Embracing technology in the ESL Classroom:

Creating engaging and challenging standards-based

ESL lessons using multiple technologies.

NJTESOL/NJBE
Spring 2011 Conference

Graduate Student Forum

Presented by Jennifer Murphy and Marybeth Hegel


Description
Technology not only enhances instruction, but also helps the ELL student develop the 21st century skills all students need to succeed. This presentation demonstrates how standards-based K-12 ESL lessons can be enhanced by incorporating a variety of technologies, such as VoiceThread, FlipCameras, and digital recorders.
Abstract
To explore new ways of integrating technology into language teaching, we used digital recorders, FlipCameras, VoiceThread, document cameras, PowerPoint Jeopardy games and iPods. We found that technology greatly enriched student learning and enabled us to differentiate instruction for various proficiency levels (Kurshan, 1997).
By allowing multiple means of participation and engagement, technology makes learning three-dimensional. It not only enhances instruction, but also helps the ELL student develop the 21st century skills all students need to succeed in educational settings and function in society (Lopez, 2010). A convergence of technology tools and classroom instruction for the ELL presents unique and creative ways to enhance the ESL classroom (Hanson-Smith, 2007).
Technology glitches, availability, apprehension and lack of previous knowledge may hinder a student’s response and cause the lesson to take longer than planned. The teacher should be cognizant of student needs and abilities, and plan for alternative technologies and activities to keep the project engaging and students on task.
During the session, several technologies will be demonstrated. We will show how they were used in our standards-based lessons, the highlights and challenges of using each technology, the projects that the student created and our conclusion on the effectiveness of each. We will provide handouts with ideas on how to use the demonstrated technology tools along with additional web resources.