I would like to use more websites to practice vocabulary or grammar in my virtual classes. Most of the time, I use kahoot or quizlet. What other websites can I use?
Submitted by Y.G. on November 5th, 2020
Thanks for sending us your message. Well, I will share with you some of the websites I have found useful to help students practice vocabulary and grammar.
Educaplay is a gamification tool which allows you to create different types of activities such as riddles, fill in the blanks, crossword puzzles, word search puzzles that may help you present or review vocabulary/grammar structures. Also, you can create groups, invite the students to join and share with them "collections" which is a group of selected games.
GoConqr is a website that can be used as an LMS (Learning Management System or "platform") in which you can design and share with your students: customized slide sets, flashcards, mind maps, quizzes, etc. Besides this, you promote collaborative work as students may share their knowledge and projects as well.
Brainscape is a learning platform in which students learn through "adaptive flashcards". You have to create a class, invite your students, share or ask your students to create a deck (digital flashcards) in order to study the new vocabulary through a fun-spaced repetition system. You can track your student's progress and modify the content if you want.
Quizziz is an alternative for quizlet. It is an interactive learning platform that lets you create engaging quizzes and interactive presentations. You can get immediate feedback and students can have a lot of fun through these gamification features.
Some other websites that may be worth checking are: Anki, studystack, flashcard machine and Magoosh (TOEFL preparation)
I hope you find these websites useful and interesting, and you can use them to get the best from your students.
I need to include grammar with interactive explanations in my online classes in which students have limited resources and cannot see shared screens on their phones? What do you recommend, my great Guru?
Submitted by N. A. on November 5th, 2020
Thanks for your message!!!! I will be happy to share some ideas about your inquiry. Creating interactive explanations has always been a challenge, and I understand your concern as it is more difficult because of the different limitations students and teachers have.
A tool I have used to create interactive presentations is Nearpod. You can create slides with videos, images, audio, web content, surveys, polls, collaborative boards, etc. This will help you a lot to increase participation in your online explanations.
You have to create the presentation in advance in Nearpod, meet your students in the online class (google meet preferably because they will need to use a browser), and share the code in the chat. Students have to go to the "join lesson"section and you should run the presentation at your own pace from your computer.
My only recommendation when doing this is to warn students not to close the Google Meet tab as they will not listen to you. (you can also use an app called "discord" that is used for online conversations, and share the code there to your students.
Limitation of using Nearpod??? Well, only 30 students can be in the lesson simultaneously while you are developing it.
Hope this may help you, my friend. Let me know if it works, ok?
How do we (teachers) improve our interaction with online students? How do we gain students' participation? Or how do we get them involved every online class?
Submitted by Y.O. on November 5th, 2020
Hi Y.!!!! Thanks for contacting us and posting your inquiry about improving students' interaction/participation in an online environment. Interaction comes as a result of setting an adequate learning environment for our students. Here are some tips:
1. Be energetic and transmit positivism while you are delivering your videoconference. Students love this type of teachers as it creates a welcoming setting.
2. Get to know your students individually. This will help you design activities that can encourage students to participate as they already know what you are talking about. (Try to have a special notebook with comments about topics of interest for them)
3. Encourage students to participate in chats. You can do this during your video session/WhatsApp group/forum (if you are using a platform) or even creating a Facebook group. Set the objective (based on the content you are teaching), provide clear instructions of what the students have to do, model the task and have them perform it.
4. Promote the creation of videos. I use Flipgrid to increase participation through videos. You assign a project, students record themselves and can interact with other students' videos. I created a tutorial for my students on how to use this website. Take a look at it https://www.loom.com/share/c5b55c55862942e5b0fc2923d1894df1
5. Monitor and give feedback. Students appreciate when you care about them, and this increases their inner motivation. We love hearing how good we are doing and receiving constructive feedback.
I want to keep the answer short, but I will be willing to share more specific tools and ideas that can help you build a stronger interactive class if you let me know what type of students you have, their age, classes, etc.
Roberto earned his Master’s Degree in Instructional Design and Technology from Virginia Tech University under the Fulbright-LASPAU scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. He holds a B.A. in Teaching English as a Second Language from Universidad de El Salvador.
Roberto has 16 years of experience in TESOL. He has worked as a full time Professor at the College of Education, Universidad Catolica de El Salvador and as a coordinator of the English Extension Program. In his current employment, Roberto develops different tasks as a TESOL expert and Instructional Designer.
Additionally, Roberto has participated in two programs sponsored by the School of International Training. He has shared his experience with different teachers in the US, Central America, Mexico, and Argentina.
Thank you for stopping by! Please feel free to submit any questions related to the use of technology in the English language classroom below, and I will get back to you before you know it!