ESSENTIAL ACADEMIC SKILLS IN ENGLISH: LISTENING TO LECTURES CD-ROM (Volume I)

By Singhal, Meena | Language, Learning & Technology, January 2002 | Go to article overview

ESSENTIAL ACADEMIC SKILLS IN ENGLISH: LISTENING TO LECTURES CD-ROM (Volume I)


Singhal, Meena, Language, Learning & Technology


REVIEW OF ESSENTIAL ACADEMIC SKILLS IN ENGLISH: LISTENING
TO LECTURES

Title                 Essential Academic Skills in English:
                      Listening to Lectures CD-ROM
                      (Volume I)

Publisher             CELTE
                      University of Warwick
                      Conventry
                      CV4 7AL, United Kingdom
                      Phone: (0044) (0)-24 7652 8440
                      Fax: (0044) (0)-24 7652-4318
                      Emml: easeteam@warwick.ac.uk

ISBN                  0902683-46-4

Platform              PC only; Windows 95, 98, 2000, or NT.

System requirements   486 processor or better with 8 MB of
                      RAM (16 MB preferred); SVGA
                      display (800 x 600, 16 bit color or better);
                      sound card; computer speakers; mouse

Support               http ://www.ease.ac.uk

Target language       English (British)

Target audience       Not stated, but it appears to be designed
                      for advanced intermediate or
                      advanced adult students.

Price                 Single user copy ([pound]30.00), 5 user
                      license ([pound]120.00), 6-20 user license
                      ([pound]220.00), Full-site license ([pound]400.00)

OVERVIEW

Essential Academic Skills in English: Listening to Lectures is a stand-alone PC software package designed for non-native speakers of English who intend to undertake university study in English. Listening to Lectures, the first in the EASE CD-ROM series, contains digital video of academic lectures as well as activities based on these lectures, and thus introduces learners to the kinds of lecture situations and listening activities they will likely encounter in academic settings.

DESCRIPTION

Listening to Lectures contains 85 short video clips (approximately 1-2 minutes) from 40 authentic lectures given in 25 different departments, including the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. These clips are divided among six units: Openings, Structure and Organization, Functions 1, Functions 2, Attitudes and Significance, and Argumentation.

Getting started with Listening to Lectures is easy. Users simply click on the unit they wish to study. Users also have the option of going through an introductory tour before beginning. Upon beginning a unit, the instructions inform the user of how to proceed. The tasks are organized around watching video clips from lectures. Learners first complete pre-viewing activities and then watch the video clip. The video clip can be controlled by clicking on the pla y and pause buttons and by dragging the slider with the cursor. Information about the lecture such as the title and the speaker of the lecture can be obtained by clicking on the "i" button. In addition, the user can access the entire transcript of what the lecturer is saying by clicking on the speech bubble. At any time during the program, the user can also access the dictionary which contains definitions of words in the lectures and allows learners immediate access to the video-clip in which the word is used, thus providing them with the context for the word.

After users watch the video clip, they complete exercises about the lecture. For the most part, these exercises emphasize lecture content and rhetorical features, including discourse-level as well as sentencelevel activities. The exercises are varied in terms of type and format, and they include matching questions, multiple choice questions, drag and drop exercises, and cloze-tests. Users also have the option of taking on-screen notes while watching the video (see Figure 2).

Learners can get feedback on their answers or choose to see the correct answers by using the Done and Reveal buttons, respectively. While the form of feedback varies depending on the type of exercise, in all cases a brief explanation of why the user's answer was incorrect is provided

The first unit, Openings, focuses on some of the things lecturers commonly do at the outset of their lectures, and thus the six video clips in this unit are all of the beginnings of lectures. …

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