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The U.S.-China E-Language Project


Release of Resources
ELLS Content Scripts
Content scripts containing all 36 lessons can be downloaded in MS Word or PDF Files.

In 2002, the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Chinese Minister of Education signed a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding for a joint research and development project, known as the U.S.-China E-Language Project. The Chinese Minister noted that the project was the largest government-to-government education initiative "since the normalization of relations between the two countries in 1979."

The bilateral partnership set forth the development of a technology-driven approach to foreign language learning that integrates gaming, immersion, voice recognition, problem-based learning tasks, and other features that made it a significant research and development pilot project for study. Both countries agreed to develop the E-language application as parallel systems. The Chinese Ministry of Education developed an application to teach Chinese to Americans. ED created content scripts that could be used to develop an application for Chinese students to learn English. These content scripts were put into the public domain in an effort to encourage the private sector develop an application for Chinese students to learn English. The scripts are available in the public domain.

In 2007, the William and Flora Hewlett foundation led an effort based on the scripts and approach to build an E-language application for Chinese middle school students to learn English. The application is called The Forgotten World.

ED conducted an evaluation of The Forgotten World as it was implemented as a supplementary activity in middle school classrooms in western China to teach the English language and American culture to eighth-grade students. The evaluation was conducted in five treatment schools and five comparison schools during the 2009–10 school year and included approximately 3,500 students. The evaluation showed statistically significant positive results of using The Forgotten World for the lower performing students along with the positive effects on student motivation. Almost all of the teachers in the treatment schools (95 percent) who participated in the project reported that their use of The Forgotten World changed the way they think about teaching. The evaluation report is available online. This evaluation represented the conclusion of the US-China E-Language Evaluation Project.

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Last Modified: 05/26/2011