Distance Learning: The Future of English as a Second Language

CATESOL Conference, Santa Clara, April 23, 2010

—Lynn Bartlett, cdlpbartlett at gmail dot com

—Katherine Crawford, kcrawfish at earthlink dot net

—Kara Rosenberg, krosenberg at pausd dot org

—Marian Thacher, mthacher at otan dot us



I. Introduction

The CATESOL Position Statement on Distance Education for Non-native Learners of English, 1995 is available at
Data from the National Center for Education Statistics on participation rates can be found at:
**Distance Education at Degree-Granting Postsecondary Institutions: 2006-07**
**Technology-Based Distance Education Courses for Public Elementary and Secondary School Students: 2002–03 and 2004–05**

**Adult Education Participation in 2004-05**
Data can also be found in
Allen, E. and Seaman, J. Learning on Demand: Online Education in the United States, 2009. The Sloan Corporation
A recent study on distance learning:
Park, J-H & Choi, H. J. (2009). Factors Influencing Adult Learners' Decision to Drop Out or Persist in Online Learning. Educational Technology & Society, 12 (4), 207-217.

II. Distance Learning for ESL

  • Find research reports on distance learning for adult education in California here. These reports are on the OTAN Web site, which you will need to log into, but if you are not yet a member registration only takes a couple of minutes.
  • One page of talking points on the Advantages of Distance Learning: Advantages of DL2.2.doc

III. Curriculum

The California Department of Education oversees distance learning for adult education, and has developed a list of the most commonly used curriculum materials, with recommended attendance hours based on a mastery model.
DL ESL Materials and Hours Recommendations 20100303.pdf

Some popular and FREE online curriculum sites
California Distance Learning Project (CDLP) - News stories with audio, some video, and a set of reading and vocabulary activities with each story

English for All - 20 lifeskills lessons with grammar and vocabulary, a free class management system, and engaging stories with lots of video.

USA Learns - Three different courses, a beginning ESL, Intermediate ESL, and an English and Reading course. Students can work independently or as part of a class.

IV. Delivery Models

A) Video Checkout
B) Online
C) Television

V. Professional Development

There are many professional development resources for distance teachers. Here are links to some of the things mentioned in the presentation.

Is online teaching for you? What skills do you need to learn? Use this self-assessment to help you answer both questions.

Here is a collection of information for teaching online. It's a wiki, so you can add to it, too!

OTAN is offering an online workshop about distance learning for adult education programs, with specifics about how to get started. You can register online for April 27 , 2010; May 25 , 2010; or September 8, 2010 (registration not available yet).

Jeff Stanford has written a book on using Moodle to teach language, with instructions for creating all kinds of activities for vocabulary, speaking, grammar, reading, writing, listening and assessment. You can buy the book online, or download a pdf of it for slightly less cost. It's called Using Moodle 1.9 for Second Language Teaching .