Computer Assisted Language Learning - Using websites
One of the easiest and least stressful ways of getting started with technology in the classroom.
We can use the web sites in the classroom in several waysAs printed pagesWith one computer with Internet connectionIn a computer lab with a set of networked andconnected computers
Use of Internet is a part of the learning process, not occasional activity.
Both can be used, it depends on what you want to achieve with it.ELT websites: provide valuable opportunities for more controlled language work. Authentic websites: provide ideal opportunities for more authentic and natural.
Who wrote the page? Is this person an expert in thesubject matter?Is the page content reliable and factually correct?
Is the content up-to-date?When was the page last updated?
Is the content interesting and stimulating?Is it attractive and easy to navigate?
Does the site work well? Are there any brokenlinks?Does it use a lot of large files or alternativetechnologies (e.g. Flash)?
Before computers and the Internet, teachers generally answered the ―What do I teach Monday?‖ query by working with other teachers, consulting school curriculum guides, reading books and professional journals, and gathering materials from libraries and school resources.
Lesson development refers to all the activities that teachersdo as they create, teach, and evaluatelessons with students. Lesson development involves ateacher‘s decisions about three interrelated elements ofteaching lessons: Academic content (what to teach) Teaching goals, methods, and procedures (how to teach) Learning assessments (how to know what students have learned)
Every time they teach, teachers makechoices about academic content—the facts,concepts, ideas, skills, andunderstandingsthey intend to share withstudents.Lesson development must be connected tolocal curriculum frameworks, which arealigned to state and national standards.
Technology plays an essential role in assisting teachers toanswer the academic content or ―what to teach‖ question.
Digital content available on the Internet includes a vast collectionof curriculum resources and information.
As they answer the ―what to teach‖question, teachers simultaneously decide the teaching goals, methods, and procedures they will use in their classes.Goals are the reason why a lesson is being taught. Methods are the instructional strategies.
Teachers combine goals, methods, and procedures into formats for daily learning. Sometimescurriculum content dictates these processes; sometimes the goals, methods, and procedures dictate the choice of content.
Either way, content, goals, methods, and procedures mutually support each other in a dynamic process of lessondevelopment, which technology can support in a variety of ways such as teacher-developed websites,podcasts, blogs, and wikis etc.
Learning assessments occur before, during, and after teaching lessons and enable teachers to evaluate student knowledge, understanding, and performance. They can be summative(summarizing what students have learned at the end of a lesson), formative (happening as a lesson unfolds
Assessment tools include multiple-choice and short answer tests, essays and other written tasks, oral discussions, teacher observations, class participation, and student projects, portfolios, and performances,all of which provide evidence of what students have learned and are able to do as a result of the teaching.
Technology tools that support theassessment and evaluation process include Electronic tests and quizzes Digital portfolios Personal response systems Online surveys
Planning a web-based lesson,rather than one where the web content plays anancillary role,is not different from planning a traditional one.
We divide a typical web-based session into three parts: warmer,web,what next.
It is the kind of thing we all do as a matter,with introductory activities,generating ideas,and so on.Thanks to this part learners areprepared for what they are going to do in web part.
It is important here to spend only as much time as we need working with computers.We prepare to take learners to a computer room rather than spend the entire class in there.
This allows us to keeping classroom focused during their time there.On the other hand moving from traditional class to a computer room may distract learners attention,so we need careful planning here.
If we have limited access tocomputers,we can use web-based printable materials.
As a teacher we may want to replace materials with website-based ones.For example listening texts or materials.We should help learners to evaluate materialsby asking them to talk about what they like and what they don‘t.
Time and ask are important issuseshere.Make sure your learners have a clearly- defined task to achieve and clearly-defined time to achieve it.
Educators are particularly interested intechnology‘s interactive capabilities, such as providing immediate feedback and increasing learner autonomy, in addition to the capability of simulating real-world situations via audio,video, and graphics.
But in working with lower-levels the choice of websites will be more limited than for higher levels.
Websites which are more suitable for lower levels include:websites with simple,clearly presented textwebsites with non-linguistic data which is easy to interpret
websites with visuals-a task can be based on visuals only ELT websites,where the content has been written, edited and prepared with this audience in mind.
Planning carefully and adopting a structured approach to the way you usewebsites in the classroom should give youthe confidence to try out different ways of introducing your learners to internet content.
We should bear in mind that it is notnecessarily the all singing-dancing websites- ones with a lot of animation,video or other multimedia contenwhich will be of most interest or use in our classrooms.
Don‘t discount simple text-based websiteswhich might be very beneficial in your own content.
Here are some considerations and contingency plans:
Whenever you use technology you should always have a backup plan.The electricitymight go off,computers might crash etc.Be prepared.
Use the knowledge of other teachers and of your learners to help you with the technical side of the lesson.We often team teach with less experienced teachers,taking care of the small technical problems which occasionally arise,and leaving them free to enjoy technology and to teach.
If it is a lesson that involves few pages try saving them to your computer hard disk.With the help of this,you will open the pages even if the internet goes down.
It is rarely conductive to have learners working alone on computers.Pair works and small-group work will help toencourage oral communication and break down the ‗computer as barrier‘ effect often prevalent in technology-based classes.
Try to arrange the computer room in such a way that you can easily maintain control over learner activities. An ideal layout is to have computers around the outside walls of the class –allowing you to view what is on the screen-and a central table where learners can congregate for more communicative activities.
Not all of the content that you come across with your learners will be suitable for them. You should be in a position to fully explore the web with your learners.
Terra Clues for Schools Free Rice Netsmartz Fanlala Starfall Game goo Wonderville Artsonia Book Adventure
Authentic materials and ESL web linksWorld Newspapers http://www.world-newspapers.com/BBC WORLD SERVICE NEWS http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/newsenglish/UK NEWSPAPERS http://www.thebigproject.co.uk/news/US NEWSPAPERS http://www.thebigproject.co.uk/USNewspapers/index.htmCutting Edge http://www.pearsonlongman.com/newcuttingedge/Total English http://www.pearsonlongman.com/totalenglish/ http://www.cambridge.org/elt/infotech/workbook.htmInfotech Interactive workbook exercises and infoquests.Professional English http://www.cambridge.org/elt/ictinuse/youandcomputers.htmin Use “You and computers exercises”Oxford English for Careers http://www.oup.com/elt/global/products/oefc/ Practice exercises: grammar, vocabulary and listening. Commerce http://www.uefap.com/Using English for Academic Purposes Listening, materials, reading writing, speaking, vocabulary.
Effective Listening/Reading/Speaking/Breaking News English http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/Splendid Speaking for Advanced http://www.splendid-speaking.com/Speakers of EnglishRandalls` ESL Listening Lab http://www.esl-lab.com/English Listening Lab Online http://www.elllo.org/Simple English News http://www.simpleenglishnews.com/ http://esl.about.com/ Activities for developing all four skills, grammar,Practicing Grammar and Vocabulary vocabulary. English learning resources includingEnglish as a 2nd Language English language schools, top Internet ESL EFL sites, English learning software, books, teaching materials, audio cassettes and other reference. http://a4esl.org/Activities for ESL/EFL Students Grammar and Vocabulary quizzes, crossword puzzles, a fun study site for learners of English, bilingual quizzes http://www.eflworksheets.com/sampleonline.htmeflworksheets.com
Developing Study SkillsThe Study Skills Guide for Students http://www.educationatlas.com/study-skills.html Study Guides and Strategies http://www.studygs.net/studyskills.htm http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/ems/EMTP/disk_1%5Professional Behaviour Evaluation Sheet B1%5D/Intro-F5.pdf
Integrating the internet in the classroom:http://www.lclark.edu/~krauss/usia/home.htmlFinding information on the Internet:http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/TeachingLib/Guides/Internet/FindInfo.htmlSearching the internet: Recommended sites and search techniques:http://www.internettutorials.net/search.htmlDeveloping lessons with technology, State Educational TechnologyDirector‘s Association, International Society for Technology in Education, andPartnership for 21st Century Skills, Maximizing the Impact: The Pivotal Role ofTechnology in a 21st Century Education System (2007)A Look at the Research on Computer-Based Technology Use in SecondLanguage Learning: Review of Literature from 1990-2000, Min Liu, ZenaMoore, Leah Graham, & Shinwoong Lee The University of Texas at Austin