In class, we ask our students to put their them away but not surprisingly, smartphones become the most powerful tools for students to continue their language learning outside the classroom.
In recent times, more and more students have approached me to ask for app recommendations. There are hundreds of apps in the market and while it is true that not all provide good quality instruction, it is also worth keeping in mind that different apps cater to different learners and learning styles. Therefore, it is important to make students familiar with a variety of apps so they can choose the one that works for them.
One way to do this is to design a simple task on the first day of the course. Divide students into small groups of 3-4. Give each group a list of 3-4 apps to download, play with, and rate according to a set of defined criteria. Ask students to make a list of 3 pros and cons of each app. Then reshuffle students and in their new groups, students present all of their apps, the pros and cons, and the one they liked best. (more…)