Spotlight on: CLEAR

CLEAR stands for Center for Language Education and Research and has its roots sunk in the soil around the Red Cedar River, Michigan State University

Last semester I had an academic dream come true when I was able to register into LLT 307, a course focusing on methods to help teach English as a foreign language as well as a second language. Coming into university, I had my hopes set on major/minor-ing in TESOL program, but the plan had been derailed. Now I was able to explore the land I had once imagined for myself.

One of the classes concentrated on integrating technology into the classroom (ta-dah!) and the teacher highly advocated the usefulness of the CLEAR website (http://clear.msu.edu/clear/store/). Many of the products are free and provide language learning to be incorporated into the classroom without having to reach out to a hundred different sites. One may find the programs through the CLEAR website.

There are nifty programs like audio drop boxes that enables the student to record their oratory expressions to be heard by the teacher. The teacher can also post feedback, auditory feedback, on the same page. This allows more time in the classroom to be spent on things other than one-be-one speaking assessments (they do take up a lot of time).

Other applications involve video clips including the application mash ups that allows worksheets, audio files, true/false quizzes, and video to be uploaded side-by-side for a very interactive experience.

One of the ideas that our class discussed was improving assessment strategies. On the CLEAR site, there are applications that allow educators to create true/false and multiple choice tests/quizzes. Whether or not the teacher believes these to be appropriate assessment tools is contingent on the educator, not the website. There really are some “rich internet applications” on the website though! Check it out by clicking on the “Materials and Products” tab.

The teacher offered a good website to record the auditory clips called Audacity at http://audacity.sourceforge.net

Additionally, the website Demonstrate is an online portfolio system where language learners can show off what they know! Visit http://demonstrate.llc.msu.edu to check it out.

I’m off to do some more discovering in the tangled web,

Amanda

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