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New Technology in the Classroom On the subject of new technology in the
On the subject of new technology in the classroom, I'd like to address a source of materials with which I'm extremely familiar. I spent a number of years selling textbooks to college professors and as a result, was trained on some of the most recent developments in classroom technology. Many of the largest higher educational publishers take great pains to create resources and materials that, they hope, will make their text the most attractive to professors. In recent years the development of the companion website has become almost expected from every major textbook. As I worked my way through this course, I was struck by the similarities between TEFL instruction and the field of developmental English. At Pearson Education, there are a number of developmental texts that include CW's (companion websites) Bearing firmly in mind that the primary goal of these sites is to sell an instructor on the textbook, they remain a massive source of teaching tips, exercise ideas and downloadable worksheets. At http://www.longman.com/teachers you will find teacher resources for adult, teen and young learners as well as worksheets available for downloads from various dictionaries and tips on writing effective quizzes and exams. This link: http://vig.prenhall.com/catalog/main_content/0,4031,-508,00.html will take you to the master list of companion websites for Prentice Hall Higher Education. If you select 'English: Developmental' from the drop down menu, you will find all the texts with CW's. Within the CW's, you will find tons of exercises and teaching ideas for very specific language elements. For example, one of the books listed is Mastering Written English Sixth Edition by Mary Epes. The online study guide for this title can be found at: http://cwx.prenhall.com/bookbind/pubbooks/epes by selecting a chapter, the user will find the objectives of the chapter, on line exercises, and web links to more information and practice on the topic. The web links revealed this link on subject/verb agreement: http://a4esl.org/q/h/vm/svagr.html it comes complete with a quiz and answers. At the following CW: http://wps.prenhall.com/hss_arlov_clgewritin_2 by clicking on the 'jump to' drop down menu, you will find an on line study guide with the following topics: Basic Grammar. 12. Verbs and Subjects. 13. Subject-Verb Agreement. 14. Run-on Sentences. 15. Sentence Fragments 16. Pronoun Case. 17. Pronoun Agreement, Reference, and Point of View. As confusing as this may all seem, once a teacher becomes accustomed to the navigational vagaries of these sites, there's a tremendous amount of material and teaching ideas out there. I doubt that many TEFL teachers have exploited these resources. You do not need to buy the book to use most of these resources. Publishers have spent millions of dollars developing on-line supplements and study guides for their texts. Somewhere along the line, usually with the urging of their sales reps, the publishers finally understood that they could not charge extra for these additional supplements. That leaves them out there on the web to be used by anyone so inclined if they have the patience to find and navigate them. Here's a brief heads up: http://elt.thomson.com/namerica/en_us/pages/examview.html This is an automated test preparation program from Thomson.http://eolit.hrw.com/hlla/newmainlinks/lang.jsp This is a link on the Holt/Rinehart/Winston site to grammar and usage tests.http://eolit.hrw.com/hlla/wordwatch/index2.jsp'grade=&group= This is a totally cool on-line program that is a catalog of 800 words, how to pronounce them, their meaning, synonyms and the word used in context. (you need Macromedia Flash) http://www.eduplace.com/ This is the on-line site for Houghton/Mifflin http://bcs.bedfordstmartins.com/rewriting/default.asp'uid=0&rau=0 This is the Bedford/ St. Martins site with a ton of resources. http://www.prenhall.com/phwords/ Again, this is still more diagnostic and progress tools for use online, but also a good source of information and resources.