Ideas for Applying the Edulinc Courseware (from Stage 2)
Ideas for using the courseware from Stage 2 participants. (Refer to the original "Ideas for Applying" glossary In Stage 2 to see who the contributor was.)
Discussion Board Prompts
Using the discussion forum to have students practice their writing/grammar for particular functions. For example; commenting on a prompt posed by an instructor. Something as simple as "Tell me about your weekend" (simple past) or something more complex as writing a letter or response to a current event. Good practice for typing skills as well as writing.
Creating a SCORM activity with a video grammar lesson(s) and quizzes allows students to study grammar points for homework or in the computer lab. This enables the instructor to use (more of) class time for practice instead of presentation. For example, instructors could use an engVid or English with Jennifer grammar videos and create quizzes for them. Students study these videos and check their understanding by doing the quizzes. In class, the instructor can now spend less time on presentation and get students to do a task that requires the use of the present perfect. For example, students interview a partner and create timelines of their partners using the present perfect and the simple past.
Alternatively, the instructor could use forums to get students to create sentences using the present perfect. The instructor could provide questions as prompts. For example, he/she could ask the question, "How long have you lived in Canada?". Students would reply to this question in the forum. The instructor would be able be able to assess the students' understanding of the present perfect, and the students would be able to not only use the target language but also get to know their classmates better.
This is an example of a grammar instruction video from engVid.
Thanks for reading!
Getting students registered in the course and customizing their profiles can be a good opportunity to practice listening or reading skills in following instructions. Students may need to be pretaught language such as "link, address bar, browser".
I've done the registration with instructions written in about six steps. Also, I do it talking sometimes. I like it because it is a real task.
As well as being used for discussions, Forums can be used as an opportunity to try out a specific grammar point. A Single Simple Discussion forum allows the teacher to give instructions, and students to reply with their attempt at using the grammar point. The teacher can edit the postings to provide feedback. Classmates can learn from each others' work, and can see many samples of the grammar point in use, all in one forum thread.
Giving Directions using Nanogong
I like the idea of students using Nanogong voice recordings. An activity that I would use is this: Teacher posts an assignment in which I record verbal directions on how to get to a common destination, for example, the local post office, medical clinic, library, or any other public facility. These directions will be from location of ESL classroom to the destination. Students must listen to the directions & then using a map of the city/town record their own verbal directions from their home to this same destination. An added activity could be for students to ask each other for directions to their homes. They would need to use phrases such as "go 3 blocks south on 8th Ave" ; "turn left on Main St." "you will see Joe's Antiques shop across the street"... etc.
I can use the "Discussion" feature to have students write about a given topic, then reply to each others' entries with suggestions for grammar, spelling, and organizational fixes.
Theme: At Home in Our Community & World
Topic: Housing Problems
In our module for housing we created a real world module/task for housing at the LINC 4 level.
Students need to browse threw a list of current events and activities going on in the city and post a suggestion to the teacher that they think the teacher would like to participate in. They should include the date, time, and place so that they are getting used to the function of making appointments. They cannot suggest the same activity as other students, so students must read others' postings and select accordingly. This is a task in reading and writing.
Learning from television programs
Students watch a particular Canadian TV program such as Amazing Race Canada. Each group watches one program. They discuss the segment on the discussion forum. They come back to class with vocabulary and questions.
When I first introduced the LINC courseware in computer lab and assigned homework, about 2/3 of my class reported that they could not complete the homework because of trouble logging in or navigating the site (although the majority in the class report having a computer in their home many never use it). So for the following two computer classes, I would periodically instruct all students to log off after finishing an activity, and then log in again. This simple repetition and consequent familiarization with the process eliminated the frustration of not being able to access it at home, as they are all now experts in getting onto edulinc.org!