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English As A Second Language

 

  Table of Contents

 

Program Title

Publisher

Rating

Instructional Area

Computer Requirements

Citizenship Test Preparation Program  

Software

Education Activities Software

3.7

ESL

Windows 95, 98, or 2000,

 

EASY – English Academic Success for You  

Software

Digital Education Products

3.7

ESL

 

E.L. Easton  

Web-based

E.L. Easton

3.0

ESL, English

Windows 95, 98, or 2000,

Internet Explorer

English for All  

Web-based

English for All

4.0

ESL, Life Skills

Internet Browser, QuickTime and speakers

Guide to Grammar & Writing

Web-based

Capital Community College

 

4.0

ESL, Writing

Windows 98 or MacOS 9.0 or higher, Adobe Acrobat 4.0 PDF viewer

Sound Sentences II  

Software

Educational Activities Software

3.3

Reading, ESL

Pentium II, 90 MHz, Windows 95/98 or NT or 2000, ME, EA Manager, Color Monitor, 4xspeed CD-ROM drive, headset or Microphone & speakers, QuickTime v.4.0 included

The English Listening Lounge  

Web-based

Gary Buck

3.4

ESL

Internet Browser, Real Audio Player

The Writer by Keyboard Instructor  

Software

AKT – Advanced Keyboard Tech. Inc.

3.3

Computer, Writing, ESL

Contact Dealer

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Program Title Citizenship Test Preparation Program
Publisher Education Activities Inc. (EA) http://www.edact.com
Subject ESL - INS Education
Level Beginner
Program features Review questions to prepare for the INS citizenship test
Computer Requirements

Windows 95, 98 and Windows ME
Pentium or greater

5 megabytes of free hard drive space
8 megabytes of RAM

CD-ROM drive

Price Contact Dealer:  800-645-3739
Overall Rating 3.7

 Evaluation Scale (scale 0 = not applicable, 1= not recommended, 2 = fair, 3 = good and 4 = excellent) 

User Friendly 3
Interesting Interface 3
Ease of loading software 4
Affordability 0
Content 4
Age appropriate 4
Sound 4
   
Average 3.7

 

Description of Content

This review is based on a full version, single-user licensed copy of the software.  It came with a CD-ROM, an audio CD and the manual, which included current copies of the INS documentation and information for naturalization application. 

 

Navigation and Structure

After a very simple install of a few files, the program needs the CD-ROM to run.  The shortcut is found in Start\Programs\Educational Activities 2010\Citizenship.  The program window runs on a full screen with a centered area window of approximately 7x5 inches.  After the startup screen, the main menu allows navigation to the different lessons (14 totals).  The instructors can change the program options from doing written quizzes to recording the answers and saving the files to the hard drive.  It seemed very simple to use and follow.  Good knowledge of the English language is required.

 

Instructional Applications

The software along with the audio CD can be an excellent tool in helping applicants prepare for the citizenship exam.  An instructor can monitor and evaluate students’ progress through audio files or printed reports.  The CD can run on any player so the student can practice away from the classroom.

 

Additional Information

This program runs well on Windows 2000.

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Program Title

EASY -English Academic Success for You

Publisher

Digital Education Products Email: info@easyeld.com

Subject

ESL

Level

Beginning to Intermediate

Program features

Video clips with scripts, listening and recording pronunciation, reproducible worksheets, quizzes, and tests, and vocabulary in context.

Computer Requirements

MAC G3 or better with 64 MB of RAM
W95, 97,2000 or XP operating systems, Pentium II, 250MHz or better with 64 MB

Network able

Price

Single dual media kit (vhs videos and cd’s)  $1,245.00 each

Refer to www.easyeld.com for more prices.

Overall Rating

3.7

 Evaluation Scale (scale 0 = not applicable, 1= not recommended, 2 = fair, 3 = good and 4 = excellent) 

User Friendly

4

Interesting Interface

4

Ease of loading software

4

Affordability

2

Content

4

Age appropriate

4

Sound

4

 

 

Average

3.7

 

Description of Content

The EASY, English Academic Success for You, ESL series meets the needs of the beginner ESL student in Middle and High School, Adult Education, Distance Learning and Family Literacy.  The 6 VHS videotape, or 6 interactive CD-ROM, Series has detailed lesson plans and many reproducible worksheets, tests, homework, quizzes and tests.  Also the videos incorporate a How to Use video in nine different languages:  Spanish, Korean, Cambodian, Hmong, Russian, Farsi, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and English.  The CD’s have audio prompts in the above (and other) languages.  The activities have been developed based on the California State ELD Standards.  Each lesson provides the following three things:  standards, proposed objectives, and necessary materials.

 

The VHS video series is recommended for “in-class, teacher-led instruction and for check-out for students to take home for family literacy.”  The CD-ROM version is recommended for “supplemental practice for students in self-paced mode in a classroom or computer lab.”  An important feature of the CD is the interactive speak-listen-compare practice.

 

Navigation and Structure

The EASY program consists of six units:  The Basics, Interactions, Feelings, At School, At Home, and The Time.  Each unit reinforces the grammar and other instructional objectives in previous units.  Instruction ranges from basic phonics to conjugating present tense verbs.  (See www.easyeld.com for a more comprehensive scope and sequence chart.)  The lesson plan scripts are divided into three segments:  instruction, story, and practice.

 

Instructional Applications

In many classrooms today in rural states, ESL students are unable to attend class at a specified time because they have to work.  Trying to teach beginning ESL students as they are integrated into ABE classes can be frustrating for an instructor.  Therefore, the EASY CD’s will provide an excellent opportunity for these students to participate in valuable learning.  The videos are also great tools for students to check out for reinforcement practice.  Of course, if there is an opportunity for active teaching, the videos are a great source.  Students will make much faster progress in this manner.  Overall, teachers will find the EASY system to be very valuable because they can teach both individually and in small groups.

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Program Title

E.L. Easton

Publisher

E.L. Easton http://eleaston.com

Subject

ESL, English

Level

High level ESL, Low ABE

Program features

Multi language, classroom, independent, teacher worksheets

Computer Requirements

Internet connection

56k modem

Windows 95, 98, 2000

Internet Explorer

Price

Free

Overall Rating

3.2

 

Evaluation Scale (scale 0 = not applicable, 1= not recommended, 2 = fair, 3 = good and 4 = excellent)

 

User Friendly

3

Interesting Interface

3

Ease of loading software

0

Affordability

4

Content

3

Age appropriate

3

Sound

0

 

 

Average

3.2

 

Description of Content

This website has materials for teaching and learning the English language.  The materials are aimed at ESL teachers and students and it appears to provide adequate information for all levels, although the site is geared towards higher-level ESOL students the Adult Basic Education serve.

 

Navigation and Structure

It is easy to navigate.  

 

Instructional Applications

This site is a good resource for instructors who are new to teaching English grammar to ESL students.  It could also be used for low-level ABE students who are unfamiliar with the conventions of the English language.  

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Program Title

English for All

Publisher

 

English for All

http://www.myefa.org/login.cfm

Or go to www.nwlincs.org and click on National LINCS Multimedia Center

Cyberstep Project

Subject ESL, English, Life skills
Level

Older adolescents and adults seeking to learn English as a second language

Computer literate and internet savvy

Program features

Video

Audio

Interactive learning environment

Computer Requirements

Internet Browser (no specific browser is recommended) 

QuickTime and speakers 

Obviously, since the activity uses video, the better the internet connection is the better the reception will be!

Price No cost when accessing via Internet!  Program may purchase 5 videos for $47 or a set of CD’s for $28.  Free video masters have been distributed to all state directors of adult education who requested them.
Overall Rating 4.0

Evaluation Scale (scale 0 = not applicable, 1= not recommended, 2 = fair, 3 = good and 4 = excellent) 

User Friendly 4
Interesting Interface 4
Ease of loading software 4
Affordability 4
Content 4
Age appropriate 4
Sound 4
   
Average 4

 Description of Content

The site provides an objective for each lesson, spoken vocabulary with tests and answer key available, streaming video with text available and questions and answers about the video, language activities, and life skill applications followed by a final assessment.  There are five stories with four episodes for each – a total of 20 categories supplemented by several activities.  Written directions may be read in Spanish.  Stories cover the areas of employment, family, taxes, parenting, and accessing learning opportunities.

 

Navigation and Structure

Access is very easy.  A teacher just completes a registration process and then shows the student how to access the site – log in and log out!

 

Instructional Applications

This is a terrific site for ESL students to practice their listening skills in a real world experience.  Students will be thrilled with the opportunity to listen to vocabulary and text while at the same time reading it.  This reviewer highly recommends this site not only for all types of ESL programs but also for low-level readers.  

 

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Program Title
Guide to Grammar & Writing

Publisher

Capital Community College http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar

Subject

ESL, Writing

Level

ABE

Program features

PowerPoint Presentations

Self-grading Quizzes

On-screen help

Index

Computer Requirements

Internet connection

56k modem

Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator 6.0+

Java-enabled browser

Windows 98 or higher, or MacOS 9.0 or higher

Screen resolution set at 1024 X 768

266 MHz Pentium or equivalent processor

16-bit Sound Card

Speakers or Headphones

Adobe Acrobat 4.0 PDF Viewer

Price

Free

Overall Rating

4.0

 

Evaluation Scale (scale 0 = not applicable, 1= not recommended, 2 = fair, 3 = good and 4 = excellent)

 

User Friendly

4

Interesting Interface

4

Ease of loading software

0

Affordability

4

Content

4

Age appropriate

4

Sound

0

 

 

Average

4.0

 

Description of Content

This website is designed to assist college level students and staff in understanding grammar and the principles of composition.  It provides detailed explanations and examples of the complexities of the English language.  In addition, in provides PowerPoint presentations of the general conventions of the English language, as well as interactive self-grading quizzes.

 

Navigation and Structure

It is exceptionally easy to navigate and users can exit at any point.  There is on-screen help as well as links to additional instructional materials in each of the subject areas

 

Instructional Applications

This site is an excellent resource and tool for any ABE or ESL instructor teaching principles of composition or grammar.  It is simple and straightforward and provides excellent explanations, materials, and tools that instructors can use.

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Program title(s) “Sound Sentences II ”
Publisher

Educational Activities Software

 http://www.edact.com

Subject ESL, Reading
Level Adult literacy and ESL learners
Program features 10 lessons with voice-recognition
Computer Requirements
  • Pentium II, 90MHz
  • Windows 95/98 or NT or 2000, ME
  • 10MB of free disk space
  • 8MB of free RAM
  • EA Manager
  • Color monitor set to thousands of colors
  • 4x speed CD-ROM drive
  • Headset or microphone and speakers
  • QuickTime v.4.0 included with program
Price $595.00
Overall Rating 3.3

 Evaluation Scale (scale 0 = not applicable, 1= not recommended, 2 = fair, 3 = good and 4 = excellent) 

User Friendly

3

Interesting Interface

3

Ease of loading software

4

Affordability

2

Content

3

Age appropriate

4

Sound

4

 

 

Average

3.3

Description of Content

The program is composed of 10 sections.  Each section deals with a slightly different type of situation in which creating and using structured sentences correctly is necessary for efficient communication:

The manual that accompanies the software contains vocabulary and worksheets for instructors to use.  Some of the storage needed for the lessons is for voice recordings of each student.

 

Navigation and Structure

Personalized files created are saved to the hard drive for each student.  They include the voice recordings to be used for the lessons.  Each lesson is independent of the others.  

 

Instructional Applications

Adult literacy, pre-GED instruction or ESL class curriculum.

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Program Title

The English Listening Lounge

Publisher

Gary Buck, Copyright 1999 http://www.englishlistening.com

Subject

ESL - Listening skills

Level

English as a second language (ESL) students

Computer literate and internet savvy

Program features

Audio.  Interactive learning environment

Computer Requirements

Internet Browser (Version 3.0 or better)

Real Audio Player

The better the internet connection is the better the reception will be!

Price

No cost to guest.  $20 per month

Overall Rating

3.4

 

Evaluation Scale (scale 0 = not applicable, 1= not recommended, 2 = fair, 3 = good and 4 = excellent)

 

User Friendly

4

Interesting Interface

3

Ease of loading software

4

Affordability

2

Content

3

Age appropriate

4

Sound

4

 

 

Average

3.4

 

Description of Content

The site provides students with a variety of “hundreds of listening activities ranging from the following:

 

New listener

·         Short, usually less than two and a half minutes

·         Slow, usually slow speed, or at most normal speed

·         Simple in content, with easy grammar and easy vocabulary

 

Regular listener

·         Longer, usually up to about four minutes (but may be longer if they are slow)

·         Faster, any speed is possible

·         More complex content, with more difficult grammar and vocabulary

 

Advanced listener

·         Some are much longer, up to eight and even ten minutes

·         Some are just very fast

·         They usually have challenging content, often on more serious topics.  The ideas, grammar, and vocabulary may be complex

 

Once a student listens to the activity, they can answer questions and see both the answers and test of the activity.

 

Navigation and Structure

Access is very easy and user friendly.  As a guest, a student only needs to select which level of listening activity s/he wants to try.  As a member, then all s/he will have to do is select Member at the top of the screen.

 

Instructional Applications

This is a great tool for ESL students who have the money to spend for individual access.  However, the cost might be prohibitive for a large program.  Students can access the guest site and enjoy 30 listening activities.  Students are exposed to a variety of English domains ranging from everyday English to Academic English.

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Program Title

The Writer (portable word processor) by Keyboard Instructor

Publisher

 

AKT - Advanced Keyboard Technologies, Inc. http://www.keyboardinstructor.com

Subject

Computer, ESL, Writing

Level

Basic Keyboarding, GED Grammar

Program features

Keyboarding: 116 preprogrammed lessons, pre-set or customized WPM and Accuracy benchmarks, Technique Builder™ Home row and Shift Key reinforcement, Individualized Progress Report on Lesson Scores, Assessment Scores, and Technique Scores, and Power-skin overlay to prevent “peeking” at keys.
Writing: 16 personal Writing Folders, On-board Thesaurus, Spell Check, and the "Good Writing Checklist"
help students develop strong self-editing habits and skills.

Price

Individual unit $189.00 each.  Call AKT for more pricing.

Overall Rating

3.3

 Evaluation Scale (scale 0 = not applicable, 1= not recommended, 2 = fair, 3 = good and 4 = excellent) 

User Friendly

4

Interesting Interface

3

Ease of loading software

4

Affordability

3

Content

3

Age appropriate

3

Sound

0

Average

3.3

Description of Content

The Writer has been developed for those programs that may have limited computer lab space or for those who want to provide a take-home device on which students may practice their keyboarding.  The basic philosophy of this company is that keyboarding is a 21st century literacy skill, one according to studies that should be mastered by 3rd or 4th grade.  By using portables such as The Writer, then computer labs are freed up “for higher level application.”

 

AKT recommends that with a minimum of 4 days per week in 15-30 minute sessions, students may complete the keyboarding program within six to eight weeks, depending, of course, on the age and ability of the students.  Although the program minimizes teacher preparation and record keeping, the classroom instructor does need to “be engaged instructionally.”  Before students begin the program, they need to be instructed in the foundation of posture and technique.  The publisher states the following:  “The classroom teacher needn’t be an accomplished keyboardist.  Basic posture, positioning and technique are easy to understand, to teach and to monitor.  We recommend for those teachers who are not touch typists that they learn along with their students.”

 

Navigation and Structure

The reviewer of this tool was not a keyboarding instructor, but if the instructor is comfortable with computers, then the design and set-up of The Writer is easy and user friendly.  Access to the device was easily done by using the basic Preview Guide – a definite plus.

 

Instructional Applications

Although The Writer is marketed for elementary and middle school, it can be a great tool in small, rural ABE programs that may have limited resources.  Students can use The Writer to learn keyboarding while being able to use the computers for reading, math, social studies, and science instruction via other software or the Internet.  ESL students would enjoy building vocabulary by using the thesaurus.

 

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