Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

ESL Instruction Gets Boost from Discs

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

ESL Instruction Gets Boost from Discs

Article excerpt

As the number of non-English-speaking immigrants entering the United States multiplies each year, the demands upon educators to provide quality English-language instruction are magnified. Students from all over the world enter U.S. schools looking forward to learning English unaware of the difficulty that educators face in trying to teach them. Problems range from curriculum inconsistency to varying proficiency levels that hinder educators' ability to best instruct their students.

Because 86% of Blackstock School's population comprises minorities--with ESL students totalling 10% of the approximately 800 students--the need for a comprehensive and integrated ESL system is significant. Although Spanish is the primary language spoken among the ESL students, other languages include Korean, Vietnamese, Arabic and Tagalog.

Patrick Newton, a three-year veteran of English-language instruction at Charles Blackstock Junior High School, located in Oxnard, Calif., holds a specialist credential in Bilingual/Bi-cultural Education. After realizing the limitations of the traditional method of instruction, Newton sought to improve his ESL program.

* New Tools

After an intense examination of a variety of ESL systems, Blackstock chose English Express, a new multi-media tool designed by Davidson & Associates of Torrance, Calif. The English Express multimedia system includes videodisc and CD-ROM components, both featuring a visual database of over 1,400 photographic images arranged in 67 thematic categories based on the Longman Photo Dictionary.

The package's videodisc is an easy-to-use teacher presentation tool. Claims Newton, "When I'm teaching a class, I no longer waste time fumbling with loose clippings, many of which were too small for the students to see. The barcode reader makes things simple and my lesson plans flexible."

In addition to the dictionary, the CD-ROM features a variety of interactive activities that spark the creativity and interest of students from all backgrounds. Students see real-life photo images, hear the corresponding words and sentences, record their own voices and play them back to compare their recordings to those of the narrator.

* Smart Rooms & Students

A "smart classroom" was designed to provide students with a highly interactive and stimulating learning environment. …

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