- Program Considerations
- Classroom Strategies
- Levels of ESL Literacy
Technology surrounds LIFE everywhere they go: computers, televisions, telephones, bank machines, CD players and microwaves. Most LIFE see that computers and technology are an important part of their new country. They are motivated to learn skills that will maximize their progress in English. Some learners embrace technology with open arms, but some may be more hesitant. LIFE have often had little exposure to technology and may have barriers that prevent them from trying to understand it.
Technology surrounds LIFE everywhere they go: computers, televisions, telephones, bank machines, CD players and microwaves. Most LIFE see that computers and technology are an important part of their new country. They are motivated to learn skills that will maximize their progress in English. Some learners embrace technology with open arms, but some may be more hesitant. LIFE have often had little exposure to technology and may have barriers that prevent them from trying to understand it. Technology teaching must proceed at a comfortable pace for the learners and learners need to receive plenty of support.
Strategies for Incorporating Technology in the ESL Literacy Classroom
Integrate technology and computer skills training throughout your literacy program
Whenever possible, provide learners with the opportunity to practice with technology that they may use. Make computer skills a regular part of the learning process. Use computers to help deliver material in the class (video clips, images, etc.) and as a tool for learners to improve their language skills and source information. The more learners are exposed to computers, the more comfortable they will feel using them. These skills will help learners with daily interactions in life and at work.
Provide opportunities to recycle and practice skills
Learners will need time to learn, re-learn and practice computer skills. Many learners will not have the opportunity to use computers outside of the classroom. They will need opportunities to practice before they feel confident with their skills. Learners will benefit from a re-introduction of skills practiced previously at different points throughout their learning.
Provide a safe and supportive environment in which learners can experiment, experience success and progress gradually
Learners with little or no knowledge of the technology used in everyday interactions in Alberta will need to practice and make mistakes in a non-threatening environment. Whenever possible, provide opportunities for learners to experiment with different types of technology in the classroom. Focus on the learning opportunities that arise from making mistakes. When working with computers in class, encourage risk-taking and celebrate small accomplishments.
Expect learners' technology skills to vary within literacy levels
Do not expect learners in a particular ESL literacy level to have the same technology or computer skills. It may be helpful to group learners by ability when working with computers. Depending on the range of abilities among the learners, select separate programs for them to work on. If volunteers are available, learners with limited computer skills can benefit greatly from one-on-one assistance. Another strategy is to set aside part of the class for learners to work together. Learners can help each other. Learners more skilled with computers can work with learners who have less developed computer skills.
ESL Literacy Framework Computer Skills Proficiency Descriptors
It is important for learners to become familiar with a wide variety of technologies. Computer skills require particular attention. They are a key to success in Canadian society. In order to be able to do basic word processing, emailing or internet searching, learners need to develop an extensive set of skills.
The ESL Literacy Curriculum Framework describes computer skill proficiency in the following three stages:
Learners are introduced to computers. Their keyboarding, software and Internet skills are not yet developed. The focus at this stage is to increase learners' comfort levels and awareness of the technology around them.
Learners are becoming more confident using a computer and are developing specific skills to manage computers and software.
Learners are using the computer skills that they have developed to manage information. They are using computers more effectively with more sophisticated skills.
Begin at the Familiarization Stage in the Phase I literacy level classes and move progressively through the levels. Learners with more developed computer skills will be able to move at a faster pace. They may need challenging activities but will also benefit from practice.
Website Resources for ESL Literacy Learners (880 kB)
These website resources enhance traditional literacy learning and develop computer literacy skills.
Recommendations for Integrating Technology (275 kB)
The ESL Literacy Curriculum Framework provides these recommendations for integrating technology. This section includes a sample computer skills curriculum and suggestions for effective instruction.