3.953 ESL software (45)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Tue, 23 Jan 90 18:02:32 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 953. Tuesday, 23 Jan 1990.

Date: Tue, 23 Jan 90 09:41 EDT
From: RKENNER@Vax2.Concordia.CA
Subject: ESL softwaree

In response to Richard Georwitz's call for ESL software for computer-
assisted learning, I am afraid that he will find that most of the most
interesting material in this field consists of authoring systems and
template programs that are designed to be closely supervised by the
teacher. Programs such as Storyboard, Sequitur, and Quartext come to
mind. These are all "text reconstruction" type activities. He can
get in touch with a distributor called RDA [p.o. box 848, Stony Brook,
New York, 11790] for a catalogue (EuroCentres outside North America).

If he wants the more traditional grammar based drills, which can be
used in a stand-alone, remedial way, I can suggest two sources:
1) The Language Company [1666 Cross Center Drive, Norman, OK, 73072)
has produced an entire corpus of English grammar drills. They are not
the most imaginative CAI activities ever produced, but the breadth of
coverage makes up for it. The series is called Parlance
2) The American Language Academy [Suite 200, 11426 Rockville Pike,
Rockville MD 20852] have some grammar-based materials.

There are surely other sources. A problem he will find, however, is
that few developers have covered the entire scope of basic English
grammar. In ESL teaching circles this entire approach is out of fashion.
As I mentioned, the mainstream is into teacher-intensive "holistic'
activities which foster communication in front of the computer and
language acquisition .

This is fine, except that it leaves libraries and other users who would
want a reference of grammar materials out in the cold.

Roger Kenner
Concordia University
Montreal, Quebec, CANADA