Digital Tools in Language Instruction

In this course we will be discussing and trying out various digital tools that can be used in the second language classroom. In addition to discussing the potential benefits of various electronic resources and exchanging experiences about using these tools, we will also be trying some of them out and developing our own exercises for use in the classroom--both real and virtual. By the end of the course, students should be familiar with various resources, including websites, apps, and different programs, and with how to use them for developing the four main skills.


Weekly tasks will be assigned in which we both explore and evaluate various digital tools. The short time that we have in the classroom together will be used to discuss the results of these weekly tasks. The tasks themselves should be recorded on a blog which each student should set up. When creating a blog, be sure to use a free service; there is no need to incur any additional expenses for this course. Indeed, one of the tremendous advantages of digital learning is the large number of free tools one can find. Many free blog services are available online, both in English and Hungarian. There is no one service everyone is required to use.

There is no exam or test for the class; instead, your hands-on experiences and opinions about these websites and digital tools will be recorded on the blog and demonstrated through active participation in our weekly class meetings. For that reason, attendance is important--more than 3 absences for any reason means no signature.

By the end of the semester, the blog itself will represent an inventory of digital tools that you'll be able to use later in your teaching.

The seminar mark is based on the following criteria:

  1. Homework (80%)
  2. Class participation (20%)

If you have any other questions or need any help, just write to me.


9.9   Introduction

16.9    Create a blog for your classwork. 1st task: Your experiences with language learning (350-400 words).
           Select a new language you'd like to learn and download a free language learning app.
           Spend 5-10 minutes every other day learning the new language.

23.9   2nd task: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a website (not an app) that helps learners of English in any fashion (350-word minimum)
          Keep on spending 5-10 minutes every other day learning the new language.

30.9   3rd task for blog: Evaluate a website/app that focuses on listening skills in English.
          Continue with the language learning app.

7.10   4th task for blog: Compare two websites that focus on learning/practicing English grammar.
          Continue with the language learning app.

14.10 5th task: Evaluate a website/app that focuses on speaking skills in English.
          Continue learning the new language.

21.10 6th task: Record any 3 of these tongue twisters on SoundCloud and send the link to me.
          Continue learning the new language.

28.10  Autumn break (no instruction)

4.11    7th task: Compare two online sites that focus on developing ESL writing skills.
          One last week on the language learning app.
          10-minute lessons by Márta and Ramon

11.11    8th task: Compare a testing/quiz app with either Kahoot! or Google Forms (but not to each other)
            9th task: Evaluate briefly one of the two lessons from last week (Ramon, Marta). Strengths, things you might have done differently?

18.11    10th task: Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the language learning app you used.
            10-minute lessons by Dorka and Renáta.

25.11    --

2.12    11th task: Evaluate a content management system for teaching. Ease of use? Strengths/weaknesses?
           10-minute lessons by Zsolt and Andris.

9.12    12th task: Which digital tool (not Kahoot!) is best for in-class teaching? Why? How would you implement it?