ESL iPad Apps & Podcasts

With an increase of technology in education, gathering a set of ESL based podcasts and tablet/iPad applications for teachers and volunteers to use, seems to be essential. After doing some research, a number of resources were recognized for their work in ESL online lesson plans and guides. For some ESL classes, using applications or the Internet may not be possible; however, here is a compiled list of these resources, sorted by teacher’s aid and learner’s aid:

Teacher’s Aid:

  • WIDA
    • This iPad application is made by the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and allows educators to have access to the content of the 2012 Amplification of the English Language Development Standards. Some of the inclusions (found here) that this app features are as follows:
      • Curriculum and instruction planning tools from the printed version
      • Searching by standard, grade level or language domain
      • Grade-specific example topics
      • Expanded and integrated strands

This application is an extensive tool for teachers to use in hope to assist and ease their instruction to ESL learners.

  • MyWordBook 2
    • This application, found on Google Play or iTunes, is an interactive English vocabulary educator created by Cambridge University Press. Some of the inclusions (found here) that this app features are as follows:
      • Topic by topic learning
      • Interactive vocabulary flashcards
      • Add pictures, sounds, example sentences, translations and notes to flashcards to help you remember
      • Create your own flashcards for new words as you need them.
      • Sync words across all mobile devices

This is especially helpful to educators because it allows you to share specific vocabulary words to other media devices, so multiple ELS learners will be able to participate at once.

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Learner’s Aid:

  • ESL Podcast
    • This podcast can be found and installed through Google Play on all computer or MP3 players. It consists as a guide for learners to continue their English language development, as well as educate themselves in the American culture. Some of the inclusions (found here) that this podcast features are as follows:
      • Complete transcripts
      • Definitions
      • Sample sentences
      • Comprehension questions
      • Additional explanations
      • Cultural notes
      • Tips on improving your English
  • Oxford Picture Dictionary, Second Edition
    • This instant access app allows learners to polish their English vocabulary and language skills on either an iPad or tablet. Be it in class or on their own, this application will benefit any learner in advancing in the English language. Some of the inclusions (found here) that this app features are as follows:
      • 4,000 terms, organized into 12 thematic units, including Everyday Language, People, Housing, Food and Recreation, and more
      • Engage and motivate students with vibrant art and easy-to-use format
      • Provide students with unlimited independent practice and multiple exposures to the terms
      • Bookmark any entry to easily search for terms

Overall, if class size and technology materials are available, then working with ESL podcasts and iPad applications could be beneficial to integrate into one’s ESL lesson plans. Give some of these a try and if there are any other resources that have been successful, let us know!

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