Friday, July 30, 2010

ESL Website Evaluation

ESL website evaluation ( )

1.     1. What does the application attempt to “teach”?

This website is attempting to teach English for all level starting from young learners until for advance learners. The website provides grammar, writing and listening tasks. Each level has multiple parts of exercise. Each part then, comprises different types of exercises.  However, this website does not emphasize on writing essays and speaking. Sentence writing task is provided.
The website provides suitable form of aids in educating the learners.  For an example, for the young learners, they experience learning through drilling, interactive animations and interesting matching task. Higher level of learners (e.g: beginner and elementary) are provided with video for tutorials together with the exercises based on the videos.
Grammar is not introduced for the young learners but they are introduced with basic introduction of words and alphabetical pronunciation. Grammar explaination for the other levels is quite long and specific and examples are provided so that it makes the content looks full and compact.
The instruction for each exercises are clear and easily understood. Therefore, the confusion on how to get access to the task can be reduced.

2.      2.What sort of things are the application users expected to do with regards to learning content?

Since the webpage I’ve chosen provides listening task, the users need to have audio software for examples media player, real player and winamp media player. These audio players are compatible with the audio format in the website. In addition, the website also requires functioning sound system as for clear pronunciation to be heard. 

3.      3. What sort of computer skills is the application users expected to have in order to operate/access/use the application?

The webpage is easy to be accessed as the users do not have to pay for the fees and registration is not needed. Everyone is free to access the content of the webpage.

There are variety types of task in this webpage. Some of them such as the users have to match words, key in answers, listen to the pronunciation and match it with the pictorial stimuli, fill in the blanks, choose answer in limited time given, identifying grammatical structure as well as writing grammatically correct sentences. These exercises emphasize on drilling as when the learner fail to give correct answer, they have to redo doing the exercises again and again.

In terms of technical part in accessing the content, the website requires minimum computer literacy skills. The users just have to know the basic skills such as dragging, typing and clicking on buttons and words. In order to get access, the users have to get into this website and choose their level and proceed with English teaching or with the exercise. They have options to choose whether to start learning (through notes or video tutorial) or just carry on with the exercises.

4.      4.While you are playing/accessing/assessing the application, does it remind you of anything you do in a classroom, or with a teacher, or with a fellow classmate, or in a self study?

Yes. When I was in standard 4, my cousin bought a new computer. I was so interested to use his computer that time as I already learned some basic computer skills. One day I found a CD and I asked him to play the CD. I didn’t have any idea why the CD didn’t play the cartoon as displayed on the plastic cover. As I gave up on watching the CD, I clicked on the cute buttons displayed on the screen. Soon after, I realized it wasn’t an ordinary CD. My cousin told me that the CD meant for children learning and it is so called CD Rom.  It was my turning point to know learning language also can be based on self directed learning.
I played with the time out game on the website I’ve chosen and finally, I found one similar game like I used to play from the CD Rom and I really like it. It reminds me of being chased by a dog in the CD Rom but in the website, the dog is replaced with a cat.

5.      5. Can you pinpoint some theories of language learning and/or teaching underlying the application?

I did mention earlier on that grammar is elaborated in intricacies rather than simple explaination. From naked eyes, I assumed that this website is designed for student – centered or self directing learning where minimum instruction from teacher is required. As I concern, Silent Way is one pedagogical approach where teacher plays minimum part in teaching. The learners learn through self learning with minimum instruction of the teacher. The process is more to native fluency, practical knowledge of grammar and lesson planned around grammatical items. Yes, it is very true where the major emphasize of this website is on grammatical structure rather than reading and writing.

6.     6.  How well is the constructivist theory or learning applied to the chosen website(s)?

 Constructivism is a theory of learning where the knowledge constructed by knower of the knowledge (, retrieved on July 20th, 2010). Learners on the other hand explore the learning and obtain knowledge based on their exploration by doing tasks.

From the website I’ve evaluated, I could see that the learners learn through experience or “learning by doing” from a variety of different tasks. Learning through reading notes and looking at the examples itself do not necessarily help much in improving the learners’ proficiency. However, this ESL website successfully applied the theory into practice. To support more, grammar explaination is specific, clear instructions are given and self-directed learning is introduced. Therefore, the learners require minimum assistance from the teacher while doing the activities or gaining information on language through this website.

7.      7. In 1980s and early 1990s, there was a debate on ‘whether the computer was “master” of or “slave” to the learning process (Higgins and Johns,1984). In relation to your evaluation – was the computer a replacement for teachers, or merely an obedient servant to students?

I don’t think computer is a replacement for teachers or an obedient servant for students because computer is just part of “helper” in making the learning process becomes meaningful and enjoyable. Teaching and learning process which involving direct connection between the learners and the teacher are definitely the utmost elements in exchanging knowledge. Teaching via computer can be enjoyable for some students but it also can be other way round as students’ needs are multiple and unpredictable. With the notion computer as obedient servant for learners is also unacceptable because learners sometimes rely on teachers in some aspects. For an example, in direct teaching, teachers are actively involved in introducing content, demonstrating skills, directing large groups and so on. In addition, direct teaching (which involves two way interactions between teacher and learners) is one of the strategies which can help in meeting specific objectives of learning outcomes. (Wilen,Hutchison,Ishler;2008)

8.      8. Would you like to use the application yourself in your future work?

Yes. I would somehow use some part of the application especially the exercises in my future career as a teacher. That is because, the exercises are designed based on students’ level of proficiency. The other reason is that, teaching in traditional way in classroom sometimes can make the students feel bored and unmotivated to learn. Using English website with multimedia application can increase their motivation and enthusiasm to learn more. In using the notes provided, I will be more selective as for teaching the secondary school students, point form notes are far better than wordy explaination.


Grammar explaination from this website is long, and the intricacies of grammar elaborations can be seen. The minimization of the elaboration exists but still, the explaination looks too technical. In addition, the form of the explaination looks dry and dull with no colour attraction thus can make the learners not interested to read further. In fact, there is no table at all. However, for those who are searching in depth explaination for grammar, this website can fulfil the need. Again, the errors of spelling should be avoided. Based on the specific comment here, I would like to suggest that the website should provide short and simple explaination so that the rules can be understood easily. One way of doing this is through diagram, tables and so on.

 We need to bear in mind that learner’s proficiency level does not necessarily depend on their age. Therefore, practicality of this website should meet the condition of the learners.

Lastly, I would like to recommend that the website should provide printable exercise so that those who are using computers at school can bring and finish the exercise at home. This makes the website more attractive.
So far, the variety of the exercises already catches my intention to do more and more exercise in the website plus it makes me interested to introduce it to my future students.InsyaAllah.

 References :

Spada,N. and Lightbown,P.M. 2008. How Languages are Learned : Explaining second language learning . Oxford University Press

Brown, H.D. 2001. Teaching by Principals : An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. San Francisco State University

Wilen,W. Hutchison,J and Ishler,M. 2008. Dynamics of Effective Secondary Teaching.Sixth Edition. United States of America

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Courseware Task sheet

salam.i'm so sorry prof for not being able to submit it on time, due to my  body weakness (fever) .this is the link for file i've uploaded.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Excel worksheet on mediafire


this is my link for file i've uploaded in mediafire


Monday, July 12, 2010

In Class task 2

Date : Monday, 12th July,2010
Copy and Drag for Simple Past Tense sentence.

Monday, July 5, 2010

1.In class Task 1

1.Please introduce yourself.

Assalamualaikum and good morning readers. Hi!. My name is Zie. I'm from Dungun, Terengganu. I'm the eldest of 5 and the only daughter of En. Zolkifli b. Mohamed and Pn. Zaifah binti Puteh. My hobbies are reading and sleeping. Some sort of funny novels can catch my intention to flip the frontpage till the end of it.Sometimes I love to learn new recipes. Besides,  I do make decision out of my interest,or should I describe myself as uncertain? I'm a person with  "go-with-the-flow" personality.

2. How would you rate yourself in terms of your computer skills and why? (e.g. expert, novice, savvy, geek, illiterate etc)
I cannot describe myself as an expert user of computer skills. I'm still a novice user. The main reason I stand with "novice" title is that I do not know how to use popular sofwares. Most of my friends could do graphic works, talk on the application and all but I always remain silent.

3. What computer software and hardware knowledge do you have?
I'm quite good in using microsoft office softwares, ULEAD Photoexpress, and Windows moviemaker. I know how to replace and reattach RAM chip at the back of my laptop.

4.Have you experienced learning via the computer (online, etc)?
I used to experience online discussion in semester 2 for PELT subject. We had to create a yahoo group and discuss about the subject matter. We exchanged our perspectives on certain topics.

5. Did you try to incorporate technology in your some of your lessons during your practicum? Was it a success or a failure? If you did not what was/were the reason(s)?
I never incorporate technology in my lesson during my practicum. The obstacle is that, the administrator didn't give cooperation for the trainees to make full use of the facilities at the school.

6. What is your opinion on the use of computer/technology in language teaching?
The use of computer or technology in language teaching is one good attempt in increasing the motivation of the learners. Some learners tend to feel lack of interest as the traditional method takes place during the language teaching and learning process. I think,  the use of  interesting presentations, challenging learning games and language sofwares can enhance learners capabalities in attaining better performance in language proficiency.

7. What are your expectations from this course?
I expect to gain more computer skills especially for language teaching because I want to integrate the skills to my future students. Besides that, I want to enhance my creativity in designing coursewares and expand my knowledge on other technology-based items.