4 Essential Tools for Online ESL Teachers

Technology is getting better and better and that means it is easier than ever to stay on top of your student’s ESL progression even if your students are on the other side of the world.

In many cases we online ESL teachers live far away from our students and do not get the standard face-to-face time that many people are used to in a classroom setting.

Having the right tools for online ESL teachers available to you means being able to give the right kinds of lessons and support to your students that they both need and deserve while maintaining efficiency.

Here are some of the tools for online ESL teachers that I use on a regular basis. Some are great to stay in touch with your students and others simply make life as an online teacher (and student!) easier and more efficient:

FluentU

What I like about FluentU is that it really does take real-world videos that fluent English speakers would watch and turns them into teaching tools. They have a nice, natural approach to learning English that eases the students into both the language and the culture.

They have hundreds of entertaining videos that your students will enjoy watching. They have all been annotated and the words have example sentences and definitions. Their interactive tools are my favorite aspect of the app. This can be a great tool to keep your students engaged between live sessions with you.

For example, if the student clicks on the word brought, this is what they see:

tools for online ESL teachers

Asana

This is an excellent free tool to plan out any lesson or project. It allows you to stay in touch with students and keep tabs on their progress in an easy and efficient manner. You can use it to easily breakdown any lesson or project into easy to digest and manage pieces.

I also use it to keep track of my ideas and notes on new lessons and as a place to set deadlines for my students where they can go and ask any questions they might be struggling with.

Watch this video by Jack Askew to see a little more of about how Asana can be used as a tool for online ESL teachers.

Off2Class

Off2Class is a powerful tool for online ESL teachers. You will have a massive library of speaking, listening and reading activities right at your fingertips. Off2Class will show you exactly how to teach the material in a way that is both interesting and fun for the students.

You can also use our placement test to see just where your students are in terms of their progress and level of fluency.

Last Pass

And last but not least I use Last Pass on a daily basis. While this isn’t exclusively a tool for online ESL teachers, it is one that can make a teachers life a lot easier. I find that with all the different sites I use as teaching tools, remembering all the different passwords can be a challenge.

Last Pass will generate and then remember all of my passwords for me in one place and will auto-fill all of my login details for each site. It is hands down the fastest, easiest and most secure way to generate and store your passwords.

We hope you enjoy these recommendations! Let us know your favourite tools for online ESL teachers below! 

11 Comments

  • Collette Y. Anderson says:

    June 13, 2016 at 2:33 am

    Hello!
    This post has been helpful. Thank you for sharing. I will be certain to visit each option and implement the methods to suit the needs of everyone involved. (Thankfully, I’m already familiar with Of2Class.)
    Best wishes to the Off2Class team, as you continue your journey. May you always be inspired.
    Warm regards,
    Collette

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      June 13, 2016 at 8:47 am

      Thanks for the kind words Collette! Let us know if you find any other tools that would be helpful for online ESL teachers below!
      Cheers,
      Kris

  • Emma Keating says:

    June 14, 2016 at 2:04 am

    Good morning from sunny Greece!
    Thank you once again for an informative post. For me Off2Class is is by far the best tool I’ve come across! It’s fantastic for online lessons and I also use it in class.
    Another site I can recommend is esllibrary.com which is a superb source for range of material from grammar to stories.
    Thank you once again for providing such wonderful and varied content on Off2Class.

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      June 14, 2016 at 9:07 am

      Cheers Emma, thanks for the kind words and the recommendation on ESL Library. Keep the suggestions coming and have fun in the summer sun!
      Kris

  • Moein says:

    June 17, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Well, It’s useful and applicable, thanks

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      June 17, 2016 at 10:59 am

      Cheers Moein! Hope you get some good use out of the recommendations.
      Kris

  • Moein says:

    June 18, 2016 at 8:44 am

    GREAT!

  • Carol says:

    June 21, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Thanks for mentioning the various tools for teaching and getting organized. What do you recommend as the best teaching platform? Also, I want to design a pre-paid course for my students and use Off-2-Class activities. How does that work with the payment plan?
    Do you offer any suggestions for lessons to be embedded in a course?
    Thanks,
    Carol

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      June 21, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Hi Carol,
      Nice to hear from you. From a “teaching platform” perspective I assume you mean videoconferencing software? We tend to like Zoom.us which is free for one-2-one lessons. You can read about it here:
      https://blog.off2class.com/tool-for-online-esl-teachers/
      Your concept of selling courses based on Off2Class activities is a great idea. You can have each student sit our placement test then assign them relevant homework activities based on their Individual Learning Plan. Each student will need a login for Off2Class – you can find the pricing here: https://www.off2class.com/pricing/
      Please contact me if you’ve got any questions here: https://blog.off2class.com/contact/

  • Ron Samt says:

    August 19, 2016 at 3:39 am

    Hi everybody,
    Great recommendations. I wonder how you guys actually blend off2class lesson plans with FluentU. Once the off2class lesson plan is generated automatically after your learners have taken the placement test, how and where is FluentU best integrated?
    Thanks,
    Ron

    • Kris Jagasia says:

      August 19, 2016 at 6:03 pm

      Hi Ron,
      Thanks for stopping by! The list was meant to be independent of Off2Class but we generally blend in Fluent U as an asynchronous component. Usually we’ll use Off2Class for live lessons, and then assign some homework activities on Fluent U (that match some of the themes explored during the live class).
      Kris

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