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Chapter 18     Young Learners
                       and the Internet

Why should we introduce technology into teaching English to young learners?

  • to motivate students through computers and the Net
  • to open our classroom to the world
  • to bring the world to the classroom
  • to provide multi-sensory stimulus to learners
  • to supply students with plenty of authentic materials

  • Internet Lessons

  • lessons of English done partly in the Internet
  • the Internet resources serve as a teaching medium, source of materials
  • the Internet component is preceded by offline pre- and post-stages
  • students work on authentic materials to accomplish tasks

  • English Language Training Computer Programs

  • accessible on CD-ROM discs
  • provide stimulating multimedia material
  • are meant mainly for individual work at home
  • usually exploit the idea of learning by playing
  • are appealing because of graphic interface, characters, voices of children

  • Technical Requirements

  • Internet lessons: fast and reliable Internet connection, not necessarily the most powerful computers, sound cards and headphones, a printer, a scanner
  • computer programs: require only computers, but usually more powerful ones (new programs have more and more sophisticated system demands), sound cards, headphones, microphones

  • Cost

  • Internet lessons: the cost of the Internet connection is usually a flat fare, paid monthly by a school for unlimited access (SDI - 190 PLN)
  • computer programs: there must be a separate program for each workstation, (average price - 100 PLN for one license)

  • Demands On Students

  • computer skills: programs need no skills, apart from moving and clicking the mouse and some basic typing; Internet lessons may involve more sophisticated uses such as saving a site, saving a picture, downloading a file
  • language skills: programs are made for EFL learners, so the language is suited to the level; Internet websites are meant for the whole community, so vocabulary and grammar may exceed studentsĀElevel

  • Demands On The Teacher

  • computer software: as programs are meant for self-study, the teacher has very little role to play (showing how to operate the program, motivating and controlling students, advising them if they are lost)
  • Internet lessons: teacherís role much bigger, in choosing sites, creating tasks, adapting the task to the level of the class, assisting the coursebook used with online instruction; teacher may need to do some technical teaching as well

  • Mode Of Work

  • Internet lessons: pair or group work online, group/pairwork or whole class during pre- and post-stages, mainly in-class, but possible out-of-class treasure hunts
  • computer programs: mainly used by individual students, out-of-class, learning at oneís own pace; however, some classroom uses possible

  • Benefits Of Internet Lessons

  • authenticity
  • recency
  • variety
  • choice
  • novelty
  • interactivity

  • Drawbacks Of Internet Lessons

  • good connection necessary
  • there may be problems with scheduling a lab for the lesson
  • online tasks are unpredictable in terms of time consumption
  • the content and language of most sites may be too difficult for YL
  • sites with offending material are easy to encounter
  • some sites may have factual mistakes and spelling errors

  • Examples Of Lessons

  • sending electronic cards D:\Moje dokumenty\szkolenia\BC Lublin\INTERNET IN TEACHING ENGLISH.ppt
  • trivia questions on the Net
  • finding songs online and preparing them for the whole class THE INTERNATIONAL LYRICS SERVER - FIND YOUR FAVORITE SONG LYRICS!.HTM
  • cooking with kids (recipes online)
  • whatís the time (time zone difference) Date and Time Gateway.htm
  • talking about clothing and fashion Gap Online Men.htmGap Online.htm
  • making and solving puzzles MysteryNet's Kids Mysteries mysteries to solve, scary stories, magic tricks, and contests.htmNancyDrew_com A MysteryNet_com Website.htm
  • making posters for celebrations
  • kids make the news kidnews_com News.htm
  • secret codes Puzzlemaker.htmPuzzlemaker - Computer Generated Mazes - DiscoverySchool_com.htm
  • flag identifier
  • creating online questionnaires

  • Preparing And Running A Lesson

  • checking the sites (if still existent, loading quickly)
  • preparing additional off-line activities
  • providing tasks for speaking practice in pre- and post-stages
  • giving students specific material to complete when being online (worksheet, checklist, questions, facts to verify)
  • adjusting the lesson to the level of the class: varying the difficulty of the task and the amount of teacher control
  • maintaining proper timing and pacing
  • monitoring studentsĀEactivities (during and after - History function)

  • Benefits Of Computer Programs

  • all materials are prepared, collected together, form a complete whole
  • extremely appealing and attractive graphics, characters, voices, background sounds
  • use the method of learning by playing a computer game
  • multimedia approach (combining text, picture, film, sound) appeals to all senses and facilitates comprehension
  • the competitive element additionally motivates students

  • Drawbacks Of Computer Programs For Yl

  • are not compatible with any particular coursebook or syllabus
  • allow students to stop doing one activity and move on to another one
  • are effective in teaching vocabulary, reading comprehension, pronunciation, but do not cater that much for other skills
  • enforce student-computer interaction, and do not create the need for student-student exchange
  • are highly finite - students get to the end of them quickly and the programs are no longer interesting

  • Examples Of Computer Programs For Yl

  • Plays for Children (WSiP)
  • Zakís Wordgames (Langmaster/Longman)
  • Word Birdís Wordland (Prentice Hall)
  • Letís Go (Oxford University Press)
    An Appendix of internet site

    Useful Websites for Young Language Learners    Wheres Wally   Word Turtle - make your own word search game     The Grammar Gorillas;  fun, elementary  Karenís ESL Partyland   Kids Space
    http://    World Wide Kids Web ĀElinks.     Kids ESL site    Excelllent site, jokes, activities, create   loads of information , downloadable resources, games and activities
    http://   Read and learn, games activities for under eights, as well as page for older children.  Links to interactive games for young learners.

    And, the best of them all...cross your fingers it stays on line and continues to be free...  Graded, linked and indexed interactive games and activities for all levels of ESL learners, fast loading and great graphics, all on one site.  You could plan a whole course around this one!

  • Assignment 3
    Chapter 19
    Back to Index