Contents of the user's guide to ELLSA

  1. A user's guide to ELLSA
  2. The ELLSA development team
  3. Reading materials
  4. The three stages of ELLSA
  5. The contents page for each level and the lessons
  6. Teacher's notes and self-study guides
  7. Web-based lessons and downloadable, print-based lessons
  8. Technical information

Updated 22nd March, 2004

ELLSA home page...

1. A user's guide to ELLSA

Welcome to ELLSA. Please take a few minutes to read this page before going into the ELLSA site, which is very large and contains hundreds of page links. As you become more familiar with ELLSA, you will find that navigation through the site is very quick and easy.

This user's guide is intended to help you find your way around the site and give an indication of how ELLSA is constructed and why it has been constructed that way.

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2. The ELLSA development team

ELLSA was originally developed as an initiative in providing on-line lessons and support for working with literary texts. Initial sponsorship was provided by the US Department of State English Language Programs through the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The site was originally developed for Students and teachers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines, but has since reached a wider network of users in all parts of the world.

The initial proposal was created by John Morgan and Jeffrey Taschner and funding was secured to develop the first stage of the project in 1999. The original site was hosted at (owned and maintained by John Morgan) and was later transferred to its current location.

The development team consisted of:

Since that time, ELLSA has been a self managed project and the web site as it stands today (23rd March 2004) is undergoing modifications to try to bring the unfinished components together. Levels 2 and 3 are being merged to facilitate a complete site that can be adapted to suit current users.

3. Reading materials

Users will need to purchase or borrow books from their libararies. The recommended books are available from State Department representative book sellers.

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3. The three stages of ELLSA

ELLSA has two stages or levels, which each contain five or six lessons. The links connect to the publisher of the texts used in developing the lessons in this site.

1. American Literary Classics (The Ladder Series), which includes

2. Tales of Mood and Mystery with lessons taken from

The lessons are:

  • The Cask of Amontillado, Edgar Allan Poe (from Highlights)
  • An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Ambrose Bierce (from Highlights)
  • Pillar of Salt, Shirley Jackson (from Patchwork)
  • Molokini, T.W. Hard (from Patchwork)
  • Immigration Blues, Bienvenido N. Santos (from Being People)
  • Two Kinds, Amy Tan (from Being People)

The two levels are connected via the index page and form three independent web-sites. Cross referencing between the three levels can be done quickly and easily from the map pages at the top of the index page, which are linked to every page in their level. Every page in ELLSA is reciprocally linked back to the respective map pages for their levels.

From the index page you can link to the contents page for each level.

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4. The contents page for each level and the lessons

On the contents page for each level, you will find links to each lesson, indicated by the titles of the stories. Each lesson is again, an independent unit. Within each lesson you can link to every page in that lesson from any page. These links are entered at the bottom of each page. The index page for each lesson is called Title Page in the links.

You can link back to the contents page, map of that level and title page from any page in each lesson. If you want to cross from one lesson to another, that can be done by linking to the map or to the contents page for that level.

Each lesson contains the following pages:

  • Biography page, which contains a reading passage and vocabulary checkpoint
  • Synopsis (Level 1), which again contains reading and vocabulary checkpoint. In Level 2 Synopsis is replaced by Author, which takes the place of the Biography page from Level 1.
  • Pre-story, which contains exercises that should be done before reading the story
  • In-story, which contains exercise based on the story. You may need to use the book to work with this section of the lesson.
  • Exercises, which contains language exercises based on the story, or the theme of the story.
  • follow-up, which contains written exercises based on the story or themes related to the story.

All necessary answer key pages are linked only to their relevant exercises.

The lessons can be done in any sequence, though a recommended sequence is provided for each level, which can be seen in the Contents page of each level.

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5. Teacher's notes and self-study guides

Even though the ELLSA lessons are mostly self-explanatory, teacher's notes and self study guides can be found on the contents page of each level.

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6. Web-based lessons and downloadable, print-based lessons

All the lessons that are provided on the web-site are also provided in downloadable format. The teacher's notes and self-study guides are also available for download. You can find the downloadable format lessons on the contents page of each level.

They are available as Microsoft Word documents for use with PC Windows, and as Adobe Acrobat PDF documents, for use with PC Windows or Macintosh systems.

In order to use Adobe Acrobat PDF documents, you will need to check if your computer has Adobe Acrobat Reader. If it doesn't, you can download it free of charge from the Adobe web-site, via the link on the Technical Information page.

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7. Technical information

The Technical Information page, which is linked to the Index page, contains details on upgrading your current browser to newer versions. It is important to update your browser as new internet technology is developing rapidly and older version browsers do not always display information accurately. Also, older browsers may not be able to work with interactive forms and interactive lessons. As ELLSA is updated, interactive lessons will become a feature of the site.

Any other software programs that are recommended for using ELLSA can also be found on the Technical Information page.

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