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Let Technologies Help You in the Classroom!

by Volodina Natalya | 16 May 2018
Resource Description:

Due to recent immense technological progress, both education process and language teaching has been experiencing particular changes in the way of transforming the knowledge. The CALL approach is a good possibility to broad the classroom and let your students practice 24/7. This article summarizes the main tools that are extremely helpful and effective in CALL teaching.

Audience: Secondary
Audience Language Proficiency: Intermediate
Teaching Tip:

I would like to demonstrate tools that will ease your teaching and benefit students learning. The first tool is usually overlooked by SLA teachers but is highly beneficial – it is  audio conferencing. Here are some main activities which may be done using this tool:

1.       A tandem speaking exchange to allow your learners to come into contact with native speakers of the language they are learning.

the following sites are excellent sources of information to practice it: · The International Tandem Network: · The eTwinning Project:

2.       Students in the same class can also be asked to do pair or small group speaking tasks online outside of class as homework in order to practice their oral skills in the language they are learning. (Whether used for tandem exchanges or between students in the same class, students can record Skype conferences)

The following tasks are recommended:

·         Information gap tasks (i.e., Each participant has bits of information the others don’t have. In order to complete the task successfully, this information must be communicated to and comprehended by the other participants.)

·         · Ranking tasks · Problem-solving tasks · Simulations · Cultural exchanges (for ideas for tasks, see the following from the Tandem Server: 

The next tool which is highly useful is using blogs both a source of reading material and as a way to structure writing activities and peer reviewing. For language teachers, blogs “can fulfill many of the needs identified for the effective teaching of writing.” Indeed, a blog provides “a genuine audience, is authentically communicative, process driven, peer reviewed, provides a disinhibiting context and offers a completely new form with unchartered creative potential” (Ward, 2004: 3).

Blogs can be used in dozens of ways and help practise all the skills as well as assess your learners. They are used quite effectively:

1.       For sustained, regular writing: You may encourage your students to keep a blog that they post to regularly (like a diary or journal), or set up a class blog and encourage students to take turns to write blog postings.

2.       For discussion and peer review: Blogs offer students an opportunity to interact with peers and to learn from each other. Because they enable readers to post comments to blog postings, they offer a forum for discussion. Feedback from your peers on your blog posts can be enormously motivating.

3.       To increase opportunities for interaction outside the classroom: Students can comment on each others’ blog posts outside the classroom. This contributes to creating a sense of community, and takes learning and peer interaction outside the confines of the classroom.

4.       For reflection and evaluation: Blogs are often used as a tool for reflection. For instance, students can have a personal blog that they use as a journal of their learning experience.

However, as with any other tools, you need to keep the pedagogical considerations in mind when thinking about how you would use blogs and blogging in your 

One more tool which is often overlooked by the teachers is using Wikis during the classroom. However, this is quite usefull as well. A Wiki is a collaborative website that can be edited by visitors to the site, allowing users to easily create and edit webpages collaboratively.

Main reasons to integrate wikis in classroom:

1) They are quick and simple to use and allow collaboration, independently of time and space, via easily accessible online spaces. 2) They offer authentic writing practice. 3) They allow students to be actively engaged in reading and writing: correcting, editing, and up-dating. 4) They teach students the skills of collaboration alongside language skills. 5) They present the student writers with a ready audience and critics. 6) They are flexible enough to incorporate multi-media content (without clogging up your email). 7) They can potentially be shared with a wider audience and made public

And finally, you may try using some special platforms which help teachers to design their own lessons and even courses, invite particular students to these online classrooms, where a teacher and students may either have additional lessons or substitute offline lessons with the online one in case of some holiday time or similar. One of the most famous and convenient platform is which is free to use.

TESOL Interest Section: English as a Foreign Language