Digital Tools Specific to the Four Skills of Language
We have at our fingertips literally hundreds of digital tools that can make teaching and learning fun. However, "not all digital tools are created equal" and not all of them can facilitate language learning or language acquisition.
It can be tempting to use the "cool tools" that are fun and students love. Nevertheless, we must be careful with our planning and make sure that we incorporate the technologies that truly support and enhance the learning we are trying to accomplish. Even when we find the right tools, it's important to use them in moderation. Too much of a good thing might be too much!
Tools are not the substitute for good teaching. By definition, a tool is "anything used as a means to accomplishing a task or purpose" but they are not the task in itself. With this in mind, mindful integration of technology in the second language classroom is key. In other words, we must use the right amount of technology at the right time within our unit of study.
When we teach languages we are aiming to develop the four areas or skills of language in our students: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Complete fluency is only acquired when these four skills are mastered.
In this page you will find digital tools specific to each area of language. I grouped the spoken skills (speaking & listening) and written skills (reading & writing) together. I am including not only the names and the links to these applications, but also examples of the tools being used in my Spanish class. There are many other tools available, but the ones below have been tested, used and "approved" by my students.
I recommend you explore all the tools and identify the ones you think might work for you. Also, don't forget to go the "How-To" page to see more "classroom proven" tools that I use on a regular basis but might not be directly related to learning or practicing the four areas of language.
The Four Areas of Language Learning
When we learn a language, there are four skills that we need for complete communication... these are listening, speaking, reading, and writing".
These language skills are also known as the four areas of language
Two of the four skills represent the spoken language (listening and speaking) and the other two (reading and writing) represent the written language.
The spoken language can be practiced using many of the same digital tools, which is also the case for the written language.
Spend sometime exploring and clicking on each one of the icons below to learn about each application.
Click on each icon below to see specific examples using the App. Click on the name of the App to go to their main website.
It is important to remember that Apps are constantly changing and evolving. The ones I mentioned in this pages will eventually change or be replaced for new ones. However, the important thing is to remember that, no matter which digital tools we use, we must continue exploring and incorporating the right technologies into each one of the the four areas of language.