20 ideas for using technology for language teaching

Author: Joe Dale
Published: 06/09/2020

There are so many free tools and apps available nowadays for integrating technology into the languages classroom, it’s difficult to know where to begin.

One of the best shortcuts I’ve found over the last 10 years has been Twitter – in particular the #mfltwitterati. This is an organic, grassroots community of language teachers, consultants and organisations, with around 5000 members.

This hashtag has been used by language teachers from all over the world for many years now. In fact, one of my top tips is to search on Twitter for #mfltwitterati plus a keyword (such as the name of a tool or app, or a skill such as speaking) and see the interesting tweets which appear.

All the tools and apps I mention in my 20 ideas resource were found on Twitter – I hope you find them useful too.

Here are five ideas from this resource:

  1. Multimedia slideshows. Promote speaking and writing with Adobe Spark Video, a free app and web tool. Create presentations combining royalty-free images and icons, then download the results to your device or publish them on the web.

  2. Photo story. Remove the background of any selfie with the web tool removebg and insert the results into a presentation tool such as PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides or Book Creator. Add a royalty-free background from photosforclass.com and create your own personalised photo story with speech bubbles in any language.

  3. Talking avatars. Record yourself speaking for up to five minutes with My Talking Avatar Lite or add an augmented reality filter to your face with the MSQRD app to take on the role of a new character. Turn an inanimate object into a talking character with ChatterPix Kids or practise pairwork with Superhero Comic Book Maker and iFunFace.

  4. Live titles. Speak into the Clips app and see subtitles appear automatically in real time, in the language you have chosen. You can add a voiceover to videos and still images too. Practise sound-spelling links and produce creative videos with filters, captions and animations to revise lesson content.

  5. Speaking homework. Practise listening and speaking skills using the voice recording function in Padlet. Choose the Shelf format to create different columns and assign one column per student. Record different questions in column one and ask students to record their answers to each question in their own column. Give written feedback for each answer so students can re-record if necessary.

You can see all 20 teaching ideas in the downloadable resource.

Joe Dale podcasts at mfltwitteratipodcast.com and you can also follow him on Twitter, @joedale


Joe Dale

An independent languages consultant.