research journal: ESOL apps 2

I was so pleased to have a week to reflect on how the lesson had gone with the ESOL quote 2students and I was also fortunate to have an ESOL tutor come to peer observe me.

The plan: The biggest challenge I found for this lesson was the level of my students and what language they would need to review their apps. It took me a while to think about how I could simplify this enough & give them the language they would need.

model text

model text

The Preparation: I created a sample app review using a grammar app the students hadn’t used the week before. When I wrote the review I made three deliberate mistakes. The task was for the students to explore the app, read the review and find the three mistakes. This would provide them with a model to follow when reviewing their apps from last week.


In class:

  • In the same pairs as last week the students reminded themselves of the apps they had looked at
  • In the same pairs they looked at the Grammaropolis app, read the review and found the three mistakes.
  • Two new groups were formed from one person from each pair. They discussed the apps they had looked at with each other and completed a review.


It took a lot of cajoling to get a group of 16-18 E1 students to actually talk to each other but it was great to hear from my colleague that once on task the students generally stayed on task. An interesting outcome was how reluctant the students were to get their own smartphones out to see of they could find ESOL apps on their phones.

SAMR: SAMRI’m not sure this this task could be argued to be Redefinition or Modification (or somewhere in between!)

On the one hand this task has used technology in a perceptively new way as prior to the rise of mobile technologies ‘apps’ did not exist. The aim of this lesson was to give students the opportunities to explore this new apps in order to introduce them to the idea that they can use these apps to practice their English outside of the classroom.

However, it could also be argued that this task is a version of any evaluative task used in class – for example students evaluating websites, books or any other resource. In this case, using the iPads has allowed for a significant task redesign but is not anything perceptively new.

Follow on:

Follow a period of time off work due to illness, the ESOL tutor was inspired to introduce the iPads with her students. The power of peer observation. :)

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