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Engaging Adult ESL Online Learners with USALearns

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This is an overview of the features of, a free Web site designed to help ESL students improve their English skills outside of a traditional classroom.

Text of Engaging Adult ESL Online Learners with USALearns

  • 1. Web-based Learning for ESL Students Presented by: Evelyn Fella[email_address] TESOL March 2010 Boston


  • USALearns Components & Requirements
  • Course Features
  • Teacher Site Overview
  • Implementation Tips

3. What is U.S.A. Learns? AfreeWeb site for immigrant adults who want to improve theirEnglish language skills 4. Who created U.S.A.Learns?

  • Funded by:
  • U.S. Dept. of Education,
  • Office ofVocational and Adult Education
    • Developed by:
    • Sacramento County Office of Education
    • with
    • Project IDEAL, University of Michigan

5. Who is the target audience?

  • Immigrant Adults with
      • limited opportunities for attending traditional classes
      • beginning or intermediate English language skills
      • (NRS levels 2 through 5)

6. What computer skills are required?

  • Mouse: Click and scroll
  • Keyboard:
  • Letters, backspace, shift key, space bar
  • Web browser:
    • Open a browser (e.g. IE, Safari)
    • Navigate a basic Web site
    • Click buttons and links
  • Microphone:optional

7. What are the hardware requirements? Fast Internet connection at least 384 Kbps or faster; no dial-up connections Up-to-date Web browser with Flash plug-in Sound card Speakers or headphones Microphone (optional) 8. What are the content components?

    • 1st English Course: Beginner
    • 20 video-based units: Survival language topics
    • 2nd English Course: Intermediate
    • 20 video-story based units: Job & Life Skills topics
    • Practice English and Reading: Intermediate
    • 42 stories: Various topics
    • Teacher Management Site
    • Monitor progress and scores; comment on writing

9. Main Menu 10. What are the features of USAL?

  • High Quality Video
  • characters, situations and stories relevant to immigrants
  • Language Development Activities
  • 4-Skills practice with video, images, audio
  • Clean Intuitive Design
  • simple navigation; easy-to-see buttons; consistent screen templates

11. Classroom Video - 1st Course 12. Situational Video - 1st Course 13. Unit menu - 1st Course FirstEnglish CourseUnit Menu 14. 2nd English Course Topic Menu 15. Video - 2nd Course 16. Video with Text - 2nd Course 17. PracticeEnglish and Reading Topic Menu 18. PracticeEnglish and Reading - Story Sample 19. Review of 3 Core Content Components 20. Language Development Activities

    • Skills practice in:
    • Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking
    • Special focus on:
    • Vocabulary, Life Skills, Grammar
    • Media-rich activities
    • Video, images, sound

21. Activities Menu Activities Menu 22. Learn New Words 1st Course 23. Learn New Words (Intermediate Vocabulary) 24. Spell It! 25. Match Game 26. Listen for it! 27. Say it! - Record your Voice 28. Grammar - Writing 29. Life Skills - Listening and Reading 30. Life Skills - Reading a Lease 31. Write about it! 32. Thinking Skills - Drawing Conclusions 33. Making Choices -You Predict 34. Self-Reflection - Learning Log 35. 36. Teacher Management Site 37. What can I do at the Teacher site?

    • Create an online class.
      • Monitor students progress and scores.
      • Score/comment on writing assignments.
      • Post messages to the online class
  • View/download Scope and Sequence.
    • Story summaries
    • Vocabulary word lists
    • Grammar
    • Life Skills; functions

38. Teacher Main Menu 39. Teacher Registration 40. Teacher Home Page 41. Add a New Class Students needClass Password, Teacher Last Name & class web address 42. Manage Classes Menu 43. Class Roster 44. Student Scores-Activity Menu 45. Feedback on Student Writing 46. Teacher messages 47. 3 USAL Components!

    • Independent Learner Site
    • Teacher Management Site
      • /teacher
      • Class Site
      • /class

48. U.S.A. Learns Implementation Tips 49. Good Language Learner Habits

    • Encourage students to:
      • Spend about 30 minutes a day ratherthan speeding through all the content in one sitting.
      • View videos 2 or 3 times with and without the script.
  • Practice speaking either with a mic or simply speaking out loud.

50. Good Language Learner Habits

  • Encourage students to:
    • Keep a learning journal for new words, expressions, questions, writing practice.
  • Set personal goals and self-monitor.
  • Connect learning in their real-world environment -- signs, billboards, newspapers, listening-in to others.

51. Tips for Teachers

  • Register on the Teacher site and be sure students use the Class site.
  • Give students a personal orientation tour of the site and show how to best use it.
  • Monitor your students progress online and communicate with them regularly.
  • If possible set up a class web site with links, or a social network for online discussion.

52. Tips for Teachers

  • Familiarize yourself with the content;
  • check scope and sequence document.
  • Use the rich video content, storylines, characters for writing assignments, discussion and other activities.
  • Suggest other online sites to extend and supplement USAL content.
  • ( usalearns.wordpress.comfor unit-specific recommendations)

53. Questions? Problems? Comments? Technical Support:[email protected] usalearns .org Content/implementation: evfella @san. rr .com Unit/Topic-Specific supplementary