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Peer Review

Teaching Languages with the Web

by Anderson Language Technology Center


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: May 08, 2009 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: Teaching Languages with the Web is a short, self-paced tutorial on how to teach languages using the Internet. It has four tutorial and self-test modules: About Technology, Selecting Resources, Integrating Resources, and Teaching Examples, each module with its own instantly-corrected online quiz. There is also a culminating assignment on colors and clothing that is open to all and mandatory for students in the University of Colorado's ALTEC program. This website is primarily designed for the Foreign Language Technology Program at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Type of Material: Tutorial and tests
Recommended Uses: This module can be profitably used as a required exercise in a Foreign Language methods program.
Technical Requirements: Latest version of Flash
Identify Major Learning Goals: Teacher educators will learn to use the web effectively for teaching and learning languages. Learners will discover tools to help integrate technology in the FL curriculum.The learning goals also include the following: acquiring basic knowledge about technology, selecting resources, solving teaching problems, and completing a given assignment.
Target Student Population: Graduate students in Foreign Language methods courses; pre-service FL teachers; adjunct faculty seeking training in instructional technology.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: This site is very useful for beginners. It has very informative images and illustrations, and high-quality accompanying audios. The step-by-step instructions are user friendly and occasionally humorous, and the examples are well chosen. The great strength of this module is its clear presentation of the essential points that any faculty must consider before planning technology-enhanced learning. Alarmingly simple reminders, such as being sure machines are plugged in and always having a plan B, help to remove the stress that cause some teachers to avoid using technology. Each module gives a manageable amount of information and tips which eliminates the overwhelming feeling teachers receive when too much is presented too soon. The voice of the presenter is calm and the pace of instruction is appropriate. Following each module with a common sense quiz reinforces the content in an engaging way.
Concerns: This is not an appropriate tutorial for practiced user of instructional technology, but truly for novices and those who seek to integrate more technology into their teaching. It might be more helpful to include additional questions in the quizzes.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The tutorial is engaging with clever use of graphics, realia and multimedia to illustrate points. The audio content is well-done with a correct balance of information, humor and encouragement. The length of the modules are just right for learners to complete in a short session. A good approach would be to assign these modules for homework and then to have the students actually go out on the web for instructor-created expansion exercises.
Concerns: n/a

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This site is extremely well-constructed and simple in its linear progression.It s well designed and easy to navigate. The Adobe Captivate tool provides a clear and straightforward interface. Instructions for all assignments are clearly written. The images and graphics are simple but informative, and the transition from one page/question to the next is appropriately paced. There is also a survey at the end. The use of well-chosen graphics and audio helps accommodate various learning styles.
Concerns: n/a

Other Issues and Comments: no