The ESL website address that I am evaluating is http://a4esl.org/. This website is attempted to teach English Language and to help learner learn English as a Second Language (ESL). It is an approach to language teaching and learning and computer technology is used as a study aid. This ESL website is known as the Computer-assisted language learning (CALL). In the recent years, we could perceive the development of computer technology thus CALL is widely used as the ‘supplemental instruction method’ to the teachers and the students. CALL supplements teachers and learners with the comprehensive exercises and those exercises are as stimulation to the teaching and learning process. It contains activities for ESL Students such are quizzes, tests, exercises and puzzles. As I browsed to the home page it listed the specific area that learner needs to work on. For examples, the grammar quizzes, vocabulary quizzes and crossword puzzles. In the main topic contains the level of instruction such as easy, medium and difficult.
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In regards to learning the content, the application user shall determine which types of quizzes he or she interested to learn, for example if the learner likes to work on grammar, he or she will click at the grammar quizzes activities and choose the activities depends on the learner level of proficiency either you are in the beginner, intermediate or advanced level. The ESL website http://a4esl.org/ provides the users with varieties types of exercises such as multiple choice questions, close passage, fill in the blank and many more.
In order to operate the computer, users should have the basic knowledge of terms related to a computer. How to operate a computer; switch on, using the keyboards and know how the functions of the keyboard. Users have to be familiar with the software in which using in the computer, for example Microsoft office. By getting an access to the website, the users should know how to connect to the internet and what sort of gadget used for connectivity. The users need to know how to browse to the internet explorer and search for the ESL website. For example, http://a4esl.org. and other website which is available and appropriate for learning English as a second language.
I, sometimes did access with the ESL website but different from http://a4esl.org. However, the concept is laying the same objectives. Bear in mind, that learners’ have obtained the multisensory in learning therefore this application is able to evoke learners’ attention by stimulating their multisensory perceptions. No doubt, I would say that similarity concept for application for teaching and learning ESL is accumulating comprehension to English language and they are using style of drilling in their exercises. In addition, the exercises created in this website are more comprehensive compared to our textbooks that are used in schools.
The exercises that have been created in the program are designed as in the form of “parts of speech”. Parts of speech are the basic types of words of English grammar. It has eight categories and the words in the eight categories are used to form patterns of English grammar and syntax. I have come across the Classical Method in teaching the language. The method is use in the application to be understood as the theoretical finding and positions and it is thought of as “theories in practice.” As mentioned by Brown (2000), ‘Classical Method is focused on grammatical rules, memorization of vocabulary and of various declensions and conjugations, translation of texts, doing written exercise’ (Pg 15). For example, the grammar quizzes exercises in this application are letting learner apply their basic knowledge in grammatical rules; to apply appropriate tenses to the answers. Learner is not being taught for fluency but more emphasize on accuracy. Furthermore, Krashen’s theory of the language acquisition hypothesis focused on two fundamental theories of how individuals learn languages. According to Krashen, the acquiring of language divided into two systems that are independent but related. It is called the acquired systems and the learned system. Krashen privileges the acquired system when speakers are less concerned with the structure of grammatical rules and speak naturally. Contrary to the learned system, when learners engage in formal instruction likes studying the rules of syntax. Therefore, this website http://a4esl.org/ is precisely concentrates on the rules of learning the English language or so called emphasizing on the accuracy. Learners are taught by drilling and practicing from the activities.
This website is seen as practical activity to English learners as it is easy access, varieties of activities and exercises and contain of listening, writing and reading skills. The overall principle of constructivist theory of learning is defined as an active process by accepting learner autonomy and focuses on learners. Learners need to be motivated in their learning process hence to variety their learning is by teaching different activities in classroom. Learner autonomy is the learner responsibility for his owns learning by having curiosity, initiative and persistent especially in using technology. In the constructivist theory, teacher is the facilitator and guidance for counseling and show direction. Hence, software is as alternative tool to reach learning goals besides the traditional way of learning English using textbook. This website encourages learners to explore what is internet access and the ESL website plays it part as simulation and modeling to learners learning process. As a result, learners are not bound to the same activities in the classroom such as learning is only based on the textbooks.
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I am not denying of the vital use of the technology in learning process. However, I am concerning more on the proper guidance by the teacher if it to be used in schools. Teachers have to take into account on students’ attention span. What if say they are bored with the application. I suggested the ESL website is used once a week to test the students understanding in a usual lesson in the classroom. Alternatively, students have the freedom to browse the ESL website when they are at home as drilling and practice. Teachers are still needed to clarify items that are not understandable. Also, teachers are needed to the situation of encouraging the authentic conversation as sometimes software application is rigid. The users do receive the answer instantly but in the form of explanation rarely not provided.
This ESL website is useful to me as for now and the future work. I have no problem in operating the software and other application. Second, I like the “external links” in the website: http://a4esl.org.when it provided learners with numerous topics of an audio listening and speaking exercises. Third, this website is applicable and appropriate to all levels of proficiency that both school learners and adult learners can use these activities.
This ESL website http://a4esl.org covered almost everything in English learning and teaching process. However, in the main topic “grammar easy” quizzes, there is no box to tick or click the answer that we want to answer but it supplied learners with answer straight away. Therefore, learners might peep to the answer immediately without an effort to solve it first. Hence, I suggested that all questions should supply with boxes for the users to tick their answers, and after finished answering than they can check for the correct answers. As for the sub topic “error correction”, the activity is to correct the mistake in the sentences given. However, if the users give the wrong answer it does not explain “why” the users did wrong in terms of grammar usage. It is recommended to supply the users with grammar explanation if users get the wrong answer so at least users are aware of the mistakes and understand the correct grammar rules to form the sentences.
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