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English Teaching Apps for the 21st-century ESL/EFL Teacher


This app makes classroom management, communication with students and parents outside of school hours, and keeping track of student progress a breeze! You can set up each of your classes to have a private, online classroom community, furthering a positive classroom culture. It also gives you the chance to reward students for a job well done with points and digital stickers.

For example, if a shy ESL student finally speaks up in class, you can give her a point for “participation” on the app. Students can drop questions into the online community or add thoughts and comments related to class discussions and activities, to continue using English even after your class has ended. The app also includes a private messaging feature that allows you to connect with parents.

Compatibility: Android and iOS

Price: Free


Culips is a great resource for teachers who want to include some listening-based lessons in their curriculum or want to incorporate listening into homework assignments. Culips offers various podcasts or episodes that feature everyday English. Culips caters to all levels of ESL learners and includes interesting and intelligent topics.

Perhaps you’re doing a lesson on idioms. You could start your lesson by having students listen to a short Culips podcast from your phone. Another option might be to have your students listen to one of Culips’ “Chatterbox” episodes followed by some listening comprehension questions and discussion. The possibilities and topics are endless.

Compatability: Android and iOS

Cost: Free, with additional material available through membership

Head’s Up!

best apps for esl teachers

iPhoneHeads Up! on the AppStore
AndroidHeads Up! on Google Play
Cost: $0.99

Although this isn’t exclusively an ESL app, it can be used effectively in your ESL classroom. In this game, one person has a word that they are trying to guess by listening to the other students describe it. This game helps students build speaking confidence and encourages them to use adjectives, synonyms and antonyms. It’s guaranteed to get the giggles going while students are practicing their vocabulary.

More apps and programs will be here soon. Stay tuned!

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