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ESL Infusion at OISE
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Source Reviewed:

www.language.ca

Audience:

Educators and students

Topic:

General Interest

Description:

None

Strengths:

Credibility- The CLB is a very credible organization.
They are funded by the Government of Canada and exist
to develop second language skills for adults. They are a not-for-profit organization.

Accuracy: language.ca is a fairly accurate site. There are no content errors or omissions of fact. The site is updated regularly. This can be seen by the posting of its publication (Canadian Language Benchmarks) as well as exemplars of work for the 2003-2004 school year. Its perspective is somewhat narrow as it caters to an adult learning crowd. Nevertheless, all types of ESL instructors can use the resources provided.

Accessibility and Navigability: This site gets an excellent rating in terms of accessibility. The page is quick to load (even on a dial up connection), easy to follow, and very straightforward in general. Getting in touch with the organization is easy as they list phone and fax numbers as well as email. There are a few terms that are specific to the site that may seem confusing to first time users (CLBT for example). However, information relating to these terms (definitions, explanations etc) is readily available on the site.


Weaknesses:

Multiculturalism: While this is an ESL site, it does not succeed in terms of promoting multiculturalism. The site is very teacher based and does little to nothing to encourage knowledge of other cultures and backgrounds.

Comments:

Intended Audience: The intended audience for this
website is adult ESL learners, ESL teachers,
administrators, as well as materials, curriculum and
test developers. There is very little material for
teachers of youth ESL learners, but the
Benchmarks program described could be applicable to
non-adults. Nevertheless, langauge.ca stresses itself
to be an organization for adult language learners.
The Centre was created for immigrants who were new to
Canada and had already completed their schooling.

Brief Description of the Website: The CLB describes
what adult second language learners can do, using
English at twelve levels of proficiency (dubbed
Benchmarks). The twelve benchmarks are separated into
three levels of proficiency:
· Stage I (CLB Levels 1-4) - basic level of
proficiency
· Stage II (CLB Levels 5-8) - intermediate level of
proficiency
· Stage III (CLB Levels 9-12) - advanced level of
proficiency
Each benchmark includes four language skills (reading,
writing, listening, and speaking) and contains all
types of real life tasks that an ESL learner should be
able to perform through social interaction, giving and
receiving instructions, suasion (getting things done),
and the ability to communicate information
effectively.

The site is dedicated to an explanation of its
program as well as providing teacher resources.


Recommendations: I would recommend this website to teachers of ESL- particularly those who are teaching adults or high school students. There are several downloadable resources that would assist in teaching older second language learners. The resources available on the site definitely make it a valuable resource. The only negative aspect about this website and about this organization is that the Benchmarks program is not available to all schools. Only schools responsible for assessment and who receive special government funding are eligible to run the Benchmarks. Thus, while some of the resources are of great assistance, teachers may not be able to implement the entire program.

Your Recommendations:

None

Submitted by: Paolo Artale

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