12 Incredible Ideas for Using Technology to Teach English Language Learners

For over two decades I’ve taught English language learners from the ages of 2 to 90 in over 20 countries. I’ve seen how technology motivates learners of all ages to find their voice, connect with language learners around the world, and have access to knowledge and resources in multiple languages. I’ve taught in really poor areas where sometimes the electricity didn’t work. I’ve also taught refugees who came to class in the same clothes everyday. In all cases technology helped them improve their language skills, because it offered them ways to practice English outside the classroom in ways that engaged them. Not all students have access to the best technology, but the majority can and will find ways to use technology and connect with others on the Internet. Poor students often carry around cheap cell phones or access the Internet through a library or Internet cafe. As technology becomes more accessible we need to continue to find meaningful ways for our language learners to use it. The following posts are filled with ideas, tons of resources, and recommended free web tools and apps to get you started. They are my posts from ESL Library and Sprout English where I blog regularly. I also invite you to join my Free Friday Webinars with American TESOL at 4pmET/9pmUTC. In case you can’t make that time, you can always access over 100 of the past webinar recordings here. I am also the Social Media Manager for American TESOL and I regularly share resources on our Twitter accounts, @TESOL, @AmericanTESOL, and @ESLWebinars.

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Ask me about training your ESL teachers, ShellyTerrell@gmail.com! I’ve trained teachers in over 20 countries and consulted with ministries of education on their ESL programs and polices. You can also request my services as an ESL Specialist for the US Embassy. 

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell is a teacher trainer, instructional designer, adjunct professor, and the author of The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers: Small Steps to Transform Your Teaching and Learning to Go: Lesson Ideas for Teaching with Mobile Devices, Cell Phones and BYOT. She has been recognized by the ELTon Awards, The New York Times, the Ministry of Education in Spain, and Microsoft’s Heroes for Education as an innovator in the movement of teacher-driven professional development and education technology. Recently, she was named Woman of the Year 2014 by Star Jone’s National Association of Professional Women and awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, the Twitter chat that spurred over 400 teacher chats. She has trained teachers and taught learners in over 25 countries and has consulted with organizations worldwide such as UNESCO Bangkok, The European Union aPLaNet Project, Cultura Iglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, and VenTESOL. She shares regularly via TeacherRebootCamp.com, Twitter (@ShellTerrell), and Facebook.com/shellyterrell. Her greatest joy is being the mother of Rosco the pug.

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