Vocabulary on the iPad for EFL learners

Soon after we launched the iPad as a sole tool for teaching and learning, my supervisor, at that time, asked me to present at the upcoming iPad conference being hosted by the college.  Much to my relief, as I had never presented at an academic conference before, the presentation was to be short, only 15 minutes.  There would be various presentations happening simultaneously, giving conference attendees the opportunity to see something different every 15 minutes.

At that point, I had not used an iPad in the classroom.  We had all be given iPads a couple of weeks previously, and most of us, having never used one before, were still learning all that it could do.  So, I was more than a little nervous about standing up and telling fellow professionals how to use one successfully in the classroom – in at the deep end…and all of that!

I needed to decide on an idea which would prove useful to EFL teachers, but was fairly simple to put into practice.  We were working on the assumption that conference attendees would all be new to using iPads in the classroom.

Flashboard https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/free-flashcards-flashboard/id431910923?mt=8  is a free app, which I had been introduced to by a colleague.  I had played around with it, and decided that I liked it!  It is simple to use, and useful for students learning and practising vocabulary.  So, I decided that my presentation would show how Flashboard could be used to learn and practise vocabulary, in the classroom…or anywhere else!

Flashboard is, basically, an app which allows you to create flash cards, and, as we all know, flash cards are a great way of learning and practising new vocabulary.

As I said, it’s simple to use, so I won’t go into the mechanics of it here.  Simply put – you/the students can create original flash cards within the app itself, or, you/the students can import pre-made flash cards from http://www.quizlet.com or Google Docs.  Students are able to get creative and design their very own flash cards in whichever way they want.  Just through the creation of the cards they are learning the vocabulary!

The flash cards can have a variety of combinations: a picture on one side and word(s) on the other, pictures on both sides, word(s) on both sides, etc.  The cards ‘flip’ and swipe.  It’s great for revision on the go!

My favourite thing about this app is that it has a ‘memory match game’ function.  You can turn any of your ‘decks’ into a game of Pelmanism!

How did my presentation go?  It went very well, thank you!

iCelebrate 2012

The following semester I used Flashboard with my students.  The majority of them loved it and got very creative.  By the time assessments came around, they had several decks covering different topics and units of the course, and were able to use them to revise.

Have you used Flashboard?  Can you share any creative ways of using it for teaching and learning?

Do you have any questions?  Please leave a comment!



©Natalie Murray, 2014. Copying strictly prohibited. Extracts and links may be used only with full and clear credit given to Natalie Murray/English in Andalucia with appropriate links to the source material.


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