ThingLink Challenge: ESL Students research concepts

Being part of the ThingLink challenge has led me to explore how ESL students can use ThingLink along with Soundcloud to develop skills and understandings for success across the curriculum.

Learning Objectives

I used the Language and Literacy Levels Level 14 as a guide:

1. Visuals in multimodal texts

plan, research and deliver presentations on more complex issues/learning area topics, combining visual and multimodal elements creatively to present ideas & information, support opinions, engage & persuade audience

2. Words and word groups

  • develop higher order concepts in academic texts through language features that compact and generalise ideas, for example using nominalisation, technical and abstract vocabulary
  • Continues to use an extensive range of vocabulary to express complex, technical and abstract meanings.
  • Composes expanded noun groups with nominalisation to express abstract and technical meanings:

3. Understanding learning area vocabulary

  • use subject-specific vocabulary to express abstract concepts, and refine vocabulary choices to discriminate between shades of meaning

Rationale By: Susan Oxnevad

There is a wealth of research to suggest that vocabulary knowledge is the single best predictor of student academic achievement across all curriculum areas. ..Digging deeper into vocabulary means more than just sending students to a dictionary to look up the definition. Students must interact with new vocabulary.  Opportunities to use words, explore them within different contexts and create non-linguistic representations of words will help them do more than just memorize words. ThingLink is well-suited for the task.

With my ESL year 11 students this vocabulary activity was a formative task for their Text Production Oral on a global campaign that they are passionate about.

The Activity

In this activity you will research three concepts that are essential in understanding your issue;

  1. Create an original digital image. (Use a Google presentation slide)
  2. Upload your image to ThingLink.
  3. Add Rich Media Tags to define  three concepts through multimedia
  • Find a video that explains or demonstrates one concept. (Save the link)
  • Use Soundcloud to record a definition of another concept.  (Save the link)
  • Find another source, a website, an animation or a Ted Talk to demonstrate the third concept.

By using ThingLink students created interactive images to research and demonstrate learning. The interactive image could be used to help students to dig deeper into the meaning of their concepts and develop meaning through research.


The final part of the task was for the students to upload their ThingLink Concept diagram to their blog and tell others about their global concern. By blogging the students were given the opportunity to express their opinion and point of view. As the Language and Literacy levels show, ESL students need to develop language that indirectly expresses opinions and constructs representations of people, events, and consider expressed and implied judgements.

Please enjoy one of my student’s blog post HERE.


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