Vol. 4. No. 3 A-2 May 2000
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The U.S.-SiberLink Internet Project

Belinda Braunstein
University of California, Santa Barbara

Christine Meloni
The George Washington University

Larissa Zolotareva
Yakutsk State University


Collaborative Internet projects provide students with opportunities for completing authentic reading and writing tasks, for learning about other cultures, and for developing useful technical skills.

The authors describe the U.S.-SiberLink Project that linked universities in three cities: Santa Barbara, CA, Washington, D.C., and Yakutsk, Siberia. They describe the creation of the project's multimedia website and trace the development of the project throughout the term as students in the three cities discuss topics, find research materials, publish and share writing for peer review, and communicate via e-mail and an electronic bulletin board.

Student and instructor evaluations are presented in this article as are suggestions for instructors interested in designing a similar project.

I. Project Background

The Internet is revolutionizing education. This development is exciting for instructors of English as a second/foreign language in that it offers greatly expanded opportunities for authentic communication beyond the walls of the traditional classroom. And authentic communication is crucial in language acquisition.

As Hughes (1999) states, "Language use and language learning are social activities; they occur best in situations which encourage negotiation of meaning and learner collaboration with other learners, instructors, and community members." [-1-]

The U.S.-SiberLink Internet Project was created by three university EFL instructors in order to provide a classroom for their students in cyberspace. Two instructors were in the United States (at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and the University of California, Santa Barbara) and one was in Siberia (at Yakutsk State University in Yakutsk). Here the students could meet to discuss topics, share drafts for peer review, publish their writings, find research materials, communicate via e-mail, post messages to an electronic bulletin board, and participate in discussions in a chat room.

II. Class Compatibility

Academic Considerations

Before initiating the project, the instructors considered whether their classes met the five fundamental compatibility criteria as suggested by Corio and Meloni (Warschauer, Shetzer, & Meloni, 2000).

After applying the five compatibility criteria, it was determined that, while some differences existed, the similarities made the three groups a satisfactory match.

The three classes, therefore, were deemed suitable partners for these primary academic reasons. However, interesting institutional, geographic and cultural differences did exist that added to the attractiveness of the project.

Institutional Differences

The George Washington University (GWU) is a private institution with its main campus located in downtown Washington, D.C. The total student enrollment is approximately 20,000, 10% of which is made up of international students.

The GWU students in this project were graduate students in various Master's programs at the University and were enrolled in EFL 49, an advanced reading/writing course that met eight hours per week (four times a week, two hours each). They had access to GWU's computer labs, all of which were equipped with the latest hardware and software and rapid and reliable connections to the Internet.

The University of California, Santa Barbara, one of the nine campuses of the University of California system, is a public institution of approximately 18,000 students, located about one and a half hours from Los Angeles.[-3-]

The international students taking part in the U.S.-SiberLink Project were enrolled in the English Language Program of UCSB Extension. The students' primary goal is to learn English for academic, business or general purposes. The reading/writing class involved in the Internet project met for 5 hours per week. They had access to the program's two computer labs, each with 15 stations, all with the latest hardware and software, and fast connections to the Internet.

Yakutsk State University (YSU) has an urban campus with 13,452 students. YSU has 20 state-of-the-art computer classrooms with 12 computers in each. Internet connections, however, are sometimes problematic.

All YSU students must study a foreign language. English is the most popular choice. Students study English for two, three, four, or five years, depending on their field of study. The students who were U.S.-SiberLink participants are studying five years of English. Their current course is third-year English, which meets four hours per week (two hours, two days a week).

Geographical Differences

The George Washington University is located in the heart of Washington, D.C., only a few blocks from the White House. This city is the capital of the United States, and the presence of the federal government is pervasive. People who work in D.C. are characterized as "workaholics." It is a monumental city with classical the predominant architectural style.

The University of California at Santa Barbara is located in a very different environment from Washington, D.C.. Although less than two hours from bustling Los Angeles, Santa Barbara is a calm, small city (fewer than 200,000 people in the area) with low, Spanish style architecture and a "beach town" feeling. Bordered by the Pacific to the south and the Santa Ynez Mountains to the north, there is a greater focus on outdoor activities than one finds in a large metropolitan area.

Yakutsk State University is located in the urban center of Yakutsk, the capital of the largest region in Russia. Situated along the Lena River in north-eastern Siberia, it is an area of enormous natural resources and a population of about 250,000 people. The climate is harsh with long, extremely cold winters.

Cultural Differences

Due to the diversity of student nationalities within the two U.S. classes, cultural differences arose among students within the U.S. classes as well as between U.S. classes and the Russian class. [1] These differences occasionally affected the students' work in a few ways, but were addressed in the class without difficulty. For example, students from different cultures had varying ideas of the importance of meeting deadlines. Also, a few students kept waiting for others to post the first message on message boards (slowing down communication), and some students were more comfortable working in teams and sharing responsibilities than others. [-4-]

The twelve YSU students represented two nationalities, Sakha (native Siberian) and Russian, but were studying in their own country. Therefore, they came into the project with similar backgrounds and expectations and for the most part had to deal only with differences with their partners in the U.S.

III. Project Design

The three instructors designed the project by means of face-to-face encounters (two of the instructors were at the same institution in Washington, D.C. prior to the beginning of the project) and e-mail exchanges.

The preparation included setting up objectives and tasks appropriate to the three classes involved, deciding on a theme (Y2K), planning the project timeline, and creating the project website.

Project objectives

The objectives of the joint project were the same as those for the individual courses: to improve the students' language skills, specifically reading and writing, and to develop their critical thinking skills.

In addition, the joint project had the following non-linguistic objectives: to increase the students' awareness of other cultures and their cultural sensitivity.


As the year 2000 quickly approached, concern was growing about the impact that the so-called Millennium Bug might have on the lives of people all around the world. Y2K was, therefore, chosen as the theme for the project, given its timeliness and universal application.


After a careful study of the requirements for each course, the instructors decided to work jointly on four writing assignments: an autobiography, an informative summary, a case study, and a short research report.[-5-]

Meloni's class (GWU) also did a critical review during this period of time. Her graduate students were required to do more research and write more extensively than the undergraduate participants.

Defining the time parameters

GWU began its fall semester in August and continued for 15 weeks while UCSB and YSU began their terms in September and continued for 10 and 15 weeks, respectively. The instructors decided to work together for a six-week period, beginning on October 1st.

IV. Creation of the Website

The instructors created a website that would function as an electronic classroom for the three classes involved in the project. Before the project began, they completed as much of the website as possible. The website had six primary web pages.

A. Home Page (http://www.gwu.edu/~washweb/us-siberlink.htm)

One of the instructors (Zolotareva, YSU) sketched free hand a map of the U.S. and Russia to serve as the focal point of the Home Page. Each university and city was indicated on the map. Links were set up to each university's official home page.

The instructors agreed on the project logo that would appear at the top of the project's Home Page and at the top of every other page. The logo contained the words "U.S.-SiberLink" with the United States flag to the left and the flag of Siberia to the right. [2]

The primary pages of the website were, in addition to the Home Page, the Faculty Participants Page, the Student Participants Page, the Project Description, the Project Assignments, Topic Groups, and Student Publishing. A tool bar was, therefore, created that had links to these six pages and to the Home Page. (To have an overview of this website that includes a very large number of linked pages, see Appendix A: U.S.-SiberLink Organizational Structure.)

B. Faculty Participants Page

Each instructor posted her autobiography that was divided into three sections: Family Background, Academic Interests, and My Hobbies. In addition to acquainting the students with the three instructors, these autobiographies were to serve as models for the students, who would have a similar task as their first writing assignment. [-6-]

Meloni (GWU) also recorded her autobiography and attached this audio recording to her page. Students could then read and listen to her words simultaneously.

C. Student Participants Page

This page had links to a student page for each university. A video tour of the GWU campus was attached to the GWU Student Participants page.

D. Project Description

Here the instructors presented the project syllabus and other pertinent project information. (See Appendix B.)

E. Project Assignments

This page was the library and quiz center of the project. It contained links to all of the readings (both for culture background and the Y2K theme), online quizzes, and language practice activities.

Culture Pages

These pages provided information to acquaint the students with the three cities where the participating universities were located (Washington, D.C., Santa Barbara, and Yakutsk.) The main culture page had links to each city. Braunstein (UCSB) and Meloni (GWU) each created a photo gallery with 10-12 photos of their cities. They also provided a list of links to informative and attractive websites that offered information about their cities. For example, links were given to the home pages of Washington's Smithsonian Institution and the Santa Barbara Earthquake History.

Each instructor wrote a short multiple choice quiz to test and to teach the students about her city in an amusing way. Each instructor wrote a short multiple-choice quiz to test and to teach the students about her city in an amusing way. Braunstein then used Dreamweaver 2 to convert the three quizzes to electronic quizzes that were automatically corrected for the students online.

Some examples of quiz items are:

Washington, D.C. Quiz:

What is the name of the residence of the U.S. President?

a. The White House
b. The Pink House
c. The Green House
d. The Capitol Building
[-7-] Santa Barbara Quiz:

Which direction does the beach face in Santa Barbara?

a. north
b. south
c. east
d. west
Yakutsk Quiz:

What color is the sun in Yakutia?

a. yellow
b. red
c. white

[The answers can be found at the end of this article.]

Writing Assignments

This page explained the requirements for each writing assignment. The summary was to be an informative summary of an article related to Y2K. The case study was an investigation of the Y2K problems faced by a company chosen by each individual student. The short research paper went beyond the study of an individual organization and considered the problems and solutions of the industry in general (for example, one student's case study focused on United Airlines while her research paper concentrated on the airlines industry in general).

Y2K Readings

The instructors selected four general articles available on the Web to provide all of the students with background information on Y2K.

Language Help Sites

In addition to the above pages, which were specifically related to the project, the Project Assignments also had links to websites for grammar (e.g. Grammar Quizzes), vocabulary (e.g. the ESL Idiom Page in Dave's ESL Cafe), and writing practice (e.g. the Purdue University Online Writing Lab). These pages were not assigned but students were encouraged to make use of them. [-8-]

F. Topic Groups

This page presented the students with six possible topics for their case study and short research report. Students were encouraged to choose a topic related to their field of study. Each of the topics was investigated by a group of six to eight students with group members from all three universities.

The topics were the following:

Topic A = Government and Y2K
Topic B = Public Utilities and Y2K
Topic C = Businesses and Y2K
Topic D = Airlines and Y2K
Topic E = Banks and Y2K
Topic F = Private Citizens and Y2K

To assist the students in their gathering of information related to the topic selected, each topic listed on the Topic Groups page had a link to an individual topic group page.

G. Individual Topic Group Pages

These pages presented a detailed explanation of each topic and a list of links to articles on the topic.

V. Progressive Development of the Website

After the project was launched, no further changes were made to the following pages: the Home Page, the Faculty Participants Page, the Project Description Page, and the Topic Groups Page. Information was added to the other pages.

A. Student Participants Page

The first writing task assigned to the students was the autobiography. The students used the instructors' pages as models. Rough drafts were written in the classroom and revised before being posted to this Web page. Students were encouraged to post their photos and add links to Web pages of their choosing (e.g. most students at GWU and UCSB added links to sites about their countries).

By posting these autobiographies along with photos to the project website, the instructors hoped to stir up student interest in each other. Students could see and read about their project partners as well as their classmates, which, it was hoped, would increase their comfort level when working with each other.[-9-]

Soon after the project was begun, two of the classes (GWU and YSU) took group photos and these were posted to the Web in addition to the autobiographies.

B. Individual Topic Pages

As mentioned above, each Individual Topic Page had links to relevant articles on the Web. As soon as the Groups were formed, the names of the group members were added to the appropriate Individual Topic page. These students then added links of their own to this page as they found them in the process of their research.

C. Prometheus Connection

GWU offered a very attractive element to the U.S.-SiberLink Internet Project, the Prometheus courseware.[3] Prometheus automatically generated e-mail lists for all participants to use. Students could post messages to a Web Board for asynchronous communication and go to a Chat Room for synchronous discussion. They could also post files within Prometheus using the Files feature.(One can now very easily create online quizzes with Prometheus but this feature was not available while this project was being created.)

Without Prometheus, students could have created their own mailing lists with participants' e-mail addresses and found other possibilities for web boards and chat rooms on the Web.[4] Prometheus, however, greatly simplified and improved the process.

VI. Completion of the Website

The creation of the website was, therefore, on ongoing process throughout the semester. The final phase was the posting of the students' writing on the Student Publishing page. After student writing was posted to the Files section of Prometheus and peer-reviewed, it was transferred to the "Student Publishing" web page in more polished form.

All of the writing assignments were related to the project theme, Y2K. Very few of the students knew very much about Y2K at the outset of the project. They soon discovered that it was a very serious problem for all people in the world and found it exciting to observe the reactions and preparations worldwide. Y2K was a global issue that everyone could relate to.

The Case Study assignment was probably the most interesting for the students from a cultural point of view. They were required to interview someone in an organization about its preparations for Y2K. It gave the international students at GWU and UCSB an opportunity to enter the workforce in the U.S. Some examples of case studies are the following: [-10-]

In Yakutsk the students were able to discover how people in their country, their own community, were dealing with Y2K, and they could compare the attitudes and actions with those reported on by their project partners in the United States.

VII. Project Evaluation

Before the launching of the project, Meloni (GWU) posted a question on the Prometheus web board. The question and a sampling of responses follow. All responses were provided by GWU students except one, that of Natasha, YSU. The nationality of each writer has been provided in brackets.

Question: How do you feel about doing a collaborative project with students in two universities very far away?

Subject: RE: Your feelings 
Date: Sep-28-99 at 11:01 AM 
From: Jean [Taiwan]

I never think about having a chance to do a collaborative project with students 
in two universities very far away from me, even in another country that I have 
never been. hmm....it must be interesting....but cause of different cultural, 
languages, and background, there may be some difficulties.  It is a challenge.  
I am excited about it.  And I expect to cooperate with those foreign friends!!



Subject: RE: RE: Your feelings 
 Date: Oct-05-99 at 10:35 AM 
 From: kyung [Korea]

I had collaborated with other classmates for research projects in my country. To 
tell the truths, I worry about that because it is the first time to collaborate 
research project in English. Though I need more endeavor for using my language, 
it is a good opportunity to enhance my research capability and come to know the 
way of thinking and approaching the problem of foreigners.

Subject: RE: Your feelings 
Date: Sep-28-99 at 7:14 PM 
From: Tomohiro Kurotaki [Japan]

       We could not imagine this kind of project in the past.  We can try this 
project due to the development of technology. This semester, we are reading, 
writing, and talking about technology. Therefore, we can recognize how useful 
technology is from this project.  Moreover, I am interested especially in the 
students of YSU because we didn't know much about Russia before the cold war 
ended in 1989.However, we can exchange the opinions freely now. Thus, I would 
like to know their opinions about how the students in Yakutsk think about Y2K.

Anyway, because I have never tried this kind of project, I am excited about it 
now. I hope that this project will be successful.

       Tomohiro Kurotaki

Subject: RE: RE: Your feelings 
Date: Oct-17-99 at 9:44 PM 
From: Golf [Thailand]

          I can not tell that how exciting I am? This is the great chance to use 
my English proficiency and it can be determined that how well I can use English 
as an academic. It is not easy to have a chance to contact with other that 
living in the another side if country, I hope this project will be success and I 
will have a lot of new friends. 



Subject: RE: Your feelings 
Date: Oct-17-99 at 11:01 AM 
From: Kitty [Thailand]

    I think it's the challenging project for me because the internet influences 
my life now not only for studying but also every activities. To know more 
students in different university far away from us makes me excited because all 
of us are located in totally different areas. I'm also curious to know about 
their city and country. Especially, at first I think Russia is still a closed 
country, which it is hard for me to know about their country; on the other hand, 
I will learn more about it very easily. I think that it's an exiting thing which 
is good for me to become familiar with. 
    Thank you for having this project.

Subject: RE: Your feelings 
Date: Oct-22-99 at 10:35 PM 
From: Natasha [Russia]

       I think that it is really exciteful to collaborate with students from the 
foreign university. To say the truth, I'm very interested in this project. It is 
so cool to observe two different countries, lifes and cultures. 

       Moreover, this project is a good chance for improving my English and 
taking practice of it. I hope to have many new friends!

Student Evaluation

Zolotareva (YSU) received feedback from her students through a seven-item questionnaire at the end of the semester. She has summarized the results below.

  1. What was your impression of the project?
    Most of the students liked the idea of a collaborative project between three universities. They would like to have more collaborative projects for other courses because the U.S.-SiberLink Project brought information about the students living in the USA and their lives. It was an introduction to "the new world of the Internet."
  2. What was the most difficult part of the project for you?
    The most difficult part of the project for the students was the technical side. They had some problems with the international Internet connection and the absence of Chat service at Yakutsk University. [-13-]

    The second problem was that people in Yakutsk generally weren't concerned about the Y2K problem, and knowledge of the topic among the companies and firms in Yakutsk was minimal. It was difficult to find useful information about Y2K in Russia. Thanks to the project, however, the students were able to inform the people of Yakutsk about Y2K.

    The third problem was that the students felt that they didn't have enough time to send and receive e-mail from their partners. It was most likely caused by problems with our schedule and time differences.

  3. What was the most interesting part of the project for you?
    The most interesting part of the project for the students was the opportunity to communicate with their partners from the U.S. in English. It was the most exciting moment for them and they liked it most of all. It was interesting to receive their biographies and photos of the other students and to send and receive e-mails from overseas. They were pleased that students in the U.S. were more patient, kinder, and had a good sense of humor. The sense of humor helped them communicate easily.

    The second most interesting part of the project was that the students had a chance to work on the Internet, to search for the needed materials, to use the Internet materials for their study, to read the articles in English, to enrich their vocabulary, and to do writing assignments in English.

    Another interesting aspect was doing research about Y2K in Yakutia. It was very interesting to compare the Y2K situation in Russia and in the USA, and how people in the different countries were responding to the problem. It was the students' impression after their case study interviews that Russia didn't prepare for Y2K seriously.

  4. Were there any aspects that you didn't like? Why?
    The problems with international Internet connection was the aspect that the students didn't like. Because of the slow connection, the students couldn't receive their partners' messages in time.

    Some students wanted the communication with their partners to be more informal because they found the formal communication made their work boring. The students wanted more communication. [-14-]

  5. How can the project be improved? What are your suggestions?

    The students would like to make the project schedule more flexible to avoid the problems with the international connection. They would like more time devoted to communicating with their partners, in particular, to speaking via the chat room. Some wanted more time to finish the last draft of the summary and the case study.

  6. What new things did you learn during the project?
    The students mentioned that they had learned the latest information about Y2K and understood the importance of the Y2K problem. They learned to find material on the WWW and learned how to analyze it and use it in their studies. They learned about the everyday life of the students in the U.S. They gained access to companies and firms in their local area of Yakutsk.
  7. What skills did you develop during the project?
They cited improved language skills and communicative skills through regular e-mail exchange. They developed computer skills.

The final conclusion was that all of the YSU students would like to participate in a U.S.-SiberLink Project in the future.

A student from GWU said that he would recommend adding sections for the following to the website:

  1. Standard time in each country(ex. U.S and Siberia)
  2. Very simple steps to be followed by students to contact with each other by microphone (Free tell)
  3. Some information about the countries above
  4. Sites recommended for writing academic papers

These recommendations shed light on a few problems. One, it was not clear to students what the time differences were. Therefore, it would indeed be advisable to add a section clarifying these differences. Two, the inability to communicate easily is apparent. The students were frustrated because they frequently did not receive responses to their questions or pleas for help.

Three, it is rather disturbing that this student expressed a desire for information about the cities involved. The information provided was obviously insufficient if he had no apparent recollection of it. Four, in requesting a site with information about writing academic papers, he had obviously not consulted the writing sites suggested on the Language Help Page. The students were not required to consult them, however. [-15-]

Instructor Evaluation

Successful Aspects

Unsuccessful Aspects [-16-]

VII. Recommendations

Based on their experience with the U.S.-SiberLink Project, the instructors would make the following suggestions for other instructors who want to launch similar projects:

Project Design

If it is the instructors' first time creating an Internet project with another class, start small. With every assignment added to the project, there is a greater risk of delays if some participants don't do the tasks.

Set clear project objectives that are compatible with and support the objectives in the syllabi of each course.

The photos of the students should be posted as soon as possible because they make the first assignment, the autobiography, more interesting.


If on different quarter or semester systems, Fall Quarter/Semester is often the best time for overlapping time frames. In any case, plan a multi-week project for an overlapping time that does not include the first or last week of the program from any of the participating schools.[-17-]

Take into account any time/date differences between the participating institutions. This primarily affects setting up a time when students can "chat" in real time, if assigned.

When setting due dates, if possible, leave a window of a few days between when a piece of writing should be posted by one student and read by another. This helps prevent problems related to one student not being able

to do his or her assignment because another hadn't done his or hers first.


Verify that all the participating students know how to use e-mail before beginning an Internet project, and collect and verify their addresses. Make and distribute a list of names and e-mail addresses to all the participants

at the involved institutions, including classmates and students from the partner class(es).


Don't expect too much from the students at the beginning. It usually takes time for students to process what is expected of them. In some cases, the technology will be unfamiliar to them. It has been found, however, that students master the technology very quickly, even those who have never touched a keyboard.

Choose your partner instructors carefully. For instructors looking for partners, use the Web for suggestions; one option is to join a Listserv such as Neteach or TESL-L [6]. Suggestions from colleagues and friends are frequently invaluable.

Open and timely communication between the instructors is essential, whether by e-mail, Chat, telephone, or fax.

VIII. Future of the U.S.-SiberLink Project

When instructors invest a great deal of time planning and implementing a project, they hope, of course, that they can make use of at least some elements of the project again. As the U.S.-SiberLink website had taken considerable time and effort to create, the decision was made to take a hard look at it and try to use it again in some way the following term.

It was not possible or considered desirable to re-create the initial project. Meloni (GWU) and Zolotareva (YSU) decided to collaborate again (Braunstein's spring schedule was incompatible) but with three major revisions. [-18-]

First, they would reduce the length of the project from six weeks to four and the number of joint assignments from four to one. Secondly, they would attempt to build in more student interaction by making more extensive use of e-mail and Web board discussion. And, finally, they would change the project theme, as Y2K was obviously no longer appropriate.

IX. Conclusion

The technology is available. We can create a classroom environment that brings together students and teachers in locations physically very far apart.

As Phillips (1998) writes,

Technology connects learners across nations; the opportunity for communication is but a keyboard away. E-mail has meant that virtually all language learners have at their fingertips a correspondent with whom to negotiate meaning - an essential element of interpersonal communication - on a variety of topics. The additional capabilities of chat rooms, two-way audio, and video exchanges permit regular interactions in all modalities.

We must be careful not to be too overwhelmed by these possibilities. Instructors need to consider carefully what their objectives are and how best to use the technology to achieve these objectives. But we should not be timid. This technology can enrich our lives and those of our students. Be creative! Look ahead! What can the technology do for you?

Answers to the culture quizzes:

The name of the residence of the U.S. President is the White House.

The beach in Santa Barbara faces south.

The color of the sun in Yakutia is white.

Back to the main text [-19-]

End Notes

[1] The countries represented in the two U.S. classes were Brazil, China, Japan, Kuwait, Nepal, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Thailand.

[2] The flag of Siberia is considered the official Yakutian (Sakha) flag. It belongs to the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), which is situated in Northern Siberia in Russia.

[3] For information about the GWU's Prometheus course software, please go to http://www.prometheus.com.

[4] One possible site is Dave's ESL Café at http://www.eslcafe.com.

[5] See the Coast to Coast website at http://gwis2.circ.gwu.edu/~gwvcusas/coasttocoast.htm.

[6] iecc-projects@stolaf.edu is one list where instructors post requests for Internet project partners. To subscribe to the IECC-PROJECTS mailing list, send a message containing the word "subscribe" to: iecc-projects-request@stolaf.edu. [-20-]


Hughes, W. K. (1999). "Collaborative Do's and Don'ts." TESOL Journal, 8: 2:16.

Phillips, J. (1998). "Media for the Message: Technology's Role in the Standards." CALICO Journal, 16(1): 25-35.

Warschauer, M., Shetzer, H., and Meloni, C. (2000). The Internet for English Teaching, Alexandria, VA: TESOL.

Websites Cited

"Christine Meloni's Networthy" (ESL Magazine) - http://www.eslmag.com

Coast to Coast Project - http://gwis2.circ.gwu.edu/~gwvcusas/coasttocoast.htm

Dave's ESL Café - http://www.eslcafe.com

Grammar Quizzes - http://www.aitech.ac.jp/~iteslj/quizzes/grammar.html

ESL Idiom Page - http://www.eslcafe.com/idioms/

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab - http://owl.English.purdue.edu/

U.S.-SiberLink Project - http://gwis2.circ.gwu.edu/~gwvcusas/us-siberlink.htm

"Wandering the Web" (TESOL Matters) - http://www.tesol.edu/pubs/magz/wanweb.html


We would like to thank Dr. George Bozzini, Associate Professor of EFL at The George Washington University, for providing us with the name for this project.

About the Authors

Belinda Braunstein is a full-time instructor of ESL at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the English Language Program, where she teaches multiple levels and subjects. She is currently working on the program's curriculum and creative ways of using the Internet in the language classroom.

Christine Meloni is Associate Professor of EFL at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.. She is co-author with Mark Warschauer and Heidi Shetzer of Internet for English Teaching (TESOL, 2000). She writes "Wandering the Web" for TESOL Matters and "Christine Meloni's Networthy" for the ESL Magazine. She has published and presented widely on using technology in teaching English.

Larissa Zolotareva is a full-time instructor of EFL at the Foreign Languages Department of Yakutsk State University, Northern Siberia of Russia. She teaches several language courses including EFL, ESP, Business English, and TOEFL. She spent the 1998-99 academic year at The George Washington University in the U.S. as a visiting scholar of the Junior Faculty Development Program sponsored by USIA and ACTR. [-21-]


U.S.-Siberlink Organizational Structure

I. Home Page

II. Faculty Participants - links to Individual Faculty
 A. Belinda Braunstein - links to personal sites  
 B. Christine Meloni - links to personal sites 
 C. Larissa Zolotareva -links to personal sites 

III. Student Participants Page - links to Each University
 A. YSU -  links to class photo, autobiographies, individual student photos
 B. UCSB - links to individual student autobiographies and photos
 C. GWU -  links to class photos, autobiographies,  video tour of Washington
III. Project Description
IV. Project Assignments - links to Core Assignments and Language Help Sites
 A. Y2K Readings - links to online readings
 B. Culture - links to three cities
  1. Santa Barbara, CA - links to quiz, photo gallery, city websites
  2. Washington, D.C. - links to quiz, photo gallery, city websites
  3. Yakutsk, Siberia - links to quiz
V. Project Assignments.
 A. Writing Assignments - links to explanations
 B. Grammar - links to grammar-help websites
 C. Vocabulary - links to vocabulary websites
 D. Writing - links to writing websites
VI. Student Topic Groups - links to Topic Pages
 A. Group A - links to Y2K readings
 B. Group B - links to Y2K readings
 C. Group C - links to Y2K readings
 D. Group D - links to Y2K readings
 E. Group E - links to Y2K readings
 F. Group F - links to Y2K readings
VII. Student Publishing - links to student informative summaries at each of the three universities




October 1st - October 8th, 1999
  1. Student autobiographies with text and photos.
  2. Topic lottery. Students select one of six Y2K topics.
  3. Initial E-Mail message. Students will send an e-mail greeting to their partners.


October 8th - October 15th, 1999
  1. Reading. Students will read and discuss the required readings for the class and for their group.
  2. Student Questionnaire. Students in each topic group will collaborate in the creation of a questionnaire for their field research (the case study).


October 15th - October 22nd, 1999
  1. Posting of final questionnaire. The instructors will post the final version of the questionnaire.
  2. Summary Writing: Students will write informative summaries of the readings.


October 22nd - October 29th, 1999
  1. Field Research. The students in each city will conduct their interviews and analyze the results.
  2. Interview Analysis. The students will analyze the results of their interviews and write a case study.


October 29th - November 5th, 1999
  1. Oral Presentations. Students will report orally on their interviews to their respective classes.
  2. Y2K Reports. Each topic group in each city will write a group Y2K report based on their interview results.


November 5th - November 12th, 1999
  1. Report Reading. Each topic group in each city will read the report of its counterpart groups.
  2. Comparative Reports. Each topic group will write a comparative Y2K report.

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