Using Tech to Better ESL Classes
WHAT IS ESL?
According to a study conducted by the George Washington University, approximately 1 in 10 students in the public school system are English as a Second Language learners. That means that is is critically important to every classroom to be able to cater to these types of students. Therefore, it might beneficial to introduce technology into the classroom that helps bridge the gap between language and learning.
HOW CAN TECHNOLOGY HELP?
There are countless games online for students to learn English and other languages. Websites like DuoLingo and games like Fast English are only two examples in a sea filled with other software for kids to use. Some of my favorite games that I've stumbled upon can be found on www.ESLgamesplus.com, where there is a wide array of learning tools for ESL students.
But there's more to creating an open and encouraging environment for students than just playing a game on a tablet. In fact, it is an extremely difficult task to foster an environment that encourages ESL students to make meaning out of the vocabulary and grammar that they are learning. That is why new innovations in technology that utilize music, art, and other things as universal forms of language is critically important to the educational development of these kids.
Some fun and cool examples of these new innovative pieces of technology in the classroom are podcasts and digital field trips. Podcasts can incorporate music into learning topics and well as give auditory learners something that speaks to them. Digital field trips use things like virtual reality, 360 video, and online guided tours to send a student to another place (like a museum or even outer space) to learn about those things by introducing vocabulary or grammar lessons.
Bringing in other pieces of tech and software that introduce these fun elements helps transcend language barriers that can often build between students. The goal would be to use these games and tech in a way that prevent the isolation of ESL students in an English-speaking classroom. Technology can foster a connection between the learner and the topic in a way that encourages the learner to be intrinsically motivated to enjoy learning and retain information.
MY FAVORITE WWW.ESLGAMESPLUS.COM ACTIVITIES
RESOURCES FOR LEARNING ABOUT TECH IN ESL