ESL Review Activity: Got to Hand it to You

ESL-review-activity

ESL Review Activity: Got to Hand it to You If you’re looking for an ESL review activity, you’ve come to the right place! Got to Hand it to You is kind of like a quiz show, but instead of the teacher asking questions and the students answering, everything is on paper. In groups, students read the questions and then they have to fill out an answer sheet. It’s far more student centred than the traditional “ESL Jeopardy” game and as a bonus, students have to answer all the questions instead of every 1 in 20 or so. Got to Hand…

Continue Reading

Top 10 ESL Speaking Activities for False Beginners

top-10-ESL-speaking-activities-false-beginners

Top 10 ESL Speaking Activities for False Beginners I taught English in South Korea for almost a decade and most of that time was spent teaching false beginners. False beginners are students who’ve studied English at some point in the past but had to stop for whatever reason. Or more commonly in Korea, they’ve studied English for years, sometimes very advanced level concepts but didn’t really even grasp the basics. It was all too common amongst my students! Some students realized that they were actually at quite a basic level, and they were easy to teach because they were willing…

Continue Reading

Top 10 ESL Activities for Total Beginners

ESL-activities-for-total-beginners

Try out These Top 10 ESL Activities for Total Beginners When I first began my ESL career teaching in South Korea, I taught total beginners. It was like I got thrown into the deep end of the pool and I could barely tread water. 10 years later, with a whole lot more experience under my belt, total beginners don’t intimidate me like they used to and in some ways, I even like them better than advanced students. It’s easier to teach someone numbers and colours than the subtle differences between all the future tenses. Anyway, if you’re in the same…

Continue Reading

Top 10 ESL Icebreakers

ESL-icebreakers

If you’re looking to get your semester started off on the right foot, then you’ll need to use a few of these ESL icebreakers. They’ll help the students get to know each other and you as well. By starting your classes off with some ESL icebreakers, you’re setting yourself up for a successful semester. Keep reading for the top 10 ESL icebreakers. You can see the detailed activity description by clicking the links! #1: Ball Toss If you’re looking for one of the most versatile ESL activities ever, look no further than this Ball Toss one. You can use it for…well…just…

Continue Reading

Top 10 ESL Review Activities and Games

ESL-review-activities

If you’re looking to make sure your students understood what you taught them in a previous lesson, consider using one of these top 10 ESL review activities and games. They’re fun, engaging and interesting, which will equal happy students and happy teachers! Most of them are appropriate for just about any age or level of student, just adjust them accordingly. Click on the titles of each ESL review game to be taken to the full description of the activity. #1: Odd One Out This ESL warm-up activity is also one of my favourite ESL review activities. It’s fast, easy and…

Continue Reading

ESL Speaking and Listening: Agony Aunt

agony-aunt-esl-speaking-and-listening

ESL Speaking and Listening Activity: Agony Aunt Skills: Listening/Speaking/Reading Time: 15-20 minutes Level: High-beginner to Advanced Materials: Printed advice column questions and answers Agony Aunt if one of my favourite ESL speaking and listening activities. It will get your students talking because everyone knows how to solve other people’s problems! If your students are a bit more advanced, you can use actual advice columns. These can easily be found by searching on the Internet for “advice column” etc. The lower the students’ level, the more you’ll need to grade the language, or you can write your own advice column. It doesn’t…

Continue Reading

101 ESL Activities for Teenagers and Adults

101-ESL-Activities-for-Teenagers-and-Adults

101 ESL Activities for Teenagers and Adults 101 ESL Activities: For Teenagers and Adults is a new book out on Amazon that is guaranteed to make your lesson planning easy. Save time and do the things you actually like to do instead of wasting time with too much lesson planning! It will help you out if: You’re a first time teacher who doesn’t have much experience in the classroom. All you need to do is open the book and choose a few of the activities to do in class. It’s lesson planning made easy and you can stop wasting time…

Continue Reading

Terrible ESL textbook: Help is Here!

terrible-ESL-textbook

Terrible ESL Textbook Doesn’t Have to Mean a Terrible Class I remember back to the days when I first started teaching in Korean universities and how clueless I was about basically everything. That first semester, I was given a total piece of crap textbook to teach English conversation from (which shall remain nameless) for my freshman classes and of course it was a disaster. Instead of using some of theses strategies I’ll talk about in a minute, I soldiered on through the terrible ESL textbook with awful results. Don’t let a terrible ESL textbook ruin your class! It really is…

Continue Reading

How to Teach English Conversation

English-conversation

Many foreign ESL teachers abroad, especially in places like South Korea, teach predominantly English conversation classes. Some teachers (and students too!) have the perception that teaching English conversation involves just “talking” to the students. Free-talking does have a role in helping students learn English, but it shouldn’t be the only thing we do in our English conversation classes. If you’re looking to level-up your ESL teaching game, you’ve come to the right place! I have plenty of tips, lesson plans, and activity ideas for how to teach English conversation the better way. Help your students actually improve their conversation skills…

Continue Reading

Trivia for Kids: Lesson Planning Made Easy!

trivia-for-kids

Trivia for Kids as well as Adults Trivia is one of my favourite ways to begin my classes. It’s a light-hearted way to ease your students into using English and it also is a great way to expand student’s general knowledge as well as vocabulary. The only problem is that it can be pretty hard to find trivia that is challenging yet has language easy enough for students who don’t speak English as their first language. However, there are two resources that you need to check out! The first one is trivia for kids and the next one is trivia…

Continue Reading

Private Teaching ESL Activities and Games

Teaching

Private Teaching Activities and Games Private teaching can sometimes be a little bit difficult because the activities and games you’d normally use with bigger classes often won’t work when it’s just you and a student. I know that I’d way rather teach a class of 30 than a private session with only one or two students! However, I still occasionally do private teaching and I have a go-to repertoire of activities and games that I rely on. I’ll share a few of them here with you. English Central Videos I love to use videos to teach English, but it’s sometimes…

Continue Reading

English Central: YouTube for English Teaching

English-Central

English Central: YouTube for English Teaching! Kids as well as adults love videos and they make excellent language teaching tools. The only problem is that many of the videos on YouTube are too difficult, especially for beginners. However, there is a good option! English Central.  You can search by level and find just about anything you could possibly want. Keep reading for how I use English Central in my own classes. A Listening and Speaking Activity Skills: Listening/ Speaking Time: 10-15 minutes Level: Beginner to Advanced Materials Required: Internet connection English Central is YouTube for language learners. There is premium…

Continue Reading

1-1 ESL Activities: For Kids (7-13)

ESL-activities

Private Classes With Kids = Difficult! Teaching private classes to kids can be quite difficult and I personally find it far harder than doing the same thing with adults. Adults are usually able to focus reasonably well for an hour or two and their motivation is usually high since they’re the ones paying for the lesson! With kids however, it’s a very different story. Learning English with a private tutor can sometimes be the last thing they want to be doing. Their attention spans are short, sometimes only 5-10 minutes. And, they are sometimes very unmotivated, especially if all their…

Continue Reading

Story Timeline: ESL Reading and Speaking Activity

ESL-reading-and-speaking-activity

An ESL Reading and Speaking Activity If you’re looking for an ESL reading and speaking activity, check out this story timeline activity. It makes an excellent follow-up activity for whatever reading your students are doing inside, or outside of class. It works equally well for both children and adults. It’s an excellent 1-1 activity, or if you have a bigger class, you can put students into pairs or groups of 3-4 and have them work on it together. If you want to make it more difficult for advanced level or older students, just include some extra strips of paper with…

Continue Reading