Web 2.0 and CMC Resources for Technology-Enhanced Language Learning and Teaching
J. Reinhardt, 4/8/11
There are hundreds of free online chat tools, although some are public, so they may not be safe areas to bring students, since any stranger might be able to join. You should definitely explore a potential tool before deciding to use it for class. If you google free chat you'll find many of them:
A safer solution is to use the chat tools that are built into websites like Google, Yahoo, or Hotmail (your students will have to sign up for free accounts). Some course management systems (like Elluminate) and social networking sites (like Facebook or Ning) have integrated chat tools that you can use. Finally, instant messenger and downloadable chat tools, like Windows Live Messenger, Skype, or Yahoo Instant Messenger can also be used for educational purposes. You can find any of these by googling their names.
If you know how to build websites, you can incorporate a chat areas using third-party tools, like Pulpchat: http://www.pulpchat.com
Chat acronyms are easy to find, here's a quiz on them:
Here is a glossary of chat acronyms (beware, some are vulgar): http://www.pulpchat.com/faq/faq215.php
Like chat tools, there are now dozens of free online discussion boards. Usually these sites offer to host a discussion board for free, as long as you agree to let them post advertisements on your board. Or, you can pay a free for better features and no advertisements. To find them, do an Internet search:
As with chat tools, many course management systems, blogs, and social networking sites also have built in discussion boards.
If you are interested in learning more about Netiquette and phenomena like flaming and trolling, check out:
There are also dozens of free blog hosting services, where you and/or your students can have free blogs, for example:
The wordpress page includes links to many blogs that are already online, that you can browse and get ideas from.
Again, as with the other tools, there are many free services. Check out:
http://sites.google.com (not just wikis but websites in general)
http://docs.google.com (collaborative documents)
There also several pay services, for example,
which costs US$99/year
There are dozens of social networking sites that cost nothing to join, for example:
There are some tools designed specifically for education, for example
http://www.ning.com offers tools for educators to create social networks for their classes
These social networking sites are designed for individual L2 learners to connect with one another:
For resources for digital game-mediated L2 teaching and learning, check out the blog for the Games2Teach project at University of Arizona's Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language, & Literacy:
Some old standbys for TEFL
A collection of resources for learners and teachers of EFL.
For activity ideas, see:
A collection hundreds of listening activities for EFL learners
For a tutorial on what's available, see:
The Hot Potatoes suite includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. HP does not provide Web space for you to host your exercises—you must find that on your own.
Other web-based tools:
10 cool Avatar-making websites:
Good for body, appearance, and clothing vocabulary
6 free online room planners:
Great for house and household item vocabulary, as well as verbs and prepositions
Timetoast, the timeline maker (thanks to Rod for suggesting this):
Useful for history, (auto)biographies, and illustrating time relationships, including tenses
Make your own movies:
A very easy way to create animated movies using your own script