Review written by Thomas Simon
You are probably fairly proficient in internet skills to have found your way to this page. But is this enough to deal with this huge area in your lessons? The Internet is at hand to help with an array of very practical information & activities. You might be lucky enough to carry all this out in your classroom, but even if you cannot, you may still be able to use a lot as homework tasks as your students may well have an internet connection at home. Here's an outline of the book:
Core Internet Skills - searching & sorting, evaluating & communicating
Focus on language - word focus, grammar focus
Focus on language skills - writing, reading, listening, speaking, integrated skills & translation focus
Appendix -glossary of internet terms, links on the web, using computers for communication, internet resources, activity links & a bibliography
The Internet is formatted in the same way as others in the OUP handbook series, with clear signposting & variations for activities.
The first section provides core skills for both learner & teacher alike. Well worth a look & a good way of seeing how proficient your students are at using the internet. Learning by doing is the approach as students are asked to search for different pieces of information within web pages, newsletters & bulletin boards. You have to be careful here as you may find your students have highly developed internet skills already, so the key is to make this a collaborative effort &, if they can, teach you how to get around more efficiently & make the most of the net.
The language activities are focused. Students are asked to search out different language areas & points & then reflect on their findings. One activity asks students to search for examples of grammatical constructions, from the students' work, to see how frequent the examples are. A low frequency could indicate it being incorrect or just low frequency. Interesting discussions then ensue.
The internet clearly lends itself, at the moment, more easily to developing the reading & writing skills, although speaking & listening are not forgotten as more & more content is available. YouTube, Google Video, Podcasts & Skype, for example, have really made oral/aural communication much more accessible. Each of the skills are represented with a range of manageable & interesting tasks.
The appendices are no less valuable than other sections with their host of useful links & tips.
So if you are seriously going to incorporate the internet into your lessons, then you really should check out The Internet. The explosive growth of the internet is a challenge to us as language teachers & it's not going to go away. It will continue hurtling along so The Internet is a very welcome guide to help us harness this vast learning resource.