Wednesday, February 10, 2010

How do YOU feel about using computers to study English?

This informal classroom survey was directed to ESL learners in US secondary schools. Would online international, adult learners studying in an online class or on their own respond the same?

via Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... by Larry Ferlazzo on 1/6/10

Students ranked two sites and activities the highest both for what they most liked to do, and what they thought helped them learn English most:

Students love English Central, which was the number-one ranking new web tool on The Best Websites For English Language Learner Students — 2009 list. It's a free video site for English Language Learners, lets users listen to parts of the video, then lets them repeat what the characters says and compares it to the original. You get graded on how well you do.

They also enjoy playing English games. Two popular ones are from the BBC (Mia Cadaver's Tombstone Timeout and Gut Instinct) that allow us to immediately create "virtual private rooms" where our students compete against each other. After every question is answered, the screen flashes the changing rankings of each student.

The next highest ranked activities were (in this order):
  • Preparing for the California High School Exit Exam. The California Community Colleges have developed a phenomenal website to specifically help English Language Learners prepare for the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE), the test that all students have to pass in order to receive a high school diploma.  It's interactive with image, text, and audio support, and is very accessible to Intermediate and Advanced English Language Learners.
  • Doing writing — either writing answers to questions on our classroom blog, responding to other students' work, or doing some of the practice writing activities we have posted there.
  • Using U.S.A Learns, an exceptional English Language Learner site designed for student self-access.

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