Thursday, December 4, 2014

Google Apps to use with English Language Learners

The best parts of having a computer in the students' hands are the availability of learning resources and the ability to access information in different languages.  This being said, I have found one of the biggest benefits of chromebooks being how they help my students who are not fluent in English.  Having a background in Spanish, I have been able to help many of our EL population in southern California, but Spanish is not the only L1 of students.

There are free games and resources for students to play to learn conversational English and even academic English.  On the flip side, if you want to learn another language, there are apps for that too.  Here are a list of apps, by no means comprehensive, that are actually pretty fun to use for practicing English.
Learn English and Learn Spanish are apps that are free for introductory material, but also have a paid subscription for those wanting more.  Easy to use system.

Language Games and English Memory - this is an organized set of links to a games website.  This might sound bad, but the app takes students right to the games.  The games are amazing.  There are many games to choose from (20ish), they keep score, and there are a variety of topics to choose from.  Overall fantastic, not that I am addicted, but... ok, I'm back.

Duolingo - this is an entire learning system that students could use to practice English (or many other languages) for a long time.  There are discussion boards available to discuss successes and failures, hold conversations in different languages, and respond to others online.

Chrome Speak - This is a must have app and extension for your chrome browser if you have EL's in class.  With this app, you choose the voice students wish to hear in the options menu.  After that, on any webpage students visit, students can highlight text, right click and have the voice read the text.

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