Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Learning English on-line

Greetings from the last day of Moodle Moot Au 2010 in Melbourne, which I just chaired the morning session on teaching languages on-line. Neil McRudden and Gareth Hughes (Study Group) talked about "Moodle Enhanced Language Learning: Our journey with Embassy Smart Express and Moodle".

Study Group is a private language training provider who use Moodle and their own bespoke software. Each student has a netbook in the language classroom and the teacher can see what each student is working on. Students also use a traditional English language textbook.

Students can do listening and grammar exercises in their own time using Moodle. There is also a speaking phonetic dictionary provided online.

Neil and Gareth poitned out that these types of courses have to deliver results in weeks, rather than the months a university course has. Moodle forums are used to provide a place for students to practice written English, with feedback from the teacher. Moodle's quiz module is used for assessment, using multiple choice and enter the word questions, as well as assessment of written composition.

One detail I noticed is that Study Group appear to have cut a hole in the lids of their netbooks, so that the teacher at the front of the class can see that the student's computer is turned on.

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