This material consists of drill-and-practice exercises with multiple choice tests, self-scoring lessons, cloze exercises, crossword puzzles, and hangman quizzes for ESL reading, grammar, and vocabulary practice arranged by level of difficulty for beginning, intermediate, and advanced learners. Another feature of this material is on-line communication with other ESL learners and teachers such as a message board, students? mailing list, English by email, and a chat room.
Type of Material:
Drill and Practice
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The primary goal is to learn English while focusing on grammar and vocabulary through drill-and-practice exercises.
Target Student Population:
English as a Second Language Learners from beginner to advanced level
The main test section is organized by levels of English proficiency: beginner, lower-intermediate, intermediate, upper -intermediate, and advanced. Learners therefore can select lessons appropriate to their levels of proficiency. On the first page of the section, the criteria for each level are clearly stated so learners are not confused as to which levels they are. This material is in a drill-and-practice format using Java Scripts and CGI Scripts that provide learners with instant feedback on their performance. These interactive tests and exercises can motivate learners to engage in activities to practice grammar, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. Online communication is a distinguishing feature in this material. A students? mailing list, English lessons by email, a message board, and a chat room give learners the chance to communicate with others who have the same interests. On the list, members can write to each other and discuss topics that interest them such as experiences with learning English, giving/asking for tips and advice in connection with learning English, looking for keypals, or anything else that might be interesting to learners of English. The English by email feature provides lessons that include grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and other areas at three levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced) every week. The answers to the lesson are sent to the mailing list four days after the lesson. In the multiple-choice tests, self-scoring features are provided on the top of the pages. This feature facilitates the learning process, encouraging learners to continually practice until they get correct answers.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
This material is useful for both individual practice and as a teaching resource. For students? self-study, this material is recommended because it provides learners with highly individualized instruction and self-scoring tests for comprehensive grammar functions and vocabulary. Most sections provide interactivity through the practice and feedback cycle and online communication with others. As a teaching resource, teachers can get and develop new ideas for their lessons through the Teachers? resources section. In this section, the author creates and develops various activities for warming up, speaking, and writing English and provides useful sites in which teachers can get numerous English teaching resources. As external documents, teachers also can download pictures, or sheets they can hand out to their students from the resource section.
The instructional objectives and goals might not need to be specified with each lesson but if a brief annotation under the title of each lesson were provided, learners would understand the purpose of the lessons before exploring and practicing them.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
A consistent interface and clear instructions make it easy for the learners to navigate the contents. The main menu icons are usually located on the left side of the page so that learners do not lose sight of them during navigation. Interactive feedback features such as Java applets are provided to motivate learners to be actively engaged in their learning process.
The primary concern is that there are many commercial banners and pop-ups on each page. Although the site provides free software which disables commercial messages on the browser, learners can be distracted by the flash banners and messages and cannot concentrate on and maximize their learning.
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