(reviewed Fall 2008)
Reviewer: Laty Johnson
Recommendation: Not Recommended
1-language is a Web site aimed at offering information to international students as well as to general audiences. The site offers services, resources, and listing of articles. The purpose of the site is to help students, specifically international students, learn English via the Web. The site was created in 2004 with no reference to background information about the site’s creators. The site is filled with advertisements across the top, sides, and bottom of the page. The advertisements promote learning or working with languages, not just with English.
As I browsed this Web site, it is unclear as to the rationale of the information presented. There are an overwhelming number of advertisements, some with misspellings and ungrammatical statements. The links to some of the advertisers come with warning messages across the page and hyperlinks to nowhere.
Not all of the information is questionable. In the sampling of resources, there is a link for online flashcards. Among the flashcards are a variety of choices of words with related images. Although the page states that you have a choice of image only or text only or image and text, the page hyperlink is only to an image with the corresponding vocabulary word for that image. The image is a cartoon image and displayed sideways with no option to rotate the image right-side up. There is either a technical glitch with my new computer, or this site is inaccurate with its linking options. Nevertheless, the pictures are large and colorful. They would likely provide a good sense of that vocabulary word to the learner.
The information presented among the article resources is coupled with advertisements at the top and center part of the page and as well at the side and bottom of the page. The learner who clicks in the wrong place will be guided to a commercial Web site to learn a foreign language in a foreign country or directed to a free IQ test web page.
Overall, the vast number of advertisements, misspellings, and incoherence of information presented on this Web page suggests that the site was not created by ESL/EFL educators for the purpose of sharing reputable resources about the English language. The frequency of advertisements of learning a foreign language in a foreign country or online suggests that the focus of the site creators is not primarily focused on English. There should be caution used when referring students to this site as it uses English idioms to describe concepts of English grammar which seems counterproductive for an English learner.
Subject Headings: ESL students, ESL materials, flashcards