I’m curious to see if anyone reading this will suggest a website we should all keep our eyes on in the future. Do you anticipate the growth of any particular resource or contributions of an individual content creator? Let me share a few sources that I predict will develop some good materials for ESL/ EFL teachers and students in 2011. If you can, please add to the list.
In no particular order, here they are.
1. Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab. This is already a well-known site in the ESL/ EFL community. However, I anticipate much growth in 2011. First off, Randall promises to make his materials accessible for use on portable devices, such as iPhones. Second, I appreciate his collection of Video Snapshots because they offer lessons on both language and culture. Yet another project I find interesting is Randall’s Multimedia Language Activities. It shows his willingness to experiment with other online tools, namely Voice Thread, to enage more of the learner.
2. Voice of America. This is another big name, but perhaps not so many are aware of The Classroom, which offers a growing collection of multimedia lessons based on readings that range from American Life & Culture to Science & Technology. The activities that follow each article are consistent in format and pedagogically sound. Explore VOA’s virtual classroom and you’ll also find additional activities for all levels, from grammar practice to mini lessons on common idioms.
3. EnglishCafe. There are good reasons why I often collaborate with this site. I truly like the spirit of community and the willingness of all the teachers to support one another. Also, I have observed and participated in the site’s growth over the past couple of years. More and more talented teachers are joining, and that means more free resources are being developed for ESL/ EFL learners. Check out the blog posts and lessons published by Paul Meier, for example. When students ask if I have materials on a certain pronunciation topic and I don’t, I often look to see if Paul does. Then I recommend it. I do the same with the materials created by Kenneth Beare regarding grammar. When I receive requests for online lessons and I’m not available, I often steer students in the direction of fellow TESOL member, Smiling7 (aka Holly). In short, EnglishCafe is a growing community, and in 2011 I expect to see dozens of contributions to the already sizable collection of blog posts and interactive lessons created by qualified teachers around the world.
4. English with Jennifer. You didn’t think I’d miss the chance to put my own website on this list, did you? Of course, I’m excited about how it will develop in 2011! The site was launched in Februrary of this year, and over the past several months I’ve been able to consolidate my online work and make it easier for users to find resources they need. The site features projects I’ve created in response to popular demands for help with writing (Improve Your Writing), vocabulary (Word of the Day and Everday Vocabulary), listening and speaking skills (The Jim & Jen Show), and self-study (Study Tips). I hope to continue working on all these projects as time allows, and I suspect that new ideas will come about in response to other requests for online resources.