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Updated by Jill Bromenschenkel on Apr 06, 2015
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Tech to support ELL (Academic) Language Acquisition

Companion list to ELL Access to Lang & Content. Keep in mind, some apps and sites could serve either purpose- access or acquisition.


Add voice comments to Google Drive docs and presentations. Add-on in Chrome. Valuable for teacher comments and student academic language interaction.


"Recording your presentations is easy and quick and everything is sharable online by email or social media with a simple link" Add video and voice to slides, screencasts and other presentations. Good tool for access to content (i.e. via flipped learning) and for students to create language rich productions.


Create animated videos and presentations. Use for teacher-created explanations or student created presentations... include expectations for academic language use.


"Simply take any photo, draw a line to make a mouth, and record your voice. Then share your Pix with friends and family as silly greetings, playful messages, or creative cards." Simple app for student voice, language use, short stories. Try: use a (fluency) rubric and ask kids to record, self-assess and re-record.


"Tellagami is a mobile app that lets you create and share a quick animated Gami video." Send messages to students and parents. Students create language rich recordings. Nice feature- students can upload their own work as the background and have their character explain it. Tip: have students write a script before recording.


Google Hangouts

Google Hangouts

A myriad of possibilities for language interaction... online meetings with video. Nice plus- members can collaborate on a google doc at the same time as the hangout is active.


Subtext(™) supports teachers in their Common Core instruction and helps students move closer to college and career readiness by encouraging them to analyze what they read, articulate what they think, and make connections between texts and the outside world.

Teachers can embed instruction right in the pages of nearly any digital text. Because notes are linked to a specific passage, there’s a natural emphasis on close reading, citing text evidence, and supporting claims.

• Any ePub or PDF
• Any paid or free book from Google Play & Feedbooks (Volume Purchase Program available)
• Web articles and nonfiction from our collections or using the ‘Save to Subtext’ bookmarklet"


"PixnTell adds your voice to your pictures and creates a personalized video you can share on Dropbox, Facebook, YouTube, FocusTrain or email." Tool for speaking about images: justify, clarify, explain, tell a story, so forth. Apply academic language to photos in a simple manner.


"Scribble Press is a multimedia creativity platform for creating, sharing and publishing stories. Find us on iPad or on the web." Student book publishing and sentence frames for simple stories. (elementary/ primary)


List of Story, Story Starter, & publishing apps

List of Story, Story Starter, & publishing apps
Tell About This

"Easily capture children's thoughts and stories using visual prompts and voice" Students respond orally to photo prompts at varying levels. Beneficial especially for pre-writers.

Write About This

"Write About This is a visual writing prompt & creation platform perfect for classrooms and families! With endless ways to respond and the ability to craft custom photo prompts, it will kick-start any writing activity" Opportunity for student language output related to a variety of topics. Includes leveled questions and voice prompts (comprehensible input). The paid version is worth the 4.99 in my opinion- almost endless prompts and the ability to create multiple custom prompts.

Story Wheel | The iPhone and iPad app for creating stories

Studies are mounting that strongly support the educational and developmental benefits of story telling. Here are just a few quotes from studies: To start, select a theme. Try the "Story Teller" theme pack for free, and once you are ready to expand your stories, you can purchase other themes like the "Princesses & Knights" theme, "Pirates" theme, or "Space" theme.




"TodaysMeet is an easy-to-use, versatile backchannel tool. It can enhance discussions, provide a place for ideas and more". Now will class sign-in and protected classes. Quick tool for immediate feedback, recording group discussions and increased language output. Combine with writer's workshop or socratic seminar for increased language interaction.


"Simple tools help you build books in minutes. Let the art inspire and surprise you as you write. Readers will encourage you along the way."
Collaborative story building site- good for encouragement and writing collaboration & language application.




"Online bulletin board to create create walls, where you and others can post images, videos, text, and files. - See more at: "
Good place for class backchannel, gathering input, language application, so forth. EAch post can also connect to a link, photo or document. Use to collaborate from many devices and/ or display on interactive whiteboard to gather responses. Great for entry/ exit tickets.

"Do Now is a weekly activity for students to engage and respond to current issues using social media tools like Twitter. Do Now aims to build civic engagement and digital literacy for young folks."




"Voki is a free service that lets you create customized speaking characters"Another place for student voice- respond to prompts, explain work, apply language, embed in blogs, etc.

Reading Across the Curriculum - Actively Learn

Actively Learn is everything you need to get your students reading closely.