* A lot of people have asked me in the past few months what Study-English-Online.Net was all about, so I thought it would be natural for me to create an mp3 recording of my answer to this question so that as many interested individuals as possible could listen to it (and kill two birds with one stone: learn about the ELN Project and practise listening at the same time) :D
* In essence, it is a 3 in 1 place on the Internet, which is an educational website, a social network and a language learning content management system.
Why is Study-English-Online.Net an educational website?
It is an educational website because its mission is to give people opportunities to practise and improve their English.
Why is Study-English-Online.Net a social network?
It is a social network because its functionality lets people form pairs and small groups in virtual debate and discussion classrooms - when several students get together, they can socialize in the very same way they would in an onsite classroom, the only difference is that when they are online, they are expected to use an IP telephony solution such as Skype or GoogleTalk to have a voice chat.
Why is Study-English-Online.Net a language learning content management system?
It is a language learning content management system because it has a large database of learning objects which are also known as language learning tasks. They are the building blocks that debate and discussion classrooms are made of. Visually, the majority of learning objects are a combination of some pictures and text. If need be, they could also be enhanced with diagrams, tables, audio, video and interactive elements such as polls and multiple choice quizzes.
What is a Virtual Discussion Classroom?
* In a nutshell, it is a kind of chatroom, where invited participants led by a tutor or moderator take part in organized learning activities. The tasks or learning objects are displayed on the main screen for everyone to see at regular intervals. To help the students make the most of the discussion, the classroom is equipped with timers, which facilitate turn-taking, and cheatsheets, which feature rules and additional instructions. What makes the ELN Discussion Classrooms special is that students get to talk for real and can hear each other's voices.
What is a Virtual Debate Classroom?
* A Debate Classroom is in many ways similar to a Discussion Classroom. What makes it different is that it makes it possible for lesson participants to form two teams and take part in competitive language learning activities, such as debates, when one team has to argue in favour of a given idea, while the other team has to support the opposing view. One of the key functionalities of a Debate Classroom is comprised of note-taking boxes where the debate moderator can type quintessential summaries of the ideas generated during class. After the lesson, it is possible for all the students who took part in the debate to review the notes via the interactive schedule.
* What is the Interactive Schedule and what does it enable users to do?
The Interactive Schedule is a separate module of the system that features class times, course descriptions and lesson summaries, and homework. It lets the social network users see what courses and lessons are planned for the future, join and drop classes, and order VIP lessons if they cannot find anything that meets their needs.