Teaching ESL Online: Tutorials & Activities

Teaching English learners online

ESL Curriculum Member Tutorials

Here are a few tutorials for how to assign materials in some of the various apps teachers are using to teach online.

Google Classroom

Assigning speaking, reading & writing pages in Google Classroom using a computer.

Seesaw

Assigning a vocabulary word bank page in Seesaw using an iPhone.

If you need ESL teaching materials, you can try out the ESL Curriculum Membership free for 2 weeks to see if it is a good fit for your needs.

Online ESL Teaching Activities

Teaching English learners online may be a new experience for you and there is a chance you are feeling a little overwhelmed with all of the resources available to you. Hopefully some of these fun activities will help give you some inspiration and direction. Regardless of how you're feeling right now, once you get going, I'm sure you will find your groove. Just pick something and give it a go.

What I Can Control

I had a conversation with a wonderful teacher in the Facebook Group Engaging ELLs about feeling overwhelmed. I don't want to put the whole conversation out there to the world, but I do want to share this:

Teaching online may seem overwhelming at the moment. I don't even have to teach online, and I feel overwhelmed with all of the options, free resources, uncertainty, district and school unpreparedness, issues of equity and accessibility... 

It's all a bit much.

I was listening to recent episode of Carol Salva's Boosting Achievement podcast the other day, and she reminded me to focus on what I can control and to let go of the rest. 

So...

Here's what I can control:

  1. My Tech: I'd spend some time just getting familiar with the tech I'm using. When my son was doing online learning, we just started playing around with the apps, calling each other and anyone else we could get to install the apps. When you start teaching, I'd make the first lesson or two just "figure out how everything works" time with maybe some household show and tell thrown in. (My son and his classmates absolutely loved showing off their pets, Lego creations, and favorite framed picture.) I know for us, once we got familiar with the tech, things didn't feel nearly so uncertain.
  2. My Lessons: There are so many free or inexpensive resources right now, but whatever you end up choosing, teaching like you are accustomed to teaching in a classroom may prove extremely difficult (You can see my comments in this article: http://kid-inspired.com/tips-for-teaching-online about that). Students may also not all be present for every class, or for any of them, and some may be less than proactive even when they are. Again, Carol Sierra Salva mentions that we can help those students who are unable to attend, or who get behind, close the gap after we get back to regularly scheduled classes. That should free us up to relax, be creative, and try some things out to see how it goes. There are some really cool opportunities to explore some different ways of teaching and learning that may just expand our repertoire of skills as teachers.
  3. My Sanity: I was walking in the park this morning (after I'd finished listening to Carol's podcast ? ), and my mind was racing with all of the million things that are going wrong, and it occurred to me that it was a beautiful day, birds were singing, trees were green, there was breath in my lungs, and that I have a choice about whether I'm going to let it all get to me, feel sorry for myself and drown my fears and sorrows in chocolate milk, or whether I'm going to let this situation remind me how precious life is, learn from the experience and do the best I can to be a blessing to those around me who are also feeling nervous or scared--like my mom, who I probably should call more often.

Anyway, for what it's worth, we're all in this together. This is hitting everyone really hard, but it will pass.

We will get through. 

Other Resources

Here are some other resources you may find helpful when figuring out what to do with your kiddos online.

Fluency Reading Passages for English Learners Social

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Basic Plan & Student Portal Plans

  • Everything in the Basic Plan
  • Create Student Accounts So That Students Can Practice on Their Own Outside of Class for Better Results and Less Pressure on Your Time
  • Fun, Social-Media-Like Features That Can Be Used in a Wide Variety of Ways to Engage Your Students, Manage Homework, and Communicate Outside of Class
  • Engage Your ELLs. Save Time. Close the Gap. Online.
  • Time-Tested, Teacher-Loved, Kid-Inspired Lessons to Get Your Students Amazing Results
  • Fun, Effective, & Interactive Online Activities & Games
  • Share Your Screen During Lessons. 
  • Give Control of Your Screen to Students Using Tools Like Zoom or Koala

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