December 6, 2010



In Technology I have been using my iPads to differentiate with low-level English Language Acquisition students. Specifically, in my ELL class (603) I have two students who are at the beginning stages of learning English - one a French native speaker, the other Latin American Spanish. When the rest of the class comes in and I get them started on their work, I have a station set up for these two students.

I have been using two apps: e-touch lite (free) which presents the user with a cartoon picture of a scene (city, school, store) with circles around items in each cartoon. When the user selects a circled item, the name of the item is read aloud. There is also a page where students can view the entire list of items from the cartoon with the names spelled out.

I have been using e-touch lite with the Spanish student - B. When she comes to class I have it set up at the station with a legal pad of paper with a heading of the topic I want her to explore. I give her the instructions to touch all the items on the list and to then rewrite them on the sheet of paper. We have done this for a week now. (On a previous attempt I had her organize the words into phonetic groups - eee sounds, aye sounds - which proved too difficult for her.)

So far she has been able to complete these assignments. The next level for her is going to be taking these lists and typing them into a Pages document as lists (fulfilling some of the Technology requirements) then using to find definitions of the words.

For the French-speaking students - M - I have been using Flashcards HD (free for Animals - $3.99 for all categories including a spelling game). Under each group heading there is a series of items. M sits at the iPad station, plugs into the app with headphones and scrolls through (Kangaroo, seal, etc. etc.). On each item’s screen the item is read aloud and then makes a noise associated with that item. M can scroll back and forth, hear the sound, hear the item spelled and then he is to (like B) write each item on a legal pad. The Spelling Game option presents an item with the letters scrambled below. The user is then to drag the appropriate letter into place under the item.

This app has worked well for the week. I would like to explore a French-English app as a next step.

I’ve been assessing the functionality of these apps by the completed legal pages with the correct answers, words spelled correctly, etc.

Both students have been shown other apps (National Geographic magazine, Word Search) to work with if they complete the assignment.

I have also created bookmarks on the home screen of the iPads with for students to directly translate questions or text in class.

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