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Useful online tools for setting context

Online tools for setting context.
© UCLES 2018

In the last step, Setting context, you heard Lindsay and Marie Therese talking about different ways to set context. For example, through a very short story or pictures shared on a platform’s interactive whiteboard. Let’s look at some digital tools that online teachers can use to create an engaging context in language lessons.


Visit the online tools below and read about what each one does. Some of them you’ve seen before, but you might need to remind yourself about what they do. Then match each one to the lesson outlines (A–D) below.

Messaging generator Make Beliefs Comix Storybird
A. Lesson objective: The learner will be able to name parts of the body. The teacher brings up this website on her computer during a live lesson and draws an outline of a human body. The teacher then uses the picture to teach a young learner the names of the parts of the body.
B. Lesson objective: The learners will be able to use the present continuous and ‘going to’ for future arrangements and plans. Before the lesson, the teacher creates a comic strip which shows a conversation between three people talking about their plans for the evening. The teacher displays this on the shared whiteboard in the live lesson.
C. Lesson objective: The learner will be able to understand a story in the past which uses irregular past verbs. Before the lesson, the teacher creates a short story book which involves a large image accompanied by a short text. In the lesson, the teacher displays the story book on his screen and shares his screen with a young learner.
D. Lesson objective: The learner will be able to make arrangements. Before the lesson, the teacher creates a text conversation between two people making arrangements to go out and saves it as an image. In the live lesson, the teacher displays the image on the shared whiteboard.

Check your answers.

Reflect and share

Think about a language point you could teach using one of the online tools above. Who are the learners? What is the language point? What is the context? What tool could you use to set the context? Share your ideas in the comments.

© UCLES 2018
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Teaching English Online

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