The Student Access procedure makes it possible for students to work directly with materials provided in pages on this site.
- tasks can be set quickly and easily
- avoids photocopying
- makes tracking possible - monitoring of completion of tasks, and marks
- Reading-to-prepare can be done as homework, thus freeing up time in class for productive discussion and cooperative work
- Reading alone encourages a 'read-and-reflect' approach - hopefully more concentrated and thoughtful
- Tasks which involve 'reading-with-exercises' (comprehension questions, etc) can be done at the student's own pace ...
- ... which is also true of 'reading-leading-to-writing' tasks
All of these depend on whether all of students have easy online access with their own computer/laptop, of course...
Types of student access
There are two main types of student access pages:
Direct student access - "All students can access these pages"
These are pages which essentially for reference purposes, so that students can check ideas and information at any time. The principal sections are...
Key Language Issues ... pages covering essential elements of grammar, many with dynamic quizzes so that students can practise the grammar points
Text type expectations ... pages covering all the main, required text types, with detailed information about expectations
Assessment ... each of the assessment components has a few pages available to students, which explain the criteria and give advice about how to handle that component
Filtered student access - "Teachers must select these pages"
These pages are only made available to students when a teacher decides to set specific tasks (see the page Using student access ). The principal sections are...
Themes, 2018 onwards ... most pages in this section have 'TASKS' pages, which are designed to offer a range of student tasks which can be done by students outside class
Diagnostic tests ... large grammar tests, which can be subdivided into individual sections - useful for checking students' overall grasp of key grammar elements
There are a few examples of both types scattered around the site in other sections.
Teaching the Themes...
Most pages in this English B site are written primarily for teacher use - for the teacher to study, and then to deploy teaching materials as appropriate to his or her context and personal style.
However, the section Themes, 2018 onwards contains a high proportion of material for direct use in the classroom, and most of this section has been re-written and re-organised specifically to enable the use of student access.
This means that:
- stimulus texts can be opened and studied by students directly on their own computers
- various exercises can be completed online by students
- audio-visual materials can be played by students, and re-played as often as they like
- background information and commentaries are available not just to teachers but also to students
- internet links can be used by the students directly, enabling further, wider research
... most pages in the Themes, 2018 onwards section will have a blue box like this with advice and recommendations how that particular page might be used for student access. This will usually involve...
Any page beginning with 'TASKS' is specifically designed and written to be used by students. You can select from the various tasks and activities offered, and tell the student which the should do.
This student access system is not just technological gee-whizzery, it enables activities that have clear educational advantages, and which can not necessarily be done as effectively in traditional ways in the classroom.
To illustrate the educational approach that I suggest, here are some of the study procedures proposed, with examples of pages where these are used:
'Read-and-reflect' ... if students can study a text in their own time at home, outside the class, they can be expected to think more carefully and more methodically about what the text really means, and how they themselves react to it - and sometimes this is best done privately, and not in the public hurly-burly of the classroom ... e.g. TASKS About dying
Close language study ... worksheet questions which require students to look very closely at the meaning of words and the interpretation of grammar ... e.g. TASKS Cosmopolitans ... TASKS Sci + Tech + Econ
Detailed reading comprehension skills ... worksheet questions which encourage and develop skills of methodical reading - allowing students time to work out answers slowly and carefully ... e.g. TASKS Containers
Online quizzes ... students can complete a series of questions online, then check their answers - the final score can be recorded in the student access online markbook ... e.g. TASKS Class, jokes & linkers ... TASKS Print versus internet
Accurate summary of ideas and arguments ... if students are asked to read - or listen - carefully in their own time, they can be expected to grasp ideas more accurately and critically ... e.g. TASKS Hate speech
Creative exploration ... some texts may be used for detailed reading exercises OR as the basis for imaginative development of arguments, frames for writing, and so on - all of which are best done in the student's own time... e.g. see the 'Alternatives' in the page TASKS Calcots explored
'Read-and-prepare' + Online research ... students can access the text(s) in their own time, and be given the brief to carry out background research into whatever they want in order to clarify the meaning ... exploiting the various links provided in the page ... e.g. TASKS Burka Avenger
Group preparation ... on occasion, groups may prepare best outside the classroom, with an open-ended brief to develop what they can, including further research - this can be done by providing student access to the right sort of stimulus text ... e.g. TASKS Futures debated