Four favorite tools for English language learning
Grade Range: 5-8
What is it? Perform grammatical acrobatics with The Amazing Phraso
Pros: Clever animation and thorough definitions make this a great resource for strong ELA students and aspiring ELLs alike.
Cons: Some idioms are more British English than American English, and the busy interface makes it tricky to navigate between sections.
Bottom Line: While the app lends itself to a drill-and-kill style of repetition, its appealing animations and extensive explanatory text make it a solid choice for boosting vocabulary.
Grade Range: 5-12
What is it? Adapted resource can help some ELLs, with potential for other students
Pros: Topics are more accessible for ELLs and other struggling readers; the chance to create articles provides a novel activity for more advanced students.
Cons: More articles, expanded language support, and more images would make the site more useful for beginning and intermediate level ELLs.
Bottom Line: An empowering research tool for more advanced English learners, with the potential for wider, more creative applications.
(To find free, teacher-written reviews of thousands of apps, games, and websites, organized by subject and Common Core standard, go to www.graphite.org.)