Bow Valley College. (2015). Digital Literacy: An Essential Skill for ESL literacy Learners.
A short and lively account of an innovative “Laptop Lending” program in the Bridge Program for ESL learners (ages 19-24) at Bow Valley College in Calgary. Through this program learners are each given a laptop to use while registered in the program and are encouraged and supported to use the laptops to develop digital literacy skills and to pursue their language learning using the online platform, Desire2Learn.
Instructors in the Bridge program are committed to helping learners to develop essential digital literacy skills to increase their chances of success in further education and in the world of work. As one of the instructors says, “Being able to read and write also means being able to read and write online, there’s a lot more involved in it than just simply pen and paper.”
In this article the instructors provide an overview of the background to the laptop lending program, their experiences with the program and they share some of the successes they have witnessed as a result of the program.
Retrievable from: https://centre.bowvalleycollege.ca/blog/english-language-learning/digital-literacy-essential-skill-esl-literacy-learners
Learning for Life: An ESL Literacy Curriculum Framework Appendix B: Recommendations for Integrating Technology. (2011). Bow Valley College.
This Appendix to the Alberta ESL Literacy Curriculum Framework outlines the program and classroom considerations and some practical strategies for the successful integration of technology in the ESL classroom. The document also includes a sample three-stage progression of computer skills development used in a Computer-Enhanced ESL literacy program at Bow Valley College, charting learner progression from familiarization to application.
Bow Valley College. (2015). Virtual Education in ELL – Opportunities, Challenges and Potential (p. 66). Calgary, AB: Bow Valley College.
This 2015 report focuses on issues of learner isolation and instructional distance in an online workforce-related course for newcomers to Canada (CLB 7 or higher). The literature review investigates the notion of learner isolation, a common problem in online courses, which can lead to frustration, decreased motivation and withdrawal from online courses. The report proposes mitigating strategies to develop social presence in online language courses. The report goes into detail about the importance of instructor presence online e.g., instructor bios, photos, frequent videos, frequent news and quick replies to participants; as well as one-on-one contact between instructors and learners. It cites other research that defines social presence as the ability for learners to connect with other participants as “real people”, despite not being in the same physical environment with them. Although this report is based on applied research in an online course, it echoes participants’ comments in Lawrence’s report about the need for a “human feel” (see Geoff Lawrence. (2014, May). A Call for the human feel in today’s increasingly blended world later in this bibliography).