Guest Article Written By: Paul Warren
In recent years the English as a Second Language (ESL) population has been on the rise in the United States, and the language needs of these particular students have inspired teachers to seek new technologies that will help educate in a more complete and engaging way.
In response to these needs, a surplus of learning apps specifically aimed at developing language skills has appeared on the scene. Here are a few free apps that ESL teachers can consider using in their classroom.
Intro to Letters by Montessorium
“Intro to Letters” is a Smartphone app that allows ESL students to read, write and record letter sounds. Based on the proven learning methodology of Montessori, the app supports numerous languages and provides the essential foundations of language on which to build further skills.
English Pronunciation by Otterwave
Learning the English language is one thing. Learning how to pronounce thousands of words correctly is something else. “English Pronunciation” by Otterwave is an app that uses speech recognition software, allowing students to get instant feedback. Once the sentence examples have been spoken by the student, they may check their pronunciation with the built-in audio wave forms.
Miniteach by teach2000.org
“Miniteach” is more than just an app, it’s a private tutor right on your Smartphone. With this language trainer students can easily learn foreign language symbolism and phonetics, ask specific questions which can be answered with multiple choices, have access to translational dictionaries, and be tested with rich formatting in various styles.
Phonics and Reading with McGuffey Lite
The “Phonics and Reading” app contains 52 lessons that are specifically designed to get students reading at a first-grade level as quickly as possible. McGuffey’s Eclectic Primer Edition has been a very successful educational textbook which has helped millions of students experience the joy of reading. Now this textbook has been brought into the new millennium via an easily accessible digital application. The app allows ESL students of any level to learn at their own pace in order to get the most out of each lesson.
Listening Master Lite by Lingual Net
No matter what age you are, learning is just more fun when you can make a game out of it. “Listening Master Lite” provides language engagement through a wheel-of-fortune game that helps to improve English skills. Students must use their listening skills to answer fun yet challenging questions. The app provides three levels of difficulty and 12 different categories of questions. Students can easily navigate the lessons and get instant feedback on their answers.
As more teachers become aware of the importance of implementing new techniques in the classroom, the demand for emerging technologies will increase. Future ESL students will no doubt have an array of digital tools at their fingertips which will help them learn English in a much more engaging and exciting way. Using the apps mentioned above is a great way to get started on the road toward a more technology-centric ESL learning environment.
This guest post was provided by Paul Warren. Paul works with Dominican University Online. Dominican University Online offers a Master in Education with a concentration in English as a Second Language.