Thanks to the many ESL websites, the Internet offers a wide variety of resources to practice all language skills at your own pace. The English teacher can choose the best sites to carry out interactive activities in the language lab. According to the latest results from the European Indicator of Language Competence most Spanish high school students have difficulty in understanding elementary or intermediate English, so exercises aimed at ESL practice at those levels should become more and more common.
Students must lose fear of listening activities, and for this purpose they can work with gap-fill texts in different difficulty levels. In Saber Inglés website we can choose from several current topics, starting, for instance, with an easy text to test students at an initial stage. Audio files are downloaded quickly and the teacher or the students themshelves can play them at the workstations in the most convenient way using the language lab functions. In this section there are also interesting videos with an online questionnaire which can replace texts and attract students’ attention.
Other sites offer a combination of tests, reading comprehension questions, translation exercises and cloze texts, as shown in each listening file of La Mansión del Inglés. This allows some flexibility and the possibility to assess comprehension from a broad perspective. If what interests us is variety of resources, English Club includes links to podcasts, videos or listening activities for TOEFL, among others.
The English teacher can take a text from a listening exercise to develop a reading comprehension questionnaire for later work. Vocabulary can be reviewed during the listening activity and then move to questions, which can be sent, filled out and collected in a separate Word document. Thus, students have been previously familiar with the subject and can be more productive in their responses.
However, if we prefer to practice reading comprehension directly online, students can find a series of texts by levels with self-assessment tests. At times, vocabulary should explored more in depth and the text should be linked with its audio: for this purpose a class session can be devoted to read/listen audio texts. In this case, the activity can be extended in two ways: both checking comprehension through written questions or reading aloud in class along what students hear in the listening files.