I'm a multilingual translator and transcriptionist who is new to teaching languages. I am teaching myself to teach private classes (and tutor) in ESL at the moment and I'm wondering what role smartphones play nowadays in the language teacher-student relationship.

While I do love my laptop, I'm really not in a hurry to purchase a smartphone as they seem to take up so much resources in time and money and affect human relationships in ways that do not appeal to me. But I realize that this is where the modern world is heading, and with maybe 75% of us owning smartphones now, I expect my students to be avid users of these devices as well. The thing is that learning (whether it's a language or anything else) requires attention and concentration, and smartphones, with all the distractions they offer, tend to get in the way of that. So I'm wondering if it's common for ESL teachers to ask their students to turn off their devices and keep them in their backpacks during class or if it's something that you just learn to "work" with. Do you make sure that your lessons are so entertaining and engaging that the students actually forget to check their phones or do you take that opportunity to check your phone as well if you have one?