The University of Victoria?s English Language Centre Study Zone presents tutorials and self-scoring exercises at five levels of difficulty to improve ESL grammar, reading, writing, and vocabulary skills. The site can be projected on a large screen for group instruction but may be best suited for independent practice.
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Evaluation and Observation
For each of its five levels of difficulty, the module clearly identifies one or more skill areas of academic English, which it seeks to develop with a variety of formal explanations and follow-up exercises. The site?s layout is clearly and consistently based on an organizing principle with which college and university users are well familiar, course numbers, so independent learners will have no trouble finding materials to address a desired skill area or level of proficiency. Authentic texts illustrate the appropriate use of English structures and vocabulary.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The material is well presented and organized in such a way that teachers can conveniently integrate it into classroom instruction and independent learners can use it to gain a deeper understanding of and further practice with difficult concepts, such as article usage. A full index links the most difficult aspects of English grammar to relevant self-scoring exercises. A puzzle for beginners and colorful drawings throughout the site help to maintain learners? interest.
The material could be made more engaging by the addition of other media, such as audio to complement reading passages.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
Screens are easy to read, use, and navigate.
The site would benefit from a broader use of color.