Feeling a bit behind the learning technology curve or simply looking for some new approaches? Here are five innovative ways to implement technology effectively in language teaching.

1. Incorporate Multimedia

Action-oriented tasks that have students using the target language in authentic contexts help them transfer language learning to real-life situations. Try showing students current music videos, recent social media posts or news articles, or other creations in the target language. Bringing current, meaningful material into the classroom helps students make connections to real life and see the language being used outside the classroom, including in online spaces.

2. Foster Positivity

Technology can help foster a positive and fun learning experience. Gamify slideshows and videos by making them interactive with online applications that embed questions and activities. Many free online tools can be found by searching phrases such as “turn a video into a quiz” or “make a slideshow interactive.”

Use voice comments instead of written ones to give students feedback on their work with a warmer, more personal tone.

3. Involve Students

Allow students to have input on the choice of technology and format they use to complete their work. By involving students in choosing technologies, teachers can improve student engagement and foster a sense of ownership in their learning. This can lead to increased creativity and engagement, and it shifts the technology expertise off the teacher’s plate.

Teachers may also benefit from their students’ technological know-how. Ask students for input before searching for a new app or website: they may already know a simple, effective solution for the intended task.

Students and their teacher working together on a computer

4. Maintain Routines

When using digital teaching tools, find ways to transfer in-class routines and activities to online formats. For example, maintain a similar rotation of activities and use language that students are already familiar with from in-person games when playing online versions.

This strategy also applies to your learning management system. Reuse and edit previous posts from the learning management system for new course sections instead of starting from scratch.

5. Stay Balanced

Be mindful of when technology supports language learning and when it is a hindrance. Consider blending traditional methods with technology. For example, have students share a picture or video of a manually completed task. While digital tools provide many innovative opportunities for language teachers, the importance of face-to-face interaction should not be forgotten.

For many more ideas and strategies, see CASLT’s publication The Innovative Language Classroom Handbook: Leveraging Technology to Drive Learning. The accompanying Teachers’ Digital Toolkit explores many more practical, hands-on approaches to leveraging technology in the language classroom. Discover videos, workshops, teacher tools, articles, and more that offer proven ways to integrate technology into your language teaching.


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