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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Learning Vocabulary Can Be Fun

 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Dec 12, 2005 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: The website addresses several different vocabulary skills using different
exercises such as word search, crosswords, hangman, a matching game, word
jumbles, and quizzes. The learning outcomes for this site would be increased
awareness of English phonetics, and spelling, in addition to word recognition
using images, and quizzes to review exercises that students participated in.
Everything on the site is in English and there are links to different projects
in other languages. The exercises are also scored upon completion of the
exercise and students can print their score sheets which include the time and
date the exercise was completed. The website allows for students to use a mouse
or keystrokes, which is important for learners of English who might be special
needs students. The website uses all multimedia, with sound clips and animation
to make the exercises fun and interesting. All of the exercises and activities
are on the main page which could enhance the interest of students.
Learning Goals: Practice in English as a second language
Target Student Population: Learners of ESL
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic English
Type of Material: Collection of learning activities
Recommended Uses: Independent, pair or whole class language practice
Technical Requirements:

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The website is technically sound, the exercises function and students can move
between exercises easily. Also students can either use a mouse or key strokes,
which as mentioned earlier is very important. The material presented is leveled.
Students may pick an easy level, a hard level or somewhere in between. Also the
various exercises are challenging in themselves, they assess different skills,
and provide students with inductive and deductive learning situations.
Concerns: The hangman exercise is very hard. No clues are given except for the general
topic - which is the way one plays hang man - but it would be helpful if there
were two levels for the students, an easy level and a more challenging one.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: This site can most definitely be used as a teaching tool. There are lots of
different types of exercises, which appeal to varying learner preferences. Also
students can do the exercises as many times as they want which is important in
learning language, especially working on vocabulary acquisition. The goal of
this website is to learn new vocabulary, which can be seen clearly in all the
activities, students are asked to spell, guess and make comparisons. The website
has a good mix of vocabulary which, include topics from other cultures, not
just U.S. culture.
Concerns: A section for teachers which provides a list of all the vocabulary the students
will come across would be helpful.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The website is very well laid out, the links function properly and students can
move between activities with ease. The students can also see when the page is
loading which is important because some of the pages take longer to load.
Students can also navigate easily due to the easy directions, and set up of the
page. Students can also tell how well they have been doing on items like the
quiz, they can see the number of questions which are correct and those which are
incorrect. The website has standard text which makes it easy to read, and the
colors are also very good. Students can use key strokes to select and exercise
and the level they want to work with.
Concerns: Since some of the exercises seem harder than others it might be important to
provide a suggested order for the exercises, so that students can build up to
the higher levels, rather than feeling defeated immediately.

Other Issues and Comments: