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[+]What is BrainPOP ESL?

BrainPOP ESL is an English language learning website that utilizes animated movies and exciting features to teach English to children all over the world. Each lesson begins with a 3-5 minute movie that presents new vocabulary and grammar points contextualized in everyday conversations between Ben and his robot pal, Moby. Each movie is accompanied by 8 features that further explore and reinforce the lesson in a fun way.

[+]Who can use BrainPOP ESL?

Everyone! BrainPOP ESL is a versatile language-teaching tool that functions as a self-contained ESL curriculum. In the classroom, teachers may use BrainPOP ESL as the core language-learning program or as a supplement to vary an existing course of study. Language learners can utilize BrainPOP ESL in an after-school program or in a customized supervised school setting. Additionally, BrainPOP ESL can be used at home, independently or with an adult.

[+]What is in a BrainPOP ESL Lesson?

Each BrainPOP ESL lesson begins with a movie that is composed of three sections. First comes a charming anecdote about Ben and Moby, which integrates new vocabulary and grammar into the conversations of these two friends. Vocabulary explains the new vocabulary from each lesson, and Grammar highlights the grammar points introduced in the movie. Each lesson also contains eight features, explained below, and classroom support materials, found in our Lesson Ideas.

[+]What are BrainPOP ESL's features?

BrainPOP ESL has eight features in each lesson, to help the student learn and have fun.

Know More! explains the grammar points in the lesson.

Flash Words defines and drills the new vocabulary.

Read It! teaches the alphabet and basic reading skills. In the early units, Words You Know practices the sounds and letters taught in the current lesson and Words For Practice contains words from the current or previous lessons and uses the letters that have been taught thus far. As the lessons increase in difficulty, Read It! progresses to short reading comprehension exercises.

Write It! offers instruction and practice writing the letters and words introduced in Read It!, leading to guided writing exercises.

Hear It, Say It! allows the student to practice pronouncing words and phrases from the movie.

Play It! is a fun game that can be played again and again.

Practice is the exercise where the student can review what he has learned before taking the quiz.

Quiz shows the student how much he has learned.

[+]What are the Lesson Ideas?

The Lesson Ideas are a source of lesson plans, ideas for home and classroom activities, support materials and Know More, our guide to the grammar in each lesson.

[+]What is At a Glance?

At a Glance is exactly what is sounds like! It provides an overview of each lesson, and the grammar topics covered in each. It can be found on our homepage, and is a useful curriculum planning tool.

[+]What are the Word Lists?

Every word that BrainPOP ESL teaches is organized in the Word Lists. The words are organized by unit and alphabetically. It also tells you where each of the words is taught, if you want a refresher! You can search for a word, and click on the lesson number to jump to that lesson, and revisit the lesson where you first encountered that word. The words are also organized into several useful lists, by category, in the appendix.

[+]Will BrainPOP ESL help my child in school?

Of course! BrainPOP ESL teaches the vocabulary and grammar necessary to improve English language comprehension and communication in a clear and integrated fashion, while keeping learning fun. In addition to improving the student’s language skills, BrainPOP ESL helps the student succeed in non-ESL classes with its emphasis on content-based teaching.

Technical problems?
See if you can find the solution below. If you can't find the answer here, please contact us.
[+]What kind of browser works best with BrainPOP ESL?

Mac Users
We recommend you use the most updated version of Safari, which comes standard with Mac OS X. Access "Software Update" from your Apple menu to ensure you’re using the most recent version.

If you have Mac OS 9, be sure you’re using your computer’s most recent version of Internet Explorer. Microsoft no longer offers downloadable updates. Mac users may also run BrainPOP ESL with the Firefox browser, available here.

PC Users
We recommend you use the most updated version of Internet Explorer, which comes standard with Windows. Access "Windows Update" from the Tools menu to ensure you’re using the most recent version.

While most of BrainPOP ESL’s content will load correctly with Firefox for Windows, you may experience some unpredictable glitches with our Flash animation. We work to fix these issues as they come to our attention, but we do not recommend Firefox for Windows users.

A Note on Browsers
If you use one of the many other browsers available - Opera, Camino, or Chrome, for instance - and encounter specific problems using BrainPOP ESL, please let us know so that we can attempt to fix the issues. Regardless of your browser, you will need to download the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player.

[+]Why can't I view the movies?

If you're experiencing difficulty viewing BrainPOP ESL, there are two things that may help:
  • If the movies are not loading at all, you will want to clear your browser's cache, then close your browser, reopen it, and try to view the movie again.
  • If the movies are loading but not playing correctly, make sure you have the latest version of the Adobe Flash Player. If your Flash player is up to date, check and see what browser you are using. If you are using Mozilla Firefox, we recommend that you use the default browser for your operating system instead (Internet Explorer for Windows, and Safari for Apple).

[+]Can I use Mac OS 9 or Windows 95 with BrainPOP ESL?

Adobe, which develops the Flash animation we use, has stopped upgrading the application for these older operating systems. We do our best to ensure that all our content is compatible with these systems, but ask that you run the most recent version of Flash available on your computer.

[+]How do I clear my cache?

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6
  1. Go to Tools on the menu bar
  2. Choose Internet Options
  3. Under Temporary Internet Files, click Delete Files
  4. Press OK to confirm. When process is complete, press OK again
  5. Close the browser, reopen it, and return to www.brainpopesl.com
Microsoft Internet Explorer 7
  1. Go to Tools on the menu bar
  2. Choose Delete Browsing History
  3. Under Temporary Internet Files, click Delete Files
  4. Press Yes and when process is complete, Close
  5. Close the browser, reopen it, and return to www.brainpopesl.com
Mozilla Firefox
  1. Go to Tools on the menu bar
  2. Choose Clear Private Data
  3. Uncheck all of the options except for Cache
  4. Press Clear Private Data Now
  5. Close the browser, reopen it, and return to www.brainpopesl.com
  1. Go to the Safari menu in the upper-left corner
  2. Choose Empty Cache
  3. Click Empty
  4. Close the browser, reopen it, and return to www.brainpopesl.com
Google Chrome
  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar
  2. Select Tools
  3. Select Clear browsing data
  4. In the dialog that appears, check the box next to cache
  5. Choose Everything from the pull-down menu
  6. Press OK
  7. Close the browser, reopen it, and return to www.brainpopesl.com

[+]I have the Flash player installed and have cleared the cache, but still can't watch the movies.

If you continue to experience problems after updating the plug-in and emptying your cache, we recommend that you re-install Flash, making sure to follow these simple steps before doing so.
  1. Go to Adobe Flash Support and download the appropriate uninstaller for your operating system. When this is finished downloading, run the uninstaller and let it complete the process.
  2. Visit the Adobe Flash Player page and download the most recent version.
If you are using a Macintosh (OS 9 or below) and are still having problems, we suggest allocating more RAM to your browser. To do this:
  • Quit the browser
  • Select the application's icon in the Finder.
  • Select GET INFO from the File Menu
  • In the Memory section of the window that appears, increase the Preferred Size to at least 25,000 KB. Go even higher if your computers have enough RAM. (You can see how much free RAM is available by selecting About This Computer from the Apple Menu while the Finder is in use.)
  • Re-launch the web browser application.

[+]Why do I see a QuickTime icon with a white question mark over it?

Occasionally, QuickTime may try to incorrectly associate itself with Flash files. When this happens, you can try the following.
  1. Close your web browser completely (File > Exit)
  2. Open the QuickTime application
  3. From the menus, select: Edit > Preferences > QuickTime Preferences
  4. Select Browser Plug-in from the drop-down list
  5. Click on the button marked MIME Settings
  6. Expand the Miscellaneous file format section by clicking on the plus sign in the upper left corner
  7. Uncheck the Flash file checkbox
  8. Click Apply and then OK
  9. Close QuickTime
  10. Open your web browser and see if the fix worked. BrainPOP ESL's homepage contains multiple Flash files and is a good place to check.
If you're still having trouble, contact us.

[+]Why does the movie play so slowly?

The speed at which our movies play depends largely on the speed of the computer on which they’re being viewed. For most people, the difference in speed is barely noticeable, but older computers do run more slowly.

[+]Why can't I hear the movies?

  1. Is the volume turned up on your computer? Check your control panels.
  2. If there are speakers connected to your computer, are they powered on? Is their volume turned up?
  3. Has someone left a pair of headphones plugged into the computer? If so, unplug them.
  4. Are you using Mozilla Firefox? At the moment, there is a current incompatibility between Firefox and Flash which often occurs as a lack of sound. Try using Internet Explorer.
  5. Can you hear when running other applications? If you can't, and you've tried the above steps, then the problem may have something to do with your computer’s sound card or operating system.

[+]How can I block a movie?

To restrict access to a movie, you will need its specific URL. You can find that in the address bar at the top of the movie’s home page. To block a whole section of movies, pull its URL from the address bar when viewing the main page of the section in question. Once you have the URL, you’ll need to add it to the list of blocked content in your firewall. If you’re blocking content at school, your network administrator should be able to assist you.

[+]What if I notice an error in a movie?

We’re always working to keep our movies as up-to-date as possible, but every now and then, mistakes crop up. If you notice an error anywhere on the site, please contact us and let us know.