Learn A New Language With AI.

Learning Languages With an AI App

Learning a new language is easy for some and downright difficult for others. As an ESL teacher, I strongly recommend a classroom approach to learning a language. But that does not mean I do not agree with other styles of learning. One of the best I use for myself is having an app on your phone you can use anywhere.

So let’s dive in and see if you agree with some of my statements.

The Symbiosis of Classroom and App-Assisted Language Learning

  • Benefits of Traditional Classroom Learning for Language Acquisition: Traditional classroom learning provides a structured environment for language learning. It offers direct interaction with a teacher and peers, which can enhance understanding and fluency. Classroom learning also provides immediate feedback, which is crucial for language acquisition. And possibly even more important, it provides students with seeing how words are formed visually, and rather than having to hunt for answers if using an app, you can ask the teacher to explain.
  • Identifying Gaps in Classroom Learning and Leveraging Apps for Reinforcement: While classroom learning is beneficial, it may not cater to individual learning styles and pace. Language learning apps can fill these gaps. They allow learners to practice at their own pace and according to their own schedule. Apps can reinforce what is taught in the classroom and provide additional practice in areas where a learner may be struggling.
  • How Apps Offer Personalized Repetition and Aid Retention: Repetition is key in language learning, and apps excel at this. They can offer personalized repetition exercises based on a learner’s performance. This targeted practice aids retention and helps learners master the language more effectively.
  • The Importance of Immediate Corrections and Native Pronunciation Examples in Class Versus Apps: Immediate correction in a classroom setting helps learners rectify mistakes in real time. However, native pronunciation examples may be limited in a classroom. Apps can provide a wide range of native pronunciation examples, helping learners understand the nuances of the language. Some apps even offer speech recognition technology for immediate pronunciation correction, making them a great supplement to classroom learning.

The Role of AI in Language Learning

  • Introduction to AI-Driven Language Learning Apps: AI-driven language learning apps are like smart tutors in your pocket. They use Artificial Intelligence to make learning a new language easier and more efficient. These apps can adapt to your learning style, provide instant feedback, and even understand and correct your pronunciation.
  • How AI in Apps Adapts to Individual Learning Styles and Paces: Every person learns differently and at their own pace. AI in language learning apps can understand this. It observes how you learn and then adjusts the lessons to fit your style and speed. This means you get a personalized learning experience, which can help you learn a new language faster.
  • Examples of Speech Recognition and Machine Learning in Language Reinforcement: Many language learning apps use speech recognition. This means the app can listen to you speak and correct your pronunciation. Machine learning is another technology used in these apps. It allows the app to learn from your mistakes and your progress, and then adjust future lessons accordingly. This constant reinforcement helps you to better remember and use the new language.
  • Contrasting AI’s Immediate Translations with In-Person Teacher Guidance: AI can provide immediate translations, which is very helpful. But it’s different from having a teacher. A teacher can explain things in different ways and answer your questions. They can also understand your feelings, like if you’re finding a lesson hard. AI is getting better, but it’s not the same as a human teacher. Yet, the two can work together to provide a powerful language-learning experience.

Remember, the goal is to show how AI-driven apps and traditional classroom learning can complement each other in language learning. !

Finding Your Learning Style:

  • Different Learning Styles and Their Impact on Language Study: People learn in different ways. Some people learn by listening, some by seeing, and others by doing. These are called auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learning styles. The way you learn can impact how quickly and effectively you pick up a new language.
  • How to Identify Your Personal Learning Preferences: It’s important to know your learning style. You can do this by thinking about how you learn best. Do you remember things better when you hear them, see them, or do them? Once you know your style, you can use it to help you learn a new language.
  • Strategies to Combine Classroom Lessons with App Learning for Various Learning Styles: Classroom lessons and language apps can work together. If you’re a visual learner, you might use an app that has lots of pictures. If you’re an auditory learner, you might use an app that lets you listen to native speakers. And if you’re a kinesthetic learner, you might use an app that has interactive exercises.
  • The Role of Auditory, Visual, and Kinesthetic Elements in Language Apps: Language apps use sound, images, and interaction to help you learn. These match up with the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learning styles. So no matter what your learning style is, there’s an app that can help you learn a new language.

Remember, the goal is to show how understanding your learning style and using the right strategies can make learning a new language easier and more effective.

My Top Language Learning Apps.

Mondly

Mondly is a language-learning app that uses gamification to make learning a new language fun and engaging. It offers short and engaging lessons that focus on useful vocabulary. However, it doesn’t place as much emphasis on grammar or speaking skills as other apps. Let’s look a bit closer. (Click the above link to find the latest deals)

Upon logging in, the first screen you see is the Mondly dashboard, which has a map-like appearance. There are several landmark icons on this map, and each one stands for a distinct subject or idea.

You can view each of these various “landmarks” by swiping left to right across the interactive map. Among many other things, these subjects include the weather, travel, and family. Once you click on a topic, there are typically six to eight lessons within it.

Mondly offers daily lessons that you can either finish directly by diving into one of these “stand-alone” topics. Because the topic lessons tend to build upon one another, the daily lessons are really just Mondly’s suggested order of operation.

The curriculum’s core lessons are these daily ones, though you can always go ahead and skip lessons if you’d like. You can also access a weekly quiz if you finish all of your daily lessons for the week. In addition, you can access a monthly challenge after finishing all of your weekly quizzes.

Hopefully, you can see where this is going. Consistency and streaks are important to Mondly, and you typically adhere to this by taking the assigned daily lessons.

The Lessons

Each lesson consists of about twelve short, interactive drills and exercises covering the four main communication domains: speaking, reading, writing, and listening.

Among these drills are:1. Spelling words and phrases; 2. Listening to words and phrases in your target language and then repeating them; matching phrases to images (which is very similar to Rosetta Stone); 3. Completing mock conversations by choosing the appropriate response; translating sentences between languages; and listening to a question and choosing the appropriate multiple-choice answer.

Mondly makes an effort to gamify and enjoy the process of learning a language. It’s pretty cool that the main dashboard has the appearance of an interactive map, and you can always view your stats from the navigation bar.

Virtual Reality

Mondly provides virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) learning apps in addition to their standard app and language courses. These apps are intended to supplement the standard lessons.

This is the main way that Mondly sets itself apart from rivals. Mondly is kind of a pioneer in the field of digital language learning because of the novelty of the programs.

You can immerse yourself in virtual environments with the Mondly VR app. You’re thrown into a variety of scenarios where you have to communicate with locals, such as making travel arrangements, ordering takeout, or going grocery shopping. Put another way, the app aims to use virtual reality to mimic authentic scenarios with native speakers.

In case you lack a VR headset, Mondly provides their augmented reality app at no cost when you register for a premium account. Using augmented reality technology, the AR app scans your room and creates animations and a computer-generated teacher for you to enjoy in your own home.

Please go to Mondly to view their pricing. They do have a free version, however, that is very limited. Most people go for the premium price structure which is only $10 per month or $48.00 if paying yearly in advance. Mondly is very cheap when compared with other language apps.

My Opinion

There are a lot of good points about Mondly. Gamification and low cost are the obvious ones. But it does let itself down in the grammar department and it isn’t the best in developing your conversational skills. But you can’t beat the price.

Babbel

Babbel is an online, self-paced language-learning program that offers high-quality lessons unique to each language. It’s more challenging than most other language apps, but the exercises can be tedious. Babbel is best for people already skilled at learning languages or those who already speak a language related to the one they want to learn

Babbel is a language learning app that offers courses in 14 different languages. It uses a variety of methods to teach languages, including interactive lessons, games, and real-life conversations with native speakers. Babbel is designed to be user-friendly and accessible, and it can be used on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers.

The app is based on the spaced repetition system, which means that it repeats words and phrases at increasing intervals to help you remember them. Babbel also uses a variety of other techniques to help you learn, such as interactive exercises, quizzes, and games.

One of the things that sets Babbel apart from other language-learning apps is its focus on real-life conversations. The app features dialogues that are recorded by native speakers, and you can practice speaking and listening by recording your own responses. Babbel also offers live tutoring sessions with native speakers, which can be a great way to get personalized feedback on your progress.

Babbel is a subscription-based service, and the cost varies depending on the length of your subscription. The app is available in both a free and a paid version. The free version gives you access to a limited number of lessons, while the paid version gives you access to all of the app’s features.

Overall, Babbel is a well-designed and effective language-learning app that is suitable for a variety of learners. It is easy to use and accessible, and it offers a variety of methods to help you learn.

In my opinion, though it will not make you a fluent speaker of the language you have chosen.

Rosetta Stone.

The cleverly named language app “Rosetta Stone” was a key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs, which allowed scholars to read and understand ancient Egyptian texts and inscriptions.

But our Rosetta Stone is a comprehensive language-learning software that helps you build a solid foundation in a foreign language. It’s excellent for beginners and offers a ton of additional content for more advanced learners. However, it won’t make you 100% fluent.

Rosetta Stone is a language learning app that offers courses in 25 different languages. It uses a variety of methods to teach languages, including interactive lessons, games, and real-life conversations with native speakers. Rosetta Stone is designed to be user-friendly and accessible, and it can be used on a variety of devices, including smartphones, tablets, and computers.

The app is based on the immersion method, which means that it teaches you a foreign language through context versus through translations. Rosetta Stone courses used to be entirely software-based (meaning you had to purchase a physical CD or download the program to your computer). However, courses are now offered through online subscription so users don’t need to buy the course outright. 

One of the things that sets Rosetta Stone apart from other language-learning apps is its focus on pronunciation. The app features speech recognition technology that helps you practice your pronunciation by comparing your voice to that of a native speaker. Rosetta Stone also offers live tutoring sessions with native speakers, which can be a great way to get personalized feedback on your progress.

Rosetta Stone is a subscription-based service, and the cost varies depending on the length of your subscription. The app is available in both a free and a paid version. The free version gives you access to a limited number of lessons, while the paid version gives you access to all of the app’s features.

Overall, Rosetta Stone is a well-designed and effective language-learning app that is suitable for a variety of learners. It is easy to use and accessible, and it offers a variety of methods to help you learn. However, some users may find the immersion method challenging, and the app may not be suitable for those who prefer a more structured approach to language learning.


TalkPal.

Talkpal is a brand new app. that has just come onto the market and offers 57 languages that they say offer a new way to learn.

What distinguishes TalkPal from other applications for language learning?

TalkPal employs cutting-edge AI to offer an interactive, enjoyable, and captivating language learning experience, in contrast to existing language learning applications. With the use of artificial intelligence and an active learning strategy, users can become fluent. TalkPal replicates authentic situations in which users engage with native speakers to acquire knowledge.

TalkPal provides two membership options: TalkPal Premium, which has more advanced capabilities and no restrictions, and a free subscription with restricted features. TalkPal Premium offers the choice of monthly or yearly payments. These begin at $10 a month, or $5 if paid annually.

TalkPal provides comprehensive coverage of grammar, allowing you to understand the subtleties and complexities of other languages and, as a result, improve your speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension abilities.

The four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing are covered and while it is still a new app all the feedback has so far been very positive.

My Opinion.

From an ESL teacher’s perspective, each of these apps has its own strengths and weaknesses.

For example, Mondly’s focus on vocabulary can be useful for beginners, but its lack of emphasis on grammar and speaking skills might be a drawback.

Babbel’s challenging content can be beneficial for advanced learners, but its exercises might be tedious for some.

Rosetta Stone’s comprehensive approach is great for building a solid foundation, but it might not be enough to achieve fluency

Testimonials.

As for testimonials and success stories, many users have found these apps helpful in their language-learning journey.

For example, some users have found Mondly’s gamified learning experience enjoyable and effective. Babbel users have appreciated its challenging content and unique lessons for each language. Rosetta Stone users have praised its comprehensive approach to language learning. Duolingo users have enjoyed its fun and engaging learning experience.

In terms of a comparative analysis of app features, each app offers unique features that align with different learning objectives. For instance, Mondly’s VR & AR apps are game changers in language learning.

Babbel offers live classes and focuses on vocabulary that’s actually useful.

Rosetta Stone offers optional online tutoring sessions. So whichever app suits your style of learning and budget, I wish you the best in your language-learning journey,

The Best App for You!

Choosing the Ideal App: A Comparative Guide for Aspiring Polyglots

  • Criteria for Selecting the Best Language Learning App for You: The best app for you depends on your needs and goals. Consider factors like the languages offered, the teaching method, the type of content, and the cost. Also, think about your learning style and how much time you can commit to learning each day.
  • A Closer Look at User Interface, Content Quality, and Language Options: A good app should be easy to use, with a clear and intuitive interface. The content should be high-quality, engaging, and updated regularly. And of course, the app should offer the language you want to learn!
  • Analyzing Pricing, Subscription Models, and Accessibility of Each App: Some apps are free, while others require a subscription. Consider what you get for the price – does the app offer enough value to justify the cost? Also, check if the app is accessible on your device and if you can use it offline.
  • Closing Thoughts on Commitment Beyond Apps for Achieving Language Proficiency: While apps can be a great tool for language learning, they’re just one part of the puzzle. Achieving proficiency requires commitment and practice beyond the app. This includes speaking the language with others, immersing yourself in the culture, and continually challenging yourself.

The goal is how to choose the right language-learning app and how to use it effectively.

If you choose your app on price alone, Mondly stands out against the others. There are a lot of other language apps and each of them has its good and bad points. So take your time and choose one that you feel most comfortable with.

Steve


Any or all links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation, you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Free ESL Lesson Plan for Kids

Lesson plans should be a part of your skillset as an EFL or ESL teacher. Using this time wisely will help a lot when you are in the classroom.

Building a Lesson Plan.

Building a lesson plan is essential if you want a defined outcome for your class. Students and some teachers need structure and a determined direction to move from one learning point to another. And even though you may feel that “after 15 years I can wing it easily”. A lesson plan is like the “ABCs” of learning English. A good lesson starts with a good lesson plan.

I have wanted to provide free lesson plans for all classes. However, after thinking about it I believe each teacher is unique much like their students. And we should be doing our own lesson plans depending on the teaching styles we use. 

For example, I use the T.P.R style of teaching or Total Physical Response as it fits in with my personality. T.P.R revolves around using all aspects of communication to teach English. I use body language, visual representations like flashcards or newspaper clippings, and music to enhance my lessons.

Wikipedia has a good understanding of TPR and click the link to find out more.

Mapping Out a Lesson Plan.

It does not take long to map out a good lesson plan and there are a lot of different resources on the internet that can help, from templates to word searches and everything in between.

The following is the lesson I did tonight for fifteen 8-year-olds who need movement in the class to help stimulate the brain cells.

This is what I wrote and what I did. I do not keep rigidly to a lesson plan and if something doesn’t work I will drop it immediately and use something else. What you should take away from that statement is “always have an extra 15-minute segment” that you can use in the classroom if something you have planned does not work.

Also, look at How to Design a Lesson Plan.

Free Beginners ESL Lesson Plan for Body Parts.

I keep my lesson plans short and then that gives me enough room to improvise depending on the students’ questions or responses. The best attribute a teacher can bring to the classroom is the ability to think on one’s feet. 

My class size was 15 students and the class time was 1 hour and 30 minutes. I think this is the best length for an 8-year-old class without them getting bored. At 8 years old you still need to move them from activity to activity to keep their minds engaged in learning.

I broke my lesson down into 4 parts.

1. Introduction.

We had two new students starting so I wanted everyone to introduce themselves. At this level, it is not the easiest thing for the students unless you provide an outline for them to write. If you look up ESL introduction templates or images you will have a wide selection to choose from. This is what I chose tonight.

I usually do my class time allotment in 5-minute blocks for younger children and I estimated this would take 3 blocks or 15 minutes.

By the time I had explained everything and the children had written and filled in the gaps, we were on the 11-minute mark.

I then got the children to read and they did a pretty good job so I rewarded them with “points.” It took about 20 minutes for these exercises to be finished.

I used ESL Printables for this.

What’s This Points Thing?

At the start of the class, even before we did the introduction worksheet I split the class into two teams, Boys and Girls. Vietnam is very competitive and it can really help in learning and class control at this age.

There are 8 girls and 7 boys in this class, so thankfully a perfect (almost) split. Otherwise, I would go A and B. The reason I use teams is if they do a good job, I reward them and if they are noisy I will penalize them. Peer pressure is quite a deterrent at this age, and anything that helps in their learning works for me too.

Also at the start of the class, I will go around the class with the alphabet and if anyone gets the letter wrong they lose a point to the opposing team.  

I do the same with days of the week and months of the year and numbers from one to 50. It is a great way to review the basics or go over a past lesson.

2) Body Parts Game and Video.

Because my whole lesson revolves around learning new body parts and learning the correct pronunciation I use all the different TPR styles that I can in 90 minutes. 

The game is very basic but extremely funny. The students must follow you in touching various body parts. You get them to watch and participate 4-5 times and then they have to do it (as a group) alone. For example, I will say…touch your nose…touch your eyes…touch your mouth, etc, and they must follow your actions. I one team member gets it wrong they lose a point to the opposing team.

I break it up with, stand up, sit down, and raise your left arm (watch how many copy and still follow with the right hand) Thus you have to teach left and right. I blocked this out for 2 units of time followed by a video that ran for 5 minutes. 

I improvised after the great video and handed out a sheet of paper for the students to listen, follow, and draw the face that was explained in the video. It was an easy video for the students to follow and we all had a lot of fun. We ended up watching the video twice because of the improvised drawing and the time stretched out to a 25-minute block.

3. Body Parts Writing and Matching.

After a few minutes of very noisy activity, I had to quiet them down and get back to doing some writing and matching words to their respective body parts. There are a lot of great worksheets for this and this is the one I used today.

Body Parts

After the students completed this chart, we read out the body part names for pronunciation purposes and then we had a flashcard game. This game uses the “family and friends” body part flashcards. 

I then go individually through the flashcards pronouncing the words and placing them face down on the ground so the students do not know which card is which. I then choose one person from each team to come and pick a card that I have asked for. I may have said “I want a nose”, and they may pick up an arm…Lol, no points. If they get the correct card then it is 2 points for the team.

I estimated this would take up 3 blocks of time or 15 minutes and I was almost correct, it went for 20-plus minutes because the children didn’t want to stop. If you are looking for Flash Card games click on the link to an older post.

4) Wordsearch and Final Game.

Even though I am not a big supporter of word searches as they can sometimes be overused by teachers who don’t want to teach, I do sporadically use them myself. Especially for the younger students and as a reward if the lesson has gone well and the students seem to have absorbed the content of the lesson

.This word search is from English 4Kids.

You can also use these types to elicit the spelling of the words from the students. This took about 10 minutes.

My Final activity was reinforcing the new vocabulary by getting them to stand up, touch your eyes, nose, mouth, hair, etc.

The Girls won and then we all went home. 

Final Thoughts.

It needn’t take a lot of time to write a lesson plan and it should be flexible enough to change at the drop of a hat. Some of my best lessons have happened when I left the boundaries of the lesson plan. 

The lesson plan took me less than 15 minutes to do, although I have been doing them a long time and know where to get most of my resources. I also have 15 years of material for teaching in several folders. Prepping time has become much shorter.  

But a good teacher should always prepare a lesson plan for no other reason than to determine what you want to get out of today’s lesson. What improvement do you want to make to your students English skills?

Steve the ESLMAN


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money.  Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

ESL Lesson Plans for Adults Free

Teaching Adults English.

Designing an ESL lesson plan for adults can be challenging, but also rewarding. Adult learners have different needs, motivations, and goals than younger students, so you need to tailor your lessons accordingly. Here are some tips on how to create an effective and engaging ESL lesson plan for adults.

1. Know your learners. Before you start planning your lesson, you need to know who your learners are, what their level of English is, what they want to learn, and why they are learning English. This will help you choose the most relevant and appropriate topics, materials, and activities for your lesson.

2. Set clear and realistic objectives. Based on your learners’ needs and goals, you need to define what you want them to achieve by the end of the lesson. Your objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For example, by the end of the lesson, learners will be able to introduce themselves and ask for basic personal information in a formal setting.

3. Choose engaging and authentic materials. To make your lesson more interesting and meaningful for your learners, you should use materials that are relevant to their lives and interests, such as articles, videos, podcasts, or songs. You should also use authentic materials that expose them to real-world language use, such as newspapers, websites, or social media posts.

4. Plan a variety of activities. To keep your learners motivated and involved, you should plan a mix of activities that cover the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. You should also include activities that promote interaction and communication among learners, such as pair work, group work, role plays, or discussions. You should also vary the level of difficulty and complexity of the activities according to your learners’ abilities and progress.

5. Assess your learners’ performance and provide feedback. At the end of the lesson, you should check if your learners have achieved the objectives you set for them. You can use different methods of assessment, such as quizzes, tests, presentations, or portfolios. You should also provide constructive feedback to your learners on their strengths and areas for improvement. You should also encourage them to reflect on their own learning and set goals for future lessons.

Make Your Own Lesson Plan Template.

If you are looking for a template ESL lesson plan for adults, you might find this blog post helpful. It outlines the basic steps and components of a successful ESL lesson, as well as some tips and resources to make your teaching more effective and engaging.

A template ESL lesson plan for adults should include the following elements:

– A warm-up activity to review previous material, activate prior knowledge, or introduce the topic of the lesson.

– A presentation stage to introduce new vocabulary, grammar, or skills, using clear explanations, examples, and visuals.

– A practice stage to give students the opportunity to use the new language or skills in controlled or guided activities, such as drills, exercises, or games.

– A production stage to allow students to apply the new language or skills in more authentic or creative tasks, such as role-plays, discussions, or projects.

– A feedback and correction stage to provide students with positive and constructive feedback on their performance, as well as to correct any errors or misunderstandings.

– A wrap-up activity to summarize the main points of the lesson, review the learning objectives, and assign homework or further practice.

Some tips and resources to make your ESL lesson plan more effective and engaging are:

– Use a variety of activities and materials to cater to different learning styles and preferences.

– Incorporate real-world contexts and situations to make the lesson more relevant and meaningful for the students.

– Adapt the level of difficulty and complexity of the activities to suit the students’ needs and abilities.

– Use clear and simple instructions and check for understanding before starting each activity.

– Monitor and support the students during the activities and provide feedback and corrections as needed.

– Encourage student interaction and participation and create a positive and supportive learning environment.

Template Examples.

You can find more examples and templates of ESL lesson plans for adults on these websites:

– https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk

– https://www.fluentu.com

– https://www.esl-lounge.com

My current fave site is Twinkle, have a look, don’t worry I’m not making money off this. Twinkle..

Example Lesson Plans.

Here are two examples of ESL lesson plans for adults that you can use in your classroom or online teaching.

Example 1: Present Perfect vs. Past Simple

Objective: To help students practice the difference between present perfect and past simple tenses in speaking and writing.

Materials: A worksheet with sentences in present perfect and past simple, some dice, and a timer.

Procedure:

– Warm-up: Ask students to think of an event that happened in their life recently and write a sentence about it using the present perfect tense. For example, “I have finished reading a book.” Then, ask them to write another sentence using past simple tense with a specific time expression. For example, “I finished reading the book yesterday.” Have them share their sentences with a partner and compare the use of tenses.

– Presentation: Review the rules and examples of present perfect and past simple tenses on the board or on a slide. Explain when to use each tense and how to form them. Highlight the differences in meaning and usage.

– Practice: Give each pair of students a worksheet with sentences in present perfect and past simple. Have them roll a dice and read the sentence that corresponds to the number they get. Then, have them rewrite the sentence using the other tense. For example, if they get a sentence in present perfect, they have to rewrite it in past simple, and vice versa. Set a timer for 10 minutes and have them complete as many sentences as they can.

– Feedback: Check the answers as a class and correct any errors. Ask students to explain why they chose a certain tense and how it changes the meaning of the sentence.

Example 2: Giving Advice

Objective: To help students practice giving advice using modal verbs and expressions in speaking.

Materials: A set of cards with common problems or situations that require advice, such as “I want to lose weight” or “I have a job interview tomorrow”.

Procedure:

– Warm-up: Ask students to think of a problem or a situation that they need advice on and write it down on a piece of paper. Collect the papers and shuffle them. Then, distribute them randomly to the students. Have them read the problem or situation they got and think of some possible advice they would give.

– Presentation: Review the modal verbs and expressions that can be used to give advice, such as “should”, “could”, “might”, “why don’t you”, “have you tried”, etc. Give some examples of how to use them in sentences. Explain the difference in meaning and tone between them.

– Practice: Divide the students into pairs or small groups. Have them take turns picking a card from the set and reading the problem or situation aloud. Then, have them advise each other using the modal verbs and expressions they learned. Encourage them to use different ones and to explain their reasons for giving that advice.

– Feedback: Ask some pairs or groups to share their problems or situations and the advice they gave with the class. Comment on their use of language and give suggestions for improvement.

Check it Out.

Check out my other posts for more information on teaching Adults. This is the link to click on…

How to Teach ESL English to Adults.

How to design a Lesson Plan.

I also have a lot of other stuff you may find useful, so check out my site. www.vietnamesl.com

Final Thoughts.

Remember, every group of students is different. What works well with one group may not work as well with another. Be flexible and willing to adapt your teaching strategies as needed.

Don’t stick to your lesson plan and if you have to veer off in a different direction that is fine, The one thing I have learnt is teaching should be flexible to cater to your students’ needs. And the best thing to do is incorporate FUN. Do that and your students will want to learn English and love you forever as a great Teacher. 8-).


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

ESL Earnings and Costs in Vietnam

Living and Working in Vietnam as a Teacher.

When I read the news I see a lot of people complaining about the cost of living. I read stories of people in England having to choose between heating their house or eating. I also see so many pictures of the homeless in America it makes me sad.

There is another option. Asian countries, and especially Vietnam are crying out for English teachers and I am going to explain what qualifications you need, how much (or little) it costs to live, and how much you can make…and save. Yes, you can easily save $1,000 a month and more if you are prepared to work hard.

Let’s Cut to the Chase.

Qualifications.

The qualifications you need to teach English in Vietnam are minimal. If you are really interested in teaching English legally in Vietnam the minimum requirements for most teaching jobs in Vietnam are:

– A passport from a native English-speaking country or a high level of English proficiency

– A university degree certificate in any field, preferably in education or a related subject

– A teaching certificate such as CELTA, TEFL, TESOL or equivalent

– A health check from a local hospital or clinic

– A landlord form or police registration to prove your address in Vietnam

– A clean criminal background check from your home country or the country where you have been living for the last six months

Some employers may have additional or different requirements depending on the type of institution, the level of students, and the curriculum. For example, some international schools may require a degree in education and several years of teaching experience. Some language centers may accept candidates without a degree or a teaching certificate if they have other relevant qualifications or skills.

To work legally in Vietnam, you will also need to obtain a work permit and a temporary residence card. These documents are usually processed by your employer once you have a job offer and a valid business visa. The process may take several weeks or months and require various fees and paperwork. If you get a job with a good school they should pay for this.

Not that I recommend it, but there are schools that will pay cash for anyone who can speak English without the above requirements. Also, you will find that some schools will pay for ad-hoc or part-time work and you can get paid after class. If you want to find out more about this, leave a message.

Pay Rates.

The average salary for teaching English in Vietnam in 2023 can range from **27 million VND ($1100)** to **51 million VND ($2200)** per month. Nearly a year after the pandemic, English centers and schools have gradually recovered financially and in revenue, so the average salary of expat teachers has also been raised. Rates are on the rise and it is a good time to come to Vietnam as an ESL teacher.

However, this is just a general range, and the actual salary you can earn may vary depending on the type of institution you work for. Here is a breakdown of the salary ranges for different types of teaching jobs in Vietnam :

– Public Schools: **1500$ – 2000$/ month**

– Private Language Schools: **1150$ – 1800$/ month**

– International Schools: **1900$ – 2300$/ month**

– Universities: **895$ – 2200$/ month**

– Private English Lessons: **15$ – 60$ /hour**

As you can see, there is a wide variation in the pay rates for ESL teachers in Vietnam, depending on the level of education, prestige, and location of the institution. Generally speaking, public schools pay less than private language centers, which pay less than international schools and universities.

However, public schools may offer more benefits, such as paid holidays, visa assistance, and accommodation allowance. Private language centers may offer more flexibility, such as part-time or freelance contracts, and more teaching hours.

International schools and universities may require higher qualifications, such as a master’s degree or a teaching license, but they also offer higher salaries and more professional development opportunities.

Another factor that affects your income as an ESL teacher in Vietnam is your location. The cost of living and the demand for English teachers vary across different regions and cities in Vietnam.

For example, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are the two largest and most developed cities in Vietnam, where you can find more job opportunities and higher salaries. However, they are also more expensive to live in than smaller cities or rural areas. So consider your personal preferences and lifestyle when choosing where to teach in Vietnam.

Cost of Living.

Personally, I can live in Vietnam for less than $1,000 a month. However, I am quite frugal and don’t go out a lot. You can rent for about $200 a month for a room or small house in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh and you can live on $10.00 per day quite easily. But if you want to party every night then your costs will obviously go up as well.

Here is a link to a site that provides a comprehensive list of Vietnams costs. Vietnam costs. However, I believe they are a bit high.

What is it Like Teaching in Vietnam?

I have quite a few posts explaining both what it is like teaching in Vietnam and how to teach different levels of students. here is one link you may find useful or once again leave a comment and I will answer you directly.

If you are looking for a job here, I will also be able to help you if you are qualified or not. => LOOK HERE <=

Final Thoughts.

In conclusion, teaching English in Vietnam can be a lucrative and fulfilling career choice for ESL teachers who want to explore a new country and culture while making a positive impact on their students’ lives.

The pay rates for ESL teachers in Vietnam depend on many factors, but they are generally competitive and sufficient to cover your living expenses and save some money.

If you are interested in teaching English in Vietnam, make sure you do your research on the job market, prepare your qualifications and documents, and apply for the positions that suit your skills and goals.


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

How To Avoid Teacher Burnout in ESL

Avoiding ESL Burnout.

Teaching ESL can be a rewarding but challenging career. You get to interact with students from different cultures and backgrounds, help them improve their language skills, and witness their progress. But it can also be stressful, exhausting, and demanding. How do you avoid burnout teaching ESL? Here are some tips that might help:

Tips for Sanity.

– Set realistic goals and expectations. Don’t try to do everything at once or expect perfection from yourself or your students. Focus on what you can control and celebrate small achievements. Some students are great, some not so much, but you are helping them even if they don’t know it.

– Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Eat well, sleep enough, exercise regularly, and find time to relax and recharge. You can’t teach well if you’re not feeling well. Try not to party too much. It tends to happen when you first arrive in a foreign country, especially Asia.

– Seek support and feedback. Connect with other ESL teachers, join online communities, attend workshops, or find a mentor. Share your challenges and successes, ask for advice, and learn from others’ experiences. Build a network of friends you can talk to about any problems at work. Personal problems will happen and having someone to talk to is a literal lifesaver.

– Be creative and flexible. Try new methods, materials, and activities in your lessons. Experiment with different ways of teaching and learning. Adapt to your students’ needs and interests. Keep things fresh and fun for yourself and your students. Learn new stuff, It makes class life more exciting and fun. Go into your class and focus on having fun and the students will warm to you immediately which will make your teaching easier.

– Remember your purpose and passion. Remind yourself why you chose to teach ESL and what you love about it. Think about the positive impact you have on your students lives and the difference you make in the world. You are helping others achieve their dreams and traveling the world at the same time. Not many get to do this, so revel in the joy.

  • If Things Get Bad. Do not hesitate to contact me or a professional if you are suffering. There are online services that provide help. You can use this link. I Want to Talk.

What are some fun ESL activities?

Here are some ideas that you can try in your classroom:

– Games: Games are a great way to motivate students, practice vocabulary, grammar, and skills, and have fun. You can use board games, card games, online games, or create your own games based on the topic or skill you want to teach.

– Songs: Songs are a wonderful way to expose students to authentic language, culture, and pronunciation. You can use songs to teach vocabulary, grammar, listening, speaking, or writing skills. You can also have students sing along, fill in the blanks, or write their own lyrics.

– Stories: Stories are a powerful way to engage students’ imagination, creativity, and emotions. You can use stories to teach reading, writing, speaking, or listening skills. You can also have students read aloud, act out, or write their own stories.

– Projects: Projects are a good way to integrate different skills, topics, and resources in a meaningful way. You can use projects to teach research, presentation, collaboration, or problem-solving skills. You can also have students work individually or in groups on topics that interest them. This takes a bit of time to set up and is better with more advanced students, however, the benefits are amazing. I have a lot of ideas on my website about this.

– Websites: There are a lot of websites that you can use for free that will help you in the classroom. Here is a link to some of them. Teaching Websites.

– My Website; I have a lot of stuff that can help you teach from young kids to adults if you take the time to check out my site. It is all free and I do not advertise. Yet. Lol. Here is the link to my website. MY WEBSITE.

Final Thoughts.

My Father and Mother were both teachers as well as my brother, so chalk flows through my veins. I have been teaching in Vietnam for over 15 years and now own 2 schools, so I know what I am talking about. Burnout is a thing we all have to cope with, and how we cope is what makes the difference.

Steve


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Back to School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

A new school year means we need to prepare for new classes and new students.

The Holidays are Over Again.

In Vietnam, a school year is divided into two semesters: the first begins in mid or late August and lasts until the end of December, while the second begins right after the first, which is about mid-January and ends in May.

It took me quite a few years to adapt to the extended holidays for children they have in Vietnam. With almost 3 months a year of holidays for children, it was, I realized, both a blessing and a curse. (A blessing and curse for all involved, the teachers, parents, and students. Perhaps the worst affected are the parents who have to organize what to do with their kids while they work.)

As a traveler, it gave me 3 months in which I could easily move around the country, or even further, as I had plenty of time to use. And as a lot of the teaching contracts are yearly it gave me time to look at where I wanted to spend my next 12 months and find suitable accommodation in an area close to my new school.

On the downside, I had to make sure I had correctly budgeted for the time I had off. Not that it was a significant problem as I could pick up piecemeal work at any number of private schools or even pick up private tuition.

You can read here at ‘The Vietnamese Education System” to learn more about teaching in Vietnam and the type of work available. And things have not changed much over the years. You can find many posts and many tips and techniques that I have found to be successful over the years and I am happy to share these free of charge via my website.

Another almost beneficial downside was the amount of knowledge that the students had forgotten during their extended holidays. And it was this ( amongst a few other things) that made me decide to open my own school in Vietnam.

Back to School and Enhancing Your Opportunities.

September has arrived, and if you’re anything like the teachers I know, your thoughts have already begun to return to the long list of tasks you “need” to complete before you enter the classroom. We are all aware of how lengthy the to-do list is when it comes to setting up your classroom for a new school year. For this reason, this post will provide you with a list of actions you may take to aid in back-to-school preparation.

And your to-do list relates to whether you have your own school or private students or whether you are teaching in the public school system. I will try to cover both as they are equally important. I often came across teachers who used to say, why bother preparing as it is just the same but just a new year. I found those who said that were the teachers who drifted from one place to another and never “kicked on” to become professional ESL teachers.

If you have your own private school or students you will have been continually teaching but perhaps on restricted hours. Or perhaps you have closed for a week so the students’ parents can spend some time with their children over their holidays.

So here we go.

Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

If you have taken the 3 months off the first thing I do is mentally and physically prepare myself for the resumption of classes. It might seem trivial or an ad-hoc thing to do, but if you have gotten into the habit of sleeping in again, I like to spend 1 week prior to school waking up at 5.30 a.m. and re-adjusting my body clock.

Most schools and classes will start between 7. a.m. and 8 a.m. in Vietnam and it doesn’t help if you are still half asleep with 50 noisy kids starting your day. You must be alert and on the ball, especially in the first few days of the new semester. How you present yourself in front of the class in the first week will establish how the rest of the semester goes.

Preparing your “tools of the trade” is the next step. As basic as it sounds, make sure everything you take with you works. I want my markers, pens and pencils to be ready for use along with erasers and rulers. This is very basic stuff, but I have seen teachers on the first day asking if they can borrow a pen or marker or chalk because the school has not got any. Really embarrassing if it happens to you.

If like me you use a microphone headset, check it out the day before to make sure you have enough charge for the day or replacement batteries if needed.

When teaching in a classroom in Vietnam you may have upward of 50 people per class. (My biggest class size was 56 children who were 7-8 year olds).

If you don’t want to lose your voice by the end of the day I strongly advise that you invest in a microphone headset. The Aporo headset I have is 30 watts output and is very light. It comes with 2 headbands and is easy to wear for a whole day.

The use time is between 8-12 hours and I have never needed to recharge it through the day. This is perhaps the best “tool” I have ever used in the classroom and has without doubt saved my voice on many occasions.

If you are lucky enough to have your own classroom then other types of preparation come under what I call…….

Simple and useful.

1) Name tags.

2) Welcome signs.

3) Classroom schedule.

4) Pre-prepared exercises

A Day in The Life of a Vietnamese High School Student.

Here is a video that was made about a day in the life of a Vietnamese High School Student. A lot of ESL teachers will say they hate teaching teenagers. But while teaching teenagers has its own challenges it also provides one of the sweetest emotional rewards. I have seen students at their worst and at their best. During this stage of their lives, they are at their most open and if you can establish a good connection with your students you will have an outstanding year of teaching.

Updating Your Electronics.

If you’re a teacher, you already know what a difference having the appropriate materials and equipment makes. A good laptop is a necessary tool for today’s professionals. Of course, you’ll want to get a good deal on your buy, with an emphasis on the appropriate specs.

You’ll need something that delivers powerful processing performance. Ample storage is important as well, so there’s no concern about storing a multitude of documents and media files. You will also want a robust machine that can take a few knocks as well as something that is covered by a good warranty in case of any misfortune.

I have used a lot of brands and models over the years and because of my role, I continually stay on top of the latest models. These are my current top 5 laptops for price and performance. All these laptops can be had with a price sub $1,000.00.

  • Apple MacBook Air M1: This laptop is one of the best laptops overall, as well as the best MacBook for students. It has a fast and efficient M1 chip, a long battery life, a high-quality display, and a sleek design. It is also compatible with many apps and software that you can use for learning English or Vietnamese. It starts at $999, which is a reasonable price for its value.

  • Dell XPS 13: This laptop is one of the best Windows laptops, as well as one of the best business laptops. It has a powerful performance, a stunning display, a comfortable keyboard, and a durable build. It is also lightweight and portable, making it easy to carry around. It starts at $999, which is a competitive price for its features.
  • Google Pixelbook Go: This laptop is one of the best cheap laptops, as well as one of the best Chromebooks. It has a simple and elegant design, a long battery life, a smooth performance, and a great webcam. It is also ideal for using Google apps and services, such as Google Translate, Google Drive, and Google Classroom. It starts at $649, which is an affordable price for its quality.

  • HP Pavilion Aero 13: This laptop is one of the best laptops on a budget, as well as one of the most popular laptop brands in the U.S.. It has a compact and lightweight design, a fast processor, a decent battery life, and a colorful display. It is also customizable and upgradable, allowing you to choose the specifications that suit your needs. It starts at $630, which is a bargain price for its performance.

Language App.

As well as a decent laptop that can be used by both the teacher and student, I have found that MONDLY is a great app that can be put on your computer and laptop that helps the student with their learning. Click on the MONDLY logo to check this out.

I also have 2 other posts relating to tech tools in the classroom that may help you organize what you need to make life in the classroom easier for you. These are…

And don’t forget the free online tools that we can use as well, here is a link to a list of my top 10 online tools.

  • Online Teachers Tools to make life easier.
  • Final Thoughts.

    After teaching in Vietnam for over 15 years in various schools ranging from Kindergarten to teaching Teachers how to teach English, the one thing that I have learned to be most necessary is to make sure you prepare for each new semester as thoroughly as you would as if it is the first class you have ever taught.

Every student is different and each of them deserves 100% input from you the teacher. The more you involve yourself in the lesson the more personal satisfaction you derive from it.

If you have any questions or feedback I am happy to answer any or all directly or by email.

If you wish to read more about Education in Vietnam you can look at this post from Wikipedia.

“Education in Vietnam”




Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

The Best Free Digital Tools for Teaching English On-Line.

Here are 8 of my best digital tools that I use for teaching on line and in the classroom.

My Best 8 Digital Tools for Teaching English Online.

Teaching English online can be fun and rewarding, but it also requires some planning and preparation. You need to have the right tools to communicate with your students, create engaging materials, and provide feedback.

In this blog post, I will share with you some of the best digital tools for teaching English online that I have used and personally recommend.

There are free options for all of these tools which fits perfectly within my budget but does not provide me with any revenue.

If you see anything on your travels around my website that you think is cool, I would appreciate it if you purchase via me as so far I have kept this site ad free and would like to continue doing that.

Google Meet.

Google Meet is a video conferencing platform that allows you to host live classes with your students. You can share your screen, use captions, chat, and record your sessions. You can also create breakout rooms for group activities and use polls and quizzes to check understanding. Google Meet is free for anyone with a Google account and works on any device.

Most people I know use Skype, but I have always found this to be easier and the free period during covid was 30 minutes longer than Skype. The quality is exceptional and I never had any complaints from my students. I still continue to use Google Meet for my personal life as well as my business and can not fault the service.

Google Docs.

Google Docs is a word processor that lets you create and edit documents online. You can collaborate with your students in real-time, leave comments, and track changes. You can also use Google Docs to create assignments, quizzes, and feedback forms. Google Docs is part of Google Workspace, which also includes other tools like Google Slides, Google Sheets, and Google Forms.

I run Google Docs from my smartphone (As well as my laptop) and tie it into the books and lessons I am teaching on the day. With most of the tools being Google I find I have little to no problems. It is a no-brainer to use the whole set of Google tools to provide the best experience for your students and to make it easy for yourself.

Yes, there is a bit of learning to do to make sure everything runs seamlessly. But once you have done it a few times you will look like a master and your lessons will run as smoothly as silk.

Google Workspace.

Google Workspace is a suite of cloud-based applications that helps you manage your online teaching business. You can use Gmail to communicate with your students, Google Calendar to schedule your classes, Google Drive to store and share your files, and Google Classroom to organize your courses and assignments. Google Workspace is free for educators and students with a school email address.

Google Jamboard

Google Jamboard is a digital whiteboard that allows you to create interactive lessons with your students. You can draw, write, and add images, stickers, shapes, and text boxes. You can also import slides from Google Slides or PDF files. You can invite your students to join your jam session and collaborate with you on the same board. Google Jamboard is free for anyone with a Google account and works on any device.

Canva.

Canva is a graphic design tool that helps you create beautiful and professional-looking materials for your online classes. You can use Canva to design slides, posters, flyers, worksheets, certificates, logos, and more. You can choose from thousands of templates or create your own from scratch. You can also access millions of images, icons, fonts, and colors. Canva is free for basic features and offers a premium plan for more advanced options.

I use this for so many things, from designing class brochures to templates for advertising on social media. How can this still be free and offer so much? I am embarrassed to the degree I feel like I must upgrade to a paid membership.

There is also a special education offer for teachers and schools. Canva Education…

ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to generate natural and engaging conversations in English. You can use ChatGPT to practice speaking and listening skills with your students or to provide them with extra practice outside of class. You can also customize ChatGPT to suit different levels, topics, and interests. ChatGPT is free for anyone to use and works on any device.

A,I is going to change so much of how things will be done, there is a steep learning curve in front of us all. My other website, which is called AITechWarriors will be helping people stay on top of what is happening in the field of A.I.

Speechnotes

Speechnotes is a speech-to-text tool that converts your voice into text. You can use Speechnotes to dictate your notes, essays, emails, or blog posts. You can also use Speechnotes to transcribe audio or video recordings of your classes or interviews. Speechnotes is fast, accurate, and easy to use. Speechnotes is free for anyone to use and works on any device.

This is a great tool as you can use it to test your students’ pronunciation and vocabulary skills as well as provide obvious benefits for the teacher.

Grammarly

Grammarly is a writing assistant that helps you improve your grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, and style. You can use Grammarly to check your writing for errors and suggestions on how to fix them. You can also use Grammarly to set goals for your writing based on your audience, tone, and purpose. Grammarly is free for basic features and offers a premium plan for more advanced options.



The basic version is so good I have never felt the need to upgrade. I am 100% happy with the format and what I can do with it. They have recently added an AI interface which I am playing with and it gives you 100 free “prompts” per month. Along with chatGPT and the other A.I tools, I doubt I will ever get to use the lot.

Quillbot

Quillbot is a paraphrasing tool that helps you rewrite any text in different ways. You can use Quillbot to avoid plagiarism, simplify complex sentences, or generate new ideas for your writing. You can also use Quillbot to change the tone or mood of your text based on different modes like formal, informal, creative, or humorous. Quillbot is free for up to 700 characters per paraphrase and offers a premium plan for unlimited paraphrasing.


This extension is permanently open on my browser and that shows you how often I use it. Being able to paraphrase something quickly is vital for my business, thus the reason I stare at it every day.

Final Thoughts.

These are my 8 favorite online tools for teaching English. There are many ways you can use them and, as is said, you are only limited by your imagination.

For example with “speechnotes” you could use it not just for translating from speech to text but you could use it for testing the vocabulary and pronunciation of your students. How well are they pronouncing that word? Are they stringing sentences together grammatically correctly?

With chatGPT, you can get your students to phrase questions about their favorite topics and see if the answer corresponds with what they thought.

So fire up the thinking cap and use the tools that we have on hand to make our classrooms a lot more fun. And if the above aren’t enough tools for you, here are a few more that I have reviewed and used in the past, and for most still do. Look at my post named “On-Line Teachers Tools to Make Life Easier”. It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

Steve.


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Is School Good or Evil?

Picture Source: My Artwork, Night Cafe. A.I generated. 

Why Are Our Schools Failing?

Amid allegations that our schools have turned into nothing more than veritable cookie cutters for half-baked executives of the future, there are instances of teachers striving for excellence.

Let us look at this question specifically, and also look at it in the light of ESL. So we will discuss the question directly as it stands and also look at it from a few different perspectives.

Firstly I would like to delve into teaching English as a second language or E.S.L.

Is Teaching ESL Cultural Imperialism?

It doesn’t matter how long you have taught ESL, the question normally arises on a night out with a few teachers over a tipple or two. Are we really providing a service or are we perpetuating the cultural dominance of the U.S.A or England? I am going to play the devils advocate and throw the questions (and phrases) into the hypothetical mix, so you can think and answer at your leisure.

  • When English is taught as a second language, it can make English-speaking cultures more dominant and make local languages less important. This can lead to the loss of cultural diversity and fewer people speaking local languages.
  • Teaching English as a global language can make countries that already speak English more powerful in politics, economics, and culture. This can keep existing power imbalances in place and make it harder for other countries to become powerful.
  • When people learn English as a second language, they often learn about Western ideas and ways of thinking. This can make local knowledge and cultural differences less important or ignored.
  • Learning English very well can make people want to be more like English-speaking people and forget about their own language and culture. This can make unique cultural identities disappear.
  • Sometimes, programs that teach English in other countries don’t treat local teachers very well or give them bad working conditions. This can make things unfair and keep richer countries in control.

ESL, Changing Lives For The Better.

And here are the responses to advocate the opposing theory that ESL teaching is not ‘Cultural Imperialism” but is really “Socially Supportive”

  • Communication and opportunity: Learning English can improve your ability to communicate, provide you more access to educational and employment opportunities, and make it easier to collaborate globally, promoting cross-cultural understanding.
  • Individual empowerment: ESL instruction can give people more confidence by giving students the means to communicate clearly in a world that is becoming more interconnected and by enabling them to actively engage in global discussions.
  • Creating a bridge between cultures: Teaching ESL can serve as a bridge between many cultures, promoting understanding, empathy, and respect for various viewpoints.
  • Language preservation: When conducted properly, ESL instruction can coexist with the maintenance and resurgence of regional tongues and cultures, fostering multilingualism and cultural variety rather than eradicating it.
  • Choice among students: Students have autonomy when choosing ESL instruction, giving them the option of participating or not. In this instance, it might be viewed as a voluntary tool for personal empowerment and advancement as opposed to a cultural mandate.

Picture Source; My Artwork, Night Cafe.  A.I generated. 

Opportunities for Schools to Reshape the Future.

There are many parents, especially in the USA who believe the schooling system has lost its way. And I am not talking about E.S.L now, but the common core subjects in a normal public school. It feels like every time I go on to any social media outlet there is a rant against what is happening in the schools. And even though I will be focusing on the USA, I feel like it is a worldwide problem.

So what is happening in the schools in the USA at the moment? The “core curriculum” feels like it is being driven by big business that need workers that are willing to work for “next to nothing” and accept the corporate B.S.

I “Googled up” “Bill Gates” and public education and the headline that came up was “The Savior of Public Schools”. I am very pleased there was a question mark at the end of the headline.

The Savior of Public Schools.

Personalized learning seems to be the buzzword and it doesn’t look unreasonable. However, there are many points I would need to cover first. Not the least being, why have “trade classes” like metalwork and woodwork been removed from the curriculum? ( I am showing my age, but it worked for the students).

Schools used to have “body shops” that provided students who weren’t quite as academically gifted as some, the opportunity to learn a career in building cars and automotive repairs. Then they could step into this job straight after school and it worked.

And “Home Economics” used to be a thing, teaching sewing and cooking and it wasn’t just stereotypically females who enrolled into these classes.

Why were these courses dropped? In hindsight, it can be seen as a bad idea. Those students who weren’t motivated to sit in front of a computer all day were absorbed in learning a trade that they saw could make them money.

Now the same students sit in the computer classes and disrupt them because they are bored. And we blame ADHD and not the education system that is failing them.

Personalized Learning.

This is now what is being promoted as the new shift in teaching. In my opinion, I see nothing new in this and I am amazed we listen to somebody who never invented their own product and only donates to “future business opportunities”.

So this is what is described as “personalized learning”

“As part of the individualized learning paradigm, teachers supervise rather than lecture. They allow children individual work and group-based projects to learn as flexibly (and in as many contexts) as possible with the use of personal laptops and tablets.

Modern technology is expensive, therefore not many schools can afford to use the individualized learning approach. However, when districts do invest in it, the concept has been successful.

According to a report released last year, for instance, many of the students in 62 schools utilizing individualized instruction outperformed their peers in arithmetic and reading. Many people who had scored below average ended up above average”

Source: Rewritten Content from the “World Economic Forum“..

Final Thoughts.

Education is something that will set us free, and it is up to the individual teacher to make the most of what we have, to educate anyone who wishes to learn.

The best way to change the world is to change one person at a time. And by that I mean educate not indoctrinate.

This is by no means my normal type of post, however, I feel like it is something I have to say. Thanks for reading, I hope it gets you thinking. And I mean that in the nicest way possible.

Stephen.


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money.  Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

What is LMS for ESL?

An article outlining some of the learning management systems available for ESL teachers and administrators.

What is LMS?

Simply put, an LMS is a system for keeping track of students, tasks, and educational resources. It has many more features, and they are all ultimately designed to save teachers and administrators time by centralizing students and course materials.

It helps manage educational courses, training programs, and learning and development programs. Simply automate tasks like tracking and reporting on student progress, and can also be used to deliver course materials to students.

What Are The Key Points of an LMS?

An LMS is a complex online learning environment created by several components working together, hidden beneath a user-friendly interface. The list of features in a contemporary LMS might be extensive, as with most contemporary software solutions. There are, nevertheless, a few key elements that are essential to any LMS.

These fundamental elements include the server database, which holds all of the LMS’s essential features, and the user interface, which allows teachers and students to interact with the servers. They are, in a nutshell, the front end and the back end of an LMS.

But keep in mind that these are only some of an LMS’s most fundamental features. Any modern LMS incorporates many, many more features than these, such as e-commerce capabilities and student performance analysis powered by machine learning.

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application that provides a framework for all aspects of the learning process. It is designed specifically to create, distribute, and manage the delivery of educational content.

The main purpose of an LMS is to provide an online learning experience while the availability of some capabilities change. Access is granted to verified users to accomplish this, and thus, supposedly aids in the global distribution of knowledge for educators.

A Checkered Past.

However, it is possible to argue that an LMS is simply a means of organizing students, tasks, and educational resources.

Nevertheless, as was already mentioned, an LMS is much more than that. However, all administrators and teachers crave more. By gathering all of the students and class materials in one location, we want to save time and make things simpler.

They (LMS) do, however, have a murky image among educators. They can be tough to master, awkward to use, and challenging to traverse.

Available LMS Options for ESL Teachers.

There are many learning management systems available for ESL teachers (And administrators) and here are five that I consider are worth your attention.

  1. Off2Class: This LMS is designed specifically for ESL teachers and offers a wide range of features such as lesson plans, quizzes, and student progress tracking. Off2Class has nearly 800 ready-to-teach modules which may be combined to create unique courses. These are based on actual errors that students make on a “Placement Test.”

    Without leaving the site, you can manage your students (and teachers if you run a school), mark your lessons as you go along, give out and grade assignments, and link with video services like Zoom or Google Meet.

    Off2Class was specifically created to be an LMS for ESL teachers. And it has nothing else that may block or limit your needs. The reviews for Off2Class are all overwhelmingly positive and frequently use the phrase “I am extremely impressed.” However, more lessons on pronunciation may benefit the overall experience.
  2. Moodle: This open-source LMS is free to use and offers a wide range of features such as course creation, student tracking, and reporting. However, it is significantly more powerful than most ESL teachers require, making it more complicated as a result. People have created incredible things using Moodle across many industries since it is free and open-source. Moodle can be used to create an entire online learning platform from scratch, but for most teachers, it’s complete overkill.
  3. Google Classroom: This free LMS is designed specifically for educators and offers a variety of features such as course creation, student tracking, and reporting. For many ESL teachers, Google’s products acted as their de facto LMS. During the Covid lockdown, I used Google Meet for online teaching. I also used Google Docs for my lesson notes. While others have taken advantage of Google Sheets and even held class sessions via Google Hangouts. Now, with Google Classroom you can post announcements, respond to student posts, and even create and grade assignments, Google Classroom is an effective way to combine these services under one roof. It’s a simple, cost-free solution to give structure to your lessons.
  4. Edmodo: This free LMS is designed specifically for K-12 educators and offers a variety of features such as course creation, student tracking, and reporting. Students and teachers can connect and exchange resources safely with Edmodo. Edmodo offers packages that allow school leaders to benefit from strong analytics, provide professional development, and curate their educational content. These products are free for teachers and students.

    Pros: Only a small learning curve for people who regularly use social media. There is also a robust community of users and a good support network.

    Cons: The user interface is very busy for teachers, especially with ads and information on the screen, and it could use a rubric tool and better collaboration options.
  5. Powerschool: Is advertised by the company as the leading k-12 learning management system offering a comprehensive teaching and learning platform. Its ability to transfer data across Schoology Learning and PowerSchool SIS, two different educational software platforms, is one of its distinguishing qualities. “Passback” refers to the automatic transmission or synchronization of data or information entered into one system with another. Schoology Learning is a learning management system (LMS) that both teachers and students can use to keep track of course materials, homework, and communication. A student information system (SIS) called PowerSchool is what schools use to handle student data like grades, attendance, and demographics. It has mixed reviews, with some criticizing it while others love it.

Final Thoughts.

There is an old saying that goes along the line of “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” So if you are running a small school like mine, you may well decide that not having a learning management system worked well for a long time and it can continue to do so.

Adding any learning management system adds another task that needs to be done. Make sure that the effort you need to exert is really worth it. You have to ask yourself if the benefit of using an LMS is worth the extra work that needs to be done.

Do not fall prey to the “shiny object syndrome”. However, if it saves time and increases the “bottom line” of the balance sheet by all means go ahead and take the plunge.


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How to Teach English Using ChatGPT.

Teaching ESL With ChatGPT. 

English is the most widely spoken language globally, despite not being the most spoken language overall. Additionally, it is the language of international films, computers, and medicine. Even more so when used as a second language. 

Harvard Business Review; Global Business Speaks English.

Learning English as a Second Language (ESL) has become more crucial. Language acquisition has experienced significant modifications as a result of the ongoing development of new technology.

ChatGPT is an astonishingly quick technological leap that is gaining worldwide attention (perhaps even in North Korea). It is an open artificial intelligence language that seems to be on everyone’s lips.

ChatGPT for Teaching ESL Students.

ChatGPT can be used to teach ESL English to kids in different ways, such as:

  • Conversation practice: ChatGPT can be used to converse with the students on topics of interest or related to the lesson. The teacher can monitor the chat and provide feedback or corrections as needed.
  • Writing practice: The teacher can have the students write prompts to ChatGPT, perhaps as a whole class exercise, and then discuss the responses as a class. The students can also use ChatGPT to edit their own writing or check their grammar and spelling.
  • Vocabulary practice: ChatGPT can be used to learn new words and phrases related to a specific topic or theme. The teacher can ask ChatGPT to generate vocabulary lists, definitions, or example sentences for the students to study.
  • Ad Lib activities: ChatGPT can be used to create fun and creative stories with blank spaces for the students to fill in with their own words. The teacher can give ChatGPT a prompt to make an “ad-lib” story about a particular theme or topic, and then have the students come up with the words to complete the story.

These are some of the possible ways to use ChatGPT in an ESL English classroom, but there may be more. ChatGPT is a powerful and versatile tool that can enhance language learning and teaching. However, it is important to use it responsibly and ethically, and not rely on it too much or let it replace human interaction.

It is also important to check that students do not use it to complete any essays that have been given out for homework. There are certain things that can be used to check students and the use of A.I. Excessive use of lists and numbers at the end of sentences are 2 points you can look out for.

Examples of How to Use ChatGPT,(as written by ChatGPT) 

And Underwritten by me.

Here are some examples of how to use ChatGPT for different language-learning activities. 

  1. Conversation practice: You can chat with me about your hobbies, your favorite movies, your plans for the weekend, or anything else that interests you. I will try to respond in a natural and engaging way, and you can practice your fluency and comprehension skills.
  2. Writing practice: You can write a short story, a poem, a letter, or an essay to me, and I will give you some feedback on your content, style, and grammar. You can also ask me to rewrite, improve, or optimize your writing for a specific purpose or audience.
  3. Vocabulary practice: You can ask me to teach you some new words related to animals, sports, food, or any other topic you want to learn more about. I will give you a list of words with their definitions and example sentences. You can also ask me to quiz you on the words you learned or to make sentences using them.
  4. Fill in The Blanks“: You can ask me to create a funny story with some blank spaces for you to fill in with your own words. For example, you can say “Make an “Ad Lib story about aliens” and I will generate something like this:

One day, a group of (adjective) aliens landed on Earth. They came from the planet (name) and they wanted to (verb) with the humans. They had (number) eyes, (color) skin, and (noun) for ears. They spoke in an (adjective) language that sounded like (sound). They were very (adjective) and curious about everything they saw. They especially liked (noun) and (noun). They did not like (noun) and (noun). They stayed on Earth for (number) days and then they left in their (adjective) spaceship.

    Introductions. You can use ChatGPT to write some introductions, then get the students to write their own and interact with Chat. 

  • Hi, I’m Maria, and I’m from Brazil. I’m learning English because I want to travel the world and meet new people. I like to play soccer, listen to music, and watch Netflix. What about you?
  • Hello, my name is Ahmed and I’m from Egypt. I’m studying English because I want to work as an engineer in a multinational company. I enjoy reading books, solving puzzles, and playing chess. How do you spend your free time?
  • Greetings, I’m Li and I’m from China. I’m improving my English because I want to study abroad and learn more about different cultures. I love to cook, paint, and meditate. What are your hobbies?

Practicing Introductions With ChatGPT

“I would like to introduce myself. My name is Stephen and am 55 years old. I live Ho Chi Minh City and has 4 persons in my family. In my free time I like painting and drawing. “

Nice to meet you, Stephen. I’m Bing, a chat mode of Microsoft Bing search. I can help you with various tasks and topics. You have introduced yourself very well, but I noticed some minor errors in your message. If you don’t mind, I can help you rewrite it to make it more accurate and natural. Here is my suggestion:

I would like to introduce myself. My name is Stephen and I am 55 years old. I live in Ho Chi Minh City and there are 4 people in my family. In my free time**,** I like painting and drawing.


Do you see the difference?


How To Use ChatGPT For Learning English

A 90-Minute Lesson Plan For ESL English. (Provided by ChatGPT)

Here is a possible lesson plan for using ChatGPT in an ESL class:

Objective: To practice conversational skills and vocabulary using ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that can interact in a natural way.

Materials: Computers or mobile devices with internet access, ChatGPT website (chat.openai.com), paper, and pens.

Procedure:

  1. Warm up; (10 minutes): Ask the students to brainstorm some topics they would like to talk about with a chatbot. Write their ideas on the board and have them vote for the most interesting ones. Explain that they will use ChatGPT, an AI chatbot that can answer questions, tell stories, give opinions, and more.
  2. Demonstration (10 minutes): Show the students how to use ChatGPT on the website. Choose one of the topics from the board and type a message to start a conversation with the chatbot. Show the students how the chatbot responds and how they can continue the dialogue. Point out some features of the chatbot, such as its ability to ask follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests. Explain that the chatbot is not perfect and sometimes it may write incorrect or nonsensical answers. Encourage the students to be curious and respectful when chatting with the chatbot.
  3. Practice (40 minutes): Divide the students into pairs and assign them a computer or a mobile device. Have them choose one of the topics from the board or come up with their own. Tell them to take turns typing messages to ChatGPT and reading “its” responses aloud. Remind them to use complete sentences and correct grammar and spelling. Tell them to keep track of how long they can maintain a coherent and engaging conversation with the chatbot. Have them switch topics every 10 minutes.
  4. Feedback (20 minutes): Have each pair share their experience with ChatGPT with the class. Ask them to report on how long they chatted with the chatbot, what topics they discussed, what they learned from the chatbot, what they liked and disliked about the chatbot, and what difficulties or challenges they faced. Write their feedback on the board and discuss it as a class. Ask them to suggest some ways to improve their conversational skills and vocabulary using ChatGPT.
  5. Wrap up (10 minutes): Review the main points of the lesson and ask the students to reflect on their learning outcomes. Ask them if they would like to use ChatGPT again in the future and why. Give them some homework assignments, such as writing a summary of their conversation with ChatGPT, researching more about ChatGPT or other AI chatbots, or creating their own prompts for ChatGPT.

Final Thoughts.

While it is possible to use ChatGPT and other AI programs, the one major drawback is being able to provide computers to each student. In a lot of countries that teach ESL the students and schools do not have the resources that they have in Western Countries.  

In Vietnam, where I teach, the infrastructure to provide the resources in public schools is currently not available. The private schools could fund the hardware but the costs wouldn’t be able to be covered by most of the parents of the students.

While ChatGPT is unlikely to take over the teachers role in the classroom, I do expect there will be increasing changes throughout the Education Industry. Just how much remains to be seen.


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money.  Read our full affiliate disclosure here.