Full-class review games using students’ smartphones (Three Rivers TESOL Fall Conference 2017)

Hello, Three Rivers TESOL Fall Conference 2017!

My presentation is about two free websites that enable teachers to run full-class review games: Quizlet and Kahoot.


Quizlet.com is a free website that hosts millions of sets of student- and teacher-created flash cards—but in addition to studying your material as flash cards, you can play various games and do other types of learning and studying.

For example, here is a study set that I created for one of my classes recently:

https://quizlet.com/216332939/real-reading-1-chapters-1-12-flash-cards/

Quizlet Live is a new game mode offered by Quizlet.com. It’s a team game designed to be played in the classroom. Students work in groups of 3 or 4 and are incentivized to answer carefully and to discuss and collaborate with each other. Slow and steady wins the race.

Try out a demo of the Quizlet Live game here to see how it works: https://quizlet.com/livedemo

Setting up a Quizlet Live activity:

  1. Log into Quizlet.com. (This is a mandatory step!)
  2. Go to your Account Settings page and make sure you are in the system as a Teacher, not as a Student (you only need to do this one time):
  3. Open any Quizlet card set (or create your own).
  4. Click on the “LIVE” button on the card set you wish to play Quizlet Live with.
  5. Click the “Create Game” button.
  6. Instruct students to take out their phones (or other internet-connected devices) and go to quizlet.live (note that the address is .live and is NOT the same as quizlet.com).
  7. Instruct students to enter the six-digit join code and enter their names.
  8. After all students have joined the game, click the buttons on the screen to run the game.

Kahoot! is a review game somewhat similar to Quizlet Live, except that Kahoot! is a highly competitive game that incentivizes students to answer as quickly as possible.

Here is an example game I created: https://play.kahoot.it/#/?quizId=7228ff7e-8610-443d-8927-4293cc26139e

Setting up a Kahoot! activity:

  1. Create an account at kahoot.com
  2. Under “Create new Kahoot!”, choose “Quiz”
  3. Complete the form (title, description, etc.) and click the “Ok, go” button
  4. Click the “Add question” button to create your first question.
  5. Type your question and set the time limit / points options.
  6. Type up to four answer choices in the boxes near the bottom of the screen.
  7. Click on the checkmark next to an answer to mark it as correct. (You may mark more than one answer correct.)
  8. Click “Next” at the top right of the screen to go back to your quiz.
  9. Either…
    1. Click the “Add question” button to add another question
    2. Click the green “Save” button at the top right of the screen to save your quiz
  10. After you click “Save”, you are given options to edit, preview, play, or share your new Kahoot quiz.

Running a Kahoot! activity:

  1. Click on the “My Kahoots” button near the top-left of the page. (If you don’t see the “My Kahoots” button, try clicking the purple button with three lines near the top-right of the screen.
  2. Click the “Play” button next to the Kahoot! quiz you want to run in class.
  3. Choose either “Classic” or “Team mode”, and set any other game options you wish to use. (One popular game option is “Randomize order of answers”, for example.)
  4. Make sure students can see your computer screen via the classroom projector/monitor.
  5. Instruct your students to go to kahoot.it (not .com) on their phones, mobile devices, or laptops. Instruct them to type in the game-pin which has appeared on the classroom screen.
  6. Click “Start” when everyone is ready.
  7. Enjoy! After the activity, you can download all students’ answers from the “My results” section of the website (click on your username at the top right of the webpage).

ELI Computer Lab Class: Week 6 – Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a very popular website which American university students use to improve their academic writing. In addition to hundreds of resources and references about academic and professional writing, OWL has a specific section for ESL students:

ESL Instructors and Students page of OWL
ESL Instructors and Students page of OWL

Here are just a few examples OWL’s hundreds of resources:

I have used OWL many times to help me improve my writing, and I’m sure it will help you, too. Check it out!

ELI Computer Lab Class: Week 5 – Online Pronunciation Practice

Hello, ELI Computer Lab Class students! The focus of this week’s resources is pronunciation.


The Sounds of American English
The Sounds of American English

The Sounds of American English is a phonetics website run by the University of Iowa. On the website, you can see pictures, videos, and animated diagrams of how to pronounce each of the sounds of American English.


Ship or Sheep
Ship or Sheep

Ship or Sheep is a simple website designed to help you practice minimal pairs, which are pairs of sounds that are very similar to each other. For example, ‘t’ and ‘d’ are very similar to each other. They are only different in one way: ‘t’ is voiceless and ‘d’ is voiced.


Rachel's English
Rachel’s English

Rachel’s English is a popular YouTube channel focused on English language learning. It is especially well known for its pronunciation videos. You can see a list of video topics here. For example, there is a set of videos all about the flap ‘t’, which is the small, short ‘d’ sound Americans pronounce in the middle of words like “water” and “butter.”


I hope you enjoy these resources! There are hundreds of other websites, podcasts, YouTube channels, and so on which focus on English pronunciation, so let me know in the comments what you favorites are!

ELI Computer Lab Class: Week 4 – Online Listening Practice

Hello! This week’s ESL resources are two good online listening practice websites for ESL students. In the ELI, we all know about TED.com, which has thousands of short lectures. TED is great, but it isn’t specifically designed for ESL students. Here are two websites that are!

ESL Lab

http://www.esl-lab.com/

Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab is a free website with hundreds of short listening activities, complete with pre-listening activities and comprehension questions.

Voice of America Learning English

http://learningenglish.voanews.com/

Voice of America Learning English is a free news website funded by the US government. Its stories are designed for English language learners and include resources such as vocabulary lists. The website even includes a built-in dictionary (click on a word to see a short definition).

In addition to the news stories, VoA Learning English also has series of content focused on the English language. Check these out, for example: