Many districts are trying to figure out the best way to service a growing population of English Language Learners in their schools. With a variety of languages and levels needing serviced, it can oftentimes be difficult to accommodate all the needs of your students. These five tools can help you and your English Language Learners find success.
Duolingo is so powerful, you'll be surprised it's free. My wife and I have actually been using it ourselves to learn Spanish! It is a great enrichment tool to use when students finish an activity early or as a way to start off class each day. Most of the lessons are short and they are all interactive and engaging. Users complete written exercises to match words and phrases, plus Duolingo has a speaking component that has users speak the new language they're learning. Another plus is that the majority of students really enjoy it.
This Microsoft Edge extension will automatically translate any website you visit to your native language. Students who struggle reading in English can use this extension to easily translate text to their own language so that they can better comprehend what is going on in class!
Recap is an online tool that teachers can use to post questions that students have to answer through a video response. If you want to get your English language learners practicing their new skills, post a daily/weekly question on Recap that they have to answer in English. One cool feature about this tool is that it keeps your prior videos, so students can visually see their growth.
Newsela posts current, high-interest articles on their website daily. This site is great for English language learners because it alters a text's Lexile with a simple click of a button. Through this site, students with lower English skills can participate in class by reading the same text as other students but at a lower Lexile. If the student is a native Spanish speaker, Newsela also has a Spanish translation feature.
Memrise teaches users a language through games, quizzes, and repetition. If your students are competitive, Memrise includes a leader board and points system to get kids to continue learning outside of the classroom.
What tech tools have you tried with English language learners? Share your experiences below!
Chris Tucker is an assistant principal at Western Boone Jr/Sr High. He has a passion for providing personalized learning for teachers and students.