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5 Free Top-Rated Apps for ESL learning

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This presentation was developed for the TEAM conference in May 2016. In this session, we will look and explore 5 applications that can be used by ESL teachers and learners for a variety of activities: self-study, pair and group work or extend the learning beyond the classroom walls.

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5 Free Top-Rated Apps for ESL learning

  1. 1. 5 Free Top-Rated Apps for Learning ESL Presented by Natalia Aleko and Johanna Schmidt, English Online, for TEAM 2016
  2. 2. 5 Free Apps for Learning ESL 1. Benefits of using mobile devices in education 2. Criteria 3. Our 5 favourites 4. Honourable mentions 5. Play time
  3. 3. Benefits of using mobile devices in education • Increased student motivation • Greater access to information • Portability of the device • Ease of organizing work • Variety of resources used • Students can work at their own pace • Improved reading experience • Development of students’ IT skills • Development of teachers’ IT skills Karsenti, T., & Fievez, A. (2013). The iPad in education: uses, benefits, and challenges – A survey of 6,057 students and 302 teachers in Quebec, Canada. Montreal, QC: CRIFPE.
  4. 4. Benefits of using mobile devices in education • Decrease in student expenses • Use recommended course-specific apps • 75% of students agreed that the iPad enhanced their learning experience. iPad study by Oklahoma State University (2010), Executive Summary
  5. 5. Criteria: Must-haves • Free • 4+ stars • Available on multiple platforms
  6. 6. Criteria: Nice-to-haves • Online and offline capabilities • Translatable interface • Ability to select appropriate level • Broad skill set, or strong at single skill • Fun factor - engagement
  7. 7. Our 5 Favourites • Quizlet • Learn English, 6000 Words • Duolingo • Learn to Speak English • The Free Dictionary
  8. 8. Quizlet JS • Study/Quiz app for any subject with user- generated content • ESL practitioners can create content, or direct students to browse content created by others • Multiple study methods – Flashcards, games, quizzes • Broad skill set – spelling, vocabulary, writing, reading Screenshots and logo are copyright by Quizlet. Used under fair dealing exception.
  9. 9. Quizlet Screenshots and logo are copyright by Quizlet. Used under fair dealing exception.
  10. 10. Quizlet Screenshots and logo are copyright by Quizlet. Used under fair dealing exception.
  11. 11. Quizlet Highlights • Can download the app or use within browser (in browser has some extra features) • Login is same for app use or web • Large amount of content to choose from (but because content is created by users, quality can vary) • Variety of study modes – learners can practice same words in different ways
  12. 12. Learn English, 6000 Words • Select a topic, subtopic, and game type • Game types include – Match Words, Write Word, Listen and Choose, Listen and Write, Vocabulary, Find Image, and Choose Word • Broad skill set – pronunciation, spelling, vocabulary • 3 levels – Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced • Can do sequentially or pay to get higher levels – $3.99 for intermediate or $9.99 for advanced Screenshots and logo are copyright by Learn English 6000 Words. Used under fair dealing exception.
  13. 13. Learn English, 6000 Words Screenshots and logo are copyright by Learn English 6000 Words. Used under fair dealing exception.
  14. 14. Learn English, 6000 Words Screenshots and logo are copyright by Learn English 6000 Words. Used under fair dealing exception.
  15. 15. Learn English, 6000 Words Highlights • Nice option to receive a daily email with new word • Can select native language and all instructions show in selected language • Great way of selecting theme, sub-theme and activity- type – engaging and personal, creates variety • Self-directed within each level, but levels are progressive • Visuals are suitable for adult learners • Appropriate for literacy learners
  16. 16. Duolingo • Practise speaking, reading, listening and writing • Basic verbs, phrases and sentences • Content organized in lessons; lessons are progressive • Users sets daily/weekly/monthly goals; track their progress, earn rewards for achievements Screenshots and logo are copyright by Duolingo. Used under fair dealing exception.
  17. 17. Duolingo Screenshots and logo are copyright by Duolingo. Used under fair dealing exception.
  18. 18. Duolingo Screenshots and logo are copyright by Duolingo. Used under fair dealing exception.
  19. 19. Duolingo Highlights • Cute, engaging interface • Optional placement test • Can set your native language, translatable interface • Not self-directed, mostly progressive (but can go back to strengthen weak skills) • Adaptive – reviews and retests your weakest points • Instant feedback with explanations • Can get reminder notifications or turn off in settings
  20. 20. Learn to Speak English • Read about and listen to English words in use • Skills: reading, speaking, listening, pronunciation • Suitable for high beginner - high intermediate ( CLB 4-8) • Useful phrases for different life situations Screenshots and logo are copyright by TalkEnglish. Used under fair dealing exception.
  21. 21. Learn to Speak English Screenshots and logo are copyright by TalkEnglish. Used under fair dealing exception.
  22. 22. Learn to Speak English Screenshots and logo are copyright by TalkEnglish. Used under fair dealing exception.
  23. 23. Learn to Speak English Highlights • Can download the app or use within browser (in browser has some extra features) • Comprehensive coverage of diverse topics • Built-in search • Option to create a list of favourite lessons • Can be used to complement F2F lessons • More challenging interface (lots of text, no visuals) • Lots of ads (option to remove adds $2.99)
  24. 24. The Free Dictionary • Collection of facts and activities to promote vocabulary expansion • Dynamic content (updated every day) • Includes: this day in history; quote, article and word of the day; word games; definitions • Suitable for intermediate to advanced learners Screenshots and logo are copyright by The Free Dictionary. Used under fair dealing exception.
  25. 25. The Free Dictionary Screenshots and logo are copyright by The Free Dictionary. Used under fair dealing exception.
  26. 26. The Free Dictionary Screenshots and logo are copyright by The Free Dictionary. Used under fair dealing exception.
  27. 27. The Free Dictionary Highlights • Flexible word search options ( starts with, ends with) • Translation to 40+ languages • Creating your own vocabulary list • Includes Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Acronyms dictionaries, Wikipedia, Encyclopedia • Available offline • Good cause: Feed your brain, feed a hungry child
  28. 28. Honourable Mentions • Phrasalstein • Google Translate • Merriam Webster Dictionary • Speaking Pal • Live and Learn Logos are copyright by respective apps. Used under fair dealing exception.
  29. 29. Choose an app and try it out! • Quizlet • Learn English, 6000 Words • Duolingo • Learn to Speak English • The Free Dictionary Logos are copyright by respective apps. Used under fair dealing exception.
  30. 30. Questions? Contact us: Natalia Aleko: naleko@myenglishonline.ca Johanna Schmidt: jschmidt@myenglishonline.ca English Online: myenglishonline.ca livelearn.ca realizeforum.ca Thank you for attending our session!
  31. 31. More resources • Use of Tablet Technology in the Classroom • Adult Learners and Digital Media: Exploring the usage of digital media with adult literacy learners • How Do You Say That? The 10 Coolest Pronunciation Tools for ESL Students • 10 Great Ipad Apps for Learning English • Mobile Learning: Improve Your English Anytime, Anywhere • Online Resources for Developing Your Writing Skills • Top Free Apps for Learning English • Best Online Resources for Learning English • Online Resources to Improve English Pronunciation

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