Technology is always evolving and every day sees the release of new websites, apps and tools, many of which are not reliable.
The same is true in the field of English Language Learning. Many resources for English as a second or foreign language (ESL/EFL) make promises that don’t deliver.
For ESL/EFL instructors, the constant change in technology and resources combined with the vast range of quality, means spending hours searching for free, high-quality resources to use in the classroom, whether face-to-face or online.
In October, Dr. Matt Wilson, College of Arts & Sciences associate professor and chair of First Year Experience (FYE), English as a Second Language (ESL) and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), presented at the 16th annual ANUPI-COPEI 2018 International Conference in Huatulco, Oaxaca, Mexico, to discuss this very challenge.
His presentation, High Tech, Not High Cost: Free Resources for the ESL Classroom, was presented to a standing-room-only audience. Wilson shared resources included in the curriculum of WilmU’s TESOL course TEL 7330: Technology & Language Learning.
The presentation identified excellent English language resources that can be accessed using only an internet connection and basic computing equipment, featuring four specific tools: Quizlet, Pic-Lits, Photos for Class, and Padlet. Each tool demonstrated a specific skill within language learning education (listening, speaking, reading and writing), as well as provided attendees with suggested activities and plans for using the tools.
“It was important to demonstrate not only how the tool works but also how to use the free resources as inspiration to develop materials for a classroom that does not have technology access,” Dr. Wilson says. “The presentation showcased relevant and cutting-edge curriculum, but also how technology can be used in any setting.”
The presentation highlighted the conference’s theme of “Internationalization and Digital Learning: Perspectives and Challenges in ELT” well. Representing Wilmington University, Dr. Wilson presented alongside representatives of institutions from Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.