Though viewed by some language teachers as a gimmicky distraction and by others as another part of machine domination, language learning apps are tools that can help your students keep focus, discover new interests, and at the same time help you make better use of the lesson time.
Apps can cater to the different speeds and abilities of students, allowing for differentiated instruction. Some students may prefer to learn with interactive games, while others may prefer listening to audio recordings. A teacher may assign different exercises to different groups of students based on their proficiency level or preferred style of learning. A language learning app can be a useful tool for students who are struggling with specific language skills, as it may identify areas of difficulty and then provide additional support and practice that targets those skills, enabling students to catch up and keep pace with their peers.
Encourage autonomous and independent learning
Teachers can encourage students to use language learning apps independently and in doing so take more control of their own learning. Apps that are more personalizable can be used to encourage the students to follow their own areas of interest by finding relevant sources of information in the target language. By providing access to a wide range of language resources, including reading materials, audio and video content, and practice exercises, students can take control of their learning and progress at their own pace.
Provide exposure to authentic materials
Some language learning apps can provide students with access to authentic materials, such as news articles, podcasts, and videos, all of which can help to expose them to real-world language use. This can be an advantage over apps that have a set thematic or grammatical path, or those that offer bizarre and unrealistic target language examples.
Many language learning apps use gamification techniques, such as badges and rewards, to engage students and motivate them to learn. This can make language learning more fun and enjoyable, leading to greater student engagement and success. If your students respond well to competition, keeping a tally of points on a leaderboard is a handy way to introduce a competitive element.
Use DuoCards to support classroom learning
With the DuoCards app, teachers can prepare and assign resources to their students, ensuring that the content is relevant to their students’ needs. This feature is particularly useful on the run-up to end of term assessments. In addition, teachers can encourage students to find their own choice of media to experience the target language being used in context, and to then use this media to generate their own lists of useful vocabulary or phrases in DuoCards with just a few clicks. And as DuoCards works at the speed of the student, they won’t feel frustrated at being left behind, or bored because of a slower pace.
By using language learning apps in the classroom, teachers can provide more targeted, personalized, and engaging instruction that meets the diverse needs and preferences of their students. It’s important to keep in mind that apps can’t replace teacher-interaction, they can help support learning in and outside of the classroom.