Memrise Tutorial

This week I am going to present at the BLEC Conference „LANGUAGE AND LAW – TRADITIONS, TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES” at the University of Białystok. I will talk about using memrise in teaching Legal English. Below you can find the abstract of my presentation.

I have also prepared a handout in which I explain step by step how to create courses on memrise. I hope it will be useful for you and your students.

Memrise is an educational tool available both online and for mobile devices. Memrise uses flashcards and mnemonic techniques to aid in teaching foreign languages and memorizing information from other subjects, e.g. geography, law or mathematics. Memrise courses are created by its users through the process of crowdsourcing, therefore they are tailored to the individual needs of the users and may focus on the specific content of a particular coursebook or classes.

The paper will attempt to present possibilities of using memrise in teaching and learning legal English vocabulary during a tertiary course leading to TOLES (Test of Legal English Skills) certificate examination. The paper will look various types of exercises which facilitate memorizing vocabulary, learning collocations, prepositional phrases, develop the skill of paraphrasing and defining legal terms of art in plain English. Application of the crowdsourcing method enables the learners to participate in the process of the course creation and constitutes for them a supplementary, out of class exposure to the target language.

The second part of the paper will discuss the results of the research conducted by the author among her law students. The aim of the research was to investigate the students’ opinions about memrise as a tool which might facilitate individual learning of the specialist language as well as to assess whether memrise may influence the test results achieved by the students during the legal English course. The paper will contrastively analyse the progress tests results achieved by the students who have used memrise to revise and recycle language material and those who have chosen traditional (non-mobile) methods of learning. The research will also attempt to address the question whether the students who have been the contributors to the content for memrise courses have performed in tests better than those who have only been the users.

WIKI for Students of Law

www.duralex.wikispaces.com has been specially designed for Polish and Russian students of Law.

The Project is coordinated by dr Elena Vyushkina from Saratov State Law Academy, Russia and dr Aleksandra Łuczak from Kozminski University, Warsaw, Poland.

Below here is a presentation of WIKI DURALEX for the 5th International Scientific and Methodological Conference on „Information and Communication Technologies in Linguistics, ELT and Crosscultural Communication” at Lomonosov Moscow State University on 7-9 June 2012

The article describing DURALEX WIKI Project written by dr Aleksandra Łuczak from Kozminski University has been awarded the third place in the competition organised by a Polish magazine for foreign languages teachers „Języki obce w szkole” and can be read here: http://duralex.wikispaces.com/

 

Teach, Learn and Integrate with Technology

I can remember the day, in the late 1990s, when I first started to use e-mail. I might have, however, explored the internet a little bit earlier. At that time I was already a university graduate, in my late twenties and I intended to start working on my Ph.D. thesis. I was instructed by my thesis supervisor to set up an e-mail box and use it for communication with her, since it was the least disturbing or annoying and the most convenient means of communication.

Today’s students will never remember their first encounter with technology, since it has always been present in their lives.

Ask your students what they think is the best invention of the XX century. Many of them will mention a computer, a mobile phone or the internet.

I, therefore, believe that not using technology is irresponsible…

I am a Legal English teacher from Poland. I work with very demanding young lawyers-to-be who want to develop their Legal English skills in an attractive way. I believe that using new technologies in a conservative Legal English classroom is possible. I believe that technology, used with moderation and under no compulsion, may help add variety to Legal English classes and organize them better, as well as enhance the language learning process. I am not a “techie” and I do not want to convince anybody to use technology. I am not a “dogmeist” and I do not want to prove that technology should be denied. Falling into extremes has always been dangerous.

Technology, used with moderation and under no compulsion, may help add variety to Legal English classes and organize them better, as well as enhance language learning process of young university students, since the internet, Wikipedia, blogging, and social networking has become part and parcel of their daily routines.

The advantages of using technologies in LE classroom can be manifold.
E-learning platforms facilitate communication between the teacher and the students and become the place where they meet, discuss, exchange materials, leave messages, upload their works, develop team building skills through Wiki.

Technology enables teachers to design attractive classes. They can introduce an element of fun and game but also have 24 hour access to the latest news, and can encourage lawyers-to-be to debate on current topics on blogs, mailing lists or discussion forums.

Teachers can introduce cross cultural issues by taking the students for virtual tours of the UK Parliament, the US Congress, Australian magistrate courts, playing videos and podcasts.

And last but not least, the internet is probably the richest source of content knowledge which non-lawyer LE teachers will need to feel well-qualified for discussing specialist legal topics with students. Google Book Search, Wikipedia, free Legal Advice sites, official websites of various government institutions must be saved on the reading list of any LE teacher.

Dekalog Dogmatyka

  1. Nie bój się nowych technologii; w praktyce najczęściej okazują się one łatwe w obsłudze, intuicyjne i częściej działają dobrze niż nie;
  2. Nie bój się pytać i prosić o pomoc innych bardziej doświadczonych lub chętnych do pomocy kolegów lektorów, informatyków, bloggerów lub po prostu entuzjastów postępu technicznego;
  3. Zapisz się na kurs nt. wykorzystania nowych technologii w nauczaniu języków obcych organizowany dla nauczycieli lub zaproponuj zorganizowanie takiego kursu w twojej szkole;
  4. Jeśli wiesz, że twoja koleżanka lub kolega z pracy wykorzystuje w swojej pracy komputery i nowe technologie zaproponuj im, aby przeprowadzili szkolenie dla pozostałych nauczycieli. Koszt takiego szkolenia będzie zapewne dużo niższy od szkolenia przez firmę zewnętrzną i dyrekcja szkoły na pewno się na nie zgodzi;
  5. Zawsze możesz liczyć na pomoc swoich uczniów – prawdopodobnie wiedzą jak rozwiązać twoje problemy techniczne;
  6. Zawsze możesz zaskoczyć swoich uczniów pokazując im nowe narzędzia, których oni sami jeszcze nie znają – zostaniesz ich „idolem”;
  7. Ułatwisz sobie pracę: stworzysz bazę materiałów, które będzie można wykorzystać w przyszłości, ograniczysz ilość prac domowych przekazywanych na papierze i napisanych trudnym do rozszyfrowania pismem, włączysz swoich uczniów w tworzenie kursu, który prowadzisz, wspólnie stworzycie gotowy produkt końcowy waszej wspólnej pracy, którym będzie można się pochwalić rodzicom, przełożonym, kolegom nauczycielom;
  8. Wzbogacisz swoje cv; kursy e-learningowe coraz częściej stają się integralną częścią kursów prowadzonych metodami tradycyjnymi. Informacja o twoich umiejętnościach posługiwania się najnowszymi technologiami może podnieść twoje szanse na rynku pracy;
  9. Próbuj sam(a) jak najwięcej; najlepiej uczymy się i najwięcej zapamiętujemy sami wykonując zadania, które chcemy poznać lub rozwiązać;
  10. Koniecznie zajrzyj na stronę www.teachertrainingvideos.com, na której Russell Stannard w krótkich filmach będący zapisem zdarzeń prezentowanych na ekranie komputera pokazuje jak używać różnych aplikacji przydatnych w pracy lektora języka obcego; nie koniecznie angielskiego, gdyż na stronie znajduje się zakładka ‘Videos for All Languages’ (filmy dla wszystkich języków).