Monday, March 12, 2007

Submission #6

Name: CNN Distance Learning Adult Education Menu

Level and Skill: Reading and Listening levels 3-6 (Niagara College 3-5)

Interactive: Yes

ESL/Non-ESL: Designed for Adult literacy and ESL purposes

Synopsis: This site is designed to help adult learners of English to improve their reading, spelling and writing skills using real-life stories from the CNN news bureau. Each learning module contains the full text of a recent CNN news story. Learners can choose to read the text, listen to it or view a video clip of the story. An abridged version of the text, perhaps better suited to beginning ESL students, is also available. After having read or listened to the text, the learner can then measure their comprehension by taking a variety of interactive tests such as cloze exercises, multiple choice and vocabulary quizzes.

Overall, the web site is well designed, easy to navigate, and visually stimulating. The reading/listening texts are interesting and topical, which serves to increase the intrinsic motivation of the language learner. In addition, this site is a good resource for instructors to use as a springboard to other class activities or lessons.

5 stars out of 5

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Submission #5


Level and Skill: Beginner to intermediate speaking, listening, reading, writing.

Interactive: Yes

ESL/Non-ESL: Ideal for all language learners, both ESL and non-ESL.

Synopsis: This is an excellent language learning program that uses the "Dynamic Immersion method" to teach the four language skills. The method mimics first language acquisition by teaching the basics of the new language through the association of new words with familiar objects, actions, and ideas. Learners are moved, at their own pace, through a sequence of pictures which encourages them to associate the images they understand with the words that they do not. No translation or memorization is involved. The program gives positive feedback for correct responses and records the learner's progress.

The interface is very user friendly and the pictorial images are visually stimulating. Native speakers and everyday language are used in order to develop listening comprehension skills. Learners can also improve their accent and pronunciation by using speech recognition software to compare their speech with that of a native speaker. And reading and writing skills are developed through the use of real-life materials. Finally, and best of all, Rosettastone offers this program in a myriad of different languages and regional dialects. Overall, this is an impressive language learning tool.

5 stars out of 5

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Submission #4

Website: Dictionaries,

Level and Skill: Reading and Writing 4-8 (Niagara College levels 1-5)

Interactive: No

ESL/Non-ESL: Designed for all learners.

Synopsis: This site consists of links to a variety of free online dictionaries. Among these are multilingual dictionaries, thesauruses, and specialized dictionaries in such diverse fields as medicine, the arts, electronics, biotechnology, and computing. The site is a useful reference tool for anyone seeking the sense or orthography of a word. Because of the large number of technical dictionaries, this site would be of great use to teachers and students of English for Specific Purposes.

3 stars out of 5

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Submission #3


Level and Skill: Reading and Writing levels 2-8 (Niagara College low intermediate to advanced)

Interactive: Yes

ESL/Non-ESL: Primarily ESL but with useful and interesting activities for non-ESL students.

Synopsis: This web site contains a variety of interactive activities and tests that cover a broad range of topics and skills, from grammar and spelling to letter writing and literature. There is also a good deal of content geared toward English for Special Purposes, particularly in the medical, legal and engineering fields. The site is therefore an excellent source of information for both students and teachers of ESP. Finally, the interface is clean, uncomplicated, and easy to use with no banners or other distractions.
Overall, a good site worth 4 stars out of 5.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Submission #2

Web site:

Level and Skill: Beginner to advanced reading and writing.

Interactive: Yes

ESL/non-ESL: Primarily for ESL students.

Synopsis: This is a simple, easy to use site that provides a variety of grammar and vocabulary exercises for all skill levels. There are crossword puzzles, jumbled words, cloze and multiple choice tests, and even timed quizzes for the more adventurous student. The site also provides some useful links to other teacher and student resources. On the downside, the excess of banners and advertising can be a bit distracting.... but I guess that's the point.
Overall, I would give this web site 3 stars out of a possible 5.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Submission #1

Web Site: Guide to Grammar and Writing

Level and Skill: Reading (2-8) and Writing (2-6). Niagara College levels 3,4,5.

Interactive: Yes

ESL/non-ESL: Very useful for anybody who wants to improve their grammar and writing skills, both ESL and non-ESL students alike.

Synopsis: This is an excellent web site which has an index of 427 references to the Guide to Grammar and Writing and Principles of Composition. It is well organized and has a simple, user-friendly interface. Each reference is clearly defined and explained with an ample number of examples and links to other sources. Lastly, this site has a sense of humour, which greatly adds to its appeal. 5 stars out of 5.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


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