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Macmillan readers

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  • Marc Helgesen
    Hi, (Disclaimer-- I don t have anything to do with Macmillan readers. But, like many folks on this list, I buy readers from most publishers and let my students
    Message 1 of 11 , Jun 8, 2005
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      Macmillan readers
      Hi,

      (Disclaimer-- I don't have anything to do with Macmillan readers. But, like many folks on this list, I buy readers from most publishers and let my students decide what they like. Heinemann readers were traditionally very good. The list was sold to Macmillan a few years ago and they really didn't do much with them. It looks like that are now starting to. I got this email today and though peple might want to see it. To be clear, I'm not pushing these books. Just though you would want to know.

      Marc

      Dear all,
       
      I am writing to inform you of some exciting new directions for our Macmillan Guided Readers (MGR). These have come about as a result of extensive research with both teachers and students into what they would like to see us do.
       
      In April this year, the list re-launched as Macmillan Readers. The change is not only in name; in addition we have done the following:
      • A new look - we have branded the readers with our own Macmillan red colour, and updated the cover artwork in the majority of cases;
      • 60 or so readers have been selected to have audio CDs strapped into the book, so that the learner can both read and listen to the text;
      • 45 of the above CD packs have been updated with newly-written exercises in order for the reader to get more out of what they are reading.
       
      In addition to the above, we are continuing to produce worksheets, test sheets and author data sheets which have been, and will continue to be, available online (at a new address: www.macmillanenglish.com/readers). We are also in the process of offering more resources online, such as articles on using readers in the classroom, how to get more out of readers, as well as competitions and projects to engender more interest in reading as part of learning English.
       
      All in all, we feel that we are now offering a complete package surrounding what have been, are and always will be some of the best quality readers available to learners today.
       
      As for the future, we will continue to publish more and more new titles (the majority with CDs and extra exercises), focussing on modern and classic authors; we will continue, and increase, our dialogue with students and teachers to inform the forward publishing programme. And finally, we will - in 2006 - be launching a new Pre-intermediate level.
       
      I do hope you are as excited as we are about the changes we are making to our already successful list. We believe we are now offering the learner a myriad of tools to help them with their reading, the most significant being the high-quality readers themselves.
       
      Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.
       
      With very best wishes
       
      Robert Pinheiro

       
      Robert Pinheiro
      International Marketing Executive
      Macmillan Education
      Macmillan Oxford
      Between Towns Road
      Oxford
      OX4 3PP
       
      Tel: +44 (0) 1865 405797
      Fax: +44 (0) 1865 405799
       
       

      -- 
      
      Marc Helgesen
      march@...
      Dept. of Intercultural Studies
      Miyagi Gakuin Women's University
      9-1-1 Sakuragaoka, Aoba-ku, Sendai 981-8557 Japan
      fax: +82 (0)22 277-6208
      http://www.mgu.ac.jp/~ic/helgesen/Helgesen.front.htm
    • John Paul Loucky
      Has anyone out there yet done a comparative study of students learning with vs w/o audio Extensive Listening support (some would argue “crutch”)? Or is
      Message 2 of 11 , Jun 9, 2005
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        Macmillan readers

        Has anyone out there yet done a comparative study of students learning with vs w/o audio Extensive Listening support (some would argue “crutch”)?

         

        Or is there a study or essay available with some actual research vs mere opinion arguing for or against adding Listening, as well as optimal time or sequence when or how to add it?

         

        Have my own thots & essay on it, & may well do such a study in the fall.

         

        Just curious if anyone else has yet.  We should be honest that this addition of CD/Audio tapes makes such Reading classes not primarily ER but EL lst, and reading only 2nd arily.

         

             John Paul Loucky

         

              loucky@...

         

        Hope you enjoy my Website at www.CALL4All.us.

        ·          

      • Rob Waring
        ... Ronan Brown, Sangrawee Donkaewbua and I have done a three way study of the rate of learning of vocabulary from reading only, reading-while-listening and
        Message 3 of 11 , Jun 9, 2005
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          At 06:46 PM 6/9/2005, John Paul Loucky wrote:
          Has anyone out there yet done a comparative study of students learning with vs w/o audio Extensive Listening support (some would argue �crutch�)?


          Ronan Brown, Sangrawee Donkaewbua and I have done a three way study of the rate of learning of vocabulary from reading only, reading-while-listening and listening only to a graded reader. We're writing the paper up now. But the main findings were that in the listening mode they picked up FAR less language than in the reading only or reading-while-listening only modes.

          More later when we get the paper in a decent form.

          Rob waring
        • EPER Enquiries
          Macmillan readersDear Marc Macmillan are not doing anything to the text of the Heinemann Guided Readers. They are giving them a new cover with a bright red
          Message 4 of 11 , Jun 9, 2005
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            Macmillan readers
            Dear Marc
             
            Macmillan are not doing anything to the text of the Heinemann Guided Readers.  They are giving them a new cover with a bright red band whch will make them more readily identifiable.  The covers also have new artwork, regrettably in some cases not very apt or attractive.
             
            They are producing a large number shrink-wrapped to include a  CD and extra questions but these will cost more than twice as much (see previous discussion) and will not be obtainable on their own.  I have not looked at the new questions yet, but my heart sinks somewhat.  I approve of writing after  reading but questions should be minimal.
             
            Best wishes
             
            David
             
            David R Hill
            Project Director
            Edinburgh Project on Extensive Reading
            Institute for Applied Language Studies
            University of Edinburgh
            21 Hill Place
            Edinburgh EH8 9DP
            Tel: +44 (0)131 650 8211/6200
            Fax +44 (0)131 667 5927
            Email:  David.R.Hill@...
            www.ials.ed.ac.uk/eper.html
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2005 7:07 AM
            Subject: [ExtensiveReading] Macmillan readers

            Hi,

            (Disclaimer-- I don't have anything to do with Macmillan readers. But, like many folks on this list, I buy readers from most publishers and let my students decide what they like. Heinemann readers were traditionally very good. The list was sold to Macmillan a few years ago and they really didn't do much with them. It looks like that are now starting to. I got this email today and though peple might want to see it. To be clear, I'm not pushing these books. Just though you would want to know.

            Marc

            Dear all,
             
            I am writing to inform you of some exciting new directions for our Macmillan Guided Readers (MGR). These have come about as a result of extensive research with both teachers and students into what they would like to see us do.

             
            In April this year, the list re-launched as Macmillan Readers. The change is not only in name; in addition we have done the following:
            • A new look - we have branded the readers with our own Macmillan red colour, and updated the cover artwork in the majority of cases;
            • 60 or so readers have been selected to have audio CDs strapped into the book, so that the learner can both read and listen to the text;
            • 45 of the above CD packs have been updated with newly-written exercises in order for the reader to get more out of what they are reading.

             
            In addition to the above, we are continuing to produce worksheets, test sheets and author data sheets which have been, and will continue to be, available online (at a new address: www.macmillanenglish.com/readers). We are also in the process of offering more resources online, such as articles on using readers in the classroom, how to get more out of readers, as well as competitions and projects to engender more interest in reading as part of learning English.

             
            All in all, we feel that we are now offering a complete package surrounding what have been, are and always will be some of the best quality readers available to learners today.

             
            As for the future, we will continue to publish more and more new titles (the majority with CDs and extra exercises), focussing on modern and classic authors; we will continue, and increase, our dialogue with students and teachers to inform the forward publishing programme. And finally, we will - in 2006 - be launching a new Pre-intermediate level.

             
            I do hope you are as excited as we are about the changes we are making to our already successful list. We believe we are now offering the learner a myriad of tools to help them with their reading, the most significant being the high-quality readers themselves.

             
            Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me.

             
            With very best wishes

             
            Robert Pinheiro

             
            Robert Pinheiro
            International Marketing Executive
            Macmillan Education
            Macmillan Oxford
            Between Towns Road
            Oxford
            OX4 3PP
             
            Tel: +44 (0) 1865 405797
            Fax: +44 (0) 1865 405799
             
             

            -- 
            
            Marc Helgesen
            march@...
            Dept. of Intercultural Studies
            Miyagi Gakuin Women's University
            9-1-1 Sakuragaoka, Aoba-ku, Sendai 981-8557 Japan
            fax: +82 (0)22 277-6208
            http://www.mgu.ac.jp/~ic/helgesen/Helgesen.front.htm
          • Simon Thornley
            Dear Rob Clive Lovelock, in his posting about your advice to change the curriculum, made a point that makes me wonder what your approach is at Seishin with
            Message 5 of 11 , Jul 16, 2005
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              Dear Rob
               
              Clive Lovelock, in his posting about your advice to change the curriculum, made a point that makes me wonder what your approach is at Seishin with such issues.
               
              How do you accommodate the need to spend more and more time reading as the students work up the levels with the Monbukagakusho requirement to attend 15 classes per week?
               
              I allow my students substantial silent sustained reading time in class.  (About 1 hour out of a 90 minute class). This seems to work rather well in my weekly reading class. However, it is a problem because my colleagues are pressuring me to spend class time with presentations and other communicative activities with which they are familiar. So I go through the motions with occasional exchanges about favourite books read (a useful task anyway), while preserving my emphasis on reading per se.
               
              Simon Thornley


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            • Rob Waring
              ... In my post I did suggest that we redesign our curriculums to include ER. But of course that does not mean i have any power whatsoever to change things. My
              Message 6 of 11 , Jul 17, 2005
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                At 10:55 AM 7/17/2005, you wrote:
                Dear Rob
                 
                Clive Lovelock, in his posting about your advice to change the curriculum, made a point that makes me wonder what your approach is at Seishin with such issues.
                 

                Hi

                In my post I did suggest that we redesign our curriculums to include ER. But of course that does not mean i have any power whatsoever to change things. My uni is ultra-conservative. The Lit people make decisions and they feed down on the shoe-shine boys who do the menial language teaching from the top. The only thing  we can decide is our text book. Case in point? About 5 years ago we bought a 50,000,000 yen CALL lab that is not connected tot he Internet and has NO software except the operating system and office for windows. The computers have been switched on twice to use that I know of in those years. Why the waste? No teachers were asked what they wanted. The SONY man came in and did a sales job. The new call lab does not allow the students to record to tape and the 20,000,000yen cassette library was made instantly redundant as the students had nowhere to put in the cassettes.

                With a LOT of fighting a few years ago we were allowed to put in a GR library but I had to volunteer to take the ER class (on top of my normal work) for 6 years so i could get things started.

                The ER we do here is restricted to our oral communication class as homework mainly. So sad. But at least we have a library and we get an annual budget.

                Cheers

                Rob
                waring_robert@...

              • Smith Ken
                Rob, I empathize with your situation. Although, my situation does not sound as difficult in some respects as yours, the school I teach at is also spending a
                Message 7 of 11 , Jul 17, 2005
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                  Rob,

                  I empathize with your situation. Although, my
                  situation does not sound as difficult in some respects
                  as yours, the school I teach at is also spending a
                  tremendous amount of money developing CALL labs. Why
                  can't people see that computers are just A tool in
                  language learning/learning, not THE tool?

                  Ken

                  --- Rob Waring <waring_robert@...> wrote:

                  > At 10:55 AM 7/17/2005, you wrote:
                  > >Dear Rob
                  > >
                  > >Clive Lovelock, in his posting about your advice to
                  > change the curriculum,
                  > >made a point that makes me wonder what your
                  > approach is at Seishin with
                  > >such issues.
                  > >
                  > >
                  > >----------
                  > >Hi
                  >
                  > In my post I did suggest that we redesign our
                  > curriculums to include ER.
                  > But of course that does not mean i have any power
                  > whatsoever to change
                  > things. My uni is ultra-conservative. The Lit people
                  > make decisions and
                  > they feed down on the shoe-shine boys who do the
                  > menial language teaching
                  > from the top. The only thing we can decide is our
                  > text book. Case in
                  > point? About 5 years ago we bought a 50,000,000 yen
                  > CALL lab that is not
                  > connected tot he Internet and has NO software except
                  > the operating system
                  > and office for windows. The computers have been
                  > switched on twice to use
                  > that I know of in those years. Why the waste? No
                  > teachers were asked what
                  > they wanted. The SONY man came in and did a sales
                  > job. The new call lab
                  > does not allow the students to record to tape and
                  > the 20,000,000yen
                  > cassette library was made instantly redundant as the
                  > students had nowhere
                  > to put in the cassettes.
                  >
                  > With a LOT of fighting a few years ago we were
                  > allowed to put in a GR
                  > library but I had to volunteer to take the ER class
                  > (on top of my normal
                  > work) for 6 years so i could get things started.
                  >
                  > The ER we do here is restricted to our oral
                  > communication class as homework
                  > mainly. So sad. But at least we have a library and
                  > we get an annual budget.
                  >
                  >
                  > Cheers
                  >
                  > Rob
                  > waring_robert@...


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                • John Paul Loucky
                  While quite true that CALL & PCs are just a tool, Could it not equally be said that books and ER are just a tool, not THE tool for developing fluency in L2? As
                  Message 8 of 11 , Jul 17, 2005
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                    While quite true that CALL & PCs are just a tool,
                    Could it not equally be said that books and ER are just a tool,
                    not THE tool for developing fluency in L2?

                    As Ken said about CALL Labs, all of these are only individual tools,
                    in what should be a much larger repertoire or TOOLBOX of skills, strategies,
                    approaches, methods, materials & models of language teaching & learning.

                    Unless U think U can build an entire house with just the "same old saw!"

                    John Paul Loucky

                    www.CALL4ALL.us


                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
                    [mailto:ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Smith Ken
                    Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2005 10:11 PM
                    To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: RE: [ExtensiveReading] Frequency Effects

                    Rob,

                    I empathize with your situation. Although, my
                    situation does not sound as difficult in some respects
                    as yours, the school I teach at is also spending a
                    tremendous amount of money developing CALL labs. Why
                    can't people see that computers are just A tool in
                    language learning/learning, not THE tool?

                    Ken

                    --- Rob Waring <waring_robert@...> wrote:

                    > At 10:55 AM 7/17/2005, you wrote:
                    > >Dear Rob
                    > >
                    > >Clive Lovelock, in his posting about your advice to
                    > change the curriculum,
                    > >made a point that makes me wonder what your
                    > approach is at Seishin with
                    > >such issues.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >----------
                    > >Hi
                    >
                    > In my post I did suggest that we redesign our
                    > curriculums to include ER.
                    > But of course that does not mean i have any power
                    > whatsoever to change
                    > things. My uni is ultra-conservative. The Lit people
                    > make decisions and
                    > they feed down on the shoe-shine boys who do the
                    > menial language teaching
                    > from the top. The only thing we can decide is our
                    > text book. Case in
                    > point? About 5 years ago we bought a 50,000,000 yen
                    > CALL lab that is not
                    > connected tot he Internet and has NO software except
                    > the operating system
                    > and office for windows. The computers have been
                    > switched on twice to use
                    > that I know of in those years. Why the waste? No
                    > teachers were asked what
                    > they wanted. The SONY man came in and did a sales
                    > job. The new call lab
                    > does not allow the students to record to tape and
                    > the 20,000,000yen
                    > cassette library was made instantly redundant as the
                    > students had nowhere
                    > to put in the cassettes.
                    >
                    > With a LOT of fighting a few years ago we were
                    > allowed to put in a GR
                    > library but I had to volunteer to take the ER class
                    > (on top of my normal
                    > work) for 6 years so i could get things started.
                    >
                    > The ER we do here is restricted to our oral
                    > communication class as homework
                    > mainly. So sad. But at least we have a library and
                    > we get an annual budget.
                    >
                    >
                    > Cheers
                    >
                    > Rob
                    > waring_robert@...


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                  • Gordon Luster
                    Ken and Rob, Although it s self-serving of me to mention this, I d like to remind everybody that a CALL lab can be easily used for ER. There are several
                    Message 9 of 11 , Jul 18, 2005
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                      Ken and Rob,

                      Although it's self-serving of me to mention this, I'd like to remind everybody that a CALL
                      lab can be easily used for ER. There are several sources of online graded reading and
                      listening on the web, and the number is slowly growing. The group I'm working with have
                      set up a site for online multi-level reading and listening, and it has already been used
                      successfully in CALL classes, as well as for homework.

                      Actually, the use of a CALL lab could be a back-handed way for a teacher to provide in-
                      class reading practice for students without looking lazy. Administrators may wonder what
                      the teacher is doing in a book-based reading class, but if you are seen to be monitoring
                      their computer usage, not just their reading, everything should be OK. In addition, with
                      our site students can check their reading speeds, easily listen, read, or do both
                      simultaneously, read different levels of the same content, post reactions or questions,
                      check online dictionaries or footnotes (in IR mode, of course), access the same content
                      later via cell phone or their home computers, and print out the content. Some of these
                      things are less convenient in a completely paper-based environment.

                      Of course, a lab that isn't even connected to the internet has a serious handicap. I would
                      think that somebody who finally stepped up and offered to use such a white elephant
                      could at least make a reasonable request for a broadband connection. After five years,
                      though, the existing lab is already pushing obsolescence pretty hard.

                      Gordon


                      --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, Smith Ken <ksmith813@y...> wrote:
                      > Rob,
                      >
                      > I empathize with your situation. Although, my
                      > situation does not sound as difficult in some respects
                      > as yours, the school I teach at is also spending a
                      > tremendous amount of money developing CALL labs. Why
                      > can't people see that computers are just A tool in
                      > language learning/learning, not THE tool?
                      >
                      > Ken
                      >
                      > --- Rob Waring <waring_robert@y...> wrote:
                      . . .
                      > > About 5 years ago we bought a 50,000,000 yen
                      > > CALL lab that is not
                      > > connected tot he Internet and has NO software except
                      > > the operating system
                      > > and office for windows. The computers have been
                      > > switched on twice to use
                      > > that I know of in those years.
                      . . .
                      > > Cheers
                      > >
                      > > Rob
                      > > waring_robert@y...
                    • John Paul Loucky
                      Thanks Gordon, for your excellent feedback and suggestions on using CALL labs more effectively for reading development, whether in ER or IR modes! May we have
                      Message 10 of 11 , Jul 18, 2005
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                        Thanks Gordon, for your excellent feedback and suggestions on using CALL
                        labs more effectively for reading development, whether in ER or IR modes!

                        May we have access to your group's online reading materials? Any
                        cost involved? Any of you are welcome to access the close to 20 online
                        Reading Labs I have assembled here at:
                        http://www.call4all.us///home/_all.php?fi=r

                        If any of you know other good online Reading Lab sites, please send
                        them along to my email. I'll do my best to keep adding such good assortment
                        of online reading labs of various kinds.
                        Also check out recommendations and links to How to Improve Online
                        Reading at the top of that page. Enjoy using! :)
                        Any ?s or recs for new Reading or Language Learning Links to add to
                        this Virtual CALL Encyclopedia, please send to me by email. Thanks!

                        John Paul Loucky

                        loucky@...

                        Hope you enjoy my Website at www.CALL4All.us

                        Esp Improving ER & IR Online at: http://www.call4all.us///home/_all.php?fi=r


                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
                        [mailto:ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Gordon Luster
                        Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2005 1:56 AM
                        To: ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com
                        Subject: [ExtensiveReading] CALL Labs and ER/EL

                        Ken and Rob,

                        Although it's self-serving of me to mention this, I'd like to remind
                        everybody that a CALL
                        lab can be easily used for ER. There are several sources of online graded
                        reading and
                        listening on the web, and the number is slowly growing. The group I'm
                        working with have
                        set up a site for online multi-level reading and listening, and it has
                        already been used
                        successfully in CALL classes, as well as for homework.

                        Actually, the use of a CALL lab could be a back-handed way for a teacher to
                        provide in-
                        class reading practice for students without looking lazy. Administrators
                        may wonder what
                        the teacher is doing in a book-based reading class, but if you are seen to
                        be monitoring
                        their computer usage, not just their reading, everything should be OK. In
                        addition, with
                        our site students can check their reading speeds, easily listen, read, or do
                        both
                        simultaneously, read different levels of the same content, post reactions or
                        questions,
                        check online dictionaries or footnotes (in IR mode, of course), access the
                        same content
                        later via cell phone or their home computers, and print out the content.
                        Some of these
                        things are less convenient in a completely paper-based environment.

                        Of course, a lab that isn't even connected to the internet has a serious
                        handicap. I would
                        think that somebody who finally stepped up and offered to use such a white
                        elephant
                        could at least make a reasonable request for a broadband connection. After
                        five years,
                        though, the existing lab is already pushing obsolescence pretty hard.

                        Gordon


                        --- In ExtensiveReading@yahoogroups.com, Smith Ken <ksmith813@y...> wrote:
                        > Rob,
                        >
                        > I empathize with your situation. Although, my
                        > situation does not sound as difficult in some respects
                        > as yours, the school I teach at is also spending a
                        > tremendous amount of money developing CALL labs. Why
                        > can't people see that computers are just A tool in
                        > language learning/learning, not THE tool?
                        >
                        > Ken
                        >
                        > --- Rob Waring <waring_robert@y...> wrote:
                        . . .
                        > > About 5 years ago we bought a 50,000,000 yen
                        > > CALL lab that is not
                        > > connected tot he Internet and has NO software except
                        > > the operating system
                        > > and office for windows. The computers have been
                        > > switched on twice to use
                        > > that I know of in those years.
                        . . .
                        > > Cheers
                        > >
                        > > Rob
                        > > waring_robert@y...





                        Yahoo! Groups Links
                      • Rob Waring
                        Thanks for that Gordon, The problem with our 2 CALL labs is that there are no resources to maintain it. If we did connect it to the Internet and things go
                        Message 11 of 11 , Jul 18, 2005
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                          Thanks for that Gordon,

                          The problem with our 2 CALL labs is that there are no resources to maintain it. If we did connect it to the Internet and things go wrong (as they will) then no one knows how to maintain complex computers. the IT folks at our uni have NEVER even stepped inside the CALL labs - not even one foot. The reason is that the uni IT stuff is in a different part of uni admin. the CALL lab is part of the education side of things and thus the IT folks are not responsible for it. Connecting the whole lab to the net is only the connection of one cable which has been in place since inception, but the will is not there. If I did volunteer to get it connected i undoubtedly would be forcing work on  some poor secretary to maintain the machines, or volunteer to do it myself. besides, I never wanted the CALL lab anyway (i wanted the old CALL lab that has cassette players which students could record on and take home to study - the old lab was a LANGUAGE lab not a IT lab which it is now basically). Within our uni the CALL las are redundant as we already have two IT labs connected to the Internet which can be used as classrooms. Don;t ask why we need 2 IT labs and 2 unused (for) CALL labs. I don't know! But they do look nice in brochures.

                          I'm well aware of some of the things that they can do online, but most of them can already be done within the resources they own - a paper dictionary, they have plenty of books at hand, and a watch is all they need to check reading speeds. (besides reading on screen is significantly different from reading online). I'm just not convinced we need  CALL to do ER. CALL for other things - sure.

                          RW

                          At 01:55 AM 7/19/2005, you wrote:
                          Ken and Rob,

                          Although it's self-serving of me to mention this, I'd like to remind everybody that a CALL
                          lab can be easily used for ER.  There are several sources of online graded reading and
                          listening on the web, and the number is slowly growing.  The group I'm working with have
                          set up a site for online multi-level reading and listening, and it has already been used
                          successfully in CALL classes, as well as for homework.

                          Actually, the use of a CALL lab could be a back-handed way for a teacher to provide in-
                          class reading practice for students without looking lazy.  Administrators may wonder what
                          the teacher is doing in a book-based reading class, but if you are seen to be monitoring
                          their computer usage, not just their reading, everything should be OK.  In addition, with
                          our site students can check their reading speeds, easily listen, read, or do both
                          simultaneously, read different levels of the same content, post reactions or questions,
                          check online dictionaries or footnotes (in IR mode, of course), access the same content
                          later via cell phone or their home computers, and print out the content.  Some of these
                          things are less convenient in a completely paper-based environment.

                          Of course, a lab that isn't even connected to the internet has a serious handicap.  I would
                          think that somebody who finally stepped up and offered to use such a white elephant
                          could at least make a reasonable request for a broadband connection.  After five years,
                          though, the existing lab is already pushing obsolescence pretty hard.



                          Cheers

                          Rob
                          waring_robert@...

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