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…

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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…

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Private Teaching ESL Activities and Games

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…

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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…

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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…

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39 Awesome 1-1 ESL Activities: For Teenagers and Adults

1-1 ESL Activities

Get Some Fun Ideas for your Lessons Today 39 Awesome 1-1 ESL Activities: For Teenagers and Adults is going to make your students happy and your lesson planning easy! If you teach private classes with only one or two students, it can be quite difficult to plan for because the ESL games and activities you’d use with bigger classes often won’t work. You’ll need to change how you plan your lessons, but this is where this book comes in. There are more than three dozen engaging, interesting and fun activities that your student will enjoy and you’ll be able to…

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Top 5 Games and Activities for Big ESL Classes

big-ESL-classes

Big EL Classes: They don’t have to be a Nightmare 50 students in a class? Sounds like your biggest nightmare? I’m not going to sugar-coat it for you-it is kind of a nightmare and in a language class, it’s really ridiculous. Ideally, you’d have between 8 and 16 students. Eight is enough to do pretty much any activity, while 16 isn’t so big that you’ve unable to give any sort of individual feedback. After about 25, it’s mostly just a sea of faces. Not ideal, but it’s often the reality in university classes in places like South Korea (where I…

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Top 5 ESL Warm-Up Activities

ESL-warm-up-activities

Top 5 ESL Warm-Up Activities ESL Warm-up activities are an excellent way to begin class because they ease students back into using English again. In many cases, the last time students thought about or spoke English was in your class last week! Here are five of my favorite ESL warm-up activities that I use in my own classes in a Korean university. Warm-Up Activity #1: Just a Minute Just a Minute is a very simple activity that you can use to get your students talking. Write a bunch of general categories on the board such as jobs, hobbies, dreams, movies,…

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Vocabulary Auction: A Fun Game for ESL Students

ESL-vocabulary-auction

Vocabulary Auction: Preparation There are plenty of variations of auction games, but vocabulary has the least amount of preparation involved. It will be more fun if you have fake money, poker chips, etc. Begin by having the students list vocabulary they have been studying. Try to get at least 20 terms from them. Next, divide the class into groups of 3-4. Give each group a budget of $1000 and have them bid in increments of $50-100. (Note: if you are using money or tokens, you will need your own supply, to pay out groups who double down.) Vocabulary Auction: How…

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Refusing to Participate in Class: How to Handle It

students refusing to participate

A Student Refusing to Participate in Class A problem that teachers sometimes have is a student that just straight-up refuses to participate in class. I’ve taught in Korean universities for many years and have certainly had my fair share of these students over the years. I know that it can even be worse when you teach kids, particularly middle school students who have a lot going on, inside their own heads, with their bodies, and socially. It’s tough! “How can I get a student to participate if they refuse?” Poor Language Skills Often, when students are refusing to participate in…

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Small Talk for ESL Students

small-talk-for-ESL-students

Small Talk for ESL Students I’ve been teaching in Korean universities for the past eight years. Something that I’ve noticed during that time is that my students are often really, really bad at engaging in small talk, even the more advanced level students. They usually know how to put together complex sentences and the intricacies of vocabulary usage but when it comes to having a basic conversation with something they don’t know, they’re often at a bit of a loss. This makes them very awkward, shy and uncomfortable and they’re unable to show off their often very decent English skills.…

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Top 5 ESL Speaking Activities for University Students

ESL speaking activities for university students

ESL Speaking Activities for University Students I’ve been teaching in South Korean universities for the past nine years or so, which means I have plenty of ESL speaking activities for university students up my sleeve. Students here are totally burnt out from high-school studying hell, so by the time they get to university, they often aren’t that motivated to study English. This is especially the case if you teach mandatory freshman English classes. However, by using some of these ESL speaking activities, you’ll be able to make your classes awesome and your students happy, participating and enjoying using English as…

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Current Events Presentation Project: More Awesome than Expected

Current-events-presentation-project

Current Events Presentations: I Loved Them! This week in class, my students have been doing a current events presentation project. To be honest, I had pretty low expectations but my students have gone above and beyond to produce some awesome presentations. Now, I know that I had very little to do with this awesomeness, but I couldn’t help but feel really proud of them. How I Set Up this Current Events Presentation Project: Class: 3rd and 4th year English major students at a big, private university in Busan, South Korea. The level of the students ranges from low-intermediate to low-advanced.…

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39 ESL Vocabulary Activities: For Teenagers and Adults

ESL Vocabulary Activities

Lesson Planning Made Easy Do you want to make your lesson planning as easy as possible, but your English lessons awesome? Well, you’ve found the right place! Whether you’re a first-time ESL/EFL/TEFL teacher, an experienced but overwhelmed instructor, or an instructor without a textbook, you need more activities for your classes. Tired of Wasting your Time? If you’re tired of wading through the junk on the Internet looking for the vocabulary activities and games that you can actually use in your classes, then Jackie and Jennifer are here to help. During their 20 years teaching English, they’ve developed countless ESL…

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