PUMAROSA.COM

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1. INTRODUCTION

PUMAROSA is a free, interactive, bilingual web site for beginning and intermediate adult Spanish-speaking ESL students.

Because there is no registration, typing, or much navigating, PUMAROSA is extremely easy to use.

Therefore, students with little or no computer skills are able to start learning English immediately – plus computer basics.

PUMAROSA assists the students in their transition to English only classes and serves as an effective teacher’s aide. Paul Rogers, pumarosa21@yahoo.com


2. REVIEW OF PUMAROSA BY LOURDES HERRERA-

WEBSITE DESCRIPTION

Pumarosa.com is a free, bilingual, phonetic, and interactive English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) website for Spanish-speaking students of all ages.

The website was created by Paul Rogers, a veteran ESL teacher in California. Pumarosa was designed to teach basic English to Spanish-speaking students, but its graded structure can be easily adapted for teaching English to students whose first language is not Spanish.

Pumarosa is divided into two sections: Beginning and Intermediate. It contains about 30 lessons, arranged step-by-step, from the alphabet to lessons on all the verb tenses.

The website also serves as an effective introduction to the use of computers because it is easy to navigate. Pumarosa has expanded it’s offerings to include civics and history lessons.

Future lessons on Pumarosa will also include essays, poetry and songs geared to adult learners. The website is funded by Susan Polis Schutz, a well-known and respected poet and her husband, Stephen Schutz, a psychiatrist and an artist.

ACCURACY OF CONTENTS

I found that Pumarosa can act as an effective teacher’s aide, especially in a multi-level class with students who speak languages other than Spanish.

It is a self-motivated website that provides different lessons, which can engage students to participate and have fun learning the English Language.

It offers two levels: Beginning and Intermediate. With lessons that start with learning phonetics, grammar and conversation, the website is an awesome tool for learning the basics of the English language. It takes students step by step in the process of learning the language.

TECHNICAL QUALITY

The website does not require a subscription and/or a password. It is teacher/student friendly. The site is easy and safe to navigate; and the links provided are PUMAROSA-related links. This way, there are no distractions to the student. Pumarosa does not overwhelm students; instead it offers step by step lessons which are helpful to both the teacher and the student. Each section has an audio option which allows the student to listen to the phrases/sentences read by a native English speaker. In this case, it is the creator of Pumarosa.com, Paul Rogers.

USE OF TECHNOLOGY

Most students will find Pumarosa to be a very practical and easy website to navigate. All of the sections and subsections of the website are designed to be user friendly.

There are no worries about waiting for long periods of time to switch from one section to the next.

The audio feature provided is an excellent resource for students to expose themselves to pronunciation in English.

ROLE OF STUDENT

Students will be able to use Pumarosa to obtain language proficiency to use in the classroom, at home or in social situations. Pumarosa is a great website that offers many activities for students that are learning English as a Second Language. It will help students gain knowledge of English grammar, sentence structure, and will also strengthen their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. The website encourages continuous participation.

ROLE OF TEACHER

Pumarosa is an effective teacher’s aide, especially in a multi-level class, with students who speak languages other than Spanish. As few as 3 computers in such a setting will help create an interesting class.

Teachers can also use the website to assign certain sections as homework (for students to practice). In adult programs, many ESL classes often suffer because many students do not remain for the entire semester.

In this case, Pumarosa can be used as a Distance Learning Program.

CLASSROOM USAGE

Teachers can use this website in any classroom that has a computer and speakers. It could also be use with a Smart board to get students to practice grammar, vocabulary, etc.

The activities in the phonics section of Pumarosa are great to use with students who are being introduced to the English Language.

CRITICAL SUMMARY

I think Pumarosa.com is a great website that people of all ages can use.

It could be used as a distance learning program for people that cannot attend school and/or college to learn English.

The way that the sections of the website are set up makes it easy for second language learners to navigate.

The audio feature that is used for exposure to native pronunciation is interesting.

Pumarosa is, I believe, the quickest way to learn the basics of English. OVERALL RATING (on a scale of 1 to 10)9

EXPLANATION OF THE RATING

Pumarosa is really a great resource for learning English.

Working with ELL students and having gone through the experience of being an ELL student myself, I think that the website offers a great deal of information when it comes to learning a language.

In addition, the history and civics sections of the website introduce the basics of the American culture.

Though I am a fan of Pumarosa, I still think that the website should add more activities for students who have reached a proficient level in English. Also, more conversational exercises would not be a bad idea!

Homepage | Review of Pumarosa.com |

© L. Herrera | Last revised 10/28/10 | Lherrera@sjc.edu


3. PUMAROSA AND THE ROLE OF E-LEARNING/U-LEARNING

Currently budget cuts in education have led to a crisis in helping adult immigrants learn English in the US, while at the same time technology has grown so much that it is now possible to learn any language through E-Learning or what is now being called “U-Learning”.

"U-Learning" stands for "ubiquitous" and sometimes "universal" learning anywhere and anytime by any way. That is, web sites, CAL, cell phones, DVDs, CDs, and any other new fangled gadgets that are being invented as we speak.

What is needed is for teachers and program developers to provide the information and guidance to the students in a coordinated way.

For example, I use my website and its cds and texts, lessons on You Tube, el Blog para Aprender Ingles, and bilinguial sites such as aprendiendoinglesconcaniones. In this manner I can provide 'individualized" instruction to .... 1000s of students every month.

If you would like more information concerning HOW TO design a bilingual, U-Learning ESL class, please contact me at pumarosa21@yahoo.com or call 805-258-3310. Paul Rogers


4. Interview with Paul Rogers: Leading by Example Series sponsored by Dr. Sarah Eaton, http://drsaraheaton.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/interview-with-paul-rogers-leading-by-example-series/


This series is dedicated to highlighting the impact made by exemplary literacy and language professionals who lead by example. They share their inspirational tips and stories. This week we highlight the work of Paul Rogers, creator of the Pumarosa language learning program.

What is your name, affiliation, and connection to language learning?

My name is Paul Rogers and I have been teaching ESL for more than 20 years. I am also the author of a free website for Spanish speakers, PUMAROSA.COM, which has been online for 6 years, and is now widely used.


What are your thoughts about leadership and language learning?


Leaders in our field should lead by example, not only as teachers but as language students. It is also very important to investigate the uses of new technologies as applied to language learning. And I also feel it is important to champion what I call a multi-cultural, multi-lingual approach, i.e. respecting, appreciating and learning from other cultures and languages.


In your opinion, what’s the most important aspect of a language teacher’s job?


I used to think that my job should be providing adequate and interesting lessons so that the students would be able to learn English as easily as possible. Although I still believe that aspect of the job is important, after studying your reports and articles, I have realigned my thinking! Learning languages is a life-long endeavor that is very important not only to the individual but also to society as a whole.

We must be frank and honest with language learners and tell them there is no quick fix, no fast track.

So now I look at my job as a resource and as a guide, and as an advisor and a friend. I have to say that I am more relaxed and probably more effective as a teacher now.


What are some of the projects you’ve been involved with that you would like to share?

I promote PUMAROSA and sell materials, such as workbooks.

Otherwise, I have developed a “Home Study” program for Spanish speaking adults. I teach classes in the students’ homes in groups of 4 or 5. The materials used include my texts, audio CDs and DVDs, along with PUMAROSA, You Tube and a few bilingual websites that feature popular US songs. I also show the students how to use a computer. I encourage everyone to buy a used computer for about $50 at the second hand stores nearby. Some of them went out and bought brand new computers! I have discovered that many people spend up to $100 a month in telephone calls back home. But with a computer hooked up to the internet for less than $50 a month, they can call back home for as long as they wish for free. Some of my students use a webcam, and I even “taught” a class to their families in Mexico!


What do you see as three new directions in language learning?


1.The use of technology, in my view, changes the direction of language learning significantly. Now adult learners and families can basically learn at home without a teacher. This new development in distance learning makes language learning more democratic. Previously only a few people were able to attend classes, which were under the control of the teacher, i.e. ‘teacher centered”. Now learning can become ‘student centered’ so that mothers with children, for example, will not be excluded from learning anything.

2.All of which leads to teachers becoming more and more like a guide or advisor rather than an authority figure. Paolo Freire would be very pleased with this shift.

3.Distance learning programs will become the norm, with more and more community based involvement.

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