Engaging Adult ESL Online Learners with USALearns

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


<ul><li> 1. USALearns.org Web-based Learning for ESL Students Presented by: Evelyn Fella[email_address] TESOL March 2010 Boston</li></ul> <p> 2. AGENDA </p> <ul><li> USALearns Components &amp; Requirements </li></ul> <ul><li>Course Features </li></ul> <ul><li>Teacher Site Overview </li></ul> <ul><li>Implementation Tips </li></ul> <p> 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? </p> <ul><li>Funded by: </li></ul> <ul><li>U.S. Dept. of Education,</li></ul> <ul><li>Office ofVocational and Adult Education </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Developed by: </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Sacramento County Office of Education</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>with </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Project IDEAL, University of Michigan </li></ul></li></ul> <p> 5. Who is the target audience? </p> <ul><li>Immigrant Adults with</li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>limited opportunities for attending traditional classes </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>beginning or intermediate English language skills </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>(NRS levels 2 through 5) </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul> <p> 6. What computer skills are required? </p> <ul><li>Mouse: Click and scroll </li></ul> <ul><li>Keyboard: </li></ul> <ul><li>Letters, backspace, shift key, space bar </li></ul> <ul><li>Web browser: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Open a browser (e.g. IE, Safari) </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Navigate a basic Web site</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Click buttons and links </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Microphone:optional </li></ul> <p> 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? </p> <ul><li><ul><li>1st English Course: Beginner </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>20 video-based units: Survival language topics </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>2nd English Course: Intermediate </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>20 video-story based units: Job &amp; Life Skills topics </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Practice English and Reading: Intermediate </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>42 stories: Various topics </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Teacher Management Site </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Monitor progress and scores; comment on writing </li></ul></li></ul> <p> 9. Main Menu 10. What are the features of USAL? </p> <ul><li>High Quality Video </li></ul> <ul><li>characters, situations and stories relevant to immigrants </li></ul> <ul><li>Language Development Activities</li></ul> <ul><li>4-Skills practice with video, images, audio </li></ul> <ul><li>Clean Intuitive Design </li></ul> <ul><li>simple navigation; easy-to-see buttons; consistent screen templates </li></ul> <p> 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 </p> <ul><li><ul><li>Skills practice in: </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Special focus on: </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Vocabulary, Life Skills, Grammar </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Media-rich activities </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Video, images, sound </li></ul></li></ul> <p> 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. usalearns.org 36. Teacher Management Site usalearns.org/teacher 37. What can I do at the Teacher site? </p> <ul><li><ul><li>Create an online class. </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>Monitor students progress and scores. </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>Score/comment on writing assignments. </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>Post messages to the online class </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>View/download Scope and Sequence. </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Story summaries </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Vocabulary word lists </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Grammar</li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Life Skills; functions </li></ul></li></ul> <p> 38. Teacher Main Menu 39. Teacher Registration 40. Teacher Home Page 41. Add a New Class Students needClass Password, Teacher Last Name &amp; class web address usalearns.org/class 42. Manage Classes Menu 43. Class Roster 44. Student Scores-Activity Menu 45. Feedback on Student Writing 46. Teacher messages 47. 3 USAL Components! </p> <ul><li><ul><li>Independent Learner Site </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>usalearns.org </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Teacher Management Site </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>usalearns.org /teacher </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>Class Site </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>usalearns.org /class </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul> <p> 48. U.S.A. Learns Implementation Tips 49. Good Language Learner Habits </p> <ul><li><ul><li>Encourage students to: </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>Spend about 30 minutes a day ratherthan speeding through all the content in one sitting.</li></ul></li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li><ul><li>View videos 2 or 3 times with and without the script. </li></ul></li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Practice speaking either with a mic or simply speaking out loud. </li></ul> <p> 50. Good Language Learner Habits </p> <ul><li>Encourage students to: </li></ul> <ul><li><ul><li>Keep a learning journal for new words, expressions, questions, writing practice. </li></ul></li></ul> <ul><li>Set personal goals and self-monitor. </li></ul> <ul><li>Connect learning in their real-world environment -- signs, billboards, newspapers, listening-in to others. </li></ul> <p> 51. Tips for Teachers</p> <ul><li>Register on the Teacher site and be sure students use the Class site. </li></ul> <ul><li>Give students a personal orientation tour of the site and show how to best use it. </li></ul> <ul><li>Monitor your students progress online and communicate with them regularly. </li></ul> <ul><li>If possible set up a class web site with links, or a social network for online discussion. </li></ul> <p> 52. Tips for Teachers </p> <ul><li>Familiarize yourself with the content;</li></ul> <ul><li>check scope and sequence document. </li></ul> <ul><li>Use the rich video content, storylines, characters for writing assignments, discussion and other activities. </li></ul> <ul><li>Suggest other online sites to extend and supplement USAL content.</li></ul> <ul><li>( usalearns.wordpress.comfor unit-specific recommendations) </li></ul> <p> 53. Questions? Problems? Comments? Technical Support:help@ usalearns .org Content/implementation: evfella @san. rr .com Unit/Topic-Specific supplementary activities:usalearns.wordpress.com</p>