At the same time, students are becoming more and more demanding when it comes to language learning, and ‘old-school’ textbooks are simply not enough. However, advising your students to ‘just watch movies in English’ isn’t going to help them become proficient speakers. To increase the chances of successful language acquisition, it is necessary to connect methodology with technology.
I decided to write a list of my favourite online supporting material, that helps my students learn in the most natural context with a bit of guidance and structure.
Teaching English to pre-schoolers can sometimes be a struggle. As they can’t read yet, you need to rely much more on audio-visual material. Starfall has been a great help for my classes with pre-schoolers, which are focused mainly on connecting sounds with written language.
Thanks to its interactive games, kids can see, hear and touch as they learn, which helps them explore the language on their own and enhances internal motivation.
On their webpage, you can also select material for different levels (from teaching alphabet and phonics to reading short stories with audio support).
Kahoot.com is an interactive platform full of learning games, best suited for a group setting.
Players answer the questions on their own devices (phones, tablets),
while games are displayed on a shared screen to unite the lesson.
If you have a group of kids with the same level of English,
you can use Kahoot to test their understanding of grammatical structures at the beginning (or at the end) of every class.
It is possible to use Kahoot in one-to-one classes too, although you will lose the competitive aspect of the game.
You can search among many existing games or you can create your own kahoot game based on your preferences.
If you are a music lover, you know how convenient it is to learn English through the lyrics of your favourite songs.
LyricsTraining provides an alternative to the old school ‘fill-in the blanks’ types of exercises, which all teachers are familiar with.
Instead of printing out lyrics and replaying songs a hundred times, students can fill in the gaps to the lyrics as they are listening.
And if they miss a word or two, the missed part of the song gets replayed until they get it right.
The variety of songs on this website is nicely broad, you can find pop and rock songs alongside old jams and classics.
4. Sporcle.com – quizzes
Quizz is a great tool not only to test knowledge but also as a way to learn a piece of information in a new way.
These quizzes are especially handy for higher-level students, it helps to teach them idiomatic expressions through pictograms, crosswords or even gifs.
I cannot stress the usefulness of youtube for language learning enough. Sure, it includes a lot of dumb videos with incorrect language, but it also provides a platform for really well-made, educational and interesting content.
For this blog, I picked two channels out of many that can help you speed up the learning process.
Exciting English 'learn English with movies' - for beginners
The channel consists of over 80 video clips – 4 minutes long passages from well-known movies. These are perfect for people who just decided to start learning English, as they are probably already familiar with the movies in their native language. The first part of the video consists of the original scene from the movie (check listening comprehension), in the second part the scene is repeated but this time with subtitles (listening and reading comprehension) and in the last part the new vocabulary is explained. The channel includes excerpts from animated films so it is suitable for children too.
For advanced levels: Ted-ed
Another wonderful channel for teaching (not only) English aims to encourage students’ passions
and interests to create a positive change in the world.
The learning process follows three steps 'Identify your passion – Choose your idea – Start talking'
and is supported by beautifully animated videos with great educative content.
I like to use ted-ed videos when creating material for my classes, because of the variety of topics and its brilliant audio-visual support.
Anyone can find what they like to learn about, whether it is history, sports, economy or other.
And because the educational content is shared in the form of story-telling,
it has a natural build-up, it’s easy to follow and encourages discussion after it’s finished.