Computer Lab Day Is Here: Begin with Helpful Vocabulary

Access to technology in ESL/EFL class can vary widely. When students first engage in computer-assisted language learning, you may need to provide them with the vocabulary they need to follow directions and communicate. To model the terms , you can (a) draw an image of the computer or tablet on the white board, and then label it; (b) use a photo or image someone else drew, either on the whiteboard or projected onto the whiteboard; (c) use an image on the smartboard; (d) use a real-life tablet or laptop and demonstrate each term; (e) use video that you create in advance; or (f) design a computer-based activity. Students can draw along with you, or if they are seated with their computers or tablets, they can act out what you demonstrate. Computer-savvy students easily understand the actions you are performing, and can move on quickly once you supply them with the labels.  However, in some situations, you will have to actually teach students how to use computers, an undertaking that will require a bit of time, effort, and preparation. Whatever you do, the following basic terms come in handy:

Nouns

  • address bar
  • app
  • cursor
  • dialog box
  • keyboard
  • mouse
  • screen
  • search box
  • sidebar
  • tab
  • touchscreen
  • URL

Verbs

  • to backspace
  • to click
  • to click enter
  • to copy
  • to cut
  • to delete
  • to double-click
  • to enter
  • to google
  • to highlight
  • to left-click
  • to paste
  • to right-click
  • to search
  • to select
  • to type

Assess learners’ knowledge of these terms as they work on other projects, or design a challenge that requires them to follow instructions well in order to produce the correct outcome. If you have time, you can have students create their own sets of instructions for others to follow using the terms.  Later you can use these terms in a weekly spelling test, or in games of Taboo or Hangman.

If you have time, you can have students create their own sets of instructions for others to follow using the terms.

Later you can use these terms in a Quizlet activity, weekly spelling test, or in games of Taboo or Hangman.

Click this link to access the Quizlet activity we made for this lesson.

 

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© 2016 H. Stewart Carpenter

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