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Accessing Authentic Materials in the ESL Classroom with QR Codes


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Learn how to access authentic materials in the ESL classroom with QR codes!

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Accessing Authentic Materials in the ESL Classroom with QR Codes

  1. 1. Accessing Authentic Materials in the ESL Classroom with QR Codes Tristan Thorne American Language Program, Columbia University March 27, 2015 (This is a QR code)
  2. 2. Background  “QR” is short for “Quick Response”  Initially created for the Japanese auto industry in 1994 by Denso Wave  Basically, a fancy barcode  Typically used for marketing and disseminating information – keep your eyes peeled!
  3. 3. QR Codes and the Themes of this Conference  Equity “Eye” vs. “ear” learners: A variety of input can accommodate different kinds of learners (Reid, 2006). Add to this distinction the notion of “kinesthetic” learners in order to address the needs of all students (Hafernik &Wiant, 2012).  Engagement Authentic materials can augment students’ “on-task behavior, concentration, and involvement in the target activity more than artificial materials” (Peacock, 1997, p. 152).  Enrichment Teacher-made materials can be meaningfully tailored to the particular group of students (Brown, 2007).
  4. 4. More Specifically...  Easily access authentic materials inside and outside of the classroom  It’s much more convenient than typing the URL for a website  Engage in an authentic form of media interaction  Introduce a wider variety of information in myriad forms  Allow for communicative and collaborative learning  Pique students’ curiosity  Give students more control over their learning  Save paper  The process is 100% free  Get students to use their smartphones for learning
  5. 5. Student Testimonials  “It saves the number of paper to print long articles”  “It is fun to use this technique rather than only textbooks in a traditional class”  “It makes the in-class activity more interactive”  “It is easy to understand how it works”  “Using QR codes in a competition in class motivates our interests in the topics”  “It’s also very convenient for students to communicate with each other”
  6. 6. Creating and Scanning To create: 1A. Link websites for audio, video, and pictures: (Click on “Static,” and then “Generate”) 1B. Link text: 2. Copy and paste the QR code into whatever document or presentation you’re making To scan: 1. Download the free app “i-nigma” on your smartphone 2. Open i-nigma and scan the QR code
  7. 7. Linking Directly to a Picture Found Online 1. Right click on the image 2. Select “Copy Image Address” 3. Paste the image address in
  8. 8. Making Audio QR Codes  Go to or register for a free account at  Record short audio clips and link their individual websites to a QR code  Some ideas for what you can record: a. Reading students’ written sentences for dictation and error correction b. Describing different pictures for matching to similar pictures c. Bits of a news report or podcast for audio reordering d. Reading a poem for rhythm shadowing practice e. Song samples for gap-filling exercises
  9. 9. Fill-in-the-gap
  10. 10. Classroom Examples  Pronunciation in groups  Listening for main ideas and details  Describing a picture or process  Activating schema  Error correction  Skimming and scanning  Review activities  Using context clues to put audio snippets in order  Adding a layer to synthesis tasks
  11. 11. RhythmPractice
  12. 12. Synthesis
  13. 13. ListeningforMainIdeasand Details
  14. 14. Note-taking
  15. 15. SkimmingandScanning
  16. 16. Other Ideas  Include a QR code on all handouts for post-lesson review  Instead of pasting a black-and-white image to an article, include a QR code of the picture  If you don’t use a website to give homework assignments, hand out a small piece of paper with a QR code and task
  17. 17. Post-lessonReviewand Homework
  18. 18. Potential Issues  Students must have smartphones (but not necessarily every single student)  The class can get a little noisy if not structured carefully  There is a limit to the amount of text you can put into a QR code before the QR code becomes impossible to scan  “Use technology to support the pedagogical goals of the class and curriculum” (Brown, 2007, p. 200)
  19. 19. References Brown, H. D. (2007). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education. Hafernik, J. J., & Wiant, F. M. (2012). Integrating multilingual students into college classrooms: Practical advice for faculty. Tonawanda, NY: Multilingual Matters. Peacock, M. (1997). The effect of authentic materials on the motivation of EFL learners. ELT Journal, 52(2), 144-156. Reid, J. (2006). ‘Eye’ leaners and ‘ear’ leaners: Identifying the language needs of international students and US resident writers. In P. K. Matsuda, M. Cox, J. Jordan & C. Ortmeier-Hooper (Eds.), Second-language writing in the composition classroom: A critical sourcebook (pp. 76-88). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
  20. 20. Thank you! Questions? Free free to contact me: