Knowledge on the Net
A six part radio series from the BBC World Service
Computers have been used for language learning and teaching for many
years. The development of the internet and the World Wide Web in the the
early 1990's has added another dimension to this resource. The web is
interactive, it can be used for communication as well as information.
Knowledge on the Net looks at various aspects of the Internet and how
it can be exploited by teachers as a resource for themselves and their
Programme 1 - Introduction
Programme one gives a brief history of the Internet and then establishes
reasons why it is a useful tool for teachers.
Listen to programme 1 >>
Programme 2 - Searching
There are billions of pages of content on the net and that number
is growing all the time. Whatever you are looking for is probably out
there, but how can you find it amongst the millions of hits a search engine
might give you? Listen to tips on more effective searching in programme
Listen to programme 2 >>
Programme 3 - Validating sites. Discussion groups and message boards
Assessing whether you can trust the information on websites can be
difficult as there are so many and it's not always easy to see if they
come from a reliable source. In this programme we hear some tips on how
you can check a language website for authenticity.
The programme also looks at discussion groups and message boards and
how they can be used by teachers to inform their teaching and as source
of lesson ideas and activities.
Useful BBC links
English message board
Message board with topics for learners and teachers.
English discussion group
An email discussion group with 2,500 members in 85 countries. The
group discusses topics such as lifestyles and the news as well as learning
and teaching English. You need to subscribe to become a member.
See the biography of David Eastment, below, for details of the discussion
groups he mentions in the programme.
Listen to programme 3 >>
Programme 4 - Using the internet in class
In this programme senior teacher Rosie Gerard Wright discusses what's
involved in the planning and implementation of an internet lesson. We
also drop in on one of her classes to see how it works in practice.
Listen to programme 4 >>
Programme 5 - Using the internet in class 2
Some more practical classroom activities employing the internet and
information on using IRC - (Internet Relay Chat) with students.
Listen to programme 5 >>
Programme 6 - Problems and solutions. Top tips
A look at some of the problems of using the internet for teaching
and ways of dealing with them. Plus, a round up of the top tips for teaching
with the net.
Listen to programme 6 >>
The series was produced with the help and contributions from the following
experts and specialists.
Hamish (born London, educated Nigeria and Aberdeen) taught English
in Africa, geography in Scotland and French in London before joining
the BBC. He has worked in radio, television and publications.
He launched the first World Service English learning website in
1996, and started the bbc-elt discussion group in 1997.
Hamish enjoys singing and he frequently performs in musicals on
stage although his colleagues at work have so far failed to accept
his offer to serenade them around the office!
David Eastment is a freelance teacher-trainer and writer specializing
in the application of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
to language education.
His publications include The Internet: a Resource Book for Teachers
(with Scott Windeatt and David Hardisty, OUP) and The Internet and
ELT (British Council/ Summertown). He was editor of IATEFL Issues,
the journal of the International Association of Teachers of English
as a Foreign Language, from 1994 to 2000.
He worked for twelve years at the Bell Language Schools, Cambridge,
before going freelance in 1994. He has also taught in Italy, Portugal
and Japan. In addition, he has given lectures and workshops in many
an international discussion group for teachers of English to speakers
of other languages.
an international discussion group for teachers of English focussing
on the use of technology in the classroom
Dave Sperling is the creator of the well-known ESL/EFL website,
Dave's ESL Cafe. Dave has his MA in Applied Linguistics, and has
taught extensively in the USA, Japan, and Thailand.
He is the author of The Internet Guide for English Language Teachers,
Dave Sperling's Internet Guide, and Dave Sperling's Internet Activity
Dave lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife and two children.
Craig is the founder and director of SearchEngines.com, an industry
watch group focusing on Internet search technology and methodology.
His organisation is currently developing tools for improving web-based
academic search as well as researching scalable methods for assessing
the credibility of information on the Internet
Craig launched his first Internet venture in 1996, as he was eager
to be a part of the emerging global connectivity, while
setting out to avoid the traditional 9 to 5 lifestyle at all costs.
He has happily been working Internet hours ever since.
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