Engaging Adult ESL Online Learners with USALearns


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This is an overview of the features of USALearns.org, a free Web site designed to help ESL students improve their English skills outside of a traditional classroom.

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  • TARGET AUDIENCE - NOT the CLASSROOM. SCHEDULE, TRANSPORTATION, FAMILY and WORK OBLIGATIONS, LOCATION are all factors that may limit the opportunities USAL is NOT recommended for LAB USE because of internet traffic problems NRS LOW Beginning to High Intermediate (English and Reading Practice is more in the high intermediate area)
  • -- need to determine which ad matches what they heard.
  • Engaging Adult ESL Online Learners with USALearns

    1. 1. USALearns.org Web-based Learning for ESL Students Presented by: Evelyn Fella [email_address] TESOL March 2010 Boston
    2. 2. AGENDA <ul><li>• USALearns Components & Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Course Features </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher Site Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation Tips </li></ul>
    3. 3. What is U.S.A. Learns? A free Web site for immigrant adults who want to improve their English language skills
    4. 4. Who created U.S.A.Learns? <ul><li>Funded by: </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Dept. of Education, </li></ul><ul><li>Office of Vocational and Adult Education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Developed by: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sacramento County Office of Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>with </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project IDEAL, University of Michigan </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Who is the target audience? <ul><li>Immigrant Adults with </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>limited opportunities for attending traditional classes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>beginning or intermediate English language skills </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(NRS levels 2 through 5) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. What computer skills are required? <ul><li>Mouse: Click and scroll </li></ul><ul><li>Keyboard: </li></ul><ul><li>Letters, backspace, shift key, space bar </li></ul><ul><li>Web browser: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open a browser (e.g. IE, Safari) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigate a basic Web site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Click buttons and links </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Microphone: optional </li></ul>
    7. 7. What are the hardware requirements? • Fast Internet connection at least 384 Kbps or faster; no dial-up connections • Up-to-date Web browser with Flash plug-in • Sound card • Speakers or headphones • Microphone (optional)
    8. 8. What are the content components? <ul><ul><li>1st English Course: Beginner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20 video-based units: Survival language topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2nd English Course: Intermediate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20 video-story based units: Job & Life Skills topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Practice English and Reading: Intermediate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>42 stories: Various topics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher Management Site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor progress and scores; comment on writing </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Main Menu
    10. 10. What are the features of USAL? <ul><li>High Quality Video </li></ul><ul><li>characters, situations and stories relevant to immigrants </li></ul><ul><li>Language Development Activities </li></ul><ul><li>4-Skills practice with video, images, audio </li></ul><ul><li>Clean Intuitive Design </li></ul><ul><li>simple navigation; easy-to-see buttons; consistent screen templates </li></ul>
    11. 11. Classroom Video - 1st Course
    12. 12. Situational Video - 1st Course
    13. 13. Unit menu - 1st Course First English Course Unit Menu
    14. 14. 2nd English Course Topic Menu
    15. 15. Video - 2nd Course
    16. 16. Video with Text - 2nd Course
    17. 17. Practice English and Reading Topic Menu
    18. 18. Practice English and Reading - Story Sample
    19. 19. Review of 3 Core Content Components
    20. 20. Language Development Activities <ul><ul><li>Skills practice in: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special focus on: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vocabulary, Life Skills, Grammar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media-rich activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video, images, sound </li></ul></ul>
    21. 21. Activities Menu Activities Menu
    22. 22. Learn New Words 1st Course
    23. 23. Learn New Words (Intermediate Vocabulary)
    24. 24. Spell It!
    25. 25. Match Game
    26. 26. Listen for it!
    27. 27. Say it! - Record your Voice
    28. 28. Grammar - Writing
    29. 29. Life Skills - Listening and Reading
    30. 30. Life Skills - Reading a Lease
    31. 31. Write about it!
    32. 32. Thinking Skills - Drawing Conclusions
    33. 33. Making Choices -You Predict
    34. 34. Self-Reflection - Learning Log
    35. 35. usalearns.org
    36. 36. Teacher Management Site usalearns.org/teacher
    37. 37. What can I do at the Teacher site? <ul><ul><li>Create an online class. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Monitor students’ progress and scores. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Score/comment on writing assignments. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Post messages to the online class </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>View/download Scope and Sequence. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Story summaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Vocabulary word lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grammar </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Life Skills; functions </li></ul></ul>
    38. 38. Teacher Main Menu
    39. 39. Teacher Registration
    40. 40. Teacher Home Page
    41. 41. Add a New Class Students need Class Password, Teacher Last Name & class web address usalearns.org/class
    42. 42. Manage Classes Menu
    43. 43. Class Roster
    44. 44. Student Scores-Activity Menu
    45. 45. Feedback on Student Writing
    46. 46. Teacher messages
    47. 47. 3 USAL Components! <ul><ul><li>Independent Learner Site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>usalearns.org </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teacher Management Site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>usalearns.org /teacher </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Class Site </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>usalearns.org /class </li></ul></ul></ul>
    48. 48. U.S.A. Learns Implementation Tips
    49. 49. Good Language Learner Habits <ul><ul><li>Encourage students to: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Spend about 30 minutes a day rather than speeding through all the content in one sitting. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>View videos 2 or 3 times with and without the script. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Practice speaking either with a mic or simply speaking out loud. </li></ul>
    50. 50. Good Language Learner Habits <ul><li>Encourage students to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep a learning journal for new words, expressions, questions, writing practice. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Set personal goals and self-monitor. </li></ul><ul><li>Connect learning in their real-world environment -- signs, billboards, newspapers, listening-in to others. </li></ul>
    51. 51. Tips for Teachers <ul><li>Register on the Teacher site and be sure students use the Class site. </li></ul><ul><li>Give students a personal orientation tour of the site and show how to best use it. </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor your student’s progress online and communicate with them regularly. </li></ul><ul><li>If possible set up a class web site with links, or a social network for online discussion. </li></ul>
    52. 52. Tips for Teachers <ul><li>Familiarize yourself with the content; </li></ul><ul><li>check scope and sequence document. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the rich video content, storylines, characters for writing assignments, discussion and other activities. </li></ul><ul><li>Suggest other online sites to extend and supplement USAL content. </li></ul><ul><li>( usalearns.wordpress.com for unit-specific recommendations) </li></ul>
    53. 53. Questions? Problems? Comments? Technical Support: help@ usalearns .org Content/implementation: evfella @san. rr .com Unit/Topic-Specific supplementary activities: usalearns.wordpress.com