Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ten Terrific Technology Projects for English or Foreign Language Learners

Do your English or foreign language learners own or have access to any high-tech toys like Ipods, MP3 or MP4 players? How about a PC, digital camera or cell phone with picture-taking capacity? What about access to an audio, digital or analog (cassette tape) voice recorder? Using these devices and other high-tech toys, a host of fun, effective learning projects can be assigned to and undertaken by your English as a Foreign Language learners.

Here are some starter suggestions that could be used with ESL (English as a Second Language), EFL (English as a Foreign Language) or foreign language learners:

1. Your EFL or foreign language learners can prepare essays, oral or written presentations on why or why not they should use their high-tech toys in class, in addition to suggestions on how they could effectively do so.

2. Have the class individually write a summary or give an oral presentation of a favorite song on your Ipod, MP3 or MP4 player.

3. Another useful task is to get the EFL learners to describe the action, setting or scenario of a music or other type of video on their MP4 player.

4. Get the learners to give a written or oral discourse of a popular performer or music group complete with song and/or music video examples.

5. How about having your class prepare an ad or commercial describing the features and benefits of your digital camera, Ipod, cell phone, MP3 or MP4 player. They could record, film and produce their “commercial” using whatever high-tech devices are available.

6. For an interesting out-of-class project, you can assign the learners to conduct a survey series of what brands / makes and models of digital technology products your EFL class has. The follow-up would be an original report or presentation of some type.

7. Have each of your learners describe what they like and/or dislike about a high-tech toy they own. They could also then expound on why and how they overcome any “deficiencies” or dislikes they may have and how these affect them.

8. Your learners could give an oral, audio-visual or written presentation on how high-tech toys are useful in business and education. They can expound on how their parents, siblings, friends, neighbors, etc. make use of these items.

9. Past, Present and Future: Learners can explain orally, in writing or via an audio-visual presentation, what they, or others they know, did in the past without the devices they have now, what they currently employ their devices for, and what they think these devices will develop into in the future. Students can draw pictures, create collages or use realia in their presentations. My classes really like and get into like this one.

10. Another interesting out-of-class project that appeals to many English and Foreign Language learners is for you to assign them to survey high technology web sites, stores, shops and suppliers for the different makes, models and brands of a particular high-tech toy for various features and prices. They can then report these findings to the class utilizing charts, graphs, images, photos and even realia.

Using these devices and other high-tech toys like Ipods, MP3 or MP4 players, Personal Computers (desktop or laptops), digital camera or cell phones with picture-taking capacity, and audio, digital or analog (cassette tape) voice recorders, this host of fun, effective learning projects can be assigned to and undertaken by your English as a Foreign Language learners to enrich and enliven your classes. Try one or more of these suggestions, modified to suit your classes and teaching situation in one of your next class sessions. Then watch your English or Foreign Language learners progress like never before.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an English language teaching and learning expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. Live your dreams in paradise, find romance, high adventure and get paid while travelling for free. For more information on entering or advancing in the fascinating field of teaching English as a Foreign or Second Language send for the no-cost pdf Ebook, “If You Want to Teach English Abroad, Here’s What You Need to Know”, by sending an e-mail with "free ELT Ebook" in the subject line. For comments, questions, requests, to receive more information or to be added to his free TESOL articles and teaching materials mailing list, e-mail:

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