Vol. 5. No. 4 M-2 March 2002
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English Zone



English-Zone.com is a website designed by Kaye Mallory, a teacher at the Language Systems College of English in Fullerton, California. As stated on its home page, this site is designed for both teachers and students of the English language. While it isn't designed specifically for use by ESL teachers and students (or, at least, it doesn't explicitly state such on the home page), most, if not all, of the information presented within it would be both appropriate and helpful for ESL teachers and students. The information offered on the site is written in language that would be easy for most ESL students to understand, and the site is easy to navigate and loads fairly quickly. In addition, it has received 16 awards from organizations such as WebEnglishTeacher.com, EduNET, and StudyWeb since its inception in 1998. Generally speaking, it's well organized and visually appealing, but what is most impressive is the quantity and quality of English language-related materials available to the visitor.

Home page

On the home page, the site is divided into seven large sections (although the organization of the site and its links is not always consistent from page to page and section to section), including Study Zones, Quick Reference (which includes links to and idioms dictionary and a phrasal verbs dictionary, among other things), Support This Site, Fun and Humor, About English-Zone.com, Communicate (which includes links to a chat room, message box, vote box, and guestbook), and Other (which includes information about the developer's classes at LSI, Links, and Holidays). [-1-]

Study Zones

The Study Zones section is the section that contains most of the English-language-learning information and quizzes, and it is divided into ten subsections‹Grammar Zone, Verbs Zone, Idioms Zone, Study Skills Zone, Reading Zone, Writing Zone, Vocabulary Zone, Spelling Zone, Conversation Zone, and Teacher Zone.

For students

All of the student-oriented subsections in the Study Zones section are organized as one would expect them to be. For instance, the Grammar Zone is divided into Articles, Adjectives, Nouns, Prepositions, etc. Each of these categories contains basic, appropriate information concerning the different parts of speech and corresponding quizzes. The quizzes are interesting and easy-to-take in that they offer immediate feedback to the student who has completed the quiz by filling in the blanks on the screen; the student simply presses "Check Answers," and her score pops up on the screen, along with a response that says, "You've got it! Good work!" or "Sorry, you need to practice more. Read the examples again." Generally speaking, the mini-lessons and accompanying quizzes are well-organized, and the material presented in the mini-lessons has been simplified enough not to be intimidating to ESL students without being "dumbed-down."

A strong point of the site is that the categories listed in the Grammar Zone are further divided into very specific subcategories. For instance, the Pronouns section is divided into eleven subcategories‹subject and object pronouns, reflexive pronouns, indefinite pronouns, etc. While the sheer number of subcategories might be somewhat intimidating to students, the explanations of each part of speech and each grammar point are concise. With enough work and study within the site, a student could gain much specific, helpful, basic grammar usage and mechanics knowledge‹more than most native speakers possess.

For teachers

While most of the information on the site is aimed at English students, there is also a Teacher Zone (found under Study Zones) that contains printable mini-lessons and accompanying exercises, printable rubrics and forms, printable oral drill exercises, printable classroom games and activities, and software and product reviews. This section of English-Zone is especially helpful for ESL teachers who need new ideas for their classrooms or new ways to review old material.

Thus, because the site contains much useful information for ESL students and teachers, English-Zone.com is an excellent point of reference for both parties.

Melissa S. Carr
Murray State University, USA

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