Our Educational Message

Hi, and welcome to our blog. This space is designed to share ideas and methodologies that we use to teach Turkish teenagers. In particular, there is a strong focus on ICT-ELT, which means if you like visual and technological support for your style of teaching, this blog is for you. My colleague, Brentson Ramsey, has been working alongside me for three years. He is also a big proponent of the ICT-ELT Paradigm, which means he will also be posting from his own teaching perspective on the blog.

2010 was the beginning of this new journey, and although there is no definitive ICT-ELT road map available for everyone to follow, it is exciting to explore the technological means to make teaching more fun and affective for students. Our main message is for teachers to ADOPT & ADAPT the paradigm shift for their own needs, and remember that

Saturday, 9 February 2013


Being an old dawg at the ELT game has meant I have seen many new fads, come and go, pertaining to be the next great thing for learning English. I have always been taken in by most, at first, but then quickly realized that it was only a matter of time before I returned to tried and tested methods. So, how refreshing for me to have found something that holds onto a classic approach to listening and watching, yet  allows everyone to participate without the need for getting bogged down in complex technology. I give you SUBTITLING for YOUR Videos that is only a few clicks away, and with absolutely no stress or worries to boot!

First of all, you will need to download an open source program called, ANY VIDEO CONVERTER. The version available now is 5.03, and it has all become so easy, yet very powerful. It used to be really basic, but now it does everything that the paid-for-apps do. This is surely what makes the internet so alluring; where everyone can benefit for free(?) With this awesome app  now installed on your desktop, you will need to decide on which video you would like to find subtitles for. I have decided to use a clip from Louis CK's comedy show, which is about an adolescent bully with whom Louis is confronted. The unit I am teaching is on Louis Sachir's teenage novel, A Boy in the Girl's Bathroom, which deals with many issues, one of which being, bullying.

The Second technology-step is to search for subtitles on the internet. There are many sites that produce subtitles in every language. You just need to Google the film's title plus subtitles. You then go to the site that offers the easiest way to download (note: some of them try to get you to download their own player, but try to avoid them as it usually means a lot of trashy ads and waiting time!) So, you have found the site, and you have downloaded the SRT file (subtitle extension). Of course, you can find all the other languages should you need to.  Be careful to check the quality of the subtitles, as very often they are shoddily done.

Next, you open the video inside Any Video Converter and decide on the output format you wish. If you use an ipad you will need to choose MP4, but if you are using a lap top, then any will do of course. Please watch this video feedforward of how to do this step

Now, you want to add the subtitles. You go to where subtitles is offered and click. Then browse your computer for the subtitles you downloaded and saved. You are ready to convert the video. Check that the output video size is in its original state, which is the first option available. Now click, CONVERT, and wait for your video to burn the subtitles onto your video.

I don't want the whole video for my lesson, so I prefer to trim the video to the size I need. In this case there is a four minute segment that I want to keep. The latest version of AVC has a trimming feature also, so it is easy, yet again. Your video is loaded, and all you have to do is click on the scissors icon. You are asked to give the starting and finishing point for your edit. Once you have done that it is a case of simply pressing the start button. After a few minutes, your subtitled clip is ready to use with your students. Check out this video forward of how to trim a video in Any Video Converter.

The information above has meant a great deal to me as an ELT Educator. Gone are the days of searching, wasting time and feeling very frustrated by not having the tools to help us in our job for listening practice. I can make my own individualized lessons that are not made by publishers, which although often pretty good, it is always better to produce the materials you need in your own and students' contexts. I hope you can follow me in this endeavor to produce more quality listening and watching materials for our students. Here is the finalized video converted, subtitles added and trimmed. Enjoy this new opportunity


  1. So is this reading or listening or both. I wonder how it fits in with language acquisition theory. Input from two sources.... I'd be interested to see the results. From my own experience subtitles can have a positive effect on L2 Acquisition but I've not used them over a sustained period of time. With comprehensible input and motivating content it could be useful..

    Cheers for the link

    1. Hi Peter, thanks for the comment. My primary intention is for a stronger understanding of the message within any video, music clip or extract. Secondary learner acquisition would follow naturally, I guess, but I use the subtitles to give strength to the visual experience as a whole. I have found that weaker learners tend to switch off once the going gets tough in respect of listening, so by having both at their finger tips (or ear and eye lobes and lids), it will give them more of an opportunity to participate in post listening/watching springboard. Peter, if you look at the right side of the blog, you can see a whole host of videos and music videos that have no subtitles since the program has only recently offered this easy to embed subtitles option. However, I plan to include subtitles on everything from now on, as I really believe it engages the students more, and removes a lot of frustration for all. (That said, if I were to be solely focusing on listening, the subtitles would not be a consideration).

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