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Published September 16, 2019 | English (Second Language)

Inspiring Digital Resources to Teach English as a Second Language at the College Level

This article is a translation of a text first published in the French edition of Profweb.

Is there anything better, at the beginning of the semester, than to renew your material and dare to integrate new digital resources into your teaching? Today, I am offering you to examine some of those resources for teaching English as a second language. You will (re)discover real life stories and articles published on Profweb between 2016 and 2019 that explore interesting digital resources, as well as the resources and services offered by the various organisations of the network.

The resources shared on Profweb

Digital resources to use in the classroom

  • Using Factile to Make Engaging Review Sessions
    Simon Côté-Massicotte, Profweb

    In this real life story, Simon Côté-Massicotte explains how he transformed his classroom, the time of a review session, into the studio of Jeopardy! by using the web application Factile. This fun activity managed to stimulate all of his students, even the shyest ones.

  • Mumble: An Alternative to the Language Lab
    Susan MacNeil, Profweb, and Kristen Harris, O’Sullivan College, Québec

    In this article, Kristen Harris explains how she uses the free software Mumble in her Business English course to replace the usual language laboratory. Often used for server-based games, Mumble allows the students to practice phone call scenarios.

  • Using Twitter for Academic and Educational PurposesFélix McMurray, Mérici College

    In this real life story, Félix McMurray explains how the Twitter social network was the base of a reading and writing project linked with the various fields of study of the students in the Academic Reading II course.

  • “You’re Welcome” - The New Flipped - approach Tool for Extra English Practice
    Andy Van Drom, Profweb, and Angie Stevens, Champlain St-Lawrence College

    In this article, Andy Van Drom and Angie Stevens present the interactive website You’re Welcome developed by the Modern Languages Department and the Directorate of Studies of Cégep Limoilou. To prepare the students, especially those in the Hotel Management, Restaurant Management and Business Management technical programs, to enter the workforce, this website offers 15 modules about different themes linked with the service industry. Even if the website targets the needs of the students of that industry, this rich online resource can help anyone desirous to improve their English.

    On the splash page of You’re Welcome, the users can access all the modules freely without logging in to an account.

Tools for writing and providing feedback

  • 8 Online Grammar Checker Tools Sent Back from the Future
    Nicholas Walker, Ahuntsic College

    In this article, Nicholas Walker presents 8 new and very useful components of the online grammar checker Virtual Writing Tutor. This grammar checker is made to help students in their English writing assignments. Teachers will also appreciate the option to leave personalized feedback to each student.

  • Keyboard Shortcuts to Speed up Formative Feedback
    Netta Gorman, Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue

    In this real life story, Netta Gorman presents a little trick that can save a lot of time to teachers correcting written assignments. By using keyboard shortcuts in Google Docs (this is also possible in other writing software) Netta Gorman gives detailed feedback to each student while saving some time.

  • Using Google Docs to Teach Essay Writing and Create an Environment for Peer Learning
    Johanne Morin, Cégep Limoilou

    This real life story from Johanne Morin presents the writing project that she developed over a full semester to bring her students to write a near-perfect argumentative essay. Every week, they reworked their text in Google Docs and review those of their peers using the “Comment” function. This project allowed the students to help each other and to obtain more feedback about their essay.

Resources for collaborative learning

  • Afternoon Tea with Seniors: A Model of Community Engagement Teaching
    Susan MacNeil, Profweb

    For this article, Susan MacNeil interviewed Erin Clarke, coordonator of the project Afternoon Tea with Seniors. The project allowed students from many cegeps to perfect their English by meeting with unilingual English speakers. In the time of a meeting, the students made a difference in the lives of those speakers by breaking the isolation and loneliness that they felt.

  • Tandem Canada: A Free Platform for Authentic Communication Between Second Language Learners
    Susan MacNeil, Profweb

    For this article, Susan MacNeil had a conversation with Susan Parks, associate professor at Université Laval and manager of the Tandem Canada project. Tandem Canada is a free digital tool that allows students to learn a second language in tandem with a native speaker. This digital platform encourages interactions and offers students authentic communication scenarios.

    Overview of the tools available on the Tandem Canada platform.

  • Virtual Team Teaching is Gaining Grounds in the Regions et Cross-Campus Collaboration Part 2
    Lisa Deguire, Cégep de Jonquière

    In this 2-part real life story, Lisa Deguire explains how Cégep de Jonquière, Collège d’Alma and Cégep de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue collaborated with Vanier College to put in place a virtual regional learning network. In this project, students from regions discussed via videoconference with English-speaking students.

Some resources from our partners

AQPC (Association québécoise de pédagogie collégiale)

  • In the article “Le portfolio oral. Pour faciliter l’évaluation de l’interaction orale… et bien plus encore!”, published in Pédagogie Collégiale, Karine Jetté explores this new way to conceive oral evaluation, among others, in English second language courses. With the help of technology, the oral portfolio reduces the stress of the students and increases the efficiency of the teachers in the management and the correction of the evaluations. A report on the article was realized by Profweb (Resource in French only).

CCDMD (Collegial Center for Educational Materials Development)

  • The Eco2 website allows to create your own pronunciation exercises and also gives access to a large number of sounds and short sentences. The student can record themself and compare their pronunciation to that of the model sentence.
  • The French-to-English Culinary and Restaurant Service Lexicon by Diana Bruno was published in 2019, in digital and paper format. By the way, Profweb has realized an article on this must-see reference in the food service industry.

CDC (Centre de documentation collégiale)

If you know other digital resources linked with teaching English as a second language, do not hesitate to share them in the comments.

About the Author

Camille Arpin She has been an editor for Profweb since 2019. She teaches French and literature in various cegeps of the province. Her studies and professional experiences have led her to become interested in multidisciplinary pedagogical approaches and the issues related to the assessment of knowledge and competencies.

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