As internet usage has become so pervasive during the 21st century, it is highly beneficial to incorporate skills in navigating the World Wide Web into ESL courses. In additional to developing technology skills that will be critical to their success of ESL students in school and/or the workplace, the web is an excellent tool for enhancing their language and literacy skills, as well as their professional skills. Following are ways in which incorporating web use into your lessons can aid in developing your students’ language skills and employability skills.
- There are a number of websites for English language learners that contain lessons and exercises in grammar, vocabulary, reading, and writing. You can provide these to your students for them to use as supplements to their studies outside of class.
- Clicking hyperlinks help with reading skills by connecting the hyperlinked words, phrases, and images with further information on these elements, reinforcing their meanings.
- Reading web pages can help with prose literacy and understanding graphs, charts, and tables, especially if you review the vocabulary beforehand and choose websites with images and graphics that make it easier for beginner ESL students to understand.
- Writing responses to what they’ve read on the web, such as requesting information, sending an e-mail, or filling out a form, requires students to be able to comprehend and interpret the information they’ve read.
- Computer activities can help facilitate oral communication between students. Studies have shown that learners want to discuss their computer research and what they’ve learned with their peers.
- Watching videos and listening to audio files online can help with listening comprehension, as these can be easily replayed as many times as needed for students to understand the content.
- Gathering information for specific topics gives practice in research skills.
- Group assignments using the web gives students experience with working in teams, delegating responsibilities, and coming to a consensus.
- All of the aforementioned activities and more help improve skills in problem-solving, analyzation, evaluation, and critical thinking to sort through information found on the web and separate good information from the bad. They also develop and solidify students’ technology skills.
Your students’ experiences with computers may vary, so before they can begin these activities, you may need to teach them the basics of computer and internet usage. Labyrinth Learning is releasing its fourth edition of Welcome to Computers for ESL Students textbook and workbook on Wednesday, August 12. Contact us today to learn more about our full solutions for this title.