MASARYK UNIVERSITY. E-Learning as a Support Tool for English Teaching to Young Learners

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1 MASARYK UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF EDUCATION Department of English Language and Literature E-Learning as a Support Tool for English Teaching to Young Learners Bachelor Thesis Brno 2011 Supervisor: Aaron Marc Collier, B. A. Author: Lenka Čechová

2 Bibliography ČECHOVÁ, Lenka. E-Learning as a Support Tool for English Teaching to Young Learners. Brno : Masaryk University, Faculty of education, Department of English Language and Literature, pages, 57 pages of attachment. The supervisor of the bachelor thesis: Aaron Marc Collier, B. A. Bibliografický záznam ČECHOVÁ, Lenka. E-Learning as a Support Tool for English Teaching to Young Learners. Brno : Masarykova univerzita, Fakulta pedagogická, Katedra anglického jazyka a literatury, s., 57 s. příl. Vedoucí bakalářské práce: Aaron Marc Collier, B. A.

3 Abstract The bachelor thesis E-Learning as a Support Tool for English Teaching to Young Learners deals with an e-learning course usage as a supportive tool of faceto-face English classes for young learners at Czech basic schools. In the theoretical part of the thesis the scope of language teaching is described and specific features of young learners are characterised. In the following chapters the scope of e-learning is explained and its specific usage as a support tool is presented together with its advantages and disadvantages. Furthermore, the thesis describes currently available e-learning tools and offers recommendations on the choice of suitable software for an e-learning course creation. In the next section the rules and requirements on an e-learning course creation are specified and the roles of the teacher in the course environment are stressed. In the practical part of this thesis a concrete e-learning course is produced. The course creation is described in detail and its structure and conception reflects the findings of the theoretical part. The course itself can be practically used as a support of face-to-face English classes of the fifth grade of Czech basic schools. Anotace Bakalářská práce E-Learning as a Support Tool for English Teaching to Young Learners se zabývá problematikou vyuţití e-learningových kurzů jakoţto podpůrného nástroje klasické výuky anglického jazyka pro ţáky prvního stupně na českých základních školách. V teoretické části bakalářské práce je popsán obsah a nároky kladené na výuku cizího jazyka a charakteristika specifických rysů ţáků prvního stupně. Rozbor výše uvedené problematiky dopomáhá k dalšímu pochopení daného tématu a je základem pro rozbor teorie tématu. Následně je vysvětlena problematika e-learningu a jeho specifické pouţití jakoţto podpůrného nástroje je představeno spolu s výhodami a nevýhodami tohoto pouţití. Práce dále popisuje dostupné e-learningové nástroje a poskytuje doporučení pro volbu vhodného softwaru pro tvorbu e-learningového kurzu. Navazující část rozebírá pravidla a poţadavky na tvorbu e-learningového kurzu a taktéţ specifikuje roli učitele v e-learningovém prostředí. V praktické části této práce je vytvořen konkrétní e-learningový kurz. Tvorba tohoto kurzu je detailně popsána a jeho skladba a koncepce vyuţívá poznatků teoretické části. Sestavený kurz můţe být prakticky pouţit jako podpora hodin angličtiny pro páté třídy českých základních škol a je pro pedagogy ukázkou, jak tvořit kompletní e-learningovou podporu pro výuku anglického jazyka.

4 Keywords E-learning, e-learning support, English teaching, young learners, basic school, Moodle, teaching children, VLE, ADDIE, Instructional Design, online course. Klíčová slova E-learning, e-learningová podpora, výuka angličtiny, ţáci, základní škola, Moodle, výuka dětí, VLE, ADDIE, online kurz.

5 Declaration Hereby I proclaim that this bachelor thesis was done by my own and I used only the cited literary sources, other information and resources in accordance with the Disciplinary regulations for students of the Faculty of Education of Masaryk University and with the Copyright Act No.121/2000 coll. and the related rights and about the change of some acts (copyright act) as in amended regulations. In Brno,

6 Acknowledgements I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor Aaron Marc Collier, B.A. for his professional advice and readiness to help whenever needed. I would also like to thank to my loving husband for his patience and constant encouragement as well as to my family for their support. My thanks belong to Martin Péchal for providing web hosting services and technical support for my Moodle course.

7 Content Introduction English Language Teaching at Basic Schools The Content of Language Teaching Listening and Speaking Reading and Writing The Elements of Language English at the First Stage of Basic Schools The Importance of English in Educational System Requirements on the Pupils Young Learners Specifics E- Learning and the Czech Educational System E-Learning Definition of E-Learning Related Terms and Concepts Forms of E-Learning Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Learning Contemporary Tools for E-Learning Course Creation Use of E-Learning in the Area of Basic Education of the Czech Republic E-Learning as a Support Tool of English Teaching at Basic Schools The Only Means of Education or One of the Tools? Advantages and Disadvantages in Context Advantages in Context Disadvantages in Context Choice of an E-Learning Tool Characteristics of VLE Terms Related to VLE VLE Functions and Tools... 36

8 3.4.3 Types of VLE Choice of Suitable VLE Software Moodle as a VLE Tool and its Profits for English Teaching at Basic Schools Moodle Definition Why Moodle? An Overview of Basic Moodle Tools Moodle and English Teaching to Young Learners E-Learning Course Creation General Rules for E-Learning Course Creation The Phases of the ADDIE Model The (Creative) Team Requirements on the Course and its Content Requirements on the Teacher Requirements on the Learners Summary of the theoretical part Practical Part Personal Introduction Aims of the Practical Part The Instructional Design of the Course Analysis Design Development Summary of the practical part Conclusion Works Cited Appendix... 83

9 Introduction In today s modern world people are expected to be skilled in many fields to become successful in their life. Among other abilities it is commonly accepted that an educated person should be competent in using at least one foreign language and be familiar with information and communication technologies (ICT) usage. Even though one s success doesn t stand purely on these skills, they are widely appreciated by society. The value of foreign languages knowledge is accepted also by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and these are taught at basic schools as obligatory from an early age. As Crystal mentions, generally speaking, the most widely taught foreign language is English (10) and, as will be explained in following chapters, English is a preferred foreign language also in the Czech educational system. Consequently, one would expect that the importance set upon this foreign language is reflected in the quality of its teaching. The truth is that despite the respect and recognition towards English, the school English classes are limited especially in terms of time and one can say that it is always possible to find there some small gaps offering space to improvement. At the same time, computers together with Internet connection are getting more and more available among general populace. As will be described in following chapters, the Czech Ministry are well aware of the ICT becoming a common part of everyday life and they try to implement these into basic school classes where ICT usage is not so common. The topic of this thesis is E-Learning as a Support Tool for English Teaching to Young Learners. This topic was chosen as the idea of e-learning as a support for faceto-face English classes for young learners doesn t seem to be explored in the Czech context. As Úlovec informs, e-learning is commonly used in academic and commercial area and although not so widespread yet, it is possible to assume that it will sooner or later become a common tool at basic schools as well. This thesis aims to investigate how an e-learning course can enhance the efficiency of the process of English teaching at basic schools and fight against its limits. The aim of this work is to analyse what benefits and drawbacks an e-learning course used as a support for face-to-face English classes can bring to young learners at Czech basic schools. The young learners are chosen as a target group as the usage of e-learning in terms of this specific age group seems to be rather under-explored. 9

10 The thesis also aims to promote the usage of e-learning by basic school English teachers through showing them practically that it is possible for them to create such a course without serious complications, use it successfully in their classes and therefore offer their learners new possibilities to learn and improve. Consequently, the aim of this thesis is to follow an instructional design model theory and practically develop an example e-learning course which can be used by the fifth grade teachers as a support for their face-to-face English classes. The thesis will be divided into a theoretical and practical part. The theoretical part consists of four main chapters. The first chapter will introduce the scope of English teaching and specify the target group and requirements set upon them. In the second chapter it will be explained what e-learning is, what tools it offers and the attitude of the Czech Ministry towards the ICT usage at basic schools will be described. In the following chapter a specific use of e-learning as a support of face-to-face English classes for young learners will be presented together with its pros and cons. Recommendations on a suitable e-learning tool choice will be given and in the fourth chapter it will be explained how a quality e-learning course should be created and what features it should have. The aim of the theoretical part is to offer a clear overview of the topic and its specifics and create a theoretical basis for the practical part. At the same time it will analyse what benefits an e-learning course support brings to young learners at basic schools and what the obstacles are. The practical part shall stem from the theoretical findings and reflect them in practice. It will describe creation and development of a concrete e-learning course suitable for the fifth grade basic school English classes. The description will illustrate how the whole process of creation proceeds and it will offer also a developed course to try out and use. The course creation will follow an instructional design model and the course itself will be a physical outcome of the practical part. Thanks to the practical part basic schools English teachers will be given a concrete example of an e-learning course creation based on the theoretical findings, which may help them to get realistic insight into the whole process. The thesis as a whole will offer a theoretical overview of the topic, an analysis of advantages and disadvantages of an e-learning course used as a support for face-to-face English classes for young learners and a concrete e-learning course creation will be carried out and described. A specific e-learning course supporting English classes for young 10

11 learners will be created. These steps shall lead towards better understanding of this complex topic and by giving a practical example to the basic school English teachers also towards encouragement of their own e-learning course creation and usage. 11

12 1. English Language Teaching at Basic Schools The concern of this thesis, as mentioned earlier, is English language teaching to the fifth grade basic school learners and its improvement and support. Before concentrating on how to make English teaching more effective it is necessary to realize what the language teaching consists of and what its scope is. At the same time it is essential to know well what kind of audience the fifth-graders are, what knowledge and skills these learners are officially required to get from the educational process and what characteristics these learners have. Knowledge of these facts is important for the educator to be well aware of what s/he teaches, with what goals, and in what way s/he can meet the needs of the learners. 1.1 The Content of Language Teaching According to most of the authors dealing with a language teaching topic it can be assumed that the foreign language scope is divided into two main categories: Language Skills (Cameron 17) and Elements of Language (Harmer 60) or also Language Items (McKenzie-Brown). McKenzie-Brown specifies language skills as the mode or manner in which language is used, while Davies and Pearse further divide the language skills into receptive skills, e.g. listening and reading, and productive skills, which are speaking and writing (74). It is important to point out that the skills are interdependent and according to Davies and Pierce should be integrated as the language user naturally switches from one skill to another (99). The following paragraphs deal with the role of the skills taught in more detail Listening and Speaking Listening and speaking skills have their importance individually but at the same time they are naturally combined in conversation (Davies and Pearse 75) and therefore shouldn t be treated separately but as interdependent elements. This fact is supported by Harmer s statement that successful spoken communication depends not just on our ability to speak, but also on the effectiveness of the way we listen (133). Consequently, listening isn t taught only to improve the understanding of spoken word/speech but also because listening influences learners pronunciation and their own speaking skills. In this respect Cameron formulates listening as a language input and speaking as an output 12

13 (41) of which we can deduce that a good quality output (speaking) requires as good quality input (listening). On the other hand, according to Harmer, a speaking practice gives the learner a possibility to activate and automate the knowledge s/he has acquired (123), which supports the separate role of speaking and at the same time links it to the language elements which it improves Reading and Writing The relationship of reading and writing is similar to the previous two skills relationship. Harmer explains that reading practice influences other language aspects such as vocabulary knowledge, spelling and punctuation. He says that Reading texts also provide good models for English writing (99), which again means that reading functions as an input and results in or supports the writing output. Writing has also a role of language processing and supports thinking about language (Harmer 112) The Elements of Language Harmer defines the elements of language as grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation (60, 61) 1. Cameron explains that vocabulary is a major resource for language use (94) which functions as a stepping stone to learning and using grammar (72) and ads that pronunciation has a crucial role in terms of word knowledge supporting the process of learning new words and meanings (86). Furthermore, according to Cameron, grammar offers a form-focus and accuracy and gives precise meanings in discourse (110). Consequently, it is clear that every element of language has its importance and they directly influence each other. In addition, Pinter says that Language users need to understand the complex interaction between vocabulary and grammar (83). This opinion supports the fact that the language elements are bound and interdependent and none of them should be undervalued. 1.2 English at the First Stage of Basic Schools Having learned about the content of language teaching it is advisable to reflect this on the background of the Czech educational system. The following section deals with the role of foreign language, with focus on English, in Czech basic schools. The target group of the thesis is the fifth grade of the first stage at basic schools (children of Some authors (such as Cameron) use instead of pronunciation the term phonology. 13

14 years) therefore the requirements set upon the pupils of this age, in terms of English language, will be specified The Importance of English in Educational System Teaching foreign languages, as well as other subjects, at Czech basic schools is based on Framework Educational Programme for Basic Education 2 which highly evaluates their importance saying that: Foreign language skills help reduce language barriers and increase the individual s mobility in their personal lives and during their future educational and career paths. They allow pupils to learn about the different lifestyles and cultural traditions of people in foreign countries...promote an awareness of the importance of mutual international understanding and tolerance, create the conditions for schools participation in international projects. (Jeřábek and Tupý 19) Based on this approach The Framework Curriculum timetable sets foreign language studies to be an obligatory part of basic schools syllabi from the third to the ninth grade. Moreover, it gives explicit preference to English which shall be offered to the pupils on the first place (Jeřábek and Tupý 109, 112). The evidence of English being a dominant and preferred foreign language in Czech basic schools is also the highest and continually growing number of its learners in comparison to other foreign languages (Sladkovská). By offering English in preference, the Czech school system aims to achieve a continuity of foreign language studies from pre-school education through basic education to secondary education (Sladkovská and Tupý) Requirements on the Pupils The foreign language specifics are involved in the Framework Educational Programme for Basic Education in educational area Language and language communication (Jeřábek and Tupý 15) together with Czech language and literature. The requirements pronounced in the Framework Educational Programme for Basic Education 2 Framework Educational Programme for Basic Education is a curricular document of national level defining binding educational norms of basic education. It specifies the educational content, the expected outcomes and subject matter. It is a public document following up the Framework Educational Programme for Pre-school Education and forming a basis for Framework Educational Programmes for secondary education (Jeřábek and Tupý 6, 7). 14

15 origin in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in which an A2 level 3 achievement of the first foreign language is required (Jeřábek and Tupý 19). The Framework Educational Programme specifies the educational content of educational field Foreign language with expected outcomes of period 2 in stage 1 4 which reflect the previously mentioned content of language. The expected outcomes are divided into Receptive language skills, Productive language skills and Interactive language skills (Jeřábek and Tupý 25) with the following specifics: Expected outcomes for receptive language skills (in the second period of stage 1) are based on understanding familiar words and simple sentences, authentic materials meaning comprehension and their use. Learners should be capable of fluent, phonetically correct reading of familiar vocabulary and texts being able to gain information from a simple text and answer questions. They are also expected to be able to use a bilingual dictionary (Jeřábek and Tupý 25, 26). Expected outcomes for Productive language skills (in the second period of stage 1) are the abilities to convey simple written message or text and reply to a message all grammatically and formally correct, as well as to be able to complete a form with personal information. The pupils should be able to give a content of simple conversation or text in both written and spoken way and modify a short text without changing its meaning (Jeřábek and Tupý 26). Expected outcomes for Interactive language skills (in the second period of stage 1) are active participation in conversation, familiarity with common social phrases and ability to give required information (Jeřábek and Tupý 26). The Framework Educational Programme for Basic Education gives also details of the stage 1 subject matter which shall involve these areas (Jeřábek and Tupý 26): language rules of communication in everyday situations simple practical messages orientation in theme-based areas 3 Level A2: Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need (Jeřábek and Tupý 19). 4 The target group of this thesis is the first stage, second period, fifth grade, therefore the second stage and period one won t be included as not being the aim of the thesis. 15

16 vocabulary and word formation grammatical patterns and sentence types 1.3 Young Learners Specifics The target age group of this thesis are the pupils of the fifth grade (10-11 years old) (first stage, second period) of basic schools. According to Scott and Ytreberg these pupils fit into a category of young learners (1) who are described as relatively mature children with an adult side and a childish side (Scott and Ytreberg 3). 5 As such these children have their specific ways of learning and understanding and therefore some basic facts concerning their learning process should be kept in mind. The following points may seem obvious but at the same time they may play an important role in education of the target group of this thesis. Learning Through Senses Seeing, hearing and touching are just as important for understanding as the teacher s explanation (Harmer 14). This statement illustrates the fact that young learners need to have all their senses engaged in the process of learning. Therefore, as Scott and Ytreberg point out, the teacher can t rely only on spoken words but s/he needs to support the teaching by visual and sensual aids, movement, games and different enjoyable activities (5). Meaningful Context According to Harmer Children usually respond well to activities that focus on their lives and experiences (14), which means that in case of young learners it is advisable for the teacher to learn about their likes and dislikes, their interests and hobbies and reflect them in creation of a meaningful context which, according to Pinter, supports the whole process of learning (18). Abstraction and Symbols Another positive point is that, with reference to Scott and Ytreberg, young learners are already able to understand abstracts and symbols (4). On the other hand the claim 5 Harmer refers to this age category as children (Harmer 14). As this is a broad term, to avoid any misconceptions the term young learners will be used for the purpose of this thesis. 16

17 of Harmer informs that this ability is not on the level required for understanding of complex grammar rules yet (14). Therefore one can profit of this skill only with limits. Responsibility and Independence As mentioned earlier, young learners are seen by Scott and Ytreberg as relatively mature with an adult side and a childish side.able to make some decisions on their own learning (3, 4). Therefore children of 10 or 11 years can t be seen as fully independent learners but importantly enough, they have already acquired a certain level of responsibility which enables them to some extent to decide for themselves about their learning and makes them ready for becoming independent learners. Attention Span Scott and Ytreberg (5), as well as Harmer (14), agree on the fact that the attention span of young learners is rather short and their ability to concentrate is limited. To deal with this disadvantage the teacher needs to offer a wide range of enjoyable activities, a change of rhythm of work in class and a variety during the class. Recycling and Revision Even though it doesn t seem to be a specific feature of young learners only, Harmer points out that young learners tend to forget the acquired knowledge with great ease (15). To avoid this, the teacher needs to involve a sufficient amount of revision and recycling into his/her classes. Pace and Organisation Despite the requirement of variation for the sake of the attention span support it is very important to keep also a clear system in the learning process. Scott and Ytreberg say: Children benefit from knowing the rules and being familiar with the situation (6). It is therefore possible to assume that an involvement of systematic work, routines, good organisation and good planning can support young learners memory and confidence, while the contrary can confuse them (Scott and Ytreberg 6). Pinter describes as essential allowing the learners to progress at their own pace (15). This idea supports the fact that every child is individual in his/her needs and abilities and should be provided enough space to progress in his/her own way. 17

18 Feedback One of the elements supporting motivation for further learning can be a positive feedback given to the young learner. Scott and Ytreberg advise the teacher to inform the learners about their work regularly and to stress the positive aspects of learning. They say that the teacher should be talking to the children regularly about their work and encouraging self-assessment (7). In this chapter the scope of foreign language was described and the importance of English in the Czech educational system was explained. With reference to these findings it can be further investigated how the process of English teaching to young learners, whose specifics were defined, can be supported and enriched. 18

19 2. E- Learning and the Czech Educational System The aim of this thesis is to investigate, whether the use of e-learning can bring any benefits to English classes for young learners of the fifth grade at basic schools. Before actually analysing these options it is necessary to learn what the term e-learning represents and what its advantages and disadvantages are on a general level. Furthermore it can be useful to be familiar with the current usage of e-learning by Czech basic schools and to know the approach of the Czech Ministry of Education towards the usage of ICT in this area. 2.1 E-Learning The purpose of this section is not a complex list of definitions and terms connected to e-learning. Instead it wants to offer an insight into basic terms and principles connected to e-learning to support reader s orientation in the topic as well as in the next chapters Definition of E-Learning E-learning can be approached from two basic angles it can be seen either as an educational process or as a set of tools supporting the educational process (Kopecký 13). Consequently there is a wide range of definitions which may differ according to organisation and the way of e-learning usage. For the purpose of this thesis, the term e-learning can be illustrated by comparing and combining the following definitions: E-learning is understood as a multimedia support of educational process using modern information and communication technologies usually implemented through computer networks. Its main task is free and in time and space unlimited access to knowledge (Kopecký 7). E-learning is the use of Internet technologies to create and deliver a rich learning environment that includes a broad array of instruction and information resources and solutions, the goal of which is to enhance individual and organizational performance (Rosenberg 72). In these definitions a shared opinion is that e-learning is delivered through modern information and communication technologies which create a rich learning environment. The first definition describes the goal of e-learning as an unlimited access to knowledge whereas the second definition says that the main goal is the improvement of the learning 19

20 output. It is possible to combine these goals and say that thanks to the rich learning environment and the unlimited access to information e-learning helps to achieve better results in an educational area. Furthermore, Květoň sets the aim of e-learning to be higher access to education of suitable quality and acceptable cost ( Úloha E-Learningu 5). As such, e-learning has without doubt its place in modern education Related Terms and Concepts When investigating e-learning issue in various sources one can find out that the term e-learning is often connected or even equated to the following concepts 6 : Distance education (or also Distance learning) According to Willis distance education takes place when a teacher and student(s) are separated by physical distance, and technology (i.e. voice, video, data and print) is used to bridge the instructional gap (4). Online learning White describes online learning as an approach to teaching and learning that includes the use of Internet technologies for learning and teaching. Learners use the online learning environments not only to access information and course content but also to interact and collaborate with other online participants within the course (27). Blended learning Blended learning, according to Sharma and Barrett, refers to a language course which combines a face-to-face classroom component with an appropriate use of technology (7) Forms of E-Learning Education through e-learning can be held in several different ways. Kopecký calls these ways the basic forms of e-learning (9). These, he further divides into two categories: Online e-learning 6 Other related terms according to Dudeney and Hockly: Open Learning, Virtual Learning, M-Learning (136, 154, 156). 20

21 Online e-learning requires local or global computer net connection to access the educational content (9). Offline e-learning Offline e-learning doesn t require Internet connection. Instead it works with media such as CDs or DVDs containing educational content (13). Basically it is possible to say that these two forms differ in the way of mediation of the educational content. More importantly, Kopecký divides online learning into two more forms: synchronous and asynchronous. These two terms can be useful to be familiar with as they are often mentioned in relation to e-learning tools in various sources. Synchronous learning White describes synchronous learning as learning which uses technologies that allow for communication in realtime, for example by telephone or chat rooms. The time and opportunity for learners to participate is controlled (10). Asynchronous learning Asynchronous delivery offers flexibility to learners in that access to the course content or communication can take place at any time, and from different places (White 9). Based on these definitions one can imagine asynchronous learning as e-learning course participants accessing the online educational content at different time and from different places, whereas synchronous learning offers to the participants a real-time experience, which means that they can interact only as far as they meet online at the same time. The concern of this thesis will be especially the online form of e-learning using mostly asynchronous media Advantages and Disadvantages of E-Learning This section aims to introduce some of the general advantages and disadvantages connected with e-learning. These advantages and disadvantages will be analysed in more detail in chapter 3.2 confronted with the specific context of this thesis, which is e-learning used as a support of face-to-face English classes for young learners. 21

22 Advantages Time and place unlimited access to information (Kopecký 14) Participants can access the e-learning course content from any computer with Internet connection (or other necessary equipment) and are not limited by time (note that a time limitation may occur in case of synchronous communication and activities which require the learners to access the course at the same time). Enhancement of educational process Kopecký praises the possibility of multimedia resources usage pointing out that these involve multiple senses engagement in the process of learning (15). Moreover, Egerová connects the use of multimedia with higher level of interactivity (9). Multimedia and interactivity are seen by these authors as beneficial towards the efficiency of the learning process and information remembering. Possibility of immediate innovation Timková names as an advantage the possibility to modify the content of already created course (110). The importance of this possibility is that the e-learning course can follow any changes of the educational field (Kopecký 15) and, moreover, immediately reflect learners specific needs. Individual learning pace (Kruse) E-learning courses based on asynchronous learning respect each learner s individuality where everyone has his/her own speed of learning which can change through the time. As Kruse points out, consequently the learners don t get under any pressure caused by lack of time. Options for various learners Kruse says that e-learning promises to provide a single experience that accommodates the three distinct learning styles of auditory learners, visual learners, and kinesthetic learners. As such, it can address a wide range of learners through a variety of different activities and avoid discrimination of any of these three groups. 22

23 Internet knowledge and computer skills development Iowa State University advert to the fact that through e-learning course usage, except for learning the target area subject matter, the learner improves his/her ICT skills ( ELearner - Advantages and Disadvantages ) which are generally prised in nowadays society Disadvantages Dependence on technology Technology issues may represent an obstacle for the course provider as well as the learners (Kopecký 20; Kruse). Getting sufficient and compatible equipment can still represent a financial problem. Moreover, slow Internet connection combined with various media such as audio, video, or advanced graphics can complicate the whole use or access to the educational content ( ELearner- Advantages and Disadvantages ). Necessity of computer literacy Iowa State University say that an e-learning course may be difficult to handle for learners with low computer skills ( ELearner- Advantages and Disadvantages ). Kruse adds that among the learners there may also exist technophobia. However, the low ICT skills and technophobia may occur also among the teachers, which can represent a serious obstacle as well. Risk of overuse of multimedia The appealing possibility to deliver learning content through multimedia can lead to its overuse which may result in learners concentration on the multimedia effect rather than on the educational content itself. Kopecký refers to this state as hypermultimediality (16). Demanding content creation To create educational content of sufficient quality may be demanding in terms of time, finance and methodology and may require training for the course creators (Kopecký 21). 23

24 Lack of structure leading to confusion Unless well-structured and organised, an e-learning environment can seem unclear and confusing for the learner ( ELearner- Advantages and Disadvantages ). Consequently the learning process becomes complicated and the learners may get discouraged. Risk of isolation Egerová suggests that without a physical presence of the teacher and classmates the learner may feel socially isolated (10). Such a situation may consequently cause the learner s loss of motivation to study through the course. Not suitable for every student Kopecký stresses that students with low motivation, wrong learning habits or those who stick to classical paper form of materials may not receive so much profit from e-learning (21). Consequently, there is no point in the whole process unless the learner works regularly and actively participates on the course tasks Contemporary Tools for E-Learning Course Creation With regard to the great number of various e-learning tools and to the scope of this thesis it is not advisable to name all of them. Nevertheless, this section aims to offer several common examples for illustration and for easier understanding of the next chapters. Dalsgaard implies that e-learning tools cover a wide range of different applications used to support different activities involved in learning process. As an example he offers discussion forums, chat, file sharing, video conferences, shared whiteboards, e-portfolios, weblogs and wikis (Dalsgaard). Furthermore, the tools can be categorised into three groups according to Zelenak (71): 1) a content/course or learning management system (CMS/LMS) 7 Examples: Moodle 8, Blackboard 9, Silverchair Sharma and Barret refer to these as Virtual Learning Environment (103)

25 2) synchronous collaboration applications Examples: chat, audio/video conferencing, instant messaging. 3) other computer tools/applications including asynchronous collaboration applications Examples: , forums, websites, blogs, wikis. 2.2 Use of E-Learning in the Area of Basic Education of the Czech Republic At first, e-learning was used mostly in academic area, later its influence expanded also into commercial companies and public sector and nowadays it is entering the area of basic and high schools too (Úlovec). How does the Czech educational system react to this progress and what is its attitude towards ICT as such? The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has offered an Action plan School for the 21 st Century 11 created to fulfil the aims of document Conception of Development of ICT in Education in the Period accepted by the Czech government in October In this plan there is reflected the attitude towards ICT and its implementation in Czech education. It is obvious that the Ministry are well aware of the growing importance of digital content and online services. They see the implementation of ICT in the Czech education as an inevitable step in the modern world (Hausner et al. 2). It is stated that it is commonly known and accepted that ICT should be a part of most of the classes (Hausner et al. 6). The obstacle is though seen in a low self-confidence of teachers and their lower proficiency in the ICT area in comparison to their pupils (Hausner et al. 2, 5). Furthermore, the Czech School Inspectorate in its report of year 2009 states that the actual usage of ICT in class is practiced by only 11% of the teachers (Melichárek et al. 16). It is further explained that the teachers give as the most often reason (49%) the lack of methodology support for effective ICT implementation (Melichárek et al. 15). Consequently, the Ministry in their Action plan School for 21 st Century set a long term aim to optimise the use of technology tools in the educational process (Hausner 11 Akční plán Škola pro 21. století Koncepce rozvoje informačních a komunikačních technologií ve vzdělávání v období

26 et al. 7). The Action plan expresses the need for continuous education of the teachers in the area of ICT; availability of technologies, Internet connection and software at schools; methodology support, support for creating digital materials, and accessibility of primary sources to reach the improvement (Hausner et al. 8, 9). It also points to projects financed by European Union such as Implementing teaching methods, organization forms and education activities which intensify the quality of foreign languages teaching (including e-learning) (Hausner et al. 21). A questionnaire survey on Expansion, Use and Interest in E-learning at Basic Schools led by Školeková confirms the opinion that e-learning as a form of ICT is well known at the Czech basic schools; nevertheless, it states that the practical use of e-learning in classes isn t very common (Školeková 4). Still, after a short investigation it is possible to find basic schools actively using e-learning and ICT implemented in their educational process, which confirms the fact that e-learning isn t completely unknown to Czech basic schools. The following table offers several examples. Table 1 Examples of basic schools using e-learning ZŠ Bohuslavice ZŠ Březová ZŠ Karlovy Vary ZŠ Morávkova E-learning in form of an interactive board (Smart Board) offering pupils Smart Notebook software to access educational materials. E-learning in form of LMS Moodle allowing pupils of all nine grades to access educational content of most school subjects. E-learning course delivered through LMS Moodle. Open to all pupils of both stages of the basic school. Access to educational content of various subjects through LMS Moodle to pupils from the 4 th to the 9 th grade. 26

27 What is also positive is the fact that those teachers who feel insecure about their ICT skills and are therefore prevented from using it, may apply for educational courses provided by a portal of methodology Metodický portál RVP and get training on ICT usage and implementation in their classes. There are also professional commercial companies who are engaged in e-learning courses creation and offer their services to basic schools. Several examples can be seen in table 2. Table 2 Commercial e-learning courses creators itrivio.cz A commercial company specialised on e-learning courses for basic schools. Škola za školou A commercial project offering complex online e-learning environment supporting 13 basic school subjects for pupils of 5 th to 9 th grade of basic schools and to the students of secondary schools. The content of e-learning courses corresponds to curriculum of common textbooks used in Czech education. In this chapter the term e-learning was explained and a brief overview of its scope was offered. General advantages and disadvantages were presented showing that e-learning is not a perfect tool solving every educational problem but an option with positive as well as negative features. It was also revealed that despite the fact that e-learning isn t seen as a common tool at Czech basic schools there are several examples of its usage in this area. Importantly, it was also specified that the Czech Ministry of Education is in favour of ICT implementation into basic school classes and it is actively participating on this process. Based on these facts it is possible to assume that Czech basic schools are slowly familiarising themselves with e-learning involvement in the educational process and they need encouragement and support on their way towards its effective usage. 27

28 3. E-Learning as a Support Tool of English Teaching at Basic Schools Based on the general findings presented in chapter 1 and 2 it is now possible to analyse the general advantages and disadvantages of e-learning in context of this thesis. The aim of this chapter is to introduce a specific use of e-learning as a support tool for face-to-face classes of English for young learners at basic schools and to investigate what benefits and drawbacks such a support can bring. Afterwards, this chapter describes what tools for the course creation are currently available and a choice of a specific tool is made together with its basic functions presentation. 3.1 The Only Means of Education or One of the Tools? As Imel and Jacobson say, e-learning can be commonly thought of as a model in which teachers and students are separated by time and/or space (1), i.e. when the term is presented to a lay person, s/he can imagine a delivery of knowledge and information to learners unable to attend regular classes and interact with the teacher and classmates. In such a case e-learning represents the only or main means of accessing the educational content and the only way to communicate with the teacher and other participants. However, the target group of this thesis are young learners attending face-to-face classes at basic schools and despite their possible secret wishes it is not advisable to implement e-learning as the only means of study in this environment. The reason is simply because young learners at the first stage of basic schools don t learn only new facts and information in their face-to-face classes but they socialise, learn how to communicate and cooperate skills of high importance for their future lives. Therefore the parents might not accept the idea of their children learning these skills only through e-learning environment as convenient. Moreover, e-learning at a distance requires a great deal of motivation and discipline, which young learners may not have. What this thesis wants to offer is an idea of an e-learning course as one of the educational tools supporting and enriching usual face-to-face classes an idea generally not new in fact. E-learning courses have been used as a complement of face-to-face classes for example at the Faculty of Education at Masaryk University in Brno where the teachers themselves create the course content and decide whether they want to unify it with their lectures by using some content of the course directly in class or if they want their students 28

29 to use it only as a source of additional materials and homework environment. The question here is what profits can such an e-learning course used as one of the educational tools bring to young learners in English language classes. 3.2 Advantages and Disadvantages in Context This section aims to confront the general e-learning advantages and disadvantages described in chapter 2 with the specific context of this thesis: the use of e-learning course as a complement of face-to-face English classes at basic schools - specifically in teaching young learners. This confrontation shall help to evaluate to what extent it is useful and beneficial to use an e-learning course as a complement tool of face-to-face classes for young learners at basic schools. The following points therefore aren t a simple repetition of the previously mentioned advantages and disadvantages but their analysis on the background of young learners needs and the specific use of e-learning as a face-to-face class supportive tool Advantages in Context Time and place unlimited access to information Breaking the limits of time and place definitely is an advantage also in the newly pronounced context. The possibility to offer young learners a contact with English language through computer technology stretches the educative influence also behind the limited face-to-face class time. With respect to Harmer s statement that A crucial characteristic of young children is their ability to become competent speakers of a new language with remarkable facility, provided they get enough exposure to it (15) it is highly advisable to extend the language influence also into learner s free time at home whenever s/he feels ready for it. Furthermore, the class educational content offered also through e-learning course can, as Úlovec points out, support those learners who get ill or who suffer from a long term illness or a handicap and would otherwise be excluded from the educational process or fall behind. Enhancement of educational process The fact that e-learning courses enable the usage of multimedia and offer interactivity is an important advantage also in terms of teaching young learners. They can be offered various interactive games or exercises as well as multimedia such as video 29

30 and audio. These tools can convey enjoyable activities and variety, and therefore help the young learners to prolong their shorter attention span and at the same time engage several of their senses, which, as was mentioned in chapter 1.3, is beneficial for young learners learning. Moreover, the fact that the learning process is conveyed through computers and Internet may motivate those learners who are keen on using these devices and again support the process of learning. Possibility of immediate innovation A possibility of an immediate innovation and change of the educational content is beneficial not only in terms of the learners but also for the teacher who can easily reflect needs of the slower or less skilled learners who may need more practice, as well as offer more sources, additional materials and practice to gifted or advanced learners. S/he can add various materials to the course and change or modify them during its run according to learners preferences or changes in syllabus, which is not so easy for example in case of textbooks. Individual learning pace Individual learning pace is an appreciated advantage especially in the environment where the teacher gets pushed forward by a curriculum and cannot lose much time with individual learners who meet an obstacle while the rest of the class need to proceed continually forward through the subject matter. Although the learners in the class are supposed to learn new information at the same time, the pace requirements are individual. With e-learning support the teacher can instruct a learner in difficulty to go through additional practice. Similarly to the previous point, slower learners can revise and go through the educational content at their own speed and as many times as they need, whereas the faster ones can investigate further materials and exercises. Options for various learners The young learner who prefers acquiring information from seeing and reading may work with a file or a website illustrated by pictures or watch an educational video. Those who need to hear the new information can listen to audio files or watch the video. Learners who learn best by interaction or cooperation may use interactive exercises, educational games or cooperate on a creative project. E-learning environment offers a wide choice and the teacher can therefore offer something to everyone. Young learners, though, may not 30

31 have a clear idea about their preferred way of learning and the advantage of e-learning is that they can use all of the mentioned options. Internet knowledge and computer skills development To be competent in using technology is useful in young learner s future life and career and with regard to mentioned approach of the Czech Ministry of Education it is a long term plan to include ICT competencies among the key competencies of pupils and students (Hausner et al. 15). Learning how to use individual components of an e-learning course therefore helps the learners to become familiar with ICT and to be competent in using it Disadvantages in Context Dependence on technology and equipment According to thematic report of the Czech School Inspectorate the sufficiency of technology and ICT equipment at basic schools is stated to be getting closer to the European average (Melichárek et al. 20). However, the problem seems to dwell in the obsolescence of the equipment leading to impossibility of applying modern software. In this situation the e-learning course dependence on technology and equipment may represent a great disadvantage as the school which aims to include such a course into its educational process needs to provide the learners with an access to the course delivery means (a computer with Internet access and necessary software) in case they don t have this possibility out of school. On the other hand, the Inspectorate report states that 90% of basic school pupils have a computer at home (Melichárek et al. 19). Necessity of computer literacy The Czech School Inspectorate has in its report on The Level of ICT at Czech Basic Schools 13 analysed the state of competence and qualification of basic school teachers in the area of ICT. The conclusions of this analysis state that almost all the teachers have acquired basic level knowledge in the ICT area (Melichárek et al. 20). Some of the teachers have, according to the report, continued in further improvement of their knowledge (Melichárek et al. 20). What seems to be a problem is the fact that this improvement is concentrated mainly on how to manipulate ICT, not how to use it 13 Úroveň ICT v základních školách v ČR - Tematická zpráva z roku

32 effectively in the educational process. As the Czech School Inspectorate states, this together with the lack of technical equipment in schools leads to insufficient use of ICT in educational process (Melichárek et al. 15, 16). The Annual Register of the Czech School Inspectorate for school year from December 2010 confirms this statement. 14 Based on these facts, one can deduce that it is not exactly the necessity of computer literacy what may form a critical obstacle in using an e-learning course at basic schools, but the low methodology support of the teachers and their inability to use ICT efficiently in their classes. On the other hand, from the Czech School Inspectorate s investigation arises that 90% of basic school pupils have a positive attitude towards ICT and 85% of pupils use a computer for entertainment at home (Melichárek et al. 19). Therefore it is possible to expect that most basic school pupils have some level of computer literacy and don t represent as endangered group as the teachers. Of course this doesn t mean that all young learners have sufficient level of computer literacy. However, as was previously mentioned, the use of an e-learning course is for the learners an opportunity to gradually acquire a certain level of computer literacy, therefore its initial low level doesn t necessarily represent a serious disadvantage. Demanding content creation The course content creator is required to have necessary ICT skills and be well aware of the methodology rules for e-learning educational content creation. S/he is also supposed to know well the area of education for which the course is intended and the syllabus of this area. To meet these requirements the course can be created by a team of professionals, which may be demanding on finances as well as time. Moreover, it can also be a task given to a teacher. In addition to the course creation the teacher can be in charge of facilitating it; s/he is also supposed to lead face-to-face classes and fulfil his/her everyday duties. In such a situation the course creation may represent a very demanding goal not only in terms of time. Risk of overuse of multimedia In context of young learners the risk of overuse of multimedia may represent a disadvantage. In chapter 1.3 it was described how fragile the attention span of a young 14 For more details see Výroční zpráva České školní inspekce za školní rok 2009/2010 p

33 learner can be and too many multimedia components might draw it away from the educational content, which wouldn t support the learning process at all. Lack of structure leading to confusion Lewis says that the more explicit the teacher s instructions are, the easier it is for the young learners to understand the task (15). This opinion can be applied to the e-learning course environment as well. With respect to chapter 1.3, in case of young learners it is very important to imply exactly what the teacher wants the learners to do, when and in what order and the course content should correspond to young learners needs by its clear organisation and explicit instructions. Otherwise the young learners may meet difficulties. Risk of isolation In the context of this thesis, when e-learning course is used as one of the tools complementing face-to-face daily classes, there shouldn t occur any social isolation caused by the course as the pupils regularly meet in their usual classes. On the other hand one can argue that encouraging young learners to study in their free time through an e-learning course may result in even reinforcing the negative influence of computer popularity among young generation, i.e. children sitting in front of the screen all day long. Not suitable for every student The mentioned wrong learning habits and lack of motivation can be an obstacle. On the other hand, the offer of various activities and resources delivered in an attractive way such as video, or other multimedia offered by the course, can help the teacher fight against the low interest of learner and a well structured and organised course may help him/her to acquire more effective system in his/her learning. Based on this analysis, it is possible to say that e-learning as a support tool for face-to-face English classes for young learners at basic schools can definitely bring benefits to the learning process. An e-learning course can extend the educational process behind the face-to-face class limits catching the learners attention and provoking their active participation on the learning process. It is also possible to say that an e-learning course supports young learners needs by respecting every learner s individuality and 33

34 preference. At the same time it helps the learners to become confident ICT users and leads them to use ICT for educational purposes. On the other hand, there are some limits standing against the usage of e-learning course. The most serious obstacle can be seen in the necessity of a sufficient level of computer literacy. The teachers facilitating the course are expected to have sufficient skills to use the course and support the learners independent and easy use of it. At the same time they need methodology support to implement the course correctly. Therefore, without the teacher being a competent ICT user, the course cannot be used successfully. However, provided that a teacher with low ICT skills level and insecure in the methodology area is willing to improve, a solution in a form of training on ICT usage and implementation offered by the portal of methodology or any other provider, is available. The literacy of the learners needs to be on a sufficient level too but, as was explained earlier, if the teacher is competent s/he can give the learners initial group training on using the basic elements of the course and they can further improve their skills by actually using the course and overcoming difficulties. Therefore this is not seen as a grave obstacle. Another rather serious problem is the dependence on technology. Despite the mentioned claim of the Czech School Inspectorate it is possible that some learners won t be technically equipped to access the course and a school with insufficient equipment to provide such a learner an access to the course may be forced to invest into its upgrade, which may be a serious problem for some schools with limited finance. The course content creation is also seen as demanding and therefore disadvantageous, however, this thesis wants to demonstrate that a sufficient course can be created by a very limited number of people and with acceptable expenses. The rest of the disadvantages are seen as rather minor and they don t represent any grave danger for course creation and use. 3.3 Choice of an E-Learning Tool If the opinion that an e-learning course can be a useful tool to support the face-toface English classes for young learners is accepted, the next consideration is the choice of a suitable e-learning tool. The basic division of e-learning tools was described in chapter and this section describes selection of one of these tools. The following sections give basic characteristics of the chosen tool and its features, as well as several elementary 34

35 recommendations on choosing its specific software. With respect to these recommendations concrete software for an e-learning course creation, in the scope of this thesis, is chosen and defined. Dalsgaard says that Tools used to support e-learning cover a wide range of different applications. Such tools can be used to support different activities involved in the learning process. It is therefore possible to choose from the range those tools which best fit the educational purpose and these tools can be offered to the learners separately. Dalsgaard describes that this way the tools can be separated in a number of distributed and independent applications used for different purposes. The question is to what extent it is possible to keep the separate tools of the course organised so that the young learners working with the course at home, without the teacher s direct guidance, know exactly what to do and in what order. To reduce the young learner s confusion and to make the orientation in the course easier and clear, it is possible to use a so-called Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) which can, according to Dalsgaard integrate different tools in a single stand-alone system. Weller further defines a VLE as a software system that combines a number of different tools that are used to systematically deliver content online and facilitate the learning experience around that content (5). Practically it is possible to imagine the Virtual Learning Environment as a box in which all the tools are placed in perfect order and when the learner needs to work with the tools s/he simply opens the box and finds all s/he needs at one place. This can offer the young learners structure and organisation of the educational content and support their security about where they can find what they need, which is highly beneficial with regards to findings mentioned in chapter Characteristics of VLE In this section a Virtual Learning Environment is presented in more detail to give the reader an overview of the specifics of this area and to inform about the possibilities this tool offers. The following facts shall help the reader to understand the complexness of the topic and support his/her orientation in the following chapters Terms Related to VLE Virtual Learning Environments are connected in various sources with other terms described as synonymous or equal to a VLE. For example the IADT Website names as 35

36 the related terms the following: Managed Learning Environment (MLE), Course Management System (CMS), Learning Management System (LMS) ( Section1: What Is a Virtual Learning Environment ). Kopecký equates a VLE to a LMS as well (24). Similarly, Sharma and Barrett state that a VLE is sometimes referred to as an LMS (Learning Management System) or a CMS (Course Management System) (103). Although the various sources and authors differ in their opinions on these terms and their similarity to the VLE concept, for the purpose of this thesis the opinion of Sharma and Barrett, as a reliable source, is accepted VLE Functions and Tools Sharma and Barrett describe a VLE as a sophisticated learning platform which engages benefits of individual synchronous and asynchronous tools by bringing them together in one system (108). Furthermore, the VLE is characterised as follows: A Virtual Learning Environment is a collection of integrated tools enabling the management of online learning, providing a delivery mechanism, student tracking, assessment and access to resources ( Tools in a Virtual Learning Environment ). This definition offers a brief preview of some of the basic VLE tools which can be further categorised following an overview created by Kopecký (25-27): tools for creation and management of the courses (25), tools for verification and feedback (26), tools for the administration of the courses (26), tools of communication (27), tools of evaluation (27). Thanks to the engagement of the tools a VLE can function as an organized and searchable repository of content (Finnis) offering authenticated access to various sections of the environment (eg. courses) on an individual basis (Finnis). The teachers are therefore able to store the course content which can be used by learners, whose steps can be controlled and watched by the teacher through so-called tracking facilities (Dudeney and Hockly 138). Moreover, the course content release can be timed thanks to intelligent access controls (Finnis). As Finnis mentions, a VLE enables communication through synchronous as well as asynchronous communication tools and the VLE assessment tools are equipped 36

37 with automatic grading which gives the learners instant feedback. The administration functions, according to Sharma and Barrett, offer the teacher a possibility to organize groups in terms of enrolling learners to courses, form groups and allocate teachers (109). Based on these claims it is clear that the possibilities and functions VLEs offer are wide Types of VLE VLEs are generally provided either by commercial companies or as free Open Source software. IADT Website describes the difference between these two as follows: A commercial package is one developed and sold by a commercial company, whereas an open source packages [sic] is usually developed by an online community and is available for free... ( Section1: What Is a Virtual Learning Environment ). Both of these two options have some pros and cons. Trinick says that Open source software is cheaper because it is free to download from the internet and unlike the commercial VLEs like Blackboard it doesn t charge a license fee (1). On the other hand, Kopecký explains that the payment-free Open Source doesn t really mean a completely cheap option (63). The commercial VLEs provide their clients with necessary support and upgrade which are not included in Open Source service. It is necessary to ensure this support and run the course by one s own means which can, according to Kopecký, cost almost the same sum of money as a ready-made supported course offered by a commercial company (63). This opinion is supported also by a statement that: administration and support costs overshadow initial software license cost and annual maintenance fees--the costs that are minimized by open source ( Key Advantage of Open Source ). Trinick explains that Open Source software has the advantage that users can adapt and modify it to suit their learning or teaching needs, making it the most flexible VLE option (1). Therefore the real advantage of Open Source VLEs dwells in their flexibility and, as Computer Economics imply, in the independence from the commercial companies ( Key Advantage of Open Source ). Therefore the suitability and preference of any of the two options is dependent on individual needs and it s up to the client to judge his/her educational aims as well as financial possibilities and staff readiness. Table 3 presents concrete examples of commercial as well as Open Source providers. 37

38 Table 3 Examples of Commercial and Open Source VLEs Commercial VLE providers Open Source VLE packages Blackboard Moodle Desire2Learn ILIAS Fronter Bodington Itslearning Dokeos Choice of Suitable VLE Software The choice of VLE software should reflect individual needs of the client (the course owner/school) therefore there are no strict rules defining how to make the best choice. However, there are some points which should be considered on the way to the ideal VLE tool. The following points are a combination of recommendations offered by Trivantis website and Kopecký (65, 66): Accessibility The Trivantis states that elearning courses must be accessible by all of your end users ( Evaluating ELearning Software 1). Therefore the technical equipment required to access the course should correspond with the learners, teachers and the school s possibilities. There is no point in acquiring high-tech demanding software when neither the school nor the users have it and are able to acquire it. Compatibility and Transferability According to Kopecký the chosen VLE (LMS) should be compatible with currently used database systems and its content should be transferable (65). Obviously, if the VLE isn t compatible, technical complications can occur. When there is a sudden need to change the VLE software the transferability avoids loosing the course content and makes the change easier. 38

39 Usability Trivantis point out that the software should be easy to use and familiarize with for the learners as well as the course creators ( Evaluating ELearning Software 1). Kopecký adds that the course environment should be easy to modify, logically organized and there should be tools for its administration (65). Maintainability According to Kopecký the commercial provider should offer service support and upgrades (66) which, as the Trivantis point out, are important for a long term course running ( Evaluating ELearning Software 1). Kopecký also proposes to consider whether the provider ensures trainings for administrators, tutors and course authors. Price As Kopecký says, in case of commercial providers the price of the VLE product should be acceptable according to its quality and service (65). 3.5 Moodle as a VLE Tool and its Profits for English Teaching at Basic Schools For the purposes of this thesis, where the VLE is in position of a complementary tool for face-to-face classes, the chosen VLE is Moodle. The following section gives reasons for this choice and describes some of the basic Moodle tools and functions with stress on their usefulness for English teaching to young learners Moodle Definition The word Moodle is in fact an abbreviation which stands for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment and is defined as a course management system designed to help educators who want to create quality online courses used all over the world by universities, schools, companies and independent teachers ( Welcome to the Moodle ) Why Moodle? The reasons for this choice are several. Firstly, it meets the previously expressed requirements on accessibility, compatibility and transferability. It meets also the required 39

40 usability condition, as the course creator (in this case the author of this thesis) is already familiar with its basic usage and tools. Even though Moodle is not a commercial product and there is no support and service expected, teachers as well as course creators can use a Moodle support centre and Moodle users community forums at a home website to deal with any possible obstacles, to seek advice and use various resources. Furthermore, Moodle is Open Source software, which means no licence payment, which may play an important role in terms of small basic schools with limited finance. According to Kopecký, Moodle is the most often used VLE (LMS) in the Czech Republic (91). Consequently the existing Czech community of teachers, Moodle users and course creators support each other with their experience through a website in a form of various documents and forums, which is supportive and encouraging for teachers and course creators and helps them to overcome possible initial struggles with the course creation and usage. Moreover, Moodle exists in Czech translation which avoids possible obstacles or misunderstandings during the process of learning how to use the system in case of both the users and the teacher. Moodle is created under a social constructivist philosophy which emphasises a student-centred environment with independent as well as collaborative work of the learners (Dougiamas qtd. in Mougalian and Salazar). This underlines the product s educational value and shows that the course was created with the learners in mind, which is positive. Moodle is also said to be able to work for all age groups (Stanford 14) but the target age group of this thesis are young learners of the first stage of basic schools a group of learners with rather specific needs. It is therefore advisable to learn whether the chosen VLE is suitable even for the specific context of this thesis. The official Moodle website states that it can be applied also at primary schools: In primary education settings, Moodle can be particularly useful as a very safe entry-point to the online world. Easy addition of multimedia, links to useful resources, scaffolding of learning activities, fun quizzes, easy insertion of engaging learning objects and catering for parental involvement are just some of the highlights of existing Moodle use in the early years of formal education. ( Primary Education ) 40

41 Al-Ajlan and Zedan claim that Moodle software is widespread and often used not only by schools or universities but also by independent teachers (60). Such information underlines the reliability of Moodle as a product and it is possible to assume that the usage of Moodle is not overwhelmingly difficult An Overview of Basic Moodle Tools The tools and functionality available to the student and tutor vary from VLE to VLE ( Tools in a Virtual Learning Environment ). With regard to this statement the following section wants to specify what concrete tools Moodle as a VLE can offer to its users. The Moodle environment can be briefly divided into three main sections 15 : Activities, Resources and Administration ; and the whole course creation is supported by a set of editing tools ( Teacher Documentation ). Activity module The activity module consists of various media and tools conveying a range of learning opportunities the course creator (the teacher) can apply chat, blog, forum, glossary, choice activity, quizzes, wikis and several others. Resource module The resource module consists of tools conveying lesson content in various forms such as uploaded files, web pages links, text pages, media content and others. Administration block The administration block serves to the course creator/teacher to manage course settings, student and teacher enrollments and their groups, view the course gradebook, create custom grading scales and access the teacher forum ( Course Administration Block ). It is equipped with tools for grading, controlling the learner s activity, restoring and backup tools and many others. 15 For more details on Moodle sections and a complete list of Moodle tools see 41

42 3.5.4 Moodle and English Teaching to Young Learners Even though a detailed description of Moodle isn t the scope of this thesis, the following section wants to underline how some of the advantages of e-learning course, in the context of this thesis 16, come alive through some of the Moodle tools. Course arrangement The course is organised in Course Sections which can be structured according to time plan in Weekly Format or, if the time plan is variable, in Topics Format. The course section is situated in the centre containing the educational content and it can be framed by administration blocks with utilities like calendar, online users list or recent activities tool. The structure of the course is therefore not only flexible but also clear and well organized, which is highly beneficial in terms of young learners as the course users. The importance of good organization of educational content in case of young learners was already stressed in chapter 1.3. In Moodle environment the clarity of course content can be supported by using Text Pages, where precise and specific instructions can be added to each educational section. The language of the course is also optional - the course can be set even in Czech as it is one of the languages supported by Moodle. This option again supports learners clear orientation in the course environment. Tools for Language Practicing Of the wide range of activity tools there are some particularly interesting for language teaching. For example a Glossary can support vocabulary learning and collaboration by enabling the learners to create their own class dictionary or vocabulary collection on various topics. The official Moodle website states that: A forum can contribute significantly to successful communication and community building in an online environment ( Forum Module ). Besides this function, the learners can practice and improve their reading and writing skills in a natural and meaningful way and the teacher can watch and correct the language accuracy of each learner through this device. File or website link tool gives the teacher a great opportunity to offer the learners an access to various exercises, useful websites, media like audio or video which can support and improve listening skills, grammar, vocabulary and provide the learners with 16 E-learning as a support of English language teaching to young learners. 42

43 exposure to the target language. At the same time the sources are chosen and checked by the teacher and well organised in Moodle environment, therefore the learners don t get lost while searching for the right source. Grammar and vocabulary overviews can be provided in form of imported files in various formats such as Word, Power Point or PDF files which can be created directly by the teacher to fit the needs of individual classes. The learners can work with such handouts and exercises either online or print them out. The knowledge and understanding can be checked thanks to a Quiz Module equipped with variety of question types such as matching, multiple choice, short-answer questions and many others. The quiz informs not only the teacher but it also gives feedback to the learner. The teacher can set a team or project work through Wiki or Workshop modules. There are many Moodle tools and it is not necessary to use all of them. 17 It depends on the teacher and his/her creativity what tools s/he uses to liven up or extend his/her English teaching and what skills will be improved through which tools. Definitely, there are several options for practicing of grammar, vocabulary, listening, reading and writing. As it seems, a tool for synchronous voice communication which would provide further speaking skills practice isn t included in Moodle environment yet. With regard to the aim of this thesis to implement an e-learning course as a complement of face-to-face classes, it doesn t seem to be a problem as speaking skills can be practiced during regular school classes. Moreover, the teacher can dedicate more time to speaking activities in class provided that some of the other skills and language elements are systematically practiced through Moodle course in learners free time. In this chapter the points in favour and against an e-learning course used as a support of face-to-face English classes for young learners at basic schools were defined. Furthermore, the Virtual Learning Environment was introduced as a suitable e-learning tool for the course creation. With regard to the offered recommendations on the choice of a suitable VLE, the Moodle software platform was chosen and its characteristics and tools presented. Consequently, a course can be created through the chosen tool. However, before actually beginning the practical course creation some basic rules need to be set. 17 For more details on Moodle and its utilities see 43

44 4. E-Learning Course Creation To create a successful e-learning course it is necessary to learn how to proceed and what to keep in mind. This chapter offers basic rules for an e-learning course creation and specifies what features a good course should have. Furthermore, some specific requirements set upon the course facilitators and learners are explained. The information included in this chapter can be approached as generally valid and it can be applied as well on the specific context of this thesis, which is creation of an e-learning course used as a complementary tool for face-to-face English classes for young learners at basic schools. 4.1 General Rules for E-Learning Course Creation According to Kopecký it is necessary for the author to follow specific steps during the process of e-learning course creation which support the course quality level (Kopecký 47). Such steps are usually concentrated in so-called Instructional Design. This term refers, according to Smith and Tillman, to systematic and reflective process of translating principles of learning and instruction into plans for instructional materials, activities, information resources, and evaluation (3). Examples of existing instructional design models: ADDIE model, Dick and Carey model, Morrison/Ross/Kemp Design Model, OEM model (Culatta Instructional Design ). The Instructional Design recommended by Kopecký and Květoň is the ADDIE model (Kopecký 47), (Květoň Úloha E-Learningu 15). Furthermore, Siemens says that the ADDIE model is possibly the best known design model, and is frequently used in academic circles (Siemens). For these reasons ADDIE is chosen as an example instructional design model for the purposes of this thesis The Phases of the ADDIE Model ADDIE abbreviation stands for five phases of the model: Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation (Kopecký 7). The following section wants to offer a brief description of each phase. This thesis focuses especially on phases of Analysis, Design and Development as these steps are essential for successful course 44

45 creation in the practical part, whereas the Implementation and Evaluation phases may serve for further future research in scope of a master s thesis and won t be included practically in the scope of this work. Analysis Target group It is essential to analyse the characteristics of the learners (Kopecký 117) and define their needs (Strickland) as well as their existing skills and knowledge (Castagnolo). It is also good to know the hardware and software equipment available for the learners to access the course (Shoemaker). Equipped with this knowledge the course creators can design educational materials properly fitting to exact needs of the learners and also decide about the media used to deliver individual learning experiences. Educational goals Kopecký implies that by learning what is necessary to teach the learners one can also plan the way of achieving it (117). Moreover, Shoemaker points out that knowing the expected outcomes is helpful in determining the structure, content, and format of the course or training. Therefore, one needs to know what the course purpose and goals are so as to be able to specify the best way how to achieve them. Delivery options Kopecký recommends the analysis of available ways of course content distribution (117). Analysis of delivery options helps to discover currently available software tools through which the course can be conveyed to the learners with respect to the financial and technical possibilities of the course owner and users, as well as the educational goals. Possible obstacles Strickland recommends checking whether there are any constrains limiting the course realization. Defining any complications early in the creation process may be useful as it enables the creators to find an effective solution. Timeline and financial issues Creating a time plan is another useful component which Strickland recommends to include into the analysis phase. As the whole process of the course creation is rather 45

46 complex, it can be useful to follow a specific timeline to avoid protractions and consequent complications. Similarly, as is mentioned by Castagnolo, it is useful to analyse the available finance to avoid any inconveniences such as a sudden lack of money. Design Culatta explains that the design phase is systematic, specific and pays attention to details. This phase is based on specific outcomes of the analysis and consists of proposing concrete solutions in areas of: Course layout and structure In this area it is identified how the whole course is structured and in what sequence the learning steps follow (Castagnolo). Lesson and activities planning (Castagnolo) The individual lessons in the course and the included activities are designed. Course content design In this area a design of concrete materials is offered respecting their use in an interactive electronic environment ( The ADDIE Instructional Design Model ). User interface (Culatta ADDIE Model ) Media selection ( The ADDIE Instructional Design Model ) Development Strickland explains that The development phase is the process of authoring and producing the materials needed to meet the objectives. This means that at this point the solutions proposed during the design phase are practically realized and the course is physically produced. Implementation With the project ready for delivery, the learning environment is prepared by training the facilitators and learners (Strickland). Based on this opinion it is possible to say that the early implementation phase should reflect the level of ICT competence of the teacher and the learners with regard to the course. The teachers as well as the learners ought to be familiar with the course content, functions and tools. If training is required to achieve the necessary ICT level, it should preferably take place before the actual introduction of the course to avoid complications. When the course and its users 46

47 are ready, the course is delivered and introduced to the learners who begin the process of familiarising with it. (The implementation phase won t be practically included in the scope of this thesis). Evaluation The evaluation process judges the effectiveness of the course and meeting the course aims ( The ADDIE Instructional Design Model ). It should serve to further improvement of the course so that it fits the pronounced needs of its users. Strickland describes two types of evaluation: Formative evaluation Formative evaluation is part of each proceeding phase and determines effectiveness and quality of each stage (Strickland). Summative evaluation An evaluation performed at the end of the whole process, involves also the feedback from the users ( ADDIE Model at Learning Theories ) for example through a questionnaire survey. (The evaluation phase won t be practically included in the scope of this thesis). In the context of e-learning used as a complement tool in face-to-face classes, going through the ADDIE model may seem a useless and long process. The truth is though, that the time invested into planning is worth it and helps to discover and solve obstacles and inconveniences at the very beginning of the process. Following the ADDIE model may therefore save money and time otherwise spent on solving sudden problems The (Creative) Team From the model complexity it is assumable that the process of the course creation may require a team of several experts, depending on how elaborate the course is supposed to be. According to Moore and Kearsley the team can consist of the following members: Content specialist, instructional designer, graphic designer, web producer, audio/video producers, editor, evaluator, course team manager (14). At the same time Moore and Kearsley point out that, even though it is not an optimal state, the division of the course development tasks among individual experts 47

48 isn t very common practice in area of education. They say that: individual teachers develop and deliver their own courses (Moore and Kearsley 13). In fact, this thesis expects the same situation in case of common Czech basic schools with limited finance and unwillingness to invest into unknown areas. Consequently, it is the aim of this thesis to show that it is possible for the teacher, with elementary user ICT skills, to occupy a role of not only a course facilitator, but also a content specialist, an instructional designer, and/or a course team manager. 4.2 Requirements on the Course and its Content Some authors, like Kopecký (38) and Květoň ( Úloha E-Learningu 14), agree that the e-learning course creation doesn t mean a simple transfer of a printed material or textbook into an electronic form as one might think. They imply that the e-learning course authors follow didactic rules for the course content creation (Kopecký 50, 51; Květoň Úloha E-Learningu 14, 15) 18. The following section aims to present some important features which may be useful to keep in mind when creating the course and its content. These rules are applicable also to an e-learning course used as a complement of face-toface classes. Introductory Information Wright suggests that the learning goals and objectives be involved at the beginning of the course (5). It is therefore a good idea to include also general information about the requirements and expectations set upon the learners at the very beginning of the course to make it clear why the learners are working with the course and what outcome is expected. It might also be useful to present the course structure and its content to the learners and instruct them how to use it and how to deal with possible obstacles. Moreover, Wright considers as beneficial a state where Every section of the course or module begins with a preview (3). This opinion implies that the introductory information should be placed not only at the beginning of the course as such but also at the beginning of individual course sections/lessons. Clear Organization 18 Kopecký in his book E-learning nejen pro pedagogy equates the term e-content (content of an e-learning course) to the term distance text. 48

49 Wright says that the course content should be broken into small, incremental learning steps Presented in a logical sequence (7). This opinion is shared by Květoň as well. Moreover, these two authors also stress that the orientation in the course should be intuitive (Květoň Základy e-learningu 8) and clear instructions need to be provided (Wright 7). Wright also says that obligatory tasks should be clearly differentiated from additional activities (4). Consequently the learners get neither confused about the requirements set upon them nor overloaded by too many tasks. Moreover, according to Kopecký, the ideal organization of the information and sources should be from simple to difficult (53) and the layout of the materials should be attractive and respect the subject matter and the learners (Wright 5). Based on these recommendations it is possible to say that the organization of the course and resources needs to be very clear and simple so that the learner, who works with the course independently, gets as much support and guiding as possible. Activity and Engagement The main aim of the course is to keep the learner s attention and interest so that s/he actively participates on the course activities and gets the profits of learning experience. There are various options how to get the learner engaged. Květoň says that the course lessons should be short ( Základy e-learningu 8). Definitely, avoiding long and complicated tasks may help to avoid the learner s boredom and loss of interest. Wright advices the use of multimedia (7), frequent feedback (8) and enough practice opportunities (8). These can encourage the learner s activity and give him/her confidence by showing his/her progress. What may also promote the attractiveness of the course is including games and appropriate level of interactivity (Shoemaker). Wright says that the course content should be illustrated by examples (7) and purposefully used pictures are also seen as a useful element (Shoemaker). Wright says that the course content should respect the subject matter and the learner (6). Therefore the course creators should always put the learner on the first place and create a course respecting learners characteristics, needs and possibilities. Thanks to the various recommendations it is clear that the course and its content should be uncomplicated, well structured and equipped with clear instructions so that the learners can work with it 49

50 independently. Concrete goals should be expressed to give the learner purpose and motivation for learning. The course should evoke the learners active participation so that they can get the profits of the learning experience which the course conveys. 4.3 Requirements on the Teacher In chapter it was specified that during the course instructional design the teacher may play several roles at a time. It might be useful to point out what is expected from the teacher during the course implementation phase when his/her main role is that of the course facilitator. In the context of an e-learning course environment the teacher is often referred to as a tutor (Kopecký 53) 19. Kopecký defines the tutor as a person who supervises the e-learning learners activity, regulates and directs it. At the same time, he verifies the learners knowledge and skills, evaluates them (53). The Australian National Training Authority, who refers to the teacher in online environment as an online facilitator, say that The role of the online teacher or facilitator is both special and crucial for effective learning outcomes and enjoyable learning experiences (Backroad Connections Pty Ltd 2). As such, the teacher in role of an e-learning course facilitator is supposed to be equipped with specific skills and has different roles. The following section offers a list of some of the roles the teacher in e-learning environment shall manage: ICT Assistant Mobbs mentions that the course facilitator is supposed to Describe what hardware and software learner will require access to, and level of IT competency required to learn online and adds that the teacher should Provide learner with technical support (Mobbs). This should probably be one of the first tasks set upon the teacher when implementing the course. S/he should not only inform the learners about the skills and equipment necessary to access the course but also analyze the current situation and teach the necessary skills to the learners who might not have them. 19 Czech sources and authors call the teacher in context of e-learning a tutor or an e-tutor whereas many English language sources use the term facilitator. For the purposes of this thesis these two terms are accepted as synonymous and the term facilitator is used in preference. 50

51 S/he should as well inform the learners where they can access the course if they don t have the sufficient equipment at home. During the course itself the teacher is supposed to help the learners to overcome any technical obstacles and deal with possible problems. This doesn t mean that the teacher necessarily must be an ICT expert. S/he is, however, supposed to be familiar with the course technical aspects and to have the ICT skills on the level sufficient to use the course. For these purposes it may be necessary for the teacher to go through training. Adviser, Content Facilitator Denis et al. imply that the e-tutor intervenes sometimes as subject expert, sometimes as interpreter and guide through the concepts of study. Therefore, the teacher is expected to be an expert in the subject matter of the course to be able to explain it to the learners, answer their possible questions and overcome possible difficulties. Moreover, the teacher is in position of a coach who watches the learning process and gives the learners advice on how to proceed and supports the learners throughout the course helping him/her to find and use the right resource at the right time and in a right way. As Goodyear et al. say, such an advisor helps the learners to get the most out of their engagement in a course (69). Denis et al. imply that it is the teacher who identifies and locates, develops and produces resources to provide just in case or just in time learning support, which means that the teacher is responsible for the course content and s/he should be able to find or create and convey additional materials for learners who may happen to need them. The teacher thus needs to be able to create and change the course content (in terms of individual resources and activities) to reflect actual needs of the learners. Process Facilitator The teacher supports learners learning strategies,[and] time management (Denis et al.) which means that it is up to the teacher to check whether the learners work on regular basis, fulfil their responsibilities, take the course seriously and don t fall behind. If such a problem occurs it is the responsibility of the teacher to deal with it. The process facilitator, according to Goodyear et al., has in competence also such tasks as familiarising learners with the environment, Establishing ground rules, Creating community, Managing communication (70) and other. 51

52 Evaluator Mobbs states that the teacher Respond[s] to learner's work with detailed and constructive feedback within an agreed time-scale. Thus the teacher is expected to reflect regularly on the results of exercises, assessments, quizzes, and any other activities providing the learning experience; to correct the learners mistakes and explain the right answers. More importantly, the teacher should also act as a motivator and encourage the learners, helping them to overcome any difficulties and problems. The previous points were mentioned as they may be useful to realize. The teacher who is in position of a facilitator only (by which is meant that s/he doesn t participate in other parts of the course creation) might get a wrong idea that his only competence is to convey the subject matter. The role of a course facilitator though, is much more complex. 4.4 Requirements on the Learners It is important to be aware of specific requirements set on the teacher in context of e-learning course. As well it is advisable to realize that the position of the e-learning course learners is also slightly different than it would be in case of face-to-face classes. The participant of an e-learning class is expected to have or obtain some necessary skills to manage the course successfully and get the offered profit. The following points aim to give several examples of the conditions which the learner ought to complete. ICT Skills First of all it is obvious that the learner needs to have a certain level of ICT skills to be able to use the course and work with its content. This condition is connected also with the need of appropriate equipment in terms of software and hardware required to access the course. In the context of this thesis the young learners, i.e. the children of the first stage of basic schools, are being talked about. Such learners may have lower computer skills than older learners therefore they may require training on how to use the course and its most important tools. Furthermore, the course needs to be easy and uncomplicated to use and reflect the learners possibilities. As was mentioned in chapter 3.2, some of the 52

53 learners may not have sufficient equipment to access the course from home and therefore the access to the course should be provided to them at school. Discipline Cowley et al. say that the e-learning student should be organized, disciplined, self-directed and motivated. Such skills are important for regular work and task fulfilment in an environment without direct control of the teacher i.e. at home. The learner is expected to work systematically and independently on the tasks set in the course. As was described in chapter 1.3, it is possible though, that in case of young learners these abilities may be on a lower level and therefore it is the responsibility of the teacher to control, guide, motivate and lead the work of the learners and help them to gradually gain these skills. Even though these requirements may seem to be useful mainly in context of distance course, they play important role also in the context of this thesis where the course is a complement of face-to-face class of English taught to young learners whose main usage of the course takes place independently at home. In this chapter it was described what one can expect when having decided to create an e-learning course. The ADDIE model was presented as a systematic way of going through the whole process of creation successfully. It was explained that a course creation has its rules and the course and its content should meet some basic requirements. To give clear expectations, it was also explained what roles the teacher as a course facilitator shall fulfil and requirements set upon an e-learning course learner were stressed. Consequently it is possible to go through the process practically and produce a concrete course. 4.5 Summary of the theoretical part The aim of the theoretical part was to offer an overview of the individual specifics of the complex topic of this thesis. In the first chapter the scope of English as a foreign language was described and the target group of this thesis, as well as its characteristics and the requirements set upon it, were defined. The second chapter defined the content of the e-learning concept and the current situation of ICT and e-learning at Czech basic schools was described. In the third chapter the idea of e-learning course as a support of face-to-face classes was offered and its benefits and drawbacks towards young learners at basic schools 53

54 were analysed and evaluated. Afterwards, the Virtual Learning Environment was presented and, with regard to the offered recommendations Moodle, as concrete VLE software, was chosen and described. In chapter four, the rules for the course creation were established and it was explained what elements should be present in a good course, what roles shall a course facilitator fulfil and what is expected from the learners in e-learning environment. The theoretical part gave a complex insight into individual areas of the topic which are necessary for its understanding and realistic view. At the same time it prepared the ground for the practical part which will be based on the findings and decisions involved in the theoretical part. 54

55 5. Practical Part In the practical part a concrete course is created following the findings of the theoretical part. The course creation is described in detail to give the basic schools teachers as exact an idea as possible and to demonstrate that it is possible to create an e-learning course of sufficient quality also for a teacher inexperienced in this area. The description can therefore serve as a manual for the teachers to create their own course. 5.1 Personal Introduction The topic of this thesis became interesting for me as, during my private classes of English, I meet parents of young learners seeking private tutorage for their children declaring that they feel their children might learn more than what is offered to them by school English classes. Furthermore, my teaching practice revealed to me that some English classes are taught by teachers not specialised in English teaching and therefore without proper education in this area. Some of these teachers claim that they feel insecure and unsupported. It is also overt that in some English classes there are pupils not very interested in the subject matter. These learners tend to be passively waiting for the end of the class and there is no other opportunity to learn English behind the school class limited boundaries. At the same time I am familiar with Moodlinka e-learning courses commonly used by university teachers (specifically at the Faculty of Education of Masaryk University) as a homework environment providing the students with support in form of useful resources and information concerning the subject syllabus and subject matter. Consequently, I have decided to engage the basic school English classes for young learners with an e-learning support to investigate the possible benefits of this combination. With regard to the theoretical part findings concerning advantages and disadvantages of e-learning support for young learners, which were described in chapter 3.2, my belief is that e-learning used as a complement tool for regular face-to-face English classes might be an interesting and enriching option to solve the previously expressed difficulties and offer some positives for the teachers, for the learners and also for the parents. The teachers can concentrate the subject matter and useful resources in an e-learning environment giving it a clear structure and attractive form which may catch the learners interest. At the same time the parents have a clear idea about what is 55

56 currently going on in the English classes and can encourage their children to use additional resources if they feel the children need to learn more. Children therefore get the possibility to improve their English skills even outside the limited school classes. 5.2 Aims of the Practical Part The practical part stems from the findings of the theoretical part and its aim is to show by an example course creation that it is possible to design and create an e-learning course support for face-to-face English classes for young learners (fifth grade) even with basic user knowledge in ICT area, which may be the case of many basic school teachers and which is the case of the author of this thesis. The aim of the practical creation of the course is to show the teachers how such a creation proceeds, and therefore help them to understand better the whole process, which may encourage them to adopt measures towards their own course creation. Following the practical part example, the teachers can begin with their course creation with realistic expectations and more confidence. Another goal of the practical part is to offer the teachers a ready-made course which they can try out in their own face-to-face English classes. Consequently the teachers can see that there is no need to be afraid of using such a course and they can judge, according to their own experience free of prejudice, to what extent the course can be useful and beneficial for their classes. In chapter 2.2 the positive approach of the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports towards the usage of ICT in basic education was described. The practical part therefore aims also to support the positive tendencies of the Ministry and encourage the teachers and learners to become more familiar with ICT usage in the educational process. 5.3 The Instructional Design of the Course To meet the previously stated aims of the practical part, in the following chapters the process of a specific course creation is described and the course is practically produced. This process reflects the phases of the ADDIE model described in chapter , therefore the analysis for the course is carried out and the course is designed and developed. The course implementation and evaluation isn t included in the scope of this thesis and these areas are left open for further research. The individual steps are described to offer a specific example which can be followed in practice. 56

57 5.3.1 Analysis The analysis of the current situation creates a basis on which the following phases are built reflecting specific findings of the analysis and therefore it investigates in detail all areas important for a perfectly fitting course creation, reflecting the target group as well as the actual material possibilities. The Target Group As the course won t be implemented in practice, the analysis stems from an example target group defined for the purposes of the thesis. 20 Based on the specifics given in chapter , the target group of this course are pupils of the first stage of basic schools, specifically the second period, fifth grade. Such pupils are, as was specified in detail in chapter 1.3, categorised as young learners and as such they have more specific needs than older pupils or adult learners. Some of the most specific characteristics are shorter attention span, need for practice, frequent revision and enough exposure to the target language (i.e. English) and preferably a multiple engagement of the senses. It is necessary to keep these characteristics in mind during the course creation and include enough exercises, authentic language resources, picture illustrations, audio and video resources in the course and revise the information regularly. The Existing Knowledge Level The acquired level of English of the beginning fifth grade pupils is based on what they have learned during their fourth grade studies. 21 Therefore their knowledge corresponds to content of Chit Chat 1 a textbook approved by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports developed for the fourth grade English classes. The content of Chit Chat 1 was successfully completed and the course content is going to build on information included in this textbook. Based on Chit Chat 1 the learners should be familiar with these areas of grammar and vocabulary: 20 Note that the example target group isn t seen as completely ideal or perfect but rather as an average group of young learners. 21 For official requirements set upon the pupils of the fourth grade (which is a previous year of the target fifth grade group) see Framework Educational Programme for Basic Schools 2007, stage 1 period 1, p. 25, 26. This part of the document defines what the target group of this thesis should already know and have managed in the area of foreign language. 57

58 Grammar Verbs TO BE, TO HAVE, TO LIKE, personal pronouns (I, you, he...), possessive pronouns (my, your...), THERE IS/ARE phrase, this/that, basic adjectives (little, happy, thirsty, big...), plural of nouns (dogs, cats), verbs describing activity, possessive s. Vocabulary Colours, numbers from 1 to 12, classroom language (open your book, sit down...), school accessory (ruler, pen, bag...), basic furniture in the classroom, animals, parts of body, parts of face, family members, clothes, food. Social English Introducing Hello, I am, My name is, What s your name, My favourite colour/animal is Greetings - Good morning/evening/afternoon, How are you. The ICT equipment of the example target group is estimated to be on a level sufficient to access the course and use its basic components. It is expected though that there will be a small percentage of underprivileged learners who will need support in this respect. As was already mentioned in chapter 4.4, this group of unequipped learners should be given substitute solution in form of an access to the course through a school computer, to avoid inequalities among the learners. The ICT skills of the example group of learners are elementary, on a basis of social networks (Facebook, ICQ) and games usage level 22. Consequently, the course tools can t be too technically complicated or demanding on usage, the structure of the course needs to be clear and repetitive and the learners will need some initial instruction and support to get used to the course usage and tools. In a non-example situation the actual level of knowledge may not be ideal, the learners may have not managed to finish the whole recommended textbook and the knowledge and skills level can vary from learner to learner. It is therefore necessary to investigate the situation. The ideal provider of such information is an English teacher of the individual class who is in a regular contact with the learners, has more specific idea 22 Hýzl, Jiří. Personal interview. 19 February

59 about the knowledge of the class and can further investigate the strong and weak features of the learners knowledge. As was already mentioned in chapter 4.4, the skills and equipment of the learners in ICT area may also be various, therefore the course should be designed as simple as possible, equipped with clear and detailed instructions, have repetitive and simple structure and apply tools easy to use, so as to respect the actual needs of the learners. There should be also a substitute option how to access the course content for those learners who cannot do so through their own equipment. Educational Goals The course is going to serve as a complement of face-to-face classes of English. The educational goals of this course are to: offer the learners regular contact with the target language (i.e. English) which would extend the educational process behind the limits of face-to-face school classes and encourage the learners systematic home preparation; provide the learners with practice opportunities to make them more competent in areas of listening, reading and writing skills and to make them more confident and experienced in terms of grammar and vocabulary use; give the learners (and their parents) an environment where they can find all necessary information concerning the subject matter of the face-to-face classes in a clear and well organized form; engage the learners interest in English and provide them with additional resources and enjoyable activities; help the learners to become familiar and comfortable with using ICT for self-educative purposes; provide the learners with a meaningful link between the course and the face-to-face classes; encourage the learners active participation in the learning process; enlarge the learners range of vocabulary and support their understanding of grammar rules and their application; help the learners to acquire the required skills and knowledge set in the Framework Educational Programme as was described in chapter

60 Delivery Methods The e-learning course is going to be delivered through an Open Source Moodle platform, which was in chapter 3.7 already chosen as a suitable delivery tool for the purposes of this thesis and described as one of the most used LMS in the area of the Czech Republic which offers a strong support community for the course developers and teachers. Possible Obstacles With regard to chapter 3.2, where the dependence on ICT literacy was pronounced as one of the disadvantages of an e-learning course support, one of the possible obstacles standing against the course successful creation may be the elementary ICT knowledge of the course developer (the author of the thesis). This can cause complications during the Moodle software installation on the server. The obstacle is solved by using help of an ICT-skilled person who is at the same time also the owner of the host server which will be used for the installation, and therefore able to install the necessary components safely. This solution deals at the same time with another obstacle which is the absence of an own server. The course can be refused by the learners not engaging their interest and willingness to try a new way of learning or seen as too difficult to use in terms of ICT skills and equipment needed for the course content access. As stated earlier in the analysis of The Existing Knowledge Level, to avoid any of these obstacles the learners need to go through introductory training, where the course usage and tools are presented to them in detail, a sufficient opportunity to access the course needs to be provided to the unequipped learners and the course itself needs to be as easy to use as possible. Timeline and Financial Issues The estimated time capacity for the course creation is two months. The planned expenses on the course creation and maintaining stem from the number of people involved in the process of the course analysis, design and development. To manage these the author of this thesis, who occupies all necessary roles and functions as the course instructional designer, the content specialist as well as the course team manager, cooperates with an external ICT-skilled person in charge of installing Moodle platform on the server and providing an ICT support and web-hosting service to the course. Therefore the financial investments involve only the area of web-hosting and ICT support. 60

61 For the phases of implementation and evaluation, which are not included in the scope of this thesis, it is necessary to count also with investments into software and hardware equipment if these are on insufficient level, teachers and learners initial training on using the course, and the course evaluator s service Design After analysing the specifics of the target group, the current knowledge level and the actual possibilities and needs the course and its content is designed. This section describes how the final product shall look like and what features it shall have to respect the outcomes of the analysis phase and to achieve the previously pronounced educational goals. The design of the Course Layout and Structure as well as Lesson and Activities Planning and Course Content Design sections respect the findings described in chapter 4.2. Course Layout and Structure The structure of the course is thematic, following the topics covered in the first six chapters of the Chit Chat 2 textbook 23 which will be simultaneously used in the face-to-face classes. Consequently, the course content is organized from more simple topics and language areas, to more complex subject matter. The interplay of the course content and the face-to-face classes aims to fulfil one of the earlier defined educational goals of the course, i.e. to provide a meaningful link between these two components of the whole learning process. The content of the course is divided into ten lessons. These consist of six thematic lessons corresponding to the syllabus of the Chit Chat 2 textbook and two revision lessons placed after each three thematic lessons. The revision lessons are included to reflect the findings of chapter 1.3 where regular feedback was described as beneficial for young learners. With respect to chapter 4.2, in which the usefulness of introductory information was described, an introductory zero lesson is placed at the very beginning of the course. At the end of the course there is a final lesson offering space for pupils feedback on the whole course, which can be used for the purposes of the future evaluation phase. 23 Chit Chat 2 is the following volume of the already mentioned Chit Chat 1 textbook. 61

62 There is no strict time limit on using each lesson and its resources, although the progress in the course should be in harmony with the face-to-face class proceedings. It is also expected that the learners will follow the given structure of the course and activities within each lesson and they will proceed through the course step by step. The course is a modifiable tool and as such it can be complemented or adjusted according to current needs of the learners. The materials within each lesson are intentionally structured in the same way to provide the learners with confidence and routine when proceeding through the course. Each lesson consists of introductory information and instruction how to go through the lesson and its components and how to complete the tasks. The introduction is followed by a set of vocabulary resources and exercises. These are followed by grammar materials and exercise so that the learner can apply the new vocabulary while practicing the grammar rules. The structure and sequence of the resources and activities enables the learners to learn new information and apply it practically through various tasks. After the vocabulary and grammar resources there follow reading, listening and writing activities, interactive games and exercises. Every lesson ends with a glossary for learners to create and a quiz to give the learners a feedback on their learning. Lesson and Activities Planning The course covers the subject matter of English in the first semester of the 5 th grade school year. It corresponds to the Chit Chat 2 textbook content and it supports and enriches the face-to-face lessons during which this textbook shall be used. The aim of each lesson is to cover current grammar and vocabulary dealt with in face-to face class, offer a set of activities to practice listening, writing and reading skills reflecting the current subject matter and to provide the learners with feedback. Introduction Lesson The initial revision lesson of Chit Chat 2 called Hello again! isn t included in the course, instead the course begins with an introductory lesson which contains information describing the learning objectives and the structure of the course, which should help the learners to get familiar with the course environment and structure. The included 62

63 introductory lesson reflects the previously mentioned importance of giving clear guidelines at the beginning of the course as described in chapter 4.2. In this introductory zero lesson there is the first task for the learners which requires them to introduce themselves briefly in English by simple, already familiar phrases. This is in fact a beginning of the learning process as the learners get provoked to use their current knowledge in written English communication. There is also a chat room for the course participants to encourage them to communicate and socialise with each other through the course during their work with it. The chat communication is synchronous and therefore limited by time, but the hope is that the learners will find this option attractive and start to meet in the course on purpose, which might make the whole course usage more pleasant and shared activity. Thematic Lessons The thematic lessons of the course are structured, as mentioned earlier in the section on the Course Layout and Structure, in the same way and they differ from each other only in the topic and subject matter. Every lesson begins with introductory instructions which aim to help the learners to use the resources and activities without obstacles. The initial set of resources covers the current vocabulary of the lesson. The set consists of a list of vocabulary covered in the corresponding lesson of Chit Chat 2. Thanks to the list of vocabulary the learners have a clear idea of what words are important to learn and remember in every lesson. Furthermore, there is a list of additional vocabulary related to the lesson topic which meets the educational goal to offer the learners also additional information. To enhance the learners memory a picture dictionary with important words is added. The aim of the vocabulary set is to provide the learners with useful vocabulary which they can further apply when practicing the new grammar and working with the lesson activities. The usefulness of regular feedback described in chapter 1.3 is reflected not only in the revision lessons but also within the individual thematic lessons where every new vocabulary and grammar item is followed by a short exercise to inform the learners about their progress. 63

64 Grammar is presented in form of well organized handouts which aim to present clear rules and models showing the learners how to create new types of sentences (according to the lesson subject matter). The set of vocabulary and grammar handouts is involved in the course to meet one of the educational goals, i.e. to give the learners all necessary information concerning the subject matter of the face-to-face classes in a clear and well organized form, and provide the learners with a well structured basis of the subject matter dealt with in the face-to-face classes, to which the learners can return whenever they need. The vocabulary and grammar are further practiced through a writing task, where the learners answer questions related to the lesson topic using the newly learned verb or tense and vocabulary. These questions with short answers function as a warm-up for the following reading-writing activity and cultivate the learners writing skills. As a reading activity a letter from a friend or a conversation between two people is presented. The learners are supposed to read the letter, answer a set of questions which check on the text understanding and write an answer to the letter. In case of the conversation, the learner is required to translate it into Czech. This way the learners see the new grammar and vocabulary in context when reading the text and are provoked to use it actively when writing their answers; they can also think about the language and its features when translating. The current subject matter is further practiced through interactive games equipped with sound and pictures. These not only confront the learners with the current grammar and vocabulary, but also stimulate the listening skills and offer correct pronunciation model. Listening skills are further developed through video stories or songs where the learners are expected to use these resources, try to understand their content and, if necessary, use it repeatedly. These activities bring to the young learners enjoyment and interactivity which may motivate them into further learning, offer multiple engagement of their senses and provide the meaningful context; features which were defined in chapter 1.3 as beneficial. At the same time these tasks require the learners to participate actively on the learning process, which was described as one of the important features of an e-learning course content in chapter

65 At the end of the lesson there is a glossary which provokes the learners active reflection of what they have learned. Their task is to fill the glossary with their favourite or difficult words. To provide the learners with feedback on their learning a final quiz is placed at the very end of each lesson covering the current grammar and vocabulary. The quiz gives feedback also to the teacher showing the level of understanding and managing the subject matter of the current lesson. The quizzes together with the revision lessons can be further used for the purposes of the course evaluation, which is left open for future research. Revision lessons After every three lessons there is a revision quiz covering their content and giving direct feedback to the learners as well as the teacher. If the quiz reveals a lack of knowledge in any area, additional practice activities can be created and added. Final lesson The ending lesson doesn t deal with any subject matter. It is designed to be a place for sharing the learners experience with the course and their opinion on the learning through the course. This part of the course can as well serve as one of the tools of the summative evaluation during future research. Except for other important roles and tasks defined in chapter 4.3, the teacher in role of the facilitator is supposed to cooperate with the course, control the learners regular work and check on its results. The teacher complements the course by encouraging the learners to use the course resources actively, s/he gives them feedback on their progress and supervises the learners. An Overview of the course structure and lessons subject matter Table 4 Course structure overview Introduction lesson Introduction Lesson 1 SPORTS The use of verb CAN - use in positive, negative sentences and questions; Topics to cover vocabulary of sports and activities. Lesson 2 MY HOUSE 65

66 Topics to cover THERE IS/ARE phrase - use in positive, negative sentences and questions; prepositions of place; house and furniture vocabulary. Lesson 3 HEALTH Topics to cover Imperative - use in positive and negative sentences; health and illness vocabulary. Lesson 4 Revision lesson - quiz covering lessons 1, 2, 3 grammar and vocabulary. Lesson 5 MY TOWN Topics to cover Prepositions of place (revision); town shops and buildings vocabulary. Lesson 6 HOLIDAY Topics to cover Present continuous tense - used in positive and negative sentences, verbs describing activities. Lesson 7 WEATHER Topics to cover Present continuous tense - use in questions; weather vocabulary, weather phrases. Lesson 8 Revision lesson - quiz covering grammar and vocabulary of lessons 5, 6, 7. End lesson Feedback from the learners. Course Content Design In chapter 4.2 it was explained that the course and its content should be not only well organized and activity provoking but also attractive and respectful towards the learners needs and subject matter. The course content is designed to meet these demands. The grammar handouts are designed so that they can provide the young learners with the necessary information and rules in as clear way as possible, therefore colourful tables and diagrams with descriptions are used and only the most important information is involved. The vocabulary lists are organized in tables with pronunciation and Czech meaning. The vocabulary handouts use same colours to divide optically different topics. The handouts as well as the whole course content are provided with a suitable amount of pictures gained from a free source 24 reflecting the age of the learners. With regard to the analysis of the Existing Knowledge Level, where the ICT skills were described as elementary, the language of the course settings is Czech to avoid

67 confusion and insecurity of the learners. It is possible, though, to switch the course language to English later, if the teacher reckons it beneficial for the learners. The information describing the course activities and instructions how to use them are also mainly in Czech, the educative instructions such as tasks and questions in forums are bilingual to keep the learners in touch with English and at the same time to make sure they know exactly what to do. When the learners are already confident in working with the course materials and know well where they can find what they need, it is possible and advisable to gradually change the Czech labels and instructions of the activities into English ones. This is not recommended though until the learners overcome the initial confusion and difficulties with the course usage. User Interface set. 25 The user interface is given by the delivery tool, i.e. Moodle, where this is already Media Selection The media selection is again given by the delivery tool. Of the wide range of media offered by Moodle, the following will be practically used in the course. Web Page Web pages are included at the beginning of every single lesson including the introductory and final ones. Their purpose is to deliver the instructions and guidelines to the learners in as clear way as possible. PDF file PDF files serve to deliver the grammar and vocabulary handouts and reading exercises. These are uploaded to the course and used in every lesson. The learners can print these files out or use them in an electronic format. The PDF format is chosen in preference as the PDF files reader such as Acrobat Reader 26 is free to download whereas Microsoft Word, although as well common and used, is paid software, therefore it can be less 25 It is not the scope of this thesis to give an overview of Moodle user interface, therefore for more details see

68 available for the learners. Another reason is that in case of different types of Word software the content of the document may get difficult to open for the learners. Link to a website The links used in the course lead to interactive resources such as videos, songs, games or exercises placed on various websites. They are used in every lesson to offer the necessary amount of interactivity, enhance listening skills, practice the current subject matter and motivate the learners giving them an enjoyable activity. Chat Chat is used to provide a synchronous communication in the course and, as was already mentioned, it enables the learners to communicate and help each other with possible obstacles during their work in the course provided that they meet in the course at the same time. Forum Forum is involved in every lesson to provoke the learners to express themselves in written form. The forums are illustrated with pictures and contain questions or writing tasks related to the grammar and vocabulary of the lesson. The learners can not only directly add their answers but also read the answers of their classmates and react to them, ask them questions and communicate. Forums, as was explained in chapter 2.1.3, are an asynchronous form of communication, therefore there is no time limit as in case of chat. Glossary Glossary is at the end of each lesson to catalyse the learners activity and interest in what they learn. Each learner is expected to add to the glossary his/her favourite word or words, which were introduced in the lesson. Quiz Quizzes are used in each lesson to provide the learners with feedback and motivate them to learn further. It also informs the teacher about the individual results and checks how well the learners understand the subject matter. In the revision lessons there are quizzes reflecting the subject matter covered in the previous three lessons. 68

69 The whole design phase aims to project a course which respects the findings of chapter 4.2 which described important features of the course and its content. At the same time the course wants to meet the educational goals expressed in the analysis phase. The E-LEN 27 course is therefore equipped with lessons consisting of small learning steps systematically structured in a way which is same in each thematic lesson and equipped with a combination of visual aids such as picture illustrations, interactivity and mutlimediality, which provokes the learners activity and supports their confidence. The individual lessons aim to give the learner clear guidelines for independent work and enough opportunities to practice their newly gained knowledge in an enjoyable and engaging way and cultivate their skills. The technical features of the course are chosen to be as easy to use as possible to teach the learners how to work with ICT without frustrating them Development Based on the course design the concrete course was practically produced and the steps taken during its development are described to demonstrate how to proceed and what to expect when creating such a course. The Course Establishment The first step of the whole course creation is the download and installation of the Moodle platform on the server. 28 The download of the software package is available at For the course installation the detailed instruction at 29 was followed and the whole process was carried out by an ICT-skilled person as this part is probably the only one which may require an ICT-experienced person. 27 E-LEN is an abbreviation for English Learning which is the name of the e-learning course practically produced in the scope of this thesis. 28 If there is an absence of an own server, it is possible to create a Moodle course through for free or use a web hosting. 29 It is not the aim of this thesis to describe individual steps and technical features of the installation. For details on Moodle installation see 69

70 The Moodle platform was placed at a web hosting 30 and the course is available at After the installation of the software the main menu was accessed for the specific course establishment. This was done through Add/edit courses icon in the main menu (see fig. 1) which leads to creating a category in which the course is placed, though it is possible to create the course also without categorising it. 31 In the newly created English courses category a new course called English Learning with a shortage E-LEN was established both the long and short name was required in the course settings (see fig. 2). The course was equipped with a brief description to help the learners to find the right course if some more similar courses are added in future. The format of the course was set as Topics Format to meet the design plans described in section on the Course Layout and Structure. Consequently, the course lessons are divided according to the topics of the Chit Chat 2 textbook. With regard to previous decisions, the number of topics was set. Although in design phase the number of the lessons was said to be ten, in the course settings the introductory lesson is added automatically by Moodle and therefore it wasn t included into the total number of the topics. The course opening date was set and the course enrolment duration was left without any time limits to provide the learners an access to the course resources also after the course official end. It is possible, though, to limit learners enrolment if their use of the course is planned for a specific time period after which the course gets unavailable (see fig. 3). The course was made available to learners and an enrolment key was created to prevent unwelcome visitors entering the course. The access for the guests was enabled too. The rest of the settings offered were left as pre-set by Moodle. 32 Importantly, it is possible to access the course settings any time even after completing the course creation and it is possible to change any of these settings if necessary. 30 Before the actual installation it is advisable to make sure that the server is compatible with the Moodle software and able to maintain the course. For more details on Moodle installation see 31 If there are more courses created, it is advisable to categorise them for the sake of clarity. 32 For more details on the Course Settings see 70

71 The Individual Lessons Creation After deciding the main course settings the creation of the actual course content can begin. To do so it is necessary to enter the course and use the left Course administration block 33 which contains all needed tools for creating the course content (see fig. 4). To be able to edit the course it is necessary to click on a Turn editing on icon. Then it is possible to work easily with individual lessons and add various resources and activities via pull down Resource and Activity blocks in each lesson (see fig. 5). To make the course clear and vivid the lessons are provided with text and illustrative images which were added through the icon of a writing hand which leads to a text editor. To add a PDF file with grammar and vocabulary overviews and other activities it is necessary to upload these previously created files into the Moodle Files folder which is placed in the Course administration block (see fig. 8). To insert images into the course, these have to be uploaded into the Files folder too. Only JPG, GIF and PNG formats of images are accepted by Moodle though. After uploading the needed files to the Moodle folder, the option Link to a file or web site was chosen in the pull down Resource block in every lesson to insert individual PDF files (see fig. 6). The images were placed into the lessons through the previously mentioned text editor. The option Link to a file or web site was used also for adding links to videos and games from various web sites. When adding a resource through the Link to a file or web site option, the setting of the resource gives a choice to show it in either the same or a new window. To avoid any chaos or difficulties with finding the resource, the option of the same window was used. Another option used from the pull down Activity block (see fig. 7) was a Quiz activity through which exercises and tests were developed. To create the test activity it is necessary to create questions in a Question bank in Moodle (see fig. 9), the questions from the Question bank can be further combined in various quizzes. 34 The most often used question types of the Question bank offer were Matching, Multiple choice and several times also Short answer question types (see fig. 10). 33 For more details on the Course Administration Block see 34 For more details on Question bank see 71

72 In case of Short answer quiz type there is a risk that an acceptable answer differing from the correct one in the slightest detail is seen as incorrect. Therefore this type of questions was used only several times to avoid complications. The other mentioned question types were used as they always give an offer of answers and they are fairly easy to use, which is important with regard to the learners and their elementary ICT skills described in the analysis phase. The overall quiz settings offer a range of possibilities such as Timing of the quiz, i.e. setting a time limit since and until when the quiz is accessible, how many questions will be displayed on a page, or how many attempts the learner is allowed in repeating the quiz and many others (see fig. 11). In the E-LEN course the access to all quizzes and exercises was unlimited, in terms of time and number of allowed attempts, to allow the learners to use these activities repeatedly. The grading method was set on a Highest grade type which means that the final grade is the best result of all attempts of a single quiz. This type of grading was chosen to encourage the learners with positive feedback. The quizzes are also free from point penalties, which allow the learners to correct their wrong answers without loosing points. This is again seen as encouraging towards the learners. Other activities created through the pull down Activity block were Chat which was placed in the introduction lesson, Forum which was inserted into each lesson every time reflecting the current topic of each lesson, and also a Survey in the ending lesson. From the Resource block the already mentioned Link to a file or web site was used together with Compose a web page option providing the course with detailed instructions for learners. The instructions were added also when editing the uploaded PDF files but these are automatically placed at the bottom of the whole page, which is not ideal. The environment of the course is developed to attract the young learners and to be clear and organised at the same time (see fig. 12). The individual tasks designed in section on Lessons and Activities Planning are integrated into the course through activities and resources, the choice of which was driven by the requirement of easy use and basic demands on software and hardware. The overall combination of all the resources and activities creates complex lessons which respect the findings of the analysis phase and reflect the design decisions. 72

73 5.4 Summary of the practical part The aim of the practical part was to produce a Moodle course suitable for the fifth grade English learners. Such a course can be further offered to basic school English teachers to try it out in their face-to-face classes and discover its potential and usefulness which was discussed in the theoretical part. The course was successfully developed and the whole process beginning with the analysis and ending by the development phase was described in detail. This description can serve as a manual for their own course creation by basic schools English teachers whom the practical part wants to inform about the specifics of such a process. It is believed that after understanding the process the teachers get encouraged into trying and creating their own course which can serve them as a useful tool supporting their face-to-face classes and more importantly, which can help their pupils to become more experienced and competent English learners. 73

74 Conclusion Education is an important value of modern society and its quality should be therefore gradually improved. New modern ways and possibilities for teaching and learning are discovered and offered to teachers and learners, and e-learning is one of them. With the development and increasing accessibility of ICT, education through e-learning is becoming more and more common. This thesis presented e-learning in a specific context, used as a support tool of English classes for young learners at Czech basic schools. As this is a complex topic, it was the aim of this work to introduce its individual components so that the reader would become familiar with all information necessary to understand the issue well. Consequently, in the theoretical part the scope of language teaching was defined at first and the target group, young learners of the fifth grade of basic schools, was characterised so that the benefits and drawbacks brought by e-learning to the target group could be analysed. The specific needs of the target group and the requirements set upon their knowledge and skills were further reflected in the practical course creation. The scope of e-learning was investigated and its advantages and disadvantages were analysed on the background of its specific use. In the scope of the theoretical part a suitable e-learning tool was presented and software for the course creation was chosen and defined reflecting its usefulness for English teaching. Following this, it was explained what e-learning course creation involves and what features such a course should have. It was also pointed out that the teacher, as well as the learners, acquire new roles in an e-learning environment and these were further described. This thesis also set down as its goal to investigate whether e-learning could bring some profits if used as a support tool of face-to-face English classes for young learners at basic schools. The general advantages and disadvantages of e-learning were contrasted with an e-learning course usage in form of a supplementary tool supporting English teaching to young learners. Based on this analysis it was assumed that, despite the fact that there can occur some obstacles complicating the course implementation and use, e-learning can bring new options and benefits to English teaching to young learners and through its benefits enhance their learning process. The practical part aimed to present a concrete e-learning course creation which would help the basic school English teachers to understand this complex process and 74

75 encourage them towards their own course creation and/or its usage. In the scope of the practical part, an example e-learning course for the fifth grade English classes of basic schools was successfully produced and the process of its creation was described in detail. The practical course creation stemmed from the findings of the theoretical part. The course creation followed the ADDIE instructional design model presented in the theoretical part and it reflected the defined needs and specifics of the young learners. The course itself offers a clear repetitive structure and it is equipped with instructions in every lesson. The content of the course exceeds and enriches the scope of a textbook used in the face-to-face English classes. The learners can go through clearly structured grammar and vocabulary overviews and work on various activities providing a practice of English skills behind the face-to-face class boundaries. The contributions of this work are several. First of all it provides a theoretical overview of the topic which in fact combines the areas of e-learning support, foreign language teaching and young learners. This thesis sets the ground for further research of this topic which currently seems to be rather under-developed. Moreover, the practical application of the theoretical findings promotes the usage of e-learning among basic school English teachers by showing them that it is possible to create a sufficient course with elementary ICT skills and acceptable financial expenses. Following the example course creation, the teachers get a realistic idea about the process and hopefully get rid of possible prejudices or fear of their own course creation and usage. The produced course is available to teachers at enabling them to experience the course usage benefits and drawbacks in their own classes, which again can help them to discover the advantages such a course can offer to them and their learners. In addition, the thesis supports the implementation of ICT in basic education, which is in harmony with the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports strategy in this area. The future research of this topic can be concentrated on the e-learning course implementation in a concrete English class. The approach of the learners, teachers and the school management towards the course usage and their experience with it can be further investigated. The efficiency and success of the course can be evaluated and solutions to possible obstacles and drawbacks can be proposed. In relation to the topic, it can be also useful to investigate and analyse in detail the current level of ICT skills among the Czech basic schools learners. 75

76 With regards to the continuous evolution in the ICT area, it is expected that in the future the use of e-learning will gradually expand into all areas of education where its potential can be fully used. Consequently, also young learners and their teachers should become familiar with this useful device and involve it in their learning and teaching process. The tools and functions of the e-learning courses are likely to become more advanced and effective and learners of all age groups will be offered new appealing ways and options for learning and self-improvement. However, despite the predicted evolution it should be kept in mind that, as the title of this thesis implies, e-learning is firstly a tool which should respect the requirements, needs and abilities of the target group. 76

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78 Dalsgaard, Christian. "Social Software: E-Learning Beyond Learning Management Systems." EURODL: European Journal for Open, Distance and E-Learning, 12 June Web. 23 Dec Davies, Paul A., and Eric Pearse. Success in English Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Print. Denis, Brigitte, et al. "Roles and Competencies of the E-Tutor." Networked Learning Conference N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Feb Dudeney, Gavin, and Nicky Hockly. How to Teach English with Technology. Harlow: Longman, Pearson Education Limited, Print. Egerová, Dana. "Reflexe Vývoje Výhod a Nevýhod E-Learningu." Technológia Vzdelávania. Zdruţenie SLOVDIDAC, PDF file. 18 Nov "ELearner- Advantages and Disadvantages." E-Leaner: Computer-based Learning. Iowa State University, 9 July 2001.Web. 17 Feb "Evaluating ELearning Software." Trivantis. Trivantis Corporation, n.d.web. 8 Feb Finnis, Johnny. "What Is a VLE?" Ezine Articles. N.p., 20 Mar Web. 7 Feb "Forum Module - MoodleDocs." Main Page - MoodleDocs. Moodle, 26 Oct Web. 8 Feb Goodyear, Peter, et al. "Competences for Online Teaching: a Special Report." Educational Technology Research & Development, 49(1), Springer Boston, 1 March PDF file. 28 Feb Harmer, Jeremy. How to Teach English. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited, Print. 78

79 Hausner Milan, et al. Škola pro 21. Století: Akční Plán pro Realizaci "Koncepce Rozvoje Informačních a Komunikačních Technologií ve Vzdělávání pro Období ". N.p., PDF file. 17 Jan Imel, Susan, and Erik Jacobson. Distance Education and E-Learning: New Options for Adult Basic and English Language Education. California Department of Education, May PDF file. 20 Dec Jeřábek, Jaroslav, and Jan Tupý. The Framework Educational Programme for Basic Education (FEP BE). Prague: Research Institute of Education in Prague VÚP, PDF file. 17 Oct "Key Advantage of Open Source Is Not Cost Savings." Computer Economics: IT Metrics, Ratios, Benchmarks, and Research Advisories for IT Management. N.p., 12 May Web. 7 Feb Kopecký, Kamil. E-learning (Nejen) Pro Pedagogy. Olomouc: Hanex, Print. Kruse, Kevin. "The Benefits and Drawbacks of E-Learning." LoadzaJobs.ie. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Nov Květoň, Karel. Úloha E-Learningu na Školách: Základní Informace pro Manažery Vzdělávání. Ostrava: Ostravská Univerzita, PDF file. 21 Jan Květoň, Karel. Základy E-Learningu. Praha: ČVUT Praha, PDF file. 18 Feb Lewis, Gordon Russell. The Internet and Young Learners. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Print. McKenzie-Brown, Peter. "Glossary of Language Teaching Terms and Ideas." Language Matters. N.p., 21 Mar Web. 17 Oct Melichárek, Kamil, et al. Úroveň ICT v Základních Školách v ČR. N.p., 16 Sept PDF file. 20 Dec

80 Mobbs, Richard. "How To Be An ETutor." University of Leicester. N.p., May Web. 12 Feb Moore, Michael G., and Greg Kearsley. Distance Education: A Systems View. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, Print. Mougalian, Catherine, and Alicia Salazar. "Moodle, the Electronic Syllabus, Lends Itself to PrOCALL." CALLme A Computer Assisted Language Learning & Pedagogy Webzine. N.p., Web. 9 Feb Pinter, Annamaria. Teaching Young Language Learners. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Print. "Primary Education." Main Page - MoodleDocs. Moodle, 14 Dec Web. 7 Feb Rosenberg, Marc Jeffrey. Beyond E-learning: Approaches and Technologies to Enhance Organizational Knowledge, Learning, and Performance. San Francisco: Pfeiffer, Print. Scott, Wendy A., and Lisbeth H. Ytreberg. Teaching English to Children. New York: Longman, Print. "Section1: What Is a Virtual Learning Environment." IADT Website. N.p., Aug Web. 7 Feb Sharma, Pete, and Barney Barrett. Blended Learning: Using Technology in and Beyond the Language Classroom. Oxford: Macmillan Education, Print. Shoemaker, Duane. "The Five ELearning Components." Instructional Design: Information to Help You Build Successful Educational Programs. N.p., Web. 20 Feb

81 Siemens, George. "Instructional Design in Elearning." Elearn Space. N.p., 30 Sept Web. 11 Feb Sladkovská, Kamila. "Další Cizí Jazyk v Českých Základních Školách." Metodický Portál: Inspirace a Zkušenosti Učitelů. Metodický Portál RVP, 16 Sept Web. 5 Dec Sladkovská, Kamila, and Jan Tupý. "Nejčastější Dotazy k Cizím Jazykům a RVP ZV." Metodický Portál: Inspirace a Zkušenosti Učitelů. Metodický Portál RVP, 7 Oct. 2010, Web. 5 Dec Smith, Patricia L., and Tillman J. Ragan. Instructional Design. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., n.d. PDF file. 11 Feb Stanford, Jeff. Moodle 1.9 for Second Language Teaching: Engaging Online Languagelearning Activities Using the Moodle Platform. Birmingham: Packt, Print. Strickland, A. W. "College of Education - ADDIE - Analyze." ISU College of Education. Idaho State University, n.d. Web. 7 Mar Školeková, Zuzana. Dotazníkové Šetření Rozšíření, Použití a Zájmu o E-learning na Úrovni Základního Vzdělávání Českých Škol. N.p., n.d. PDF file. 20 Dec "Teacher Documentation - MoodleDocs." Main Page - MoodleDocs. Moodle, 23 February Web. 28 Feb "The ADDIE Instructional Design Model." Outsource to India - Outsourcing Services and Outsourcing Solutions. Focussing on Business Outsourcing for Global Clientele. N.p., Web. 20 Feb Timková, Martina. "E-Learning - Progresívny Doplnok Výučby Cudzích Jazykov." N.p., n.d. PDF file. 21 Jan

82 "Tools in a Virtual Learning Environment." JISC infonet. Northumbria University, n.d. Web. 7 Feb Trinick, Mark. Navigating the VLE Maze. N.p., 9 Feb PDF file. 7 Feb Úlovec, Roman. "E-Learning na ZŠ a SŠ." Metodický Portál: Inspirace a Zkušenosti Učitelů. Metodický Portál RVP, 5 Sept. 2008, Web. 21 Jan Výroční Zpráva České Školní Inspekce za Školní Rok 2009/2010. Praha: Česká Školní Inspekce, Dec PDF file. 15 Jan "Welcome to the Moodle Service Network!" Moodle Services - Moodle.com. Moodle, Web. 7 Feb Weller, Martin. Virtual Learning Environments: Using, Choosing and Developing Your VLE. London: Routledge, Print. White, Cynthia. Language Learning in Distance Education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Print. Willis, Barry. Distance Education: a Practical Guide. New Jersey: Educational Technology Publications, Print. Wright, Clayton R. Criteria for Evaluating the Quality of Online Courses. N.p., n.d. PDF file. 18 Feb Zelenak, John. "What Is an E-Learning Tool?" Department of Instructional Technology - Bloomsburg University. Institute for Interactive Technologies, 13 Oct Web. 19 Jan

83 Appendix Appendix A Figures of the E-LEN course creation Fig.1 Moodle Main Menu Fig. 2 Course Settings

84 Fig. 3 Course Settings Fig. 4 Course Administration Block

85 Fig. 5 Resource and Activity Blocks in individual lessons Fig. 6 Resource Block Fig. 7 Activity Block

86 Fig. 8 Moodle Files Folder Fig. 9 Quiz Questions Bank

87 Fig. 10 Quiz Question Types Fig. 11 Quiz Settings

88 Fig. 12 E-LEN Course - Lesson 6

89 Appendix B - List of web links used in the work Adobe Reader 10 Blackboard Inc. Bodington.org Desire2Learn Inc. Development: Moodle User Interface Guidelines Dokeos.com E-LEN - English Learning Fronter Gnomio.com ILIAS Installing Moodle Hardware Installing Moodle Requirements itrivio.cz Itslearning Metodický portál RVP Microsoft Office Images Moodle Course administration block Moodle Course Settings Moodle downloads Moodle Question bank Moodle Teacher Documentation Moodle.cz Moodle.org Silverchair.com Škola za školou ZŠ a MŠ Březová ZŠ Bohuslavice ZŠ Karlovy Vary ZŠ Morávkova Vyškov elines Appendix C List of abbreviations ICT CMS LMS VLE MLE E-LEN Information and Communication Technologies Content/Course Management System Learning Management System Virtual Learning Environment Managed Learning Environment English Learning Appendix D - The E-LEN course handouts

90 1. SPORTS and ACTIVITIES = SPORTY a ČINNOSTI /spɔ:ts ə nd æktɪv.ɪ.tis/ ANGLICKY VÝSLOVNOST ČESKY ski ski: lyţovat skate skeɪt bruslit run rʌn běhat dive daɪv potápět se swim swɪm plavat play football pleɪ fʊt.bɔ:l hrát fotbal play basketball pleɪ bɑ:.skɪt.bɔ:l hrát basketball play tennis pleɪ ten.ɪs hrát tenis play hockey pleɪ hɒk.i hrát hokej play volleyball pleɪ vɒl.i.bɔ:l hrát volejbal ride a bike raɪd ə baɪk jezdit na kole sing sɪŋ zpívat dance dɑ:nt s tancovat stop stɒp zastavit throw θrəʊ házet do du: dělat triathlon traɪæθ.lɒn triatlon (závod) kilometre kɪl.əmi:.tər kilometr metre mi:.tər metr Olympic games əʊ lɪm.pɪk geɪms Olympijské hry crown kraʊn koruna dragon dræg.ən drak king kɪŋ král bat bæt netopýr children tʃɪl.drən děti doctor dɒk.tər doktor

91 1. MORE VOCABULARY = DALŠÍ SLOVÍČKA ANGLICKY VÝSLOVNOST ČESKY sport spɔ:t sport game geɪm hra activity æktɪv.ɪ.ti činnost can kæn moci, umět, smět can t kɑ:nt nemoci, neumět see si: vidět hear hɪər slyšet write raɪt psát draw drɔ: kreslit read ri:d číst speak spi:k mluvit work wɜ:k pracovat go gəʊ jít, jet jump dʒʌmp skákat walk wɔ:k jít pěšky climb klaɪm šplhat, lézt fly flaɪ létat travel træv.əl cestovat drive a car draɪv ə kɑ:r řídit auto ride a horse raɪd ə hɔ:s jet na koni ride a motorbike raɪd ə məʊ.tə.baɪk jet na motorce play the piano pleɪ ðə piæn.əʊ hrát na klavír play the guitar pleɪ ðə gɪtɑ:r hrát na kytaru cook kʊk vařit eat i:t jíst drink drɪŋk pít make a coffee meɪk ə kɒf.i uvařit kávu speak English spi:k ɪŋ.glɪʃ mluvit anglicky

92 1. PICTURE DICTIONARY = OBRÁZKOVÝ SLOVNÍK /pɪk.tʃər dɪk.ʃən.ər.i/ SKI SKATE RUN SWIM SING DANCE FOOTBALL BASKETBALL TENNIS RIDE A BIKE SPEAK VOLLEYBALL CLIMB STOP HOCKEY

93 DIVE THROW WRITE JUMP COOK FLY RIDE A HORSE WALK READ DRIVE A CAR DRAW PLAY THE GUITAR DRINK EAT TABLE TENNIS

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97 Hello, I m Jane! I m eleven years old. I have got brown, long hair, brown eyes and red mouth. I am clever and happy. I like animals. My favourite animal is horse and monkey. Monkeys are funny. Do you like animals? My favourite colour is yellow. What is your favourite colour? I like school too. My favourite subject is English. I like chocolate and fruit. Do you like fruit too? And do you like vegetables? I can cook. I can play the guitar but I can t sing. Can you sing? I can ski and run. But I can t fly. Can you play the piano? Can you skate and play football? Love, Jane Answer these questions: 1. How old is Jane? 2. What can Jane do? 3. Does Jane like school? 4. Can Jane sing? 5. Has Jane got blonde hair? What can you do and what can t you do?

98 2. HOUSE AND FURNITURE = DŮM A NÁBYTEK /haʊs ə nd fɜ:.nɪ.tʃər/ ANGLICKY VÝSLOVNOST ČESKY house haʊs dům flat flæt byt bedroom bed.rʊm loţnice kitchen kɪtʃ.ən kuchyň bathroom bɑ:θ.rʊm koupelna living room lɪv.ɪŋ ru:m obývací pokoj dining room daɪnɪn ru:m jídelna hall hɔ:l chodba upstairs ʌpsteəz v horním patře downstairs daʊnsteəz v dolním patře bed bed postel TV ti:vi: televize picture pɪk.tʃər obrázek table teɪ.bl stůl sofa səʊ.fə gauč chair tʃeər ţidle cupboard kʌb.əd skříň na nádobí plant plɑ:nt pokojová rostlina drawer drɔ:r šuplík cooker kʊk.ər sporák bug bʌg brouk ghost gəʊst duch photo fəʊ.təʊ fotografie Where s? weəz Kde je?

99 2. MORE VOCABULARY = DALŠÍ SLOVÍČKA (house) ANGLICKY VÝSLOVNOST ČESKY lawn lɔ:n trávník roof ru:f střecha chimney tʃɪm.ni komín attic æt.ɪk podkroví cellar sel.ər sklep window wɪn.dəʊ okno door dɔ:r dveře room ru:m pokoj study stʌd.i studovna In the kitchen. = V kuchyni. sink sɪŋk dřez fridge frɪdʒ lednice freezer fri:.zər mrazák kitchen unit kɪtʃ.ən ju:.nɪt kuchyňská linka microwave oven maɪ.krəʊ.weɪv ʌv.ən mikrovlnná trouba oven ʌv.ən trouba (normální) bin bɪn odpadkový koš In the living room. = V obývacím pokoji. radio reɪ.di.əʊ rádio coffee table kɒf.i teɪ.bl konferenční stolek armchair ɑ:m.tʃeər křeslo carpet kɑ:.pɪt koberec lamp læmp lampa bookcase bʊk.keɪs knihovnička DVD player di:.vi:di: pleɪ.ər DVD přehrávač curtain kɜ:tən záclona

100 In the bedroom. = V loţnici. bedside table bed.saɪd teɪ.bl noční stolek alarm clock əlɑ:m klɒk budík pillow pɪl.əʊ polštář blanket blæŋ.kɪt přikrývka toys tɔɪz hračky wardrobe wɔ:.drəʊb skříň (na oblečení) chest of drawers tʃest əv drɔ:rz prádelník (skříň) mirror mɪr.ər zrcadlo desk desk psací stůl shelf ʃelf polička computer kəmpju:.tər počítač In the bathroom. = V koupelně. bath bɑ:θ vana basin beɪ.sən umyvadlo toilet tɔɪ.lət záchod shower ʃaʊər sprcha hair dryer heər draɪ.ər fén na vlasy washing machine wɒʃ.ɪŋ məʃi:n pračka In the hall. = Na chodbě. rug rʌg kobereček rack ræk věšák

101 2. PICTURE DICTIONARY = OBRÁZKOVÝ SLOVNÍK /pɪk.tʃər dɪk.ʃən.ər.i/ HOUSE WINDOW DOOR BEDROOM BATHROOM LIVING ROOM DINING ROOM SOFA TV TABLE CUPBOARD CHAIR DRAWER FRIDGE MICROWAVE OVEN

102 LAMP SHELF CURTAIN PILLOW BED ALARM CLOCK MIRROR BATH BASIN SHOWER WASHING MACHINE HAIR DRYER CHIMNEY TOILET COMPUTER

103 1. PŘEDLOŢKY MÍSTA = PREPOSITIONS OF PLACE /prep.ə zɪʃ.əns əv pleɪs/ IN = v /in/ The dog is in the box. Pes je v krabici. ON = na /on/ The lamp is on the table. Lampa je na stole. UNDER = pod /ʌn.dər/ The presents are under the tree. Dárky jsou pod stromečkem. BEHIND = za /bɪ haɪnd/ The sun is behind the cloud. Slunce je za mrakem.

104 NEXT TO = vedle /nekst tʊ / The tree is next to the house. Strom je vedle domu. BETWEEN = mezi /bɪtwi:n/ The plate is between the spoon and the fork. Talíř je mezi lžící a vidličkou. IN FRONT OF = před /ɪn frʌnt əv/ The cat is in front of the dog. Kočka je před psem. ABOVE = nad /əbʌv/ The bee is above the flower. Včela je nad květinou. NEAR = blízko /nɪər/ The pen is near the pencil. Pero je blízko tužky.

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108 Hello! My name is Tim and I m twelve. I have got short blonde hair and blue eyes and I am clever but I am lazy too. I have got a very nice house. My house is big. In my house there is a kitchen, a living room, two bedrooms and two bathrooms. My bedroom is upstairs. I like my bedroom. There is a big window in my bedroom. Near the window there is my desk. There is a computer and a lamp on my desk. There is a chair in front of the desk. There is a big bed in my bedroom. It is my bed. My bedside table is next to my bed. There is a green alarm clock on my bedside table. I have got many toys in my bedroom. There is a shelf above my desk and there are many nice books on the shelf. What is in your bedroom? Love, Tim Is it true or false? T F 1. Tim has got a small house. 2. Tim s bedroom is upstairs. 3. There is a book on the table. 4. Tim s alarm clock is under the bed. 5. There isn t a bedside table in Tim s bedroom. Describe your house and your bedroom!

109 3. HEALTH AND ILLNESS = ZDRAVÍ A NEMOC /helθ ə nd ɪl.nəs/ ANGLICKY VÝSLOVNOST ČESKY doctor dɒk.tər doktor head hed hlava ill ɪl nemocný healthy hel.θi zdravý eyes aɪz oči headache hed.eɪk bolest hlavy sore throat sɔ:r θroʊt bolest v krku, angína a cold kəʊld nachlazení loud laʊd hlasitý lots of lɒts əv hodně (něčeho) go to sleep gəʊ tə sli:p jít spát hungry hʌŋ.gri hladový stomach ache stʌm.ək eɪk bolest břicha unhealthy ʌnhel.θi nezdravé fruit fru:t ovoce vegetables vedʒ.tə.bls zelenina sweets swi:ts sladkosti cola kəʊ.lə kola terrible ter.ə.bl hrozný, strašný call kɔ:l volat (někomu) telephone tel.ɪ.fəʊn telefon robber rɒb.ər zloděj dirty dɜ:.ti špinavý magic mædʒ.ɪk kouzelný Here you are. hɪər ju: ɑ:r Tady máš. I m tired. aɪm taɪəd sem unavený. Come in! kʌm in Vstupte! Are you OK? ɑ:r ju: əʊ keɪ Jsi v pořádku?

110 3. MORE VOCABULARY = DALŠÍ SLOVÍČKA ANGLICKY VÝSLOVNOST ČESKY body bɒd.i tělo healthy hel.θi zdravý ill ɪl nemocný head hed hlava arm ɑ:m ruka (paţe) leg leg noha ankle æŋ.kl kotník stomach stʌm.ək břicho teeth ti:θ zuby finger fɪŋ.gər prst muscle mʌs.l sval backache bæk.eɪk bolest zad flu flu: chřipka injury ɪn.dʒər.i zranění hospital hɒs.pɪ.təl nemocnice nurse nɜ:s zdravotní sestra injection ɪndʒek.ʃən injekce medicine med.ɪ.sən lék plaster plɑ:.stər sádra sneeze sni:z kýchat cough kɒf kašlat earache ɪə.reɪk bolest ucha toothache tu:θ.eɪk bolest zubu broken leg brəʊ.kən leg zlomená noha twisted ankle twɪs.tɪd æŋ.kl zvrtnutý kotník swollen swəʊ.lən oteklý fever fi:.vər horečka Blow your nose! bləʊ jɔ:r nəʊz Vysmrkej se! Take a medicine! teɪk ə med.ɪ.sən Vezmi si lék! Open your mouth! əʊ.pən jɔ: r maʊθ Otevři pusu!

111 3. PICTURE DICTIONARY = OBRÁZKOVÝ SLOVNÍK /pɪk.tʃər dɪk.ʃən.ər.i/ ILL HEALTHY HEADACHE DOCTOR HOSPITAL TOOTHACHE SORE THROAT STOMACH ACHE MEDICINE NURSE ANKLE ARM BROKEN LEG INJECTION BACKACHE

112 COUGH FEVER PLASTER FINGER MUSCLE SNEEZE EARACHE BODY FRUIT ROBBER SWEETS VEGETABLES

113

114 Translate this into Czech: Přelož rozhovor do češtiny. Jim: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Doctor: Hello Jim, what s the matter with you today? Your eyes are red. Are you OK? Jim: Hello doctor. I am ill. I have got a terrible headache. Ach! Ouch! Doctor: Hmmm, open your mouth Jim! Doctor: Have you got a sore throat Jim? Jim: Yes, I have. Doctor: Have you got a headache too? Jim: Yes, I have doctor! Doctor: Are you tired Jim? Jim: Yes, I am very tired! Doctor: You have a cold, Jim. Jim: A cold? Oh no! What can I do doctor? Doctor: Take this medicine Jim and go to bed. Drink a lot of hot tea with lemon Jim! OK? Jim: Yes, doctor. Can I play outside with my friends? Doctor: No! Don t play outside! Go to bed and sleep! Jim: Oh no. Thank you doctor. Good bye. Doctor: Bye-bye Jim!

115 4. MY TOWN = MOJE MĚSTO /maɪ taʊn/ ANGLICKY VÝSLOVNOST ČESKY shop ʃɒp obchod town taʊn město village vɪl.ɪdʒ vesnice river rɪv.ər řeka clothes shop kləʊðz ʃɒp obchod s oblečením cinema sɪn.ə.mə kino café kæf.eɪ kavárna supermarket su:.pəmɑ:.kɪt supermarket bookshop bʊk.ʃɒp knihkupectví sports centre spɔ:ts sen.tər sportovní centrum hotel h əʊ :tel hotel museum mju:zi:.əm muzeum park pɑ:k park statue stætʃ.u socha square skweər náměstí opposite ɒp.ə.zɪt naproti in the square ɪn ðə skweər na náměstí castle kɑ:.sl hrad market mɑ:.kɪt trh church tʃɜ:tʃ kostel school sku:l škola turn left tɜ:n left zahni vlevo turn right tɜ:n raɪt zahni vpravo go straight past gəʊ streɪt pɑ:st jdi rovně kolem toy shop tɔɪ ʃɒp hračkářství swimming pool swɪmɪŋ pu:l bazén Where is? weər ɪz Kde je?

116 4. MORE VOCABULARY = DALŠÍ SLOVÍČKA ANGLICKY VÝSLOVNOST ČESKY library laɪ.brər.i knihovna bakery beɪ.kər.i pekárna sweetshop swi:t ʃɒp cukrárna restaurant res.trɒnt restaurace town hall taʊn hɔ:l radnice theatre θɪə.tər divadlo town centre taʊn sen.tər centrum města bridge brɪdʒ most road rəʊd cesta fountain faʊn.tɪn kašna building bɪl.dɪŋ budova house haʊs dům grocery grəʊ.sər.i obchod s potravinami butchery bʊtʃ.ər.i řeznictví go past gəʊ pɑ:st jít kolem (něčeho) go straight ahead gəʊ streɪt əhed jít rovně go along gəʊ əlɒŋ jdi podél (něčeho) I am from Brno. aɪ əm frəm Já jsem z Brna. I live in a town. aɪ lɪv ɪn ə taʊn Ţiju ve městě. In my town there is a ɪn maɪ taʊn ðeər iz V mém městě je kino. cinema. ə sɪn.ə.mə There are lots of Je tam mnoho ðeər a:r lɒts əv ʃɒpz shops. obchodů. opposite the cinema ɒp.ə.zɪt ðə sɪn.ə.mə naproti kinu in front of the café ɪn frʌnt əv ðə kæf.eɪ před kavárnou near the hotel nɪər ðə h əʊ tel blízko hotelu next to the bookshop nekst tʊ ðə bʊk.ʃɒp vedle knihkupectví

117 4. PICTURE DICTIONARY = OBRÁZKOVÝ SLOVNÍK /pɪk.tʃər dɪk.ʃən.ər.i/ TURN LEFT TURN RIGHT GO STRAIGHT TOWN VILLAGE CINEMA CLOTHES SHOP SUPERMARKET CAFÉ BOOKSHOP HOTEL MUSEUM

118 STATUE CASTLE MARKET CHURCH BAKERY BRIDGE FOUNTAIN GROCERY BUTCHERY SWEETSHOP ROAD PARK

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122 Hi friends! My name is Erica Hill and I am eleven. I m from Oxford. It is a big town in England. Where are you from? I like Oxford very much, it is a great town! Do you like your town or village? In Oxford there are many shops. There is a big supermarket and there are seven clothes shops. There are many cafés and restaurants and there is a lot of schools. There isn t a park in Oxford. How many shops are in your town? Have you got a favourite shop? My favourite shop is a toy shop. In my town there is a big library. I like our library they have very nice books and magazines. There are ten bookshops in Oxford. Is there a bookshop in your town? There is a nice castle in Oxford and there are many museums. But I don t like museums they are boring. I like shops and our library. Oh, and there is a sports centre in my town! There is a swimming pool in the sports centre. Can you swim? I can swim and I like it very much! Write me soon! Love, Erica Answer these questions: 1. What is Erica s favourite shop? 2. Is there a library in Oxford? 3. Does Erica like her town? 4. How many clothes shops are there in Oxford? 5. Is there a park in Oxford? Write a letter to Erica and answer her questions.

123 5. HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES = PRÁZNINOVÉ ČINNOSTI /hɒl.ɪ.deɪ æktɪv.ɪ.tiz/ ANGLICKY VÝSLOVNOST ČESKY on holiday ɒn hɒl.ɪ.deɪ na prázdninách holiday hɒl.ɪ.deɪ prázdniny, dovolená beach bi:tʃ pláţ on the beach ɒn ðə bi:tʃ na pláţi rocks rɒks útesy, skály sea si: moře palm tree pɑ:m tri: palma fantastic fæntæs.tɪk fantastický favourite feɪ.vər.ɪt nejoblíbenější pick up pɪk.ʌp zvednout in this picture ɪn ðɪs pɪk.tʃər na tomto obrázku Put your hands up! pʊt jər hænds ʌp Dej ruce vzhůru! What are you doing? du:.ɪŋ Co právě děláš? He s writing. raɪ.tɪŋ On píše. I m skipping. skɪpɪŋ Já poskakuji. I m sitting. sɪt.ɪŋ Já sedím. I m running. rʌn.ɪŋ Já běhám. He s reading. ri:.dɪŋ On čte. He s playing football. pleɪŋ On hraje fotbal. Love from lʌv frəm S láskou od I m jumping. dʒʌmpɪŋ Já skáču. I m falling. fɔ:.lɪŋ Já padám. Dad is sleeping. sli:pɪŋ Táta spí. She is swimming in the sea. swɪmɪŋ Ona plave v moři.

124 5. MORE VOCABULARY = DALŠÍ SLOVÍČKA ANGLICKY VÝSLOVNOST ČESKY spring sprɪŋ jaro summer sʌm.ər léto autumn ɔ:.təm podzim winter wɪn.tər zima sleep sli:p spát swim swɪm plavat sunbathe sʌn.beɪð opalovat se relax rɪlæks odpočívat write raɪt psát draw drɔ: kreslit read ri:d číst speak spi:k mluvit work wɜ:k pracovat go gəʊ jít, jet jump dʒʌmp skákat walk wɔ:k jít pěšky climb klaɪm šplhat, lézt fly flaɪ létat drive a car draɪv ə kɑ:r řídit auto ride a horse raɪd ə hɔ:s jet na koni ride a motorbike raɪd ə məʊ.tə.baɪk jet na motorce play the piano pleɪ ðə piæn.əʊ hrát na klavír play the guitar pleɪ ðə gɪtɑ:r hrát na kytaru cook kʊk vařit eat i:t jíst drink drɪŋk pít make a coffee meɪk ə kɒf.i uvařit kávu

125 5. PICTURE DICTIONARY = OBRÁZKOVÝ SLOVNÍK /pɪk.tʃər dɪk.ʃən.ər.i/ BEACH SEA PALM TREE ROCKS HE S WRITING HE S READING HE S RELAXNG HE S SUNBATHING SHE S SLEEPING SHE SWIMMING HE S JUMPING THEY RE DANCING

126 SUMMER SPRING AUTUMN WINTER SHE S COOKING HE S SINGING SHE S SITTING HE S FALLING HE S RUNNING

127

128

129

130 Hello my friend! I am writing a letter for you! I am on holiday in Italy! It is great! Now, I am sitting under a palm tree and I m relaxing. The beach and the sea are very nice and hot. I am eating a strawberry ice-cream! I ice cream very much! My brother Nick is swimming and diving in the sea. He is very happy. And my dad is playing volleyball with his friends. They are jumping and running. My dad likes sports. My mum is sitting and reading a book. She likes the book and she is smiling. She is drinking cold orange juice and she is eating biscuits. We are relaxing and we are very happy! What are you doing? Love Sarah Answer these questions: 1. What is Sarah doing? 2. What is mum doing? 3. Is Nick eating an ice-cream? 4. What is dad doing? 5. Are they relaxing? What are you doing now?

131 6. WEATHER = POČASÍ /weð.ər/ ANGLICKY VÝSLOVNOST ČESKY a sunny day ə sʌn.i deɪ slunečný den hot hɒt horký, horko sunny sʌn.i slunečno idea aɪdɪə nápad I ve got an idea! aɪdɪə Já mám nápad! umbrella ʌmbrel.ə deštník cold kəʊld chladno, zima windy wɪn.di větrno kite kaɪt papírový drak boots bu:ts galoše, vysoké boty It s hot. hɒt Je horko. It s cold. kəʊld Je zima. It s sunny. sʌn.i Je slunečno. It s raining. reɪniɪŋ Prší. It s windy. wɪn.di Je větrno. It s snowing. snəʊɪŋ Sněţí. High in sky. haɪ ɪn ðə skaɪ Vysoko na obloze. weather weð.ər počasí weather watch weð.ər wɒtʃ předpověď počasí leaves li:vz listy poem pəʊ.ɪm básnička here and there hɪər ə nd ðeər sem a tam Go away! gəʊ əweɪ Jdi pryč! fun fʌn zábava ground graʊnd zem rich rɪtʃ bohatý play outside pleɪ aʊtsaɪd hrát si venku The weather is very bad. weð.ər Počasí je špatné.

132 6. MORE VOCABULARY = DALŠÍ SLOVÍČKA ANGLICKY VÝSLOVNOST ČESKY inside ɪnsaɪd uvnitř outside aʊtsaɪd venku spring sprɪŋ jaro summer sʌm.ər léto autumn ɔ:.təm podzim winter wɪn.tər zima sun sʌn slunce wind wɪnd vítr snow snəʊ sníh snowflake snəʊ.fleɪk sněhová vločka rain reɪn déšť cloud klaʊd mrak storm stɔ:m bouřka thunder θʌn.dər hrom lightning laɪt.nɪŋ blesk snowman snəʊ.mæn sněhulák fog fɒg mlha clear klɪər jasný, jasno shine ʃaɪn svítit blow bləʊ foukat It s cloudy. klaʊ.di Je zataţeno. It s stormy. stɔ:.mi Je bouřka. It s foggy. fɒg.i Je mlha. It s clear. klɪər Je jasno. raincoat reɪŋ.kəʊt pláštěnka The sun is shining. ðə sʌn ɪz ʃaɪnɪŋ Slunce svítí. The wind is blowing. ðə wɪnd ɪz bləʊɪŋ Vítr fouká.

133 6. PICTURE DICTIONARY = OBRÁZKOVÝ SLOVNÍK /pɪk.tʃər dɪk.ʃən.ər.i/ It s sunny. It s windy It s raining. It s snowing. It s cold. It s hot. snow wind rain kite raincoat leaves

134 lightning storm snowflake snowman umbrella boots cloud It s cloudy. rainbow

135

136

137

138 Translate the discussion into Czech. Přeloţ rozhovor do češtiny. MONDAY Tom: What is the weather like, Kate? Kate: It is sunny and hot! Tom: Oh great! We can swim and play outside! TUESDAY Kate: Is it sunny and hot today? Tom: No, Kate, it isn t. It is cold. Oh no! It s raining! Kate: Oh, that s terrible! We can t go out! Tom: We can play games in the house. WEDNESDAY Tom: What is the weather like today? Kate: It is very cold Tom, and it is snowing! Tom: Really? That s great! We can ski and skate and we can play with the snow! Kate: Yes we can! But take your hat and gloves Tom! It is very cold. THURSDAY Kate: Is it cold today? Can we skate? Tom: No, Kate, we can t. It s cloudy and It s windy. Kate: Well, we can play with a kite Tom. Tom: OK but take your umbrella and boots Kate, it can rain. FRIDAY Tom: It s a nice sunny day Kate! Kate: Great! We can ride a bike! Tom: And we can eat ice-cream! Kate: Yes, that s a great idea!

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