research journey: ESOL apps

Following a discussion with the maths tutor about how her students were using the maths apps I had the idea of how I could get my E1 ESOL students to explore ESOL apps.

Quote from my blog

Quote from my blog

The Plan: I hadn’t used any subject specific apps with my students, and at this time wasn’t really sure what would make a ‘good app’. Therefore, I wanted to include my students in evaluating app so we could decide together what makes a ‘good app’

The Preparation: I searched the app store using the four skills (listening, reading, writing, speaking) and was confident there were enough free apps available for students to explore.

In class:

  • We brainstormed what criteria they chose general computer games.
  • We adapted this to what we would want from ESOL games.
  • Pairs of students chose one skills to research. They went into the iTunes app store and searched using those terms (listening, speaking, reading, writing) and two beginner students searched ‘alphabet’
  • Once students had had time to looks at the apps I encouraged them to complete the evaluation sheet. For some of the students they told me what to write, others wrote their own.


I was so pleased with how well my students did with this. It was  end of class before I really knew it & I remember thinking about how I could finish the lesson. I had had an idea that I wanted to mix the groups so they could share with each other what they had found out, but after a 2 hour lesson it was really time to move onto something. In hindsight I’m glad I left the lesson here as it gave me a week to reflect on consider what to do next.

The follow on



  1. […] to designing a house. Searching the app store there were quite a few available. Having done the app review with the students I had some idea of the kinds of apps they liked & having done this task it […]

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