7 Amazing (Free!) Apps for TEFL Teachers
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Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a full-time job, but that doesn’t mean you need to let it take over your life. Planning EFL lessons which are appropriate, interactive and effective can be time-consuming and exhausting, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t accept all the help you can get. These days especially, there’s probably some piece of technology, or as we are looking at today apps for TEFL teachers that can help you out with whatever problem you might be having.
Making use of technology or resources like websites is not something we frown on in the EFL world. When you think about it, there is no need to re-invent the wheel. If someone has done a lesson on the present perfect for teen learners, for example, and it worked, there’s no reason you shouldn’t use that same lesson for your own class. Similarly, using technology to make your life easier is not a cop-out. In fact, it means you’re working smart instead of working hard.
This is true in life and in the EFL classroom. Whatever you need help with, be it lesson planning, time management, or even a grammar or pronunciation issue, there’s probably something or someone online who could help you quickly and easily. And that’s because, just like most things in life, whatever the problem, there’s an app for that!
Here are Seven Apps for TEFL Teachers
Let’s start with some organization. Edmodo is an app which will make sure you are a very well-organised teacher. You can use it to upload any assessments, quizzes or assignments for your classes so that they can be accessed both by you and your students. You can assign a space to each class you have so that your materials are in the appropriate places. It also has an instant messaging function which allows you to chat to your students when necessary, and vice versa.
Edmodo is a free app.
We’re big fans of the TED Talks so we’re very happy that there’s now an app. The app has thousands (literally thousands) of recordings of TED Talks from all over the world. You can assign TED Talks for your students to watch at home to discuss during your lessons, or you could use the app to watch the talks during the lesson. If each student watches on their own device, they are free to pause it and replay any time they need to.
The TED app is free.
Read more: How to (and Why You Should) Use TED Talks in The EFL Classroom
To help you out when you’re really stuck, we can always count on Google. In our case, as English as a Foreign Language teachers, Google Translate can really help us out of a pickle. Of course we don’t recommend using translation all the time, but sometimes you really need to be able to communicate something important to your students or sometimes there is a serious breakdown in communication during learning that only a translation can fix. You won’t always have the luxury of having a teaching assistant who can translate for you. That’s when you whip out the app and set the record straight. A word of warning, though, Google Translate is generally a good app but sometimes the translations can be a bit off, which is why we recommend only using it when absolutely necessary.
Google Translate is free.
Read more: Using Translation in the EFL Classroom
Kahoot is a great app for those of us who like to play games in our lessons – so all of us, right? It’s very simple to use and user-friendly. As the teacher, all you need to do is create a quiz with questions, polls, and slides using the Kahoot software. Then you can use the app to play the games interactively in class, or even if you are teaching online. The class can all play together or you can assign students to play against each other. You can even assign self-paced kahoots so your students can play on their own in their own time. The best thing is you can save your Kahoot quiz so you can use it with another class.
The Basic plan is free and totally adequate but there are extra features you can access with a Pro, Premium or Premium+ plan.
The thing we love about FluentU is that it makes use of authentic materials. It’s basically an app full of authentic English-language videos – music videos, news, cartoons, ads, talks – which they’ve turned into language learning exercises. The videos are all organised by level. Each video has been transcribed and there are a number of exercises the learners can do related to the video, such as fill-in-the-gap activities, dictionary definitions and related flashcards.
FluentU has both free and paid versions.
Read more: How to Find Authentic Materials Online
Duolingo is a great app for anyone learning any language, but it’s definitely a useful tool in the EFL classroom. Duolingo uses gamification, personalization and instant grading to help learners learn a language. It is largely based on spaced repetition and their theories are backed by scientific research. Users play games which teach and test vocabulary, functional language and pronunciation. Duolingo claims that you can learn a language using their app for just thirty minutes a day. You can assign it to students for homework or you can allow students to play for a few minutes if they finish their work early. Teachers are able to keep track of their students’ progress on a dashboard. And, of course, you could use it yourself to learn the local language!
There is a free version or you can pay to use the app without ads.
Read more: Spaced Repetition: What is It and Why Do We Need To Know about It?
Speak English is an app with hundreds of recordings of native English-speakers speaking on a range of topics. The user chooses a topic and will hear a phrase or a conversation. They can repeat it as many times as they would like. Then they are given the opportunity to record themselves, play it back and compare it to the recording. As you can imagine, this app is really good for practical language such as greetings, job interviews, giving directions and customer service. Because of this, it is useful to supplement those lessons. However, because it requires users to compare their recording to that of the app, it might not suit lower level learners, as the learners would need to already have a critical ear in order to correctly assess themselves.
Speak English is free.
There you have it: seven amazing and amazingly free apps for TEFL teachers which are super useful in the EFL classroom. If these don’t make your life easier then, to be quite honest, we don’t know what will!
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- Under the law, any individual has a right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’.
- When making a request you will need to give us:
- a request in writing (by post or by email)
- We may need to ask you to provide:
- proof of your identity
- proof of your home address
- any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example details of the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD offices or staff that you have had contact with and when)
We will not start looking for your information until we receive all of the above. In order to submit your request, or for help making a request, please contact us.
Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.