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Interactive Exercises & Resources for ESL Online

Interactive exercises are the first thing that come to mind for people when they think about how to teach interactively. Language teaching is when students click, move things with their finger, check tasks automatically, and then see the answers. 

As for me, interactivity teaching resources is not just moving things with your finger, and it is not just auto-checking. Interactivity is about getting people engaged via communication and keeping them active throughout a lesson and after. Eventually, we should make students go to the outside world, outside the classroom, and make them communicate with people. It will be especially beneficial for adults and more confident adolescent learners. This is interactivity as active communication, besides just interactive exercises with auto-check.

“Teachers will need to expand their ability to locate interactive teaching resources online, introduce learners to techniques for self-directed learning, and promote a healthy sense of adventure through risk-taking and goal setting.” ( Dr. Shane Dixon)

Creative and interactive language materials for online teaching 

1. YouTube comments 

One of the examples of unconventional materials as a source of natural vocabulary is YouTube comments. Students can read comments, write new words, and write their comments! Also, they can make videos on YouTube!

2. Facebook reviews 

Cafe or hotel reviews on Facebook are full of authentic English vocabulary. Check out your favorite restaurant, theater, or cinema! Students can join different learning groups or make their own group as well. 

3. Ask followers on Instagram 

If students have Instagram, they can interact with the audience on Instagram or other social media platforms. For example, recently, I had a lesson on character and personality, and one of my students had a big audience on Instagram. She told me enthusiastically that she would ask her followers to describe her character. This is how we integrate our teaching into real life and get students interested in learning.

4. Specialized websites and blogs

For example, if it is a topic about clothes, we can use shopping websites and blogs. Eventually, maybe our students can write a comment on a blog post, and there is always a chance that they will get a reply. 

5. Pinterest boards

An interesting example of creative study material is Pinterest. We can create boards and collect pictures. Pinterest is great for collecting data about a specific subject. For example, if we need to describe a house or a room for speaking practice, we can find different types of houses and rooms on Pinterest. 

6. Make your own interactive space 

We can use different online tools for this purpose. We can use blog platforms, website platforms such as WordPress, Google Slides,  Padlet, or YouTube and podcast platforms, etc. 

For example, you have a topic about healthy food for adults or elementary students. You can include other videos for practice on one single web page, add interactive tests straight into your page, more audio exercises, texts, pictures, etc. And it is all conveniently on the same page with one specific topic. 

7. Ask an influencer for help

One time, a Slovene blogger I liked helped me to make my lesson on minimalism more interactive material. I did not have audio, and I did not want just plain text as the primary interactive language material for my lesson. I asked the blogger for an audio file of her post on minimalism. As a result, I had an interesting lesson with audio! 

8. Virtual tours and live webcam streams

Let us explore various places all over the world in the comfort of our homes! It is perfect for talking about feelings and impressions of a particular place and starting a new topic. 

9. Sound to boost creativity and imagination 

You can use different sounds according to the topic you are teaching. Play the sound, and students can guess what they hear. In addition, they learn more about the history of different things. In my case, at the lesson on clothes, I used the sound of a 19th-century machine for making fabrics.

That is how you can interact with the ‘outside world’ community and explore natural language sources. Interactivity and creativity in online teaching go beyond just convenient, ready-to-use tests. It includes active participation and broadening of traditional learning and teaching space. 

What are your unconventional Interactive teaching resources and materials?

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