The Internet TESL Journal

Teacher-made Activities for a Computer-based ESL/EFL Class

Anil Pathak
asalpathak [at]
Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)

Computer-based classes are likely to increase in terms of their number as well as impact in English language learning. More and more teachers are trying to use commercially available software as well as Internet resources. However, many teachers who are more experienced in computer-based classrooms are rather disillusioned due to the following facts.

  1. Commercially available software most of the times centres on self-paced learning. Though this might be useful for self-study, teachers can hardly use them in their classes.
  2. It is very difficult to find software that smoothly integrates into your curriculum.
  3. Such software, more often than not, focuses on discrete items rather than activities that demand integration of skills or interaction.
  4. There are difficulties in administration of a software-based classroom. These are related to licensing, distributing, and monitoring software.

Against this background, it seems useful to think about teacher-made activities for the computer-based class. Such activities can generate more interaction, and can easily integrate with the curriculum. I have provided three examples of such activities. The activities use simple and commonly used software such as Microsoft Power Point and Microsoft Word. Also, they are sufficiently open for teachers to modify them according to their objectives. If you are an expert user, you can directly go to the Examples section to view the activities. If you need some more background help, please read the following explanation of useful terms.

Some Useful Terms

Examples of Teacher-Made Activities

Activity No. 1 - Describing Pictures

Activity No. 2 - Editing

Activity No. 3 - Simulated Discussion

The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. VII, No. 7, July 2001