Video - Digital tools for supporting writing activities



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Below are the key-elements of the video:

You have already learnt how to create your own content using offline programmes such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, or online programmes such as Google docs and Google slides. Besides using these programmes to prepare lessons and materials, you can also use them in the classroom to support your teaching. 

Learning a language focuses on several skills: speaking, listening, writing and reading. 

We now focus on digital skills and tools that can support writing and presentation activities

You can ask students to use a word processing programme such as Word to create a written text, handout, table or poster. Think, for example, about creating recipes with a photo , an e-mail, an article or a CV. You can ask your students to write and create this digital content at home or in the classroom. 

On the other hand, when you want to make a presentation or want your students to make a presentation, tools such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Google slides are useful. 

You can also use blogs as a writing exercise. So, instead of writing in Word, you can create a blog with your class or ask students to create a blog themselves and use it to collect and display writing exercises. 

You can find free online blogs on these two websites: 

Other useful digital tools you can use to support writing and speaking are online dictionaries and translations tools. 

The most comprehensive online dictionary is Google Translate, because it gives translations between many different languages. Another very useful tool is Reverso Context: it contains fewer languages, but provides examples of translated texts, which you can choose according to context

Remember to be critical when using machine translation tools, especially when translating whole texts rather than simple words: in these cases the translation is rarely totally accurate. Language structures are often wrong and sometimes the best synonym for a translated word is not the one proposed by the translation tool. 

We advise you to translate texts yourself and then use online dictionaries for words you do not know. This of course also applies as a tip for your students. 

Finally, you can also use social networks and e-mail to practise your writing skills. For example, creating a Facebook or WhatsApp group for the class to share information and communicate in the language you are teaching or have students write e-mails as a post-task. 

Make sure, however, that you try out the tools first so that you know how to guide your students. 

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