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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Online Resources for Teachers of Spanish

by Cindy Sloan
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.25 stars
Content Quality: 4.25 stars
Effectiveness: 4.25 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Dec 13, 2011 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: The site provides a categorized collection of resources for teachers of Spanish. It is theme-organized starting with the family, the alphabet, the numbers, the adjectives, the time, food, parts of the body, days and months, and the school. It includes a mini-lesson plan with activities that can be done in class according to the level, internet activities, pictures to introduce the topic, puzzles, games and songs.Site can be used in class or as homework. This collection of resources can be used in class as supplementary material, as homework or as a warm up activity using the pictures to introduce a topic. The site is designed for beginner’s level of Spanish.
Learning Goals: The author does not specifically state the learning goals but based on the material and other considerations: •The student will learn vocabulary in Spanish according to the different themes suggested in the site. •The student will learn how to pronounce and spell words in Spanish. •The student will improve their listening and writing skills. •The student will learn to ask and give information in Spanish. •The student will learn to discuss about their daily activities, school schedules and subjects. •The student will learn to talk about the weather, write about the weather, and make predictions.
Target Student Population: •Elementary, Middle and High School students attending Spanish class level 1 and level 2 •For independent learners with a basic knowledge of Spanish
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: •A basic introduction to how the Spanish language is organized and what it sounds like would provide a foundation for the range of supporting information on the site. •Basic web navigation and basic computer skills will suffice.
Type of Material: Collection of online resources for teachers of Spanish with drill and practice, quiz, and other assignments.
Recommended Uses: This collection of resources can be used in class as supplementary material, as homework or as a warm up activity using the pictures to introduce a topic. It can be used for group or team work.
Technical Requirements: The site includes a series of HTML pages. Additional plugs-in or applications are needed to view some of the resources suggested in this site.Java-applet, Quick Time, Flash, Windows Real Player.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: The site provides practice exercises for language acquisition. Vocabulary exercises, charts, useful expressions, and songs are aavailable through the links shared in this site. The links on this site could easily supplement a Spanish course. The design of the material is clear and easy to navigate. Many of the pages have ads on them for purchasing Spanish related material. It gave a variety of activities with Quia Web using pictures and colors to make it more interesting. I’ve seen many Quia lessons, but this one was unique.
Concerns: •Since this is a site where teachers are supposed to get information and resources to teach Spanish, I spotted a grammar mistake in one of the categories, quote: “los partes del cuerpo” which should be corrected and replaced for “las partes del cuerpo”. •The information is not necessarily organized in the way teachers use it in the classroom. The term “important damage” doesn’t make sense. A few more pictures would be nice. video clip has been removed The fill-in (cloze) activity is difficult because it’s hard to choose the right words. The Canary Island passage is tiny and hard to find. It would be better to enlarge it. The bright yellow background is hard on the eyes. A little paler yellow might work better. You can add accent marks with Quia Web. The answers come out wrong without the possibility of adding the accent marks where needed. •Some of the external links do not work, for instance:” Spell Speed”, “Sing, Dance, Laugh and Eat Tacos”, Jigsaw puzzle in the section Parts of the Body.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: •The materials can be readily integrated into language/culture learning activities. •They can be used in a variety of ways to achieve teaching and learning goals. •The teacher can design good learning assignments based on the material.
Concerns: •The site is not constructed as a sequential pedagogical tool. So, it might be useful to reorganize the resources in order to create a more interactive site. •The teacher should preview the links prior to using them as teaching tools though parts of this site could be used to meet learning goals and objectives. . Sound is important for language learning, so its inclusion would make a nice addition.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: •The variety of link choices make this site useful to a broad audience. Many of the exercises provide practice for using vocabulary and applying language acquisition concepts. •The presentation is clearly designed. •The content area is somehow connected. •The labels, buttons, menus, texts, and general layout are consistent and visually distinct. •The user can easily navigate in this site. •The site does not require a lot of technical support.
Concerns: •The quia.com site requires plugs-in to be installed (Java applet) Upon subscription, it provides a 30-day-free trial. •The edu.co.uk site screen has bright colors which makes it hard to stay focused. •The site quiz-tree.com has too many ads which prevents the learner from staying focused. Very few instructions are needed, but a few might be helpful.

Other Issues and Comments: Hace mal tiempo means, “The weather is bad.” Not “It’s bad outside” The moving mouth on Quia is very distracting. Including some sounds might be a good idea.