Interactive Learning Resource — English Learning for ESL Students

 Interactive Learning Resource — English Learning for ESL Students

 Carol Liu, Caroline Wang, Savannah Miao

Overview of the Resource

Our interactive Learning Resource is designed for ESL learners (around 16 students) who already have some basic English skills but still need to improve (CLB 8-intermediate English level). Everyone in this class is English Language Learner (ELL), one of the students has color blindness and one person who does not have access to a computer at home, but has a mobile phone with a data plan. For the activity, first, the instructor will ask students to form a group of four. Then, students are going to write a script as a group. Students should use past, present and future tense in their scripts to show student’s understanding of the knowledge. Teacher is going to be a facilitator and walk around to help students to writing the script. After students finish writing the scripts, they need to recite their lines and act it out in front of other groups. While the other group is acting, the rest of students should use short sentences to write a short summary about what happened in the performance. 

The learning outcomes are helping students to develop mainly on their English communication, comprehension, and writing skills. Also, they can have a better understanding of different past and future tense. We have combined inquiry and cooperative learning methods to design this activity. 

Description and Rationale for the Learning Theories

Our project is designed based on behaviourism. Acting out the scripts require students to move around. Some of the knowledge can be easily remembered when they are actually in those real circumstances. Also, learning is an active process of construction. Learners do not passively accept external information, but actively and selectively perceive external information according to prior cognitive structures, constructing the meaning of current events.

Description and Rationale for the Learning Design

We have combined inquiry and cooperative learning methods to design this activity. Learners need to work together to figure out one piece of script to act. Inquiry learning is the main line of students’ main practice activities to develop the teaching process. Students use certain means, use multiple senses, through their own subject activities, in doing learning, making students’ practical activities throughout the learning activities. Inquiry-based learning places special emphasis on students’ perceptions, manipulations and external practices such as language, and on their direct and indirect experiences The integration and unification of the cognitive activities on the basis of practical activities, and the practical activities of learning subjects to promote the development of learners.

Description of Learning Context

Our ESL student’s level is CLB 8 who already have some basic English skills. Also, this activity requires students to cooperate with each other. One of the group members can write first and others can revise the script. This requires teamwork. Students need to have some basic English skills in order to communicate with classmates and write out the scripts. For example, students need to know past tense, but they can’t use the tense correctly. During this activity, students can develop their English skills.

Activities, Assessments, & Learning Outcomes

    Learning Outcomes

Outcome 1: Learners will be familiar with how to respond and complete daily life conversations in English. Moreover, the learners will be knowledgeable about how to talk and meet online (phone calls, texts, e-mail, etc.).

Outcome 2: Students will enhance listening and oral presentation ability by enhancing learners’ fluency and accuracy of English using during the study process.

Outcome 3: Students will be able to improve their academic writing ability and Engish comprehensive ability.

    Lecture Schedule

Part 1: Group work

Daily English needs to be improved through real-life social situations and group work is always a good way to achieve this.

  • Outcome 1: Be able to apply English into real-world social situations in different forms. 
  • Activity: (Student-learning material Interaction and peer interaction)

Learners will be divided into 4-5 people groups randomly at the beginning of the lecture. Then each group will look through the topic list we provided and consider which topic suits them the best. They have to pick out the drama topic through discussion with their peers.

  • Assessment:

A written script is required for each group and needs to be well organized. Then learners will present their drama in front of all the students and their instructor. Performance will be graded based on their fluency, punctuation, clarity, and the content of their drama script.   

  • Resource:

Sato, M., & Ballinger, S. G. (2016). Peer interaction and second language learning: Pedagogical potential and research agenda. Amsterdam; Philadelphia; John Benjamins Publishing Company.


Part 2: Drama Performance 

  • Outcome 2: Students will enhance listening and oral presentation ability by enhancing learners’ fluency and accuracy of English using during the study process. 
  • Activity: (peer interaction)

Learners will have plenty of time to practice their drama with their group members and discuss how to make their performance perfect. They can reach out to the instructor through e-mail or office hours for any problems they encounter during the process.

  • Assessment:

Students will have the chance to choose their performance order and there will be a temporary stage in front of the classroom for performance. Learners are allowed to bring any kinds of props that are helpful to their performance. Their performance will be recorded for the convenience of grading.



Part 3: Feedback

Feedback is needed for being an important element of interaction. Quality feedback can improve the work of both parties.

  • Outcome 3:Students will be able to improve their academic writing ability and Engish comprehensive ability.
  • Activity: (Student-teacher interaction and peer interaction)

When each group is presenting the drama, other learners have to write down a short summarization of the drama in their own words. This summary will also be graded by the instructor. After each group’s performance, other learners and the instructor can have questions for them or make brief comments on their work. Then the instructor will provide feedback to each group after the performance and give some suggestions based on their overall performance.    

  • Assessment:

A written reflection will be assigned to every student. Students have to write down what they have achieved during this process and how this activity is helpful for their English learning. The reflection needs to contain at least one academic resource and will be graded by the instructor based on content clarity, grammar, and logic construction. Also, every learner will pick at least 2 groups to provide feedback or comment for them in an online discussion forum.

  • Resource:

The Joy of Getting Feedback | Joe Hirsch | TEDxTarrytown



Inclusion of Diverse Learners

Even though one of the students in our class is color-blind, there is no barrier for him in this activity. Unlike other activities, scriptwriting and acting do not require students to have the ability to distinguish different colors. No matter what colors they saw, everyone could see what was printed on the script. Therefore, the activity is designed for inclusion of color-blindness. On the other hand, students who do not have computers at home are inclusive in this design as well. First of all, they have a lot of time in class to work together. At the stage of scriptwriting, students will have class in the computer room and they can use the computers to type the content. If they still need more time to work on it at home, they can write down on the paper and take the picture by phone to send. Both the printed version and handwritten version could be accepted. Furthermore, if these students do not want to write by hand, they can borrow the laptops from the school library. Whether students have computers at home or not, there are many options provided for them, and they can choose by their preferences. 

Rationale for Technology Choices

Computers/Mobile Phones

Online Dictionary: to help students check new words, ie. Google Translate, Cambridge Dictionary (online version)

Google Docs: Students could write the script on Google Docs so that every group member can edit on it at any time. 

WordPress: post blog about the summary of other groups’ scripts.

Youtube: Students could find some movie clips on Youtube and learn how to perform. At the same time, it will be helpful for students’ pronunciation of English. 


Summary of Peers Recommendations:

Millie Ni:

  1. Learning outcomes of each activity could be explained more detailed in a separate section.
  2. Could introduce more interactive activities, (ie. assign some videos to students to watch and then discuss it in the online forum).

Wei Wang:

  1. Explain more on constructivism.
  2. Briefly discuss the inclusive design in the section of “Learning Context”.
  3. Suggest to have more interactions between the instructor and students.
  4. Explain how the students will present the drama. 
  5. Explain how the instructor will solve the difficulties that students might encounter.
  6. Could use video to record students’ performance.

Ruiming Yuan:

  1. Give more detail of constructivism.
  2. Cannot guarantee that the instructor is able to give feedback immediately on the online discussion forum. 
  3. More activities needed.
  4. Many activities require access to the internet and computers, which is less convenient for students who do not have computers at home.
  5. Different kinds of media could be included.
  6. More specific citations.

Yi Yan:

  1. Include a short summary of activities, learning outcomes and learning theories in the “Overview” section.
  2. The overall plan does not present constructivism which has been mentioned in the section of learning theory, academic research needs to be provided to prove the learning theory.
  3. Should introduce three activities in the plan.
  4. Discuss the activities and process in detail, and indicate how the learning outcomes will be met. 
  5. At the end of activity 2, the instructor could also give feedback on students’ summary.



Links to Peer Review of Your Resource

Peer Review for Learning Resource

Peer Review–pod 5

Peer Review: Pod 5

Peer Review–pod 5

Peers Recommendations into Final Resource


Sato, M., & Ballinger, S. G. (2016). Peer interaction and second language learning: ssssssPedagogical potential and research agenda. Amsterdam;Philadelphia; John Benjamins ssssssPublishing Company.

TEDx Talks, (2018, December 5). The Joy of Getting Feedback | Joe Hirsch | ssssssTEDxTarrytown. Youtube.