What is Bubblr?
Bubblr is a free website, which users can search and “Create comic strips using Flickr images.” Very easy to use! When you enter in the homepage, you can search flickr pictures either by tags or photographers. Then you can make a strip yourself by click on the result. You may also add bubbles and texts to the strip. It is also publishable and could be sent via emails.
Relevance to Language Teaching and Learning
Bubblr is a simple picture website, but has great use in ELT. It can be used in speaking and writing class with task-based language teaching, and communicative classroom, etc. Moreover, its interesting content can motivate both students and teachers in a very creative way.
Possible Usages in/outside Class
1. Teachers could make a strip previously before the class, and ask students to make a story and extend the story in English one by one according to the picture order. Students may come up with many unexpected and creative stories, which make the whole class more interesting and in turn motivate students. If students cannot tell stories at first, the teacher should use more interesting and easy pictures, or give some hints to students or encourage them.
2. The teacher can ask students to make a strip by themselves after class and make a little presentation of the strip next class. Or students can send their strips to the teacher, associated with the software JING as a video.
3. A strip made by the teacher can also be used in many other ways. For example ask students to compare pictures to find similarities and differences, or ask students to make a whole story individually and write it down, or to add a bubble and comment words of each picture of the strip, and so on. In a word, make full use of online pictures into language learning!
1. I cannot find where the pictures come from, and it seems that users cannot upload their own pictures to the Bubblr. Pictures from internet maybe more creative for story-making, but people may be more likely to hear those related to real life experiences. It would be more difficult without own pictures.
2. The amount and accuracy of pictures are limited. Sometimes, we cannot get pictures we want even with same tag. For example, I wanted to find some pictures of “warwick university”, as a result, it came up tens of pictures about ice hockey. The number can be seen at the same time is not enough.
3. We can add bubbles, but it seems that we cannot change the size of bubble and texts.
4. To practice speaking in this way seems more suitable for children and young learners, but not very attractive for adult learners.