Published 5th July 2017

As much as we would love to be able to be around our students all day long speaking English with them (or maybe not, depending on your students!), the fact is that we only have them for a limited amount of time. During that time we have to deal with so many aspects of teaching English – vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, reading, writing, listening, speaking – that sometimes it can feel like there is so much to teach and so little time.

Which is why we should encourage our students to immerse themselves in the language even while they are not in class.

An impossible task?

Maybe, but if we can find ways that appeal to their interests then hopefully they will enjoy their interactions with English and not consider it a chore or homework.

And what better way to do that than by utilising something we know all of our students love? Technology. Here are five of our favourite online resources which you can recommend to your learners to expose them to the language in their own time, while having fun.

BBC Learning English

This site offers podcasts, animated cartoons and news reports accessible for all levels. It’s ideal for students who enjoy reading up on current events.

British Council Learn English

A great site from the British Council which includes loads of video, audio and text-based resources. There is something here for everyone, from games to cultural information to business etiquette.

Cambridge English

For the more serious students, this site has a wealth of materials. Students can search through their free resources until they find the prefect grammar, listening, pronunciation, reading, vocabulary or writing activity, and there are extra resources for those wanting to prepare for any of the Cambridge exams.

ESL Gold

ESL Gold is the place to direct your students if they are having problems with a particular grammar point or vocabulary topic. With explanations and examples it is sure to answer any questions your students may have. It also has videos and activities for speaking, listening, reading and writing.

FluentU

A relative newcomer to the scene but one which is taking the language learning online space by storm. Here students can find authentic videos which are the basis for language learning activities. The fact that these videos are authentic makes them much more appealing to our students.

So don’t fret if you feel like your students spend all their free time on their smart phone or iPad. Instead, introduce them to these online resources to make their free time an extension of the classroom, without having to use the label of homework.