PUMAROSA is a free ESOL website for Spanish speaking students. It is bilingual and phonetic, with voice. Currently it is divided into five levels: Beginner, Intermediate, American Civics, U. S. History and the 100 Questions that is part of the Citizenship test. It has been online for 9 years now, and will expand soon with additional lessons to be available for a small fee.
PUMAROSA has proven to be an effective Teacher’s Aid in the transition to an English Only classroom setting. It is also very helpful in a Blended class with “live” instruction combined with study on the computer. For example, I taught a blended class with a group of 10 and 11 year old children during the summer of 2012 in Tijuana, Mexico: The class met in a small computer lab 4 times a week for 90 minutes.
During the initial week, the students explored PUMAROSA, PRINCIPIANTE, focusing on the alphabet and numbers. We also read, studied and sang out loud nursery rhymes from one of my texts. I was a big hit, especially with my Hokey Pokey!
After a few weeks, we began to study verbs and sentences – adjectives, articles, pronouns and the verb TO BE. The students studied independently, repeating the exercises out loud copying my voice, which they could hear on the computer.
At a certain point I walked around and gave each student a “quiz”. I would ask them in Spanish to tell me how to translate a sentence from Spanish to English. They had to listen carefully and repeat in English and then listen – repeat again to improve their pronunciation. After a while, each student improved very well.
I also introduced texts I had written which included Grammar tests and a few Guided Readers (stories written in a second or third grade vocabulary with lots of cognates). I was pleased with the success I had with this group of students, primarily because it is usually difficult to keep the attention of children this age.
Currently, I use SKYPE with several students and have included more advanced lessons. There are many ESOL programs online for free or at a low cost. Grammar lessons can easily be found which include worksheets. In addition there are online course to teach English literacy to English speakers, Spanish literacy to Spanish speakers, GED, English to children, plus…. math and science, etc.
With online lessons, email, SKYPE, YouTube, FACEBOOK and cell phones, it has become very easy to set up a Digital Learning ESOL course that can be centrally located in any computer lab. Also, Computers For Families is the name of a program that can provide used, re-furbished computers to low-income families free or at a low cost. There is also a growing interest in providing this kind of approach with grant money.
Please contact me for more information.
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