5 ways to use technology in the ESL classroom

Technology has become an important asset when it comes to adding new, exciting resources to the ESL classroom and knowing how use it to engage students has become a crucial part of ESL teaching. Read on for five ideas on how to use technology in the ESL classroom.

5 ways to use technology in the ESL classroom

1. Bring videos into the classroom

Using both short and feature-length videos is an enjoyable and effective supplement to the process of learning English.

  • Students are known to benefit from the presentation of videos enormously, from beginners all the way to advanced classes.
  • Ranging from cartoons to news broadcasts, videos help bring a level of natural English to the classroom that isn't often found in school textbooks.

2. Use Skype to cross boundaries

Skype is instrumental in enabling a range of educational activities using real-life situations from outside the classroom and over an infinite range of locations.

  • Using the live video service, students can engage in a series of question-and-answer sessions, interviews, lectures, virtual field trips, interactions with language learners from foreign classrooms and a range of other educational activities.

3. Educate through online games

Online games have become something of a phenomenon in the ESL classroom.

  • With countless spelling games, grammar quizzes and general English challenges, students of all ages can engage in active and enjoyable educational activities - multiple players can even take part in the games simultaneously.
  • These games can be incorporated into the lesson by the use of computers, mobile devices, a projector and a whiteboard.

4. Podcast the message

Many ESL teachers have adopted the use of podcasts in the classroom, which add variety to the students' sources of knowledge.

  • The use of podcasts is mainly beneficial for practising comprehension and working on speaking and pronunciation.
  • It is also possible for the students to record their own podcasts with the use of a microphone and a computer, so they can enjoy producing their own presentations and putting together reports.

5. Connect with students from across the world

Students are now using discussion boards to communicate with fellow students overseas.

  • Reach out to other ESL classrooms and organize a virtual connection that allows students to send emails to their pen-pals on a regular basis.
  • This is a great way to improve their written and conversational English and foster a level of cultural awareness and international education.

While technology can never be a substitute for an ESL teacher, it can serve as a useful supplement in lesson planning.

By utilizing certain technological advances in the classroom, you will find yourself with a greater range of possibilities for practising comprehension, speaking and writing in English.

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