Great Tools for Supporting English Language Learners Across the Curriculum


Via Unsplash by Dustin Lee

AAS-Sofia teacher Carmem Wilson recently compiled this list of apps for supporting English language learners across the the curriculum.

Visual Thesaurus – vocabulary grabber

The Visual Thesaurus is an interactive dictionary and thesaurus which creates word maps that blossom with meanings and branch to related words. Its innovative display encourages exploration and learning. Try out the vocabgrabber.


Copy and paste text, then click on ‘sift’. Text will be displayed with most frequent words in bigger font size. A word cloud (visual thesaurus powered) will appear. Student can sort words by subject, frequency etc.


Once you enter the website you are using, you can look up the meaning of any word on the site just by clicking on it. This actually makes life easier for ELLs reading texts on different subjects.


If you use, try out this tool. It has a more more attractive interface and the practice activities are more interesting.


A very userfriendly environment for collaboration.  Students can work with video, sound files, docs, etc.


Instagrok is an attractive visual search engine that collects content and displays it in the form of a cloud of related words.


Using Storytelling to Inspire Language Learners

Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

Storytelling is a powerful strategy for engaging learners of all ages. In this recent Edutopia piece, international educator Matthew James Friday shares his experience exploring the use of storytelling to inspire English Language Learners:

“The motivation for this comes from my recent experience of teaching in an international school in China that has a 97 percent cohort of students learning English as an additional language (EAL). In my Grade 3 class last year, I had four students join with no English and as many again with very basic language skills. I worried that I would struggle to engage these students as both a teacher and a storyteller..”

Read the entire piece here.