Keba! English for Kids (ESL), an app for iOS and Android, engages young English learners with three broad categories of lessons: animals, children, and fruits & vegetables. Each of these categories has several subcategories of lessons that integrate audio, animation, and photos. The images are bright, simple, and easy to understand for the youngest audience. For example, a section about animals includes a crowing rooster, a jumping kangaroo, and a squirrel crunching a nut. Child-appealing characters describe the pictures using simple words; the voices are talented native-speaking actors. In addition, the app has hilarious sounds for children to play with, making it engaging for young learners. Cost: Free
Tell About This is aversatile prewriting or publishing tool that’s easy for young storytellers to use. Dozens of photos sorted into categories, including culture, people, family, and fun, serve as inspiration for prompts.
Vocabulary learning is a pivotal part of any language development program for young learners in both their home language and additional languages. On October 18, 2017, from 10:30a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (ET), TESOL will host a webinar entitled “Vocabulary Riches for Young Learners.”
Researcher and ELL expert Jim Cummins has identified three keys to success in teaching students who are just learning English:
· Engage students in their literacy by providing access to resources.
· Ensure that all teachers are prepared to scaffold their instruction across the curriculum.
· Affirm and value students’ background, culture, and identity.
Across the nation, many schools are using edtech tools to support their teaching of English language learners through these three tactics. Read Middlebury Interactive’s special report on how technology can help address the needs of English language learners.