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This CALL Class Resources page will be used to post summaries of resources that we have looked at for our Website/Software Evaluation assignments. Anyone can post other resources here that are of general interest to language teachers.
Feel free to organize and reorganize these resources as you see fit. You have to get used to editing other people's writing in Wikis. It is the nature of the technology. So, please, when you see a mistake, edit it. When you disagree, make a change. When you think that a new category is called for, create it.
Blogs, Podcasts, and Vcasts
This is a personal/teaching blog that has links to some of the best content I have seen for the CALL classroom. The author, David Deubelbeiss, has put together an incredible collection of media to use in the English language learning environment. You can leave comments on the site to the author, as well as sign his guestbook and give him some feedback. The material is directed towards elementary/middle schools learners. But, I think learners of all ages/levels can benefit from these activities. They are that fun and well made. There are videos that can be used to teach listening comprehension and speaking. There is a karaoke machine that can be used if you have a computer and TV in your classroom. Songs can be used to teach listening, and they are a great motivtional tool. There are also PowerPoint presentations and games that are terrific. So, if you are a teacher of ESL/EFL, and you are looking for some great ways to incorporate technology into your lessons, please take a peek in the Bat Cave.
) Blogger is a free and user friendly website providing a complete set of tools to create and maintain web blog. Particularly important when it comes to using blogs within a school context, are the features that relate to security and access: the possibility of monitoring comments (through notification and viewing of comments before publishing), limiting spam comments (by word verification) and specifying who has access to the blog (everyone, only registered-users or members of a specific group, such as for a class-blog). The website provides clear directions and steps for registering, signing up, creating and managing your blog. However, if one were to use this website for educational purposes, it would be advisable to provide students with clear guidelines and purposes. In order to prepare an external document for this aim, the instructor might want to consider the following questions to plan the curricular role to be given to blogger.com: 1) Are students going to develop personal or group blogs? 2) Are the comments going to be provided by the entire class or only by certain students who will be made responsible for following the development of a certain student or student-group blog? 3) Are students going to write in the target language or in their native one? 4) Will the text be reviewed by the instructor before posting? 5) Is the function of the comments to provide feedback on the form, the content or on both aspects of the text posted? 6) Are students to respond to certain issues of questions given to them by the instructor or by their classmates? and if yes, what issues or questions should the students consider in completed the reflections to be posted (perhaps a series of questions about foreign language and culture learning or about the foreign culture itself)? 7) Is the blog serving as means to brainstorm, develop and receive feedback on work in progress (e.g.: presentation, essay, research) or is is to be used in a more open and unrestrained way to talk about themselves using the targert language?
The Real Adventures of Suzuki Bean
Searching for the "Real"
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Wiki's in Education Search
Sunday, March 25, 2007
I was given an assignment to find three great search engines but they could not be the top three but alternative sites. I began with several of the suggested options of searches through public libraries’ and university libraries. The titles ranged in names from the why of the search engines, to how, the best, the invisible, to the visible. Here are just a few of the places I traveled.
Ask.com Search Engine
Search engine and Web Portal. This first listing led me to a blog and information about Wikis in education by Stewart Mader the author of a book on Wikis in education. This portal is used for Wiki education projects that are collaboratively based. The information shows collaborative work in Chicago.
This is the second listing under Ask.com was no longer available or working thought the title was still listed and some archived issues of what I assume was there before which was a link to the Stewart Mader blog.
The third listing in the Ask.com search engine was a page linked to Wikipedia about using Wiki’s in adult education courses specifically. It is listed under the research and practice page of Wikipedia. This doesn’t seem very relevant to the general topic.
This site has a lot of resources from tax information, articles, web picks, and of course advertisers. The first selection listed is an article about Wiki's in education a social construction. It is very specific and clear about the goals or tasks to perform, modes of instruction.
Teaching and learning online with Wiki’s another description of Wiki’s and educability of it and its use for collaborative projects because they are so functional.
the first thing that I noticed as I surfed this engine is the main page which is filled with graphics. It’s very well lain out, tight, functional, the design and colors are pleasing. After entering the keywords "Wiki’s in education" the first hit was an article on the most common use of Wiki’s in education.
the second hit for AOL under the Wiki's in education search. This is an article by Brian Lamb about Wiki's being out there ready or not. He discusses the inventor of Wiki's Sir Tim Berners-Lee purpose behind the space which was to provide an interactive space.
The third and final hit was a description of a Wiki book with the various chapters. It was laid out in the first column. To the right of the column are listings of different Wiki’s education can be used entitled “Wiki’s took box”.The formats varied and so did the information.
Out of the three search engines I think that AOL had the best information and most relevant. LookSmart’s searches were dead ends and Ask.com just seemed to be geared toward a particular author’s point of view. One who was writing about Wiki’s but in didn’t give me a broad definition of Wiki’s in Education as AOL did. The AOL toolbox was very informative. The rankings for the search engines I used are as follows: AOL Search #1, Ask #1, LookSmart #2.
towards the center of the piece is a step by step guide of how to begin the project. The steps lack detail. At this point I would have asked students to identified the choice of MI then I would of begun a listing of “how to’s”. Nearing the end is a listing of the next choices. I clicked on the Author’s page.
On Authors page several links to Author information is listed. There are four links. The fourth link is very similar to the first but I couldn’t find the information that it states that it lists which are author’s websites. The next section on this page lists suggestions of great children’s authors to choose from. I might have made direct links with the websites beside the author’s name so that students would have easy access. Each MI has a listing of what that specific area of MI involves. Then it lists steps to follow toward completion of the project. The next listings are tips to remember when creating WebPages. Finally on the project information link there is a step by step process listing to follow to completion of the project. The Kinesthetic choice was my overall favorite. I like the opening descriptions the link of how to create a triorama.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Culture Quest a WebQuest Evaluation
the age level is elementary 4-6 graders This WebQuest document was written collaborative project and conceived by students and their teachers to deal with some conflicts going on in the school cafeteria. The introduction is a very exact description of the incident that prompted the development of the Culture Quest. The students became investigators and called themselves the cultural investigators.
The task was to research, interview, find, compare, visit, and talk to a wide variety of students and adults who were willing to share particular qualities that make-up someone’s culture. The investigative notes were written a la "Harriet the Spy" style in a small notebook Teachers' asked students to complete seven clear tasks on their journey beginning in the library and moving on to people.The resources were good and provided vital information. Some of the links were dead.The evaluation of the students' worked was based on a balanced rubrics.
I started with searches that included Multiple Intelligences’ and Arts integration. After viewing several dozens I came up this WebQuest
from an fifth grade elementary teacher in Edmonton, Canada. The Welcome page describes the purpose of the WebQuest and its very precise as the teacher begins with the goals of the quest. The next page is the information page which describes the project itself and the theory of multiple intelligences’. I like the way the teacher describes the author of multiple intelligences’, Howard Gardner, and his book “Frames of Mind”. I know that is important for kids to know the authenticity of their work. It gives them a connection, a link. There is an M.D. who wrote several books about how children learn. One of these books was specifically for kids to read about how to nurture their strengths and know your children’s learning patterns entitled “All kinds of Minds for Young Children”.
What's In A Name?
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Learner Autonomy or Teaching English in the Ukraine
First the idea that a more learned centered kind of learning has trickled down into the classrooms. Dimitrios defines autonomy broadly and yet exactly as it should be defined. I might add a sixth definition that of learners will learn to create structures or strategies to help them determine or exercise, or perhaps be able to develop their talent, in their own unique way. Being active in learning instead of passive is a new skill for many as Healey points out in his article this style of learning is a western notion that is a huge barrier to be overcome not just by the students but also by the parents and families of these children that we all serve.
Tapped In or Tapped Out?
Saturday, February 24, 2007
What a very interesting idea to have online for teachers and great resources when there are so few once you’re inside your classroom. As I entered TappedIn I felt overwhelmed by the variety of information offered. I followed some of the links people proved and suggested in TappedIn but I really didn't find anything to catch my interest. I think this is a valuable too for educators looking for great information that applies to your specific teaching purposes.
Authentic Tasks in Education
Friday, February 16, 2007
I guess my first question to the authors Guariento and Morley would be why would we have to simulate the real world in our classroom when it is already there? Reeves, Herrington, and Oliver would support this as they state that authentic activities as a model for Web-based learning are influenced by the constructivists. I think a paradigm shift is needed in education toward more authentic activity. I agree with the ten characteristics of authentic activity. I thought it was funny that the Guariento and Morley sounded a bit "old school" in their writing when they were describing authenticity and text difficulty as well as the discussion of task difficulty they made a reference to students as "low" level? I do like Breen's ideas of achieving authenticity by exploiting the communicative potential of the immediate learning situation
ssl4you - Espanol Segunda Lengua Para T odos: Spanish as a Second Language
THIS SEEMS TO BE A DEAD LINK NOW
This is a blog that was started by a woman named Teresa Sanchez from Zamora, Castilla y Leon, Spain. It is very easy to use and navigate through. The links are clear and the podcasts are very easy to read, listen to, and learn from. Also, Teresa (the author) is very accessible through e-mail and questions through her blog. I think that this site would be appropriate for any age learner that was at or above an intermediate level of understanding Spanish who is interested in advancing their knowledge. A beginning Spanish learner/speaker might be able to use this site as well in certain aspects but it could be difficult at times. The intended purpose of this blog website is to help Spanish Language learners through Podcasts (listening to small stories about every day life circumstances in Spanish), and additional resources which Teresa provides links to. The podcasts are spoken in Spanish with a written English translation. The Podcasts assist learners with listening skills and sentence structure/grammar/vocabulary. The english translations provided assist learners when they run into comprehension issues. It also provides resources for a Spanish Language learner such as materials and links that assist a learner with grammar, tests, dictionaries, etc... Additionally, there are posts about culture, movies, books, news, food, and music that engage the Spanish learner and teach them more about the Spanish way of life and culture. This site is great and I encourage all of you to check it out.
This blog is for both Spanish students (mainly secondary/post-secondary) and teachers. Since most of the blog is in English, it could be used for all levels; however, there is a specific tab for beginners. This blog includes language resources for students such as language learning tips, seasonal vocabulary, videos, games, recommended reading lists and other odds and ends. For teachers, there are also odds and ends that people have put on the blog such as videos, interviews, etc. Other content include student written diaries, news, polls, pictures and Spanish language resources. This blog uses imported video and pictures which provides a more intimate view of many places in Spain. There are also external links to other blogs, the “Real Academia Espanola” (RAE) and the don Quijote school which contains a lot of wonderful learning resources such as online literature, lessons, word of the day and a monthly newsletter. I think these links are very effective and up to date. For example, RAE is the authority on the Spanish language. One of the news links on this blog talks about how the new Spanish dictionary put out by RAE authorizes words such as “internet” and “chat”. Overall, this blog is simple, user-friendly and learner-centered.
I wanted to try out this website after hearing about it from Dan in the CALL discussion forum. I wonder if anyone else has tried this out, yet? This website offers FREE podcasts in Mandarin Chinese with commentaries in English/Chinese for learners of all levels on a wide variety of topics. Also, there are optional package features for a price ($60/year or $240/year) such as podcast dialogue transcripts (pdf) with vocab lists, review exercises, vocab building tools, and lesson plans. There is also a list of available online Chinese tutors (for a fee) and a "Community" tab with links to discussion forums, blogs, and a ChinesePod wiki. After trying most of these features out using the 7-day free trial period, I found that some of the exercises especiallly in the $240/year access package were not very challenging or helpful, and the vocab building tool was not cooperating with me. I think afterall I might just continue to use the free podcasts without the added features or perhaps the $60/year package that provides (limited) podcast cripts.... So to sum up the strengths of this ChinesePod site, it offers free good quality sound files of varying levels with commentaries and is very user friendly. This site might be improved by offering longer podcast transcripts, making the exercises more challenging and meaningful, -oh- and offering more than one podcast per day. A podcast in only one of the 5 proficiency levels is offered each day so, for instance, I would only get about 1 new podcast per week for my intermediate level.
The website is designed for intermediate-level ESL/EFL college students majoring in business to learn English structures of business meetings. The content of the internet activity takes the form of Decision Maze. The context is about a business meeting in which the students have to collectively make decisions on correct answers and appropriate structural usage of language. If the answer is the most appropriate solution to the situation, the user will be linked to a further situation. If not, the user will be linked to a page offering advice about the answer. External documents are available from the Help menu, such as lexis list, personal profiles, 4 proposals etc. One thing that makes the website attractive is that each answer is audio recorded and can be played by just clicking the audio icon. The website is effective for the users to learn the English language structures in business. The instruction is helpful in guiding the user through the task. It also gives the scenario of the business meeting and photos of the settings too. The layout does not have fancy design, but is easy to navigate with large font size. The layout would have a better presentation if there are graphics next to the text explanation for the answers so that it is easier for the user to learn the situations.
Crossword Forge is a program that, given a list of words, designs crossword and word search puzzles. I have used this software for a quite a while to develop fun ways for my students to study and review vocabulary or to assess vocabulary knowledge as well as the capacity to infer meaning from contextual clues in tests and exams. I find the software very easy to use, fast and complete. The puzzles can be exported as Jpeg, Text, Ppf, or Web format. When exported into html the webpage that is created is appealing and logical, it contains pleasant animations, autocorrect, hints, due date and print friendly view. Perhpas, it could also be added a function to have the completed online puzzle to the teacher for grading (but it is not necessary). Also the puzzle can show clues, show words blanks or scrambled words in word blanks. Moreover, you can add a picture on the background and change the puzzle around to increase or decrease difficulty. Overall a great tool for teachers (and indirectly for students).
Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish
Destinos has been around for several years now. The story is done much like that of a Spanish/Latin American telenovela. Even without all the textbook, workbook, etc. there is much to be gained from using this site. There are 52 units and each is categorized by the grammar vocabulary covered. We don't use this textbook in our class, but I have used some of the videos in order for my students to see and hear the topic used in "real life." There are also links to French in Action and Fokus Deutsch as well. These are similar programs for their respective languages.
) Google Video is an amazing resource for video content. Although they now offer content to purchase, such as TV shows, they also have a huge repository of user submitted videos to watch. The great thing about this is that you don't have to just use this to retreive content, you can add your own videos to the site. If you or your students produce a video for class (or other) you can submit it to Google Video and they will host it for you. Anyone in the world can then view your video.
is an online library of Italian audiobooks. Besides selling a few comprehensive works, it also allows you to sample for free from a large array of authors and genres. This side can be quite useful not only to provide students with an alternative and more engaging way to expose students to literature, but it also gives them a valuable example of standard and clear pronunciation. The website has been recently renewed, and now it is very functional, straightforward and fast. In a language course focusing on reading knowledge or in a literature course, this website can be a very valuable tool. However, it can also be used in a language course perhaps by asking students to choose, from a list of suggested stories or poems, one text to listen to and practice reading; then in class the students can be asked to read a few lines from the their chosen text and be assessed (by the instructor but also by the other students) in their pronunciation. Besides containing both the texts and audios, it also has as biographical information and a list of useful links for the authors.
The Gutenberg Project
The Gutenberg Project is dedicated to providing reading content for free. The site was developed by hundreds of volunteers and there are over 18,000 books available, all free, to download and read. There are e-books and audio books available in many languages. Visitors to the site can search through the online catalogue by author, by title or by language. For language learners, this site provides hundreds of hours of listening comprehension, language input, and reading. There are basically three types of reading available: children’s books or lighter reading, heavy literature such as the Bible and Shakespeare and reference materials such as encyclopedias, a thesaurus, and almanacs. This site is especially suited to people living in areas where content and text availability is low, and where libraries are not available. Teachers may find this site useful to provide text resources for students, assign listening with audio books, or even to practice searching through online “card catalogues”. The major benefits to the site are the enormous quantity of text, books and audio books, the many languages available to read in, the online catalogue, and a list of Top 100 books.
The CNN website delivers the latest breaking news and informative on the latest top stories, wealth, business, entertainment, politics, and more. For in-depth coverage, CNN website provides special reports, video, audio, and photo galleries. It has two editions: international and U.S.A. The website offers five different kinds of languages: English, Arabic, Korean, Japanese, and Turkish. It is good for students to learn current events and history. Basically, it is a huge website, therefore, teachers have to set up a topic for students to do research.
) This web site is all about sports. This website delivers the latest information requarding sports. News, scores, video and any other information is available to a reader. This is a great website because it covers all sports aournd the world. The website can also be viewed in Spanish. This website would be great resource to learn about sports from other countries. This would be a great for male and female students who are excited about sports. A teacher would have plenty of information to create lessons that would be authentic to the learners.
) addresses to all those interested in media, and in particular in the Italian political and cultural life. This is a section of the Rai (the Italian National broadcasting) Website and contains archives as well as the latest edition(s) of the news broadcasted on the three available channels(TG1, TG2 and TG3), as well as all kinds of Tv series (commedies, thriller, historical etc), talkshows and music shows, sports, cartoons and instructional shows for kids, culture and travelling shows. This website could be used with intermediate and advanced level students especially, as it provides a good source of authentic texts- of course it requires from the teacher a lot of work in carefully choosing the material and setting the tasks. I already used it when introducing some cultural aspects related to various topics as music or national holidays, as well as for listening comprehension exercises.
NOVA online adventures: Ice mummies of the Inca
documents a 1996, high-altitude archeological expedition in Peru. The expedition uncovered several mummies that shed light on an Incan ceremony that existed in stories and myth, but had no previous physical documentation. The site also offers great background information about the Incan people. The site is well organized, has captivating pictures, and offers sample lessons for a variety of subjects and age levels.
Centro Virtual Cervantes
This website is run by the government of Spain and contains an unbelievable amount of information, content resources, grammar practice and external links for the intermediate to advanced university level learners, teachers and professors, children 7-9 years old, and other professionals who use the Spanish language. There are three main categories: 1) Actos Culturales, which contains information in the form of presentations on various authentic topics, 2) Obras de referencia (reference works), which includes articles, presentations, anthologies, etc. on varias topics, and 3) Aula de lengua (langauge classroom). This third section has authentic texts with pre/post reading activities, a virtual campus that delivers various levels of Spanish courses, a section for children learning Spanish, a translation section and much more. To use some of the services, you need to register but others you can access immediately. There are also hundreds of links to external Spanish websites (search engines, newspapers, art, etc.). The website contains a lot of information, some of which is buried under a few layers. Give yourself some time to browse through this wonderful resource. It is probably the most scholarly website I've seen in Spanish for second language learners.
This is a great site to the Mexican culture. This is an advertisement to sell Spanish videos, but the newsletter which you can connect to at the bottom of the page provides many activities for your students of any age. The newsletter outlines each holiday in Mexico. You can click on past issues which cover one of the holidays in Mexico. The newsletter explains the history behind the holiday or if it is a religious holiday such as Christmas, provides information about the customs during that holiday. Within each newletter there are links to songs, games, and recipes. There is also a vocabulary section for each issue which you can use to teach vocabulary related to the holiday. Many of the issues have crafts for your students to make. You can also leave a message if you wish. I use this website to get information for Mexican holidays. Since there is a great influx of Mexicans into the United States at this time, I feel this website helps students have a greater appreciation of the Mexican heritage. The one drawback that I found with this website is that they do not have a music link for the songs they post. It is a little strange to provide the lyrics without the music. Nevertheless, I love this site. I am also going to add another site for those who like Mexican food. It is
which provides recipes in both English and Spanish. This site is great for older students (I use this site for Spanish 3) to research and plan food for our fiestas! It is a great way to teach a language making it fun and yummy to boot!
This site is a newsletter providing information about the history, culture, art, history, literature, current news, weather, customs, traditions of Mexico. I love this site because the information provided can be used by all levels of students. Entry level Spanish students can research information in English. There are parts of the website which are also written in Spanish for upper level students. It reminds me of the magazines LOOK or LIFE. There are articles by columnists dealing with different aspects of Mexican life. For a fee, you can subscribe and join forums which allow you to discuss a variety of issues in either Spanish or English. The graphics are excellent. One of the parts of the website which I personally enjoy is the quick fact list about Mexico. It acts like a wiki, because if you have any information you wish to add, you may do so.
World Music from National Geographic
This site is a information website mainly providing introduction of different types of music from all over the world. The audiance can be people of various ages, since almost everyone has experience of listening to music. This can be used as an authentic materials for ESL/EFL teaching and learning because they present various texts (including English-language texts, films, music clips) about music and cultures.
Cocina del mundo
) This is a site designed for native Spanish-speakers. It is an index of recipes from all over the world. It seems to have many recipes from Spain, but you can find a good number of recipes from many other countries. You can find a few recipes from almost any country in the world. It is a great authentic tool to practice food or kitchen vocabulary. I'm thinking: fun projects and great food!
This is a site devoted to fighting hate and promoting tolerance. It addresses issues from fighting sterotypes to explotation of immigrant workers. You can find a wide range of articles addressing a variety of topics about culture, assimiliation, immigrant rights, they also provide information and activities about the history of race, ethnic, political and social issues that are prevelent in our society today. Their focus in social justice and providing the public with a broad foundation of knowledge to fight against and challenge injustice.
Culture of Peace
This site is devoted to promoting and sustaining a world wide culture of peace through education. They begin by defining peace in its broadest since and then they suggest ways to teach against violence. The site promotes conflict resolution education as a means to promote a culture of peace through curricula. By facing and fighting poverty and social instabiltiy world wide as well as promoting equality we could face a future of dialogue and peaceful conflict resolution.
Center of SouthEast Asian Studies
This site is devoted to educating people about the languages, culture, and literature of South East Asia. This site includes inter-active games and regional pictures on very specific topics. There are excellent links to additional sites that address the variety of cultures that makeup South East Asia. I particularly like the art and music samples that are accessible for students to really get an idea of specific cultures.
Bartleby.com: The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy
This website provides a great service to English language learners and lovers everywhere. It offers an easy-to-search database of classical literature, both fiction and non-fiction, as well as a great number of reference materials. An especially great find is The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. This dictionary contains terms that "culturally literate" Americans (especially) as global citizens should know. Terms are not only defined as in a regular dictionary, but are also linked to their cultural and historical significance. In this way, one can link from one topic to another through the examples, thus constructing a deeper understanding of a term within its context.
English Key Stage 3 - Full Marks
This is an English Language Arts Test Preparation Software for Junior High School with an MCQ and study notes format in the areas of Spelling; Punctuation; Prefixes & Suffixes; Parts of Speech; Writing and Reading Skills; Letters; Advertisements; Narratives; Articles; and Terms used in English. The software is an educational game, designed for English language testing and revision among British junior secondary school students in the 11 – 14 age group. The animated game is based on an arcade, survival format, and is also sound-tracked to appeal to adolescents. Because its coverage spans from basic English grammar in the beginning levels, to comprehension and inferential questions on reading passages in various genres in the higher levels of the game, the program which is informally known as the British SAT, has good applicability for a wide range of international English language learning situations, such as ESL, EFL, and TOEFL.
English Key Stage 3 – Full Marks
is a handy tool for educators, but it can also be used as a private study tutorial. Limitations include its skill and drill format, its unattractive, dense study notes, and the lack of immediate feedback during the game. Publisher: Idigicon Ltd., Ashfield House, Ashfield Road, Balby, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom, DN4 8QD
English Grammar - The Easy Way
English Grammar The Easy Way is an English grammar and composition study website, geared toward the mature, foreign language student, who has completed English language studies up to high school level. The site is good for independent or home study, and also offers good revision for American students taking college entrance exams such as the SAT or TOEFL. It is a practical website, easy to navigate, and with over 100 items categorized by topics and hyperlinked to concise rules. Elements of grammar and composition covered in this comprehensive study guide include verbs and other parts of speech, punctuation, common errors, sentence structure, editing and proofreading. The site is also linked to a wealth of Google teaching resources for students from the kindergarten stage. Limitations include a lack of practice modules, assessment and feedback. Examples are few, and their isolated sentence format does not offer a context for language usage. Generally, the information on the site is reliable, but the user needs to be aware that inaccuracies exist, such as
Verb Rules instead of
online language learning program (
) This is the web-based language learning program. They provide the four langauge skills with the voice of native speakers and photo image so that the learners can practice matching the image with the voice sound as the way we acquire mother tongue. Without any lecture or explicit instruction about grammar or syntactic rule, they provide the audio-visual input through computer, and also provide a tool for practicing as well as assessment and feedback from the computer. The strongest point of this program is the natural instructional approach, which was never tried in computer assisted language learning programs before, without explicit grammar rule or syntactic knowledge through learner-friendly interface and curriculum schedule. Learners can listen and match the native speaker's voice and photo image and record their own voice to compare their voice frequency with the native speaker's. In orde to take courses, membership is required.
) This website is a teacher/student resource for any grade/level and for all the following languages: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Latin, and Japanese. The intended purpose of the website is to enhance teacher to teacher interaction, student/teacher to content interaction and student to teacher interaction in the subject you are learning in Quia. (Spanish for me) The website does this by allowing the instructor to create 16 types of games and learning activities, create quizzes any of 10 types of questions ( Multiple choice, True-false, Pop-up, Multiple correct, Fill-in, Initial answer, Short answer, Essay, Matching, Ordering), create classes and track quiz results, create class pages for communicating with students, maintain an online schedule and calendar, upload images and audio clips, copy and modify any of Quia's two million activities to suit your own needs, and finally share your activities with students, friends, colleagues, anyone in the world. In regard to Spanish language goals, this website is mainly useful for practice in vocabulary, grammar, and some content retention/writing skills. It is interesting to the teachers because it provides a network of people that you can learn from and share ideas with. For the students I think it is interesting because they can learn and test themselves in their subject areas through games and activities that interest them. They can take the same list of 40 vocabulary words and practice them using up to 15 variations of activities. They also receive very quick feed back as Quia grades their quizzes and games on the spot. I recommend this site to any language teacher looking to find a great network of educators like themselves.
This website is a resource for high school-adult learners at various stages of language learning. It offers 'tutorials' in 10 foreign languages on topics from proverbs to grammar. Some languages offer links to podcasts, audio, or video clips with English subtitles. The 'grammar lesson' sections are extensive for most languages, and offer short readings followed by practice exercises as well as English translations.
) This website is for introducing basic language knowledge of eleven languages (English, Italian, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, French, Russian, Japanese, German, and Hebrew) with the eleven language interfaces. They are providing brief grammar knowledge and vocabulary including alphabet with sound and picture for free. This is good for have basic understanding of foreign language. For each language, they provide alphabet and sound. Just by pointing out the alphabet by mouse, learners can hear the sound of native speakers. And grammar summary arranged by grammar function, basic vocabularies, survival expression and short sentences are provided.
Speak Any Language
) This is an amazing resource for the language learning community. Its byline reads: "A free community devoted to language learning through online lessons, language exchanges, pen pals, chat, forums and more." The pop-up guest map allows contributors and members to join by posting their greeting and photo as well. A very informative and interactive site.
) Wordchamp is a free resource to help your students practice vocabulary. It automatically adds sound clips and creates activties for the vocab you upload for your class. It also hosts an amazing
web reader tool
that allows you to see definitions and hear pronunciation for any word you hold the cursor over on any webpage out there.
This website is a really excellent "starter kit" for people wanting to learn either Modern Standard or Classical (Koranic) Arabic. They go through the alphabet,and how it is written. Each example is linked to a sound file, so you can hear how each letter, word and phrase is pronounced. There are currently 13 lessons, but they intend to add more. As it currently stands, the site gives a pretty thorough review of basic Arabic grammar. The emphasis is mainly on reading and listening, as they have no way for you to practice writing and have it evaluated on the site. There are quizzes though on grammar and vocabulary. The major weakness is lack of vocabulary, the site is very grammar intensive. As they add more, hopefully the range of words will increase, and perhaps they will add more exersizes to suplement those available. The site is totally free, and there are forums where you can post questions about Arabic, which other students and administrators on the site wil answer. You can also purchase a CD of all the sound files on the site, and a supplementary text book with more materials in it. (These are not required, however, in order to use this site). I would strongly recommend this site for anyone seeking a basic grasp of Arabic.
Arabic- Learn Arabic, Inshaallah
If you click on the Arabic lessons link on the left hand side, you will be taken to the first module of a very complete introduction to Arabic language reading, writing and grammar. The content of this site is on par with the level of material that you would learn in an introductory college-level Classical Arabic course. It is incredibly detailed, and provides instruction and some practice in writing and reading. The major drawback is that there are very few sound files, and they do not provide structured lessons with vocabulary lists. Some readings are provided, but you have to make use of their on-line dictionary to look up unknown words. I do like the site's external documents, including flashcards, word matching games, etc. There is also a forum to ask questions of other users (although the webmaster admits many of the members are inactive and don't reply.) Overall, though, this is an excellent fundamental basis for learning Arabic. It needs to be supplemented with sound files, and more practice on the part of the student, but is worth working through for any beginning student of Arabic.
Global Chinese Language and Culture Center
The intended purpose of this comprehensive website is mainly to provide various channels of learning Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese, Hakka and to introduce Chinese culture in general and cultures in Taiwan. It also provides an online space for CFL (Chinese-as-a-foreign-language) teachers to exchange their experiences.
) The intended purpose of the website is to help English language learners improve their general vocabulary, business vocabulary, and grammar skills. The website provides many exercises at seven different levels with an evaluation function to see your item-by-item performance and overall score. You can also register to get a personal page with a history of your site use and to receive exercises over email. There are many problems with this site ranging from typos to unclear, confusing, even just plain wrong grammar. For examples, see my blog (
). I think using this site for grammar practice will only mislead and confuse the user. If this site was thoroughly checked for standard/correct English and the many ambiguous items were removed, this might be a useful resource, but as is I do not recommend it.
Breaking News English
) This EFL/ESL site is targeted for adult English learners. The main content is newspaper articles that can be downloaded in several formats. They can be printed out as a document, saved as audio mp3 files, or as podcasts. By being able to use these various formats, several language goals can be met. If you are teaching adults, please take some time to look here. I think you will find some good materials for your students.
This ESL/EFL site has many great resources for students of all ages. For adult learners, there are fantastic dialogues to practice situational traveller's survival English. For children, there are several activities ranging from songs, to crosswords, to creative writing. And for young students and true beginners, there are worksheets and activities to teach phonics and the alphabet. While the content on this site is awesome, the layout leaves a lot to be desired. But, if you are looking for some great materials to teach EFL/ESL, take some time to look around this site. I think you will find a lot to use in your classroom.
ESL PartyLand - Students
The website is designed to attract young language learners. Therefore, the layout is clean and easy to navigate, with a design of bright colors. The goal of the website is to focus on communicative skills, social context learning, and skills for discussion/forum. The website contains many interactive quizzes, discussion forums, lessons on a variety of topics, and a chat room. Especially, the Learning Pages contain topics interesting to the target students, such as Dating and Relationships, Movies, Food, etc. Each section of the topic starts with a Discussion forum followed by activities, games, quizzes etc., which makes the website more communicative-based learning. However, some of the links didn’t work when I tried them, such as “Read Responses to this question”.
The website is designed to help ESL/EFL students practice English grammar, vocabulary, reading and writing. The main page of the website introduces a variety of learning zones, and it is designed in a way that the user can easily navigate around. The categories of each topic are grouped clearly. The website provides the featured books, such as “Understanding and Using English Grammar”, including the book cover and availability at Amazon.com. I think this gives the user an idea of which books the contents of the learning zones are based on. This website is specialized with grammar in every aspect of ESL/EFL learning, including vocabulary, spelling, clauses, reading, conversation, etc. However, I found that although some quiz sets provide results of scores, but some quiz sets do not provide answers to multiple choice questions.
) The Studio Classroom is a self-learning website providing English language learning opportunity on the website. It is hosted by Dr. Doris Brougham, who came to Taiwan from Seattle in 1962. Studio Classroom, the English teaching program Dr. Brougham founded in 1962, has taught English to hundreds of thousands of native Chinese speakers throughout the world for over 40 years. It has three monthly magazines:
Let's Talk in English (basic)
Studio Classroom (intermediate)
. Each magazine covers all kinds of topics and provides practical, interesting articles to help learners improve their English skills. The Studio Classroom website is a student-friendly and informative website. Students feel comfortable and confident when getting around the site. I will recommend this website to my students for self-promoting English language learning.
Dave's ESL Cafe
) Dave's ESL Cafe is easily the most popular space on the Web for ESL teachers and pretty popular for learners as well. Dave Sperling was one of the first people to use the Web to bring ESL professionals together. The site has discussion forums, lesson plan repositories, and much much more. Some people complain that the user submitted materials are inferior in quality and that the discussion forums are somewhat hostile (a lot of forum trolls with too much time on their hands), but I have found the site an overwhelmingly positive resource that you should check out if you haven't already done so.
This website offers a ton of info for ESL teachers of school age children. The site provides oppurtunities for discussion with other teachers, resources for teachers, and parents (available in Spanish), downloadable resources and tons of lesson planning ideas. I especially like the resources for teens, as well as the ideas for newcomers of all ages.
The Resource Websites at ETLC in Southern Taiwan
The Resource Website “English Teaching/Learning Resources Center” (ETLC) in Southern Taiwan has a large collection of English teaching resources. ETLC can be said to be an entrance to language education websites for language teachers as well as be helpful for teachers who are looking for resources of one kind or another for specific language skills and purposes. There are eight sections of the ETLC website: Pronunciation, Listening, Vocabulary, Reading, Grammar, Writing, News English, and Business English. Each section has a list of ten or more links to language teaching/learning websites in the world, including BBC Schools, Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab, Hong Kong Virtual Language Center, The OWL Family of Sites, Intercultural E-mail Classroom connections (IECC), CNN SF Learning Resources, New York Time Learning Network, and Business Meeting. This site is worth visiting. Some links, however, are not working very well; for example, the Collins Co-build Concordance, Collocations Samplers, Technology specialists, and International writing Exchange were not working when I tried to access them. The design of the website is simple and easy to navigate, though the appearance seems less attractive to those who like complex graphics.
This site is a great resource for advanced beginner to intermediate learners of English who are high school to adult age. I like how it has chat rooms as wella s discussion forums that seem well monitered. The game page is fun but targets older students, like crosswords and puzzles, as opposed to cutesy graphics and objectives. The links for resources and links were helpful.
This is a great resource website for ESL students and teachers. It provides various types of lesson plans and handouts on English language learning. It has a search tool that will help you find what you are looking for. The layout of the page is clean and easy to follow. However, it would be better if they rate the search results according to their relevance to the search words. Also, it would be better if they can arrange more space to display the search results. Overall, this is a good resource for ESL students and teachers.
) Grade/Age level: Preschool and elementary age children. The intended purpose of the Kizclub website is providing learning resources for kids. It offers lots of educational activities in language art. It has ABC writing activities, phonics activities, different topics of resources, craft activities, stories, and other related teaching resources. Teachers and parents can print these materials out for their children to do. The website offers external documents such as printable worksheets, 3D paper craft, digital photo gallery, and flashcards. The stories have sound; therefore, kids could repeat after the sound and listen again and again. It is a website for kids to work on their learning pace.
) This is a comprehensive site that pulls together many resources into an easily navigated and uncluttered set of pages. The site includes a glossary of English terms, English idioms, phrasal verbs and irregular verbs, English teacher forums, printable lessons, handouts, ESL quizzes and tests as well as current articles and a link to a database of ESL sites. As an example, the idomatic expression section alone inclues over 1500 entries!. The site is well-designed with a clean, uncluttered look and intuitive navigation. There are relatively few ads on the site and all of the existing ads are directly related to some aspect of learning English. Their google link dumps you directly into the English learning book section which saves time and hassle. The test/quiz section is quite comprehensive and divided into multiple levels of subcategories making it easy to locate the topic of interest. There is a forum where students can directly address questions about English to teachers as well as forum for teachers to share information regarding lesson plans, new approaches to grammar presentations or anything else related to teaching English. The search engine can locate articles/definitions from an extended datatbase and appears to be well filtered to keep out irrelevant material. To test this, I typed in "sex" and all of the responses (56) had to do with usage of either the word "sex" in English (ie "sex up") or else referred to idiomatic expressions regarding sex: a very useful tool. The site is aimed at junior high and above level students who aren't interested in fun and games but merely want to learn more (about) English. A good general resource for teachers and students.
BBC Learning English
This website provides instructions for learners who want to learn English, particular British English. It does not specifically indicate its target audience but the content and the participants seems to be for young adult and adult learners. This web site mainly uses news report as learning materials. It also offers various learning activities, and also invite learners to participate, present and interact with the text and other learners.
) The intended purpose of the website is to learn English through a system known as The Linguist System, which was created by Steve Kauffman’s and his own language learning methods. Steve has learned 9 languages with fluency and is in the process of learning two more. Steve used his knowledge and experience of learning those languages to develop a system to learn English through choice, listening, reading, reviewing content (vocabulary and phrases), writing, pronouncing, speaking, and measuring your progress through tests and tracking results. The Linguist is an on-line language learning system that is presented through on-line resources and one to one tutors to help you with the language. The tutors correct your writing and help you to practice speaking and pronunciation. There are multiple resources to read, study, and listen to in order to practice and familiarize yourself with English. These external documents are very effective in practicing English through mediums and content that is interesting to you. However, you do have to pay for this system and it can cost you from $39 to $79 a month depending on the type of service that you sign up for, basic or premium.
Virtual Language Center
) This website is part of the English Learning Program at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. It is quite comprehensive with diagnostic tests, puzzles, games, a crossword generator, grammar explanations and pronunciation software that includes a voice recorder and playback so that you can compare your pronunciation with a standard one. The site has resources for all levels of students and includes a downloadable "net dictionary". In addition, it is part of a system of sites called "ESS Loop" which contains more than 50 English learning sites. Note: the downloadable software is available only for Microsoft Windows operating systems.
Adult Learning Activities – California Distance Learning Project
This site targets high school/adult learners and is intended to improve English reading comprehension and listening skills amongst struggling readers, new English speakers, and adults with disabilities. Eleven high-interest topics are included, with each containing a number of lessons. Lessons consist of a reading passage accompanied by audio and in some cases video, along with interactive skills practice and assessment of reading comprehension.
NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) ELL Website for Secondary Students
Grade/Age Level: Middle and High School targets… Adults, too. The NCTE site is a wealth of ELL teacher resources. This is one of hundreds of pages on their site, but it is specifically focused on the ELL secondary classroom. There are three columns of links to articles and sample lessons: teaching strategies, professional readings, and related resources. the teaching strategy articles, a collection of recently published ELL teaching ideas include ideas, for example, for guiding students metacognitively into using 4 strategies for spelling success and an article detailing a unit on having students update local/traditional idioms into modern, and more familiar, language. These ideas seem ready to be incorporated with minor adjustments for your local situation. The second column is a bit more dry… professional readings on a variety of ELL topics regarding the ultimate creation of an ideal ELL environment. This seems like a great place for both beginning and experienced ELL teachers. Enjoy.
CILL’s Home Page
Secondary and adult ELL’s are its target audience. This is an English site. This site is intended to provide practice to advanced ELL’ers… practical practice. This is found on the website published by CILL (Center for Independent Language Learning) and it appears to be a very detailed set of activities and guidance for ELL’s and their teachers. The site has, for instance, an interactive program that helps a user to create a letter of application for a job position. In addition, there is a link off of this page for teachers, where both the optimist’s view of this generator as a teaching tool and the pessimist’s fears of the generator only being used as a surface activity (and a somewhat deceptive one for a prospective employer at that) are discussed in fair fashion. I was impressed. In addition it gives instant feedback vocabulary practice for a huge variety of vocabulary units. There are hint buttons involved with each word, too. This website would give the motivated speaker a great outlet for energy and enthusiasm. The only suggestion I would offer for the pages I saw is that there is a cluttered and truncated feel to some of the “netherpages” or as you get deeper into the help functions they are a little harder to comprehend. So, for example, I clicked the word “judged” to get examples. It gave 35 of them, but often without the full sentence, just a portion, so it was harder to comprehend.
Voice of America (VOA) News, Special English
This website is ideal for adolescent or adult English Language Learners (ELLs) at the intermediate or advanced levels. Although not designed as an education program, teachers can use this website to provide authentic language input in both written and oral modes. The goal of this website is to provide "clear and simple English" for non-native English speakers. The news stories contain a vocabulary of 1500 words, use only short, simple sentences in the active voice and are void of idioms. Also, if you play the audio for the stories, the broadcasters read at a pace two-thirds the speed of standard English. VOA runs different programs (about 14) several times a day throughout the week. Programs cover world news, national news, education, science, American culture, etc. Stories can be heard using Windows Media, Real Audio or downloaded as an MP3. Written text, pod casts and feeds are also provided. Additionally, VOA offers programs and exercises that cover English grammar, idioms, slang, regional dialects and other topical issues. External links include online talking dictionaries, US Dept of State Office of English Language Programs, Pearce Corp Teaching English page and US Institute of Peace, Teaching Guide on Peace Education. Overall, this website is easy to navigate and has a clean layout.
) A website based in Germany that has offered resources and links to teachers and learners of English for the last eight years. From grammar and linguistics to culture to dictation to games, the pages offer concrete and interactive lessons for every level.
Primary French is a well designed, highly interactive beginners French website. It is a pilot project aimed at teaching French to English speakers of elementary school age. Students can opt for a flash (animated) version or a non-animated version. The flash option loads quickly while a cartoon-imaged, Roller, rides expertly up and down on his skateboard. Soon the user meets Roller’s ‘gang.’ Roller is likely to appeal because he is cast in the image of a pop and rap artiste.
consists of two (2) graded levels of conversational French. Topics include greetings, counting, my family, my pets, and What’s your name? Each topic is composed of a suite of iterative reinforcements in oral, written and song formats. The website includes teachers’, parents’, and children’s pages with resources in a variety of formats. The website caters both for independent home use and classroom use. Although assessment takes the form of a Thumbs up from Roller, True/False, or Oui/Non, it requires good listening skills, attention to oral and written French expression, and critical judgment.
also caters for children with vision and dyslexic disabilities through a partnership between BBC.co.uk and AbilityNet This website is well-crafted both in content and affective appeal.
is a biligual language and culture portal that offers its visitors a wealth of resources-- attractively displayed, well-organized, and easily navigable. From media to immersion schools to French "around the world" to a section dedicated to French as a second language, this site could easily serve as a single source for French language aficionados and teachers. Check out music, film, museums, exercises, i-pod casts, and even online quizzes.
German Skills to Live By
Set in Berlin, this fun, interactive website allows the user to go about everyday life with a native German. Pictures, audio, and lots of practice give learners the opportunity to see Germany and hear real Germans speaking German. The great thing about this website is that learners can work at their own pace and keep track of their successes. This website gives learners insights into the underlying grammar concepts and hints as well as lots of cultural information. The vocabulary and situations are helpful for people who want to learn everyday communication skills.
THIS LINK NOW SEEMS DEAD
This program provides students with the opportunity to check their kanji (Chinese characters borrowed by the Japanese and used in their written language) comprehension by identifying the correct English meaning or Japanese pronunciation for a given character. There is also a recognition "quiz" and a Japanese to English vocabulary quiz. All these quizzes are multiple choice but I use quotation marks around the word quiz because the programs comes with a myriad of ways to receive hints on any given kanji. Students will be shown the same character until they select the correct answer so there are no "wrong" answers. The program is free and for any Japanese language students who are highly motivated to learn and practice kanji, I would recommend it. However, as kanji is presented by grade, most sections contain over 100 characters which would be too large of a chunk for students to process at any one time. Furthermore, the help feature on the program does not work so I fear some of the other capabilities of the program have gotten past me in my inability to understand their use, including a reported ability to create personal vocabulary lists that pull from the kanji in the program.
Cool Japanese Phrases
This simple webpage that teaches students about 16 very high frequency words used in everyday Japanese conversations is actually quite powerful by allowing students to hear the correct intonation of a word and read about its meaning and usage. It is very simple to use and even students who could not read Japanese could benefit from hearing the spoken words so I would consider this site good from anyone from ages 8 on up who was interested in spoken Japanese. There is a simple game of memory that also includes voice overs when you choose the card. However, the site offers no activity or practice that actually connects the words with their English meanings. I feel this is a tremendous short-coming of the site. There are no external documents and no assessment provided other than your score and time for the memory game. This is certainly a great site in many ways but would be better utilized by using external documents or a link to an assessment that actually concerns itself with meaning instead of pronunciation. But the reason I like the site it the use of the spoken word with the correct accent and the fact that spoken words are full of meaning and can be transferred to everyday conversations in the target language with little fuss after some practice on the website.
A Website Devoted to Adventures in Japanese Supplemental Materials
THIS LINK SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN MOVED
includes supplimental materials for all four volumes of Adventures in Japanese, a common secondary Japanese language textbook. This site is full of ideas for expanding on the topic of a chapter and there are many group activities presented to allow students the opportunity to practice. There are kanji and vocabulary games, activities and worksheets, cultural links, jeopardy powerpoints, and many other ideas and suggestions that all correspond to the topics and vocabulary students will be expected to know anyway. Nearly all materials are Word documents and can be easily tailored to fit the needs of one's class. The disadvantages of the site is that is it not interactive at all. There are no assessment, feedback, or practice activities included on the site as it is to all be done by the teacher using the provided materials. I have found that many of the Japanese language quiz websites use too many vocabulary my students do not know so I wish this site had made some on-line quizzes but using the target vocabulary of a given chapter. I guess I will have to do this myself someday.
) This website offers online courses for anyone wishing to learn or improve their Italian language and culture at all three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Some of the strenghts of CyberItalian are the advertised online seminars in Italian literature and culture, Italian for business or Italian for travellers, as well as the online conversation courses, the private online courses offering personalized instruction (all using the Skype video/audio chat service) and the possibility students have to directly contact a professor or to meet other Italian students in the forums. The access to the course material is exclusively for the students who take the course, but the free trial samples feature an interesting design, images, audio files and interactive exercises for pronunciation, practicing grammar and vocabulary and cultural activities, all providing instant feedback to the students. This website can be used not only by the enrolled students, but could constitute a very good resource for anyone interested in Italian language and especially in Italian culture, through the numerous readings and links it provides and that are open to the public.
contains three online Italian courses for beginners. For more advanced Italian learners, the BBC Languages site offers an audio guide to Italian slang, organized by different topic categories like: food, family, drinking etc., Italian for business and links to outside resources containing scripts of traveling TV programs. The beginner courses are generally organized based on a language functions syllabus, contain grammar explanations in English, bilingual vocabulary lists, dialogues with audio files, so that students can listen to at their own pace and practice pronunciation, interactive activities for learning and practicing grammar and vocabulary, as well as internal and external cultural resources.
Oggi e domani
Although it doesn't seem to be recently updated, I like this free of charge website because it is very easy to use and has a clear although rich layout and content, which addresses beginners and intermediate levels. Each lesson has two or three pages which contain dialogues or texts that will ellicit the new vocabulary or grammar topic introduced. Students have also the possibility to listen to the dialogue and/or record their own voice in order to compare with the original, for pronunciation practice. The website provides clear and colorful charts for grammar and vocabulary, as well as plenty of practice through interactive exercises in which, in many cases, students can get instant feedback. There are external pages that would usually support, through authentic material, the vocabulary or the culture topic introduced.
Let's Learn Korean
This website is produced b Korean radio broadcasting company. This site "Let's learn Korean" is in the section of Korean culture. In this section, they provide basic language knowledge and grammr points of Korean briefly. They also provide short situation-based conversation drills in the form of flash. Which is quite good thing in this website is that they provide very friendly interface and the interface and menu are provided by nine different languages(English, German, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Indonesian, Chinese and Japanese). Just by pointing alphabet and letters by mouse, one can hear the sound of the word. Conversations are provide by animation and audio clips.
Tranparent Language's Norwegian
This program allows users to learn basic Norwegian phrases, especially those relating to travel. The software includes conversations that can be played or replayed at two speeds, normal or slow, one word or phrase at a time. This software also includes games and drills to reinforce the vocabulary. This program has limited uses, and should compliment a more comprehensive Norwegian language program.
Multilingual Center Free Spanish Lessons
This website presents several lessons in grammar-translation fashion on common verbs in the present tense, healthcare vocabulary, and grammatical explanations of topics such as the uses of por and para. It has several short audio clips and provides drawings or English translations alongside the text. It is useful as a supplement to other materials, and the audio files would be helpful to improve pronunciation since they allow plenty of time for repetition of the material. There is not a lot of content nor variety in the manner of presentation. It is basically like a textbook with Spanish and English on the same page. The lessons provided are samples of the content of the courses that the site is selling.
Spanish Grammar Exercises
This website includes dozens of grammatical and cultural topics. It has exercises with drop-down answer banks or fill-in-the blanks, many of which include listening comprehension portions from video and audio clips. The cultural components include imbedded links to pictures or short descriptions for the vocabulary within the exercises. The site has study modules, which are based on a cultural topic and include several components (including songs and lyrics), and grammar exercises, which may have several linked exercises included. There are also teacher pages with lesson plans to use the site. For a free site, this has a lot of top-quality content.
Learn Spanish Today
) This website requires a registration where you have to provide your name and email address. The registration provides several free lessons, but the lessons are interrupted, sometimes after a very short time, by an offer to buy the CD program. The lessons have written text, which is highlighted as the audio files play. Time is allowed to repeat the phrases after a native speaker says them. There is a lot of repetition, and little visuals pop up with each phrase. The emphasis is on creating complete sentences, with instant translations provided. This approach might be effective for some people, but it doesn't allow for any interaction except for repeating and trying to produce the Spanish phrases in little quizzes at the end of lesson segments. It would be a monotonous approach to language learning. The audio CDs might be useful for someone who wants to listen while they're doing other things, and the integrated audio and visual would be better than using a written text alone. I like the idea of learning complete phrases, but for most people, this would have to be used as a supplement to other instruction.
This website is very comprehensive for a free site. It includes vocabulary and grammar tutorials, categorized vocabulary lists with audio pronunciation files, idioms, audio and written practice drills (with Latin American and Spanish pronunciation), quizzes, tests, translations, cultural readings in Spanish and English on the same pages (with photos), and links to Hispanic media, schools, travel opportunities, forums, etc. The site is suitable for beginning to advanced Spanish language learners and instructors. There are lots of inbedded links for organizations that are involved in travel, education, networking, etc. The site also includes advertisements for a CD Spanish course, and for a fee, the user can upgrade to the premium site, which includes at least double the content of the basic site.
This website is great for learning how to speak Spanish. The blog has a weekly news letter that guides you through your learning. Each week there are new concepts to learn. There are also activities, tips, discussions and software recommendations. I think the best part about this blog is the mp3's that are in the text of the article. The audio files help the learner pronounce the words correctly and keep them on track.
Spanish at About.com
This website provides a wealth of topics, focused on Spanish grammar and vocabulary. Daily updates to the blog provide brief lessons on targeted topics, and include links to suggested topics for both beginner and advanced learners. Members can post to discussion forums in both Spanish and English, and request help from other users for translation as well as clarification of language usage. Various links to outside user blogs, Spanish-language newspapers and websites, and information regarding visiting Spanish-speaking countries as well as offers for purchase of language-learning products are also included.
) The intended purpose of the website is to provide resources and opportunities for Spanish Language learners. It also provides members a network of other people who are teaching or learning Spanish as well and makes communication accessible and easy to do. The content of this website is very diverse. First, there is a lot of information about studying abroad through the Don Quijote schools. These schools offer classes at any level in many locations all around Spain. The courses can be from 1 week to a semester. Second, this website offers a “Teacher’s Corner”, which is essentially a blog where teachers can meet and discuss issues/concerns/successes with other teachers. Third, this website provides a list of resources for language learners. These include: PALABRA DEL DÍA SPANISH LESSONS VERB CONJUGATOR SPANISH ALPHABET COMMON ERRORS SPANISH NUMBERS DICTIONARY TEST YOUR LEVEL LITERATURE SPANISH LOVE FRIENDSHIP SPANISH GAMES SPANISH MEDIA SPANISH LYRICS POPULAR SAYINGS JOKES IN SPANISH WAP TRANSLATOR and the NEWS! Finally, there is an entire section dedicated to the culture of Spain. There is much more on the website but these are the main attractions.
The Stockholm School of Economics
produced a full online accessible course in Swedish in 1998. It includes an introduction, 9 chapters, and over 180 speech samples. A part of the site's introduction to the language says: "Swedish is a member of the Indo-European family, to which almost all European languages belong (with the exception of the Finnish-Ugrian, Basque, and Caucasian languages), and has many features in common with all of these. Its closest relatives are Danish, Norwegian, and Icelandic. The latter has due to its isolation remained remarkably intact from the Viking Age and therefore is very difficult to understand for other Nordic speakers." The site is informative, friendly, graphically clean and easy to read. It's an excellent beginning for anyone wanting a good introduction to the language.
Developed by a non-native, Glenn Slayden, this site represents a language website that intends to give new language learners the chance to learn the language, culture, and more through the eyes of the outsider who is passionate about the country and people of Thailand. Well designed, with language aids, references, dictionaries, forums, a store, and cultural and travel information, the site is great for occasional traveller or for someone who wants a good start on the Thai language.
VARK is an acronym for various types of learning preferences: visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic. This website provides information about these learning preferences, a questionnaire which helps people determine their learning preferences, and information about how knowing one's preferred learning style(s) can help one learn new information, study, and perform on tests of any type to the best of one's ability. Additionally, the research that is being conducted through the questionnaire results is available for all people to read. Researchers say that language learners who know their learning styles "make better use of learning opportunities” (Ngeow 1999), "can structure their learning in a way that will help them the most”, and “compensate for information presented in a format from which they do not learn well, often by translating it for themselves into their preferred mode” (Healey 1999). VARK helps learners understand themselves better, thereby helping them to make the most of their learning. The questionnaire is available in the following languages: English, Spanish, Polish, Thai, Estonian, Czech, Galician, German, Maltese, Portuguese, Romanian, Turkish, Arabic and Norwegian. Additionally, there are questionnaires for younger learners (high schoolers) and athletes also available on the website.
This website is deigned to help ESL/EFL learners to develop their listening comprehension ability and skills in real life situation and academic settings. There are various topics in this website. It includes daily life conversation, academic English, American English and international English. Besides, each section is divided into new listener, regular listener and advanced listeners. The visual aid and detailed descriptions of the listening practice can make students choose the practice that are suitable for them easily. Besides, the international English can help learners get accustomed to the accents of non-native speakers. You can first try the listening practice in free guest area.
Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab
The original design of this multimedia listening website is to help ESL language learners develop and enhance their listening comprehension skills in English through self-study practice. Beside, it can also be teacher-directed learning where the teacher asks students to complete certain exercises as a means of supplementing their classroom objectives. Honestly speaking, the quizzes and activities are also very beneficial for EFL learners to enhance their listening comprehension skills or ability. There are lots of authentic conversations in this website. It covers not only functional language topics (e.g. shopping, job language learning tips, life tips, job hunting, buying cars, housing complaining or renting etc) but also simulated TV or radio programs. Besides, it also includes longer listening practice or quizzes for academic purpose such as TOEFL or TOEIC. The content is presented based on the level of difficulties, the topics and purposes. This is an oldest English free listening website. Many of my colleges reccomend this website.
Quizes & Tests
Activities for ESL/EFL students
This is the project of The Internet TESL Journal (iteslj.org). Quizzes, tests, exercises and puzzles are designed to help ESL and EFL learners enhance their English.Grammar quizzes, Vocabulary quizzes, crossword puzzles and Podcast are included in this website. Grammar quizzes are divided into Easy, Medium, Difficult and quizzes about places. Vocabulary quizzes are divided into Easy, Easy with picture, Medium and Difficult. Cross puzzles are divided into easy and not so easy. In Podcast, there are 20 podcast on different topics. These activities will be very benefical for ESL/EFL learners.
This is a website devoted to teaching and assessing English skills. The site offers assessment exams for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners. The target audience could be any age since there are games for young learners. However, young adults in need of skills to take standardized exams can benefit the most from the site. There are practice TOEFL exams and information of listening and speaking skills. The website also has a newsletter, free software, a bookstore and all kinds of games and activities. There really are no external documents and the site could use some lesson explanations and study guides. The site is fairly easy to navigate but the free software needs to have more information written explaing what it does, then one would know what to download. The site does require a registration but it is free! See full review at
Test Magic is a website that offers free online practice tests for many of the standardized tests that our students need to take. There are resources for information such tests as the TOEFL, GRE, SAT, GMAT, and SSAT. The website offers practice tests with instant feedback. There are also grammar resources and vocabulary building skills. There arefrequently asked questions about these tests. The website also has a newsletter, a forum, classes that are available, grammar links and explanations. The website is designed to help students perform better on these tests and is targeted directly to the tests. The vocabulary lists and grammar references include many useful lessons. There are short explanations of adverbs, adjectives, interjections, nouns and verbs (among others). The site is helpful for both teachers and students. It can be used in class or as an outside resource. Students can be set up to take the tests and then the answers could be reviewed. Check it out if you teach to any of these standardized tests.
) This is a website providing the essential vocabulary list for SAT, GRE, TOEFL and some of reading and listening materials. For each test, vocabulary list, quiz, word games, lesson and word usage are provided. Various type of tools for helping memorizing vocabulary are provided, for example, in the form of flash cards, word list with sound, test sets, and etc. This site is focused on building up vocabulary ability, especially for the standardized test, SAT, TOEFL and GRE. To increase verbal ability to obtain high score, this website is very recommendable.
) Google is largely recognized as being the king of search for now. It is widely believed that for general searching capabilities, Google is heads and tails above the rest. Google also has specialized search options such as site specific searches, Google Scholar (
) and other cutting edge search resources. See a list of many of their resources at
ESL in Canada
a Google-based portal for ESL resources and sites in Canada.
a corporate sponsored site, Thinkfinity provides "
educational resources to teachers and students. These standards-based resources include lessons plans, student materials, reviewed Web resources and interactives
suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Hot Potatoes is not freeware, but it is free of charge for those working for publicly-funded non-profit-making educational institutions, who make their pages available on the web. Other users must pay for a licence. Check out the Hot Potatoes licencing terms and pricing on the
**Half-Baked Software Website**
. (from the Homepage of
(Japanese Language Reading Tutorial System) (
This site is for helping Japanese language learners improve their reading skills in Japanese. It is also good for vocab building. The main thing is the dictionary tool where you can copy and paste long sections of text and the site will give the definition of any word you click on (Japanese to simpler Japanese, to English, or to German). Also it will check the difficulty of the Japanese text by giving you a percentage the words in the text that fall into each given difficulty level. It also has a reading resource bank which gives a list of text links, a section for website links for finding tons of other Japanese reading materials, and a reading comprehension quiz section (unfortunately the quiz section wasn't working). The site is generally user-friendly and useful for Japanese language learners of all levels. It would be nice if there were example sentences to accompany the definitions, though.
I have used this one on one with first grade as well as older newcomers and it is a great practice website for pre emergent readers. It has a lot of practice areas for phonics based learning, with very good listening excercises. It allows for practice with sounds, letters and commonly used words, as well as tongue twisters and jokes. There are some free teacher resources, especially great downloadable books. The teachers at my school order the writing journals every year. They have pictures on the writing page to help with words and understanding.
Learning Post by the Bangkok Post
The Bangkok Post’s Learning Post is a website created by staff of the Bangkok Post, a leading English newspaper in Thailand. The main purpose of this site is to teach ESL students to read an English newspaper. However, the site provides more than just tips for the students on how to read a newspaper. It also gives tips and lesson plans for teachers. On the homepage of the website, it is divided into three main parts, which are Learning/teaching English with the newspaper, Focus on Thai, and Special Interest with the Newspaper. Moreover, there is also the main article of the homepage which has been selected with the interests of ESL students in mind. These sections are updated daily. There are also archives that have previously posted news and comprehension exercises. Not only are there news articles, the website also provides tips and information for students to read the Bangkok Post or any English newspaper in general, including styles of news stories and tips for reading feature stories. There are also tips for teachers who want to use news article to teach ESL students. This website is not only suitable for Thai ESL learners and teachers; it is useful for any ESL students who want to learn to read an English newspaper or to learn English from reading newspaper. ESL teachers will get interesting ideas on how to use English newspaper in their classroom such as how to improve reading comprehension and vocabulary and how to write to express opinions.
Reading A to Z
) Reading A to Z was created to give teachers hundreds of language resources. The website requires a subscription, but I find this cost to be worth it. The webpage has hundreds of leveled books that come with worksheets and comprehension tests. The web site also has poems, Readers Theater, guided reading, phonics, vocabulary, fluency and alphabet activities. I have found this website to be the greatest resource in my classroom. I use the books for my guided reading groups. I have four different leveled groups that meet each day. I use this website to get books, worksheets and assessments that I need each week. I do not think I could have guided reading groups if it were not for this site. I do not have access to the amount of books that I would need. This website has opened many doors for me to have more activities to teach my students how to read.
I Know That
THIS LINK SEEMS TO BE DEAD
IKnowThat.com is a website consisting entirely of interactive learning practice games. Many reading games are structured to encourage exploration with phonics principles, but the site includes other academic areas as well. The free areas are extensive, but 'premium content' areas must be purchased at the individual/family, or classroom rate to fully utilize the site. Reading games range from short vowel sounds to complex digraphs, diphthongs and blends.
First Grade Skill Builders
This site is filled with Math and Language Arts games for first greaders to play. The games are fun, but do not give the students much feedback. The student will see their score, but there will be no explination about why they achieved the score. This site is also a little hard to navagate for first graders. The students will need some help playing the games because they will have to read the directions and click on the correct buttons. Once the children have used this site a few times they will get used to the navagation and will be able to play independently. Overall this is a good site for first grade games.
Fat Facts WebQuest
This is an example of a good (5-star rated) WebQuest suitable for intermediate EFL students. The subject matter for this WebQuest is obesity, which is a possible intersting subjects for teenagers and young adults, who are the target group. There is a step-by-step guideline to complete tasks that will eventually lead to the final project and presentation. Students can choose to do a newsletter, brochure, or web page. Then, they have to present it to the class. This WebQuest also provides worksheets and templates for students to use. Students will read extensive articles and write for the final project. They will also learn to do research on the Internet and make a presentation. I think that this WebQuest is suitable for a teacher who wants to give WebQuest a try.
My Story: A Creative Life Writing Webquest for Seniors
We discovered this WebQuest only after we had already penned our webquest, so this isn't technically a resource we used, however, it parallels ours, in that the goal is to encourage the writers to draw on various skills and write a life story. This particular one is a
detailed, step by step writing guide to encourage senior citizens to use the computer as a research and writing support tool in creating their stories. It includes resources on how to write, grammar, usage, etc, so that this webquest could easily be used in a language class, either for ELLs or adapted slightly and used to guide students in writing a foreign language life story. The external documents and resources provided are appropriate for the tasks, and although the recommended writing process is long (12 steps, some taking several days) it is a comprehensive guide. Seniors not totally comfortable with the internet, or with little internet access, would have trouble completing this assignment, but the author included a "teacher" role to assist the students. The only element that we would add to this site is information on web publishing, so that writers can share their stories.
Conflict Yellowstone Wolves
Conflict Yellowstone Wolves is a well-structured, engaging webquest that takes students into the heart of an environmental controversy over whether the endangered Grey Wolf should be reintroduced into Yellowstone and central Idaho after decades of eradication by farmers. This joint Poway United School District (PUSD) and Museum of Television and Radio project captures the authenticity of both sides of the conflict, and in a logical 5-step process leads students through research on wolves, especially The Gray Wolf, and the history of its relationship with Yellowstone and central Idaho. Ecology curriculum standards guide this webquest targeting Grades 6-9. Language arts curriculum standards that can also be applied include, persuasive writing, editorial and feature journalism, interviewing skills, and debating. External pages of this webquest include additional Planet Earth ecology projects and activities for which objectives, grade levels and technological tools are suggested. Assessment could be strengthened. The grading rubric could be improved to include more relevant Language Arts (persuasive writing) and Ecology curriculum standards. Inactive links should also replaced with alternatives.
What’s in your food?
Grade/Age Level: 12th grade. This webquest is designed for 12th grade students in biology class. It focuses on genetic engineering. Besides, it tends to cover the PA standard “Describe genetic engineering techniques, applications and impacts". This webquest includes introduction, task, process, evaluation, conclusion and evaluation. In introduction, it describes that there might be some risks of genetic engineering and genetic modified (GM) food. Then, motivate students to examine the pros and cons of GM crops and situations related to other areas and technology. The task for students is to inform consumers about genetic engineering in agriculture and provide them pros and cons in newsletter, PowerPoint, news report etc. Five steps for working on this project are described in process part. In evaluation part, evaluation sheets, Peer Evaluation rubric and project specific requirements are also included in this website. In conclusion part, it is anticipated that the students can have a better understanding of genetic engineering and the effects on our food sources. Besides, they can understand the occurrence in agriculture today and how it affects us as consumers. At last, they are able to make educated decisions concerning agriculture and to express their own opinion on genetic engineering. The webquest is useful for content area teacher. Besides, it is also helpful for learners of different learning styles and of great creativity . Learners can explore issues related to genetic engineer and develop their creativity in this project.
Eve 2: A Case Study
is a marvelous webquest designed by a team led by Keith Nuthall, Instructional Technology Specialist, Poway Unified School District in San Diego County, California. Sponsored by the California Technical Assistance Program and Pacific Bell, the creators of this webquest set out to help high school learners develop ways to make difficult decisions through understanding the concept of case studies. Students learn about cloning, and they learn to learn.
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