12 Essential Online Teaching Tools Every Language Teacher Should Have

Having a hard time keeping up with the latest tools for online teachers?

These days, education is conducted with high-tech applications that give students an enhanced learning experience.

Exploring new and exciting online teaching tools is just one more way you can bring innovation into language learning.

Here are my picks for the best online teaching resources to transform a traditional classroom into an interactive learning zone.


Presentation Apps to Engage Your Students

Finding ways to teach materials in a fun and memorable way is often a challenge in any environment. Luckily, there are tools to help you create visual content that’s both engaging and educational. 

1. Visme

online teaching tools Price: Free (in-app purchases available)


If you want to take your classroom presentations beyond PowerPoint slides, Visme is a great alternative.

It has a wide range of templates you can use to create eye-catching graphics, charts, videos and more. You can even invite your students to create the presentations with you, ensuring that they’re actively participating in their own learning.

In case your students want to review the visual materials outside the classroom, Visme allows you to share links with them. The platform has tracking and analytics features that allow you to gauge how engaged your students are with the materials and identify any areas of improvement in the way the lessons are presented.   

2. FluentU

Price: Yearly subscription (free trial available)

FluentU is a language-learning platform that features immersive and authentic videos native speakers actually watch. Specifically, it includes movies, newsreels, clips, trailers and much more.

You can choose any video in the language you’re teaching, check the word list and note any vocabulary your students may want to learn at any moment. Alternatively, you can have them watch the videos straight through and if any difficult words come up, you can pull them up using the interactive subtitles and see the definition, tips, example sentences and other videos where that word appears.  

Read a complete review of FluentU here.

3. Prezi

online teaching tools Price: Free


A takeoff on the old standby slideshow presentation, this app is an online whiteboard that lets you interact with information visually as you speak.

Prezi allows you to move to any place in your presentation you want, instead of moving in a linear fashion from one slide to the next. This organized and visual method can help make even the driest topics more memorable to your students.

Help Students Improve Speaking with Audio Recording Apps

Verbal communication is a foundational element (if not the foundational element) of language teaching. The ability to record your students when they’re speaking is essential to meaningful feedback and assessment. Plus, if you have any students who are auditory learners, they can benefit the most from audio recordings. 

Fortunately, technology keeps adapting to make the process of creating and using recordings even simpler.

4. Vocaroo

online teaching tools

Price: Free

This popular online recording platform greatly simplifies the process of creating and uploading voice recordings. It allows you to easily link voice comments to student work in a blog or a cloud document service like Google Docs or Apple Pages, ensuring meaningful and individualized assessment and feedback.

You can personalize your lessons further by creating podcasts of your instructions for an activity or homework assignment.

5. Audacity

online teaching tools

Price: Free

This recording tool has been around for a while, but I’ll bet you haven’t fully explored its unique capabilities and their implications for online learning.

Similar to Vocaroo, Audacity gives you the ability to record and upload podcasts with instructions or dictation activities.

However, Audacity is also a wonderful tool your students can use to create skits, presentations and other projects. They can download audio tracks from Creative Commons or Wikimedia Commons and dub their own voices into them. Your students will have so much fun, they won’t even realize they’re working on a school project. And they’ll have a great time listening to their classmates’ work, too.

Quizzes to Assess What Your Students Have Learned

Online quiz platforms have a number of advantages over traditional paper quizzes.

For one, they provide instant feedback so your students can quickly zero in on what they’ve learned and what they need to work on. They also typically have interactive features like drag-and-drop exercises and multimedia elements. You can also customize the quizzes according to your students’ unique learning styles. 

6. Quizizz

online teaching tools Price: Free (premium versions available)


Quizizz is an interactive online quiz platform that allows you to create a variety of assessment materials for your students. You can create quizzes in any format (multiple choice, true/false, simple question and answer) and give instant feedback. Students can take the quizzes individually or in groups.

What makes Quizizz stand out is the gamified aspect. That means the quizzes can be designed such that the students have to perform specific tasks to get a score and move on to the next level. This gives them the incentive to perform better—not to mention retain the lessons due to the added entertainment value. 

7. Quizlet

online teaching tools Price: Free (in-app purchases available)


This digital flashcard app adds an interactive element to vocabulary memorization. Students can use the fun, easy-to-use flashcard sets to quiz themselves or each other and play games like Matching or Gravity (keep asteroids from destroying your planet by typing the correct vocabulary word). You can create your own flashcards or choose from the pre-made sets.

Quizlet has been around for a while, so you may already be familiar with its functions. But if you haven’t used it recently, you may not be aware of a new feature called “Quizlet Live,” which is especially great for online teaching. With this app, you can put your students in teams to face each other in a live competition, adding a personal interactive feel to your virtual classroom.

Quizlet also offers opportunities to connect with other language teachers via forums and discussion boards.

Video Conferencing Apps to Keep You Connected

Conferencing apps give you the ability to video chat with anyone in the world for free. You can use it to introduce your students to friends and acquaintances living in a country that speaks their target language. This gives students the opportunity to speak with someone who can chat with your class about food, holidays, language differences and other cultural tidbits vital to language fluency. 

8. Skype

online teaching tools

Price: Free (in-app purchases available)

Effective and easy to use, Skype has helped countless online educators bring language to life in their classrooms. The platform has undergone many changes over the years and has some compelling features you may not know about.

For example, “Skype in the Classroom” is a free program that helps you connect with other educators around the world. You can conduct virtual tours, collaborate on language-learning projects and engage in a fun activity called “Mystery Skype,” where classes “meet” each other online and have to guess what country the other class is from based on their conversation.

9. Zoom

online teaching tools Price: Free (monthly and annual subscriptions available)


Zoom functions much like Skype, but offers a number of extra features that lend themselves well to collaboration.

For example, its “Zoom Rooms” make group calls a breeze, facilitating collaborative work and conversations with other classrooms around the world.

It’s also worth noting that Zoom doesn’t require exceptional tech-savvy to use. All you have to do is send a link to the other party and they can hop on to a call whether they have a webcam or not. 

Collaborative Planning Tools to Help You Stay Organized

One of the toughest and most important teaching tasks is planning lessons that align with your content and educational standards. It’s equally important to communicate your expectations clearly to students and parents and ensure they can access the materials they need.

10. Google Classroom

online teaching tools Price: Free (premium subscriptions available)


True to its name, Google Classroom is essentially an all-in-one virtual classroom.  The platform allows you to give out assignments and reading materials, provide feedback and engage students in collaborative writing activities.

You can easily integrate it with other Google services like Drive, where you can upload various types of files like audio, images, videos and other materials to suit different students’ learning styles.

If you’re an administrator as well, you can set up Classroom for your entire school and control access to the platform. 

11. LiveBinders

online teaching tools

Price: Free (annual subscriptions available)

Remember those old three-ring binders? They were stuffed with lecture notes, handouts, worksheets and homework in various stages of completion. The idea was to keep everything needed for one class organized in one place—but, as you can imagine, it’s easy for all those files to spiral out of control or (gasp!) get lost. 

LiveBinders eliminates all that old-school paper wrestling and desperation. You can easily upload presentations, documents, worksheets and web resources, appropriately organized under relevant tabs. This makes it easy for students and parents to track their progress and see what they need to work on. As an added bonus, it greatly simplifies co-teaching, as lesson plans can be easily shared for collaboration.

12. PowerSchool

online teaching tools

Price: Free (premium versions available)

If you struggle to find or create just the right template to use for your online lessons, PowerSchool is truly a lifesaver.

You can set up easy-to-use templates aligned with your curriculum standards, which can be used over and over again. You can even add an entire semester’s worth of lesson plans to be tweaked and used again next year—with some improvements, of course. Attachments and images can be added to your lessons with ease.

Even better, you can access the app from any device, so it’s easy to make adjustments to your lessons while you’re on the go.


It can be overwhelming to try out all the new online teaching tools that show up from year to year. But the best online teaching resources, like the ones mentioned here, will remain fresh and exciting for years to come. With them, you can create more engaging activities that enhance the interactive element of online learning.

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