I am For/Against of Arranged Marriage

 Level: High intermediate (B2)      Age: 18+         Number of Students: #16

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to

  • practice newly learned vocabulary in the context
  • improve their critical thinking
  • express their viewpoints regarding types of the marriages

Time Needed for Activity: 35 minutes           Preparation Time: 15 minutes


  • Board
  • Box of chalk


Introduction: This is for and against activity on the topic of “Arranged marriage”, in which students are divided into two equal groups, where one group defends the idea of arranged marriage while the other group talks against it, using the newly learned vocabulary in context.


Warm up activity: Types of marriages (10 minutes)

  1. Write “Relationships and Marriage” on the board.
  2. Ask students what types of marriages do they know?
  3. Write the following words on the board.
  • Arranged marriage
  • Love marriage
  1. Ask Ss whether they know about these types of marriages. If yes then ask them to explain them, if not, explain them yourself.
  2. Now ask Ss what general vocabulary, phrases or idioms they know related to this topic.
  3. Write the words said by the Ss on the board.
  4. Make sure that Ss know the following words:
  • a healthy relationship
  • Tie the knot
  • Have a lot in common
  • To enjoy each other’s company
  • To fall for
  • To have ups and downs
  • to get on well with
  • love at first sight
  • to be well matched
  1. Discuss the meanings of the words with Ss and bring examples.
  2. Make sure that everyone knows the meanings of all the words on the board.

Speaking activity: “For and against” (20 minutes)

  1. Divide the class into two equal groups.
  2. Write the sentence “Arranged marriage is better than love marriage.” on the board.
  3. Tell Ss that they are going to have a debate on this topic.
  4. Tell group 1 that they agree with this statement, even if they are against it, they have to bring strong points to defend the idea of arranged marriage.
  5. Tell group 2 that they are against arranged marriages and they think that people should decide about their personal life themselves. Again ask group 2 to bring strong points to support their idea.
  6. Give the groups time to discuss the topic with their members, ask them to write their points on a piece of paper using the newly learned vocabulary in their speech.
  7. Tell them the group presenting the most persuasive points will be the winner.
  8. Give them 10 minutes.
  9. Mentor the groups and help them with vocabulary.
  10. After 10 minutes, ask Ss to stop discussing.
  11. Before starting the debate, tell Ss that all the members of the group should talk and express their viewpoints.
  12. Ask one S from first group to introduce the argument for arranged marriages by giving 3 to 4 valid points.
  13. Give him/her 2 minutes.
  14. Ask one S from second group to introduce the argument against arranged marriages by giving 3 to 4 valid point.
  15. Give him/her 2 minutes.
  16. Now tell Ss the groups will start the debate and each group will talk in turn.
  17. Ask first group to start the debate by defending their viewpoints.
  18. Ask the second group to continue the debate talking against arranged marriages.
  19. Continue the same procedure until the end of debate.

·   Each group has at most 3 minutes to defend the idea, after 3 minutes stop them and ask  

the other group to continue.


  1. Listen to them carefully, mentor the groups, and make sure that everyone is participating.
  2. After 15 minutes debate, ask the groups to express their final thoughts.

Wrap up: (5 minutes)

  1. When the debate is finished, review the arguments once again.
  2. Decide which group is the winner.

Anticipated Problems & Assumptions:  There might be students having different viewpoints about the topic that they are assigned to debate about. Remind them that they need to be able to look at the topic from different angles and help the group to come up with strong points to have a good debate.



No Quill in TEFL! #TEFL307 #technologiesineducation


Was I using technologies in teaching English? No!
Will I implement technologies in my future practice? Definitely yes!
Before taking the course of technologies in TEFL, I little knew how to implement technologies in my teaching process. But now after 15 weeks, not only I got introduced to many interesting software programs, but also I’ve started to use some in my classes. Blogs, chatbots, MALL, and podcasts are among the introduced technologies that now I strive to use in my teaching, and LMS/VLE, the virtual world of Second life and open education courses are among technologies that I will definitely use later in my teaching practice.
Couple of weeks ago, Scott Thornbury, a well-known educator, asked the audience Neil Postman’s question “What is the problem to which this technology is a solution?”, trying to raise awareness about the use of technologies in the classroom. Last year, I wouldn’t be able to give a thoughtful answer to this question, but now, after taking this course, I would say that technologies should be used in teaching processes judiciously. We learned that before introducing the students to any technological educational tool, the teacher first needs to clarify why and how the use of the tool would be effective and beneficial for the learners. Only after having an answer to those questions, the technologies should be used in the classrooms.
During the last 15 weeks, we learned about different types of technologies that can be used in education, and as the last post for this course, I will review my most favorite three technologies that I am deeply into them, and I will briefly mention how to use them in English teaching.

Blogging: My first favorite one is blogs and blogging. As a student-teacher, I enjoyed the experience of having my personal blog, where I can write and share activities in it, as well as, follow other bloggers! The idea of becoming a blogger can be exciting for many students, especially teenagers and young adults. English teachers can easily make blogs a part of their curriculum. Instead of asking students to bring their writings in papers, teachers can ask them to post the writings on their blogs, and design the same page to make it more visually appealing. Blogging may improve students’ motivation and participation, can positively affect the process of language learning and can engage students in an authentic, informal written language production. Hence, I will definitely make blogging part of my teaching.
Game-based learning: what if from time to time bring digital games to the classes for educational purposes?! I am sure that all the students, especially young learners will welcome the idea to learn English through games! Just google “games for learning English,” thousands of website will pop on your screen! as blogging, game-based learning will enhance students’ engagement and motivation and will create a stress-free learning environment for the students. So, that is the reason that I will use games in my classrooms!

Podcasts: Maybe the idea of podcasts is not new, but now thanks to the smartphones, tablets, and i-tunes using them have become more widespread and popular. The philosophy behind the podcasts is “learning every day and everywhere.” By encouraging our students to listen to English podcasts, we can help them to improve their listening skills, as well as, vocabulary knowledge.  So, worth trying as a supplementary material!

To wrap up, I need to say that among all the taken courses, this  was the only course, which content was completely new for me and every time I learned something new!

Thanks to this course I have  broadened my teaching perspectives and are ready to use more technologies in my classrooms to create a different learning environment for my students.

Letter to a New Teacher from Her Self


Dear Self,

You successfully finished your teaching internship and are ready to start your career as an English teacher more confidently.

Teaching was your passion. As a school girl, you were always teaching and supporting your struggling classmates with their homework; you were encouraging them to study more and were always ready to help them. With having the same passion, you entered the teaching filed.  You were completely clueless about the real teaching, you barely had an idea how to teach a language, how to design level-appropriate activities, how to control a differentiated classroom and how to plan lessons. Thanks to the taken courses, your instructors, and micro-teachings, you gain most of the teaching skills within a year and broadened your teaching perspectives. Yet, you didn’t have the experience of teaching a real classroom.  Practicum helped you to feel the real classroom environment with full of sweet, energetic children having different background knowledge and learning styles. Practicum made you realized that teaching is amazing, fun and rewarding! The feelings that you experienced were so unique. Most of the time you were amazed at the cleverness of the students, and you were proud to have them in your class, however, sometimes you were praying all the day that a few of them be at least calm and quit for ten minutes in the class.

For the internship, you were trusted to teach adult women at Women Support Center, a local organization which supports women who experienced domestic violence or any other brutality in their marital lives. If the main worry in the practicum was how to keep students quiet and motivated, for the internship you had to think how to teach English to the students of a differentiated class, who want to communicate in English as soon as possible without doing any homework or extra studying. Later, you were informed that many of the students are single mothers and may bring their kids with them to the class; therefore, you had to always have your magic bag with you, which was full of chocolates, colorful pencils, and papers. Then, you found out that you should not discuss topics like marriage, love, family relationships, which may recall the unpleasant days these women experienced before. Therefore, before teaching any class, it is so important to find the basic information about the students to be able to make more appropriate lesson plans.

To have fruitful results at the end, you set certain goals and outcomes. You were determined to teach them more vocabulary and help them to improve their speaking skills. Dear self, please always remember to set certain goals before starting to teach, as it will keep you on the right path. To reach the goals you decided to practice communicative approach concentrating more on speaking skills and vocabulary.

Do you remember the expression of your face, when on the first day, the center gave you a very small whiteboard half of which was covered with permanent marker?  You were confused and stressed, as most of your activities were whiteboard based and you had to come up with new activities on the spot. Remember that you will not always end up teaching at perfect schools or language centers. Always find a time before starting your class and check the facilities of the place.

I am sure that you still remember the very first day. Though you were told that you would have a differentiated classroom, you didn’t expect to have four different levels. Teaching to a differentiated class alone was not easy at all. For all the classes you had to spend more than four hours to make four different levels activates on the same topic, and while teaching you had to change the methods constantly from the communicative approach to grammar-translation method. During the very first two weeks, it seemed like everything that you had learned about the differentiated instructions didn’t fit in the classes. You could make differentiated activities, but you were facing difficulties while practicing them.  The activities for struggling students were always full of new words and the high-level activities were too difficult to be understood.      Hence, you decided to use more open-ended tasks to solve the problem. One of the most engaging open-ended activities was dialogue journal. To make your classes adventurous, you introduced students with dialogue journal activity and asked them to write weekly letters to someone that they don’t know. You were giving the letters to your classmates for responding them. After two weeks, you noticed how this activity helped these women to write English more fluently and freely, and sometimes, they were even writing about their personal life with their unknown friends. So, dear self, never be afraid of trying new activities, go beyond the classroom and give your students the chance to experience new things.

During the eight weeks of teaching, there were days that you were extremely thrilled with the topic and the activities; however, on the same days, not long after the beginning of the class, you could see that the topic of the day was not engaging at all, and you were starting to panic. Remember that not having an interesting topic doesn’t mean that you are a bad teacher.  As one of your instructors told once, if you see that the topic is not engaging it all, and you cannot come up with better topic-based activities on the spot, simply change the topic or play a language game with the students. Also, keep in mind that asking students about their interest at the beginning of the course will be a great idea, which will help you to choose more engaging topics for the discussions and writings.

Team-building games went amazingly well at your classes. The learners were enjoying group works and trying to speak English with each other. Mixing all the levels in the group was a great idea, as it was encouraging lower level students to try harder to make simple English sentences and higher level students were motivated to help their friends.  Dear self, remember always to have at least one group activity in each class, as learners learn more from each other than from the teacher. Your students’ another favorite activity was role plays. In every class, they had a short conversation that they had to read by roles, then tell it by heart. They told you that these conversations helped them to improve their speaking skills. You can always keep the same type of activities if your students are interested in it.

Dear self, you always wanted to be an extraordinary teacher who makes a difference in the lives of students, but you never thought that students may change yours. During you internship, you had the most lovely, brave, strong, inspiring women as students.  Most of them were younger than you but had already faced the darker side of the life. Despite all the hardships of the life, your students wanted to start a new chapter in their lives and learning English could help them to find a better career with higher income. Having them as your students, you learned to be braver and appreciate what you have. When you started your internship, you were their English teacher, but after the eight weeks, you were their friend, whom they could trust and share the details of their life. You learned to change your role constantly; sometimes you had just to be an English teacher, another time you were their friend, sometimes you had to be just a listener or a consulter who encourage them not to give up and continue the good work.

Dear self, you are going to have both good and bad days in your teaching career, sometimes you will be filled with the positive energy of your students, sometimes you will have those gloomy days that you will decide to change your job. Just remember that teaching is not easy! It is such a hard work and many challenging and tiresome days are waiting for you. I am sure that there will be a period in your life, that the burdens of the life will make you teach for money, but never forget about you teaching beliefs. Always bear in mind that as a teacher you may always change someone’s life for the better.



Winter 2016

Horizon Reports: Trends and challenges in the education


The proliferation of technology has affected all the spheres of the life and has become an inseparable part of our lives. In the recent years, the effect of high technology and the internet is noticeable in the education.  Traditional classes and teaching methods are disappearing in many countries, schools are getting adapted to the new situation, changing the design of the schools and adding new technological stuff.  To have more interactive lessons, the teachers are also trying to change their mode of thinking, perspective, and teaching methods by implementing technology in their classes.

Adoption of Educational Technology has become trendy and at the same time challenging for most of the educational centers. The two reports by Horizon Higher Ed and K-12 ( article-1 & article-2) touch upon the topic of recent technological trends and challenges in the schools (K-12) and higher education. According to the reports, the trends of technology adoption in the education are three types:

1-long-term trends are the ones that have been impacting decision-making and will continue to be important for more than five years.

2-mid-term trends are trends that will likely continue to be an important factor in decision-making for the next three to five years.

3-short-term trends are the ones that are in the process of adoption now and maybe remain important for only one to two years.

The adoption of above-mentioned trends is mostly followed by some challenges that most of the educational complexes meet.  Today in the blog post I will discuss some of the trends and challenges mentioned by the reports of Horizon in Armenian schools.

I have not received my primary and secondary education in Armenia and neither of siblings, but after living here for several years,  I have a general idea about the common educational system that most of the schools follow. Here, in Armenia, only a few schools implement technology in the teaching and learning process and practice learner-centered and competency-based approaches. The other schools either still apply traditional methods or are on the phase of technological trends adoption. Nowadays, in Armenia, most of the schools and teachers embrace the idea of learner-centered education and collaborative learning and tend to practice student-centric pedagogies to foster more positive learning outcomes.maxresdefault

Moreover, to improve students learning, redesign of the learning environment is needed.  Classrooms which contain movable furniture and technology are likely to affect positively on the learning.  EFL teachers can enhance their students’ knowledge by adopting the learner-centered approach, and changing their role as a facilitator.   Opportunity for more authentic learning is another challenge that K-12 education in Armenia needs to meet.  Hence, the schools need to change their curriculum and schedules and make them more flexible, enable students for authentic learning.

As far as higher education is concerned, a few universities like American and French university in Armenia have joint consortia to share and combine the resources. In Armenia, more universities need to achieve cross-institution collaboration which will improve the educational standards and will enable the instructors, learners, and alumni work toward common goals concerning technology, research, or shared values.

The educational system in Armenia needs a real transformation, which needs a shift from traditional methods to technological education. However, it will take years to achieve the ultimate educational transformation, as it needs huge investments.

What is Analytics?

Thanks to the advancement in the technology, most of the data transformation, reservation and restoration happen in the virtual world, which facilitates the process of the data analysis. Now the question may arise that “what is analytics?” and “why is it matters?”
After reading several articles and watching all the available videos on the YouTube, I understood what the analytics are and how beneficial they are. Wikipedia gives a very vivid definition to the generic term “Analytics” defining it as “the process of discovery, interpretation, and communication of meaningful patterns in data.” Analytics is multidisciplinary, which makes it different from analysis. Thanks to the analytics, it is possible to go back to the massive data recorded in the archive, have an insight into them, and get the useful information needed for making better decisions and strategic moves to achieve improvements.
Long and Siemens in their article briefly write about the “big data,” “academic analytics” and “learning analytics” concepts. Big data is a term that describes the large volume of data, or as the Oracle pinpoints “Big data describes a holistic information management strategy that includes and integrates many new types of data and data management alongside traditional data.” Learning and academic analytics are similar concepts; the focus of the first one is in the learning process of the individual, whereas the latter reflects the role of data analysis at the institutional level.
In the field of teaching, teachers and educators can benefit from analytics, as it will enable them to go into the data, see the students’ progress, rank the courses according to the needs of the learners, and predict outcomes.

In the recent years, in Armenia, many educational centers in the market became competitive, and try to offer a better education than the others. Hence, the educational centers need to make the most of all the available assets to improve their performance. Analytics will help the educational centers to identify the effectiveness of the offered courses and whether there is the need for making changes. Moreover, by comparing the performance of the students they can make find out that how helpful the received education was and predict the learners’ performance in the same filed.
Big data and analytics will help educational centers to improve their services, education, performances and make the necessary changes for better.

For more information watch the attached videos:



When for the first time my Armenian teacher told us that we would use Moodle to submit our assignments and participate in the discussion forum, we didn’t really embrace the idea.  Moodle, the open source learning platform, became our nightmare and we were trying to persuade the teacher to give up the idea of using it. Fortunately, we didn’t succeed and we got the opportunity to get familiarized with it. Now, as a MA TEFL student at the American University of Armenian, Moodle is the main educational tool and platform where the professors and instructors share their syllabus and all the other necessary material there.

Moodle is part of learning management system (LMS) or virtual learning environments (VLE), which many universities or any other institutions have already implemented it.  We can define LMS as a software application , which enables the user to administrate, document, track, report and delivery e-courses or programs.

There is another concept named personal learning environment (PLE) that many of us are unconsciously engaged in. PLEs are personal e-Learning systems which give the users the opportunity to manage their own learning, set definite learning goals, take control of their learning, communicate and share with others who are on the same path.

A tutorial video by Stephen Downe clearly explains the difference between LMS/PLE. The following chart is the summary of the video.


centralized decentralized
Need to join to the federation Directly connected to individuals.
Data is available in the system, the data will be lost in the case of leaving the system User control the data, sharing requires permission.
Moodle Google doc, LinkedIn, Drop box, Google drive

Nowadays, most of the students get registered or enrolled in many online applications creating their PLEs.  Below I created my own PLE visual diagram that currently I use for language learning and teaching.


Teachers can easily use students’ PLEs as an educational tool. If you ask how, just simply read my other posts and find out more!

What concerns to LMS, my opinion is that it enables teachers to have more control on the process of teaching and learning. If I end up teaching in a school or institution where students have access to computers and the internet, I will definitely use Moodle to share activities and assignments, because

  • Engaging students in technology may increase motivation
  • Students can access the materials easily, even if they are absent.
  • Students don’t need to carry different books or copies around to do their homework.
  • It will enhance collaboration and cooperation.
  • LMS will help to save more trees by avoiding photocopying and printing.

For more information visit:




Distance Education



The implementation of distance education was and still is challenging. Not having a face-to-face interaction with the learners makes the process of teaching and learning difficult both for the teachers and learners. However, as Internet technologies have become increasingly robust, distance learning and teaching have become less challenging. In the recent years, both students and educators have become more comfortable with the technology and learn easily how to use it.

Distance learning is a great educational tool enabling many learners to access online accredited courses enjoying the luxury of remaining in the home country and study.

Woman using digital tablet on sofa

In Armenia, many educational centers and universities offer distance learning education with accredited degree for those who have busy schedule and family responsibilities. However, friends of mine who applied distance learning program were not fully satisfied with the experience complaining about the practicality of the courses. According to them, the educators were novice, not being able to organize a rigid syllabus. They were paying less attention to the learners and sometimes they were completely forgetting to upload new materials and give the necessary guidelines. Hence, the implementation of distance education is not easy as it seems to be.

In the future, if I asked to develop a distance English program for young adults and adults in remote areas of Armenia, I need to consider several facts and design a rigid teaching plan.

First of all, before developing any distance course, it is important to become sure that the target areas have high-speed internet, people have access to the computers and have the literacy to use the internet and computer. Then, I should choose a platform through which teach English. Moodle, blog, email, Skype or Skype in the classroom and even a group in Facebook can be ideal tools for teaching.  For choosing the most convenient tool, an interview should be conducted to find out which is the most convenient tool for the learners and teachers. Then, according to the article written by White et. al. I need to specify certain tutor maxims and identify teachers’ roles. According to the same article and another article written by Hauck and Hampel, giving feedback is another important aspect that the distance learning teachers need to consider. The focus of the course developed for adults will be mainly fluency giving the learners the opportunity to freely express their ideas not getting worried about mistakes. However, regular general language accuracy feedback will be provided for language development. To ensure the quality of tutors, an experienced mentor will be assigned to check other teachers and the teachers need to write a report each month reporting their teaching plans.zoom-distance-learning.jpg


As I mentioned before, to have a successful outcome, the students need to have enough literacy to use online sources. Hence, it is important to make sure that students can properly use the given materials. If not workshops should be conducted. Moreover, as Hauck and Hampel mention, the motivation can decrease in online learning. Therefore, to maintain the motivation, regular encouragement by teacher is essential.


To sum up, to have a successful distance learning program, educators need to spend plenty of time to develop a well-thought curriculum, putting the focus on student-student interaction, providing a sufficient feedback and content materials.

Do you use open educational resources?


The online network has increased the quality of life by bringing the people together. If finding simple information was a great deal in the past demanding to go through all the printed books and documents, now the same process is done within some seconds.

There is a funny joke among graduates saying that they owe their graduation to google for helping them accomplish their assignments. However, I have to say that except google, google scholar and other similar pages, we shouldn’t forget about the open educational resources  (OER) which are another valuable resource for learners.  Open educational resources (OER) are freely accessible documents which enable the users (larger population)  to have a free access to the appropriate learning, teaching and research materials. Being in public domain, online and free, the resources have tend to be mainly used in distance learning.

Using OER are beneficial for students. Alder and Brown (2008) in their article pinpoint that the main aim of OER is to engage more population in learning and helping the learners to acquire new and more knowledge.  Worth mentioning that open resources save costs for students. Moreover, the learners can enjoy the free courses offered by many leading universities which gives them the opportunity to expand their knowledge in a specific field. Below are the link of open resources of some top universities:

Harvard Open Courses

JHSPH OpenCourseWare


The available materials in OER can be beneficial both for Armenian teachers and students who are mainly graduated or studying from/at low-resource universities or educational institutions.  With the help of OER the students in Armenia are able to go beyond their schedule, explore the resources of other and maybe better universities, attend to relevant courses, read more articles and lectures.  This link will help you to find more about 1200 online educational sources.

Not only the students can benefit from OER, the teachers can also find activities by exploring the pages. Moreover, the teachers have the chance to look at the syllabus of many top universities, which may cause the improvement of their own program syllabus.


Also,English teachers can always consult the OERs like http://orelt.col.org/, https://www.edutopia.org/open-educational-resources-guide, http://mastersinesl.com/leading-sources/ , https://www.britishcouncil.org/teach-english, to find more scholary articles about teaching method and other relevant materials, use the activities or attend the free trainings to improve their teaching skills.

To sum up, OERs are valuable sources that unfortunately  many haven’t heard of them. Using them regularly will positively affect the learning process and will increase the quality of the education.


Siri can you help me?



When for the first time I got an I-phone, I spend the whole day asking none sense questions from Siri. I was trying to ask all the possible questions to see her reaction. Sometimes I was getting surprised for the wise answers, but sometimes her less relevant answers were making me and my brother laugh hard.  Same with chatbots, when for the first time I discovered chatbots I was a school girl! I was spending the whole day chatting with a robot and asking funny questions. But little I knew that chatting with a robot could improve my English.

In the recent years, the web is full of chatbots and programs that try to converse and answer questions just like human beings. Using automated speech recognition (ASR) and chatbots can be an interesting and funny experience for the users, especially for teenagers. The empirical research done in these articles revealed that chatbots and ASR software can positively affect the language learning.  These programs are not flawless, they do not always respond the questions accurately and are unable of creating a real conversation.  However, English language teachers can use them as “conversation practice machine”, where students can ‘chat’ in ordinary spoken English with the computer. Thanks to them, the teachers can add more colors to their classes and enhance students’ motivation.

The article by Coniam, introduces the most appropriate chatbots, which can be used in the classes. Before using any chatbots or ASR software the teacher should bear in mind that the functionality of the programs is limited. They don’t have humans’ intelligence, they have specialized vocabulary and discussion topics. Chatbots cannot always respond to the grammatically wrong formed questions and ASR software, are not always able to recognize the accent of the speaker. Moreover, most of the chatbots function best if just one sentence is typed at a time. Though the limitations, they can be a great pedagogical tool for less able ESL learners.

Check the following designed activity, where chatbots are used.


Topic: daily talk with Mitsuku    audience: 14-16       Proficiency level: high elementary

URL: http://www.mitsuku.com/

  • Introduce the chatbot to the students.
  • Teach them how to use it.
  • Tell them that the activity is done to improve their daily spoken English.
  • Inform them that it is a safe environment, and the software has no access to the personal information or computer data. (inform about the chatbots to the parents as well)
  • Tell the students about the limitation of the program, asking them to write as clear as possible, with less spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Note: Mitsuku is an advanced chatbot, mostly able to recognize the misspelled words or grammatically wrong questions and perform better that George (chatbot introduced in the article)

  • Ask students to spend 30 minutes and chat with the machine and ask simple structured sentences.
  • Ask them to use their new words and expressions in the chat and ask the robot the word meaning that they don’t know.
  • During the next class ask students their opinion about the task, if they like it; ask them to continue to chat to improve their daily spoken English.

Smartphones here, smartphones there, smartphones everywhere


It is not a surprising fact that wherever you go, you see that everyone’s head is down on a glowing screen with headphones on. Whether this is the sad reality of our times or not, we will not discuss in this post. Nowadays, the majority can effort to buy smartphones and tablets. Many know how to use them, and the others learn quickly. Smartphones and similar devices had a remarkable impact on humans’ life. Not only they have eased the communication, but they have also become storage for our memories having all the personal information in them.

Smartphones are an inseparable part of our lives. No one and nothing can change this fact. As language teachers, we can see that students prefer to get busy with their phones rather than attentively listen to us. So, what can we do? Here are different solutions for the issue:

  • You can ask students to put their smartphones on the teacher’s table.
  • You can shout “put your phone away” every minute.
  • You can hire anti-phone guards, so they can walk in the classroom and take the phones.
  • You can make the smartphones as part of language learning process.

As a teacher-to-be, I will definitely choose the last solution. With the help of mobile applications, which are getting updated in the play or I-store regularly, we can engage students in language learning. Stockwell and Hubbard in their  article, emphasize ten principles that need to be considered while implementing mobile-assisted language learning (MALL).

Pedagogical Implementation


Below I introduced an application, and I designed an activity including the ten principles of the article mentioned above. (to know the principles refer the article)

Application: 6 Minute English with BBC             Audience: 14+

Proficiency level: pre-intermediate

BBC has plenty of good applications for language learning, and my favorite one is 6 minutes English which mainly contains podcasts with transcripts. Before applying MALL, make sure that all the students have smartphones or tables. (principle 4) If yes, then the mentioned application is free and accessible. However, it needs wireless internet for updating the podcasts (principle 1), but for listening to the available podcasts no internet is needed. Refereeing to principle 6, explain for students that the application needs no personal information, and it has no access to the personal info in the device.

As suggested in principle 9, before applying the app, introduce it to the students in the class. Teach them how to download it and how to use it. The application has different sections: grammar, news, short stories. For every class assign the students to read and listen to the news, and take notes. By considering principle 2, ask students to do the listening in a noise free environment to fully understand it.

For the short stories or grammar sections, you can ask students to listen and read them whenever they are free or between their dead times. (principle 8)

At the end, check the activity by asking students to share the news or story they have listened to.