Hi folks. Sorry for the duplication (posted this on EFL 2.0 too).

The other day a friend asked me if she could borrow some of my CD-ROMs (or DVD-ROMs) for English language learning OR for some suggestions. I was a little embarrassed that not only didn't I have many (aside from a couple old ones), but I also couldn't think of any besides Rosetta Stone and TALL, which are a little more than I can afford.

My interests have included CALL-related topics for many years, but it's been a long time since I paid attention to instructional software. I've focused for so long on the use of ICT that I am clueless on the state of "traditional" disk-based software.

I have NEVER seen a software that impressed me. They have all been warmed-over grammatical syllabi (pseudo-functional) with little other than multiple choice, fill in the blank drills to fill space between cute animations and lame texts (can you tell I'm skeptical?).

I'm not against drilling. I think that there is a place for it and a software might be the right place. However, these also don't seem to have much relevance to my classroom. That is unacceptable.

Can anyone prove me wrong? What have you used that you loved? If you do make any recommendations, please describe why it is good.

To clarify. I am looking for instructional software that provides automated feedback for input generated by students. If it is social or encourages interaction between learners and teachers or other learners, great. However, the first part is the most important.

Thanks,
Dan

Tags: EFL, ESL, language, software

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Having worked as a computer teacher in an EFL school I found that the English teachers got most out of software that they could enter content into themselves, therefore linking the resulting exercises to the classes they were giving that week or month. A good program I have used myself for ICT is called qedoc and is availble from qedoc.com. It is a free program if you make your quizzes available for others to use.
Thanks Ian,

The quizzes and quiz application look good. Kind of an all online version of Hot Potatoes (similar license too). I particularly like that you can choose from many pre-made quizzes as well as making your own.

However, I'm still looking for something that can be used for self-study. While these could be put together in such a fashion, that would take a lot of work, which is one thing that I'm trying to avoid :)

Thanks for the suggestion.

Dan
I love it.Thanks.I am trying to join the community.I have created one too because I couldn't join one and get a password.I´m an ESF teacher and I'm interested in resources for secondary school students.
Check out eduFire.com as well. eduFire.com is a great interactive, multi-media focused language website that offers educational language videos, addicting language flashcards, an active online community, forums and one-on-one tutoring via video chat.

Visit www.eduFire.com and set-up a free profile.
Hi Steph,

Interesting site. I had bookmarked it previously, but never really checked it out. I think that the potential for connecting with tutors is great.

It's always great to find new, free resources. The collection of videos is interesting. It's great to have a collection like that. One could find most of them through YouTube, but it would take a lot of work to do so. I'm wondering if they are gathered and tagged by users or the owners. They aren't organized in a very coherent manner. I choose English and there was more Japanese than English in the videos.

The flashcards are nice. I like how they provide multiple options and immediate feedback. There's a good competitive factor in there too. I wish there were more distractors, though. They were rather to guess.

Thanks for the suggestion.

Dan
Hey Dan,

Yah, i'm really liking eduFire.com! I have had about 4 tutoring sessions..very affordable and pretty cool via the video chat! They can see how and what I'm saying and correct any of my mistakes. The tutors I have had were very encouraging and I didn't feel embarassed or weird if I messed up.

As for the flashcards...they are quite addicting! :) I play a set or 5 everynight! :) Try the videos too...some are just pure entertainment and others are pretty educational!

Well I'm glad I could give you a good suggestion! Have fun learning some new languages!

Steph
Greetings,

You have mentioned what you don't like, but what are some things that you would like to see? What do you think would have more relevence in a classroom? I am currenlty working on some software that is going to be more interactive than just drilling etc., Though there are plans to have testing with the tracking of student progress, etc., it is not yet implemented. You may take a look at an early version of the software at: http://adornthetruth.com/nikamo . It might not be what you want at the moment, but am still looking for suggestions on what new modules to include and how they should be implemented.

-Kevin
Hi Kevin,

Much of what I want seems to be too expensive, unavailable, or just too time consuming to produce for use in educational software.

I want:
1. Scenario-based activities.
2. Good speech recognition that is used for incremental advancement through scenarios.
3. Module design with customizable templates and the ability to mix and match activities in my own configuration.
4. Standards compliant (SCORM or other)
5. User-generated content that is able to be shared in an online space.
6. Ability to interact with others working on the same activities and/or within a defined group.

I know that I ask a lot, but these options are all available in various products (not all educational), but not in a nice language learning package.

Dan
Hi Dan,

Based on the 6 requirements you said, maybe you could try the following eLearning quiz tools, all of them support SCORM and customizable templates:

Captivate: $699
QuizMaker: $599
QuizCreator: $129

All of them have academic offer, hope it helps!

Enjoy,
Sabrina
Sabrina;
I agree with you. I'm actually working on a project to develop an EFL product for, English language learners, based on Captivate. Right now I'm a little stumped on strategies for the discovery phase.
I'd love to hear your ideas.

Thanks.
Dan
Hi Dan,
You can check out my website www.WordAhead.com and see if it works for you and your students. It is a website for vocabulary building using fun illustrations and video clips. Students are encouraged to upload their work to the website while teachers may direct activities or assign word projects to the students.
Since this discussion was started over a year ago, i hope you have found some good tools already. If you have, do share.
Hi Faiza,

Thanks for the link to your site. I'll check it out.

There have been some good suggestions here, but I haven't discovered anything new over the last year. I don't really expect to. I don't even think that what I am looking for exists. It is a dream of what I can't have....yet :) There are combination of sites and technologies that can be used for language education. That's always been the case, but there is nothing that fits the complete bill.

I'll have to wait until quantum computing takes off, ha ha

Dan

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