There are numerous audio-visual aids that you could use in your lessons. This unit will focus will on selected audio-visual aids that are normally available in your school. Some of these aids could be made by you. However, the focus of this unit will not be on how to make these
aids but on their use.
Why do I think you need to use audio-visual aids in your lesson?
a. To maintain a high level of interest in the lesson
b. To get students to use the language, especially at the beginning stages
c. To promote greater student participation
d. They can be used at all levels of learning
What do you think? Jot down your ideas and compare them with mine. Click on each of my ideas above to see how I have elaborated on them.
Now work through Units 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4 to learn how best you can use these teaching aids to make your teaching more effective and interesting.
6.4 Resources on the Internet
There is an enormous amount of resources on the Internet that you can use to help you to teach and your students to learn. However, for the purpose of this unit, only a small aspect of these resources will be discussed. This aspect involves resources on the Internet from which your students can be directly involved in the learning of the English language as a second language. Resources that can help you to plan and improve your teaching skill will not be discussed in this unit.
Why use the resources from the Internet for your language class?
- Your students are motivated to learn: today’s students love, are comfortable with and receptive to computers
- Authentic language: your students are reading extensive, authentic materials in English and when they are involved in some writing activity on the Net, they are authentically communicating with others
- Global awareness and understanding: your students can communicate easily with people from different corners of the world and this can increase global awareness and understanding
- Environmentally friendly: use of the Internet can decrease the amount of paper used in the classroom as much of the writing can be done on the computer and some printed materials can be kept on the web site
Why is there resistance to the use of the Internet from some teachers?
- They feel it is a waste of time and they cannot invest the time to learn how to use the computer
- Their fear of technology – they are afraid that they would not be able to master the new technology
- Their fear that they will be replaced by the new technology
Please remember that technology must be used not because it is there BUT because it enhances language learning experiences
What activities can you carry out with your students using the resources available on the Internet? Here are just a few possible activities:
- These activities can really help students improve their writing and reading skills
- E-mailing can be between you and each student individually, between students within the same class either individually, in pairs or in small groups. E-mailing can also be between your students and students from another school, city or country
- E-mailing is not the same as traditional letter writing and it would be useful for you (and your students) to learn some of the differences by accessing the following web site: A Beginner’s Guide to Effective Email (http://enterprise.powerup.com.au/htmlxp/pu/emailhow.htm)
- Examples of e-mailing activities:
- Dialogue Journals:
Your students write on topics of their own choosing within or outside class time and e-mail them to you. As the main aim of this activity is to improve students’ writing fluency, their grammar and spelling errors should be ignored.
- Keypals (Electronic Penpals):
- Having a penpal has long been a popular activity among young people and doing it electronically makes it more exciting because of the speed of communication.
- You can pair your students with keypals from another class in your school, district, within the country or overseas.
- You can ask your students to gather information and write on specific topics or let them choose what they want to write.
- There are web sites on the Internet that provide individual names and classes of students who are looking for keypals. Two examples are:
- E-Mail Discussion Groups
- Your students can sign up for electronic discussion groups. They will receive messages posted to the group by other subscribers and they can post their own messages as well
- There are numerous e-mail discussion groups on the Internet and some have been set up exclusively for ESL learners. One example:
ESL Discussion Center (http://eslcafe.com/discussion)
Topics on this site include Current Events, Food, Holidays, Learning English, Movies, and Music.
The World Wide Web
- There are numerous web sites on the World Wide Web that have been created specifically for ESL/EFL learners as well as for native speakers of English. Many of these web sites can help your students to improve their proficiency in English.
- A great advantage of the World Wide Web is that it is available 24 hours a day and if your students have access to the Internet outside the classroom, they can access the web sites at their own time and pace.
- Below are some excellent web sites that have been developed specifically for ESL students. It would be useful for you to check out these web sites and see how appropriate they are for your students. Please note that web addresses (URLs) are subject to change. All of the URLs given in this unit were correct and active during the time this unit was being prepared. However, some of these URLs might have changed or they have become dead links by the time you access these web sites.
- ESL Quiz Center (http://www.pacificnet.net/~sperling/quiz)
This is a not-to-be-missed site where you will find interactive quizzes on Current News, Geography, Grammar, History, Idioms, Slang, Words, People, Reading Comprehension, Science, Vocabulary, World Culture, and Writing.
- Self-Study Quizzes for ESL Students (http://www.aitech.ac.jp/~iteslj/quizzes/)
This is a great resource from the Internet TESL Journal
- Wacky Web Tales (http://www.hmco.com/hmco/school/tales/index.html)
There is a good selection of tales which your students will find entertaining. Your students can also create their own stories by filling in the blanks to such tales as The Mummy, The Camping Trip and The Box.
- Grammar Help (http://www.hut.fi/~rvilmi/help/grammar_help/)
This a highly recommended web site to find hints, rules, and exercises on English grammar.
- Selected Links for ESL Students (http://www.aitech.ac.jp/~iteslj/ESL.html)
This is an excellent site to find links to quizzes, games and puzzles, vocabulary, daily English study (a new page every day), sites with sounds, songs, reading, grammar, communicating and others.
- A Chance Meeting (http://www.owlnet.rice.edu/~ling417/exercises/dialogue.html)
This is a web site for listening and speaking. Your students can watch a Quicktime clip and then answer the questions.
- TimeCast—The Real Audio Guide (http://www.realguide.real.com)
This is a highly recommended site where you can get a complete listing of Real Audio broadcasts from all around the world.
- Electric Postcard (http://postcards.www.media.mit.edu/Postcards/)
Your students can practice writing by sending virtual postcards to their friends and teachers. Great fun!
- ESL Graffiti Wall (http://www.pacificnet.net/~sperling/wall.html)
The famous Dave Sperling has provided this web site for you and your students to add "graffiti" to a virtual wall.
Try out some of the activities suggested in the above-mentioned web sites should you have an opportunity to have access to the Internet with your students. Do these activities work with your students? Share your experience with a colleague. Let me know through email (email@example.com).