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Enriching the ESL Classroom with QR Codes

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NYS TESOL 2014 Conference

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Enriching the ESL Classroom with QR Codes

  1. 1. Enriching the ESL Classroom with QR Codes Tristan Thorne American Language Program, Columbia University November 15, 2014 (This is a QR code)
  2. 2. Background  “QR” is short for “Quick Response”  Initially created for the Japanese auto industry in 1994 by Denso Wave  Basically, a fancy barcode  Typically used for marketing and disseminating information – keep your eyes peeled!
  3. 3. QR Codes and the Themes of this Conference  Equity “Eye” vs. “ear” learners: A variety of input can accommodate different kinds of learners (Reid, 2006). Add to this distinction the notion of “kinesthetic” learners in order to address the needs of all students (Hafernik &Wiant, 2012).  Engagement Authentic materials can augment students’ “on-task behavior, concentration, and involvement in the target activity more than artificial materials” (Peacock, 1997, p. 152).  Enrichment Teacher-made materials can be meaningfully tailored to the particular group of students (Brown, 2007).
  4. 4. More Specifically...  Easily access authentic materials inside and outside of the classroom  It’s much more convenient than typing the URL for a website  Engage in an authentic form of media interaction  Introduce a wider variety of information in myriad forms  Allow for communicative and collaborative learning  Pique students’ curiosity  Give students more control over their learning  Save paper  The process is 100% free  Get students to use their smartphones for learning
  5. 5. Student Testimonials  “It saves the number of paper to print long articles”  “It is fun to use this technique rather than only textbooks in a traditional class”  “It makes the in-class activity more interactive”  “It is easy to understand how it works”  “Using QR codes in a competition in class motivates our interests in the topics”  “It’s also very convenient for students to communicate with each other”
  6. 6. Creating and Scanning To create: 1A. Link websites for audio, video, and pictures: (Click on “Static,” and then “Generate”) 1B. Link text: 2. Copy and paste the QR code into whatever document or presentation you’re making To scan: 1. Download the free app “i-nigma” on your smartphone 2. Open i-nigma and scan the QR code
  7. 7. Linking Directly to a Picture Found Online 1. Right click on the image 2. Select “Copy Image Address” 3. Paste the image address in
  8. 8. Making Audio QR Codes  Register for a free account at  Record short audio clips and link their individual websites to a QR code  Some ideas for what you can record: a. Reading students’ written sentences for dictation and error correction b. Describing different pictures for matching to similar pictures c. Bits of a news report or podcast for audio reordering d. Reading a poem for rhythm shadowing practice e. Song samples for gap-filling exercises
  9. 9. Fill-in-the-gap
  10. 10. Classroom Examples  Pronunciation in groups  Listening for main ideas and details  Describing a picture or process  Activating schema  Error correction  Skimming and scanning  Review activities  Using context clues to put audio snippets in order  Adding a layer to synthesis tasks
  11. 11. Rhythm Practice
  12. 12. Synthesis
  13. 13. Listening for Main Ideas and Details
  14. 14. Note-taking
  15. 15. Skimming and Scanning
  16. 16. Other Ideas  Include a QR code on all handouts for post-lesson review  Instead of pasting a black-and-white image to an article, include a QR code of the picture  If you don’t use a website to give homework assignments, hand out a small piece of paper with a QR code and task
  17. 17. Post-lesson Review and Homework
  18. 18. Potential Issues  Students must have smartphones (but not necessarily every single student)  The class can get a little noisy if not structured carefully  There is a limit to the amount of text you can put into a QR code before the QR code becomes impossible to scan  “Use technology to support the pedagogical goals of the class and curriculum” (Brown, 2007, p. 200)
  19. 19. References Brown, H. D. (2007). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education. Hafernik, J. J., & Wiant, F. M. (2012). Integrating multilingual students into college classrooms: Practical advice for faculty. Tonawanda, NY: Multilingual Matters. Peacock, M. (1997). The effect of authentic materials on the motivation of EFL learners. ELT Journal, 52(2), 144-156. Reid, J. (2006). ‘Eye’ leaners and ‘ear’ leaners: Identifying the language needs of international students and US resident writers. In P. K. Matsuda, M. Cox, J. Jordan & C. Ortmeier-Hooper (Eds.), Second-language writing in the composition classroom: A critical sourcebook (pp. 76-88). Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.
  20. 20. Thank you! Questions? Free free to contact me: