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Archive for March 2015

Blended learning combines offline learning with online learning. Offline learning can include teacher-led whole-class instruction, 1:1 instruction, and collaborative group learning. Online learning can be individual or group, but it involves the use of online programs and resources to deliver the learning experience for students.

Blended learning is meant not to replace the teacher but rather to extend learning.

The key idea behind blended learning is that students have some control over time, pace, path, and place. Allowing students to take some control of their learning increases their motivation to learn and allows them the time needed to work through the material.

Now that we have defined what blended learning is and what it is not, let’s delve into some best practices for implementing blended learning.

Effective preparation leads to effective implementation. Once you decide you want to implement a blended learning environment, here are the next steps:

  • Ensure that you have the appropriate resources to support the technical components of your program. You don’t want the lack of technology to hinder the process, so ensure your components are properly set up and ready before you get started.
  • Define your expectations and desired outcomes. Just like we use rubrics for students for content, we want to use a similar concept in a blended learning classroom. What are your expectations, and what do you want to accomplish? Clear definitions for your students provide them with a roadmap to ensure that they stay on track.

Once you implement blended learning, use the following best practices to stay on track:

  • Stay focused (make sure offline and online content support one another and your expectations/outcomes).
  • Provide clear expectations and instructions (ELLs need step-by-step instructions, simply stated).
  • Use engaging material.
  • Provide effective and frequent feedback. Feedback will ensure that your students stay on track and allow you to determine if they are off track.

There are various models of blended learning: the Rotation Model, the Flex Model, the Self-Blend Model, and the Enriched-Virtual Model.

The Rotation Model is more teacher-led, and it is the model I would recommend as a starting point when working in blended learning for the first time or when working with English Language Learners.

Setting up stations for online learning in the classroom or, based on your technology accessibility, possibly a computer lab setting, allows students to work in various contexts to enhance their learning.

For a practical example, we will use the Rotation Model in the following scenario:

Mr. Davis is working with his class on the parts of speech. He introduces this objective as a whole-class lesson, and students work through various activities and discuss. After the initial whole-class instruction, Mr. Davis evaluates how the students performed on the class activities. With this data, he splits the class into various groups and has the students rotate through three stations to extend their learning on this topic.

One station is a collaborative group station. Mr. Davis creates the groups and provides reading passages and activities for the group to work on together. He also provides step-by-step instructions for the group to ensure the directions are clearly understood by the group.

Another station is for Online Learning. In this station, students are working in an online program on a lesson in parts of speech. After they complete that lesson, they go back to their individual paths in the program to continue learning and reinforcing additional concepts they have worked on in class.

The third station is a Group and 1:1 station for students to work directly with Mr. Davis. Based on the performance on the whole-class activity and other data Mr. Davis has compiled, he groups students on similar needs so that he can work on extension activities and guide them as needed in a small group or 1:1 setting.

The Rotation Model is easy to implement into virtually any schedule because it doesn’t require a lot of additional pieces to make it work. You can utilize your existing classroom and resources by just moving things around a bit. Having this model allows students to work in various contexts, leading to higher retention. It also allows the teacher to differentiate instruction in an effective way.

This is just one example of how to use the Rotation Model in your blended learning classroom. As you begin your journey and work out the details, you will be able to tweak the process to best suit the needs of your campus/classroom.

Have you already implemented blended learning? As you reflect on your own experience, what do you find is working well? Have you clearly defined your expectations and outcomes and provided that information to your students? Are you providing effective and frequent feedback to ensure that your students are on track? Remember, planning and preparation lead to successful implementation.

By Shari Rios


Is our feedback message always kindly and gratefully taken? We frequently realized that our feedback or message was great for the improvement of other people’s performance, but they just disliked it. Some of them even commented that they had a bad headache every time they receive a feedback. Is our message too negative and difficult to accept? Were these people too sensitive or were we mistaken in delivering the message? Or were we that harsh? Maybe… we just didn’t like the idea that so many people hated our feedback ….

Here is a great article written by Sheila Shanker:

After some research and a lot of trial and error changing the feedback messages into a more palatable version, my problem was resolved! Now, quite a few students email me, thanking me for the constructive feedback they received. What a change! Here are my suggestions to improve your feedback messages to students, who don’t have to hate them.

  1. Don’t ignore it.
    Instead of assuming that you have too many over-sensitive students, take a clinical look at your own feedback messages. Listen to what the students are saying and tell your ego to shut up. While instructors oftentimes need to be tough and point out issues, they can communicate these problems in ways that are effective and well received. This doesn’t mean that all students will love you, but recognizing that there may be a problem with the feedback message, it’s a great first step.
  2. Use certain phrases.
    My favorite new words are “a bit.” A post was a bit off topic. Organization of a paper needs a bit of improvement. “A bit” softens the issue, making it not so big for students to overcome. When work is below expectation, “You show great potential,” can be very useful. Most students show potential, even if they are initially hidden. On other instances, “Your efforts are appreciated” work well when you see that a student tried, but it didn’t work out. “I can tell that you worked hard here” or “I appreciate your well-thought out approach” can be very useful in recognizing student’s efforts, even if they are not successful. Using “I” makes the feedback more individualized – I noticed you.
  3. Mind your “buts.”
    Many instructors use the “sandwich” approach, where they start and end with positive sentences, but they use the word “but”. For example, they can say that a student’s posting showed a good grasp of the topic, but he should have analyzed the issue better.  Instead of “but”, use “and”. This change will do wonders about how the message is written and understood. You could say that a student’s posting showed a good grasp of the topic and could have contained more analysis. The difference in tone is clear.
  4. Be specific on the positive.
    Use quotations or paraphrases from the student’s work whenever possible to show that you really read the work and noticed it. This could be about a specific calculation done right or a good research resource. The idea is to show that the feedback was carefully thought out, not a template used for all students with no real time spent on the student’s work. The more specific you are, the more it shows you care.
  5. Don’t pester.
    Sometimes we want to tackle all issues, so that students can improve fast. The problem is that this approach can overwhelm and discourage many people. So,  focus on one or two problems at most on  each feedback. If appropriate, make a general comment about the other issues. You don’t have to show all the times a grammar problem happened, for instance. You don’t have to quote the issue or repeat it. The idea is to be focused, discreet, and effective.
  6. Offer prompts.
    Another way to make suggestions is to paraphrase the student’s point and mention, “it would have been great if you had…” These prompts help the students become more attentive and to think deeper about the topics. For example, a student post mentions that managers should be paid more. An instructor may say that the point is valid, but it would have been great if the student had given more explanations, maybe an example or a research resource to backup such statement. I have found that asking “why” may be too confrontational, although it may work in some cases.
  7. Give practical suggestions.
    When telling students to improve their work, give specific suggestions whenever possible. For instance, if a paper is full of grammar mistakes, mention that the student could use “Word” grammar checker or other software to help this annoying problem. If the problem is organization, you may note that the student could do an outline before or after the paper is done to make sure the material is well organized, and the ideas flow well.

Hopefully, these ideas will help you in making feedback more effective and pleasant to you and your students. The key is to use these ideas while still sounding like yourself and not a fake copy-and-paste artist. You could scan the feedback messages, especially the ones for struggling students, looking for at least one positive, hopeful sentence or two before these go out. These suggestions may sound strange, but try one thing at a time and soon enough, these practices will become second nature to you.

Sheila Shanker @ http://bit.ly/1HIochI

Is your favorite comic-book outdated or updated?

Check the following webcomics if you would like to be updated.



Agus Satoto @ englishkita

The differences between SAY and TELL are quite small, but still important if you want to speak correct English. Many of you asked about the grammar of SAY and TELL.


Meaning: to pronounce words or sounds, to express a thought, opinion, or suggestion, or to state a fact or instruction.

Grammar: SAY usually takes a direct object. In each example below, the direct object is underlined.


1. I gave her a present and she said, “Thank you.” (note: here, the direct object is the actual words that she used.)

2. He said something about his job, but I can’t remember what it was. (note: here, the direct object is ‘something about his job’. As in example 1, this object relates to the words that were used.)

3. The teacher said that the students should study hard. (note: here, the direct object is a ‘that’ clause. A ‘that’ clause here has the same function as a noun. We often omit the word ‘that’ in these clauses, so we can also say “The teacher said the students should study hard.”)

4. The teacher didn’t say what we had to do for homework. (note: here, the direct object is a wh– clause. This is a clause beginning with who, what, where, why, which, when or whether. A wh-clause has the same function as a noun.)

5. He said to meet him at the station. (note: here, the direct object is the infinitive form, ‘to meet’. Another way to write this sentence is “He said to me that I should meet him at the station.”)


Meaning: to inform someone or to give someone instructions.

Grammar: Tell nearly always takes an indirect object, and that indirect object is a person. In each example below, the indirect object is underlined.


1. He told me about the party, but I couldn’t go. (note: we could also say here, “He said to me that the party was happening, but I couldn’t go.”)

2. He told me about his job, and that he was planning to resign. (note: we could also say here, “ He said to me that he was unhappy in his job and that he was planning to resign.”)

3. The teacher told the students to study hard. (note: here we can also say “The teacher said to the students that they should study hard.”)

4. The teacher didn’t tell us what we had to do for homework. (note: here we can say “The teacher didn’t say what we had to do for homework.”)

5. He told me to meet him at the station. (note: here we can also say, “He said to meet him at the station.”)

Just for a brief explanation of the difference between a direct object and an indirect object, look at these sentences:

He eats an apple. (note: here, apple is a direct object, because the verb ‘eats’ acts directly on the apple)

He gives an apple to me. (note: here ‘apple’ is the direct object, and ‘me’ is the indirect object, because the verb ‘gives’ acts directly on ‘apple’ and indirectly on ‘me’.)

He gives me an apple. (note: here, even though the sentence is arranged differently, the meaning is the same. So ‘an apple’ is still the direct object, and ‘me’ is still the indirect object.)

Here are some examples of some common mistakes with SAY and TELL:

1. He said me to meet him at three o’clock. This is wrong! The correct ways to say this are:

He told me to meet him at three o’clock.

He said that we should meet at three o’clock.

He said to me to meet him at three o’clock. (note: in this example, we can omit ‘to me’ and just say “He said to meet him at three o’clock.)

2. He told that he was going on holiday. This is wrong! The correct ways to say this are:

He told me that he was going on holiday.

He said to me that he was going on holiday.

He said that he was going on holiday.

He said he was going on holiday.

There are some fixed expressions with TELL that have their own grammar, but you will need to learn these separately. Examples are TELL A STORY, TELL THE TRUTH and TELL THE TIME.

Source: https://www.dailystep.com/en/blog/how-use-say-and-tell-english

NOTE: Test ini hanya sekedar alat untuk mengukur kecakapanmu dalam hal Grammar atau Structure. Saya percaya bahwa mengetahui tingkat kecakapan kita saat ini sangat penting bagi kegiatan-kegiatan belajar kita di hari-hari kemudian. Oleh karena itu, kerjakanlah dengan jujur dan sesuai dengan waktu yang disediakan. Menyontek atau melihat kamus atau melihat catatan sama sekali tidak saya sarankan karena tindakan itu hanya akan memberimu label sebagai TUTIRI (tukang tipu diri sendiri) 🙂 

Kerjakan semua soal berikut dalam waktu 25 MENIT. Silakan atur sendiri waktunya dan segera kirimkan Lembar Jawabannya ke englishkita@gmail.com

Part A: Pilih jawaban yang BENAR (Ketik A, B, C, atau D di Lembar Jawab yang terlampir di email)

  1. A log grabber has a long arm ___________. 

A.  calls a jib         B.  calling a jib     C.  a jib called      D.  called a jib

  1. A home computer _______ an opportunity for convenient and efficient work at home. 

A. provides      B.  to be providing        C.  which provides     D.  providing it

  1. Ali Whitney’s milling machine remained unchanged for a century and a half because ______ was so efficient. 

A. it        B.  he     C.  of       D.  its

  1. Some of the rainwater from clouds evaporates before _________. 

A. reaching the ground     B.  to reach the ground       C.  reach the ground  D. the ground reaches

  1. Once an offending allergen has been identified __________ tests, it is possible for the doctor to give specific desensitizing injections.  

A. means of     B.  by means of  C. of the means by       D. by means  .

  1. Sometimes ________ wears people out and is worse than the lack of sleep itself. 

A. to sleep the desire         B.  the desire to sleep      C.  to desire sleep is   D. the desire to sleep who

  1. Although dissimilar in every other respect, birds and insects have both evolved efficient ___________ capabilities.  

A. fly   B.  flying  C.  to fly   D.  is flying

  1. The wheel, ___________ has remained important for 4,000 years, is one of mankind’s first inventions. 

A. how     B.  when    C.  which    D. about

  1. ____________ children master the basics, advanced development become easier. 

A. The         B.  Once       C.  That      D. Even

  1. ___________ there is a close correlation between stress and illness. 

A. Some psychologists believe                   B.  Believed some psychologists

C. Some psychologists to believe               D.  Some psychologists believing

  1. ___________ is often used in soups and sauces. 

A.  Parsley, an inexpensive herb,    B.  Parsley is an expensive herb

C. Inexpensive parsley, herb           D.  An herb is inexpensive parsley

  1. Perspiration increases __________ vigorous exercise or hot weather. 

A. during              B.  when       C.  at the time       D.  for

  1. Goddard developed the first rocket to fly faster _______________ 

A. than sound is   B.  does sound     C. sound      D.  than sound

  1. Even if the unemployment rate _________ sharply, the drop may still be temporary. 

A. to drop       B.  dropping     C.  have dropped     D.  drops

  1. Studies indicate __________ collecting art today than ever before. 

A. there are that more people          B.  more people that are

C. that there are more people          D.  people there are more

Part B: Pilih jawaban yang SALAH (Ketik KATA atau FRASA yang SALAH di Lembar Jawab yang sama)

  1. The surface of the tongue covered with tiny taste buds.                                
  1. Cosmic distance is measured on light-years.            
  1. A million of tourists from all over the world visit New York every year.        
  1. Whereas Earth has one moon, the planet call Mars has two small ones.             
  1. An ardent feminist, Margaret Fuller, through her literature, asked that women be  given a fairly chance.                 
  1. No longer is scientific discovery a matter of one person alone working.       
  1. The scientific method consists of forming hypotheses, collect data, and testing results.                  
  1. All data in computer are changed into electronic pulses by an input unit.                         
  1. The basic law of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are taught to all elementary  school students.       
  1. A largely percentage of Canadian export business is with the United States.
  1. The famous Jim Thorpe won both the pentathlon or decathlon in the 1912 Olympic Games. 
  1. Acute pharyngitis pain is most often caused by a viral infection, for who antibiotics are ineffective.       
  1. Knowledge about cultures provides insights into the learned behaviors of groups. 
  1. A fiber-optic cable across the Pacific went into service in April 1989, link the United States and Japan.        
  1. Dislike the gorilla, the male adult chimpanzee weighs under 200 pounds.           
  1. Before lumberjacks had mechanical equipments, they used horses and ropes to drag logs.            
  1. George Gershwin not only composed popular songs for musicals, also wrote more serious concerts.
  1. Among the world’s 44 richest countries, there has been not war since 1945.
  1. Caricature, a type of comic exaggeration, is common used in political cartoons.
  1. One and more sentences related to the same topic form a paragraph.            
  1. Mirrors done of shiny metal were used by the Egyptians in ancient times.
  1. Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are one of America’s national Treasures.                               
  1. In his early days as a direct, Charlie Chaplin produced 62 short, silent comedy films in four  years.             
  1. Some studies show that young babies prefer the smell of milk to those of other liquids.                     
  1. Plants absorb water and nutrients and anchoring themselves in the soil  with their roots.                          


Semoga kegiatan ini menjadi amal baik kita semua dan Gusti Allah Yang Mahapandai dan Mahapenyayang memudahkan langkah-langkah kita selanjutnya dalam memperbaiki kualitas diri, hidup, ilmu pengetahuan, dan amal-amal kita.


Agus Satoto, M.Hum @ ENGLISHKITA

It’s cool that your English textbook came with a CD full of listening activities.

But after a while you’re going to get bored.

Tired of hearing the same accents, vocabulary and conversation topics?

I can’t blame you.

No matter how authentic they try to be when they make CDs for English learners, it’s just not real English.

It’s too clean, too easy and too clear.

But that’s not the only problem with audio (just sound) made for English students.

You don’t see the speakers, so it’s harder to understand what they’re saying. There’s nothing to see to hold your attention and keep you focused. If you want to improve your listening comprehension skills without getting bored or annoyed, watching a TV series is the way to go.

Perhaps you’ve already tried watching English news broadcasts and full-length English movies. If so, you’re definitely going in the right direction — you’re already familiar with some super fun ways to learn English!

However, there are many unique benefits that only television shows have to offer English learners.

Read on to find out more about English language television shows and how they can improve your English skills.

How to Select the Right TV Show to Improve Your Listening Comprehension

How to Select the Right TV Show to Improve Your Listening Comprehension

Most of us enjoy watching a fun TV show to relax, but not all shows are equally helpful. For instance, “Game of Thrones” is a terrific (or in my opinion, excellent) show, but its characters use many words people don’t use in daily life.

Medical drama “House” would be another bad choice. Even though it’s a gripping (holds your attention) show, it’s full of medical jargon (job-related vocabulary).

It’s better to watch shows with characters in different professions. And it’s much more useful if they don’t live in the Middle Ages. Below are some of the best shows you can watch to boost (improve) your listening skills.

Read the complete posting here at http://www.fluentu.com/english/blog/how-to-improve-english-listening-comprehension-vocabulary/


March 2015

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