch cultural performances from them as well. In addition, they also introduced  a little bit about their city, university & faculty of Vietnam, and so on.

BEFORE the actual day:

Since my group was in charge of Ting Ting/hopscotch (one of the traditional games in Malaysia), so we decided to create our own tutorial video on how to play Ting Ting in order to show to the Vietnam delegation. We choose CAC as our venue to shoot and record videos and we prepared all things needed for Ting Ting games. For instance, a recording tape, laptop, masking tapes (to draw the line/square, as well as the beanbag.

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We agreed to meet on Sunday evening at CAC because everyone was free on that day. I think CAC is one of the best places in IIUM. 

You can see our video here: (VIDEO) Traditional game: Ting Ting.

DURING the day:

Around 12.30pm, the representatives from this delegation introduced a little bit about Vietnam and then they did a group performance and sang a song entitled ‘Hello Vietnam’. After that, they watched traditional Malaysian dance from Kulliyah of Education, which was Zapin.

Other than that, this delegation also performed Vietnamese folk songs entitled ‘Floating Water Ferns & Wandering Clouds, as well as Tieng Viet. Tieng Viet is a song in Vietnamese language.

After all these performances, we played  traditional games such as Batu seremban, Ting Ting/hopscotch, and Galah Panjang. However, due to time constraint, we managed to play batu seremban and Ting Ting only. Amazingly, these students from Vietnam, they were familiar with these two games, but they did not called it as batu seremban and Ting Ting. They have their own name for both games.

Long story short, after all the performances and playing traditional games, this delegation disperse for a campus tour to visit interesting places in IIUM.


Using Microsoft Word & Excel in ESL Classroom

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When technology integration in the classroom is seamless and thoughtful, students not only become more engaged, they begin to take more control over their own learning, too. Effective tech integration changes classroom dynamics, encouraging student-centered project-based learning (Edutopia, 2007).

As teachers, we should be able to use several methods when we want to integrate technology in the classroom. It is not necessary that teachers MUST use the most sophisticated tools in teaching and learning, in fact we can use what we have. For instance, I think most of the schools in Malaysia have a computer lab. So, teachers can bring the students to the computer lab.

There are many exercises or games that we can produce by only using Microsoft office (Microsoft Word, Excel, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint).

Here are some exercises or games that teachers can use in the classroom;

  • Microsoft Word
  1. Game board 
  2. Cook in her website also listed some lessons about Microsoft Word, in order for the students to learn grammar and vocabulary. She separated the level of the students and the lessons.

  • Microsoft Excel
  1. As mentioned by Singh (2014) in her website, Excel is a friendly and perhaps most dreaded office tool. You can turn the data-analysing, number-cruncher into one unbelievably cool game. The Microsoft software has a few secrets up its sleeve; many people have managed to design new games or recreate classics like Monopoly from its offerings.

2048: In 2048 two tiles of the same number can merge into a new tile that equals the total value of the two. The goal of the game is to have a tile value of 2,048.

The geniuses at built an Excel version that allows you to play the game, and track your moves to help analyse your strategy. Since the game is made entirely in Excel, you can resume the game at a later time by saving the workbook, and it can be played online or offline. It is available for Excel 2007 or later, and can be downloaded for free here.


Monopoly: Tumblr user Andrew Werner was playing the popular board game Monopoly with his wife and friend when he began to think of different strategies for the game.

After 12 to 14 hours of work, he created a Monopoly simulator in Excel using a programming language called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). The game allows up to four players, and was updated in August 2011 with the option to choose “human” or “computer” players.


To download it for free, click here.

2. Crossword puzzle (video).

  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  1. This game is to teach math basically. However, we can use this method to teach English as well.
  2. Animations & Transitions is kinda awesome too. Especially when we want to teach alien words to the students. For instance, we can provide a particular word with pictures. So, when the students look at the pictures, they have clear understanding about the meaning of a particular word.

What’s up with using songs to teach English?

Photo 13-03-2016, 7 58 35 PMHow to use songs in the English language classroom?

Planning for the use of songs in class.

The process of selecting a song is one of the most difficult aspects of using music in a lesson. Here are some things you probably need to think about to ensure you get the right song.

Carefully examine what it is you want your class to learn in the lesson

Is this going to be a lesson focusing on vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, or a particular topic? I once used ‘You’re so vain’ by Carly Simon to introduce a text that looked at vain people. In another lesson, I used ‘In the air tonight’ as it uses the present perfect continuous tense. Whatever your focus, remember that this doesn’t necessarily place a limit on what you can do with the song. For instance, you might wish to use the song in question to exemplify a particular verb tense, and structure your lesson accordingly, but you might at the same time wish to take the opportunity to look at those interesting idioms in the lyrics!

Think about the language level of your class

The language level of your class will determine not only which songs you can use, but also what other activities, such as games or written exercises. You will use to develop the lesson. Lower levels will become extremely frustrated with fast-delivered lyrics, for instance, while simple repetitive lyrics might not be interesting for more advanced-level learners.

How old are your learners?

If you’re a teacher of young learners, you will probably want to use songs that are repetitive and very easy to understand. For teenagers, however, use contemporary or fairly recent pop and rock songs. My advice: it’s often best to ask them ‘what’s cool’. Alternatively, for adult learners, who will probably have a more open approach to classes, use songs that are interesting to their age group.

Are there any specific cultural issues regarding the make-up of your class?

What kinds of things are generally unacceptable in the culture in which you teach? Whatever you do, don’t use music solely based on your own cultural norms. Consider the audience and their sensibilities; even better, let them choose the songs that you use.

Six steps for making a song the focus of your class

1. Listen to the song

That’s it – start things off by just listening. It’s important to remember that this is supposed to be a fun activity; don’t make it too serious or boring.

As an alternative, you can show a video clip if you have one – in fact, I strongly recommend it, as it will cater to more learners’ needs in terms of learning styles (visual and audible).

Ask learners if they’ve heard it before, and don’t overload them with tasks at this point; simply let them enjoy the music.

2. Ask some questions about the title

Here are a couple of examples of the types of questions you can ask:

For John Lennon’s wonderful ‘Jealous Guy’:

‘What is a ‘jealous guy’?’
‘What are three things a jealous guy might do?’
‘What kinds of jealousy are there?’
For Queen’s classic ‘We are the champions’:

‘What is a champion?’
‘What kinds of champions are there in the world?’
‘What activities have champions?’
Such questions tend to work really well as conversation starters, so group three or four learners together and then get feedback from each group on their thoughts. If you think it would help, make this your first step, i.e., before the initial listening.

3. Listen to the song again, this time with lyrics

This time, you should give learners the chance to read the lyrics to the song. At this point you might do one or more of the following activities:

Learners can just read the lyrics while they listen. They can possibly highlight unknown words for later discussion.
You can make a lyric worksheet as a gap fill; learners fill in the gaps as they listen.
You can make cut-out strips of selected missing words and again make a lyric worksheet as a gap fill; this time learners match the word strips to the gaps as they listen.

4. Focus on a particular verb tense or aspect of grammar

Virtually every song centres on a particular verb tense. This is too good an opportunity to pass up in terms of uncovering the grammar. My suggestion is to start with questions such as these:

How many examples can you find of the past simple in the lyrics?
Why did the writer of this song choose this verb tense?
This acts as a springboard for discussing the function of a specific tense, as well as examining its form. Furthermore, it often tends to raise awareness of grammatical flexibility and ‘poetic licence’ in the construction of song lyrics. Students often expect songs to obey the grammatical rules that have been drummed into them. In a surprisingly large number of cases, this can lead to the enlightening discovery that rules can be broken!

5. Focus on vocabulary, idioms and expressions

We’ve noted that many songs bend the rules of grammar. It’s also useful to focus on the creative and artistic use of vocabulary we encounter in lyrics. Start with questions like these (again, for Queen’s classic song ‘We are the champions’):

What does ‘I’ve paid my dues’ mean?
What does ‘my share of’ mean?
What does ‘I’ve taken my bows’ mean?
Go through the meanings, illustrating with other examples if necessary. Songs often serve as really good contexts for phrases and idioms, but it’s good to make sure that the meaning is clear. As with grammar, years of misunderstanding can come to light in this way!

6. Round things off with some creativity

Creativity is an important part of maintaining motivation but it shouldn’t be limited to the teaching approach. Depending on the factors highlighted in the first part of this post (age, language level, cultural specifics, etc.), you might want to try finishing things off with an activity that stimulates creative thought. Here are a few examples of things you can do to get the creative juices flowing:

A song tends to give you the perspective of the singer. Write a response (this can be a paragraph, i.e., not necessarily in lyric form) from the point of view of the person the song is being sung about, or any other protagonist.

Songs for teaching English in the classroom.

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It’s great to use songs in the class, if only to do something a little different. But beyond using them solely to give your students some ‘light relief’, there are many other ways songs can be used in classrooms to consolidate what students have already learnt.

  • Songs for teaching grammar;
  1. Past Simple (Celine Dion – Because You Loved Me lyrics).
  2. Present Perfect (Michael Buble – Haven’t Met You Yet lyrics).
  3. Present Continuous (Lemon Tree – Fool’s Garden lyrics).
  4. “Will” future (Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You lyrics).
  5. “Will” future (James Blunt – You’re Beautiful lyrics).

What’s up with hardware?


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In information technology, hardware is the physical aspect of computers, telecommunications, and other devices. The term arose as a way to distinguish the “box” and the electronic circuitry and components of a computer from the program you put in it to make it do things. The program came to be known as the software.


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Software is a general term for the various kinds of programs used to operate computers and related devices. (The term hardware describes the physical aspects of computers and related devices.)

Software can be thought of as the variable part of a computer and hardware the invariable part. Software is often divided into two;

  1. Application software (programs that do work users are directly interested in).
  2. System software (which includes operating systems and any program that supports application software).




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Firmware is a software program permanently etched into a hardware device such as a keyboards, hard drive, BIOS, or video cards. It is programmed to give permanent instructions to communicate with other devices and perform functions like basic input/output tasks. Firmware is typically stored in the flash ROM (read only memory) of a hardware device. It can be erased and rewritten.

Firmware was originally designed for high level software and could be changed without having to exchange the hardware for a newer device. Firmware also retains the basic instructions for hardware devices that make them operative. Without firmware, a hardware device would be non-functional.



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As the name implies, multimedia is the integration of multiple forms of media. This includes text, graphics, audio, video, etc.

For example, a presentation involving audio and video clips would be considered a “multimedia presentation.” Educational software that involves animations, sound, and text is called “multimedia software.” CDs and DVDs are often considered to be “multimedia formats” since they can store a lot of data and most forms of multimedia require a lot of disk space.



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Literacy with Information and Communication Technology (LwICT) means thinking critically and creatively, about information and about communication, as citizens of the global community, while using ICT responsibly and ethically.


This representation shows the relationship between ICT literacy (i.e., demonstrating ICT skills) and literacy with ICT (i.e., thinking critically and creatively, about information and communication, as citizens of the global community, while using ICT responsibly and ethically). ICT literacy is a critical component of literacy with ICT, but it is not sufficient in itself.


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Digital competence consists not only of digital skills but also social and emotional aspects for using and understanding digital devices.