Using Chat in the Classroom – An #eltchat summary (November 11th, 2015)

A PLN for ELT Professionals

Using Chat in the Classroom – An #eltchat summary (November 11th, 2015)

This summary was kindly contributed by @ritaz.



Have you ever used chat in a project with students?


Benefits of CHAT and possible activities:

  • text chat: practice writing and reading skills; voice chat: practice pronunciation and speaking, audio chat: practice listening comprehension

  • Also good for SS who are absent  –  They can even participate from home

  • Do you think Twitter is better in the classroom or out? Using it in classroom allows SS to learn the out-of-classroom opportunities they have

  • Also, the public nature of it makes it even better for them (self-correction, etc.)

  • stds enjoy it a lot seeing they are going global and learn about writing as appropriately as hey can to be understood

  • Twitter itself is great to use because Ss can see instant response e,g, if T asks own PLN a question they can all learn from the answer

  • it gives opportunities for students to produce something authentic

  • my experiences have been memorable!!! Imagine stds chatting frantically to find big cultural differences

  • Using written lang (e.g. chats) synchronously is great for natural interaction, it is great for introverts, safe environment, can be used for study groups, group work, tutorials or just chat, may be moderated

  • ‘backchannel chat’ a chat running in the background of the lesson

  • it needs to have a pedagogical purpose

  • it is possible to save the text of a session and work on it focusing on good/wrong use

  • you can work with written text to give feedback on ss language. Informal writing rather than usual formal

  • the written word is easier for some – and it trains fast typing skills too!!!!

  • I have wonderful examples of scripts showing stds’ enthusiasm! –which aids learning

  • Chats are about expressing ideas in a condensed way. Important skill for advanced students

  • I still think it’s important to have voice chats or voice tools too – textspeak must not replace real talk

  • yes! voice chat is also an excellent way of giving stds the chance of communicating spontaneously

  • Lack of follow-up work? SS do all the chatting but no language work wrong use

  • you can share and exercise your vocabulary, grammar and knowledge of various topics

  • Some like chat because nobody corrects their English. On blogs they use #correction tag to show they want tips and corrections

  • we can’t start complaining about the demise of f2f communication in a Twitter chat!!

Tools mentioned:

  • It depends on the aim of each lesson, the tools the SS know how to use
  • Tweetdeck and Nurph. Nurph is easier for those new to Twitter

  • Twubs it can be slower than @nurph on occasion which is why we nurph here

  • I am not limiting myself to Twitter, we can open chatrooms for a specific purpose and invite stds to join in

  • is a great copycat of twitter for kids – T can give them code for class chatroom

  • TodaysMeet is a great free platform for a class backchannel

  • Skype is also very good! Skype chats are great – audio and video

  • Skype: free group video calling, w/teachers in a community

  • this is a great tool, mainly for stds in different countries

  • and you can project it for all to see

  • All platforms have a chat option, I think. Like forum discussions, etc.

  • also Google Chat on Gmail, or when sharing a Google doc, for collaborative work

  • here is a post by Richard Byrne on 5 tools for class


Tips suggested:

  • it’s always best to use the tool stds are familiar with

  • If we watch a video,for example,in class,I ask them to tweet about it. Sth in between note-taking and discussing about it.

  • Do they tweet about it afterwards or during class time? Answer: during class time – during watching the thing

  • the point is for Ts to set aims re language when using any tool

  • chatters use chat to find out who they can trust before moving on to f2f chats on Skype (or private chat)

  • It can be fun to get students to follow and join in with Twitter trends. But must be adults

  • If your sts want to chat, blog, or join forums in a community, invite them to MyEC:

  • On MyEC, if members are only there for chat (no profile page, blog, photos, videos, etc.), they are suspect

  • more downsides: don’t use your own name, full of people with strange names if joining a chatroom, language can be distorted

Sharing experiences:

  • interviews via Google docs – high elementary class, sts in groups interviewing me by typing Qs 1/2 #eltchat

  • Hangouts are great – I guess u mean for Ss known to one another – there are e-safety issues here

  • I use them for language work (vocabulary, spelling, style, etc.) as well as content

  • I’ve run projects based on chats, then I can work on the script, or speak about the whole experience afterwards

  • My students often use WhatsApp group to share notes from class

  • I’ve mostly used Skype for communicating w/ other STDs, for ex, Argent STDs meeting Taiwanese students to talk about a topic

  • I used to do paper chatroom where ss passed sheets of paper round class, so written/spoken Eng. Haven’t caught up with online Tools

  • is motivating ss to take a more active role in communication within and outside the lesson enough of a goal?

  • Marisa_C showed a great example of Voicethread at #digELT2015 #eltchat

  • C  Along those same lines, does anyone worry that too much E-communication might replace F2F classrooms

  • Possibly e-communication will replace f2f communication, anyway

  • I always encourage learners to try Twitter in #English and use #twinglish just like we Ts use #ELTchat.


  • Dave’s EFL Café

  • MyEnglishClub: supports a huge online community of free Ss here and chatrooms are the main tools 4 them

  • other good platforms: TinyChat, Paltalk