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ESL Article: New Trends in Our Daily Lives

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There are four major changes and they all seem to have an effect on teaching and the Internet. First, thanks to search engines I can find things easier on the web than on my own computer. This has encouraged me to put more and more of my lessons online since I hate spending time looking for them on my hard disk or even worse desperately seeking that CD ROM I burned last week. It takes a bit of getting used to. I go to Google and type the title of the page "sex quiz for dummies", "harry cards", "courtroom vocabulary" or "crazy room" and my page usually ranks very high. Just goes to show that you should choose well when you name your exercises.

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But things can get a little stranger for example typing "smug seascape" into Google brings a vocabulary quiz I did or "business toeic" brings you to my website Business Emporium. Apparently most pages have one or two keywords associated with them that will direct you to that aforementioned page. I ''ll let you discover what you get when you type "stupid emse". Google fun for the school and the professor who created the exercise.

Second, every firm, company and school seems to want verifiable and objective results. Tests like the TOEIC, TOEFL, Cambridge Certificate are on the rise in the ESL field but this is simply a mirror of what is going on in our civilization. After all you can get certified in Microsoft''s Excel. Everybody seems to want a video game score. "I got a 230 on the GMAT!" Numbers and figures are the way to go even when evaluating an art. One good thing about web pages is that you can generate tons of figures about and with them.

Third, I''m increasingly presented with what I could do. There is no limit to how much I can improve a lesson, embellish an exercise, or make my students do. I can program weekly e-mails to selected groups of students, make a newsgroup, learn about just about any subject I want and start any number of new projects. It is positively frightening. But all is not lost. This overwhelming possibility lends it self to collaborative projects. Just like way back when the printing press and the post office allowed language teachers to cooperatively create dictionaries the Internet facilitates numerous tasks limited only by our imagination.

Finally, I find myself blocked by a sort of "two click dilemma": the amount of visitors to a webpage decreases exponentially with each additional click. What I mean to say is that little things similar to having to click several times prevent me from doing some jobs or accomplishing some goals. For example: I know that if I just telephone first then I can use a video projector or DVD player in class or if I just install this software I can accomplish some thing else. I know these things would be fun to do but I still do not even try. Stopped by additional clicks. This is why schools and organizations need to make things easier to create and collaborate and not more difficult

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Author: Christopher Yukna

English Grammar through Stories (PDF)
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