Teacher's Guide to ELLSA

The lessons in the first stage of ELLSA are appropriate for use by all American Literature, English Language Arts and English as a Foreign Language instructors in Southeast Asia.

Teachers outside the region will also find these lessons useful, but may need to adjust an occasional question or cultural reference to adapt it to their specific situation.

Ideally, teachers from around the world and many disciplines are encouraged to explore the ELLSA site for lesson plans, ideas and online resources.

  1. Student Level
  2. Materials & Language
  3. Methodology
  4. Lesson Focus
  5. Lesson Design
  6. Teaching with ELLSA
  7. Internet Lab (Discussion Format)
  8. Internet Lab (Self-Access Assignments)

March 22, 2004

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1. Student Level

Level 1: Low to mid intermediate. These texts are abridged texts and are set at the 1000 word level (O. Henry stories) and 2000 word level (Stephen Crane and Jack London).

Level 2: Upper intermediate to advanced. These texts are unabridged.

2. Materials & Language

Level 1 is designed as an online companion to The Ladder Series from USIS. The three titles from that series that are incorporated into this level are:

  • The Gift of the Magi and other stories by O. Henry
  • To Build a Fire and other stories by Jack London
  • The Red Badge of Courage and other stories by Stephen Crane

The language of these selections has been simplified from the original versions to make them appropriate for the levels described above.

Level 2 is designed for working with stories from:

  • American Patchwork
  • Highlights of American Literature
  • Being People

These stories are published in their original form.

Information about availability of books (use back btton on your browser to return to this page).

3. Methodology

Teachers and trainers may notice elements of many different language teaching approaches and styles in these lessons. Principally, ELLSA incorporates a content-based, language-through-literature approach. In practice, this translates as a systematic study of the short story genre with added dimensions of text exploration and vocabulary development.

4. Lesson Focus

Each lesson focuses on one short story, it's author and one element of short story writing exemplified by that story. In addition, language specific to that focus, is often examined.

5. Lesson Design

Following a biography of the author and synopsis of the story, each lesson follows the same four-part design:

  1. Pre-story (activation of student background knowledge and vocabulary)
  2. In-story (exploration of plot, setting, character, theme or conflict)
  3. Exercises (focus on language analysis and use)
  4. Follow-ups (creative writing, discussion and dramatization projects which allow students to apply their learning to their own ideas)

6. Teaching with ELLSA

There are both low-tech and high-tech options for teachers, depending upon a school or city's internet facilities.

6a) Low-tech options

  1. Print out all portions of the lesson which interest you. The main lesson consists of four main parts: pre-story, in-story, exercises and follow-ups. Go to each of these sections and select Print from the File menu and print them part-by-part. If you would like to use the text and vocabulary for the author's biography and story synopsis, you will also have to print those pages as well.
  2. Log onto and print out the lesson plan for the lesson you will be teaching.
  3. Read through the plan and decide which questions you will cover and which activities and exercises you would like to do from your printouts.
  4. Determine what additional materials or photocopies you should prepare for class.
  5. Have your students read the assigned story before class.
  6. In class, students should have their books at hand as you go through the lesson.
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6b) High-tech options

  1. If a school has an internet lab which English classes have access to, the teacher can guide the students through the site in class after they have read the stories.
  2. Have two or three students share a terminal and instruct them to write out the answers to questions and exercises in their notebooks at their station. They will need access to the stories.
  3. Preview the lesson with the students and indicate which questions and exercises they will be responsible for. (Prepare a list on the board to help students to make sure they have accomplished all assigned questions and tasks.)
  4. Have all students begin at the pre-story stage and then progress at their own pace.
  5. Circulate and monitor the session.
  6. Discuss student answers off-line and do the follow-ups as time allows.

7. Internet Lab (Discussion Format)

  1. If a school has an internet lab, the teacher can guide the students through the site.
  2. Have two or three students share a terminal station. They will need their books.
  3. Walk the students through the site question-by-question, link-by-link just like a textbook.
  4. Have students do pair or group activities at their stations and then discuss results as a whole class, before moving on to the next section.
  5. Do the follow-ups as time allows in your regular classroom.

8. Internet Lab (Self-Access Assignments)

At many schools, whole classes cannot reserve the computer or internet lab. In such a situation, simply assign the internet lesson as homework to be done outside of class at campus computer facilities or internet cafes.

  1. Tell students to log on to the first map of the web site and click on the level and story you wish to assign. The site maps can be found at: http://users.aber.ac.uk/jpm/ellsa/ellsa_ellsamap1.html
  2. Be sure to tell students to bring their books and notebooks with them. Have them work through the lesson in the intended sequence: a) synopsis, b) pre-story, c) in-story, d) exercises, e) follow-ups. The author's biography can be assigned either before or after the lesson, or even as part of a separate assignment.
  3. Ask students to write brief answers for all questions and write out all exercises in their notebooks. (Printing from the file menu is also an option, but may get expensive in terms of ink and printer paper).
  4. Discuss the answers on the assigned day using pairwork, groupwork and whole class discussion formats as you see fit. You may also simply collect the papers and check the students' work.
  5. Do follow-ups as time allows.

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