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USA Learns

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U.S.A. Learns
An ESL Web-based Tool for
Distance Education
AGENDA
•
Development & Components of
USAL
• Course Content Overview
• Teacher Site Overview
• Implementing U.S.A.Learns in a
distance education program
What is U.S.A. Learns?
A free Web site for immigrant
adults who want to improve
their English language skills
Who is the target audience?
Immigrant Adults with
 beginning or intermediate
English language skills
(NRS levels 2 through 5)
 limited opportunities for
attending traditional classes
Who created U.S.A.Learns?
Sacramento County Office of
Education,
Internet and Media Services
and
Project IDEAL, University of Michigan
through a federal grant
from the
U.S. Dept. of Education,
Office of Vocational and Adult Education
FUN FACTS
Total # of visitors
Repeat Visitors
2,069,326
633,751
Average time on site 27 minutes
Number of countries 188
represented
What are the hardware requirements?
• Fast Internet connection at least
384 Kbps or faster; no dial-up
connections
• Up-to-date Web browser with Flash
plug-in
What are the hardware requirements?
• Sound card
• Speakers or headphones
• Microphone (optional)
What computer skills are required?
Mouse:
• Click and scroll
Keyboard:
• Letters, backspace, shift key,
space bar
What computer skills are required?
Web browser:
• Open a browser (e.g. IE, Safari,
Firefox).
• Navigate a basic Web site.
• Click buttons and links.
Microphone:
• optional
What are the USAL components?
 Independent Learner Site
 usalearns.org
 Teacher Site
 usalearns.org/teacher
 Class Site
 usalearns.org/class
What are the USAL components?
 1st English Course: Beginner
20 video-based units: Survival
language topics
What are the USAL components?
 2nd English Course: Intermediate
20 video-story based units: Job &
Life Skills topics
What are the USAL components?
 Practice English and Reading:
Intermediate
42 stories: Various topics
First
English
Course
Unit
Menu
1st Course Topic menu
2nd English Course Topic Menu
Practice English and Reading Topic Menu
What are the features of USAL?
Clean Intuitive Design
Directions and feedback in consistent
locations on standardized screen
templates
Simple navigation; easy-to-see
buttons
Graphic and audio-animated Help
screens
What are the features of USAL?
High Quality Video
Video programs converted to an
interactive Web-based learning system
 Putting English to Work
 English for All
Interesting and humorous characters,
situations and stories relevant to
immigrants
What are the features of USAL?
Language Development Activities

Practice of:
Listening, Reading, Writing and
Speaking skills

Special focus on:
Vocabulary, Life Skills, Grammar
Activity Types
Activity Types
Learn New Words
Intermediate Vocabulary
Spell It!
Match Game
Listen for it!
Grammar - Writing
Life Skills - Listening and Reading
Life Skills - Reading a Lease
Write about it!
Making Choices -You Predict
Thinking Skills - Drawing Conclusions
Self-Reflection - Learning Log
Say it! - Record your Voice
Teacher Site
usalearns.org/teacher
What can I do at the Teacher site?
• Create an online class.
• Monitor student’s progress and
scores.
• Score/comment on writing
assignments.
• And…
What can I do at the Teacher site?
• Post messages to the online
class
• Print an instruction document to
help learners sign into the online
class.
• View/download Scope and
Sequence
Teacher Home Page
Student Scores-Activity Menu
Feedback on Student Writing
Remember!
Different URL for students in class
usalearns.org/class
URL for teacher management
usalearns.org/teacher
U.S.A. Learns
In a Distance Education
Program
Getting the Most out of USAL
 Register on the Teacher site.
 Give students a personal tour of the
course for orientation.
 Make sure students use the Class
site.
 Monitor your student’s progress
online to find their problem areas.
Getting the Most out of USAL
 Familiarize yourself with the content;
check scope and sequence document.
 Use the rich video content, storylines,
characters for writing assignments,
discussion and other activities.
 Suggest other online sites to extend
and supplement USAL content.
Teach Good Learning Habits
Encourage students to:
 Spend about 30 minutes a day
rather than speeding through all the
content in one sitting.
 View videos 2 or 3 times with and
without the script.
 Practice speaking either with a mic
or simply speaking out loud.
Teach Good Learning Habits
Encourage students to:
 Keep a learning journal for new
words, expressions, practice, and
questions.
 Set personal goals and self-monitor.
 Supplement their learning on other
Websites you suggest.
Face-to-Face Time
Inverted Classroom
пЃ·First contact with content is online,
outside of class.
пЃ·Teacher time is for communication,
discussion, interaction, practice of
content.
“Are there any questions?” starts
the class rather than ends the class.
U.S.A. Learns
Questions?
Problems?
help@usalearns.org
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