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Welcome to the Syllabus for Wonderful Words:  Vocabulary Matters!


Moderators: Brenda Binkley, Anne Hernandez,Jennie Farnell



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Goals of the Session

In the course of the 5 weeks, you will learn collaboratively to:

  • Use various web and electronic tools for learning and teaching ESL/EFL vocabulary
  • Interact through e-mail, text chat, voice chat, voice mail, and distribution lists, among others
  • Create wikis and interactive exercises related to your own contexts
  • Reflect on ways of applying those tools to your teaching, either online or face-to-face.


Three chats will be held to discuss content and pre-defined topics, build rapport and create a sense of community that draws on everyone’s experience.  These will be live sessions with recordings available afterwards.  All sessions will be at 14:00 GMT. (See what time that is for you)

  • Introductory chat on January 18th
  • Follow-up chat on February 1st 
  • Wrap-up chat on February 15th


Much of the content derived from the discussions will be made available through a wiki created during the five weeks, which will be kept online for future reference.


Weekly Content:


Week 1: 

January 13 - 19, 2014

Getting acquainted. 

Introductions by Brenda Binkley, Anne Hernandez and Jennie Farnell.   


By the end of Week 1, you will have:

  • Created a Yahoo email address

  • Joined Wonderful Words Yahoo Group

  • Introduced yourself to the group

  • Completed a survey about the session

  • Created a PBworks account

  • In PBWorks, posted your comments to the two discussion questions on Week 1 Questions 
  • Replied to at least one of your fellow participants' discussion postings
  • Participated in or listened to the WizIQ introductory session


Week 1 Activities


Moderators: Brenda/Anne/Jennie


Week 2

January 20 - 26, 2014

In Week 2, we’ll  review and discuss selected research on vocabulary acquisition and retention and discuss and the use of web resources to enhance vocabulary instruction.There are also two articles from ETP you might like to read


We’ll also introduce you to English Central, which is a paid website (free seats available to us during this session!). Finally, we’ll provide you a list of websites which you can use to create various vocabulary activities with your students. Please take a quick look at the websites and identify one which you’d like to examine further. Next week we’ll be introducing the websites in more depth and asking you, in small groups, to review one of the websites and share your evaluations. For now, please glance through them, find one that looks interesting to you, and sign up for a small group.



By the end of week 2, you will have: 

  • Read at least one current research article about Second Language vocabulary acquisition and retention

  • Posted your responses to three discussion questions on PBWorks Wonderful Words Participants

  • Replied to at least one of your fellow participants' discussion postings

  • Reviewed the tutorial for EnglishCentral and joined (optional)

  • Selected and signed up for the website review/evaluation group of your choice


Week 2 Activities


Moderators: Andrea/Brenda


Back to FrontPage


Week 3

January 26 - February 2, 2014

During Week 3, you’ll begin to interweave the research we discussed last week with various web sites you can use to create your own vocabulary tools. Our focus this week will be on tools which are already created; that is, sites that you can use with your students for focused vocabulary practice but where you don’t have to create your own vocabulary activities.

Brenda will be focusing on websites that may be considered more adult, while Jennie will be looking at websites that can be used with younger learners. However, many of the websites can be used with learners of any age, so there will be some cross over.


By the end of week 3, you will have: 

  • Read the identified article or summaries

  • Posted your responses to two discussion questions on PBWorks Wonderful Words Participants

  • Collaborated with your group to review one website (Collaboration tool examples:  Google Docs and PBWorks)

  • Posted your collaborative summary on PBWorks Wonderful Words Participants

  • Explored the list of websites for Week 4 and selected one tool you’d like to use to create a vocabulary project
  • Participated in or listened to the WizIQ follow-up session


Week 3 Activities


Moderators: Brenda/Jennie


Week 4

February 3 - 9, 2014

The focus this week will be on website as tools; that is, websites which you or your students can use to create your own focused vocabulary projects. It will involved identifying your class’ or your students’ vocabulary needs and then designing a project which will focus on those sets of words. Most of the tools we look at can be used either by the teacher solely, to create activities for his/her class, or by your own students, to put responsibility for vocabulary acquisition into their own hands.


By the end of Week 4, you will have: 

  • Read the identified article or blogs

  • Posted your responses to the three discussion questions on PBWorks Wonderful Words Participants

  • Reviewed the summaries of Week 3 websites and posted feedback

  • Designed a vocabulary project using either webtools of your choosing OR a classroom based activity

  • Shared that activity in PBWorks Wonderful Words Participants or a link to your PBWorks Wiki page.


Week 4 Activities


Moderators: Brenda/Anne/Jennie



Week 5

February 10 - 16, 2014

We’ve made it to Week 5 -- congratulations and thanks for sticking with us while you balanced participating in Wonderful Words with the rest of your busy lives. We’ll use this week for reflection and sharing.


By the end of week 5, you will have:

  • Reviewed and commented on Week 4 projects

  • Shared your learning experiences with fellow participants

  • Evaluated which strategies, approaches, and tools will or won’t work in your environments

  • Discussed how what doesn’t work could be adapted / modified for various situations

  • Participated in or listened to the WizIQ wrap-up session
  • Completed the EVO survey


Week 5 Activities


Moderators: Brenda/Anne/Jennie


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