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Positive Ways to use Mobile Phones – ESL Classes

Updated on September 27, 2010


Mobile Phones are usually not allowed in Classes but they can be used in a positive way, as a lesson resource. I have experimented with this during “Speaking and Listening” Exercises.


Tip One

Entry 3 - ESL Teachers would be aware that part of ESOL Lessons involves Job Interviews. Once you have taught the lesson (including various questions asked at interviews), you can pair the learners for role play. One would be the Interviewer, the other the interviewee.

I always encourage students to have themselves recorded on their own mobile, during this exercise, but also give them the option not to. So, if Student A was being interviewed, I would take her mobile, record her while she is being interviewed and give it to her to playback and keep. I ensure it’s given to them immediately, so they are aware I have no copy of it.


I’ve noticed some are shy but those that record themselves, later see how they come across when communicating. Some never keep their hands still, some don’t look at the person interviewing them, some play with their hair and some have other funny habits. It’s very helpful for them to see themselves on video and then conduct a better interview.

Tip Two

Entry 3 – Level 1. Learners could be asked to address the class and talk about a hobby they like or a place they visited etc for a duration of 5 minutes and after that, answer questions from other learners. I don't ask them to stand in front of the class. (For these exercises, the chairs/desks can be organised in a Square/Circle so everyone is visible. No need for people to look back). This would also be recorded – again, only if they want to. For Level 1 – maybe give them something more challenging to talk about and possibly a longer time.


Same as above, they can see how they come across when communicating and it also gives them confidence.

Teachers Notes

You could get a volunteer to record them, while you make notes about their performance, so you can give them feedback after the lesson – highlighting the positives and encouraging them on what they need to work on. Students can switch roles later or plan it, so they have a break after the first role play. It's a very interesting Exercise.



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