This week, I have decided to talk about a tool that can be used with younger students. As we all know, children nowadays are almost born Ipad in hand. They sometimes know how to use it more efficiently than their parents do. This is why I believe we can use this tool as a teaching device in our classroom, even with kids in elementary schools. The application I chose to talk about is Sentence Builder.
This app is great to help students create sentences that are grammatically correct. It offers 2 levels but also offers the possibility of creating your own sentences, which is great for teachers trying to help students practice specific things that they have learned in class for example.
A teacher, who writes the blog ”Learning to the core” tried it out with her students and they had fun while learning, which was of course her goal! You can read her blog here:
Since there are already 250 sentences constructed and you can also create you own, this app can be used many times without being too repetitive for the children! I believe that such an application can make it interesting for kids for many different reasons. Firstly, they are the ones constructing the sentences, which makes it a lot more interactive than traditional teaching on the board. Secondly, they use technology that most of them already know and already enjoy. Thirdly, it will look like a game to them but they will be learning about sentence construction at the same time.
This app might be difficult to use with kids who are just starting to learn English, but if they start learning English at a young age, after a few years, this could be very useful to an ESL teacher. This app is also recommended by the website Fun Educational Apps (http://www.funeducationalapps.com/2012/10/sentence-builder-app-must-have-teaching-app-for-teachers-and-parents.html)
Finally, it is also interesting to mention that you can create accounts and see how the children progress in their learning. This way, teachers can see if the app works with their classes or not! Sentence Builder is recommended as one of the applications ESL teachers must have on many websites, as it won Language app of the year 2010, given by IEAR (http://www.bestcollegesonline.com/blog/2012/04/30/16-incredible-ipad-apps-for-esl-learners/)
You can take a look at this YouTube video to find out how to create sentences with Sentence Builder :
This one shows how Level 1 works: