The 5 Best Apps to Help ELLs Speak!

Do you find when it comes to academic conversations your ELLs are quiet and reserved? Does it frustrate you when you know how much language your students are able to produce, but they just sit there quiet?

Learning and speaking in a new language takes time, but there are some things you can do to help support their language development, and push them to speak! (I shared the 4 P’s of Supporting Speaking Skills in this coaching video, you can check it out here if you want!)

One of the most important ways you can help your ELLs develop their oral language skills is by giving them plenty of opportunities to practice individually before they speak with their peers. Today, I want to share with you 5 great apps/websites you can use to give students plenty of opportunities to speak in a fun, engaging, and comfortable way.

1. Flipgrid- If you only choose to use one of these apps, this is it! Flipgrid is so easy to use and will provide you with so many different opportunities to encourage speaking opportunities for your students. Think of Flipgrid is as a classroom social media platform. Students can post videos, get feedback from peers, and it’s all monitored by the teacher.

2. Seesaw- Seesaw is another excellent website to use to promote oral communication with your students. That piece that I love about this one, is the parent involvement and connection. Seesaw also gives a variety of ways for students to think critically and really showcase their growth and progress. It is a great tool to build a student portfolio of work throughout a school year.

3. Story Creator- Story Creator is great for older elementary and above. This app would be a great way to have ELL students use it to assess their learning by creating a voice over story explaining what they learned. You can take pictures and add them to the story or download a shared story.

4. Blabberize- Blabberize is really just a fun way to get your reluctant speakers to laugh and forget that they are talking! You create an “actor” or main character that mouth moves when you talk. The students will love how funny these videos can turn out, and it will help push them to speak in the process!

5. Story Dice- This app is a great way as a quick speaking warm up. Just roll the picture dice and have the students come up with a word, sentence, or story about the dice that are shown. Make it fun by having each student add a sentence to the story until they are out of ideas! (Just a note: make sure to change the settings to kids so that there aren’t inappropriate pictures on the dice!)

What other apps do you use that help promote great speaking opportunities for ELLs?

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