The integration of ICT and language learning which is called Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) can be found in many websites that provides English materials. Social media as one kind of website can be useful to learn English for ESL/EFL learners. EnglishClub is a social media that is specified to discuss about ESL/EFL. It is a free website created by Josef Essberger from Cambridge, England which is designed to help people learn English online. EnglishClub is divided into various main sections that the members can use easily. The members can practice some language skills and elements, such as reading, writing, listening, vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. Although it does not have a feature to develop speaking skill, its features are still helpful for ESL/EFL teachers and learners over the world.
Keywords: english club, writing skill, ict in elt, english as foreign language
In digital era, people can learn English through internet. There are many websites that provide materials for English learners around the world, particularly for learning English as Second/Foreign Language (ESL/EFL). Social media can also be used as one of ICT tools for learning English, specifically as communication tool.
EnglishClub site is a social network that is specified to introduce ESL/EFL. It is a communication tool that can be used as e-learning in a time. Either learners or teachers from various countries gather in EnglishClub to learn English together. It is for practicing some skills and elements, such as reading, listening, vocabulary, and grammar. The features provided in this site is not only for the learners but also for the teachers. Based on this consideration, the author is interested to make a review of English Club site.
2.1 Social Network as ICT Tool for Learning English
ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Social network or social media is being famous among the internet users. It connects people from several places in cyberspace. This popularity should be integrated to language learning to interest the learners. The integration of ICT tool into language learning is also called as Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL). It is similar to Chapelle (2010) who stated that CALL refers to a variety of technology uses for language learning.
Social network as an authentic tool for learning English is a result of the implementation of CALL. Some examples of social media are Facebook, Line, Blog, Twitter, and many more. There are also some social networks that is useful as e-learning for students, such as Quipper, Edmodo, and EnglishClub. These websites can work both, as social network and as e-learning. If these can be functioned effectively, it can give positive effect towards affective factors and contributes to learner’s awareness for taking responsibility for their own learning (Hjalmarsson, 2015).
2.2 History of EnglishClub Website
EnglishClub is a free website created by Josef Essberger from Cambridge, England. It is designed to help people learn English online which is begun in 1997 in Paris, France, where the founder was teaching. Started in a very small way, EnglishClub only provided material from worksheets and lesson plans was created by Essberger for his own teaching. Surprisingly, it quickly grew until it becomes a popular website for ESL/EFL learners and teachers (Zur, 2016). As it growing, this website—http://www.englishclub.com—needs some moderators. The moderators consist of eight persons, they are Tara Benwell, Alan Bunyan, Matt Errey, Lucy Pollard, Daniel Emmerson, Jonathan Taylor, Alex Case, Liz Regan.
2.3 Features of EnglishClub
EnglishClub is not just a learning website, but also a club where the members can make their own page with blogs, photos, videos, music, groups and friends like other social media. It can be used to test their level in English, and also provides online games and quizzes for the members. The members can study English grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. They can also chat in English with other students and teachers, and find pen pals to practice together (EnglishClub (n.d)).
EnglishClub is divided into various main sections that the members can use easily. Some of the sections are:
1) English Grammar: with help and tutorials on everything from tenses to prepositions.
2) English Vocabulary: help and resources on English words, with explanations.
3) English Pronunciation: tutorials and sound files explaining aspects of English pronunciation such as word stress, sentence stress and linking.
1) Grammar Help: 24-hour English Help Desk with real live Teachers to answer learners’ questions.
2) Play ESL Games: play word games like Hangman, and learn English while having fun.
3) Discuss at ESL Forums: where you can express your views and have a discussion in English.
4) Chat in ESL Chat: where you can chat online with English learners and teachers worldwide.
5) Listen to the News in English: with texts and questions to help the learners.
6) MyEnglishClub: start own page and invite friends.
7) Learning English Video Project: short films about learning English around the world.
8) Business English: Business English resources including money matters, news and professional seminars on subjects like CVs/resumes or presentations.
The complete features given by EnglishClub make it really useful for the users. In general, they can find some information regarding to ESL/EFL, practice language skills and elements, and also subscribe English Newsletter. For learners, they can find mates to practice English together, find some teachers from other countries to learn from them, and play games or do quizzes to test their own skills and ability about English. For teachers, they can take some materials from this site and use it in their own classroom. They can also make a group and invite the students to join, and then teach them there. Unfortunately, it does not have a feature to develop speaking skill, such as audio call or video call. Still, this is very helpful for people in ESL/EFL area.
ICT that is integrated to language learning (CALL) possibly makes English learners interested. EnglishClub is one of implementation of Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL). It is found by Josef Essberger in 1997 in Paris, France. It has many features that are really helpful for both teachers and learners of ESL/EFL.
Chapelle, C.A. (2010). The Spread of Computer-Assisted Language Learning. Language Teaching, 43 (1), 66-74.
EnglishClub (n.d.). In EnglishClub. Retrieved from http://www.englishclub.com
Hjalmarsson, Hannes. (2015). The effects of ICT on affective factors and teaching practices in the EFL and ESL classroom. Retrieved from:http://hdl.handle.net/2077/38731.
Zur, Ola. (2010). An Interview with Josef Essberger, Founder of EnglishClub. Retrieved from: http://www.really-learn-english.com/learn-english-online.html