Otan: Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.

Monica Cueva: Well Hi, everyone. This is exciting, our hi-flex session. Welcome everyone here in person, welcome everyone on Zoom. We are presenting today Engaging Conversation and Pronunciation Activities in Zoom. It will be more focused on conversation activities, but we do have some pronunciation resources to share with you. And I am one of the presenters, I am Monica Cueva, I'm a VESL instructor and our ESL Technology Coordinator at San Diego College of Continuing Education

Diana Vera-alba: Hi, everyone. My name is Diana Vera-Alba, I am the OER Coordinator and ESL Instructor at San Diego College of Continuing Education. So thank you for being here, both in person and on Zoom.

Monica Cueva: I think you might have to swipe it.

For today's agenda, we just have an hour session so it's going to go pretty quickly. So we are going to talk about-- And survey. People on Zoom, we're dealing with a Smartboard here, so it might not be as smooth as we would like.

So we are going to be talking about using Zoom breakout rooms to create fun and engaging speed meeting activities with breakout rooms. Diana is going to show us a couple of websites that she uses and how you can create discussion activities in Zoom, and then we'll also be sharing some resources with you for additional conversation and pronunciation practice.

And so for right now we would like just to do a quick poll so that we can see who is here in attendance with us. There is the link that you can type on your device, menti.com, and there's a voting code. You can also scan this code with your phone really fast, and we just have two questions for you.

So the first is just if you can share your name, your agency, position, and subject area.

And the second is your comfort level with Zoom breakout activities.

And I see some responses coming in already. And we won't to be able to share these responses on the screen here today, but I think-- can you see everyone's responses on your device as you answer the question?

Audience: In a moment.

Audience: It says to wait for the next slide.

Monica Cueva: And you can't see the results? Well, I can just call out a few. We have Matt Spack here, we have people from Miracosta-- Oh, yay, we have some from San Diego College of Continuing Education.

I see Illinois. Wow, welcome. I see why you are joining via Zoom. We also have South San Francisco. A lot of ESL faculty, Director of Community Education and Training in New Jersey. OK, well welcome everyone. I'm going to move to the next question, which is what is your comfort level with breakout room activities in Zoom, and so if we can just get a quick gauge of that.

OK, so it seems like many of you are very comfortable with breakout activities in Zoom, and then there are some of you that are somewhat comfortable and some of you feel you might be more in need of practice, so that's great. We will be going over some breakout room activities and going over some of the details of how to make it happen a little bit more smoothly, but it's good to know that you are comfortable with that.


Audience: You have a chat monitor now, so you don't have to go back and forth.

Monica Cueva: Oh, thank you. I was looking at the survey, but yeah, thank you.

Audience: Just ask Rosana and she [ INAUDIBLE ]

Monica Cueva: Perfect. OK, great. OK, so we are going to move on, so thank you for that feedback.

And so I'm going to begin and start talking about speed meeting activities that you can create for speaking practice in Zoom, and this might look a little familiar to some of you. When you have a Zoom meeting, not many students have their cameras on and everyone or almost everyone is on mute. So how do we go from this to what more closely resembles what we're used to in the in-person class, where students are interacting and engaging and collaborating? And so that's kind of what Diana and I will both be going over today, is how can you make it more similar to what we know and are familiar with in our in-person classes?

And so-- actually if you can just go back for a minute, Diana-- Oh, it's not that easy?

Diana Vera-alba: Not on the [ INAUDIBLE ]

Audience: She can press the back button [ INAUDIBLE ]

Diana Vera-alba: You would think.

Monica Cueva: We can stay here. OK, and so if you can think of, in the classroom, one activity we have is where students stand in two lines facing each other and they are talking with each other and then they shift and now they're with a new partner, so that's something we can recreate in Zoom. Or if you know the eternal mingle activities, where students have a piece of paper and they're walking around the room and asking the other classmates questions, these are things that we can do with Zoom and that's what I'll be showing you today is some ideas for these speed meeting activities.

And so I'm just going to go over the logistics of how you make this happen and then I will share with you some example lessons that you could use for these activities. So the first step, of course, is you want to make sure that you share your list of questions with students-- or maybe it's a dialogue that you want them to practice-- share that with them in advance, go over some practice, let them think of their answers to the questions. Examples could be working on self-introductions with their classmates. It could be used for targeted vocabulary practice, grammar practice, whatever discussion topic you would like, whatever the theme of the unit is; these could all work for creating speed meeting activities.

Then step two is where you want to set up your breakout rooms. You want to keep them very small, so two students to a room so that you can maximize their opportunities for speaking. If there's an odd number, then you'll need three students. And this is an image of what the settings look like before you actually open your breakout rooms, and so you just want to make sure-- if you can tap again, Diana-- you want to make sure that you click-- before you open the room, you click Settings-- Oh, I can't touch it. You click Settings and then you'll see-- you want to make sure that Automatically move all assigned students is checked so that students just automatically get pushed into the breakout room and they don't have to click anything. Then you also want to make sure that Auto close rooms is selected, and that you have whatever time you want to allow is inputted there. And so you want this to be very fast, so usually it's anywhere from two to five minutes that you can enter. And then lastly, you want to make sure that you have the Countdown selected so that once you close the room, students have a little bit of warning, maybe 10 seconds, maybe 15 seconds.

Then step 3 is once students are in the breakout rooms, you want to share your screen with them in the breakout rooms so that they can see the questions that you want them to talk about. A lot of people think that you need to stop sharing in order to start sharing to breakout rooms, or same for audio. You don't have to. From within your Zoom meeting you can just, up at the top when you're sharing your screen, you see all your tools. You just click the More button with the three dots, then you'll see the dropdown menu. You'll click Share to breakout rooms, and then you can always confirm that you are actually sharing because the green bar up at the top will say You are screen sharing to breakout rooms.

There is one thing to keep in mind when you're sharing your screen to breakout rooms: that means that you cannot leave the main session. So your students are all talking in breakout rooms and you're sitting in the main session alone because you're sharing your screen. So one way around this is having two devices. So you have your host device, which is usually your laptop or computer that you're using, and that's the one that's sharing the screen. Then you log on from your cell phone or tablet and that is the co-host device and you use that device to join all the breakout rooms and you can listen and talk with students.

You just want to make sure-- this is very important-- that you Leave Computer Audio on the host device. So whichever device is sharing the screen, you want to leave the audio so that you're not hearing the echoing, and you can do that by clicking the little caret next to the Mute button and select Leave Computer Audio. And then just make sure you Join Audio when you return.

Step four, you want to give students enough time to talk about the questions in their breakout rooms. So this is usually two to five minutes, depending on the activity, but again they're speed meetings, so you want it to go quickly and it's a way to energize students and engage them.

While students are in the breakout rooms, it is very helpful to monitor them in a quick way without having to enter every room, especially because these are very short breakout sessions. You can just click on the Participants button and then you can see a list of all the students. You can see who is muted, who is not muted, who has their video on or off. So I can quickly see, oh, in room four, Mengya is muted and has her video off, so I don't think she's a very good partner right now for Yinan, so I'm going to quickly just move Yinan into a group where she is able to participate with her classmates. So it's a great way to quickly maneuver students around to see who doesn't have a partner to talk to.

OK. Step five, you're going to close the breakout room, bring everyone back to the main session, and then you're going to click Recreate. So you'll see on your Breakout Rooms that there's a Recreate button that's going to automatically shift everyone around. And then you open the rooms again and now students have a new partner to talk with. So it really works the same way as our mingle activities in class, where it's moving them around. Sometimes it pairs the same students together, and that's fine because oftentimes you're talking about different questions, so it doesn't usually become too big of a problem.

Audience: There is a question for you. How do you switch a student to another room?

Monica Cueva: Oh, yes. If we can go back-- In order to do that-- so you can see on room four that I would want to move Yinan, so on the right side, I can just select Move To and then I could choose which room I would like to move her to. So that far right side, I'll click Move To. Thank you for the question.

OK, so now I just went over the logistics of that pretty quickly. Does anyone have any questions about those steps, other than how to move students? Are there any questions in the chat? No? OK, great. So now I'm going to show you some of those examples of the activities.

Audience: Do you want to try clicking and see if that takes us to the open tab.

Monica Cueva: I think we'll just escape.

Audience: Escape? OK.

Monica Cueva: So we do have ways here for you to access these resources later, but I will show them to right now. And let me see if I can move that down and-- OK.

OK. So this is a Google Slides of different activities that you could use or just get inspiration from, and you can see that they're color coded, so on the left here, each section of one color is one lesson and one example. So the first one here is an example just a quick get-to-know-your-classmates activity, and this is an activity where the teacher would share their room their screen to breakout rooms, so the same example that I just went over with those steps.

Is there a question?

Audience: When you share a screen to breakouts, it goes to each pair?

Monica Cueva: Yes. Yes, so each breakout room will see the same screen that you see from the main session. And just to clarify, you cannot leave the main session because once you leave the main session it will stop the screen sharing, and that's why you would need the two devices.

And so then this is an example. You have your list of questions for students. These are for them to get to know each other. You might want to give them some time to read the questions and respond. You could do this the night before class or you could do this during class. You provide them the instructions that they'll have three minutes to spend in a breakout room and then they'll be moved to a different group with a new classmate.

And then this is what I would be sharing to breakout rooms, so the students in every breakout room will see these four questions. They'll have three minutes to talk with their partner about these questions, then I bring everyone back to the main session, I Recreate breakout rooms, and now I'll share this screen and they'll see these questions. Talk about these questions, come back, I'll recreate the breakout rooms, and now I have new questions.

So instead of just having one partner to talk about all 10 questions for 15 minutes-- that's also interesting, but this makes it a little bit more interesting where they can talk with maybe four or five different classmates, and afterwards my students always feel so energized and they're excited and they're like, yeah I want to do that again. Let's go. I want to talk to more classmates. So it's just a really fun way to get them talking.

And then this is set up as a similar activity, but this time there's some images involved. And this was set up as a pre-lesson discussion before we started talking and learning about job interviews, and so this was just to get them thinking about job interviews and their experience with job interviews and what they already know and think about job interviews. So they have the pictures with the questions, and this is the screen I would share when they're in the breakout room. And then same thing, they'll switch rooms, they have a new set of questions.

And again a new set of questions. So they'll be in a different room each time, and this one has five different groups that they will participate in, so by the end of this they could have talked to maybe five or more different classmates.

You can also do this with dialogues, so you can see this example is conversation practice. It was more of a strategy for students to remember people's names when they first meet them, and it's just to help students remember to repeat the other person's name in a conversation. So we talk about, what are some strategies that can help you remember names, then we practice a dialogue where two students are having this conversation and they repeat the other person's name, and then we have the sample dialogue where they actually go into the breakout room and introduce themselves to one person, and they each have to have this conversation and say the other person's name. And this is-- I will share this screen, and this time this is the same dialogue that they keep practicing, so the dialogue doesn't change, the partners change, and so they just get a lot of repetition with the same dialogue, speaking with different classmates.

And so you can do this with all kinds of conversation strategies, such as asking follow-up questions or clarification questions, and you just have that one dialogue that all students can practice in different breakout rooms.


Audience: [ INAUDIBLE ] say hello. A lot of my colleagues put links in the chat during breakout room. Share video seems less complicated. [ INAUDIBLE ]

Monica Cueva: Yes, and I do have that example coming up, so that is definitely true. You could do that as well, but that could be more complicated for students, right, where this is maybe more complicated for the teacher but less complicated for the students, because right when they go into their breakout rooms, the questions are there and they see them. Yeah.

And this is another example for beginning level. So this is from a website, All Things Topics, that I will show you a little bit more if we have time later, but this website has so many resources for teachers. It's not a website that you'll take students to, but it is a website for you to have teachers go to access and retrieve different documents and videos, so I really recommend checking this out. But for example, I have this video that is from the website, and it's not going to work to play it right now, but it's just a short dialogue. So students can listen to the dialogue and then they go into breakout rooms and they have the dialogue. This is from the website All Things Topics, so I didn't have to come up with this, it's all there on the website for me. And students have this dialogue; this is what I would share to breakout rooms; they practice this dialogue. They can practice this same dialogue with multiple partners, and maybe that's the only dialogue we focus on for day one.

Then day two, we have dialogue two about daily activities and morning routine. They'll listen to the dialogue, we'll practice, then they go into their breakout rooms and they get a lot of practice with the same dialogue with different partners. And so each day you just focus on one of these dialogues. And again, these are from All Things Topics.

And they have an All Things Topics general website and then there's also All Things Topics listening, All Things Topics grammar, so lots of resources there.

This is one where you would not have to share your screen, and this would be for vocabulary practice. So for example, you have your list of questions, you want students to complete these questions using whatever vocabulary you're focusing on. So for this we're focusing on phrasal verbs, so they're completing these questions with phrasal verbs. We review the questions, and then in order to pick the question we can have a little fun and we can spin the wheel and we can decide, which question are you going to talk about in your breakout room? Numbers one through eight-- you could have a very long list of questions with even more-- and then you go to this wheel picker. And once I copy the link, all of my inputs are saved. I don't even have to create an account. So I have all these numbers, spin the wheel.

Also input students' names here if that's how you want to call on students randomly. It will land on a--

[celebratory music]

We're going to talk about question number eight. Then I can hide the choice so that we don't see question eight again. And you can see it's no longer checked, but if later I want number eight there I can just check it again. And so now we'll talk about number eight, so I could then just put number eight in the chat, so I just put that question in the chat, students go to their breakout rooms and only talk about question eight. Then they come back, we spin the wheel again, choose a question, I put that in the chat, we talk about that. So that could be an alternative to sharing your screen every time, if you would like.

And I think that's it for me. Those are the activities I'm sharing. I think we have a question.

Audience: Elizabeth said this would be great practice for answering job interview questions. Students would have to practice answering briefly so that both people have time to answer.

Monica Cueva: Yes. And you can increase the amount of time that students spend, but yeah, you could focus on one interview question each day. And today we're just focusing on tell me about yourself and you're going to practice that question with four different classmates, and tomorrow we'll focus on a new question. So yes, that would be a great use of this activity, so thank you Elizabeth.

And we're going to go back here so that Diana can share her information.

Oh, and I do want to just mention, I do have this activity-- can you hit escape really fast? Sorry, it's not an activity, it's a resource for you so I just want to make sure that it's there. Before my students go into breakout rooms, I usually will just show this screen to them as a reminder. Introduce yourself to your classmates, try to turn your video on if you can, ask questions, and if you need help from the teacher, click Ask for Help. This is available on the slides as a Google Slide and PDF, so you're welcome to use any of these resources as you would like.

OK, thank you. I think we're right on time.

Diana Vera-alba: All right. Well, thank you everyone online and here in the classroom. I'm going to talk about a website similar to the one that Monica mentioned. This one's called ESL Discussions, and ESL Discussions has many high-interest discussion topics and activities. By many I mean over 700 discussion topics. They have 14,000 questions within those 700 topics and the levels are high-intermediate to advanced, but remember that if you teach a lower class or lower-level class, you can take ideas from this, right? Maybe you'll use that topic and just change the wording on the question to match your students' level.

So we're going to go to ESL Discussions quickly. I'm going to go through that page. I wanted to let you know, I'm the OER Coordinator so I'm always looking at copyright, and they do have-- I'll let you peruse that at your leisure, but they do have a copyright permission spelled out on their site, and then this link is more information on the site. So let me see if that works. I'm going to try it.

Monica Cueva: You're going to be brave.

Diana Vera-alba: I'm going to be brave.

And again, this is one of those websites that's for teachers, not for students. Again, they have over 709 discussions. If you're teaching in person, there are ready-made printouts that you can print out with their copyright permission, and that copyright permission states that their website has to be at the bottom, so do not erase their website from that bottom of that worksheet.

There's everyday conversation. There's some touchy conversations in here about politics, so, I mean, there's over 700 choices, so I just try to stay clear of controversial topics. But if you go through the site, the really nice thing is they're in alphabetical order. So sometimes they'll have people's names, sometimes they'll just they'll have countries. Just different topics. And again, this is a site for instructors, so you can just go through, as you see-- there's one on dancing and I'm going to click on it because I've used this one before and I know it's pretty good.

Audience: There's a [ INAUDIBLE ]

Diana Vera-alba: And there are a lot of ads, so you can just ignore the ads. So what it will have are at least 10 questions for Student A at least 10 questions for Student B So on the site, the way that they recommend using it is if you're in a in-person class, it says "Do not show these to Student B." So when I was teaching in person, I'd have Student A facing the class, Student B facing the back, so they're just on the opposite side of the table. But I teach online now, so I created some activity slides to show you of how you can do this online.

And there's a question?

Audience: [ INAUDIBLE ] said, "One way to talk about politics that is less inflammatory is to focus on students' experience of politics in their own country rather than current US politics.

Diana Vera-alba: But that can also be very controversial.


So it's up to you of course, right? You have the freedom to do that as an instructor, but I like to keep it safe. But of course, any topic can become controversial, right, so that's why it's a good thing for you to monitor. And I do the exact same thing that Monica does; I'm signed into two devices, my cell phone or my tablet and my desktop and I am monitoring, because yes, any topic can become controversial, right?

Any other questions before I move on? OK, So let me go back.

OK, so we briefly looked at ESL Discussions. By the way, this site-- the link that I took you to is straight into discussion, but it's a part of a larger site, so feel free to look around.

OK, so I'm going to show you how I do this with my students online. So again I use questions from ESL Discussion, or if I don't like the wording I'll just prepare my own discussion questions on slides, just like I have here.

And then step two, I review the slides and I give students directions on how to use the information on the slides and the timer while they are in the breakout room. So what I do is I actually add a online timer to the slides so that students can see the time. And you'll see later on, I cut the time on some of them so that they really, once they get into it, they go straight into the questions.

And then step three, I set up the breakout rooms like Monica demonstrated, with two students per breakout room.

Step four, I always tell the students-- because I do what Monica does, they switch around or they switch with different partners-- I always have them introduce themselves. I always have that slide where they quickly introduce themselves: just give the name, nice to meet you; nice to meet you, too. And then I go straight into the questions, so I leave this slide in there for a few seconds, and after they do this one time, they'll get, OK, she went really fast on that; we better get to the questions.

So here is where I give the students more time. I set up a timer for 10 minutes, and especially at the beginning when I first do this activity I give them 10 minutes. As time goes on through the class and they're used to doing this activity, I'll shorten this to five minutes so that they really, really get going through and have a lively conversation.

Audience: We use those timers for our PLC meetings.

Diana Vera-alba: Oh, yes [laughs]. If it works for us, it [ INAUDIBLE ] Right?

Audience: [ INAUDIBLE ] with students, too.

Diana Vera-alba: Yes. So again, it gives students time to discuss the questions, I give them 10 minutes for each set of questions and include the countdown timer, and at the end I pick a timer that has noise that starts going [imitates alarm sound]. But I don't play it for very long, just to get them going and they know when they hear that-- when they see it and they hear it, they know I'm going to bring them out of the breakout room.

So then-- Yeah?

Audience: How do you add a countdown timer to your slides?

Diana Vera-alba: I use a countdown timer from YouTube, so I just get the embed code and I embed it in my Google Slide.

Audience: How long are your online classes?

Diana Vera-alba: My online reading class is two hours.

Audience: They're also insertable, the general insert [ INAUDIBLE ] Google Slides.

Diana Vera-alba: You can.

Speaker 3: That's advanced. Man. I'm like [ INAUDIBLE ] YouTube.

Diana Vera-alba: Yes. There's several ways.

So again, I give a Student B 10 minutes to ask the questions and then they're answering, going back and forth, because it is the same topic, but a new set of questions. So the topic is meeting or traveling. For the first set of questions, the second set of questions will also be travel questions.

And again I start the timer. So you control the timer because you control the slides. The students don't control that.


Audience: Sorry, do you have them write down their-- [ INAUDIBLE ] do you have them write down their answers to the questions, or is it--

Diana Vera-alba: No this is--

Audience: Like they read and then they respond?

Diana Vera-alba: Yes, they read and respond. They can. I mean, some students like to take a picture. Students always like to do that. But I share my slides with them in Canvas, so the slides, I actually add them a couple of days before class. So my class is on Wednesday; I add the new unit on Monday so students know that that's when I open up the next module and they'll already have the slides. And that's fine with me, because they've already practice. Those that are really advanced or really want to get on top of the assignments for that week, they'll know. They'll anticipate the questions for the breakout room.

Audience: Sorry, a follow-up question: do you find that-- Sorry, what level do you teach?

Diana Vera-alba: Intermediate, advanced.

Audience: OK. Do you find that they can pick it up really quickly, or do you--

Diana Vera-alba: Just like anything else, at the beginning of the semester there's more instruction. That's why I give them 10 minutes for this, but that's with everything in the class. You give them a little bit more time at the beginning and once they get used to the routine and used to do the sequence of my modules in Canvas, used do the sequence of my online classes, by the second week they're on it, they know what's going on. So yeah, I change the topic, I don't change the structure of my class.

Any other questions on this?

Audience: Nothing in the chat.

Diana Vera-alba: OK. All right. So I'm going to take you to a sample activity, and number two is actually the same activity, just your own copy, so when you click on it it'll just open up that Google copy and then you can do whatever you want with it, OK?

Yay. I just had to be patient. Oh, no. OK. OK. Which one is it? This one, right?

Audience: Yeah, I think so.

Diana Vera-alba: Yep, that's the one. OK, so I'll stand over here. So here are my slides, the actual slides that I use. So I go through the first four slides with the whole group. So I introduce the topic, we're going to talk about travel. As soon as you get in there you're going to introduce yourselves--

Audience: The owl. When you stand in front of the--

Diana Vera-alba: Ah, OK. [laughs] I'll stand over here then. Thank you, Melinda.

So as soon as they-- I tell them as soon as you go into the breakout rooms you're going to introduce yourselves. These are the questions that you're going to ask each other. Remember that you're going to take turns being the question reader, but of course I want you to have a natural dialogue, so if question number one leads to another question in your mind, that's OK, as long as you're having a conversation about that topic.

And then when they're in the slides, I tell them you're going to see this slide and it's only going to be up there for two seconds and then I'm going to go straight into the questions. So I prepare the students for the sequence, and then after two times that they do this I don't have to prepare them, they already know. So here are the slides with the timer, and-- let me see. Is it up here? Yeah.

So again, there's the timer. As the instructor you just start the timer and it doesn't make any noise; it's just a countdown timer that the students see. At the end, they will hear the noise.

And so you can hear what it sounds like--

[siren blaring]

So they'll be able to hear that and go to the next slide. So again, they come out of the breakout rooms, I Recreate those breakout rooms, and then they go to-- [ INAUDIBLE ]

Well, no. If you're Student A, you're asking the questions. Student B is just answering the questions. But if they naturally want to have a follow-up question, [ INAUDIBLE ] as long as you're having-- I want this to be a natural type of conversation. I'm giving you some questions that you could start with conversationally, but if it feels natural to you to ask a follow-up question to question one or question two, then that is your conversation.

And then the next set of questions-- again, they get the same instructions. Now instead of answering the questions you're going to ask for Student B, you're going to start asking the questions, and so their roles reverse. And then here they get the ready, and then the next set of questions with the same timer. And again, I allow that natural conversation. At the beginning they're just reading off the questions, but as they get accustomed to it they can put their own questions [ INAUDIBLE ]

Students always want the copies, right? So if you have an LMS that you use-- I always post my slides and lesson for that week on Monday [ INAUDIBLE ] so they have that. Yes?

Audience: [ INAUDIBLE ]

Diana Vera-alba: Oh, OK. [ INAUDIBLE ] the opposite

Audience: I really like [ INAUDIBLE ]

Instead of just responding, like an organic conversation.

Diana Vera-alba: [laughs] Thank you.


OK, sure. So it was a comment that somebody made that they like the idea that it's an organic conversation, that students don't write down the questions and the responses so that they can truly have an organic conversation.


OK. All right. We'll continue.

OK, so again, you'll have your copy and that is a template to use.

So the next site I want to talk about is Basic English Speaking, and it's a website that takes common English structures and sentence patterns to teach students how to produce [ INAUDIBLE ] things in English. So the activities can be used in person or online with a little setup, and for me it's slides. This website has 75 high-interest topic conversations, and the nice thing about these is that they're professionally recorded and include [ INAUDIBLE ]

So there's a couple of ways that teachers can use this. So each recording has a YouTube video option of the [ INAUDIBLE ] so you'll hear two people having this conversation and you'll see the words on the screen, so that's one way of using them. You can also use the audio option of the complete conversation where the students are only listening to the conversation. And then the third recording is a sentence-by-sentence option of the complete [ INAUDIBLE ] So you basically can go one sentence at a time [ INAUDIBLE ] scaffolded to only one sentence at a time.

So this is the one that I like to do with my beginning, intermediate students. So let's take a tour of this site and you'll see what I mean by this.

Yay, it worked.

OK, so again they have conversation practice questions. This is a larger website as well that has lots of resources like the website that Monica showed you. So if you scroll down, you'll see the 75 different topics and they're nice, very, very professionally [ INAUDIBLE ] So let's take a look at coffee shop, [ INAUDIBLE ] I'm going to demo today. There's lots of commercials, and again this is a website for teachers, not for students, although you can-- these are YouTube videos, if you want to give students a link to that so they can practice at home or you can do all kinds of neat things.

OK, so here is the YouTube recording. I'm going to play just a few seconds of it so you can see what I'm talking about.

[video playback]

[music playing]

- What's your favorite coffee shop?

- My favorite one is The Coffee House, a local coffee shop in my neighborhood.

- Where is it?

- It's 500 meters far from my house.

- How often do you visit that coffee shop?

- Every weekend when I hang out with my friends. The coffee house is always our first choice.

- Who do you go with?

- It's far from my house.

[end playback]

Diana Vera-alba: OK, so I'm going to stop it for a second. So as you see each slide, each slide has the conversation that the two people are having, so you don't need to use the closed captions on this because it's already on the screen. The second recording is the exact same conversation without the words, only the audio if you want to practice listening. So let me just play a few seconds of that.

[video playback]

- What's your favorite coffee shop?

- My favorite one is The Coffee House, a local coffee shop in my neighborhood.

- Where is it it's 500 meters far from my house.

- How often do you--

[end playback]

Diana Vera-alba: So you see it's the exact same conversation, just the audio, and then you have the exact same conversation down at the bottom recorded sentence by sentence.

So you can use all three of these in three different ways. The way I use the last one it is as a dictation, so that's really fun because they speak at a normal pace. So here's the first.

[video playback]

- What's your favorite coffee shop?

[end playback]

Diana Vera-alba: And then you could play it again.

[video playback]

- What's your favorite coffee shop?

[end playback]

Diana Vera-alba: Play it as many times as you want. I usually do three or four times once students get the hang of it so that they can write their dictation. When I do this as a dictation, I usually only do five questions or five sentences. Maybe the next day I'll do another five as we continue, and then at the end I'll do an activity with the whole conversation. So I'm going to show you how I do that.

Any questions, Melinda?

Audience: Oh, yeah, it sounds better to me.

Diana Vera-alba: OK.

All right.

So that was just a tour of the site, so let's go to the activity. Let's see if it opens up.


Monica Cueva: It's the second Google Slides tab.

Diana Vera-alba: This one?

Monica Cueva: Yeah.

Diana Vera-alba: OK. Thanks. OK, so this is the way that I use it in class or-- online, actually, I use this online. So I have usually the topic here with some background of the topic and then I let students know that we're going to be practicing their listening skills, I give them some reasons why this is important-- it's good listening habit, or good listening habits are important for learning English. It will help their brain retain some of that language and the construct of a conversation in English, and then it will help them improve their conversation and they'll become more confident.

Then I have a slide about how to get them ready, so get a piece of paper ready or your notebook and something to write with. I tell them to make sure that they're in a quiet area free from distractions. I want them to focus. And then I'll let them know that they'll hear the sentence three times. I remind them that correct punctuation is important, and then we begin.

So this slide is for you. At this point, I stop sharing because it's a dictation, and then I have a link for myself so I remember to go to that link, and then I'll play the recording. Once I play those five sentences, then once we finish that, then we're going to correct their sentences and then I'll put one sentence at a time. We talk about, oh did you add the question mark at the end? Did you capitalize? Did you spell the words correctly? So I let them correct their sentences on their own and then I go through the five.

So as you see here, I go through each of the sentences and we talk about them. If they have mistakes, this is where you can engage the students. What questions do you have, or what were the words that were the most difficult for you, and we talk about spelling or whatever that problem-- or grammar or whatever they tell you.

So as I go through the sentences-- Oh, that's another thing. I don't erase the previous one, just in case there's a slow rider, they still have the opportunity-- if they're still on number two but I'm already on number four, they still have the opportunity to continue correcting. Or sometimes they make comparisons, like why in that sentence was there a period and this one had this, right?

So I go through the five or six, in this case six, questions. It's six questions because it's that dialogue, two people talking. And then after we correct the sentences they go into their breakout rooms, and this time they have five minutes. And I have a practice conversation here. I want them to practice the conversation that they just corrected, but since they have five minutes I give them an idea to have their own organic conversation about the topic of, in this case coffeehouse, or meeting at a coffeehouse. So I give them some example sentences, but they can create their own or just have that organic conversation with each other.

This time, again, only five minutes, and then here is a suggestion. When I was teaching face-to-face in class I was using this activity as well. So you can use the worksheet. They provide-- actually, no, this site doesn't provide a worksheet. I have a transcription activity where I only include maybe the first couple words in the sentence or maybe the last two words in the sentence, but there's a link to that worksheet for you.

Five minutes? OK.

And then here's the rest of the questions, because what I do is the next day I'll do the same thing with those questions. I just leave them prepared for me so that the next day I continue on these same slides, and that way at the end the students have the whole conversation.

Any questions?


And that's it for mine.

Monica Cueva: Do you have any resources you want to talk about?

Diana Vera-alba: Oh, yeah. OK, So the resources that I talked about are here the ESL Discussion and Basic English Speaking Another fun site that I like to use is Lyrics Training. Have you seen that one before? So lots of my students love to sing karaoke. I don't because I have a horrible singing voice, but they do. They love it. And Lyrics Training is a practice specifically made for ESL students and it's similar to karaoke. They see where it's on screen. It's a lot of fun.

So we don't have a lot of time, right, Monica?

Monica Cueva: Yeah.

Diana Vera-alba: So I'm just going to talk about some of these. The other one I use is Answer Garden, and I use this at the end of our quizlet activity in Canvas. So students practice vocabulary before we do any of this other speaking. We practice the vocabulary in Quizlet and at the end of their page on Quizlet I embed an Answer Garden. And that's one of those word clouds but it embeds nicely in an LMS, and students will have one question, like what was the new word or words that you learned this week, or something like that. So that's in there. So go ahead, Monica.

Monica Cueva: And yes, Answer Garden embeds really nicely in Canvas. It's really cool.

And then I have the links here. All Things Topics is the website that I talked about where there's a plethora of resources for you with YouTube videos, PDF. Everything's reproducible. I even emailed the creator of the site and he is very responsive, and I just asked him, oh, is it fine if I copy from a PDF and just use your dialogues and put them in my own format, and he said totally that's fine, so if you have any questions about what you can do with his materials he's super responsive.

Google Pronunciation Tool. This is a great, easy-to-use tool that students can actually use to check their pronunciation and practice, and you literally just type in "how to pronounce beautiful," and then Google will bring up the tool and show you how to pronounce it and show a visual of what your mouth positioning should be. And I've included a video tutorial that I've created here for students so that it walks them through how they use the tool and how they can check their own pronunciation.

And then we also have some fun wheel centers here. One nice thing is you can input your entire student roster on one wheel, and then whoever is not there for the day, you just uncheck their name and then you just spin the wheel and it will call on any of the students that are in attendance for that day.


And then I think we have some more sites for you here.

Diana Vera-alba: Yes. So this is My English Club. I like this as well for dictation practice. They have an elementary, intermediate, and advanced level. This is a student site, so you can add the link to the site for a specific conversation that you see in there and you can just ask students to practice homework.


Audience: How can I get this slide deck?

Monica Cueva: That's what I wanted to get to. Let's skip this.

Diana Vera-alba: Because we're done.

Monica Cueva: So this is the QR code for our slides. There is a link at the bottom if you can't scan it. So you have access to everything we shared today. Feel free to copy anything, modify, reuse however you would like. We are sharing it all with you.

Audience: Thank you so much.

Monica Cueva: And thank you everyone for attending.