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ESL Web Site Review

July 17, 2002

                                                                                  

Heidi Brown        albrown@together.net

 

Site Description: This site is for ESL teachers and educators.  It features lesson plans, teaching tips, downloadable classroom activities, discussion topics and favored resource selections.

 

Site Name: Everything ESL

 

URL: http://everythingesl.com

 

System requirements: No sound card is needed to access material on the site but RealPlayer was needed for some of the links. Materials can be downloaded and viewed with Acrobat Reader.

 

Site Author: Judy Haynes is an ESL teacher and has published four books on helping classroom teachers better meet the needs of their second language population. She is currently the chair of the TESOL Elementary Interest Section.  She authors this web site with the help of Chas Haynes, a self-described designer, builder and geek.

 

Target Audience: This site is best suited for elementary ESL teachers and elementary classroom teachers.

 

Summary: This site offers lots of good information, discussion, lesson plans and activities for educators. The classroom activities are lively and helpful for those working with beginner to intermediate language learners.  The teaching tips and discussion forum allow for both classroom teachers and ESL teachers to better understand the needs specific to their ESL population and to share their questions/needs.  The lesson plans are detailed and take into account variances in ability and age.

 

Contents:

Educational Objective: Everything ESL’s objective is to try to connect teachers globally in hopes of sharing content based lessons and activities as well as raising an awareness of the needs of the ESL student.

Structure: This site is broken down into four main branches; lesson plans, teaching tips, resource picks and discussions.  See chart below for further details.

 

Content:

Lesson Plans

Everything ESL offers 50 content-based lesson plans for beginning through intermediate students.  The plans are arranged by topic/title and contain links to books and other web sites with corresponding themes and activities.

Teaching Tips

Teaching tips provides access to articles on in-service ideas and teaching strategies for both ESL and mainstream teachers. The articles are annotated with the date and author.  Many contain links to related articles, forms and materials.

Resource Picks

Resource Picks gives recommendations on material and resources for the classroom.  It is divided into books, cd-roms and web sites.

Discussions

The Discussions section provides teachers with an on-line bulletin board and discussion forum.  It is divided into a general discussion area and an Ask Judy section.  Both offer educators a chance to share questions and information about working with the elementary ESL population and their families.

 

 

Site Evaluation:

 

This site is colorful and attractive.  It is well organized and well laid out.  Information is easy to access and the ideas and lessons presented were meaningful and highly motivating.  It meets its educational objectives as it allows educators a chance to access interesting lesson plans and downloadable activities.  It also provides many thoughtful articles and tips that make educators aware of how they can modify their lessons/classrooms to better meet the needs of the ESL student. I did not find this site to be culturally biased.  There were many lesson plans that incorporated other cultures (World Costumes, Festival of Lights Around the World…) and the overall intention of the web site was to promote and celebrate differences in our schools while teaching fun, innovative lessons to the ESL population.

 

I found this site to be very useful.  I loved the lesson on Hats Around the World that gave details on books to read and activities to do to teach students about differing occupations or cultures.  It also provided worksheets for sorting pictures of hats from different occupations.  I also really enjoyed the lesson entitled Say Hello to the World, which could easily foster an appreciation for world languages, cultural diversity and build the ESL child’s self-esteem.  This lesson provided ideas for children to learn and share ways to say hello in many languages.  A link to the Internet Public Library http://www.ipl.org/div/kidspace/hello/french.html allows students a chance to hear hello in over seventy languages.  This would be a really fun lesson for all children.

 

I think that Everything ESL is an excellent site with much pedagogical strength. Haynes is successful in her attempt to share fun, lively lessons and information about ESL students. The site promotes the acceptance and celebration of cultural diversity.