There are so many ways that EFL teachers can make use of technology to aid their teaching. You can use pop songs for listening practice, direct students to useful websites for independent learning or bring technology into the classroom for a lesson with a difference. There are also multiple sites that, while not so useful in the classroom, are perfect for cutting down your preparation time.
We decided we couldn’t possibly tackle them all in one go so we’re going to run a series of posts on this subject. This post, the first in the series, focusses on how you can use technology to save you time.
Create self-marking tests
These won’t replace your own knowledge of how well students are doing but are great for quickly checking areas that your class needs additional support on. Or, you could set a reading for homework, followed by some multiple choice questions to check that students have understood. If you find yourself spending a long time marking quizzes then this video will show you how to let Google forms do it for you!
Whether it’s your weekly planning or always leaving homework setting to the last-minute, we all have an organisational weak spot. Programmes like Dropbox or Google Drive can help with this. Create a shared folder with your class (maybe ask them to submit their email addresses as part of your initial test) and upload each week’s homework assignment to the relevant folder. That way you can plan homeworks in advance but still easily edit if you need to make last-minute changes in response to a lesson.
Hand over to the experts
Sometimes it takes a lot of time and thought to get an interesting lead in for a dry topic like grammar. The British Council have a great series of grammar videos for teenagers – these make for a good introduction to grammar points through natural conversation. BBC Learning English also has some great videos that can be used for introductions or explanations. Either use these in class or get your students watching them at home in preparation.
Quickly check texts
Grab an interesting online article or extract, copy-paste it into Wordie and select your learners’ level. Wordie will tell you which words are at the appropriate level and which are likely to cause problems in class. You can then easily either edit the text, create a cheat sheet or set up a task. A lesson based on an authentic article in just a few minutes, perfect!
It can easy to get sidetracked by technology and I’m sure we’ve all been distracted by Facebook at some point when we should have been planning a lesson. But, there are times when it really can help you out!