Activities For ESL Learners

Review of Activities for ESL Students-


SWOT analysis:


Great for children and adults

Very user friendly

It has quizzes that can be reset- good for frustrated users to be able to start again.

It has quizzes on English vocabulary for levels 1 through 6.

The site has crossword puzzles and bilingual quizzes in 49 languages.

The bilingual quizzes can be used by English speakers to practice a second language.

Illustrations are easy to interpret.

There are videos and podcasts for students.

There is a Daily Page for students to practice their pronunciation practice, listening, take a quiz, learn a proverb and a vocabulary word. This application is available for iPods and iPhones.

The daily pronunciation practice allows the student to adjust the length of the pause between sentences and the number of times the sentence is repeated.

There are listen and read along stories that students can download onto their iPods, iPhones, and iPad.
There are listen and read along American stories that students can download onto their iPods, iPhones, and iPad.


There is no apparent way to save student work. Additionally, the quizzes are based on a specific dialect of the language. For example some of the words translated in Spanish are only correct for Castilian Spanish.

The bilingual quizzes start with native languages and translates to english. Not the other way around so it is most appropriate for ELL students not for world language students.


Students can brush up their ESL skills with less frustration because they can always restart the quiz. They can also have fun with the crossword puzzles. And students have choice in what activity they want do, based on their need or learning style.


No obvious threats were found.


Students could copy the quizzes down on paper, along with their answers, for grading and review. The bilingual quizzes could be done in student pairs with speakers of the same native language. Students can watch podcasts or videos and then either write a summary of what happened or the skill that was taught or verbally explain it to a partner.

ESL Writing Skills-Using the Web to help

There are many different types of technologies that can assist with writing such as online activities, word processors, online dictionaries and screen capture software (Stockwell, 2007). One way that was found in the literature that can help students to develop their writing skills is through email (Jogan, Heredia & Aguilera, 2001). In a study Jogan, Heredia & Aguilera (2001) conducted a project in which Spanish speakers from Chile and advanced Spanish students in the United States exchanged emails between each other. They communicated and kept a dialogue with one another. Students in this study reported that they found the discussion that was conducted to be enjoyable (Jogan, Heredia & Aguilera, 2001). This way of using email to improve writing is important for student motivation because it allows a student to interact with electronic tools, interact with peers and other tutors, and keep the learning experience fresh (Dornyei, 2001; Genc & Aydin, 2011). Although these students were college students, the study is still applicable to K-5 international students because of the increasing connectivity through technology in elementary schools. These dialogues between the students had the appearance of motivating ESL language learners to learn as well as to write about the different cultures. Although the results were not conclusive the usage of email to communicate allowed the students to communicate in a way that they would not have had otherwise. Websites such as Facebook and Twitter also create the opportunity to communicate using Web 2.0 tools.

Dornyei, Z. (2001) Teaching and researching motivation. London: Pearson Education Limited.

Genc, G. & Aydin, S. (2011). Students’ Motivation toward Computer-Based Language Learning. International Journal of Educational Reform, 20(2), 171-189.

Jogan, M. K., Heredia, A. H. & Aguilera, G. M. (2001). Cross-cultural e-mail: Providing cultural input for the advanced foreign language student. Foreign Language Annals, 34(4), 341-346.

Stockwell, G. (2007). A review of technology choice for teaching language skills and areas in the CALL literature. ReCALL, 19(2), 105-120.

Posted by Charles Martin