research journal: ESOL feedback

The Plan

To give my ESOL students an opportunity to share about their use of digital tools in general and how we have used the iPads in class this year specifically.

The Preparation

As this is a low level ESOL group I needed to think about how I could be sure that students were giving informed consent to be allow their work and their views to be included in the project. I took advice from someone doing his phD in digital literacies & collated logos for different technologies we had used in class over the year and technologies I thought students may use at home.

The lesson

To support with the listening when I introduced the topic I created bingo cards for students to complete while they listened. This gave students an opportunity to highlight any vocabulary they were unfamiliar with and introduced an aspect of competition into the listening task.

For the terms ‘research’ and ‘consent’ I created slides that included translations for each term. There is only student from The Gambia whose language I couldn’t translate, but he is quite a strong speaker and was able to demonstrate he knew these two terms.


To anonymise the data I asked the students to choose a name for themselves and write this on a mini whiteboard. Some students needed some extra support in this and once I was confident they fully understood they were given the consent forms to sign.

The Task part 1

The students had been sat in specific groups, where I had mixed groups in terms of confidence, speaking skills and different languages. Each student was given sheets with logos representing hardware, software and apps we had used during the year. In each group the individual students had different coloured paper.

Venn Diagram

Venn Diagram

The students were asked to cut out the icons and glue this onto the Venn diagram to show whether they used these tools at home, in class or both. Having the different coloured card meant that a single Venn diagram could be used for each group.

They were also asked to discuss with their group what technologies they liked to use and I gave each group an iPad each so they could show each other things if they wanted to.

peer observation 

I was so grateful that my ESOL colleague was free to come and do a peer observation for this lesson. I was so busy going round each group that it was quite challenging to keep an eye on the whole class. I remember at one point, when the students had realised they were ‘allowed’ to show each other You Tube clips they liked that I had a mini panic. She reassured me that they were using You Tube as a prompt to share and discuss and not just watching random You Tube clips.


The Task part 2language prompts

Using the educreations app students took a picture of their Venn diagram and made a recording. At this point I brought the class together and gave them some simple structures they could use & gave them to choice of making notes before they recorded or talking freely.



I was so pleased with how well this lesson went. The students worked really hard and seemed really keen to be able to talk about what they do at home. One pair in particular worked really well together and were switching between sticking their logos onto the Venn diagram and flicking through the iPad to show each other You Tube clips and games they liked to play.

I have two very beginner students in this class who joined late in the year and haven’t been in country very long. I was amazed to hear one of these students talking on her video*. It was the most I had ever heard her speak. It really reminded me of how important it is to give the students something they are interested in talking about. You can hear on the video how her partner is supporting her with speaking.

*please note you will need to create an educreations account to video the video.

The downside of the educreations app is that it is not possible to view the video before you save & upload it to the site.

SAMR: I think this task can be classified as modification. Creating the videos allowed for students to take control over how they planned & created their videos. Some students made notes, others wrote out full sentences while others adlibbed directly onto the video. One student ‘interviewed’ his partner & this gave another group the idea to do the same thing.

You can view the students videos via this post




  1. […] to her two groups (E3 and GCSE maths groups) fairly early on in the year. Before repeating the digital logo task from last year Yvonne felt it was important to introduce the students to the project and to […]

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