Web 2.0 tools for listening, speaking, reading and writing


1.TeacherTube – YouTube but for educational purposes. This site is moderated so content is suitable for students.
2. Vocaroo – Besides practice speaking skills, the student will develop the way that he listens to himself and practice by itself.
3. Jamendo – A community of free, legal and unlimited music published under Creative Commons licenses. Listen to music is a good way to practice this ability.
4. iSpeech Text to Speech – It allows to upload any supported document (Word, PowerPoint, PDF etc) or type in your text directly and convert it to audio.
5. Voki – Allows to generate fun listening activities through the creation of avatars to represent the student.


1. Audacity – A free, multi-track audio editor and recorder. Students are able to export recorded files in a range if formats and use them.
2. Skype – Allows students to make audio and video calls.
3. Vocaroo – Is a site that allows students to record their voices, save the recorded file in mp3 or get the embed code or link to access the recorded file in the website.
4. Voki – A website that allows students to create a customizable animated character and give it a voice.
5. VoiceThread – An online media album that can hold many types of media (images, documents, videos) and allows students to make and share comments using voice, text, audio file or video.


1. Bookopolis – A website that teachers can create a virtual classroom for the students where they can identify the book they’re reading and write an essay or a review of the book.
2. Rootbook – In this website students can search for books without registering or signing-up.
3. Lingro – In this website, students can click in any word in a web page and check the meaning.
4. Edublogs – A platform that is used to post academic essays, it can be used for writing and reading, because you can read all the academic posts on this website.
5. Storybird – A website that use illustrations to inspire the student’s writing to create stories. It is possible to read stories from other people.


1. Storybird – A website that use illustrations to inspire the student’s writing to create stories.
2. Pixton – A website where the student can create cartoons, stimulating their writing creativity.
3. Oneword – In this site, a word is given and the student has 60 seconds to write about it.
4. Inkle Writer – A platform on which students can write stories.
5. Penzu – Is an online diary/personal journal where students can keep their journals or share them by email.







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


How should teachers adopt approaches and methods

In the last post we learned some important things about language teaching. Names such as: Approach, Method, Strategy and Technique. We can ask now “How teachers should adopt an approach or a method?” The point of this post is to provide some thoughts on choosing an approach or method.

There is no such thing as the best approach or the best method. It is important to learn how to use approaches and methods and understand when they might be useful, see its issues and controversies and see different perspectives in which theory and practice can be linked.  In trying to apply approaches or methods, the teacher should consider the context factors (e.g. cultural, political, local institution) in which teaching accurs, because it has impacts on the effectiveness of teaching. Some approaches and methods are unlikely to be used because they can be difficult to understand or lack clear practical use. There are some points we need to consider when choosing an approach or method:

  • Its advantages, effectiveness, benefits, practicality;
  • Compatibility with the teacher’s beliefs and classroom or schools;
  • It is complicated and difficult to understand?

Approaches, methods and techniques may be an essential starting point for inexperienced teachers.  As the teacher gains knowledge and experience, he or she will be able to develop an individual method, using approaches and methods flexibly and creatively based on their beliefs, values and experiences. They can transform and adapt methods they use to make their own, according to the reality of the classroom.

“The only way to make wise decisions is to learn more about the various approaches and methods available and to find out which practices have proved successful.” (Celce-Murcia)


RICHARDS, Jack C. & Rodgers, Theodore S. Approaches and methods in language teaching. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

CELCE-MURCIA, M. Language Teaching Approaches: An Overview

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Approach, Method, Strategy and Technique

There are some nomenclatures related to Language Teaching. In this post we are going to give a brief explanation about Approach, Method, Strategy and Technique and give some examples about each one.


To language teaching, an approach is based on researches or theories such as learning and language acquisition. They guide the choice of method.  Some approaches in language learning include the following:

  1. Cognitive

In the cognitive approach, language learning is viewed as rule acquisition, not habit formation. Instruction in often individualized. Learners are responsible for their own learning. Reading and writing are as important as listening and speaking. Errors are to be used constructively in the learning process.

  1. Affective-Humanistic

The affective humanistic approach emphasizes the individual and his or her feelings. In this approach, the communicative process keeps the focus on the meaning. The instruction involves a lot of work in pairs or small groups, considering the necessity of support and interaction. Learning a foreign language is a process of self-realization and of relating to other people.

  1. Comprehension-Based

Regarding to this approach, some language methodologists assume that second language learning is very similar to first language acquisition. Listening comprehension is very important and is viewed as the basic skill that will allow speaking. Learners progress by being exposed to meaningful input that is just one step beyond their level of competence.

  1. Communicative

In the communicative approach, it is assumed that the goal of language teaching is learner ability to communicate in the target language. Students regularly work in groups or pairs. Classroom materials and activities are often authentic to reflect real-life situations and demands. Skills are integrated: activities may involve reading, speaking, listening and writing.


            A method is a set of procedures on how to teach a second or foreign language that is somehow compatible with an approach. Some examples of language teaching method include the following:

  1. Silent Way

This method is used with adults that are learning a new language. The teacher should not talk too much because the student has to be in control of what he wants to say. The mother language cannot be used.

  1. Community Language Learning (CLL)

In this method, a sense of community is emphasized. The teacher is a counselor and helps the learner. Students can use their mother tongue and the teacher can translate for it to be repeated by the student.

  1. Total Physical Response (TPR)

This method is based on the coordination of language and physical movement, most used with children. It can be used with English native kids to help them to acquire their mother language and kids that are learning a new language.

  1. The Direct Method

In the Direct Method the teacher uses the target language all the time with the students. It is not allowed to use the mother tongue. There is emphasis in good pronunciation and there is little emphasis on grammar.


Strategies represent an implementation component of a method. The following teaching strategies are for teachers of ELL:

  1. Always provide comprehensible input for the learners. Teachers may speak slowly, using gestures and body language to help students understand better.
  2. Link new information to prior knowledge. Tie new vocabulary to prior learning.
  3. Provide practice in pronouncing words. Provide exposure to new terms and words.
  4. Give students activities to work in group and monitor that they are participating. 


            A technique is a very specific type of learning activity used in one or more methods. Some of the techniques used and espoused by a teacher and methodologist Johann Amos Comenius between 1631 and 1658 were the following:

  1. Use imitation instead of rules to teach a language.
  2. Have your students repeat after you
  3. Help your students practice reading and speaking.
  4. Teach language through pictures to make it meaningful.

We also have some recent techniques:

  1. Flipped Classroom (Inverting your class):

The Flipped Classroom Model basically involves encouraging students to prepare for the lesson before class. Thus, the class becomes a dynamic environment in which students elaborate on what they have already studied. Students prepare a topic at home so that the class the next day can be devoted to answering any questions they have about the topic. This allows students to go beyond their normal boundaries and explore their natural curiosity.

  1. Design Thinking (Case Method):

This technique is based on resolving real-life cases through group analysis, brainstorming, innovation and creative ideas. Although “Design Thinking” is a structured method, in practice it can be quite messy as some cases may have no possible solution. However, the Case Method prepares students for the real world and arouses their curiosity, analytical skills and creativity. This technique is often used in popular MBA or Masters classes to analyze real cases experienced by companies in the past.

  1. Gamification:

Learning through the use of games is a method that has already been explored by some teachers, especially in elementary and preschool education. By using games, students learn without even realizing. Therefore, learning through play or ‘Gamification‘  is a learning technique that can be very effective at any age. It is also a very useful technique to keep students motivated.

  1. Social Media:

A variant of the previous section is to utilize social media in the classroom. Students today are always connected to their social network and so will need little motivation to get them engaged with social media in the classroom. The ways you can use this method of teaching are quite varied as there are hundreds of social networks and possibilities.



CELCE-MURCIA, M. Language Teaching Approaches: An Overview

HERRERA; MURRY, 2005, p. 171




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.