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About REEPworld's Student Site

Background | Development Team | Design Considerations | Technology | Contact Us

Background

REEPworld is an ongoing project of the Arlington Education & Employment Program (REEP) in Arlington, Virginia. This project was funded initially, in part, by an English Language Civics (EL Civics) grant awarded by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2004-2005. Development continues to reflect ongoing development within various REEP curricula as well as design improvements.

The goal of this project is to provide adult English language learners with level-appropriate, web-based activities that target lifeskill areas, while also preparing students to use the Internet as a tool for learning and participating in their communities.

The lessons contained in the English Practice section of this website are intended for adult English language learners and were designed with low-proficiency and low-literacy learners in mind.

Modifiable and printable materials are provided for teachers in the Teacher Resources section as complement to the online lessons, in support of student comprehension as well as differentiated instructional considerations.

REEPworld is unique in the following respects:

  • users may access this site free of charge and without a login
  • navigation tools are simple and clear, allowing low-literacy/ low-level learners to explore the site easily
  • lessons are based on lifeskills content , promoting language skill development as well as content-based learning
  • lessons and activities are pedagogically sequenced to support student learning
  • lessons make use of graphics and sound that enhance learning
  • lessons were designed by a team of ESL teachers and have been piloted with adult ESL students

We are very interested in your feedback. If you have questions or comments, please contact us.

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Development Team

Content Development Team: REEPworld
Project Manager 2008-present
Content Development, Design, Teacher Resources

Michele Cona

Content Consultant, Co-Coordinator 2007-2014
Donna Moss

Project Coordinator 2004-2007

Karen Taylor

Reepworld Development Team 2006-2007
Content Development Team

2006-2008
Deborah Jones
Ruth Takushi
Melanie Siteki
Sarah Young
REEPworld Development Team

Content Development Team

2004-2005

Deborah Jones
Michael Elkhawas
Ruth Takushi
Melanie Siteki
Sarah Young

Family English Stories: Authors

Hanna's Story: Ruth Takushi
Victor's Story: Sarah Young
Schwan's Story: Melanie Siteki
Newaz's Story: Melanie Siteki
Sara's Story: Debbie Jones

Narrators

Hanna's Story: Eden Husen*
Victor's Story
: Eduardo Rivera*
Schwan's Story: Pshko Siteki
Newaz's Story: Suham Zangana*
Sara's Story: Urna*


Health English: Contributors

Donna Moss, Michele Cona, Karen Taylor
Ruth Takushi, Sarah Young, Melanie Siteki, Debbie Jones

Narrators

Teachers, volunteers, and staff at the Clarendon Education Center generously contributed their time and voiceover talents for recordings in this unit.


Illustration by Miguel De Angel

Work English Stories: Authors

Abdul's Story: Debbie Jones
Marta's Story: Sarah Young
Gaspa's Story: Melanie Siteki
Samantha's Story: Ruth Takushi

Narrators

Abdul's Story: Mohamed Tanziti*
Marta's Story
:Lillian Quinteros**
Gaspa's Story: M. Salief*
Samantha's Story: Karonline Mori Hogrovejo

Video shoot with student actors Eduardo Rivera and Marta Gomez

Video production:
"What's the Matter?"

Producer: Karen Taylor
Director/ Writer
: Judith Brussell
Lesson Developer: Ruth Takushi
Camera: Darrell Johnson
Sound: Jeremy Koller

Note: This video is in the final stages of post-production.
Check back for information on ordering your own DVD or VHS copy.

Actors

Wife: Larisa Andreyewsky*
Therapist: Marta Gomez*
Co-worker: Christian Jones**
Boss: Lillian Quinteros**
Roberto: Eduardo Rivera*

Suham Zangana, one of our Family Story narrators
The characters and events depicted in "What's the Matter" and in each of the Family, Health, and Work English stories, while based on common immigrant experiences, are entirely fictional. REEP thanks the many students who contributed their voices, their images, their ideas and their feedback on these stories. * REEP Student
** REEP Staff

Design Considerations

We have learned a great deal in the process of developing this site. The notes below are provided in hopes that other designers will benefit from our insights.

Readability, Usability and Task Design
In an effort to create a reader-friendly website, we made a general effort to use dark-colored sans-sarif fonts (in this case, Arial) set against light backgrounds. To accommodate low-literacy learners and older adults, lessons feature large-size text whenever feasible. Jacob Nielsen's article on Low-Literacy Users has been a helpful resource, as has James Gee's book, What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy.

Plug-in Requirements
We wanted to create a site that would not put undue burden on users to download various plug-ins. Current research suggests that Macromedia's free FlashPlayer is the most widely downloaded plug-in in the world. That is, among the many plug-ins out there (QuickTime and Shockwave are other examples), FlashPlayer is the one most likely to be already downloaded on computers found in private homes, libraries, schools and workplaces.

Bandwidth Requirements
With low-proficiency, low-literacy English language learners in mind, this site contains many images and sound files to support learning. At the same time we anticipate that many of our users will access this site on older (slower) computers via dial-up modems, which presents a significant challenge: creating a multimedia site that does not require excessive bandwidth. Sound files on this site are therefore presented in .mp3 format, which economizes on file size. We chose to use Flash (.swf) files to integrate sound, as Flash files are condensed and therefore also economical with respect to bandwidth.


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Technology

  • This website is best viewed in Internet Explorer (IE) version 6.0 or later, or in Mozilla Firefox.
  • Macromedia Flash Player is a necessary plug-in for this website. You can download this plug-ing for free.
  • REEPworld was developed using Macromedia Dreamweaver MX. Other authoring tools include Hot Potatoes (for quizzes), Coffee Cup Flash Firestarter (to make .swf files), Audacity (for audio recording), Grabber (for screen captures) and various javascripts.
  • Technical support was provided (2004-2007) by the Center for Innovative Communities. Special thanks to Jeffrey Elkner, Jeff Coupe, Aziz Kaddouri and Eldar Omuraliev for their technical assistance, their enthusiasm for web-based education projects, and their willingness to work through any problem, big or small, all with good humor.
  • Additional thanks goes to Martin Holmes, Stuart Arniel, and many other members of the Hot Potatoes Users Yahoo Group who helped us find programming solutions to improve the usability of REEPworld. A special round of thanks goes to fellow ESL teacher John Horbacz, who provided thoughtful feedback, ideas and solutions to various problems.
  • This site is generously hosted and supported by Richard Shebora and his company, Apogee Technology.

Contact Us

Learn more about REEP and our ESL Curriculum for Adults, free and online.
Share your questions or comments with us by sending an email to: reep@apsva.us

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Copyright 2005-2012, Arlington Education & Employment Program (REEP)