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10 Online Resources to Help ELL Students

Being an English Language Learner (ELL) at school can be daunting. These students have to maneuver through a rigorous, unfamiliar educational system while trying to learn the language. However, there are several online resources that will help ELL students grow academically as well as socially. The main thing to remember about ELL students is that they can and will rise to the challenge of using technology. Typically, ELL students adapt at a very fast pace when it comes to technology because, as Alan Dershowitz, an American lawyer, stated, “The internet knows no national borders.” 

As an English language learner, it can be challenging to find resources that will help improve language skills. With so many different options available, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. These ten resources will bring substantial English skills to all ELL students.

1. Google Translate

Just because it's obvious doesn't mean it's used nearly as much as it should be. Start with Google Translate. Google Translate is a free tool that lets you translate everything from words to paragraphs, documents, and websites between languages. It is certainly a great starting place as students can easily translate content into 109 different languages, which will help to make the curriculum accessible and communication feasible. 

2. Duolingo

Duolingo is a popular language learning platform with an app that offers free courses in several languages, including English. It offers a fun and interactive way to learn with lessons that cover everything from basic vocabulary to complex grammar structures in a game-like platform that is highly engaging for all. 

3. Quizlet

Quizlet is a digital flashcard app that can help to memorize vocabulary and grammar structures. It allows you to create your own flashcards or use pre-made sets created by other users that you can copy and edit yourself. Quizlet also offers games and other activities to help reinforce learning in the classroom or as a solo learner. It is also highly engaging and supports vocabulary for all learners.

4. Flip

Flip is a free video platform that will get students talking, which is an essential part of learning a language. Teachers create topics around the curriculum, and students respond to that topic through a video. Videos can be shared with the teacher or with each other. Teachers watch the video and give immediate feedback.

5. BBC Learning English

BBC Learning English is a comprehensive website that offers a wide range of resources for English language learners. It includes grammar lessons, vocabulary exercises, and listening comprehension activities, as well as news articles and videos to help you improve your understanding of the language in context.

6. English Central

English Central is an online platform that offers videos and speech recognition technology to help learners improve their pronunciation and speaking skills. It offers a variety of content, including interviews, movie clips, and news reports, so learners can choose topics that interest them.

7. NoRedInk

NoRedInk offers fun, adaptive, personal grammar practice that helps students to learn the language and appropriate grammar usage. It also collects data from students who use the platform so teachers can use that data for future lessons, which will build fluency and familiarization with grammar rules. 

8. Grammarly

Grammarly is a writing tool that will help learners improve their grammar and writing skills. It offers real-time feedback on grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors, as well as suggestions for how to improve your writing style on several platforms used: Google, emails, etc. 

9. NewsELA

NewsELA has engaging articles on all subjects at varying Lexile levels, so a student can access articles at their reading level. The articles are very engaging, and most come with a four-question quiz and a writing prompt. There is comprehensive data provided to the teacher about each student’s skills which will help with future lessons. 

10. ListenWise

ListenWise has a variety of podcasts and recordings that are highly engaging for all levels of students. The value of listening to another person speak English builds the students’ own repertoire, conversational skills, and comprehension. The platform has vocabulary questions to respond to with writing and discussion prompts.

Help ELL Students Thrive

There are many resources available to help English language learners improve their skills. From language learning apps and online platforms to language and writing tools, there is something for all levels of learners. By using these resources, ELL students can improve their listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills and gain the confidence they need to succeed in an English-speaking educational world.

Written by Deborah Andrus, EL Teacher, Hemet, CA
Education World Contributor
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