e-Forms of Instruction

We applied and tested the system at a private language school with primary, secondary and high school students, and adults. We have selected pictures from a primary class to demonstrate the wide variety of study forms and the applicability of the system to normal school conditions. You will be convinced that our model adds to traditional methodology with modern and interesting approaches and can effectively stimulate children's interest in learning. You can click here to download our demo movie.


The Room

Ours is a small size room of about 30 sq m (5 m x 6 m) which can hold up to nine 120 cm x 60 cm desks plus a teacher's desk. There are seats for 18 students. We have equipped the room with 17" CRT monitors but they take too much space. A multimedia projector and a white board (ordinary or interactive) will provide means for central presentations and general discussions.

 

Types of written exercises

Our system contains all traditional teaching forms: reading texts, songs and chants, multiple choice, multiple matching, jumbled words and sentences and gap filling exercises, films, sound, fairy tales, pictures, dictations, translations, games, speaking prompts. The computer allows for a new implementation of conventional methodology plus completely new e-forms. In traditional teaching gap-filling exercises are not fun, but our children are always impatient for them and strive for 100% correctness. Apart from their linguistic function these exercises also teach typing and text editing.

 

Listening

In our classroom it is the student who controls the audio source, which makes listening a more individual activity than in a traditional classroom.

We have widened the application of songs and chants and use them more extensively (to the enjoyment of the learners). They are searchable by grammatical and lexical function, age and proficiency level (like any other form of instruction).

For the teacher a listening exercise has always been connected with preparation time, rumpled tapes, counters, players often with terrible sound. In the e-class the teacher doesn't bother about audio or video equipment and doesn't waste time for preparation. The audio material is integrated with the exercise and can be found in seconds. The quality of the sound is excellent with clear high frequencies, which develops the musical intelligence of children.

 

Video

Watching video is very useful and enjoyable to all students. But because of technical limitations it is rarely used at schools. Players are often damaged and teachers generally avoid using them.

We watch a video almost every lesson. Due to its easy implementation and individual control of the source we have developed completely new and original video activities for teaching conversational and everyday language as well as for testing.

 

Flashcards, Games and fun activities

Flashcard presentations and games are enhanced and improved. The pictures here show how we use cameras in class to record and playback pupils talking. The class fashion show was inspired by a video on clothes. You can see more on the Demo movie.

 

Fairy tales

Children are always impressed by fairy tales. Central presentations and class discussions impress children and improve language fluency.

 

Total Physical Response

Total Physical Response is an important teaching method with children as they learn by movement. It activates kinesthetic learning and combines information and skills. TPR exercises and action stories are often combined with a multiple matching listening exercise.

 

Writing

Writing tasks are done on paper and on computer. In this way the students master both language production and text processing, which is a cross-curricular activity. They are instructed on fast error correction and text editing, punctuation, paragraphing and good layout of the written work. As usual writing tasks are combined with reading aloud.

 

Class control and group dynamics

The system is primarily designed for classroom use and special attention has been paid to group dynamics, working with mixed ability classes and engaging all students during the lesson. In our model the computer controls lesson flow and fulfilment of tasks more precisely than in traditional classrooms.

Students are always engaged which removes boredom and indiscipline. The teacher has time to think and interact with the students. Because, as we know, 'machines should work and people should think'. (the IBM rule).

 

Other Useful Forms

Here is an example of how our system can be used by creative and imaginative teachers to make interesting lessons, to help their colleagues and provide the school with a unique teaching system.

We had a lesson on introductions. The children were taught how to shake hands, how to present and talk about themselves. During the shooting of the film children made funny faces which we later used to add to our study materials. Thus they studied by their own mistakes and their own faces.

All these events contributed to the quality of teaching and the acquisition of the foreign language. Technology can help creative teachers instantly put ideas into practice.

 

Teacher Training

We have prepared enough teacher training materials for computer-aided learning in e-classrooms, which we use as part of the induction procedure for new teachers.

And finally a word about teamwork: successful lessons can be reused by other colleagues and further improved. In this way human efforts are preserved, which can provide other colleagues and the school with a unique system. It saves a lot of time and would benefit students, teachers, the school and the community.