With the growth of the Internet, the number of Web sites has grown rapidly in a very short time. Since there are now a large number of language learning Web sites and the amount of information on the Web is enormous, it is difficult for language teachers to choose Web sites that match their needs and interests. This situation raises a need for a Web evaluation system, including a systematic list of useful Web sites, which can guide teachers to find and use Web resources effectively and to assess Web sites efficiently.
This site has been developed to address this need. It demonstrates a Web categorization and evaluation system for use with sites for learning and teaching English as a second/foreign language (ESL/EFL) and reviews some sites according to this system. Web sites centred on the teaching of ESL or EFL have been selected based on their free open access and features useful for ESL/EFL teachers and students.
Screen shots of the selected Web sites are shown along with the site's title and URL. The target learner level, language skills taught, and a general description are also provided. Along with the description of each site, there is a link to each site's evaluation. Authors of these Web sites were contacted and their permission was granted to evaluate their site using this categorization and evaluation system.
An evaluation checklist entitled 'Language Learning Website Review Form' was developed and used for the reviews of the selected Web sites. In analysing and interpreting the review results, it is noted that a rating given to each criterion is more meaningful than the overall rating. The overall rating of an evaluation checklist cannot be a definite measure of evaluation since each item of the checklist has relative importance and is difficult to measure equally in most cases. This implies that the results from any kind of checklist should not be used as an absolute guideline for judging the effectiveness of a Web site. Instead, it would provide a quick summary of user reaction, and can assist the evaluator to come to a certain decision.
The development of this site has been made possible through funding from the Office of Preparatory and Academic Support (OPACS) at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ).>>
Developing a model for the evaluation of ESL/EFL Web sites