Thursday, April 14, 2011

28. Learnings from Under-resourced ESL Programs

Going Online in Under-Resourced ESL Classes
Leila Kajee
Academic Exchange Quarterly
Spring 2003 v7 iL p102(5)

The notice about this article is the fact that technology is reaching the far end of institutions around the world, especially in less developed places, and the use of online tools can support ESL programs in places where textbooks and more traditional resources cannot. The article notes how we have moved from the drill-like approach  (behaviouristic) to the more communicative-based approach and it basis its work on CALL. It concludes that regardless of location uses of technology can bring about global types of benefits.

It stresses the importance of interaction:
Interaction enriches the online environment, dispelling the misconception held by some that the online environment is sterile and impersonal. Dialogue and communication are necessary in computer-assisted learning. Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) refers to the ways in which telecommunications technologies have merged with computers and computer networks to give us new tools to support teaching and learning. (p. 103)
The article lists a number of benefits and challenges which we will use for one of our reflection tools (coming soon) and the call for new ways to support awareness of both challenges and benefits and work towards building support to more effective uses of technology-based tools and CALL.

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