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ELL Tools

ELL Tools helps teachers optimize learning, enhance student engagement, and promote high levels of content knowledge for all but especially ELL students by infusing powerful technology-enhanced strategies into teaching and learning. Research-based strategies are used in conjunction with technology to increase student motivation and learning. Learn how to make a difference  using technology to support ELL students in your classroom.

Listening Tools

  • ELLLO: English Listening Lesson Library Online:
    • It has over 1,000 audio slideshows, games, exercises, songs, etc. — all geared towards developing conversational skills.
  • Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab: Provides high-quality listening exercises on the web
  • Read The Words:
    • Lets you convert any text - from a document, blog, or website - into audio with your choice from a variety of voices. You can then embed the voice player into your site. English Language Learners can easily copy and paste an essay they’re writing to hear if it sounds “right.”
    • Lets you copy and paste pretty much anything you want and the convert the text to speech.You can choose the type of voice (it uses ATT technology), the rate of speed (there are numerous settings), and even customize pronunciation for certain words. You choose to see the text when you’re listening to it being spoken. And you can create private groups if you want.

Vocabulary Tools

  • Chuala
    • On this free site, which you can use without registering, you hear the pronunication of English words and you can record your own pronunciation of the same word to compare the two (assuming you have a microphone, of course).
  • Grammer Ninja
    • Grammar Ninja is a fun game for students to play as they develop a working knowledge of the parts of speech. Grammar Ninja has three levels for students to work through. As long as you answer questions correctly, they continue through the game, but answer incorrectly and the words explode.
  • Phrasr:
    • Phrasr is an interactive web-based application that uses Flickr images to illustrate the phrases that users submit. She can choose every image and then publish the entire phrase, which is shown as a personal slide show.
  • Sight Words With Samson
    • It’s clearly one of the best websites out there to learn sight words — for English Language Learners or younger native-English speakers. There’s audio support for text and a lot of interactive fun exercises. One of the best things about it is that it also shows sight words in the context of sentences — in both audio and text. In an ideal world it would also show an image illustrating the sentence, but you can’t always have everything.
  • Starfall
    • The established site that is rivaled by no other in providing accessible literacy activities to Beginning English Language Learners.
  • U.S.A Learns
    • It’s an incredible website to help users learn English.  Even though it’s primarily designed for older learners, it seems very accessible to all but the very youngest ELL’s.  It’s free to use. Students can register if they want to save their work and evaluate their progress.
  • VocabSushi
    • With VocabSushi, flash cards are a thing of the past. The best way to build your vocabulary is not rote memorization. It's seeing how words are used in everyday language. VocabSushi helps you prepare for the ISEE, SAT, ACT, GRE or other standardized test by teaching you vocab words with real-world, contextual examples found in the daily news.

Speaking Tools

  • Blabberize:
    • It allows you to upload an image, have the mouth’s image move in a comedic way, and then “speak” your voice. Students can use their own photos, or a famous person, cartoon character, etc. Blabberize can be used in the same way ESL/EFL teachers sometimes have students use puppets — students can feel more comfortable speaking when it’s not really “them” doing the talking.  Sample.
  • English Central:
    • It’s a free video site for English Language Learners, lets users listen to parts of the video, then lets them repeat what the characters says and compares it to the original. You get graded on how well you do.
  • LiveMocha:
    • This fast-growing language-learning site has an incredible number of features. For speaking, not only can users send their recording to whomever they choose, but there’s also a social network component that lets others provide feedback. Another nice aspect of the site is that it’s structured so that users are responding directly to prompts from LiveMocha’s scaffolded teaching/learning system.
  • Myna:
    • Use Myna to remix music tracks and audio clips. Apply sound effects and record your own voice or instruments!
  • Audio Pal:
    • A new tool that lets you easily record a message — either by using a phone, computer mike, or text-to-speech — and then add the embed code to your blog or website. Students can update it as often as they want, and get as many different ones that they want. It’s pretty neat. No registration is necessary, and it’s free.
  • Vocaroo:
    • The premier voice recording service. Students can practice their speaking skills and listen to how they pronounce their words without fear of speaking in front of class!

Writing Tools

  • Wordle:
    • Wordle is a toy for generating “
      word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. 
  • Webspiration:
    • Combine the Power of Visual Thinking and Outlining to Enhance Thinking, Learning 
and Collaboration!
      Use Webspiration to map out ideas, organize with outlines and collaborate online with teams or colleagues. Webspiration unleashes your creativity, strengthens organizational skills, and transforms your ideas and information into knowledge.

  • Bookr:
    • Bookr is a tool to create photobooks using Flickr images.
  • Newspaper Clipping Generator:
    • provides a variety of browser based imaging tools and toys, that let you very easily apply a special look to your pictures.
  • TimeToast:
    • Create timelines, share them on the web.