I've been studying different ways to integrate technology into a classroom. One problem that seems to come up is how one might use technology in a classroom that has to overcome a language barrier. How could an ESL teacher use technology to connect with their students?

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Interesting question, Kim. My first question is, "How much English do the students already know, and how old are they?"  If they are adults and already familiar with the internet and basic computer skills, they may simply need help learning to use the English internet/computer.  Thus, vocabulary will be of utmost importance.  VoiceThread would be a great resource, so students can hear the teacher speak any time and try their best to imitate it.  That way, the auditory learners have something to hear and the visual learners have something (words and/or pictures) to see. 

there could a dictionary on a simple handheld device that translates as you speak into it, but that is the easy way out.  then going along with that, there are games where you could match the picture to the word, on the board that is.  other good games are out there if you look Kim.

Hi Kim. My school has a large population of Hispanic students. I do not know what grade you teach, but Google Translate is a great resource. Other than just doing basic translations, you can also translate whole Web pages. All you need to do is copy and paste a URL into translator box. They have many different languages to choose from. Once you choose the language you want, hit translate. It will give you another URL. If you click on the link, it will take you back to the Website, but it will be translated into the language you chose. For younger students, we also use StarFall. It teaches basic phonics skills, such as, long e, VCV, and short syllables.



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