You have learned that Gopher
is a program that enables you to search through public access databases
on computers all over the world. A wonderful thing about it is that you
can do this right from your own computer. When it's too cold
to go to the library (if you lived where I do, that has real meaning!),
you can just log on and search library databases from your office, dormitory,
home, or wherever you use the computer. The most used Gopher address in
the world is gopher.micro.umn.edu
because it is the address of the University of Minnesota's Gopher server
-- the birthplace of Gopher. You might want to keep that in mind for future
reference; many other publicly accessible Gopher sites exist, and they
are probably not as busy. In this first exercise, you will see how to find
a list of Gopher sites all over the world. The subsequent activities will
also help you find some very useful information for foreign language teachers.
Gopher Activity I
1. Go to the Gopher menu
at the University of Minnesota by typing:
at the prompt in your mail system, which is most likely where your gopher
client is running. Next, go to:
Other Gophers and Information Servers.
(Note: If you use the link provided here, you will be accessing the
Gopher via the WWW and consequently will see a slightly different menu
format than you would if you were to access the Gopher site via your gopher
client on the mail system. On the WWW page, each category will be
preceded by a folder icon indicating it is a link. If you use your gopher
client on the mail system, your menus will have numbers for the items.
These menus will look much like the ones in the "answer" below.)
2. See if you can find the following entry by following the menu links
2. ESPOL - Escuela Politecnica del Litoral, Guayaquil - Ecuador/
button] Don't click on this until you have tried several
3. Now see if you can find the KIDLINK menu and read the General
Information file in your L2 (or L3 or L4 . . . .). Hint: KIDLINK is
an International Organization.
Gopher Activity II
Wouldn't you know it? After I developed all my nice Gopher activities
and pages, Gopher began to be phased out of many places. (Of course, if
this is your first time here, you wouldn't know that, but trust me, I really
had to change this page. **:-) With the World Wide Web becoming
more and more prevalent (just like in the first activity, where you can
use gopher through your email program OR access it via the WWW), many sites
are turning their gopher-based information systems into WWW servers.
So . . . even though this next activity does not strictly use Gopher, it
will still help you find useful information for FL teachers. For
this exercise, we will be using the address for the ERIC Clearinghouse
on Languages and Linguistics. Please keep in mind that other places still
do offer public access to the ERIC database as well. For example, the University
of Saskatchewan Library System offers the ERIC database from 1983
to the present. Harvard University offers the ERIC database, 1989
to the present.
1. First, access the home page of the ERIC
Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics.
2. From this menu, select ERIC Digests
which will take you to another page that has a listing of many ERIC
Digests with topics germane to your specialization.
3. Pick a Digest, read it, and summarize it for your foreign language
Gopher Activity III
Follow the same steps as above, but find the list of Minibibs offered
by the ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics (ERIC/CLL).
1. Look over the list and select one of interest to you. Follow the
path to the minibib, select a recent article or ERIC document, and read
it. You can probably find it in your local university library, but you
might be able to find it on-line by doing a search of the ERIC database
using Gopher. Summarize the article for your foreign language methods class.
2. Suggest three additional topics which you would like to see researched
and catalogued as ERIC/CLL minibibs in the future.