All of us, no matter how experienced we are, are constantly looking for new ways to vary and improve the lessons. Skyteach authors are often asked such questions as “How can I make my online lesson more interactive?”, “How can I organise vocabulary activities in online lessons?”, “ What is the best tool to record lessons?”, “How to add some gamification?”, “Which online tools can you recommend to practice listening skills?” and so on.

We have collected answers to some of your questions and would like to share some useful online tools.

Basic things

We’re going to start with some technical moments that will make your life easier.

1) Lesson recording is useful if you want to record a Skype lesson itself. You can try it if you want to show students their progress comparing the first lesson with the 50th one. I’ve already tried it, and my students were surprised. They could check the progress themselves.

2) Pictures sharing is really cool to make screenshots. You can take one just in a second and send the link to it immediately.

3) Platform for lessons

If you’re tired of Skype, Zoom is a fabilous alternative. There is an opportunity to organize an online conference up to 40 mins for free. You can break the participants out, show your screen, share sound, draw using a whiteboard and record your lesson.

Extra tips

1) Interactive activities Wheeldecide is a perfect tool to make your lessons more interactive. Choose a wheel and click on it! It’s a perfect solution for organizing speaking activities. Let’s take this one which would be perfect while talking about food.

Digital resources that will make a teacher’s life easier

Ask your student to click on the wheel and give a talk about the cuisine or dish that was chosen automatically.

Agendaweb has the richest collection of exercises (grammar, vocabulary, reading etc.). This tool was especially designed for online teaching and can be used both during the lesson and as a hometask.

2) Pronunciation and vocabulary work Youglish looks and sounds similar to YouTube, and that’s not a surprise — this website was designed for improving pronunciation with the help of YouTube videos. British, American and Australian English are available. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Moreover, I use this website to show students how the word is used in the sentence.

Digital resources that will make a teacher’s life easier

Wordart is perfect for those who can’t remember all the new words (students are not supermen, remember?) and are fed up with creating sentences in order to memorize them all. Add some creativity to your students’ learning process. Ask them to create a poster based on what you’ve learnt. Another option to do it is to create a mind map using

Rewordify will help you simplify texts. Some authentic materials can be too hard for students to comprehend, and this tool will definitely be useful as it simplifies texts.

Digital resources that will make a teacher’s life easier

Moreover, the system suggests you some tips.

Digital resources that will make a teacher’s life easier

3) Listening practice

Listenaminute has a collection of short recordings on a variety of topics. The only disadvantage I see here is the fact that all the tracks were recorded by the same man (actually, I suppose student should listen to different accents). So, don’t get used to it.

English-films and give a chance to practice listening skills watching cool movies and TV series.

4) Speaking practice

Plot-generator seems to be the best friend for those who are not imaginative enough to create their own stories. It can be useful for introverted students who especially need some kind of inspiration. There are lots of other generators, so don’t be lazy to click and check them out.

Digital resources that will make a teacher’s life easier

Vocaroo is a voice recorder that will help you to record some dictations for students and will help them to record their speaking task answers. Find more about voice recording here.

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