At present, even with the development of computer technologies which offer opportunities to create first-rate materials, demand for textbooks continues to grow. The questions of how to apply textbooks in ESL classrooms are being debated globally and there is no uniform answer. Choosing 'the best textbook' for ESL teaching can be a distressing procedure. It is difficult not only to select the right language level but also educational and cultural background, learning capabilities and price. In many cases availability of the textbook is the only determining factor in textbook selection. How to select a suitable textbook for the ESL classroom? Where to find the most recent and the most suitable ESL textbooks?
E-books are becoming more and more popular. They can be read on personal computers. There are a lot of advantages of e-books over conventional books. E-books can be instantly distributed electronically; they do not need much storage space; there is no need to walk to a library; they are environmentally friendly; text size can be adjusted; they can be easily shared with others and can be printed if needed. ESL teachers can write their own e-textbooks and either print them on paper or allow students to get to them access online. Compared to most textbooks, yours will be adjusted to the needs of your students and much cheaper. Many schools purchase ESL e-textbooks online. Their price is lower than the price of conventional textbooks and they can help students to develop four language skills – listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Students love games. If you want to make your teaching more effective, you should integrate games into it. Games can help to develop English language skills. Games are interactive, goal-oriented activities which include a lot of tools, skills, strategies and chances. Games are based on certain rules and if chosen correctly, can motivate students to learn English. Here are the basic categories of games: video games such as cards, cube or other gambling tools; online games which are played using the Internet connection; role-playing games; DVD games. ESL games can create positive learning environment, develop creativity and critical thinking skills, increase students' grades; games can motivate even those students who are always at the bottom of the class.
There are many ways of using a laptop computer for ESL teaching purposes. Many English learners have their own laptops. If a school has wireless Internet connection it has ideal conditions for teaching English. Such a school does not need to equip an expensive computer lab: students feel more confident if they have their own PCs which they can use anywhere and at any time. Instead of purchasing an expensive computer lab it is better to have a classroom with easily movable chairs where students can have small group discussions and play games, and use their laptops whenever needed. Some schools buy laptops for their students at wholesale prices. A laptop is a useful teaching tool which can develop a variety of language skills. Desktop Computers
Desktops are cheaper and more powerful than laptops. They are approximately half the price of a comparable laptop. They are more powerful, faster and easier to upgrade or repair. Keyboards are convenient to use. Desktop computers are used in many language schools as tools of learning; recommended for young children.
Dictionaries can be conventional, i.e. in book format, and electronic. They are classified according to the functions they perform: pronunciation, etymology, synonyms, antonyms, etc. There are also dictionaries on special subjects such as medicine, arts, business, music and physics. Students often want to know what type of dictionary would meet their needs. They usually ask their ESL teacher for advice. How to choose suitable dictionaries for ESL students? How to advise them? Dictionaries....
Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) software is usually integrated into classroom teaching activities. Language schools use appropriate software in the Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) labs. Well selected and properly used CALL software can develop all four language skills - listening, speaking, reading and writing. In addition to the four basic skills, CALL software can develop paralinguistic skills such as lifestyle, manners, etiquette, customs and traditions. Computers in self-access centers have become an extension of the classroom at most ESL teaching institutions. CALL software....
Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) can effectively integrate listening, reading and speaking activities. MALL can also develop writing, academic study, critical thinking and research skills. MALL is ideal for travelers and for those who want to have fun by learning English. Mobile phone is superior to a computer in portability, a feature valued by many people. Professionally developed materials can be delivered through mobile phones to improve language skills. Students can read the definitions of words, sentences, improve pronunciation skills, and develop their thinking skills through various language quizzes. Suitable MALL software is available online. Online Tutorials
Online learning has become popular in areas ranging from entertainment for kids to science and technology for adults. For English language study it is the vibrant virtual classroom. ESL tutors can recommend their students English language materials on any topic and ask them to learn from home. Students can connect with English native speakers by means of e-mail, websites, blogs, student forums, podcasts, or via Skype. There is a lot of flexibility, convenience and cost-effectiveness. Virtual learning environment allows teachers and students to work effectively online with a variety of tools.
Movies can be easily integrated into the ESL curriculum. They are entertaining and allow ESL teachers a lot of flexibility. Students can learn English from movies even faster than from textbooks. Almost every type of learning style can take advantage of language skills acquired from watching movies. A well-selected movie can motivate even the most skeptical learners. It is important to select an appropriate movie and prepare a few classroom activities related to the students' English language level.
Plagiarism happens when a writer copies another writer's text and then calls it his or her own. Many teachers say that there are two basic types of plagiarism, intentional and unintentional. It is often hard to establish the degree of 'intentionality'. Some teachers differentiate collusion, when the paper was written jointly and presented as if done individually or done and corrected by someone else. There is no ideal and 100% reliable plagiarism detection software. However, there are a few good plagiarism detectors.
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