Now that classroom dynamics are changing and the technology that students are using at home is advancing, the simple methods of ESL teaching aren't going to cut it alone. While your handy lessons are great, you need some awesome technology to make teaching more efficient and captivative to inspire the best language learning that your students are capable of. This blog post includes all of the technologies that you should consider using in your classroom. Incorporating technology is easy when you know what to use and how to use it!
Videos are an excellent tool to use in an ESL classroom. They can be used for multiple things, such as grammar videos or explanations of sentence structure as well as for fun brain breaks or listening exercises. However, there are just about a hundred video platforms to learn English on the internet and another million videos that go with them. This is overwhelming for an ESL teacher who just wants the best content for her students to learn English. I will give you my top video platforms for English Language videos.
Youtube is the best place to find free ESL videos to aid in your classroom. The videos can be used for explaining concepts, or even to give students a break to enjoy a fun video while still learning. To reiterate, free, free, free way to bring technology into your ESL class!
Learn English with Rebecca [engvid]: This channel provides great videos with detailed explanations of english grammar, pronouns, and more! However the videos usually run over 10 minutes in length so if you don’t want to use a full one in your classroom, I suggest watching the videos that interest you and show your class 3-4 minute clips.
BBC Learning English: This channel is provided by the British Broadcasting Company or BBC. It includes audiobooks that can be provided as a relaxing activity for your class to practice listening and it can even be sent home. There are also video lessons on grammar and pronunciation. However, caution is advised is regard to age groups for the pronunciation videos. They are great for adults to relate to and stay engaged with, but I would not recommend them for younger students.
EnglishLessons4U: This channel is a great place to find videos about grammar, vocabulary, and functional conversation tools for different contexts. Overall, I found her channel extremely straightforward with the videos that were offered and I think that this channel can be an important resource for you and your students.
Fun Kids English: If your students are really young, it is important to show videos that excite them to learn this second language. This channel does a great job with using vibrant colours, characters, and simple categories to make awesome educational videos for kids!
Are you looking for videos that have been reviewed in detail for you to get the best content? FluentU is a great resource for videos because you have tons of trustworthy language learning content for any skill level that is concentrated in one place. There is even an option to watch real world videos, for example from youtube, and have subtitles as you go along that can define any words that your students are unsure of. FLuentU comes with a 14 day free trial before you can sign up for a subscription. It is a great tool to help your students to stay engaged while learning English. Click here to explore FluentU.
If your students need a break from grammar videos and have a strong foundation of English skills, it is a good idea to have them expand their ideas and think about more complicated subjects. And form thoughts about these subjects in English. TED has videos of professional speakers talking about a wide range topics in English from health to the environment. This will bring your students listening abilities to a whole new level. Click here for TED videos.
A great use of technology that can be used inside an ESL classroom is video calling. This is an opportunity for students to speak with other students who are learning a new language. Thus, video calling is a fun way to motivate and engage students while learning conversational skills.
Now you might be wondering how to go about finding another class to video call with. No worries, I got you covered. Connect is an online software that helps teachers and students in language classes find each other no matter their location. When you sign up with connect, you will be asked about your class. This includes their language skill level, general age, the day of the week and time that your class takes place. Next, you will input your location. Now when you log into your account, you can see a list of other teachers who wish to form a video call connection. Beside each of the names is the information about their class. If you find a class that you think will be a good match, you simply click on the icon option for contacting this teacher. Then you both can decide what platform to use for video calling, for which options will be given later in this blog post.
To sign up to Connect for free,click here.
You would go about using Zoom by incorporating video calls into your lesson plan. Zoom is a video call software that has a free plan that you can use. It is very professional and secure and it is a great option for video calling another language class. It is free to use and it is a prominent option for creating connections with ESL classes around the world. I would highly recommend this simple technology to take your classroom to the next level. Your students will be so excited! Click here for Zoom.
Incorporating presentations into your lesson plan is a game changer. It allows students to practice reading, writing, speaking, and listening in English. Over the process of creating a presentation the students read about what they are researching and writing about they learn on their slide show. Then they practice speaking when they present to the class and listening while their classmates present. All in all it is an all inclusive language learning activity.
Google slides is a free platform that your students can access online. It allows them to easily display the information that they are learning and it is simple and straightforward for presenting. Click here for google slides.
Prezi is a next level application that will create very unique and customizable slide shows. It is easy to use and it will make a presentation assignment a lot more fun! Click here for Prezi.
Transform the way that you interact with your students on your front board with a technology that allows you to collaborate your lessons with videos, presentations, documents, and more. A smart board is like a virtual white board that you can use for lessons. You would use a smart board by switching it with your white board or chalkboard. I remember using a smart board in my language classes when I was younger and it made it so much easier to interact with the class. For example, no white board markers running out during a game of pictionary! Click here to see the Smart Board.
This software is an innovative approach to the way that you keep track of your classroom. Demiks Teacher App is a way to take attendance, assign and mark homework, plan your calendar, and track student performance all in one place. For more information about this essential classroom technology, click here to read a more in depth explanation on how this software works on my other blog about the best apps for language teachers. You would use this technology to help you stay organized and up to date with your students and assignments. Click here to find out more about Demiks Teacher App.
Keep your students organized by having them store all of their assignments online. This way, they can upload straight to Demiks Teacher App when it is time to turn something in. Especially if they are taking multiple language courses, it is important for them to keep track of everything including documents and presentations. Click here to go to google drive.
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