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					"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>

Index

INDEX                                                                 1

PREFACE                                                               3

1. THE INTERNET - WHAT IS IT?                                         3

      1.1 HISTORY OF THE INTERNET                                     3

      1.2 HISTORY OF THE WORLD WIDE WEB                               4


2. INTERNET IN STUDENTS' LIVES                                        4

3. WHAT DO I NEED TO GET STARTED?                                     5

      3.1 HARDWARE REQUIREMENTS                                       5

      3.2 SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS                                       5


4. HOW TO FIND NEEDED RESOURCES                                       5

5. HOW CAN THE INTERNET BE USED FOR THE LK ENGLISH                    6

      5.1 DICTIONARIES                                                6
             Englisch-Wörterbücher aller Art                          6

      5.2 RESOURCES FOR ENGLISH STYLISTIC DEVICES AND WRITING SKILL   6
         5.2.1 STYLISTIC RESOURCES                                    6
             How to Critique Fiction                                  6
             Writer's Web                                             7
         5.2.2 ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING RESOURCES                    7
             BenJX                                                    7

      5.3 GRAMMAR RESOURCES                                           7
         5.3.1 ONLINE GRAMMARS                                        7
             An online-English Grammar                                8
             Grammar Help Page                                        8
             The Perdue Online Writing Lab                            8
             Grammar and Style Notes                                  8
         5.3.2 ADVANCED GRAMMAR RESOURCES                             8
             The English Grammar Clinic                               9
             CNN Newsroom for ESL                                     9

      5.4 HOMEWORK SUPPORT                                            9
            Homework Helper                                           9
            Study Help                                                9

      5.5 READING RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS                               9
         5.5.1 LITERATURE                                             10
             Online Book Page                                         10
Stefan Kirchmair                                                       1
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>
             English Literature Main Page                                           10
             The Complete Works of Shakespeare                                      10
             Banned Books Online                                                    10
         5.5.2 NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES                                                10
             CNN Interactive World News Main Page                                   11
         5.5.3 COMPREHENSION READING RESOURCES                                      11
             Impact Online                                                          11
             Tongue Twisters                                                        11
             Fluency Through Fables                                                 11
             PIZZAZ!                                      Error! Bookmark not defined.
             Biography                                                              11

      5.6 LISTENING AND SPEAKING RESOURCES                                         12
             Learning Oral English Online                                          12
             Weekly Idiom                                                          12
             Audio On-Demand                                                       12

      5.7 ENGLISH TESTS AND COMPREHENSION MATERIALS                                12
         5.7.1 ENGLISH TESTS                                                       12
             TESTPREP.COM ™                                                        13
             Red Rock International                                                13
             TOEFL                                                                 13
             BEAT THE TOEFL                                                        13
         5.7.2 COMPREHENSION COURSES AND TESTS                                     13
             The International Writing Exchange                                    13
             Test Your English                                                     14
             ESL QUIZ CENTER                                                       14

      5.8 CORRESPONDING ON THE WEB                                                 14
         5.8.1 THE EMAIL                                                           14
             A Word A Day (AWAD)                                                   15
             The Email Key Pal Connection                                          15
             Intercultural E-Mail Classroom Connection                             15
             BYU's English Language Cybercentre                                    15
         5.8.2 CHAT AND ONLINE CONTACT WITH OTHER USERS                            16
             Classroom Net                                                         16


6. WHO OFFERS ALL THESE RESOURCES?                                                 16

CRITICISM AND CONCLUSION                                                           18

APPENDIX                                                                           19

      I. BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                              19

      II. WEBSITES                                                                 19




Stefan Kirchmair                                                                     2
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>

Making Use of the Internet for English Studies
                                    by Stefan Kirchmair



Preface
The Internet. The media everybody talks about and wants to get use of. Newspapers and magazines are
covered with articles about this complicate network, even though they are presenting the issues on their
own homepages in the Internet; every single company, may it be a little store or a tycoon, presents itself
and its products throughout the web. Today, on every letter head and buisnesscard email addresses can
be found.
Yet today, thousands of students in dozens of countries around the world are living the reality of the
global village in interactive ways. Through the medium of networks and telecommunication technologies
these students are learning to think of themselves as global citizens for the first time, seeing the world,
and their place in the world, in ways much different than their parents.




1. The Internet - What is it?
The Internet is basically a connection of many computers located all over the world. What these
computers really do is exchange information. The Internet seems to be chaotic at first sight. What else
should we expect of a system which is not controlled or organized by anybody. But it works anyway. It is
the playground for everybody. All of us can take use from this network. It might be disappointing for
some newbies when they notice that life on the net is just normal and trivial. But it must be obvious that
netters won't change fundamentally only because they are connected by a computer. Horror fictions like
"Newromancer" are exciting and breath-taking, but this has nothing to do with the Internet of today,
(Cole, page 10). Still, the world's biggest computer network is surrounded by an aura of mystery.
In contrast to controlled flow of information, however, the global interconnection of networks gives
millions of people direct access to information in ways the world has never seen before. Information of
every sort flows freely, across national borders and around the world, directly from where it's happening
to where it's needed.



1.1 History of the Internet

The history of the Internet is something else than everybody would expect. It was a planned system by
the US Army. In the early 1960's, in the time of the Cold War, the American government was faced with
the problem, how the country was to communicate after a nuclear war. So they created a non-centralized
network that linked city to city and military base to base. The network works even if some parts of it
were destroyed. In 1969 the ARPANET was created, to give civilians access to it. The users changed this
high speed network to an electronic post office (->Email). Scientists and researchers used ARPANET to
collaborate on projects. Eventually, people used it for leisure activities such as chatting or mailing lists (-
> Usenet).
In the 1980's, the National Science Foundation (NSF) started a program to establish Internet access.
They created a "Backbone" called NSFNET to connect college campuses via regional network, (Cole, page
10). But despite of the switching off of the NSFNET by the US government in 1995, which was
misunderstood as the breakdown of the Internet, too many host-computers existed already to keep the
Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                             3
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>
Internet alive. Bill Clinton said in his 1997's inauguration address: "Ten years ago, the Internet was a
mystical province of physicists; today, it is a commonplace encyclopedia for millions of schoolchildren",
(Clinton, 1997).
(cf. Cole, Internet, S.10; cf. similar PBS, http://www.pbs.org/internet/history/)
In the early 1990's the Internet experienced explosive growth. "Traffic on the Internet expands at a
341,634% annual growth rate", (PBS, http://www.pbs.org/internet/history/). The main reason of this
growing was the creation of the World Wide Web.



1.2 History of the World Wide Web

The World Wide Web (WWW) was created at CERN [http://www.cern.ch/] a physics laboratory in
Geneva, Switzerland in 1989. The World Wide Web is the fastest growing Internet resource, but it is a
part of it. Its development was based on the transmission of web-pages over the Internet, called HTTP,
by using the HTML technology. The WWW is able to include text, pictures, sound, music, voice,
animations and videos on its web-pages. The user can simply click on a link and than switch to a new
page, because the WWW-pages support hypertext. The Internet was previously black and white, text and
files. By improving the HTML-Mode technology, the color mode was added.
(cf. Gromov, http://www.internetvalley.com/intval.html)
A web-browser is needed to get access to the WWW, like the Netscape Navigator or the Microsoft
Explorer. The two companies, Netscape and Microsoft are fighting "an epic battle" for the number one
position in the web market, (Cooper, page 52). Nobody knows exactly how big the WWW really is. Search
engines try to index the whole WWW, like the Web Archive Organization. The huge collection of online
books at the Library of Congress [http://lcweb.loc.gov] is amazing.




2. Internet in Students' Lives
"The Internet offers the researcher access to a vast source of information scattered at locations around
the world.", (Campbell, page 1). It gives you more information or working materials than a local library
can offer. You can gain access to written materials, but it is possible to link to video, audio, and listening
resources as well.
Most students still have problems using the English language. Firstly, students are not native English
speakers and have to learn everything right from the beginning. Secondly, students live in a non-English
speaking country and cannot use the language in normal life, only in the classroom. There, they skip into
an English-speaking world and read English texts, articles, poems, short stories and novels to improve
their speaking skills. On this way, they get used to speak the foreign language.
But the effort, students must make in order to do well in the LK English is on a high level. In tests and
exams they have to analyze short stories of famous authors or articles, out of Time
[http://www.time.com] or Newsweek [http://www.newsweek.com]. In those articles they must find the
style and form of the writing or the point of view out of the given texts. Recognizing stylistic devices,
irony or satire is even harder.
Once connected to the web, students can find needful material for the years of their English classes. The
variety and diversity of the wide ranged links are amazing and unbelievable. You will never cover
everything, but surely enough for your studies. English learning students can improve their abilities in
every area. Especially when they have problems in writing, grammar or spelling, lack of vocabulary or not
enough knowledge about English speaking countries. The Internet faces all these problems and offers
everything and unlimited material to fill these gaps.
"The Internet holds the potential for revolutionizing the way research is done", (Campbell, page 2). This
sentence might be true, if you take a look on the advantages of it. The Internet is available 24 hours a
Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                            4
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>
day and is the best stocked global library. Finding material is easier and faster than it is in a huge library.
Students can share information, material and ideas via chat or email, not only in their city, but they can
exchange all over the world. The Internet comes into every students house and appears on the computer
screen.




3. What do I need to get started?
Nearly every household has a computer these days. In the time of multimedia the PC or Mac is able to
arrange presentations, calculations and well organized texts. As easy as this, it is to get access to the
Internet. Only a few things are needed.



3.1 Hardware Requirements

The only thing you need beside your computer is a modem. A modem is the key to the vast resources.
Modems can transfer datas out of the big networks of the Internet. The transferring rate can reach
115.500 bauds with 56.000 kps (kilobytes per second). The cost of an Internet connection varies
tremendously with your location and the kind of connection that is appropriate to your needs.
Right now, the development of ISDN offers the user an access rate of 64.000 kps to the Web. This is a
very high rate and makes Internet surfing to a fantastic experience.



3.2 Software Requirements

As soon as you are registered to an commercial online service, you can use a simple understandable
software, which is based on Windows 9x or Windows NT.
The most important part of the online software is the Internet browser. This is the door to the wide world
of information. Today, the most used browser is the Microsoft Explorer 5.0 and the Netscape Navigator
4.7. They offer you easy access to the Internet. With additional software, you are able to get the whole
multimedia features, like Internet phone or voice mail. These additional software is called "Plug-In", like
Real Audio.




4. How to Find Needed Resources
If you are new on the Internet it will be hard for you to get along in this jungle. The easiest way to find
needed resources would be to contact a search engine like Yahoo [http://www.yahoo.com] or AltaVista
[http://www.altavista.com]. They are the biggest and best filled engines on the web. Meanwhile,
different engines can be found, some German web crawlers, too.
At the main page of one of this engines, you can use the search feature by filling in a keyword about
your wanted material and within seconds all related links (called matches), which include your keyword,
appear on the screen and can be visited.
A good example would be to use the Internet in order to find material about the '96 American
presidential election. Using the Yahoo search engine is the simplest way. Contact Yahoo and fill in the
keyword "Election 96" in the given search-field. After a few seconds the Yahoo server tells you that it
found 10338 matches including the word "Election 96". Now it is possible to crawl through all this 10338
matches, which would take nearly a year. But after finishing the first twenty links, you probably already
got all information you wanted to know about the American presidential elections and this might be
sulficient. In the first twenty matches of our example you find an explanation about the electoral system

Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                             5
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>
[http://www.bga.com/~jnhtx/ec/ec.html] or the website address of the Project Vote Smart Campaign
[http://www.vote-smart.org/campaign_96/presidential/ index.html]. On this page you get everything
about the candidates, parties, the election process or the campaign strategy. On nearly every web page
you find additional or related links which can be visited.
To get information about a nation, important persons or happenings, fill in the keyword and receive the
needed results. If students need any background-knowledge about things they have talked about in class
they should contact a search engine.




5. How Can the Internet be Used for the LK English
Once connected to the net you will have the biggest information data server of the world. Especially for
students, a lot of resources are offered.



5.1 Dictionaries

Many dictionaries are based on the Web, most of them are easy to use and reply quickly. It is amazing
that most dictionaries are located on German university's servers.


Englisch-Wörterbücher aller Art
http://www.forwiss.uni-passau.de~ramsch/english.html
These online dictionaries are a collection of English-German and German-English dictionaries. If a word
can't be found in your dictionary at home, it is possible to go online and try it in these huge filled "Online
Dictionaries". Using an online dictionary saves money. You don't have to buy new and expensive
dictionaries anymore, because the web-dictionaries get continuously updated. But you do not get detailed
information about the different ways the word can be used, like you find in the books of Langenscheidt or
Ponds.



5.2 Resources for English Stylistic Devices and Writing Skill

In English classes, students often have to analyse stories, articles or texts. This takes a main part in
English learning. They should be able to deal with an given text, to understand and to interpret it.
Common questions about a text are to figure out the theme, plot, point of view or a characterization. In
the Internet, you find pages which explain these objects and tell you how to express and find them in a
given text.



5.2.1 Stylistic Resources

How to Critique Fiction
http://www.webcom.com/~victory/ howcritic.html
At this website you find different styles of literature criticisms. You find a plan how to go through a text
most effectively step by step. In order to improve your writing, it is shown how to analyse a given text
and to deal with questions. It provides hints about 'Plot', 'Characterization' or 'Point of View' and many
other important things about critiquing.
Victory Crayne, the author, did a fantastic job in writing this page to give everybody an outlook about the
way of analysing texts. Before a forthcoming test it is helpful for LK students to contact this page,

Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                            6
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>
because it prepares them perfectly to deal with questions in LK English tests and in the final exam, the
Abitur.


Writer's Web
http://www.urich.edu/~writing/wweb.html
One of the best writing-related link on the web is the Writer's Web. It is set up by an American college
from the University of Richmond/VI. It gives students a sophisticated tools to help them formulate better
English. This web-page includes links to wonderfully explained websites about problems every student
must face, like drafting a paper, punctuation, sentence structure or quoting. For example, you see on the
page ‘Using Paraphrases’ the right way to restate another person's idea.
There are not only stylistic devices, but also hints about how to write an essay or a text good enough
that it can passed to teachers, professors or employers. Another helpful link is the site about the right
way of integrating resources in an essay or expert work. The sites of Writers Web are easy to understand
and are a pearl of online English learning resources. It is an important reference page for students to
consult in about forgotten forms.



5.2.2 English Language Learning Resources

To learn a foreign language is hard. In most cases the language you want to learn has no roots together
with your own language. Some resources in the Internet help you to deal with the English language and
get most out of your efforts.


BenJX
http://www.ozemail.com.au/~cdug/#laguage
One of the oldest educational resource on the Internet is offered by BenJX. These websites explain the
visitor how to learn a foreign language and how to get used to the world of the Internet. There are texts
ready to download about learning English on the Internet, but also general texts about the "normal" way
of language learning. They teach you to achieve the best results in further studies and explain, how to
succeed in other areas, like reading, writing or speaking. They go deeper into debating and negotiating in
a foreign language. You can download texts about courses to improve your language skills in a very short
time.
Further Internet addresses are useful for advanced English students. They can be visited as well, because
they include more material to gain the language knowledge, like Writing Help
[http://www.hut.fi/~rvilmi/LangHelp/Writing]. This is a collection of links to other writing sources.
The Keith Ivey's English Usage Page [http://www.webcom/~keivey/engusage] is a miscellany of
links to spelling or pronouncing pages and many other educational resources.



5.3 Grammar Resources

The most important thing about speaking a language correctly is the right use of its grammar. The
English grammar is not very difficult, but it still provides a lot of problems to students. The Internet offers
many web sites dealing with grammar.



5.3.1 Online Grammars

If you want to use the Internet like a big grammar-encyclopaedia, you should try the following resources.


Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                             7
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>
An online-English Grammar
http://www.edunet.com/english/grammar/toc.html
This is the best grammar on the net. It is set up by the Edunet International Organization and written by
Anthony Hughes. On these pages lots of explanations about the use of adjectives, adverbs or nouns can
be found. The definite and indefinite articles: the, an, a, or the distributives: either, neither, nor, each,
every , are explained. Not one chapter is missing in this excellent online grammar.
It is very helpful for students, because it gets updated continuously and gives more examples than any
school book can offer.


Grammar Help Page
http://www.hut.fi/~rvilmi/Langhelp/Grammar
Ruth Vilmi set up this link page. You can find information about punctuation, spelling, but also lots of
grammatical information, like explanations about the right use of pronouns, the passive or vocabulary.


The Perdue Online Writing Lab
http://owl.trc.perdue.edu/
The best organized and best filled grammatical and style library on the Internet is offered by Perdue
College/Indiana. An Online Writing Lab(oratory) shows you how to use English grammatically correct and
explains you how to use several terms. The list of explanations last from sentence structure, commas,
quotations to spelling and gerunds. If you have questions about these terms, you will find good examples
and comparisons. It is the best website for students to surf in and explore the rules and the use of the
English language. As far as I am concerned, it is the best help for students on the web.


Grammar and Style Notes
http://www.english.upenn.edu/~jlynch/grammar.html
This website was invented by Jack Lynch. It is a little encyclopaedia about grammatical rules and
explanations and comments on style. The material is ordered in alphabetical capitals and therefore you
can find your grammatical term easily by using this search feature.
If you search for the difference between "affect" and "effect", you will get this result:
         Affect versus Effect:
         Affect with an a is usually a verb; effect with an e is (usually) a noun.
         •    When you affect something, you have an effect on it. The usual adjective is effective.
         •    Effect as a verb is a different word altogether, which means to bring about or to accomplish,
              as in "to effect a change."
If you read this phrase you recognize that it is not explained correctly. It is wrong that "affect" is usually
a verb and "effect" usually a noun. It is wrong as well that the noun "effect" is a different word
altogether, because it has the same meaning like the verb. The whole text does not exactly explain the
diversity of the words "affect" and "effect".



5.3.2 Advanced Grammar Resources

Grammatical Support, which tries to go deeper into the English grammar, is located on the web, as well.
It will be helpful for every student to use these resources to improve the capability of using English
correctly. But these sources will not produce gifted students or improve their skills dramatically after they
went through them. They only support learning beside school.

Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                            8
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>

The English Grammar Clinic
http://www.edunet.com/english/clinic-h.html
This 'Clinic' was also set up by Edunet International. It is an outstanding resource for students as well as
for native English speakers. You can send your English grammar questions to the Lydbury English Centre
(Email-link on the website). Your email will be answered by professional teachers. For answers you can
enter a forum, or the so called "Grammar Cafe" for a chat. If you think your question is a common
question, that it might be answered at once, you can visit the FAQ-page, where you find a lot of common
answered grammar questions.
I myself downloaded the whole FAQ-page and saved it on a hard drive, because it already covered all my
grammar problems and so I did not have to contact the teachers in the forum.


CNN Newsroom for ESL
http://lc.byuh.edu/cnn_n/cnn_n_page.html
These websites contain grammar, vocabulary and comprehension questions based on real stories. You
can choose between vocabulary, grammar and discussion material right at the frontage. The resources
are only available during the school year, but you can get access to previous exercises at any time.
Additional grammar resources can be found on the link-page "Grammar Resources for English
Language Learners" [http://www.tcom.ohiou.edu/OU_Language/english/ Grammar.html].
Another page which includes grammar sources is the English Grammar Links for English Students
[http://www.gl.umbc.edu/kpokoy1/grammar1.html].



5.4 Homework Support

Students often have problems doing their homework. The worst case which can happen is not to
understand what it is all about or lack of knowledge in a science area. There are two good homework
supporting pages on the web.


Homework Helper
http://www.trabuco.org/
A teacher from Trabuco Hills High School will help in nearly every subject, no matter whether maths,
physics or English. You can leave an email with your question and it will be answered in about 2 or 3
days.


Study Help
http://www.scott.net/~hmwkhelp/Study-Help.html
On this website five different forums are located. One of them is the English-Help Forum. You can send
an email with your problem and you will receive help. The support you will get is not a perfectly solved
homework, it is only to make you understand the material.



5.5 Reading Resources for Students

The Internet is the biggest library of the world, because it contains huge sources of written materials. "In
the broadest sense, literature is everything that has been written from the classical novel or sonnet to a
soap opera script or comic book", (Campbell, page 267). So most of it might be interesting and helpful
for students, because reading improves your ability to talk and gains your vocabulary.
Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                          9
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>


5.5.1 Literature

There are many magazines, newspapers and books located on the Internet and beside that, they are
available in local stores. On many pages you can find links to famous books or magazines, which get
updated daily in the style of the printed copy. There are many specialized areas of literature accessible
through the Internet. College campuses around the world have electronic literature resources available.
The opportunity for students to download their working material freely is one of the best things about the
Internet.


Online Book Page
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/Web/books.html
This web-page has a large collection of electronic books that can be distributed freely. Finding your
recommended book is easily done by using the search option. You can search by asking an author's
name or a book title. On this server, most of the known books of world's literature are located for
downloading.


English Literature Main Page
http://info.ok.lib.virginia.edu/britpo/
On this page lots of links can be found to works of British authors like Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Oscar
Wilde and many more. The main page is divided into the different literature periods from medieval to
modern time. On the different time periods pages, you find the full author's works. It does not matter if
book or poem, short story or novel, most works are ready for downloading together with some
information about the authors. This page is very helpful for LK students, because they will learn a lot of
British authors and have a good collection of facts and works.


The Complete Works of Shakespeare
http://the-tech.mit.edu/Shakespeare/works.html
The complete dramas of Shakespeare, including Hamlet, Mac Beth, the sonnets and many more are
available on this web-page. You find a simple tablet already divided into the sections Comedy, History,
Tragedy and Poetry. In these scales you find further links to your required work.


Banned Books Online
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/WebPeople/spok/banned-books.html
The Banned Book Page is a part of the Online Book Page and maintains a page for books that were
banned or were attempted to be banned by legal authorities at some time in the past. You find books like
Ulysses by James Joyce or Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.
The information is very interesting and can be used for a report in front of the class.



5.5.2 Newspapers, Magazines

"Although literature has lagged behind the sciences in getting journals in an electronically format, there is
a move in this direction", (Campbell, page 276). But every big newspaper or magazine is already offering
an Internet issue of its printings. They are well organized and easy to read by using the HTML Standard
for scrolling through the different pages.


Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                          10
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>
The biggest American newspapers, also available throughout the world, maintains their daily issue on the
web, like USA Today [http://usa-tday.com/usafront.htm] or The New York Times
[http://www.nytimes.com/]. A mouse click on the headlines on the front-page leads to the articles. To
read a newspaper online is cheaper than it is to buy it in the store. It is a good resource for students, if
they need articles for a news report.


CNN Interactive World News Main Page
http://www.cnn.com/World/index.html
Ted Turner's world's biggest news channel offers daily updated news from all over the world, together
with fantastic pictures and sometimes audio and video files. You can also read all the written news from
past days and weeks, but without audio and image support.



5.5.3 Comprehension Reading Resources

Impact Online
http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/impact/
The University of Illinois set up this page. It maintains older English articles. In these articles, you can
click on the important words and look up their meaning. The articles are based on a lower level and
shouldn't be a big problem for LK English students.


Tongue Twisters
http://www.wu-wien.ac.at/usr/h93/h9325997/fun/twisters.html
http://darkwing/uoregon.edu/~leslieob/twisters.html
Tongue Twisters are funny chains of alliterations. These two web sites offer lots of English tongue
twisters. Look them up and start laughing!


Fluency Through Fables
http://www.comenius.com/fable/1_fable.html
On this page you can read fables, mostly written by Aesop, check the vocabulary and answer given
questions about them. The new learned vocabulary can be used in a completion text right away. The
Comenius Group [http://www.comenius.com] offers a lot of learning material. The start-up main page
can be also received in German.
The fables and exercises should not be a big problem for students. I think they are easy to understand
and help only very little to improve your English.


Biography
http://www.biography.com
Here you find a library about mostly every known writers', scientists' or artists' biographies. A search
function helps to get information within seconds about the person you look for. This page is very
important for LK Students, especially for their reports. Here they get material about the persons they
have to talk about.




Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                         11
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>
5.6 Listening and Speaking Resources

The Internet does not only contains written material. Beside graphics, it contains audio-files. This kind of
"multimedia" can be used wonderfully in all sorts of education.


Learning Oral English Online
http://www.lang.uiuc.edu/r-li5/book/
This page, provided by the University of Illinois, offers conversational texts, which are connected to
audio-file by using HTML technology. The easy and understandable dialogues deal with situations taken
out of daily life. They won't be a real support for the LK student, because they are too easy. To receive
the audio-dates, you need a special plug-in. A link to get the required software is on the page.


Weekly Idiom
http://www.comenius.com/idiom/index.html
The weekly idiom, offered by the Comenius Group, is a term which is a common expression in the English
language. The idiom is defined and other dialogue examples are given, it can be downloaded in an audio
form as well.
The idioms are good for students, because they are mostly not part of the normal vocabulary. This
website really helps to gain the students' vocabulary.


Audio On-Demand
http://www.wrn.org/audio.html
Since everything is possible on the Internet, many radio stations can be received via the web. On this
page are resources offered by radio stations from all over the world, like from Radio Australia, Radio
Canada International and many more. So if you want to listen to English language, you can turn to this
page. I think the Internet's radio feature is a nice little tool, but the quality of listening to it is not as good
as it is of a normal radio.



5.7 English Tests and Comprehension Materials

5.7.1 English Tests

The SAT and ACT exams are used for college admission. The result of your exam counts 30% of the
admission decision. You will have to attend these tests if you apply for a college in America. You do not
need to take both tests. It depends on the college you are interested in, which test is preferred. But
normally you take both tests, especially if you don't do well in one of these tests. The exams are offered
nation-wide seven times throughout the year.
(cf. IN-A-Flash, http://INAFLASH.COM/testinfo.htm)
If you are not a native English speaker you will have to take the TOEFL test as well. It is a exam in which
your English language skills are tested. The TOEFL is designed to measure the English proficiency of
people whose native language is not English. It is required for admission to almost every university in the
United States and Canada. This test is offered in schools in the United States, but you can take them in
most major cities throughout the world. In our area the Amerikahaus in Nuremberg offers this exam.
If an Austrian student wants to study in the USA or Canada, all three tests will have to be taken to be
accepted in a college. The following web addresses might be very helpful.




Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                                12
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>
TESTPREP.COM ™
http://www.testprep.com/tpsatete.html
This web-page is the only one which offers free and complete online SAT test-preparation courses. It
helps and supports you in all the different areas of the test: maths, vocabulary and 700 practice
problems. Now, the course is only available for the SAT test, but pages for the TOEFL and ACT will soon
follow. You can start working with some useful practice pages right away and find links to offered prep-
products on the web, which you can order online.
To take the test is not only helpful if you want to study in the US, but it will also improve your English
knowledge.


Red Rock International
http://www.cadvision.com/herbertj/info.htm
An Australian web-page can be found on this address, which offers some preparation resources for the
TOEFL. This is more an advertising page for their product, called "The Test Taker", which can be
purchased online. You can download only 1/4 of the commercial software as shareware, but still it helps
to get along with the TOEFL. Images of the available software give an example about the software before
you order it.


TOEFL
http://www.toefl.org/index.html
http://www.kaplan.com/intl/toefl_top.html
These Internet websites set up by the ETS-NET Server (Educational Testing Service) offer everything you
need for the exam. This page helps you to get the best preparation. It provides hints about taking the
test, the dates of the test and where you can take it. You can click on a bulletin-board and look at
international test dates. The page gives you a wide overview about available preparation products.
Examples and parts are ready to be downloaded in order to tell you more about the test.


BEAT THE TOEFL
http://www.testwise.com/review.html
The whole previous TOEFL test can be downloaded on this web-page. You find the questions to all areas:
'Listening Comprehension', 'Structure and Written Expressions' and 'Reading Comprehensions'. To take a
look at the previous TOEFL test would be a good support before you take the latest issue of the test.



5.7.2 Comprehension Courses and Tests

If you don't want to study in North America, you still have chances to get your English skills tested,
beside the tests in school. Some organizations offer online tests or courses in which every online user can
take part.


The International Writing Exchange
http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/Exchange/main.html
On this website one of the best online English courses is located. "Taking part in this course you will have
the opportunity to study English with other students from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North
America.(...) You can find ways to make your English writing more effective on the international stage."
(http://www.ed.uiuc.edu/ Exchange/main.html).


Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                         13
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>
The whole course works in a cycle of three weeks. In the first week you will write an article about one of
the given topics. In the second week you will find several articles about your or other topics and you can
write short comments about their writings. In the third week you will be able to join a conference and
talk about your and other articles, telling and explaining them your ideas and your efforts.
The International Writing Exchange is the best way to improve LK English students' writing, because
English professors and teachers will correct your writing as well.
To participate you only have to send a short Curriculum Vitae and your email address.


Test Your English
http://www.edunet.com/cesc.html
This web-page is set up by the Colchester English Study Centre . This Centre designed a English test for
ESLS (English as a Second Language Students). The first questions of this text are quite easy, but if you
go on, they will get more complicated.
After downloading the whole test, fill out the test offline and sent it back to the centre. There it will be
corrected and the results will be sent back to your email address. Taking part in the test is free and a
good training for LK English Students.


ESL QUIZ CENTER
http://www.pacificnet.net/~sperling/quiz/
You can take part in a test to improve your English writing and grammar skills. You can choose tests out
of different sections like "count/no count nouns" or "if-clauses". You need to fill out a form by clicking on
the answers you think would be right. After finishing the test, you click on the submit button and you will
receive your result and score. The correction tells your mistakes and the percentage of your right
answers.
This web-page is the best online self-test for students to check in which section they have still problems
in. These quizzes are well made, but they don't tell how well you exactly do.



5.8 Corresponding on the Web

5.8.1 The Email

"The Internet email feature sends messages from one place to another. It is an ideal resource for
checking with students at other universities in subject areas of interest or for contacting professors doing
research in an area you are studying", (Campbell, page 16).
If you sign to a commercial online service you already will have got your email address. In most cases it
is the User ID, which is used to connected you to the service.
Emailing is like a post-box. It is even more simple than that. No stamps, no envelope, no letterbox is
needed. You just fill in the address of the receiver and it will arrive within minutes. Much quicker than a
normal letter. You also can transport files together with an email.
The email feature is a fantastic tool for students. The Internet was built up on the email function. The
best example would be the Usenet, a data library like the Internet, but built on thousands of forums and
messages sections. If you join a Usenet group, you will be able to read former messages and add new
messages to topics you are interested in or concerned about.
On nearly every website you find an Email-HTML, the link to an Internet address. You can use it, if you
need further information or just want to join a registration.



Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                          14
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>
A Word A Day (AWAD)
http://www.wordsmith.org/awad/home-txt.html
If you subscribe to this free service, you will receive a new English word daily. The word will be explained
and defined with occasional commentary to the subscriber. Every month the organization sends out a
FAQ-message. "More than '51,000 linguaphiles in more than 100 countries' already subscribed", (AWAD,
http://www.word- smith.org).
An example is the following abridgment of the Email I received on the 29th Nov. 1999:
         lee.way \'le--.wa-\ n
         1a: off-course lateral movement of a ship when under
         1b: the angle between the heading and the track of an airplane
         2: an allowable margin of freedom or variation : TOLERANCE
         Marcus, Steve, Key Div. I Step for SUNY., Newsday, 10-08-1996, pp A66.
         "While the funds do not represent a new source of revenue, Laskowski
         said he will have leeway toward freeing some of the fee for scholarships."
The aim of AWAD is to support learning English. But this example is rather difficult for non native English
speakers. The explanation of the word 'leeway' is hard to understand, because the word lateral is
probably unknown by most students and must be explained as well. In the given example, is the
structure "leeway toward" used metaphorically and not in the sense of one of the explained meanings.
The word "While" is not used correctly in this context, because it is temporal. To use a causal word like
"because" would be better.
This example tells us that not every educational resources on the Internet is really correct. No matter
which page will be visited it is not guarantied that the received information is 100% right.


Another good use of the email feature is to correspond with other students, teachers and classes
throughout the world. Many websites are available about pen pals (online expression: Key Pal).


The Email Key Pal Connection
http://www.comenius.com/keypal/index.html
This website is also offered by the Comenius Group. It wants to bring thousands of people together from
all around the world. Everybody can subscribe to the list of pen pals. You only have to write a little bit
about yourself, hobbies, interests and your email address. Your facts will appear on the website and can
be read by every visitor. If you find someone interesting, you can contact him. The Pen Pals are from all
around the world, but most of them are Asian college students.


Intercultural E-Mail Classroom Connection
http://www.stolaf.edu/network/iecc/index.html
This link goes a little bit further than the Key Pal Connection. This site, built up by the St. Olaf College,
wants to connect classrooms throughout the world by discussing and working out intercultural programs.
It starts with a key pal friendship of two or more classes and than they can continue to work together on
projects, to bring closer their classes, countries and cultures. The project's aim is simple and broad: by
connecting schools and students nationally and internationally which use the Internet, it hopes to
demonstrate how the Net can be used as a tool for research and as a medium for interactive and
collaborative learning.


BYU's English Language Cybercentre
http://humanities.byu.edu/Student PenPals

Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                          15
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>
This Page contains a list of people throughout the world who would like pen pals to help them to practice
English (or would like to help you practicing English).



5.8.2 Chat and Online Contact with Other Users

Chatting allows users in different locations to chat back and forth, because it follows the Client/Server
model. The common interface for chatting via the Internet is the IRC, the Inter Relay Chat. The most
used and simplest client software is MIRC and available at [http://www.mirc.com]. But also commercial
online services offer talking to other online users. The best developed chat systems belongs to
CompuServe, with its well organized and filled forums. Lots of useful software, shareware or text files
about major topics can be found in the CompuServe's forums additution. You can get in contact with
thousands of other current users in an public chat room or a private box.
Especially for students chat systems can be very helpful. If you leave a message in a Newsgroup of the
Usenet, it may be never answered or it take a long time to get it answered. If you join a student forum
[htttp://www.stufo.com], it will be possible to get in contact with other students from all over the world.
You just can get new friends or receive help for your studies. Chatting has a lot of advantages for
students. You communicate and type the English language. You can ask American or British forum staff
to correct or help you in your English studies and they will help you as good as they can. Another good
thing about corresponding is that you must try to express yourself in English well enough in order to get
understood.


Classroom Net
http://www.classroom.net/conference/welcome.html
At this address you find a chat forum for teachers, students and other people to talk about educational
questions or just for a small talk. Mostly it is visited by American teachers, but sometimes there are
students as well. No special client software or plug-ins are needed. These websites are well organized
and provide helpful educational links to material.
If you really want to chat with other students from all around the world, you will have to sign to a
commercial online service, because in their chat rooms there are more people than you can find on any
IRC-page on the Internet. In CompuServe are many forums for students and they are well visited. So if
you want to see real results in improving your English spend a few more dollars or schillings for a
commercial service.




6. Who Offers all these Resources?
Mostly the American universities offer resources for other students. Every single college in the USA. has
its own domain, which means that it has its own server ability. If it is an educational institution like a high
school, college or university it will always have the domain ending ".edu" in its address.
In these colleges there are small Internet workgroups who create all this material and information mainly
for other students at their campus, but also for everybody to whom it may concern. These students can
take such workshops as a college class and get tested in it.
In America, every college student has their own email address. Professors do not hand out student's
facts, results or information in class anymore, they send it directly to the student's email post box. In
some colleges, like the Perdue University/IN, students must have an own homepage during their stay at
this college.
Nowadays you find very few Austrian and German schools online. Basically the problem is attitudes,
application, access and accomplishment, because the electronic frontier is not something that the
education system has embraced with open arms in our country. Schools do not see the advantages of
Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                            16
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>
this new media as a learning tool and are still fearful towards this technology. Nearly all Austrian
universities are connected to the Internet and present with their own homepage. But Austrian universities
do not offer as much educational material as American colleges do.
Austria is still developing with regard to the Internet. A new online market was created by companies,
because the WWW had grown so rapidly. These companies used their homepages for business reason,
even if the access is free. Companies like Edunet earn money, by means of advertising. They offer ESL-
students free access to their websites, but other companies pay money to get their advertising on this
frequently visited web-pages.




Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                      17
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>

Criticism and Conclusion
The extend of the Internet's resources is overwhelming. Indeed it is. But you need a lot of background
knowledge to get access to its resources and to deal with them. Knowledge about computers and about
the Internet would help LK English students in every kind of research. Especially for them the Internet is
the best thing, beside a trip to an English speaking country, to improve their English and find resources
for class. The problem is that not many students have Internet access or know somebody who might
have it.
But the Internet does not occur in any area of the students' school career. They leave school without
knowing anything about the usage of the world's best filled library and resource provider or the
advantages it offers in their area of education.
In Austria, not many schools have computers or an Internet access. Teachers can not deal with it, as
well. The government started a project to teach its teachers the use of the net, but the project just
started and it will take a long time until every school is linked to this technology.
Another problem is that the Internet language is English, and sometimes, if you don't know specific
words of the Internet jargon or slang it is hard to understand. Words like ‘modem’, ‘provider’ or ‘baud’
might be foreign and meaningless to most students.
Besides the problem that students don't get taught in computer techniques, another major problem is still
the cost of being online. Besides charges for accessing the Internet, the user must pay the incurred
phone calls, because you take the phone line as the data's receiver.
The cheapest solution to get connected to the web would be the Freenet link, offered by most
universities. The University of Erlangen/Nuremberg presents it own freenet.
Beyond that, the low transfer rate is a problem, because of the overstrained phone lines. Receiving web-
data in the evening is nearly impossible. So you can't always get your wanted information at the time you
need them.
But companies try to integrate the Internet in our life’s. So it is already possible to phone by using the
Internet connection, Internet banking or Internet shopping. Software will help us to get the most out of
the Internet and, I am sure, the Internet will change our future, but only to our advantage.
The glamour of words like "Internet" or "Online" is too much emphasized in our society. Today it is the
best helper and supporter for people who are using it. Internet makes life easier and therefore education
as well. But it can't take over the place of the common, old-fashioned English book. The question,
whether the Internet will really replace the old-fashioned way of learning English, can not be answered
yet. Every attempt to head in this direction is a step in the wrong direction . The voice and video tools
can't supersede the teacher's role. The Internet assist the learning ability and aids if questions occur and
does not make a native English speaker out of LK English students.
But we, the students, should know: there is somebody supportive out there.




Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                         18
"Stefan Kirchmair" <stefan@kirchmair.cjb.net>

Appendix

I. Bibliography

AWAD, A Word A Day. @ http://www.wordsmith.org
Campbell, Dave and Mary: Doing Research on the Internet. Reading/MA, 1998
Clinton, William, Inauguration Address. Washington, 20. January 1997
@ http://allpolitics.com/news/ 9701/20/transcripts.html
Cole, Tim: Für jeden etwas. In PC go, 5 (1998), page 8-11
Cole, Tim: Für jeden etwas, Wie das Internet enstand. In PC go 5 (1998), page. 10
Cooper Ramo, Joshua: Winner Takes All. In Time, September 16, 1996, Vol 148 No.12, page 52-59
Gromov, Gregory: The Roads and Crossroads of Internet History.
@ http://internet-valley.com/intval.html
PBS, PBS. @ http://www.pbs.org/internet/ history/)
Sanjana, Marian: In-A-Flash. @ http://inaflash.com/testinfo.htm



II. Websites

Democratic Party @ http://www.democrats.org/
Republican Party @ http://rnc.org/
Bill Clinton's Homepage @ http://www.vote-smart.org/campaign_96/democrat/clinton.html
Writer's Web @ http://www.urich.edu/~writing/wweb.html
Using Paraphrases @ http://www.urich.edu/~writing/paraphrs.html
Online English Grammar @ http://www.edunet.com/english/grammar/toc.html
The English Grammar Clnic @ http://www.edunet/english/clinic-h.html
Homework Helper @ http://www.trabuco.org/
The Complete Works of Shakespeare @ http://the-tech-mit.edu/Shakespeare/ works.html
The New York Times @ http://www.nytimes.com
CNN Interactive World News @ http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/index.html
Impact Online @ http://www.eduiuc.edu/Impact/Articles/
Biography: Jane Austen @ http://www.biography.com
Weekly Idiom @ http://www.comenius.com/idiom/index.html
TESTPREP.COM™ @ http://www.testprep.com/tpsatete.html
TOEFL Online @ http://www.toefl.org/index.html
ESL Quiz Center @ http://www.pacificnet.net/~sperling/quiz/
ESL Quiz Center: Results @ http://www.pacificnet.net/~sperling/Quiz




Stefan Kirchmair                                                                                19

				
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