CALL Technology Review Page 2

2. Technology Review

In the area of teaching vocabulary, I have found the use of Google Slides to be most useful.  The technology is very intuitive, not requiring any special knowledge or training in order to be successfully utilized in the language classroom.  When planning for my observed teaching practice as part of the curriculum in the Certificate in Eng

Another option for using technology to increase the efficacy of a vocabulary lesson is Shahi.  This is a learner-centered tool which allows ELLs to search for any unknown vocabulary word.  The tool does not only provide a standard dictionary definition of the word, but also pulls images from the popular photograph sharing service Flickr.

For teaching grammar, I also like to use Google Slides!  One can plan for a grammar lesson by performing a Google image search for grammar concepts such as Past Progressive or Past Perfect.  The resulting images can be inserted into a Google Slide presentation.  Alternatively, and perhaps this is a better approach, is to teach a grammar concept using more traditional methods, then use Google Slides to present intuitive images to the students, asking them to form grammatical sentences using the images being shown.  Click here for an example of how I used Google Slides to teach the Present Continuous.

 Another available technology for teaching grammar is Road To Grammar.  This free resource does not require that the user sign up for an account or sign in using a third party account such as Facebook or Google.  There are multiple choice quizzes on a variety of grammar topics such as how to conjugate the verb to be (am/is/are).  Feedback is immediate, with the system providing the correct answer immediately after a wrong answer is given.  The teacher could assign or suggest to the learners that they practice their grammar using this web site during their free time outside of class.  I don’t see these quizzes as being a very useful way to spend class time.  The quizzes are also available as PDFs, which is a very nice feature.  Printing and photocopying these ready-made quizzes seems to be an excellent way to gauge the knowledge which one’s learners already have and in which areas the learners’ knowledge is lacking.  Of course, teachers should be sure to complete the quizzes in advance themselves so that they may have an answer key for their own reference but also to give to learners who may request one, either digitally or on paper.

For technologies useful in teaching readingScrible is useful.  According to Frank Ward, a middle school language arts teacher,

Registering is quick and free, whether via Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, or your own email account. Upon registration, users should select an educator account, which allows them to create libraries where they save the annotation for future reference. The one drawback is that Scrible doesn’t yet support .PDF files. Among the highlights and benefits:
Students can work collaboratively on the same file.

Students and teachers can share annotations with each other.

Teachers can use annotations as formative assessment and comment back to students, allowing for immediate feedback.

Users can share annotations online via Facebook or Twitter.

With the sharing option, teachers can share any in-class modeling with students who were absent.

Annotating digitally allows for greater student choice as students find their own online texts.

There is a Google Chrome extension that you can add to your toolbar.