Using Microsoft Word & Excel in ESL Classroom

Photo 13-03-2016, 7 57 02 PM.jpg

When technology integration in the classroom is seamless and thoughtful, students not only become more engaged, they begin to take more control over their own learning, too. Effective tech integration changes classroom dynamics, encouraging student-centered project-based learning (Edutopia, 2007).

As teachers, we should be able to use several methods when we want to integrate technology in the classroom. It is not necessary that teachers MUST use the most sophisticated tools in teaching and learning, in fact we can use what we have. For instance, I think most of the schools in Malaysia have a computer lab. So, teachers can bring the students to the computer lab.

There are many exercises or games that we can produce by only using Microsoft office (Microsoft Word, Excel, as well as Microsoft PowerPoint).

Here are some exercises or games that teachers can use in the classroom;

  • Microsoft Word
  1. Game board 
  2. Cook in her website also listed some lessons about Microsoft Word, in order for the students to learn grammar and vocabulary. She separated the level of the students and the lessons.

  • Microsoft Excel
  1. As mentioned by Singh (2014) in her website, Excel is a friendly and perhaps most dreaded office tool. You can turn the data-analysing, number-cruncher into one unbelievably cool game. The Microsoft software has a few secrets up its sleeve; many people have managed to design new games or recreate classics like Monopoly from its offerings.

2048: In 2048 two tiles of the same number can merge into a new tile that equals the total value of the two. The goal of the game is to have a tile value of 2,048.

The geniuses at built an Excel version that allows you to play the game, and track your moves to help analyse your strategy. Since the game is made entirely in Excel, you can resume the game at a later time by saving the workbook, and it can be played online or offline. It is available for Excel 2007 or later, and can be downloaded for free here.


Monopoly: Tumblr user Andrew Werner was playing the popular board game Monopoly with his wife and friend when he began to think of different strategies for the game.

After 12 to 14 hours of work, he created a Monopoly simulator in Excel using a programming language called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). The game allows up to four players, and was updated in August 2011 with the option to choose “human” or “computer” players.


To download it for free, click here.

2. Crossword puzzle (video).

  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  1. This game is to teach math basically. However, we can use this method to teach English as well.
  2. Animations & Transitions is kinda awesome too. Especially when we want to teach alien words to the students. For instance, we can provide a particular word with pictures. So, when the students look at the pictures, they have clear understanding about the meaning of a particular word.

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