5 ICT tools for engaging (online) CLIL lessons

January 4, 2021


With schools worldwide offering online or hybrid teaching, the need for online tools increases. In this post you can find 5 of the best ICT tools for both your online and offline CLIL lessons.

Want to find even more ICT tools? Have a look at "CLIL in Corona times"

Estimated time to read this article: 7 minutes

Teaching: "Every day's different"

In the Netherlands we have a saying: "Leraar, elke dag anders". 

This can be loosely translated to: "Teaching, every day's different".

The slogan was originally meant to promote the job of a teacher, emphasizing the fact that no day is the same.

Well, I think we can agree last year was quite different indeed...

With 2021 starting with a full lockdown for teacher in the Netherlands (and many other countries around the world) I wanted to share with you some resources that were mentioned in the Facebook group "The CLIL Community".

Many suggestions and ideas were shared and I choose a few of the mentioned ideas to discuss in more detail below


Remember, CLIL is all about motivating students to be engaged with a second language (often English).

That is why generating both written and spoken output should be goal when using these online tools.

I know, that is easier said than done.

Below you can find various tools that can be used for (online) CLIL lessons.

All of these tools are available for free, but might have some limitations like less options for activities or less possibilities to save activities compared to paid plans.


Key Take Away

Online teaching tools can be used for both CLIL and non-CLIL lessons. Be sure to focus on language output to make them CLIL.

Five tools for your online CLIL lesson

In the poll I posted in the Facebook group, a lot of votes were cast.

The poll with ICT CLIL tools

The top five of tools with their votes

The first place went to "Kahoot", but I discussed this website in another blog post called "3 free ICT tools for every CLIL lesson" already so I will skip it for this one.

The tools I will discuss below are:

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5

I selected these five base on both their usefulness for CLIL lessons (personal experience!) or their popularity in the poll.

1. Quizlet

Not a website I have used a lot myself, but as the second in the list of most popular tools not one I should skip.

This website allows students to learn using flashcards, but also has formative test elements.

Using these tests, students can check if they understand the topic at all.

Because the tests are randomly generated from different flash cards available, this is a great way to differentiate assessment and minimize cheating.

When it comes to generating language output, you can ask for explanations or descriptions. Making this a great tool to integrate CLIL in your lesson.

A Quizlet test

There are a lot of resources available already on this website, so it is definitely worth having a look.

And please resist the urge to create everything yourself ;).

As I have no experience with this website myself, please feel free to share your experiences in the comments!

2. Padlet

A close third place for Padlet (only one vote..). The online brainstorm website.

I have used this website myself various times in my lessons or even when organising the online CLIL summit:

  • Answer questions like: 'what to do when you forget your books' during the first lessons of the year with first grade students.
  • Brainstorm responses to challenges in a math class.
  • Collect questions regarding topics for the online CLIL summit live panel.

This is of course another great way to generate written output in a CLIL lesson.

The padlet for the online CLIL summit

The wide variety of options allow for a quick overview of all of the collected responses, so you can use this to check for understanding in your classroom.

3. Wordwall

This website received a lot of votes, but I did know about it.

So I had a look at it, and was pleasantly surprised!

A nice variety of different ways to assess knowledge (like flying an airplane into the correct answers or match pairs) allows for a more diverse way of learning than just open or multiple choice questions.

Flying an airplane into the correct answer

The website also offers both interactive quizzes as well as printables, so your quizzes can be used in offline lessons as well.

A nice addition I have not seen at other websites (yet).

4. Flipgrid

A website (and app) for recording short videos for your classroom.

Because the videos are stored within the app and cannot be shared outside of it, there is no change you can find the videos on YouTube or other online video platforms.

So privacy wise this app is great. 

I personally used this for a project with a school abroad. Students had to record themselves while showing their viewers around the school, explaining about the various parts of the school building.

Flipgrid as it was used in my project

During another project, students had to explain how they tackled certain math problems to each other.

In the Facebook group, this was also shared:

In other words: this can be used in a lot of different ways and is ideal for situations when you have to teach online.

And the application to a CLIL lesson is obvious: there is a lot of spoken language output when students have to record themselves!

5. Whiteboard.fi

Another website certainly worth mentioning is whiteboard.fi.

This website simulates the mini whiteboards you might use in your lesson already. It is a great way to teach both online as well as in a hybrid way, with students participating both in your classroom and at home.

You open a room, share the code of the room and ask your question.

Students write or draw their response on their individual whiteboard and you can see their responses in real-time.

A great way to check spelling, do a quick assessment or ask for an evaluation.


I hope these five tools help you tackle the challenges of online teaching (or CLIL teaching in general). 

Have you used these tools before?

Let me know below!

I am curious to know in what way these tools can benefit teachers worldwide!

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