5 Ways That Technology Improves ESL Teaching

5 Ways That Technology Improves ESL Teaching | DigiNo

ESL teaching is one of those jobs that will always exist, otherwise how would parents cope with having the kids on their hands all day?

But on a serious note, I think teaching is also beginning to adapt to the digital world.

There are now opportunities to be an online English language teacher, which is a monumental step in the world of education.

Foreign language students now have access to live video tutoring with a native English speaker right from the comfort of their own home – which is revolutionary for their learning potential!

You can read more about to become an online ESL teacher by clicking the image below:

Teach ESL Online From Anywhere in the World | DigiNo

This job has got me thinking about all the different ways technology will and has probably already evolved teaching – ensuring that it is a job that will last the test of time.

Here are a list of 5:

1. Using Apps to improve ESL Teaching

There are so many ways that apps can revolutionise teaching. Imagine an app that makes marking a thing of the past?

Or how about simply using an app for animal sounds when teaching  online ESL classes to keep the student engaged at the press of a button.

Using Apps for ESL Teaching | DigiNo

2. Can Social Media Improve ESL Teaching?

There are several emerging social media platforms dedicated for schools as a way to track rewards systems, such as Vivo Inspire. Swapping gold star stickers for ‘likes’.

This may make the playground more of a dull place, with all the students socialising on the platform as opposed to kicking a ball around, but that is the nature of social media.

The educational platform equivalent for ‘likes’ could be a suitable motivational incentive for modern children.

Using Social Media for ESL teaching | DigiNo

3. Online Teaching the Future of ESL Teaching?

As mentioned previously, being able to video chat with anyone globally nowadays has really opened up the possibilities of learning from cultural exchange.

If you wished to learn yoga from a a yogi master all the way in India, then all you both need is a Skype account and a clear space on your floor.

Live Anywhere | DigiNo

Online English teaching has opened way more opportunities for employment as a teacher and will continue to keep the career existing forever in DigiNo’s eyes.

Click the image below for an example website of the online English teaching platform:

Teach From Home with DaDaABC | DigiNo

4. Implementing Data Analysis to Improve ESL Teaching

Any online marketer will know the benefits of tracking and testing data using tools like Google Analytics.

Well how about as well as monitoring SEO and newsletter signups, we use analytical tools to measure the effectiveness of learning techniques for children?

Data Analysis for ESL Teaching | DigiNo

This links back to apps. The student could have data on their phone showing them graphs. These display how they are performing in reading skills compared to written English skills.

5. Playing Educational Games to Improve ESL Teaching

Educational games, such as Brain Metrix, could one day actually take over from the role of the teacher – which would put a stumbling block in our theory of teaching existing forever.

However, for now, I believe that no matter how advanced educational games get, they will still only be a suitable accompaniment to the guidance of a real, live, talking human role-model.

Teach English all over the world | DigiNo

If you would like to read how to become a better ESL teacher, then click the image above.


7 Tips For Online ESL Teaching [DaDaABC]

Teach English From Anywhere in the World | DigiNo

Teaching English as a second language is no longer just reserved for the classroom.

That’s right.

You can now teach ESL students online and work remotely from anywhere in the world. This is possible through a company called DaDaABC.

If you would like to read our post all about DaDaABC, then click here.

So what are the 7 tips for online ESL teaching?

1. Smile Whilst Teaching Your Online ESL Class

Smiling is really important. Creating a positive atmosphere with your presence creates a positive learning environment.

The Chinese student may never have met a foreigner before, so you want to make them feel at ease, and smiling is the quickest way to do this.

Smile whilst teaching your online ESL student

You should also be really friendly so that your smile doesn’t look out of place!

Remember, you are teaching children. They look up to you, and so it is up to you to set the friendly tone for the online class.

2. Assess Your Online ESL Student’s English Speaking Ability

It is a good idea to assess your student’s English speaking ability early on in the class. You want to find this out so you can adjust your lesson plan accordingly.

You don’t want to spend your whole class trying to get a low-ability student to read Shakespeare!

So how do you assess your ESL student’s English speaking ability?

Try to engage the student with simple questions, such as:

What’s your name?

How old are you?

How are you?

If they get quiet and shy in response to these questions, then maybe they don’t know this basic level english.

In this case you should adjust the lesson accordingly.

Tips for teaching an ESL student with a lower English speaking ability


  • Repetition is key with younger students and lower-ability students.

Say you are teaching the Chinese student the word ‘zebra’, make sure you say ‘zebra’ at least 3 times.  Then make them repeat ‘zebra’ three times. Repetition is so important in ESL teaching…notice how I have repeated ‘zebra’ four times?  Repetition is a habit!

Repeat words when teaching an online ESL student

  • Speak slowly

It will help the student out a lot if you take the time to pronounce each word. As native English speakers, we have gotten very used to understanding each other’s quick mumbles, however your online student probably won’t be able keep up.

  • Be aware of what a student already knows

It’s no good repeating ‘zebra’ over and over if the ESL student has already mastered it in last week’s online lesson.

3. Praise Your Online ESL Student Regularly

We all enjoy a bit of praise every now and then, and your student will especially appreciate it when they’ve answered a question correctly.

Give them a big high-5 when they do well.

This will make them feel happy and comfortable and eager to impress even more!

Make sure to say their name a lot as you praise them, as this will help to build a stronger connection with your student.

Give them gold stars and say: ‘You are doing a really awesome job, [Student’s Name]!’

Because it’s true, they are – English is a tough language to learn!

4. Be Fun and Silly When Teaching Your Online English Lesson

Try to make the student laugh. Have fun. Your students will be learning this outside of their school hours, so your online ESL class shouldn’t feel like school – so make it as fun as possible (whilst still being educational)

Try to imagine yourself as a children’s TV presenter, being wacky and outrageous. Make funny faces and do funny voices.

Don’t worry about looking silly. The sillier you are, the more your students will enjoy learning from you.

This is your chance to embrace your inner-child once again!

So what is a good way to help bring out your silly-side?


5. Use Props To Keep Your Chinese Student Engaged During The Online ESL Lesson

Props are a fantastic way to make sure your student is both engaged and having fun.

If you see there mind start to wander, bring out a prop! Here are some great examples of props to use:


Puppets are great for bringing shy students out of their shell. If they are hesitant to interact with you, then they are sure to interact with your monkey pal, or your talking tiger.

Give them a name and a silly voice and bring them to life. They are great for practicing basic English greetings with your ESL student.

Here are some puppets I personally recommend.


Musical Instruments

Children love music. A nice catchy song always makes phrases easier to remember, so why not grab a ukulele and start singing?

Use puppets and music for your online ESL class

Even if you’re not musical, a ukulele is very easy to pick up and play and instantly sound good. They are also inexpensive, so they make for a great online classroom prop.

Here is a ukulele I recommend.


Gold Stars

Gold stars are great for visual encouragement. Your student will respond so much to your encouragement as mentioned earlier, however, if they can see a physical object like a gold star as a reward, this should encourage them even more.

You want to encourage your ESL student to speak and be as interactive as possible in the online lesson as possible. They could watch English television if their parents wanted them to just listen to the language.

They are there to speak and interact with their English teacher.

Be yourself. Be authentic. Connect with the student. And use props to aid this as much as possible.

However, we cannot simply rely upon props to assist in communicating with your student…

6. Use Total Physical Response (TPR) To Aid Communication With Your Online ESL Student

Before explain what exactly Total Physical Response (TPR), first let’s look at something called ‘incidental language’.

As an online ESL teacher tutoring a Chinese student, incidental language is something you should reduce using.

Reduce Incidental Language

An example of incidental language is as follows:

‘Let’s move on to the next subject.’ – your student will not understand this type of phrasing. It is better to avoid this kind of language, as it doesn’t really add any educational value.

Another example of incidental language:

‘Can you say “This is an apple”?’ – This phrase ‘can you say’ is incidental language and it is a high chance the student will not understand this and thus they would be confused by what it is they are expected to do.

So how do we get them to say ‘This is an apple’?

This is where Total Physical Response comes in.

The basis of TPR is to use over exaggerated body language. Imagine it as if it were sign language.

So, for example, if you wanted to get the child to speak and say ‘This is an apple’, you would not use incidental language and say ‘Can you say?’, you would use your hands.

Let me explain.

Cup your ear with your hand and hold it close to the screen. The student will see this gesture and understand that you want them to speak.

Use Total Physical Response when teaching your online ESL student

Or another example…

If you want the student to circle something, use your hands to draw a circle in the air. Simple, right?

Using these techniques will decrease the amount of time you spend looking at the confused face of a student.

Less incidental language; more TPR!

7. Leave Helpful  Feedback For the Online ESL Student

At the end of your online ESL class, you will need to leave feedback for how the student did in the lesson.

Use the child’s name to display that this not simply a procedure, and that there is a genuine connection between you and the student.

Praise all the things they did well, but don’t be afraid to include the things they had trouble with. Include way that they can improve upon these points.

Then in the next class, you can monitor how they have improved upon those previous points.

This will show their parents that they are progressing. After all, parents want their child to attend online ESL lessons so that they progress! So let’s help make it happen.

So let’s review the 7 tips for online ESL teaching:

  1. Smile Whilst Teaching Your Online ESL Class

  2. Assess Your Online ESL Student’s English Speaking Ability

  3. Praise Your Online ESL Student Regularly

  4. Be Fun and Silly When Teaching Your Online English Lesson

  5. Use Props To Keep Your Chinese Student Engaged During The Online ESL Lesson

  6. Use Total Physical Response (TPR) To Aid Communication With Your Online ESL Student

  7. Leave Helpful  Feedback For the Online ESL Student

Follow these 7 tips and you will be rising up the rankings as an online ESL teacher in no time!

So if you would like to put this advice to action and become an online english teacher, then click the image below to apply to DaDaABC:

Teach Online ESL From Home with DaDaABC


Or if you would like to learn more about how to become an online english teacher with DaDaABC, then read a previous DigiNo post linked below:

Earn Money as an Online ESL Teacher with DaDaABC