C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

December 4, 2008

December Newsletter

Filed under: General — Jenn @ 12:53 pm

C.O.D. Library ESL/ABE/GED Faculty Newsletter

December 2008

Assessment and Hands-On Learning

Sometimes I hear the word “assessment” and have a gut-reaction that’s not unlike one to hearing an offensive word.  Uggh, I think,  assessment… The words we use in the academic word can have conotations attached to them that color their impact on us.  My aversion to the world “assessment” keeps me from remembering what the word actually denotes.  After all, what’s wrong with using a tool that can determine whether or not our instruction actually has an impact on our students?

When ESL, ABE and GED students come into the library, many of them are visiting us for the first time– traditionally we give them a tour, tell them about library services and bring them to the area of the library where they can find resources best suited to their current academic needs.  At the end of the session they may have a new library card and some handouts– perhaps a newfound interest in the Library, but as I librarian I don’t have much to show for the experience.  What, if anything have the students learned?  What will they remember?  What really caught their interest?

Several of you have come to the Library with ready-made activities for your students– perhaps they have a mini-research project, or are required to find and check out a graded-reader.  I believe, and I am sure you and your students would agree, that listening to the Librarian talk for an hour straight can be pretty dull.  Assessment activities not only give us an idea of what the students have learned, but give the students something to do– a much needed opportunity to get some hands-on experience with the resources about which they have just learned.

Do you have a library-related activity that you give your students?  Would you like your students to complete an in-library assignment during their visit?  Are you interested in working with me to create an assignment that incorporates using curriculum-related library resources?

Share your thoughts in the comment section of the Newsletter blog.


Resource of the Month

Babbel is an interesting new website that combines language learning with social networking features.

Users register with a free account, select the language they wish to study and have options to quiz themselves on vocabulary, practice writing using translation exercises or have conversations with other members of the Babbel community on a discussion board or in chat rooms.  Tutorial options often feature sound to aid pronunciation.

Many of the images that appear on Babbel are uploaded by users– part of the fun of the site is rating how well images correspond to the concepts to which they have been assigned.  Does the picture of the guinea pig wedged between cereal boxes convey the idea of “pets”?  You decide with a thumbs-up or down.

Currently, Babbel has tools for learners of French, Italian, Spanish, English and German.

Assessment Resources 

Assessment and ESL:  On the Yellow Big Road to the Withered of Oz

Author: Barbara Law, Mary Eckes
Call Number: PE1128.A2 L35 2007

Revisiting outcomes assessment in higher education
Author: edited by Peter Hernon, Robert E. Dugan and Candy Schwartz
Call Number: LB2331.63 .R48 2006

Assessment clear and simple : a practical guide for institutions, departments, and general education
Author: Barbara E. Walvoord
Call Number: LB2822.75 .W35 2004

Evaluating teacher effectiveness in ESL/EFL contexts
Author: edited by Christine Coombe
Call Number: PE1128.A2 E828 2007

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