Chrome Apps and Extensions to Help ESL Learners

Last month in Stockholm, I attended the Google summit in Stockholm and it blew my mind. Although I'm still in beta shock and am coming to terms of how I will reinvent my practice with what I learned, there were some immediate take aways with apps and extensions to the chrome browser. Although these are for general use, I can't help but think of how useful these would be to my students that are learning English as a second language. All of these are either shown by an icon on your task-bar or cataloged under your chrome app launcher.

annoucifyAnnouncify-App that allows any website to be read to the viewer. I installed this on my task bar and have had some articles read to me, much like how I listen to NPR when I have a prep period at work. I think the real advantage of this is that students can read an article and have it read to them which is nice to check that their annunciation is correct.

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 Select and Speak-This app works very much like announcify but instead of having the entire article read, the viewer can merely select sentences or paragraphs with which they are having difficulty. This too has real applications for students that may like to have a word read to them and in a specific context, or may only want to have short passages read out loud.

tra Google Translate-This is great for any students that may want an entire webpage read to them in their native language. Although learning English may be the goal, having students read an article in English first, then translate it to their native tongue for comparison may be a nice reflection.

index Too Long, Didn't Read It-I'm not advocating apathy here, but give this a chance. What TLDR does is it takes any web article and summarizes it for the reader. The reader can select different summary lengths such as short, medium or long. This has real uses for mixed ability classrooms and group discussions.

Google Dictionary-This is a must have for any student, not just ESL learners. After installing this plug in, simply select the word that you want to have defined and with the click of a button, students are told whether it is a noun, adjective and have tons of reference to help them understand.

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