Information and Communication Technology
in English Language Teaching
Computers in ELT
When we talk about computers, we are not talking about software!!!
Computers are machines that offer you a vast range of possibilities in ELT
1. MS Office applications
2. Software for students
3. Software for teachers
4. New means of communication (e-mail, news groups, message boards,…)
5. The Internet
MS Office applications
Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly agree that you should use software, but just
consider that our students won’t have access to student based applications after
Today’s students are expected to know how to work with MS Office applications.
That means they should be able to make their own MS Word documents, to work
with a spelling checker, and to be acquainted with Windows Explorer.
Remember: Students using a spelling checker save you a lot of time!!!
Software for students
There’s lot of software to be explored. But keep one thing in mind: Cheap or
free software is as easy to get as expensive software but non of them grants
what you expect.
Some terms: Freeware = Software for free
Shareware = Software for free with all kind of restrictions
Full version = No further explanation needed!?
Software for teachers
The number of resources is quite limited. Nevertheless, one program called “Hot
Potatoes” is a widespread and very useful neat little thing. It’s big advantage is
that EVERYTHING can be altered by YOU. It consists of a few more or less
useful exercises, such as Multiple Choice, Gapped Text,…
The good news is that it is for free. You only have to register to have full
Another advantage of this program is that you can export it easily into the net.
This program is to be found at: http://web.uvic.ca/hrd/hotpot/#downloads
New means of communication
If you want to use e-mail in school, as far as I know, you will be disappointed.
Our computer labs don’t have an e-mail account. The only thing you could do is to
set up an account at http://www.hotmail.com or http://www.gmx.at (these are
quite reliable and for free)
News groups: There are news groups you can access through an e-mail program
(MS Outlook,…) and news groups on the net. There you can post questions,
opinions, anything you want. Your postings are accessible by anyone.
Imagine you had access to every single library in the world.
Imagine you were looking for a specific topic in a specific book.
That’s how you can imagine the Internet.
Yes, I dare to say that there is everything you ever wanted to find out about.
No, I don’t say that it is easy to get what you want.
The keywords are “Search Engines” and “Directories”.
Unless you have the precise Internet address (URL – starts with http://…) you
will have a tricky time to find what you are looking for without using Search
Engines or Directories. You can say they are vital.
and many more
Search Engines have a blank field where you can put in keywords.
e.g.: You are looking for a hotel in London
If you only use “hotel” as a keyword you’ll get thousands of listed pages.
If you use “hotel london bayswater plaza” you’ll get what you want more easily.
In directories you can click on offered links. Every time you do a new page
appears and offers you a more detailed link.
e.g.: education – teaching – secondary – English – EFL - …..
The Internet and ELT
One thing you shouldn’t even think about:
“Oh great, an easy going lesson. Computer lab. I am going to tell the students
that they should find some information about London.”
As motivated they are in the beginning as disappointed they are after five
The reasons are as follows:
• They don’t understand the text on the page.
• They find a lot of information but none is useful.
• They find useful information but they don’t know what to do with it.
REMEMBER: Lessons using the Internet need a lot of preparation.
Ten things you should always consider
1. The computer won’t replace you, it will make work easier for you.
2. For kids, computers have always been there.
3. Kids learn very fast but still they have to learn.
4. If you are planning a “computer lesson”, have a backup plan. Just in case.
5. Make sure you are confident with your teaching content.
6. First you have to train the students to pay attention. (Otherwise U R lost)
7. Step by step. (Don’t trust the smart kids)
8. Give very precise instructions. (Even if it sounds funny.)
9. Don’t ask impossible things.
10. Before you plan your lesson, ask yourself if you really need the PC.
About the Open Directory Project
Most of the links here are from http://dmoz.org
Below is the information from the page itself. I have found this to be a good source with a wealth
of links for just about anything you can think of.
As the web grows, automated search engines and directories with
small editorial staffs will be unable to cope with the volume of sites.
The Open Directory Project's goal is to produce the most
comprehensive directory of the web, by relying on a vast army of
As you might know or have guessed this project is also from the folks who are
developing the Mozilla Browser. While Internet Explorer from Microsoft is the
most used on the net, Mozilla is light years ahead in innovation.
Very good link page for teachers is:
This will lead you to a link page with the following categories. All of these have to do with
the main theme: Kids and Teens. Each category has many links which is indicated by the
number that you see in the parenthesise.
• Arts (416) • People and Society (4,058)
• Computers (204) • Pre-School (75)
• Directories (48) • School Time (2,580)
• Entertainment (205) • Sports and Hobbies (1,687)
• Games (234) • Teen Life (817)
• Health (207) • Your Family (92)
So let's get started and explore one of these; ‘School Time.’
Clicking on the link brings us to: http://dmoz.org/Kids_and_Teens/School_Time/ which
main page that we will deal with.
Note the large amount of links ( 2,580 it may be more now), but don't be put off by this
amount, we will see that; 1st: it is broken down into many other categories and 2nd: above each
page is a search engine just for this collection. So here we go—click
This led us to the above. As seen in the colors, I've done a little surfing here. ☺
One could start a search or narrow it done once again simply by clicking on to a
sub-category. So let's do that—click: English
Kids and Teens: School Time: English (395)
This leads us to the below with its sub-categories. Also notice the ever-present
search possibilities. Each of the sub-categories leads to its own page of links.
These links lead to pages that have all been looked at by someone who has
volunteered to be an editor. Which means each link has been checked with the
question, is this something for kids and teens if yes, then it is added. If not then
it is rejected for this category.
Also on this page is a listing and again of course the ever present search possibilities.
About's Language Arts for Kids - Reading, writing, grammar, and learning help from
About.com. Also includes forum, games, contests, and a place to publish poems, stories, and
Activities in English - Activities and games related to grammar, reading, spelling, vocabulary
and proverbs. Activities to Learn English - Interactive material to build vocabulary, spelling,
grammar and reading skills. Automatic grading with immediate feedback.
Choosing the above (Activities for Online Learning for Kids) we find the link is:
which is a nice online site with activities for different age groups.
Online Learning and Interactive Education Activities
Try our new Christmas Fun Activities
English Language Educational Trivia
Activities Activities Quizzes Activities
Online Math Activities Online English Activities
• Kids Math SyvumBook Level I • Kids English SyvumBook Level I
• Kids Math SyvumBook Level II • Kids English SyvumBook Level II
• Kids Math SyvumBook Level III • Kids English SyvumBook Level III
• Kids Math SyvumBook Level IV • Kids English SyvumBook Level IV
• Kids Word Problems SyvumBook I • English Language SyvumBook I
• Kids Word Problems SyvumBook II • English Proverbs Activity
Fun Learning Activities Activities
• Christmas Fun Activities NEW • Chemistry Activities
• General Knowledge Quizzes • Geography Activities
• Brain Teasers & Math Puzzles • History Activities
• IQ Test & Logical Thinking • Science Activities
• Math Fun Quizzes • US Quiz Activities HOT
• Story Book for Kids • Japan Quiz Activities
The above has been pasted in only to show some of the possibilities.
That we are dealing with only English today, lets explore the link to Grammar.
After landing at the main Grammar page, scroll down to the ‘Plural Girls’
This will lead us to another site and as in the URL (very original) FunBrain
Words at FunBrain.com - http://www.funbrain.com/ There are a lot of things for kids to do
This is from: http://www.funbrain.com/plurals/index.html
Twin sisters Pearl
and Flora lost their
friends in the bubble
Help them get their
friends out by
Click on the difficulty level you wish to play:
Multiple Choice Fill in the Blank
Tough Multiple Choice Tough Fill in the Blank
Clicking on the Multiple Choice brings us to an online quiz that looks so and brings us
to the next question
Singular form: echo Right!
echoes echos Singular form: grass
Click on the correct
plural form. grasses grasss
Click on the correct plural form.
Of course you chose; echoes ☺
As seen above this is an activity on spelling and using an active web page.
This page, while being a good activity in learning plural noun spelling, also teaches
children how to use an interactive web page.
A wrong response brings dire results, but don’t worry, be happy, if you get the next one
correct then their friend will be set free.
Look at Prince William’s fact file. Do you understand?
Full name: Christened William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales
Date & place 21 June 1982 at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington
Parents: The Prince and Princess of Wales (Prince Charles and Princess
Diana). Diana, Princess of Wales died in a car crash in Paris on
31 August 1997
Brothers and One younger brother, Prince Harry
Education: Went to Mrs Mynors' Nursery School in London and then
Wetherby School. Went to boarding school in Ludgrove in 1990,
before completing his education at Eton College, near Windsor
Castle. Passed 12 GCSEs and 3 A-Levels. Took a gap year. Now
at university in St. Andrews in Scotland studying History of Art
Homes: In St. Andrews, Scotland during term-time. Lives with his family
in St. James's Palace, London and Highgrove House,
Skills: Worked on farm during gap year (2000-01) looking after
animals.Good sportsman, especially swimming
Hobbies: Sport, including polo and swimming. Watching football
Pets: A black labrador called Widgeon
Go to http://www.royal.gov.uk/output/page331.asp
There you will find the text above. What you have to do now is to answer
some questions. The website will help you.
1. When was William’s father born?
2. What is hie starsign?
3. What is his second son’s name?
4. What other language does he speak?
What would you write into your fact file?