Vol. 6. No. 4 A-1 March 2003
Return to Table of Contents Return to Main Page

An Interactive Information Literacy Course for International Students: A Practical Blueprint for ESL Learners

John W. Bagnole

John W. Miller
Ohio Program of Intensive English
Ohio University


Like all teachers in a technologically demanding world, instructors in English as a Second Language in English-speaking countries wonder how they can effectively impart the necessary information literacy skills to international students, who must deal with many challenges to their academic preparation. The authors present a blueprint for the creation of a university-based English for Academic Purposes (EAP) content-based course in information literacy for undergraduate and graduate students in various disciplines. The article proposes steps for replicating courses similar to this one by examining the underlying rationale for the course, curriculum considerations, integration into a regular ESL program, a syllabus design for the course, activities, course requirements, professional development opportunities for faculty, and some successes and pitfalls encountered in implementing the course. The course focuses on the practical and cognitive skills necessary to locate appropriate research information--electronic, print, multimedia--and, equally important, ways to evaluate the various resources identified. [1] [-1-]


Though it sports various overlapping and related labels--information literacy, digital information literacy, information competence(s), information competency, information gathering, information technology competency, information technology--the current focus on developing appropriate skills to locate and evaluate resources for effectively generating research in today's technological world has clearly pushed aside the longtime notion, and catch-word, of computer literacy. In an important article, Shapiro and Hughes refer to "information literacy as a new liberal art" (1996, p. 33). They emphasize the need to develop critical thinking skills to go along with the information technologies, and they refute the notion that concern for information literacy is elitist or peripheral since "[a]s more and more information is in computerized form, even elementary general literacy will be partially defined by an information-technology component" (p. 33).

A focus on critical thinking appears essential to instructors who have to deal with younger generations of students and pupils brought up on technological resources and emerging technologies. Nevertheless, access to and familiarity with these emergent technologies does not imply sound, insightful, critical, or comprehensive skills and applications (see Mellon, 1995, 1999; Rothenberg, 1997, 1999). Moreover, Yang (2001) reports that many English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners approach Web resources with both anxiety and excitement, and that "a computer-mediated learning experience in Language Studies could not be achieved by itself simply by the introduction of the learner to Web technology" (p. 155). Even in a very positive study of a multimedia computer-assisted language learning (MCALL) program in a Malaysian University, where students using multimedia computer software without regular contact with actual instructors outperformed a control group in a traditional classroom setting, the researchers are careful to point out that the teacher's role is still crucial:

However, our observations suggest that the software alone was not solely responsible for the significantly better results of the MCALL Program. The learning environment supporting the use of the software contributed to the learning that took place. We conclude that even well designed software must be used in a supportive learning environment if it is to be successful. Such a learning environment must be learner-centered and goal-based. We suggest that creating and managing such learning environments are now the main task of teachers. Teachers can no longer be content experts alone but also have to be economic and learning managers as well. Hence we see the use of multimedia enhancing the role, and ultimately the job security of the teachers. (Soo & Ngeow, 1998, p. 10)

Interestingly, whereas not so long ago, ELT instructors were urged to read in the areas of business and management to see how they could meaningfully inform their own profession, now it is incumbent upon ELT instructors to keep up with articles, research, and news in the information technology, computer education, semantic engineering[2] and other information science fields:

Clearly, defining information literacy broadly, so as to constitute both a liberal as well as a technical art, and turning that definition into a curriculum are major challenges both intellectually and practically, and deserve extended discussion and collaboration among educators and information-systems professionals, humanists, and computer and information scientists. (Shapiro & Hughes, 1996, p. 33) [-2-]

Educational technology clearly calls for serious consideration and pedagogic control, although whether the technology itself constitutes merely a delivery system or much more than that continues to be debated (Mellon, 1999). Mellon also echoes a concern about the role of the instructor in the learning process, and questions whether technology necessarily implies learning, the existence of a preferred methodology for such learning, and the role of the student in the process. In a recent publication, Brabazon (2002) raises serious and controversial reservations about the underlying assumptions for the use of the Internet in delivering tertiary level courses in Australia; she also points out the need for the instructor to expend considerable time and effort to maintain standards, and she questions the use of the technology as a cure-all.

ELT instructors would do well to consider these issues as they relate to information gathering specifically. They should also seriously consider the appropriateness of technology in information gathering and the possibility of low-tech, traditional resources as well.

The EAP Context

As an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) program with intensive and semi-intensive courses in ESL, The Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE) at Ohio University aims to provide international students with the language skills, study skills, and academic performance skills required for and expected of them at an American university. OPIE consists of both full and part-time English courses. Some students study only English while others may take two or three hours of English a day with permission for one or two academic course at the same time. There are three levels of full-time English and four levels of part-time English. Only students at the highest level of full-time English (Academic English 50) and at the part-time level take elective classes.

The Elective Program

An elective class meets one hour (50 or 60 minutes) per day, four days a week, and serves as a support class for students in either a full-time or part-time integrated core.[3] Electives may be skills-based or content-based; and of course, many electives bridge both focuses. Though the traditional single-hour classes are skills-based (reading, composition, listening/speaking, grammar), there is usually an attempt to balance the offerings each quarter with some content-based classes. The course under discussion, TGERI (Techniques for Gathering and Evaluating Research Information), is considered a content-based class.[4]

Rationale for an ESL Information Literacy Component

Given the vital role research plays in university life, even at the undergraduate level, students must know how and when to use various research tools appropriately. The ever-increasing demands placed on all students and faculty by advances in information technology and utilization of educational technology cannot exclude international students if they are to be fully participating members of the academic community, to remain competitive, and to succeed in their academic and professional goals. [-3-]

The underlying rationale for this course, then, has been to supplement an existing curriculum of EAP goals and objectives with a new course with an additional set of goals and objectives. Modeled on an existing course required for all undergraduates in the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism, OPIE's TGERI course has been re-fashioned and substantially redesigned to take into account the needs of our international students. The international students in the program differ substantially from the journalism students in the areas of language skills, pre-university research preparation and experience, cultural knowledge implicit in both information and information-gathering requirements, the expectations of an American university, and, in many cases, rigorous practice in doing detailed research documentation with requirements and instructor feedback. On the other hand, they share with many American students, both undergraduate and graduate, the need to keep up on a number of areas: changes in information technology, the need to focus on appropriateness in selecting research resources, developing skills for evaluating the resources they ultimately choose, learning more about and examining plagiarism and other research-related notions.

The TGERI elective aims to provide international students with basic and, in some cases, advanced-level information gathering and evaluation skills while at the same time improving their English language ability. Thus, in addition to the language goals in the existing curriculum, particularly in the areas of reading, listening/speaking, and classroom interaction skills, specific goals and objectives have been designated for TGERI. More specifically, the new goals are:

  1. To increase the students' awareness of the academic expectations and performance requirements of an American university as they relate to information gathering for research and other academic purposes;
  2. To develop, through intensive and regular practice, information-gathering skills covering a range of electronic and print resources, with particular emphasis on those available through Ohio University, including but not limited to databases accessible via DialNet, SearchNet, OhioLink, and materials on the World Wide Web;
  3. To develop each student's ability to improve independently as an effective and efficient information gatherer, who can continue to develop and sustain relevant academic information gathering skills as they relate to both conventional and electronic resources after the class has ended; [-4-]
  4. To give the student both a theoretical rationale and the practical tools necessary for evaluating print and non-print information resources in terms of appropriateness, accuracy, authoritativeness, objectivity, timeliness, and comprehensiveness;
  5. Where appropriate, to assist the student in maximizing the value of the academic content courses being taken concurrently with the OPIE elective class on Techniques for Gathering and Evaluating Research Information.

Students engage in and practice activities designed to enable them to meet these objectives. Specifically, they are asked:

  1. To identify, select, and narrow a research topic appropriately (N.B. Students do not actually write a paper for this class, though activities may benefit research undertaken in other classes.)
  2. To identify and select appropriate information resources- electronic, print, and other media;
  3. To evaluate all information resources in terms of sets of criteria;
  4. To document information, including electronic resources, accurately, consistently, and in conformity with an agreed-upon style;
  5. To annotate information resources adequately and fairly;
  6. To design effective and efficient searches utilizing appropriate search terms, related categories, and Boolean logic;
  7. To demonstrate facility and confidence in executing information search strategies using electronic, print, and other media resources; to be comfortable using different database interfaces;
  8. To demonstrate an applied understanding of research terminology (e.g., truncation, Boolean logic, LAN, interface);
  9. To familiarize themselves with the Ohio University library homepage and features;
  10. To demonstrate a familiarity with and understanding of the Ohio University and OhioLink information resource systems; to practice using and ordering from these information management systems;
  11. To demonstrate a familiarity with and understanding of selected academic sites and resources on the World Wide Web, particularly evaluative directories, reference tools, and article retrieval sites.

Assumptions and Tenets

The course is predicated on several assumptions, paramount of which is that the successful identification and evaluation of research materials rely much more heavily upon the development and application of effective critical thinking skills than upon the mastery of any particular type or set of computer skills or technical skills. Shapiro and Hughes (1996), following a discussion of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment thinker Condorcet, who even back then identified the need for society to examine the encounter between scientific advancement and democratic freedoms, claim that access to new technology is subservient to the informed application of that technology:

Information and computer literacy, in the conventional sense, are functionally valuable technical skills. But information literacy should in fact be conceived more broadly as a new liberal art that extends from knowing how to use computers and access information to critical reflections on the nature of information itself, its technical infrastructure and its social, cultural and even philosophical context and impact--as essential to the mental framework of the educated information-age citizen as the trivium of basic liberal arts (grammar, logic, and rhetoric) was to the educated person in medieval society. (p. 32) [-5-]

In a vastly expanded, elastic, and demanding sense of "literacy," Shapiro and Hughes (p. 34) then go on to list seven aspects of information literacy that replace the older concept of computer literacy:

  1. Tool literacy, the practical ability to understand and use the technology and conceptual ideas included therein;
  2. Resources literacy-, which relates to understanding information science concepts of organization and classification;
  3. Social-structure literacy, relating to the concept that information is created by and contextualized for use within certain groups (e.g., university community, academics, government, military, corporations, even Listserv users);
  4. Research literacy, including an understanding of how to use relevant academic and professional research software and the ideas implicit in those varieties of technology;
  5. Publishing literacy, relating to the ability to prepare information and text for publication;
  6. Emerging technology literacy, " . . . the ability to ongoingly adapt to, understand, evaluate and make use of the continually emerging innovations in information technology so as not to be a prisoner of prior tools and resources, and to make intelligent decisions about the adoption of new ones . . . , " and, most importantly perhaps . . .
  7. Critical literacy, the ability to reflect on the human, social, and intellectual strengths and weaknesses associated with costs and benefits of applying information technology.

In this regard, it is important to communicate directly with students regarding these various aspects of information literacy and to place a human face on information technology. For this and other reasons, TGERI classes meet in a traditional classroom setting as well as in the Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) lab and library. In the instructors' opinion, IT needs to be contextualized in a liberal arts context, both to discuss the concepts and to address affective factors that may arise in connection with the use of new technologies and approaches. Rather than beginning immediately with hands-on technological activities related to the course, an initial session or two can usefully be spent discussing principles underlying the course, the syllabus, and related activities.

This paramount human face assumption regarding the need to demystify technology, along with other tenets culled from Content-Based Instruction (CBI) literature (e.g., Grabe & Stoller, 1997; Brinton, Snow, & Wesche, 1989) include the following important principles: [-6-]

  1. Information gathering relies far more heavily on developing effective critical thinking skills and strategies than it does on mastery of any given technology or resources.
  2. Progress in identifying and evaluating research resources requires both knowledge and skills.
  3. Content-Based Instruction encourages students to use and acquire language in a meaningful learning context, which also presents authentic, meaningful, and motivating content.
  4. Students are able to utilize their knowledge and experience in a CBI class, thereby building on prior skills and knowledge, which can in turn lead to a motivated spiraling of new skills and knowledge.
  5. CBI includes explicit language learning in a discourse-rich environment allowing for negotiated meaning, motivation, and real feedback.
  6. CBI responds to recent research into the areas of collaborative and cooperative learning; given its thematic and topical emphases, CBI lends itself well to project-oriented and experiential activities that develop strategies and skills across a range of related inputs and materials.
  7. Project and experiential activities which integrate input form multiple sources require provision of materials or student-initiated research and searching.
  8. Students are educated adults with an understanding of what their learning requirements, tasks, and goals are.
  9. Students have different learning styles and may benefit from a range of presentation and activity types.
  10. Interactivity may be an effective approach for many adult learners intent on problem solving in a student-centered classroom.
  11. Evaluation of resources is fundamental to effective research.
  12. Appropriate use of resources may be the best indicator of efficiency and critical thinking.[5]


TGERI sessions incorporate various formats and take place in different venues: the classroom, the CALL lab, and library. Out-of-class homework is assigned regularly for completion in libraries, computer labs, or at home. Classroom sessions include instructor presentations, discussions, demonstrations, group work, individual analysis, and student presentations. CALL sessions include presentations and demonstrations, computer searches, hands-on practice, and research tasks. Library sessions include searches using various databases (for licensing reasons, a small number of databases and CD-ROMs can only be accessed from the library itself; most, however, are available throughout the university community and from off-campus), scavenger hunts of a sophisticated nature, and information discovery sessions ("Where is this?"/"How do I access or obtain that?"), as well as orientation and focused learning sessions presented by instructional librarians (e.g., reference room familiarization, electronic journal training, "alert" service orientations). [-7-]

Since doing effective research requires having some focus to guide the searches, the instructor uses a focused topic related to, for example, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, as a mechanism for finding and exploiting examples of various print and non-print resources. Topics should be interdisciplinary and sustainable throughout a course. To date, the JFK assassination resources have effectively provided continuity and rationale for many of the instructors' examples and preliminary discussions during class sessions. This is not a course on the Kennedy assassination; it was chosen because it relates well to most of the social sciences, international studies, history, journalism, art, photography, and film as well as the hard sciences -(physics, chemistry), ballistics, medicine, and forensic medicine. Students, however, are neither expected nor encouraged to pursue this topic; rather, they are required to choose their own topic for personal and/or group exploration. Since strategies and techniques for exploiting research tools form a main focus of the class, the JFK assassination has been effectively used as a vehicle for illustrative search strategy purposes.

Other interdisciplinary topics can be used with similar efficacy. The topic of The Great Depression, for example, is one that not only introduces students to an important period in twentieth-century U.S. history, but also provides opportunities for practice in a variety of disciplines. In addition to a search for articles discussing economic causes, students can also explore the Depression's impact on the U.S. government (The New Deal), the arts (The WPA's Photography Project and Federal Writers' Project; the works of John Steinbeck, Thomas Hart Benton, Dorothea Lange, and others), and U.S. popular culture (the songs of Woody Guthrie). In the realm of the natural and social sciences, students may also investigate the reasons for the environmental degradation of the Dust Bowl region and how these factors were directly linked to social issues, such as the displacement of farmers and their migration westward.

Early humans is another academic theme that can provide rich opportunities for interdisciplinary research. The highly speculative nature of anthropology and archaeology requires investigation into a variety of competing theories that attempt to explain the origins, migratory patterns, and daily life of early human beings. This topic has a strong link to science and mathematics as well. Research into the physiological makeup of humans and their diet requires knowledge of medicine and food science. On the other hand, investigation of climatic change, food sources, and carbon dating procedures utilizes information from the natural sciences, applied sciences, and mathematics.

Additional cross-disciplinary topic areas include:

It is assumed that, regardless of the instructor's sample topic, activities remain the same.


As stated above, the class aims to improve language skills while engaging students in activities and assignments designed to improve their knowledge of and skills in (especially critical thinking skills) the important areas of academic information gathering and evaluation. Each week (four one-hour sessions per week) students participate in interactive workshops, discussions, and practice sessions designed to present information while allowing them ample time to get the hands-on experience they need in working with the various resources materials. In addition to improving their knowledge and research skills, they are expected to participate actively in class and to develop their classroom interaction skills (e.g., asking questions, participating in pair and group work, explaining procedures, and following instructions). Language improvement will be primarily through doing, though, when necessary, attention will be given to improving their ability to provide oral and written descriptions of processes, definitions, appropriate signals of paraphrase, and so on. Reading assignments include targeted study questions that aim at improving academic reading skills. (In this regard, it has been noted that understanding written questions often proves more challenging than finding the answers.)

TGERI activities include, but are not limited to:

Students are assigned readings and out-of-class activities in both the OPIE CALL lab and the library. Each student keeps a dialogue journal, both to record personal thoughts and reactions to various aspects of the class and as a mechanism for receiving instructor feedback. Students are also quizzed regularly on various aspects of class work, and they are required to perform certain types of searches and evaluations to demonstrate both their understanding of principles and the application of skills.

Assignments accommodate students in different fields and at different levels of study and ability. This is done by having students start off assignments working from the instructor's topic and examples and then moving into their own project-related topic area. The project topics provide a personalized interest focus, which can also cater to graduate or undergraduate level requirements. Worksheets can become progressively more difficult, thereby testing the abilities of students at different levels; different activity level goals could easily be set though most students seem interested in learning how to complete all worksheets. Clearly, the assignments have served as a useful launching point for many students, who have then become enthusiastic and pursued their own interests independently by intensifying both the breadth and depth of their explorations. Multiple skill levels can also be addressed by having students help their classmates either, directly, for example in the CALL lab, or, more generally, by providing feedback through class discussions and group work. A limited number of students may require additional help outside of class. In this regard, though, all students are urged or (for certain activities) required to conference with the instructor.

Annotated Bibliography Project

Each student is required to submit an annotated bibliography. The specifications for the 25-item bibliography project are detailed and discussed in class as the term progresses. In some weeks, specific time is set aside for project work with the instructor serving as a guide and resource person; other weeks, students work on projects outside of class only. Following preliminary discussions and background activities, actual work on the project begins around Week 2 with classroom orientation and brainstorming. Where feasible and logical, group projects are encouraged. In these cases, projects benefit from a multi-disciplinary topic to allow for a range of perspectives on resource tasks and exploratory assignments. Whether group or individual, oral project presentations are made in class during the final week.

The annotated bibliography activity has proven to be a useful vehicle for allowing students to apply the principles and skills they acquire throughout the term. By adhering to their chosen topics, they develop expertise in particular areas of research, while, at the same time, investigating many different resource types. In some cases, students use research topics they have actually undertaken or intend to undertake in another academic class. By the end of the course, they have amassed a considerable number and range of resources, which have been organized, evaluated, and annotated. The annotated bibliography project, then, requires the application of most of the skills and knowledge areas examined during the ten-week quarter in a single, culminating activity. While not a requirement, group projects can provide an extensive, prolonged opportunity for virtually every aspect of the TGERI course. As a vehicle for learning, they can provide the added dimension of interdisciplinarity. [-10-]

Syllabus Overview

The standard syllabus used in this class, piloted for three different academic quarters, appears in Appendix A. In a semester-length course, instructors could also include an actual research paper based on the resources located and evaluated by the students in this shorter ten-week course.[6]

The following observations bear mentioning with reference to the content and sequencing of the syllabus. During the first week, students are provided considerable material about the purposes of the course, the procedures, activities, and requirements. A simple terminology diagnostic is recommended during the first week as well since students need specialized vocabulary to discuss many of the topics in the syllabus. Importantly, time is also spent dealing with affective issues such as anxiety, realistic expectations, the need to approach new technology in an informed and measured way, and the fact that problems, though inevitable, can be overcome with skills, knowledge, and, above all, the steady and rigorous application of strategies. For this reason, the syllabus does not take a single-shot approach to strategy building; rather, work on search strategies is introduced at regularly scheduled intervals and spiraled throughout the course. Importantly, the World Wide Web is one of the last elements introduced since it is already the most familiar to students and, second, it needs to be put into perspective in terms of appropriateness and value. For this reason, the ALICE database for books is introduced first, followed by academic databases (periodicals), electronic periodicals, and then the Web. This sequencing has proven successful in developing the students' respectful commitment to academic databases while diminishing Web exclusivity and increasing the appropriate use of resources.

Evaluation concepts and activities also thread their way through the ten-week course. As each of the various types of resources is examined, students receive tips and practice in evaluating them according to sets of criteria. Evaluation practice takes the form of discussions of the principles involved in assessing the value of resources, demonstrations, worksheet activities, and annotation writing. Sets of criteria vary according to the genre of material: books, journals, journal articles, magazine articles, and Web pages. Since evaluation activities are integrated throughout the course and punctuate various units/weeks at appropriate points, the significance of assessing the value and usefulness of materials is never far-removed from the students' everyday activities.

The annotated bibliography project described above also runs the length of the course, serving as both a pacing device and a mechanism for continuity. By phasing in search techniques and annotation requirements linked to specific genres of materials, students can focus on their assignments in a manageable way, avoiding being overwhelmed and/or falling victim to excessive "techno-stress." For example, students learn how to locate and evaluate books as a resource and then receive detailed instructions and samples for annotating books; they next tackle academic journal article databases and learn to locate, evaluate, and annotate this type of material. The syllabus provides a reasonably paced scheduling of genre-based activities, culminating in the final presentation of the projects during Week 10. [-11-]

Keyword Worksheets

Starting with basic keyword worksheets (see Appendix B), the students receive regular and intensive practice in developing keyword searches, parleying keyword searches into subject searches, and the notions of "controlled" and "uncontrolled vocabulary." In addition to ensuring that students undertake adequate thinking and planning before they start their searches, the keyword search worksheets serve as an effective launching point for explorations into Boolean terms and operators, truncation, phrase searching, proximity searching, and other aspects of key words searching. Also, by exploiting "help" screens and "advanced search screens" students develop essential information literacy habits tied directly to reading. Ultimately, they learn both to limit and expand searches in practical ways, and they discover how to navigate different interfaces on academic journal and periodical databases. Given the length of the course, the students are pleased with being given ample opportunities to practice and explore a multitude of skills and strategies that allow them to investigate databases in depth and in breadth.

Moreover, through the mechanism of keyword worksheets, the syllabus provides exposure to key notions in searching, such as synonymy, nominality, and tangentiality. Many students begin keyword searches by naively entering the title of their research paper--often long phrases or even sentences--sometimes as a phrase search. Basically, they are looking for a "canned" version of their own research. As a result, they feel frustrated when the do not have many, if any, "hits." In effect, they are treating the databases the same way they would treat the search engine "Ask Jeeves," in which users can ask fully-formed English questions.

Through TGERI keyword worksheets, ESL students quickly learn about effective techniques for searching. For ESL learners, the ability to use synonyms reflects their current stage of interlanguage, a situation which puts them at a clear disadvantage vis-ˆ-vis their native speaker classmates. However, the value of synonymy quickly becomes apparent. For this reason, keyword search worksheets are designed to get students to include related terms, narrower terms, broader terms, opposite terms, and so on. In the same process, it forces students to contextualize and relate their search items, both lexically and notionally. In addition, the fundamental value of nominality, using nouns and noun phrases, becomes clear very quickly. Browsing, for example, clearly emphasizes this concept.

Strategy development also makes it clear to students that a lot of useful information is available in articles and resources not exclusively or even primarily about their topic; useful information may be available in articles only tangentially related to their topics. This is one reason that search engines come up with so many (or too many) "hits, " since relevant references to topics are embedded deep down in articles in many cases. A key lesson in all this is that students must seek out information in bits and pieces, rather than looking for pre-fabricated articles bearing the researcher's project title. Research is indeed a process. For the ESL student encountering inter-language hurdles, the process becomes much more challenging.

Database Worksheets

Samples of database worksheets appear in Appendices C, D, E & F. The worksheets provide valuable practice in a number of areas. They require that students read and understand the questions and tasks, a task often more challenging than providing the answer itself. In so doing, students become acquainted with the way databases are organized and the rationale behind them; they discover what is important information for researchers and how they can manipulate the information in databases to their advantage. They learn how to experiment with the databases so as to provide future experience on which to build, thereby developing their own information literacy heuristics. Equally important, they learn to pay attention to the details. The database worksheets help students by leading them step-by-step through a series of information literacy events, propelling them from the instructor's examples to non-project related instructor examples, and ultimately to the student's project topic. As a result, students deal with different databases to compare results, different interfaces to compare ease and user-friendliness, help screens and advanced search instructions to examine the transferability of knowledge, and progressive levels of complexity and revelation (e.g., regarding Boolean operators, proximity searches, Web review sites). [-12-]

In many of the detailed worksheets already developed, students are provided with introductory information regarding the "Purpose of the activity," "Skills involved," and "Why these skills are important." This highly effective format was borrowed from Franoise Grellet's (1981) Developing reading skills: A practical guide to reading comprehension exercises, This notional contextualizing of activities provides rationale and intellectual texture to information literacy tasks as well.

Interactivity and Feedback

The TGERI course incorporates interactivity in a number of ways, both as a means to bridging the gap between theory and practice and to making the course more interesting and relevant in terms of the students' personal fields of study. In terms of the theory/practice bridge, interactive worksheets require real-time use of computer databases and functions that reveal to the students the practical intricacies of using information technology resources while applying the underlying theoretical principles they have studied. The worksheets integrate knowledge of terminology, functionality, practicality, and appropriateness with skill and facility acquired through the actual performance of various tasks. Students must identify topics, select terms, prepare and execute searches, revise and execute additional searches, locate materials either physically or online, evaluate the materials, and fit the materials to their stated needs. Given the range of materials available, students will experience an array of location and evaluation tasks that should bring them into contact with the multifarious decisions and problems encountered by all researchers. Students will interact with people (instructors, librarians, classmates), machines (computer hardware, computer software, photostatic copiers including microfiche copiers), and venues (the classroom, the CALL lab, libraries, the reference room). In this latter sense, negotiating one's way through and around a large library or a number of libraries, or ordering materials through interlibrary loans certainly qualifies as interaction in a very real sense.

In addition to the many personal search and evaluation activities, many of the tasks are designed for pair or group work, thereby incorporating cooperative learning techniques. Pair and group work may take the form of solving problems, for example, in completing questions and comparing answers on worksheets, or in exchanging suggestions and results from search strategies. (Sharing the results of the same search using different databases would be an effective example of this.) In addition, the activities will require that the students interact with the instructor in various ways. Examples of student-teacher interactivity include having students share search results, defending their evaluations of resources based on a range of criteria, discussing procedures and problems encountered, actively participating in instructor presentations and mini-lectures, and formulating and presenting relevant, cogent research proposals. [-13-]

In a very real sense, then, interactional feedback becomes a crucial element in both the pedagogic flow of the activities and the successful delivery of the course. The instructor must respond to student needs and accomplishments while the students must make known their challenges and concerns. Importantly, through their interactions, students also fulfill many of the instructional functions as well by helping each other, framing questions, and resolving issues and concerns as they appear. In addition to on-the-spot performance and interactional feedback, assessment feedback (discussed below) also serves to let students know how they are progressing. Problems involved with evaluative and assessment feedback may well serve as the focus of another article.

All the time, of course, students are expected to communicate effectively in English and attempt to improve their language skills. The academic nature, authentic in most cases as well, of the tasks at hand, appears to impel the students to a satisfactory conclusion. Students often seek out the instructor or an instructional librarian or staff member for clarification of a point or confirmation of a result. The bottom line has been immense student satisfaction in terms of the way time and effort have been spent and the immediacy of relevance of the activities. Sharing the rewards and disappointments of research tasks with other members of a group seems to buffer the individual from the vagaries of occasional dissatisfaction.

Options for Tailoring a TGERI Course

As mentioned above, the course caters to both undergraduate and graduate students enrolled or destined for different academic disciplines and a range of language proficiencies at our part-time level.[7]

To date, the course has been administered on a relatively uniform basis; however, the following list suggests ways that differences in academic status, academic field, and language proficiency could be taken into account:

  1. Academic interests are reflected in the students' annotated bibliographies, which serve as the principal vehicle for many of the skills and knowledge focuses incorporated into the course. (E.g., different members of a group could reflect different academic biases [in the JFK assassination, a physics student could focus on the hard science and forensic evidence while a fine arts student could focus on the portrayal of JFK in the arts, or a journalism student could focus on the way the media covered the event]; AND/OR students in different academic majors could use different documentation styles though this would not seem to be, nor has it been, a requirement.)
  2. Worksheets can be arranged so that the tasks and assignments become progressively more difficult or include additional requirements.
  3. Pairing of stronger and weaker language proficiency students can increase interactivity both inside and outside the classroom and serve as a learning tool. (For example, some collaborative work could be allowed in the writing of annotations, or in planning oral presentations of the projects.)
  4. Providing a range of activity types can help address different learning styles.
  5. Requirements reflecting different degrees of difficulty could be established for graduate and undergraduate students. (Graduate students, for example, might be required to submit supplementary items of a more advanced nature, such as government documents, email messages from experts in the field, or primary source documents.) [-14-]
  6. Different criteria could be used for evaluating students of different status or for those in high and low language demand graduate majors.

Evaluating Student Participation and Progress

In his description of the principles of experiential learning, John Dewey (1938) set forth several key assumptions. Among these basic tenets is the belief that students should experientially acquire relevant skills that can be immediately used in their daily lives. Indeed, the idea of relevance as a motivator for the learner is also a defining principle of Content-Based Instruction (CBI). According to Short (1991), CBI provides "opportunities to [study] topics of high interest and topicality that provides [sic] motivation to learn and participate" (p. 167).

In keeping with the assumptions of experiential learning and CBI, students in the TGERI class are asked to complete tasks that develop the knowledge and skills necessary for conducting research. Competence in information gathering through utilization of the university's many available search tools is particularly relevant for EAP students. Through successful completion of the hands-on, interactive tasks of the course, students are able to make a smoother transition to full-time academic study. TGERI tasks have students searching for information and evaluating information sources while at the same time improving their overall language ability. Assessment is done on a daily basis and is based on the learners' performance in the completion of information gathering, source evaluation, and presentation tasks. In assessing student progress, the teacher focuses not only on the development of content skills (information search and source evaluation), but also on language skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening). A variety of methods is used to assess the students' progress in completing both content and language curricular objectives.

In a CBI-EAP course, development of language ability is at least as important as development of content skills. Yet it is often difficult to separate one from the other. Because students in content-based courses are often at different levels relative to knowledge of the content or language ability, traditional methods of assessment, such as paper-and-pencil tests, are not always effective in determining student achievement and improvement. In conjunction with the periodic administration of quizzes, the regular introduction of interactive exercises and individual projects can accurately inform the teacher as to the improvement of individual students. Sheppard states:

[T]eachers who observe their students engaged in activity-based learning, ...who facilitate oral interaction--who are involved in the learning processes...know very well how much their students know, have learned, and are likely to know.(1997, p. 38)

More often than not, the activities and related materials to which Sheppard refers must be designed and developed by the CBI teacher. For example, in TGERI, the official text is McGuire, Stilborne, McAdams, & Hyatt's The Internet handbook for writers, researchers, and journalists (2000/2001 edition), A supplemental text, Carl Oglesby's (1992) Who killed JFK?, is also used. Neither of these books was designed for an EAP classroom. Therefore, teachers have had to design activities and support materials. This materials-development responsibility is one of the key challenges for the CBI teacher. [-15-]

When designing classroom materials for EAP students, teachers need to keep in mind the need for language support. Vygotsky's concept of a "zone of proximal development" (cited in Williams & Burden, 1997, p. 40), like Krashen's "Input Hypothesis" (1982, p. 21), proposes that content should be just beyond the reach of the student. Vygotsky, however, went on to suggest that content be introduced "in all its complexity, rather than [to present] skills and knowledge . . . in isolation" (p. 40). To help the learner handle the challenge of advanced material, Vygotsky recommends that complex subject matter be introduced through the use of scaffolds, Scaffolds are learning strategies or supporting materials that assist the learner in working through complex content (see Yang, 2001). CBI materials and strategies support the learner's ability to follow content originally intended for native-speakers. According to the Vygotskian perspective, the teacher should initiate language skill exercises, grammar practice, and vocabulary development activities that facilitate the learners' ability to understand and work with the subject matter. As the student progresses, fewer scaffolding devices are needed. Yet, in the process of developing and implementing scaffolding materials, the challenge of individual assessment must also be taken into account.

In evaluating a student's information-gathering ability, source-evaluation ability, and language skills, interactive activities can provide the teacher with assessment information. The exercises described in the following section help the teacher determine student progress. Each focuses on specific academic or language skills. (As stated previously, exercises become more difficult as the term progresses.)

Continuing Assessment: Academic & Language Skill Worksheets

Two kinds of worksheets used in the TGERI course aid the teacher in conducting on-going assessment of students. One type focuses on knowledge and skills related to the gathering and evaluating of research materials. The other focuses on the students' knowledge and skills as they relate to language. Students' progress can be evaluated in terms of how well they actually perform the tasks and activities on worksheets (see, for example, Appendix G).

The academic skills of gathering and evaluating information are assessed through the regular and systematic use of specially designed worksheets. These worksheets require the students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills while completing a variety of hands-on information gathering and evaluation tasks for individual and group work both in and outside the classroom. There are two kinds of academic skill worksheets: Search exercises and Source Evaluation exercises.

Search and Source Evaluation exercises currently fall into three classifications (with many other categories possible): Library Task worksheets, OhioLINK Database worksheets, and WWW Meta-Search Tools worksheets. With the Library Task worksheets, the students demonstrate a familiarity with and understanding of university information systems while at the same time showing that they are able to use the systems by locating and ordering materials from them. OhioLINK Database worksheets require the students to demonstrate facility and confidence in executing information search strategies using a variety of interfaces covering electronic, print, and other media resources available through the State of Ohio's clearinghouse, covering 80 tertiary-level institutions and the State library. The WWW Meta-Search Tools worksheets' objectives are to get the students to demonstrate familiarity with and understanding of selected academic sites and resources on the World Wide Web, particularly evaluative directories, reference tools, and article retrieval sites. [-16-]

The Source Evaluation exercises for individual and group work in the TGERI classroom fall into two basic categories: ALICE Source Evaluation Page worksheets and WWW Site Evaluation worksheets. The objective of the ALICE Source Evaluation Page worksheets is the identification and selection of appropriate information resources in the electronic, print, and other media. The WWW Site Evaluation worksheets' objectives relate to evaluating all information resources in terms of sets of criteria. (A sample WWW Site Evaluation worksheet, the MLK website exercise, can be found in Appendix H.)

While the academic skill worksheets focus on the students' ability to find and evaluate research information, the language skill exercises exploit the textbook and other course materials to develop high-level language skills needed for academic success. These exercises focus on the language skill areas of reading, writing, listening, speaking, and quiz/test-taking. Virtually all the worksheets aim at developing critical thinking skills as well.

Reading exercises, for example, utilize textbook chapter worksheets which require students to survey a chapter or a long passage from a textbook in order to activate background knowledge and curiosity about the subject, become familiar with the organization of the text, and identify highlighted information. The language objective of such exercises is to get the student to comprehend and relate the main ideas of authentic reading passages of up to twenty pages in length.

The primary language objective of the TGERI writing exercises focuses on the students' ability to summarize and paraphrase scholarly material from an academic field. The targeted production length for such writing tasks is generally the paragraph, to practice the development of strong topic sentences and demonstrate an appropriate range of support. The project for the course, the Annotated Bibliography, requires the students to demonstrate their ability to annotate resources correctly as well as to summarize them.

The language objective of the listening exercises in the course focuses on the students' ability to understand the gist of rapid discourse. In the TGERI classroom, the students are required to complete worksheets while listening to extended discourse, as in mini-lectures and in narrative documentaries (on video or audio tape) which provide both paralinguistic and content reinforcement.

In TGERI, the speaking skill is addressed primarily through discussions, the preparation and delivery of an oral report of an academic nature, and response to related questions from classmates and the instructor. The language objectives relate to developing greater confidence in public and group speaking, and communicating effectively. [-17-]

Finally, students focus on developing and utilizing a variety of quiz and test-taking strategies. There are two language-related outcomes in this area. The first asks students to demonstrate the use of academic vocabulary commensurate with at least an undergraduate level of studies while answering quiz and test questions. The second objective requires that students demonstrate their proficiency in writing at the paragraph level with strong topic sentences and an appropriate range of support.

Modularizing the TGERI Class

Short's (1991) premise that topicality and high interest are strong motivators for the student is also true for teachers. Developing a successful content-based course can be a satisfying experiencing for ESL instructors since it provides a chance to work with subject matter that may be of high interest to the instructor, but not germane to the field of English language teaching. And, although information gathering and research may not be everyone's "cup of tea," this kind of course does afford the opportunity to introduce topics that are of interest to the teacher as well as the students. As previously mentioned, for example, the TGERI class has utilized the Kennedy assassination--a focused, but interesting subject area in which one of the instructors has great expertise--as a topic for student practice. Few other classes would afford such an opportunity. In contrast to these advantages, however, there are drawbacks, too. One of these is making the course package user friendly. In most EAP programs, any new class is valuable only if other instructors are able to teach it without a great deal of advance planning and effort. In fact, making a course accessible can be a problem with any CBI course.

Like many of the content-based elective classes in OPIE, TGERI does not have an ESL-based textbook. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the instructor to develop appropriate materials that can build the scaffolds students need to adequately master the content.[8]

In order to ensure that others can follow a previously designed course, several guidelines should be followed in the development of any content course:

1. Develop the course with the assumption that someone else will teach it next time.

2. Write daily lesson plans and keep a log of impressions of the successes or shortcomings of various activities, if possible.

3. Keep a file of hard copies of all materials as well as an organized computer file of soft copies.

4. Be available to counsel and assist colleagues as they teach the course.

Professional Growth Opportunities for Faculty Members

It has already been mentioned that topicality and high interest serve as essential factors in motivating both students and instructors. To the extent that TGERI provides opportunities to incorporate personal and professional interests into courses in a meaningful and exciting way, it provides professional growth opportunities for instructors who want to: [-18-]

For those who do not have the ability or genuine programmatic opportunities to create a stand-alone TGERI course at this time, there is always the possibility of the development of selected information-gathering components as part of existing academic preparation courses. In many instances, library skills or research components already exist and might usefully be expanded or redirected. In some cases, a new emphasis or re-emphasis on, for example, the development of critical search-term strategies might be a useful step toward getting students to develop effective long-term academic performance habits. Even, a simple step, such as exposing students in an informed and concerted way to academic databases as a substitute for, a supplement to, or an alternative to the seductive WWW could dramatically improve their research capabilities.


Some useful observations can be made regarding the pitfalls and successes of the course to date. Given the recursive trial and error nature of course development, the following points are mentioned in the hope that others may learn from the TGERI experience.

Pitfalls. It may be that the name TGERI itself does not attract as many students as hoped given the elective nature of the information-gathering course. This may be less a function of the ferocious sounding TGERI than the acronym's reference to research, a word that has connotations of writing up research and requiring long hours in the library with ponderous tasks and tomes. Electives are somewhat in competition with each other. Any course related to research per se may encounter a similar problem except for those students who understand the nature of the course. TGERI also requires that a great deal of material be covered on the part of both teacher and student. This means that instructors must keep up with the rapid pace of change in the information and library science fields. Not everyone can afford that luxury, or, at least, that may be the view of some well-intentioned yet very busy faculty members. The newness of some concepts for some students may also be problematic (should they be given the choice); thus, computers themselves, documentation, plagiarism, attention to detail, any or all of these may dissuade students from voluntarily engaging such a course.

The strong emphasis on critical thinking skills may discourage others; some instructors may feel more comfortable dealing with a more skills-oriented curriculum. In addition, students struggling with the language itself may be content to postpone this type of content until later. [-19-]

Somewhat related to this notion of critical thinking for faculty members is a "techie factor": some ELT instructors quite comfortable with computers and CALL approaches to learning may prefer to pre-package Web links, electronic resources, and subject guides of various types, focusing on "cool" and useful Web-sites, to the detriment of print materials and the students' development of their own search skills and strategies. There is, then, a need to secure the critical thinking notion as a faculty-wide decision and commitment.

The TGERI course may well encounter the kind of resistance experienced with the inception of any content-based course. This resistance may be linked, in part, to concern about the philosophy of CBI or to issues raised by evaluation. Participating instructors are well advised to familiarize themselves with the tenets of such courses and urged to share their information and enthusiasm with colleagues.

A caveat is also in order regarding the development of units to serve as instructor topics for demonstration purposes. The instructor's topic(s) and accompanying exercises, time-consuming to create and therefore reliant on a high level of instructor motivation to sustain interest, should be of considerable appeal if the unit and course are to be modularized. If the topic is of an intensely personal or esoteric nature, it may be difficult to identify alternate teachers for the course.

A final word of caution relates to the level of English required for successful participation in such a course. An initial attempt to allow student enrollment from the highest full-time level of English met with many problems related to the mismatch of language proficiency and academic tasks. One could consider, for example, the value related to synonymy in designing search strategies; while the tasks, such as keyword search worksheets, could be done with lower proficiency students, they might not be efficient as a means of vocabulary instruction. Asking a student to write an annotation for a book that cannot be read or perused, or exploiting a help screen written for fluent speakers of English may also prove unduly frustrating and counter-productive. On the other hand, tasks could be modified, but that would substantially change the nature and certainly the pacing of the course as it has been designed. Delaying the TGERI course until students have reach a higher level of proficiency has proven to be a satisfactory approach. (There is always, of course, the option of including a few selected components of an appropriate level of content difficulty in integrated core classes at any language proficiency level.)

Successes. One of the obvious advantages to having a TGERI course resides in the ample time available for exploring and practicing the various techniques for locating and evaluating research resources. What might be confined to two or three sessions in a packed integrated academic skills course can now be addressed in a more productive manner. In fact, by having the opportunity to delve into the ideas, principles, and resources in a more informed way, many students reach a take-off point and continue exploring on their own, as they should, applying their new knowledge and skills to their own academic courses. In this regard, it was rewarding to see one student present at a conference and then publish a paper that grew directly from the activities she had done for her project in the TGERI course. While that example is exceptional, clearly most of the students rise to the occasion and demonstrate their newly acquired abilities. [-20-]

Student success in the course is also attributable to the relevance that the students perceive it to have. Already part-time academic students, they have genuine needs for the skills and content being examined. In turn, this results in increased motivation that is transformed into hands-on practice and focused assignments. By the end of the term, students can measure their own progress in terms of what they can do and how well they interpret and perform assigned tasks. This results in increased confidence, overall, in using libraries, computers, and other resources. Moreover, it means they can make sound decisions regarding academic tasks and apply appropriate search strategies and skills. In effect, the students enter an academic comfort zone that helps to accomplish the goals that originally brought them to an American university.

One side effect of the TGERI course has been its influence in having students see the World Wide Web as only one of many resources available for student research. By developing an appreciation for and considerable skill in using academic and periodical databases, students put the WWW in perspective. Students develop an awareness of the authority, range, and depth of the materials on the academic databases, and most of them come to see them as their preferred medium in doing research. Also, by expanding their knowledge of the specialized materials available in print form, including those in their own fields of study, they are better able to make informed decisions about the appropriateness of resource selection. No less significant is the fact that students learn to exploit the Web itself in a more efficient and informed manner, using advanced search skills, review sites, and real strategies; in effect, the Web becomes a much more user-friendly tool in and of itself.

Of course, one must not lose sight of the instructor's ultimate goals, which include teaching English. TGERI has demonstrated, in this regard also, that real language learning takes place in this relevant, task-driven, experiential type of course. Combining knowledge and skills while bridging theory and practice in a content-based course, which has an immediate impact on academic courses being taken concurrently, provides students with real language learning opportunities and growth. The bottom line is that TGERI makes the whole process of language learning more meaningful, more serious, and--if students are to be believed--more enjoyable.

Conclusion [9]

The TGERI information gathering course provides a timely, interesting, and highly relevant course, utilizing a content-based approach, which, while aiming at improving language skills, academic performance skills, and critical thinking skills, provides knowledge of and practice in using information literacy skills essential for identifying and evaluating research resources. The creation of a "TGERI mentality, " that is, the adoption of an information literacy mindset focusing on the development of critical thinking skills with ample opportunity for applying them, ensures students and teachers alike a fighting chance in keeping pace with the needs of EAP programs.


[1] A shorter preliminary version of this paper was presented at the TESOL Convention in Salt Lake City, April 12, 2002. [-21-]

[2] Semantic engineering is a concept that relates to the "architecture" of the web in terms of the interfacing of human users and computers as mediated by semantic structure; in that sense it relates to the presentation, manner, and detail of informational organization and less directly to the skill building required to access information. The authors, by no means well versed in this emergent area of research, recognize it as an important aspect of the Shapiro and Hughes (1996) sub-concepts of resource literacy and social literacy. Readers may refer to the Stanford University Center for the Study of Language and Information homepage (CSLI) at http://www-csli.stanford.edu/ or the CSLI's 2000 conference site at http://www-csli.stanford.edu/events/Tutorials/schedule-nov2000.shtml to get a sense of the scope of this interesting interdisciplinary field, which includes linguistics (semantics, euphemization, keywording, memetics-the study of units of social or cultural information), telecommunications, information processing, psychology, advertising, and consumer electronics.

[3] Some students find themselves in two or three single-hour elective classes in lieu of a core, but the primary rationale of electives is to supplement a core class.

[4] Incidentally, since the authors are currently involved in the process of changing the status of TGERI from an experimental elective to an official standing elective, the course should be considered a work in progress. Now that TGERI has been taught for three quarters, a final TGERI proposal must be presented to, steered through, and approved by the OPIE Curriculum Committee, the full faculty, the curriculum coordinator, the director, and the University Curriculum Council.

[5] In regard to the last item, one of the authors is familiar with a case of an undergraduate student who spent 45 minutes on the World Wide Web on a library computer trying to locate the capital of Cameroon on a map when she could have reached out to the Atlas on the bookshelf next to her and discovered it in a few seconds. Specialized print encyclopedias can also serve as expedients in this regard. Print resources continue to constitute an extremely valuable corpus of materials, a concept that may need to be resold to many students.

[6] For purposes of understanding the syllabus: ALICE represents the main Alden Library database for books, periodicals, and documents; DialNet is the University's Internet-provider; and SearchNet is a Local Area Network, providing access to databases from scores of networked terminals within the library itself.

[7] Initial attempts to include some students from our highest full-time English level were not particularly successful, and the course in now limited to those at the part-time level. Even at this level, however, a range of proficiencies exists, and accommodations can be made. [-22-]

[8] In our case, the original instructor maintained a well-organized collection of materials made up of both hard and soft copies in addition to a full set of easy-to-follow daily lesson plans. This was fortuitous since another instructor was asked to pick up the class and teach it on extremely short notice. As the class progressed, the new teacher added and adapted the original materials to suit the level and interest of the students in the new class. However, without the full set of materials provided by the original instructor, it would have been extremely rough going.

[9] In a bid to have the TGERI information gathering course formally and integrally adopted by OPIE, thus moving it from an experimental class status to that of standing class, the course has passed through the initial steps: it was approved for piloting and has been taught three times--twice by the originator and once as a module-in-progress by another faculty member. Revised copies of the course proposal have been submitted to the curriculum coordinator, who has scheduled it for review by the Curriculum Committee. The proposal will be further scrutinized and discussed at length in the Curriculum Committee, with helpful adjustments and revisions to be made if the past is in any way prologue. Should the Curriculum Committee approve the proposal, it will then be presented to the full faculty for discussion and feedback, and then returned to the Curriculum Committee for final adjustment if it has survived to that point. The Curriculum Committee can then recommend that it be approved by the OPIE director. Ultimately, it will be forwarded to the University Curriculum Council for final approval and placed in the university catalogue.

Though a lengthy process, the two instructors who have taught the course feel it is well worth the effort, adding, as it does, a valuable corpus of resource knowledge and skills to the language proficiency of students passing through our English for Academic Purposes program.


Brabazon, T. (2002). Digital hemlock: Internet education and the poisoning of teaching. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.

Brinton, D. M., Snow, M. A., & Wesche, M. B. (Eds.) (1989), Content-based second language instruction. New York: Newbury House Publishers.

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. New York: Touchstone.

Grabe, W., & Stoller, F. L. (1997). Content-based instruction: Research foundations. In M. A. Snow and D. M. Brinton (Eds.), The content-based classroom: Perspectives on integrating language and content(pp. 5 - 21). White Plains, N.Y.: Longman. [-23-]

Grellet, F. (1981). Developing reading skills: A practical guide to reading comprehension exercises. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Krashen, S. (1982). Theory versus practice in language teaching. In R. Blair (Ed.), Innovative approaches to language teaching (pp. 15-30). Rowley, MA: Newbury House Publishers, Inc.

McGuire, M., Stilborne, L., McAdams, M., & Hyatt, L. (2000). The Internet handbook for writers, researchers, and journalists (2000/2001 ed.). New York: The Guilford Press.

Mellon, C. A. (1995). Taking technology in stride. Journal of Youth Services in Libraries, 8, 281-284.

Mellon, C. A. (1999). Technology and the great pendulum of education. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 32, 28 - 35.

Oglesby, C. (1992). Who killed JFK? Berkeley, CA: Odonian Press.

Rothenberg, D. (1997, August 15). How the Web destroys the quality of students' research papers. Chronicle of Higher Education, 43, A44.

Rothenberg, D. (1999, July 16). Use the Web to connect with 'ideas in motion.' Chronicle of Higher Education, 45, B8.

Shapiro, J. J., & Hughes, S. K. (1992, June). Networked information resources in distance graduate education for adults. T.H.E. Journal, 19(11), 66 - 69.

Shapiro, J. J., & Hughes, S. K. (1996). Information technology as a liberal art: Enlightenment proposals for a new curriculum. Educom Review, 31, 31- 35.

Sheppard, K. (1997). Integrating content-ESL: A report from the front. In M.A. Snow & D. M. Brinton (Eds.) The content-based classroom: Perspectives on integrating language and content (pp. 78-93). White Plains, NY: Addison Wesley Longman Publishing Company.

Short, D. (1991). Content-based English language teaching: A focus on teacher training. Cross Currents: An International Journal of Language Teaching and Cross-Cultural Communication, 18, 183-188.

Soo, K.-S., & Ngeow, Y.-H. (1998). Effective English as a second language (ESL) instruction with interactive multimedia: The MCALL project. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 7, 71 - 89.

Williams, M., & Burden, R. (1997). Psychology for language teachers: A social constructivist approach. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Yang, S. C. (2001). Language learning on the World Wide Web: An investigation of EFL learners' attitudes and perceptions. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 24, 155-181. [-24-]

About the Authors

John W. Bagnole has been involved in TESOL for many years in the direct teaching of English, teacher training, trainer training, and curriculum development. He taught EFL with the Peace Corps in The Ivory Coast, and has worked professionally in Libya, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

John W. Miller worked in Liberia as a Peace Corps Volunteer and then in Korea before becoming an OPIE lecturer; he has also directed English programs in Japan and in Ukraine, where he was an Education Director for the Peace Corps.

© Copyright rests with authors. Please cite TESL-EJ appropriately.

Editor's Note: Dashed numbers in square brackets indicate the end of each page for purposes of citation.

Return to Table of Contents Return to Top Return to Main Page