In my job, I work with many students who are experiencing English as their second language. These students are often older so they are facing two obstacles. They have a language barrier, and they may be less familiar with the technology. It seems obvious though that the technology that can be used in an online class would actually make it more accessible for these students. This is important because online students may not be located at the traditional campus site which bars them from receiving the same services other English as a Second Language Learners (ESL) would receive. Addressing this issue also helps the university to remain relevant to students at a distance who wish to go to school but who may not have access to a university in their location and who need assistance with English.
The collaborative nature of online learning in today’s e-learning environment can assist these students further by creating a bond among a group of students who are moving through a program. Some schools use the cohort method which allows for students to support each other as they move through their classes at the same pace. This can also help the online student to feel supported. This and the ability to get information without speaking out in a classroom setting can make it less intimidating for an ESL student a the college level.
My literature review will be on how online classes can enhance educational opportunities for ESL students. The topic is important to me because education in America is necessary for us to function effectively as a democracy. All students should have access to it regardless of their language skills. Anyone who has the desire to improve their position in life should have access to the means to do this. Tools in online learning can give these students a better chance at being successful in higher education.
Clark, D. B., Touchman, S., Martinez-Garza, M., Ramirez-Marin, F., & Drews, T. (2012). Bilingual Language Supports in Online Science Inquiry Environments. Computers & Education, 58(4), 1207-1224.
Hegelheimer, V., & Fisher, D. (2006). Grammar, Writing, and Technology: A Sample Technology-Supported Approach to Teaching Grammar and Improving Writing for ESL Learners. CALICO Journal, 23(2), 257-279.
Shih, R. (2010). Blended Learning Using Video-Based Blogs: Public Speaking for English as a Second Language Students. Australasian Journal Of Educational Technology, 26(6), 883-897.
Smidt, E., & Hegelheimer, V. (2004). Effects of Online Academic Lectures on ESL Listening Comprehension, Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition, and Strategy Use. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 17(5), 517-556.
Tan, F. (2009). Tri-Fold Transformation: An International Adult Student’s Reflections on Online Learning. Adult Learning, 20(3-4), 38-40.