Chrome Extensions for ESL Learners

Last week in Stockholm, I attended the Google summit and it blew my mind. Although I’m still in beta shock and am coming to terms of how I will reinvent my practice with what I learned, there were some immediate take aways with apps and extensions to the chrome browser. Although these are for general use, I can’t help but think of how useful these would be to my students who are learning English as a second language. All of these are either shown by an icon on your task-bar or cataloged under your chrome app launcher.


1. Announcify

AnnouncifyApp that allows any website to be read to the viewer. I installed this on my task bar and have had some articles read to me, much like how I listen to NPR when I have a prep period at work. I think the real advantage of this is that students can read an article and have it read to them which is nice to check that their pronunciation is correct.


2. Select and Speak

Select and SpeakThis app works very much like Announcify but instead of having the entire article read, the viewer can merely select sentences or paragraphs with which they are having difficulty. This too has real applications for students that may like to have a word read to them and in a specific context, or may only want to have short passages read out loud.


3. Google Translate

Google TranslateThis is great for any students who may want an entire webpage read to them in their native language. Although learning English may be the goal, having students read an article in English first, then translate it to their native tongue for comparison may be a nice reflection.


4. Too Long, Didn’t Read It

TLDRI’m not advocating apathy here, but give this a chance. What TLDR does is it takes any web article and summarizes it for the reader. The reader can select different summary lengths such as short, medium or long. This has real uses for mixed ability classrooms and group discussions.


5. Google Dictionary

Google DictionaryThis is a must have for any student, not just ESL learners. After installing this plug in, simply select the word that you want to have defined and with the click of a button, students are told whether it is a noun, adjective and have tons of reference to help them understand.


What Chrome extensions and apps have you found useful with ESL learners? Let us know in the comments below!

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