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Fr. China
Title: Bringing Technology to Life for Your ESL Students in Four Simple Steps
Film strip day! Okay, I may be dating myself, but those days were great. No instruction! Maybe even no homework! Then disappointment when the teacher just could not figure how to thread the film strip through the projector. Plans were changed. It was a normal class period after all. Better go back to playing with jelly bracelets and memorizing the lyrics to “Like a Virgin.”

Ok, film strips may be going back a bit far, but whether it was connecting the VCR to the television, cueing up the DVD player, or some other sort of technology malfunction, high-tech and classroom instruction are often like oil and vinegar. They just don’t mix.

But just because you may have experienced classes like that growing up doesn’t mean that technology can’t work in the classroom. In fact, in today’s high-tech world, it’s easier than ever to include technology in the classroom. And you don’t have to reserve the reel to reel film player and get movies out of cans to do it. Here are some very simple ways you can include technology in your classroom today.

4 Tips for Bringing Technology into the World of ESL

1.Encourage Smart Devices in the Classroom

The days of confiscating cell phones in class are behind us. Or they should be. What was once a distraction from class can now be key to successful participation. Not all schools have the resources to have a set of computers in every room. Many do have a computer lab or language lab, and that’s great when you can get your class in there. But what do you do when you want to use technology in class but don’t have the resources to do it? Ask students to get out their phones.

Particularly if your school offers free Wi-Fi to students, having the members of your class use their phone to access the internet in class can be a life saver. Students can do research, access email, and do just about anything on a smart phone that they can do on a computer. Not to mention all the great apps that are out there for learning English. You can encourage your students to download one or more of these apps and actually encourage them to play on their phones during class.

2.Assign and Receive Homework via Email

In an age when many companies are going paperless, consider doing something similar in your ESL classroom.
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