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We are living in the age of two revolutions including technological and social ones. These revolutions are booming in the history of mankind, changing the way all fields operate, moving forward and opening up great prospects as human beings enter the 21st century.The rapid development of the technology revolution has brought new challenges to education, requiring endless efforts to keep up with the times and get involved in the knowledge-based economy. Therefore, IT is applied to all school subjects, from science to art, which has positive effects the quality of education.Nowadays, it seems that IT has become a means of learning and teaching, which plays an indispensable role the educational process.

Therefore, the IT capacity of teachers is a must in the education system. Without IT competency, it is hard for teachers to be able to accomplish the core tasks that they are supposed to do. For the reasons mentioned above, I will definitely try to use necessary ICT tools in my class so that my students could improve their English skills and find their studies much more interesting. There is a variety of useful tools which can be used in classroom, but among which I personally take an interest in the software called Hot Potatoes.

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This paper will be dedicated to various ways that I could apply the software and why I suppose it is useful.  About Hot PotatoesHot Potatoes is a program for creating E-learning applications. It supports the creation of a variety of electronic assignments that can then be exported as HTML or modules to the web.This software is used to design exercises that are primarily used as practice tests or homework. In addition, I can use it to create game activities to provide my students with the vocabulary or to help them review some of the necessary sentence structures or the use of conjunctions in writing skills. Hot Potatoes software helps me create a variety of exercises, integrating various elements such as sound, images, increasing vibrancy and serving for some types of questions that needs the image illustration. The program includes six modules in total: JQuiz, JCloze, JCross, JMatch, Jmix and The Masher.

These modules could be a great help for me to make students interested in writing and reading skills which are far from easy in learning English.  Applications of each moduleIn terms of JQuiz, I can use it to design several kinds of questions such as short answer, multiple choice, hybrid, etc. in order to have student review what they have learned. I can, for example, create many questions related to grammar and vocabulary in the previous lesson using this module, and then let students do them right in the class to know exactly whether they understand and remember the last lesson. Therefore, I can know which students have not understood in order that I could find out another better way to help them to acquire knowledge.Another useful module is called JCloze, which is an ideal tool to design fill-in the-blank questions.

After teaching students vocabulary in the class, I could give each person this type of question to make sure they understand the meanings of new words and can use it in the right context. This method helps encourage them to apply what they have acquired immediately in the class, which is beneficial to both students and teacher, because while students could remember lesson without spending too much time studying at home, I could realize those who have not got the meanings and contexts in which they are used. For example, I could give them a mini test which has the use of English section, so students have a chance to figure out a variety of knowledge, namely conjunctions, word forms, vocabularies and grammars.As for JMatch, it allows me to create exercises including ‘matching’ questions and design drag-and-drop exercises.

For instance, the question may include a list of terms (Rhetoric, Allegory, Analogy, etc.)  and a list of its definitions. I can create this type of question and show on the powerpoint in a class period. To encourage students to participate in the activity, I will give them points which can be exchanged into gifts like stickers or candies. Therefore, not only do students have fun but I can also cover lots of content areas on a single exam and help students review lessons in the class.Lastly, I could use JMix to create questions that allow students to complete sentences. I could divide class into two teams, any team gets more correct answers will become winners.

This game could boost team spirit and increase the opportunities to work and learn from each other. It may create a funny atmosphere in the class and willingness to engage themselves in an activity. ConclusionIn sum, The application of Hot Potatoes software in education in general and in teaching English in particular brings many practical effects.

Knowing how to use the software flexibly and appropriately, teachers can help learners have more motivation. With some of the activities presented in this article, I strongly believe that class periods will be more exciting, interactive if I use the help of Hot Potatoes in my classes. 

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