Hello, everyone, below is a proposal I am introducing to adult education programs, libraries, community centers and any other organization that may have an interest in promoting literacy based on technology, and in particular the Smartphone and WhatsApp.
The Use of Smart Phones in an ESOL / Family Literacy Technology Based Distance Learning Program
1. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In the United States there are millions of adult
immigrants who need to learn English as a
Second or Other Language (ESOL), but there are
several problems with providing a sufficient
amount of classes, for example, budget
But the biggest problem adult learners face is
that they usually work and have families and
cannot attend classes regularly. In particular,
mothers with young children are not able to
attend classes in part due to fact that day care
is not provided.
2. SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM
Technology provides the answer to a number of
First, most people now use a SMARTPHONE
instead of a computer. Immigrants use it to keep
in touch with their families in their native
countries easily and at little cost, relative to
calling long distance from a landline.
At the same time people can go online and
exchange information via the smartphone.
Whats App is free and very popular and can be
used in a variety of ways.
3. MY PROGRAM
I have been teaching ESOL at the Ventura
Avenue Library using the above approach.
The students are low income working adults,
usually women with children. There are at least
two classes per week consisting of lessons
based on my two free websites, pumarosa.com
and inglesconprofepablo.com. I also provide
Smartphones are an integral part of the course
and I have formed several WhatsApp groups to
keep the students notified and also to send
lessons, particularly videos.
In the class there are 5 computers so that
students can learn computer basics and how to
navigate the internet to study other other
lessons, such as those for the citizenship test.
Attendance is not required so that the class
serves as a “Drop-In” center for some people.
The classes also have helped to create a Family
Literacy program. Mothers can access literacy
websites for their children and at the same time
practice their own English skills. STARFALL.COM
is very popular.
The response of the students has been very
positive, and shows that the success of this
kind of “Distance” learning program can be
reproduced anywhere so that it can be an
integral part of solving the problem of providing
English and other lessons to immigrant adults
and their families.
Hello Paul, Thanks for describing your successful program. It's great that learners can drop in whenever it suits their schedule and that they can engage through technology to keep learning.
Cheers, Susan Finn Miller
Moderator, English Language Acquisition CoP
Yes - I think this approach represents what we call "Life-long learning" and allows the students to have access to learning English every day...