English Discoveries is the resulting product of a joint development effort of Berlitz and EDUsoft, a product designed to provide Speakers of Other/ Foreign Languages with a tool that enables them to survive and thrive in an English-speaking environment. English Discoveries represents a completely new concept in ESL/EFL computer software technology – a full-color, multimedia learning system that makes it fast, fun and easy for young adults and adults to learn English.
The goal of the English Discoveries course is to provide students with a comprehensive coverage of all essential English structures and approximately 3500 vocabulary items as well as exposure to practice with authentic language at their own level. The entry level is zero (no knowledge at all required) and the exit level is the threshold Level of the Council of Europe.
Key Pedagogical Principles:
- Integrated Modalities of Language Learning
- An eclectic educational approach including specific practice of different skills along with use of authentic language.
- Division of the course into stand-alone modules with each module covering specific grammar subjects, language skills and approximately 300 new vocabulary items
- Based on accepted curricula (Council of Europe, Berlitz Schools) with the documentation of the topics and vocabulary used in each module.
- Maximum re-entry and reuse of vocabulary and structures throughout the course.
- Multiple options of covering the material in order to account for individual differences and styles in educational goals including: directive learning (through set lessons), selective learning (through choice of different language skills) and exploratory non-directive learning (through use of English in a game situation).
- Use of adaptive evaluation where all language, vocabulary and reading exercises automatically adapt themselves to student performance insuring that students are practicing at their own level.
- Availability of tools which take advantage of the capabilities of the computer (i.e. word processor, multi-lingual lexicon, context-sensitive help, grammar book).
English Discoveries Modules:
Let’s Start: 1 CD
Basic: 3 CDs
Intermediate: 3 CDs
Advanced, including a Review CD: 4 CDs
The Executive: 1 CD
- Multiple Activity Choices: Students may choose any one of 4 different modes within each topic
- Explore: The student becomes familiar with the topic through help, translation, etc.
- Practice: Various exercises selected on previous performance.
- Test: On any topic, at any time.
- Games: Based on the topic studied.
- Student Control: While working on their choice of topic and activity, students can also control their input and judging. They can skip exercises, redo exercises, get the correct answer or check the correct answer.
- Adaptive Branching: An individualized diagnostic tool which evaluates student’s performance and selects the appropriate items for each student’s level. (Used in test and practice modes.)
- Sound: Appears in the form of instruction, feedback, examples, and listening/speaking exercises (with professional native speakers).
- Speaking Practice: Emphasizes language functions, and allows students to absorb the language, interact with native speakers, record their voice and participate in real-world situations.
- Use of Visuals: A wide variety of visuals including drawings, cartoons, animation, still photographs and videos are contained in each module.
- Native Language: Translations of items are provided in the lexicon, reading passages, listening passages and dialogues. To insure that the student understands the product, the following is provided in the user’s native language:
- Tour Guide (explains the entire module)
- Grammar Book (provides explanation)
- Context-sensitive Help
- Tools to facilitate learning:
- Content-sensitive help (for explanations)
- Note pad (for taking notes)
- Bilingual speaking lexicon
- Grammar book (rules, samples, exercises)
- Student records (summarize student’s progress)
- Tour Guide: Students have the option of taking a tour of any module in their native language.
- “Private Teacher”: Remedial lessons generated by the computer, based on information problems the student is having in any section.
- Teacher Utilities: Teachers can obtain information about each student, such as time on task and performance, and create their own structured lessons. Pre/Post tests; System and Customizable Lessons
- Navigation Guides: Icons are used in each module to allow students to easily:
- Move from section to section ( i.e. Vocabulary to Reading )
- Select an activity ( i.e. Practice )
- Select a topic within activity ( i.e. Main Idea )
- Choose a tool ( i.e. Dictionary )
- Evaluate input ( i.e. Answer, Next )
- Operate the “language Lab” ( i.e. play, record )
- Extensive Student Records for self-monitoring and assessment
- Internet Connectivity
- Speech Recognition
- Supplemental Student Worksheets
- Printable Program Text Files
- Network and Stand-alone Environments