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How to Use Technology in the ESL Classroom

Teaching English as a second language doesn’t have to be difficult at all. With the invention of modern technological facilities, life has been made much easier for language instructors. In the short discussion, we will be looking at how to make use of technology in ESL classrooms.


Our aim as English as a second language instructor is to help our students enjoy learning English so as to become effective speakers.


There are a few ways you can teach ESL with the aid of technology and achieve this:

1. Games

Everyone loves games. The old, the young, men and women are love playing games. This is because, games are usually associated with fun and anything “fun” stimulates the human mind. As an ESL instructor, there are now computer based games that focus on different aspect of English language which ranges from accent to spelling to correct applications, grammar and construction of sentences. When people are exposed to games that have been pre-programmed to achieve a specific goal, they catch fun while at it and also learn faster. It has been discovered that human find visual information more easy to process than other form of information. If they can see it and enjoy it, they can learn it. Well-designed games have been written by computer programmers to achieve this objective. The earlier you start utilizing them, the better.


2. Videos and listening programs

This is a powerful combination because it entails visual and hearing which are the two most important ways human process language in their brain. By watching specific video programs and listening to it, learners will be able to comprehend better. As an ESL teacher, you can play popular videos of shows that interest your student. By watching the videos and listening to the sound, they will develop listening skills which is a very important skill to pick up while learning a second language. There are also videos that have been specifically made to achieve a goal which can range from pronunciation to standing postures and communication gestures peculiar to the English society. Of course ICT has played a major role in making this possible. Videos, games and other invention have made life easier for both the students and the teachers.


3. Practice drills and tests

In the case of students that have to take English proficiency examinations, practice drills or dump as it is called in the IT world can be used to help student develop their skills faster. Samples of likely question is usually programmed into the test dumps which the student can use while studying for the exam. These practice drills and tests are usually available to use on a computer. In many instance, these drills present an exam-like situation where the student needs to beat time while attempting to answer all the questions contained in the drill. With advance practice, students can be helped with practice drills to get very comfortable with English language.


4. Using technology to find Pen-pals

Nothing beats communication with people that speaks the language a student is learning. Using technological gadgets at our disposal, a teacher can arrange with the students in getting pen-pals on the internet where the students can then exchange emails or chat which has been proven to increase language proficiency. Technology has made the world a global village such that people that are miles apart can at least hear and see themselves with their computers connected to the internet. With the invention of Facebook, Gtalk and Skype, this has been made much easier. Nothing gets easier than this!


5. Internet Learning

With the invention of the internet, it is now easy to put up lessons online and have your students go there and read for themselves at their own pace. This is usually increases the fun associated with learning the English language. You can find ESL lessons in sites like TotalESl, BusyTeacher, ESLHQ, among others.

In my blog, I have a category where you can find activities and worksheets to teach English

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Tags: efl, esl, technology

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