Episode Transcript
Brent Warner
The DIESOL podcast,

Ixchell Reyes
Digital Integration in English as a Second or Other Language,

Brent Warner
Episode 57: 22 tools for 2022

Ixchell Reyes
Welcome to DIESOL episode 57 We are your hosts. I’m Ixchell Reyes,

Brent Warner
and I’m Brent Warner. How are you?

Ixchell Reyes
Hey Brent, How are you doing?

Brent Warner
Good. Happy New Year!

Ixchell Reyes
Happy New Year!

Brent Warner
Happy New Year. Happy New Year. (singing)

Ixchell Reyes
Oh, I don’t know that song.

Brent Warner
Happy New Year Happy happy. No. Oh, can you sing your Happy New Year song? The one that you were singing pre show?

Ixchell Reyes
What was I singing?

Brent Warner
You were singing really loud. Remember? Really with a big voice. Now all of a sudden, you’re shy again.

Ixchell Reyes
I have no idea.

Brent Warner
Everybody knows how much you love to sing as soon as the microphone goes off. It’s 2022

Ixchell Reyes
So I think you’re in Alaska right now.

Brent Warner
I am in New York right now.

Ixchell Reyes
Oh, yes. The year since you’ve found New York as your last fun find.

Brent Warner
Mm hmm. Yeah, I found it. That’s pretty exciting. I have to say I think I was mostly right. And things move forward from there.

Ixchell Reyes
Freezing cold, I assume?

Brent Warner
Yeah. Hold on a second.

Ixchell Reyes
Okay.

Brent Warner
So yeah, New York. Bit probably the brown time people are listening to this. I am in transition between New York and Alaska. Maybe. How are you doing?

I’m – I’m freezing cold in Japan, I think. it’s supposed to it’s supposed to get cold enough to snow a little bit. So I’m crossing my fingers because I do kind of want to see snow. Like the front of my hotel.

Yeah, sure. snows. Nice. I’ll be seeing snow and I’ll post pictures of it on on the Twitter’s and the Instagrams. Sounds good. Yeah. So today, 2022 you shall we’ve got a tradition to to keep up which is 22 tools for 2022. Right. So the goal is, by the time we get to like year 50 2050. Assuming I’m still alive, then we’re gonna have to come up with 25 tools each by that point.

Ixchell Reyes
That’s scary! Assuming we’re still alive. We might not be.

Brent Warner
Doing the math… I’m like, Yeah, well, we’ll see.

Ixchell Reyes
I might still be alive.

Brent Warner
You might. Yeah, I probably won’t be.

Ixchell Reyes
How do we always get into the topic of death on this show?

Brent Warner
Well, you gotta listen to the bonus episodes are real. Yes. So. Um, okay, so here we go. We’re gonna jump in. And we’ve collected some stuff, and let’s go over. Alright, so shall I think one of the things that we do want to clarify is that like, maybe you and I have not used all of these in depth, I’m not sure about your choices. My choices are like things that I kind of want to explore this year. Or they could be things that I started exploring last year, or my choices are things that I’m like, Hey, this looks like it has some interesting potential. And I want to play around with a little bit more. But I hope that in sharing this, maybe some people are inspired and go, Oh, this is just what I was looking for. Or if someone’s really gonna get into something, and they go, this is great. Then send us a message and tell us how it goes. Because we, you know, we might have time there. 22 tools is way too many to really, like get mastery over have have any of them, but they’re good to have a loose idea on. Right. So I’m going to start off with my first one, which is called vocab boost. Have you have I talked about this? Shall I do you remember this?

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, I don’t think so. No, this sounds new to me. So I mean, I see several on your list that are new to me. So yeah, I’m excited.

Brent Warner
Yeah, so vocab boost is a Chrome extension. And basically, what you can do is you can run it on any web page and you can convert it convert the text into it into a into a closed exercise live on the website on the page. So real content, you run the extension and then it blanks out certain words, and it’ll give you like a list of the vocabulary words at the top and you can either drag and drop them down, or you can try and type in the words as you see them or and it can also choose random words or like a WL words. So there’s a whole different like set of things. I sent the guy an email saying hey, can you do a WL and he He went and did it, which is cool. And so. So basically, it’s, it’s not so much for teachers, although I guess teachers could use it, but you could kind of share it with your students and just say, Hey, if you want to kind of build your vocabulary on a real, just a regular news page, or a Wikipedia page, or whatever else, whatever page, you’re on the internet, and you can just turn that page into, I hate to say it like this, but into like a worksheet for you personally, to just kind of go, let’s see how I know how well I know this vocabulary. And it’s a great way to kind of practice what you read and write what you understood on any thing that you’re actually interested instead of like, a teacher says, I have to read this. It’s like, No, I want to go read, you know, about NFT and Bitcoin, which apparently everybody loves.

Ixchell Reyes
Right now. It’s horrible right now.

Brent Warner
Yeah. So. So vocab boost is my first choice.

Ixchell Reyes
Very cool. Yeah, that’s new to me. A lot of the apps that are tools I’m sharing have been introduced to me by my students or other colleagues overseas. And that’s one of the cool things is that sometimes we get stuck in the bubble back, you know, in the States, we hear the same tools are being repeated over and over. But I’ve found that in Japan, rather than using Google Translate, they use something called deepl, D-E-E-P-L And it’s an AI translator, and I was playing around with it. And it’s a fairly good, it’s pretty good. So as an alternative to Google Translate. That’s something to test out. My my students. Sometimes when I can’t find something on Google Translate, or the translation seems a little off, we always go to depot. So

Brent Warner
Nice. Okay, so Deepl. That looks like a good way to kind of, yeah, cuz sometimes those translations, I was talking to another teacher today. And they’re like, getting these weird Google translations from, you know, from my students. And so, so yeah, that sounds really like, it’s always good to have alternatives. Right? Right. So my next one is name shouts.com. I really liked this one, because basically, anybody can go to this site, and they can record how to pronounce their own name. And so when you type in a name, then it will tell you someone who has that name speaking their own name, right. And so, so if you’re dealing with things like just trying to be supportive of your students to recognize what their real names are, all of those types of things in the pronunciation, or, you know, sometimes it’s like, you know, is it “Fuh-rooza”? Or is it “Fai-rooza”? Right? Or, you know, whatever,

Ixchell Reyes
Ixchell?

Brent Warner
Yeah, how about Ixchell? So you can-

Ixchell Reyes
I’m gonna I open the website, I’m gonna play it right now. Let’s see… So, the name cannot be found! Sign up to request a name!

Brent Warner
So that’s,

Ixchell Reyes
The story of my life.

Brent Warner
Yeah, well, but you should go sign up and put your name in there, right? Like,

Ixchell Reyes
That’s pretty cool. I like that!

Brent Warner
Because I think that’s the whole purpose of it is it’s like, hey, you need you should be recognized equally as well, right. But it’s not like I have to go wait for someone to do it. It’s like, I can do it. Because that’s my name. And I know how to say it. And so I think it’s really cool. It’s a really cool feature. And a good way to kind of try to show some recognition to your students as well.

Ixchell Reyes
That is cool. Okay, the next app, again, is an alternative to VO screen. And we’ve talked about VOscreen, VO screen, it will play a clip of a movie clip of a commercial, and then you have you’ll have to paraphrase what the character or person said. And they’ll give you two options to choose. And this is an alternative to vo screen. It’s called the play phrase me. It’s not a free app. It’s about 499 I think it was, but this was shared with me by one of my students here overseas. And I thought it was really cool, because that’s how he studies he’s finished all he’s an English teacher. But this is how he studies and and learns new ways of saying things and the things he demoed for me look pretty cool as well. So if you wanted to have something offline, because vo screen does require Wi Fi. Play phrase me is something that you could use offline actually

Brent Warner
Is it an app? or it looks like it’s a website to like you can use it right on the web.

Ixchell Reyes
I saw the app. I didn’t know it was a website, but if it’s a website even better, yeah, the deal screen. Yeah.

Brent Warner
The link there seems to also have it kind of built into the browser as well. So lots of ways to play with that. Very cool. Awesome. Okay. This one I’ve talked about quite a lot over the last year which is moat and this is my favorite tool of last year I became a moat ambassador. I think I talked to you about that like Before I even used it, once I went and paid for it, I just love it so much. So mote if I, if anybody is new listening or, or hasn’t heard me talk about it, which is basically it’s a plugin for Google or for your browser, and you can talk into your Google Docs. And you can leave a little voice message directly inside of your Google Docs. And so this is what I use almost exclusively now with my students, when I’m talking through their essays, and are trying to help them understand and it has really changed the way that I feel about grading and giving feedback. Because now I feel like I’m talking to someone and I can I can kind of interact with them. You know, and I feel like I’m teaching when I’m doing grading, and when I’m giving feedback, rather than the feeling of like, why don’t you get this? Yeah. I’m like, Okay, let’s use my voice. Let me hear the tone of my voice. They can hear that I’m not upset or that I’m like asking, you know, like reflective questions and not like blaming questions. And so Mote is just outstanding, and one of my true favorites,

Ixchell Reyes
And it saves time. takes time to writing it seems time.

Brent Warner
Yeah.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah. The next tool I found also, while overseas looking for I was looking for sets of flashcards on Quizlet. And I couldn’t find just the right one, I didn’t have time, I was in a time crunch. I didn’t have time to build my own. And I came upon memory.com. And I had never heard of this. I’m surprised I haven’t. But it’s it’s got it’s a free website. And it’s got courses built with flashcards. And I was looking in particular, I was looking for just specific, very technical language and they had a set there and it’s free. So they do have games, they do have quizzes, it’s not as robust as Quizlet. But if you just need the bare bones, and you’re good with that, I actually now have added that to my favorites. So memory.com

Brent Warner
Love it. Always, always good. I love that when people have already built a bunch of stuff for you. And so you can just plug it in, right? I mean, a lot of these programs are all kind of have that now they’ve got their libraries in there. But what a wonderful way for all of us as teachers to save a bunch of time & effort.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, and you know, Brent, it seems that the natural course of growth for some of these apps as they get big or tools is that they start implementing a lot of data feedback for teachers. And sometimes that’s just a lot of stuff. You teachers get overwhelmed by Oh, now I have to sign in and create a class and add the students to the class. And now I’ve got you know, all the data from it. What do I do with it? And sometimes you just don’t want that. Sometimes you just want so memory calm seems to be just give me the flashcard? Yep. I don’t want any of that extra stuff. No graphs, it’s okay.

Brent Warner
Yeah, for sure. I didn’t have all those graphs when I was studying on real paper flashcards, believe it or not for my language study. Okay, my next one is kind of in connection with Mote, I usually I present on these things together on like feedback sessions that I do. It’s e-comments. Again, not free, I think it’s like 20 bucks or 30 bucks or something like that. But it’s so worth it. So basically, in connection, Google Docs, you highlight something, and it has pre written comments. And so if so, I have a bunch of like grammar pre written comments on things. And so hey, this is a subject verb agreement problem, this is an adjective clause problem, right? And I kind of have a brief little explanation of what it is. So all you have to do is highlight whatever the problem is, click on the comment and the whole comment shows up popped in and entered in there. And then you can also like put in links and you can like bold in it and things like that. So the the Google comments on the side are telling the student what the issue is, and so anything that you’re repeating a lot of times over and over again, or any structures that you might have like a key or a guide for students to say like, Hey, this is the issue. That’s a great way again, so I use mo for talking to students and then I use the E comments for like, the, the grammar grammatical issues that might just be repeating over and over again. So I really, these two combined together are just like my, my new way of dealing with everything.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, you know, a lot of my colleagues who have attended some of your workshops have have just become huge fans of both modes. And he comments I haven’t heard but but they’re using it in the classroom. Okay, so my next tool is English language, learn and play and I’m working a currently in the last few months I’ve been working with students who are tested on idioms idiomatic language and they have to be able to understand the nuances of culture and what what it means in hearing other speakers. So this app is English language, learn and play. And you can test yourself on different phrases, common phrases. So again, it’s very specific. And it’s, you might look at food idioms or phrases to express anger. And I like to introduce this together with something else that we’ve talked about in the past. And that is you glish because sometimes students get very idiom happy. And we were talking about this in the pre show. And they’ll use every you know, they’re excited to try the language and they feel like wow, I’ve you know, I’ve unlocked the mystery of this idiomatic phrase, I know the other meanings, so

Brent Warner
I’m tickled pink that you came out of the blue, too. Sure.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, and so you don’t want to, you know, squash, their, their enthusiasm, but you also want them to be very aware that we use them differently. And we sprinkle them, it’s not like we use all of them at once. And so I introduced you know, anything that’s related to idioms and and phrases that we use, and language with English, because then they can go to you glish type in what they learned. And now they can hear it in different contexts. And so it’s not a tool to use in isolation. I don’t like to use anything that’s either. Sometimes my students, you know, they hear slang and they want to know what it means and, or idioms, they hear it, and they might hear some, they might have been watching a movie and old movie. And they heard an old idiom that no one uses anymore. But they’re very curious because it’s, you know, they’re exploring language, but I also want them to know that appropriate context. So English language learn and play.

Brent Warner
Well, that makes me happy as a clam

Ixchell Reyes
Over the moon for so many of these tools.

Brent Warner
So my next one is something I just kind of found in reverse kind of prepping for the show and finding things is called story speaker. So this is going to have a limited audience. But it is pretty cool. Because basically, what it does is it builds a, it helps you build a choose your own adventure style thing in Google Docs. So what was that app that we used to use way back in the day shell that was that was went back and forth? And did those logic trees and helped you do those? You remember that? I don’t know why I can’t come up with the name of ink, ink, something no red ink, no, not invalid or something like that. Anyways, so no idea, I find it I’ll add it in the show notes as alternatives. But basically, this one you do inside of Google Doc, and it helps you build it. But then the cool thing is that you can project it out, or not projects, I guess it connects to Google Home. Now I don’t use Google Home, I have I do have Alexa, I know people have whatever mixed feelings on some of these things. But you can tell a story with it. And so you could actually have it set up where your students for example, if you had one in your class, you could set up a story and let students make decisions on what they’re going to do. Right. So you’re saying, hey, you’ve arrived at the school, there’s a administration building to the left and a classroom to the right, where do you want to go and then they could say go right, and then it could walk them through the story based on the choices that they’re saying. And speaking, I don’t know if this can connect to other services, or if you can turn it into building like a little mini app for Alexa to but it seems to have some interesting potential because you just write it right there in the Google Doc. And it’s already planned out. So this is called Yeah, it’s called Story speaker. And it’s something I want to at least look at a little bit more to see what the potential is.

Ixchell Reyes
So speaking of speaking, my next tool is speechify. And this is an alternative to the Microsoft Immersive Reader. I don’t always have access to it. But speechify will take any item and read it to you. So if you’re just like I suppose like, immersive reader would do. But a cool thing that you could do with is an assignment that student has typed it they can it can have it read back to you so you can notice the mistakes easier. You can have it read, you know anything really. So I don’t know if Immersive Reader does that with your own assignments does it because I don’t use it. I’ve used it in other ways, but not

Brent Warner
So depending – It’s I haven’t used it because I don’t use a Microsoft suite of things. I only use the alternative to Immersive Reader or the one that it’s kind of like the the One that pulls in through Google Chrome. It’s kind of unofficial. But yeah, it seems pretty cool. And looking at this, it also looks like you can take a picture of a piece of text, like with your phone, and then it can read it to you off of the app too. So…

Ixchell Reyes
Right. And I know the latest update on for iOS can do that as well. But it doesn’t quite catch every piece of text from a picture. Sometimes the text does not translate well. So this is kind of a cool. tool to try. Awesome. So speech, speechify.

Brent Warner
Nice. Let’s take a little break. All right. So 2022, we don’t have any new reviews as of the moment, even in the amount of blame that on the pandemic. Yeah, people have been real busy with during the pandemic. And so, but we still are looking for reviews, we love them, when they come, it’s been a while, we’re hopefully going not going to get to a full year without a review. But we you can still leave reviews on Apple podcasts. And of course, you can leave us a review there. And we would send you an enamel pin if we read it out.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah. And apparently we’re on Amazon, audible. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, it would be a very cool place to leave a review to I know that many of you are audible members. So

Brent Warner
Yeah, if you’re, if you’re already in there, just slide on over to the DIESOL podcast. And drop us a note, I actually have no idea how to leave a review inside of Amazon or audible for podcasts. But if someone figures it out, let us know. We’ll be checking every once in a while. And of course, we’re also on Patreon. Or if you just want to do a one off and buy me a coffee, we do appreciate that. A nice hot coffee for a very cold winter. And as always, you know, if you just want to keep on listening, we also are very grateful for that too. So thanks so much for being here.

Ixchell Reyes
Okay, so moving on. My next tool is has been hit here in Japan. It is English in a minute. And English in a minute has short little videos that are minute long videos, and they teach you phrases or idioms. They teach you the literal meaning. And they also explain a situation in which you can use it, they’ve got actors, and they are just so well done. I use them as openers every day. So we’ll watch the video, we’ll talk about what they understood from that, then I’ll give them any extra information, they asked me questions, and then we watch it again. And I find that it is way easier than to have to sort through YouTube videos that might have like a three minute introduction, and then the actual idiom. But English in a minute is short and quick. And so I tend to do three at a time. And then I give quizzes to my students, and they’re just retaining the information very well. And they’re using them in context. And again, that’s like the whole purpose is for them to understand, you know, when you’re learning these pieces of language that that have a cultural meaning or just meaning in terms of how society sees the world, etc. Depending on where you’re at in the world. It helps them to understand and use them appropriately.

Brent Warner
Love it. English in a minute. Only takes three minutes to explain what it is (laughter)

Ixchell Reyes
As I said, And that is English in a Minute! (laughter)

Brent Warner
Mine is… My next one is called in-space. I think last year you shall I was pretty excited about Nooks you might remember me talking about that as a space kind of an alternative to zoom. And I still really love Nooks and what it has to offer but unfortunately, they decided not to not to kind of go in the same space for like classrooms in education and they’re kind of doing like more like a co working space type of thing. And so I have to admit I’m I’m pretty disappointed because I thought it had a real chance for revolution in education. But, but there is a different one out here that I might look into, I’m still able to use Nooks in the way that I I am able to in my class, but but there is one called in space I-N-S-P-A-C-E, which is I just want to start exploring a little bit. It’s the same type of idea which is it’s an alternative to zoom. It’s way less like locked into everything and you know, you know really zoom, zoom just feels kind of like you’re in shackles in a certain way. And so a lot of these newer ones are coming out and they’re a little bit more flexible. You can kind of create rooms but still see everything at the same time. And so, inspace.chat is one of these ones that’s going on. And it is really used, it seems to be connected in a lot of universities. So universities are picking up on it and starting to use it. And so that is one of the choices that I might be exploring more in the near future in space.

Ixchell Reyes
Very Cool. My next tool again, it was introduced by one of my colleagues here and it is called a go phonics. So it’s an capital A-go phonics. And it’s a play on words with the word for English and Japanese, which is Eagle. And basically the way he explained it to me before I got to play is phonics Uno. And it’s an actual card game, which it takes all of the, you know, the game aspects of UNO, but it turns it in, it uses phonics. And it’s all of the phonics, you know, the phonics that, you know, elementary school, or I guess, I suppose it would be your early, early elementary school age kids would have to know in order to read. And so for students of languages that do not have the same sounds, it’s actually really good for sound discrimination. And the game was super fun. I observed it. And then I found that they had an app. And you can do the app on your own or you can play with somebody and it’s free. There are different levels. So you can I think, you know, the hardest level has the you’d listen to words and then you have to decide what they have in common what and how to spell it. So it’s pretty cool. So it I think it’s developed by a New Zealand company when I was searching for it, but Eagle phonics Oh, I’ve never seen it in the States. So it might be something that is only available in other English speaking countries in terms of the card game.

Brent Warner
Well, if you find that card game, scoop me up a copy, I’d love to I’d love to play with that in person, I think at some point too. Nice. Um, okay, next up for me is kaleidoscope. So it’s Kaleidoscope if you can remember how to spell that, dot app .app. And I am intrigued by this. Basically, what it does is it shows you the difference between two versions of anything that you put into it. So you could put in two versions of a writing assignment and text and it’ll highlight like, what’s the difference between these two? Right? So if you kind of you go into Google Docs, and you look at the history, you can see where students have made the changes, but it shows you the overall thing. And so I just thought, like, oh, this has tons of interesting potential for like iterative work, right? Where you’re like, hey, I want to see what you did differently between version one and version two. Now, that might be anything. So like, it seems to be originally built for. You know, like a photograph that you might upload and show the differences between or perhaps coding like, and seeing where the coding problem is inside of the text or something. But I just think there’s tons of interesting potential for things like writing or anything that might you know, that you might try and look at the differences between two things like a retouched image, or if people are creating a flyer or a slideshow or all sorts of different things, to be able to see those changes. And so I am still not totally sure, but I think that with a little creativity, this might really be useful for language teaching, and helping students move, you know, up in steps and give them clear feedback about what you’re seeing. Because sometimes it’s hard. It’s like, Wait, what did you do the last time and now what are you doing this time, right. And so this highlights that, and makes it really quite clear. And I posted about this on Twitter, and they said that they have an educational discount too. So I’m not sure it’s it does seem a little bit expensive and kind of out of my range. But it’s like $120, or something like that. But I was like maybe the educational discount, I don’t know, sometimes they can get pretty significant. So Kaleidoscope dot app.

Ixchell Reyes
My next tool is called Astound. And it’s a speech coach, but not in the sense of helping with pronunciation. It actually allows you to record pieces of text that they give you. And if you want to focus on pronunciation pitch or other aspects of speech giving you you can see your you can get feedback and then you can see your you can track your progress. It’ll also ask it’ll track something like how confident you felt as you were, as you were recording that. So I think this is actually a kind of a cool app especially for students who are used to memorizing their speech and then also trying to emphasize words or phrases at a certain place, but then it comes off as robotic and over rehearsed and not natural at all. So I think this is a good one to introduce students to before they have to do a presentation. And if they’ve done one already, and they know like, hey, you need to work on your projection, or you need to work on your pacing. That’s something that can help them individually.

Brent Warner
Nice, nice. My next one is on air warning. This is a Kickstarter that I backed a little while back, and I got it shipped to me. So basically, it’s pretty simple. It’s a, it’s a little plastic box, and you plug it into your computer. And whenever you’re on Zoom, or in a meeting, it just lights up and it says, Hey, I’m on the air, right? And so what you can do is you can run this out, and so the other people wouldn’t bother you. And they know, hey, I’m in a Zoom meeting, or, Hey, I’m having class right now or something like that. And so I love it’s pretty simple, pretty straightforward. But you can change, like, customize some of the colors and stuff like that. But I just like the idea that, you know, we have so many problems with people trying to work from home or, or take classes from home, or being distracted, or now we’re in it oh, you know, are you in a meeting? Or are you is the zoom in the back screen? Are you trying to type something, you know, like, there’s all sorts of different ways that people might not know, and they might interrupt you. And so it’s just nice to have a big clear block of light that says, Hey, I am I am in a meeting right now, I’m not really available to talk, and so on air warning is a pretty cool little tool to help you solve that potential problem.

Ixchell Reyes
That sounds cool. The next tool I have is auto repeat. And this is kind of neat, because you students sometimes tell me that they listen to our podcasts or they listen to other podcasts that I’ve given them, or that I’ve suggested or videos or whatever it is. But auto repeat takes a some listening piece. And you can select the specific portion that you want to loop so that you don’t have to click, go back and play and then try to struggle with finding that specific place. So there’s actually you can select where you want it to loop and that way, it’ll automatically loop what you want. And you can speed it up. So you can hear a little more carefully. So it’s kind of cool for those students who like to go back and actually, yeah, and listen again, but not listen to the whole thing or have the struggle, especially if you already know, Hey, I am watching Big Bang Theory, as many of my students do, and there’s this part that I just can’t quite catch, or I want to imitate the way they’re saying something so you can loop that part over and over.

Brent Warner
If your students ask, Hey, why were people laughing at this part of the Big Bang Theory? You can tell them? I don’t have any idea either (laughter).

Ixchell Reyes
Hey, that’s actually a quote, I get a lot of questions on Big Bang Theory. A lot.

Brent Warner
Ahem… All right.

Ixchell Reyes
Wait, I don’t get it. Are you? Is this a joke I didn’t get I didn’t catch?

Brent Warner
I’m just saying it’s not very funny.

Ixchell Reyes
What?

Brent Warner
You like Big Bang Theory?

Ixchell Reyes
You don’t like Big Bang Theory? Oh my gosh, I love Big Bang Theory. Oh my gosh, Brent, I don’t think we can be friends anymore.

That’s OK (laughter)

What! You’re throwing our friendship, okay, because I like Big Bang Theory.

Brent Warner
You’re the one who said we can’t be friends anymore. I just said that’s okay. Sometimes you need to let things flow. You know,

Ixchell Reyes
I draw the line that jif and GIF.

Brent Warner
You’ve stayed friends with me through that. So I think I think I think that’s far more controversial than saying the Big Bang Theory is not a funny show.

Ixchell Reyes
I LOVE the Big Bang Theory

Brent Warner
You know, I’m glad that you like it, because we probably would have lost like, half of our listeners

Ixchell Reyes
No, you know, and and the thing is, I wasn’t always a fan. But I get a lot of questions. Well, no, but then my students started asking me like, why in this place do they say for example, someone asked me yesterday. I think the phrase was, “I didn’t say it was for you now did I?” and the students said, Why is there the use of “now” when it’s talking about something in the past tense and so that sparked a whole conversation on how the now is used to emphasize a contradictory a contradiction to an assumption. Yeah. And so I’ve just found it a great place to find those, you know, odd things about language all compacted into a 30 Minute. Amazingly funny show.

Brent Warner
Uh huh. Yeah, you know, I will say that like Big Bang Theory is now what like Full House was 20 years ago. Because everyone, everyone’s like, Oh, yeah, I use Full House to study my English. like they would watch VHS copies of it and like, Yes. And you know,

Ixchell Reyes
They still do here,

Brent Warner
You know how funny Full House is, too.

Ixchell Reyes
They still do here, people visit San Francisco here just to go see the houses. The comments, introduction story. Ahh.. moving on.

Brent Warner
True on Alright, so my next one is spell right. This is a plugin a Chrome plugin for I think it works definitely works in Google Docs, but maybe also on your Mac or other things like that. Basically, it’s kind of an extreme spell checker. So I don’t know if you ever notice with Google Docs, like if someone spells something really badly, like if they do like straight up like phonetic, or maybe they don’t have like any kind of a deep level, the basics of English and spelling. And so they might spell something like crazy weird, those oftentimes don’t show up because or like they, they don’t necessarily get notified on Google Docs as of the basic spell checker. And so what it can do is, it’s really meant to help people with like, their spelling, if they are trying to use pure phonetics in order to spell so the example here is, like, if someone uses like I used to, and they spell it Y O S, T, right, like I used to, then it would like that might not show up because it’s like, that’s like an extreme example of something. But then this, this is a spell checker that actually checks for kind of wild ones like that. And also pretty cool, like more extreme types of problems or, and also helps you identify things that are like commonly confused words. Like they’re there. They’re like, that’s the one we always joke about or effect. Yeah, yeah. So. So this is a pretty cool little addition. It’s, I can’t tell if it costs money or not, it’s kind of like unclear or like, hey, send us a question if you want to know about pricing, and it’s like, I don’t totally you know, usually those ones are like, either they are we don’t have a pricing system in place yet. And we’ll we’ll might build it later. Or it’s way too expensive, and you don’t really want to know, but there is a free trial. And I think I have some students that I would really like to recommend this too, because they have like, like weird you know, like, like they don’t have literacy in their elwen for example. And those can be problematic for like trying to learn the basic literacy of English and so this might be an interesting option. Oh, you know, I did look it up I’m sorry, there it was like $18 or something so

Ixchell Reyes
Is that like subscription service are the full thing.

Brent Warner
I think it’s just access like full full on access, like a one time thing.

Ixchell Reyes
That’s, I would say that that’s that’s now I’m more in favor of the pay the one fee to access rather than the subscription because this description is just

Brent Warner
Oh my god, yeah – stop. Stop making us subscribe to everything, people.

Ixchell Reyes
That’s a turn off for me. Automatic. When I see it, I’m like nope, delete. So I’m with you. Okay, the next one is, again, another app that helps with idioms. It’s called sayings master, and I know that I’ve talked about I believe they’ve got in this series, there’s a whole suite of apps one for prepositions. It’s like prepositions master. One is like listening master, but this one is saying semester. And it’s a game. So you, of course, you can practice idioms or sayings. But oftentimes, students don’t know how to change them. Or they use the wording in the idiom wrong. So they mix up the words. And yes, of course, you can look at an ATM dictionary. And it’ll say like this can be separated or this can be you know, you have to change the pronoun. But this is a game where they have to put the words in order. So they’ll see the definition, then they’ll see the actual, they, they see choices of words, and they have to put them in the correct order. So it’s for those students who need a little bit extra help. Because sometimes students will more memorize the idiom, they’ll use it in the right context, but then they’ve memorized the idiom without understanding that it’s also got grammatical aspects to it. So there’s a free version, which I think is enough and if you want it to have access to the whole entire thing with lots of levels then there’s a paid version but all of the the master apps that come up that that are part of the suite are really really good.

Brent Warner
Nice, nice cool. So mine is this is my second the last one, which is classwork zoom. Again, we don’t need everything to be named zoom these days, but

Ixchell Reyes
That’s like the over that’s like the word you know. Yeah. overused, word of the,

Brent Warner
The year, or the decade now. it’s either zoom or Canvas about half of the companies or some variation of it. So anyway, classwork zoom. is a pretty cool thing. Basically what it does is if you’re using Google Classroom, and I really hope they expand this beyond Google Classroom to like Google course kit, or the other, just like access to regular Google Docs, basically, it analyzes the work that students are doing or that people are doing. And then it kind of gives you a pretty visual on like, how much time when people are using it. So I love draft back. Draft back is like one of my favorite tools of all time, and it really helps me kind of see what students are doing. But I like this, because it’s kind of built in and automatically keeps tracking when students are accessing thing. And then it gives you a nicer like visual dashboard of like how much different students are interacting with documents and, and you can really pull that like history data use into practical usage and understanding. So it is only available for Google classroom right now, as far as I understand. But I really, really, really hope that they expand that because it does seem like a super cool tool. And I would absolutely use it and I would even pay for it if it was accessible through another source outside of Google Classroom.

Ixchell Reyes
All right, well, my last share is apparently not new to you, but it’s totally new to me. It’s, I found it as an app, again, because I’m looking for I’m also working with teachers and teachers have you know, the very specific grammar questions or questions about language that help them to and you know, if they’re not usually naturally lovers of the English language, so they’re very curious. And I’ve gotten a lot of interesting questions on the weirdness and beauty of English. Mostly the weirdness. But this is a podcast, it’s called a way with words, I found it first as an app. But then you told me you’ve been listening to this ages ago.

Brent Warner
Oh, my God, probably. I mean, at least 15 years, I’ve been listening to this show. So yeah,

Ixchell Reyes
Welcome to 2021. Yeah, 2022. But I am a huge fan of Grammar Girl. And of course, Grammar Girl also talks about like the really interesting or little known things about English or things that make you think deeply about the language. So I’ve found that this is an alternative to grammar girl, and it’s something that maybe could be an introduction to, you know, grammar girl has longer more in depth, very technical explanation sometimes. So I recommend this one to all my teachers now. a way with words.

Brent Warner
Yeah, it’s great. It’s a little bit more like you know, it’s like a vocabulary and play on words type of stuff, then grammar girl who gets more more into like, grammar, grammar type of stuff, right? And so it’s like, hey, where did this word come from? Maybe what’s the etymology of this word? Or like, how do we, how do people start playing, you know, like, using this vocabulary word in the, in the original sense of it, or whatever. So I think there’s they’re really good complements to each other. Right? Yeah, I’m totally with you. So go ahead. No, I’m just saying if your people like us, like it’s totally right up your alley.

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah, grammar girl. Sometimes when I recommend it might be a little bit too heavy for that for a first time, like a, you know, another teacher, but a way with words, it’s like the gateway I think.

Brent Warner
All right, so last one, tool number 22 is racket, R A C K E T. This is a website and now an app racket comm it’s the way they say it is the easiest way to tell audio stories and connect with people who want to hear them so I am kind of hoping and I actually signed up for this like eight months ago or something and I haven’t totally like locked into it’s kind of been busy with other things but but I’m hoping that it can be an alternative to anchor as like a way for students to record audio together because I think I’ve mentioned to you before some of my problems with anchor is that like when students get going they do pretty well with it. They do okay, but like that, that step into it, they really make it weirdly hard for something that’s supposed to replace so much of what’s hard about podcasting so, so racket seems like you kind of just log in and you click record and you start talking and I’m I’m interested to see how it’ll work also for getting groups of people they do have the option of like having interviews and having people in together. I don’t know if it’s published in podcasting format for like to download anywhere if you have to kind of be in this to make it work, but I am going to explore more with racket.

Ixchell Reyes
Cool, you’re gonna go out with a bang. You can also go out with a racket. (silence)

All right, it is time for our fun finds. And this time I have something techy, but it is not your usual techie thing. I really like beauty products, especially one of a kind and Japan. That’s many one of a kind techy beauty products. This time it is the Anaplan hydrogen mist. It’s a little tube you fill up with tap water. And it hydrogenate the water, so and so that

Brent Warner
It Hydrogenates water, is that what it does? It watifies the water?

Ixchell Reyes
It watifies finds the water, it turns it into micro super nanoparticles that get absorbed by

Brent Warner
Only the Japanese could invent such a thing! Okay, so..

Ixchell Reyes
So why is this useful? It’s very cold here. And my skin has gotten very dry, because I run all the time. And so I needed regular moisturizers or not work not enough. So I, you can, you know, moisturize your face quickly. And it’ll just absorb the water. And you can you can actually see tell the difference. It feels very soft and smooth afterwards. So I don’t know if it works. But guess what? It’s got a great LED light and it sounds cool. Anlan hydrogen mist.

Brent Warner
All right, you’re gonna have to start putting a little export business out of Japan while you’re there. Because you’re always recommending these weird things and people are listening. How am I supposed to get that? I know. I know. All right, well, I’m going to recommend something that anybody can access. If you’re listening to the show, you can listen to this right now. Or check this out. A friend of mine started a YouTube channel called Fried, er – not fried, FIRED food experiements. It’s called Fire food experiments and basically use my friend. Actually, when I was in Japan, I knew him. He’s an Australian guy. And he’s basically just cooking in his backyard on fire. So everything is based on like, pizza oven, or barbecue or the, you know, the eggs or whatever. But he just does these really nice, like cooking videos. And there’s lots of these barbecue channels out there. But I really like how he presents it. It’s kind of like gently spoken over. And it’s almost a little ASMR ish. You know, like it says, you kind of hear the sound of the crackle of the fire. The sliding into the pizza oven. Yeah, it’s a

Ixchell Reyes
It starts with coffee. And now it’s fired food!

Brent Warner
Yeah, well, we’ve talked about coffee. I was like, Yeah, you are roasting some coffee on that channel. But he hasn’t done it yet. But anyways, it’s just nice. And then and then he cooks it. And he says like, if it’s a success, or if it’s a failure, he’s got his little baby daughter that he gives the food to at the end. And like, you can kind of see her reactions to it. And it’s just a fun, nice show if you are into backyard cooking, he told me. He’s like, he’s like, oh, yeah, check the demographics on it. And you know what the demographics are is like, every single person is male over the age of 35. And it’s like, (laughter) Yeah! Barbeque channel. But it is it is pretty nice. And it’s it’s a it’s a peaceful, nice little cooking show on YouTube. And we’ll have the link of course in the show notes.

Ixchell Reyes
All right, thank you so much for listening to the show, especially for listening to the show for yet another year. You could win a one of a kind DIESOL pin by leaving us a review on Apple podcasts. And we’re like short of begging at this point. Yeah, we’re totally begging. We love it. We love the reviews!

Brent Warner
When you’re like a little show like ours, you know, like I mean, we got we got a fair amount of listeners but like you have to, you have to scream, scrap and save and try and get what you can get.

Ixchell Reyes
It’s the two minutes, two minutes of your time. I mean, take a minute,

Brent Warner
We’re not professional marketers. We don’t know what we’re doing.

Ixchell Reyes
But if you’re giving us a shout out any other way, be sure to tag us on social media. We are on all the platforms.

Brent Warner
Yep. We are also on Patreon and we’re on by me a coffee all the links are on the show on the show notes so you can go check that out at DIESOL.org/57, the number 57 And of course you can listen to us at voiceED Canada. That’s v o i c e d.ca This year you can still find us on Twitter. The show is at DIESOLpod that’s, @DIESOLpod and you can find me at @BrentGWarner.

Ixchell Reyes
You can find me most of the time because I’ve sort of been and I I’m there I slowed down a little bit. That’s because of the time change I am at IXY_pixy that’s I x y underscore p i x y

Brent Warner
In Pashto thank you is Manana. Manana for tuning in to the DIESOL podcast. Thank you. Thanks everybody.

It’s time to celebrate the new year with 22 tools that we’re curious about or have recently discovered. Plugins, apps, websites for everyone! Alternatives to other popular tools to help you explore something new as you begin 2022!

Tools

  1. VocabBoost
  2. DeepL
  3. Nameshouts.com 
  4. Playphrase Me
  5. Mote
  6. Memory.com
  7. eComments
  8. English Language: Learn & Play
  9. Story Speaker
  10. Speechify
  11. English in a Minute 
  12. InSpace
  13. A Go Phonics
  14. Kaleidoscope
  15. Astound
  16. On Air Warning
  17. Auto Repeat
  18. SpellRight 
  19. Sayings Master
  20. Classwork Zoom
  21. A Way with Words
  22. Racket

Fun Finds 

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