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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39 ESL Warm-Ups for Teenagers and Adults

ESL Warm-Ups

Awesome Classes, Easy Lesson Planning Do you want to make your classes awesome and your lesson planning easy? I’m sure that all teachers do but it’s not so easy when you’re tired and pressed for time due to having to teach so many classes each week. However, it really is possible to plan amazing classes that your students will love in a short amount of time. 39 ESL Warm-Ups: For Teenagers and Adults is the book that belongs in your teaching resource library because it will help you get your classes started well. A good beginning is key to a…

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Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities for Teenagers and Adults

esl speaking activities adults

39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults Sometimes even experienced ESL teachers get stuck in a rut. It’s time to find some fresh ideas!  Tired of Wasting Time Looking for ESL Speaking Activities? Whether you’re a first-time English teacher, an experienced but perhaps overwhelmed instructor with not much time for lesson planning, or an instructor without a textbook, you need more activities for your English conversion or speaking classes. If you’re tired of wading through the junk on the Internet to find the ESL speaking game or activity that you can actually use in your classes, then Jackie…

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Top 5 ESL Games for Teenagers: Try Them Out Today

ESL games for teenagers

Top 5 ESL Games for Teenagers Teaching English to teenagers can be quite difficult because they are notorious for not really wanting to participate in class. They are often shy, tired, and haven’t chosen to take your English class. However, help is here with these top five ESL games for teenagers that are guaranteed to get your teenage students participating in class, speaking English, and having fun despite themselves. Try out just a few of these ESL games for teenagers and you’ll notice that students like your class, like you, and will begin to like English more and more each…

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39 ESL Icebreakers: For Teenagers and Adults

ESL Icebreakers: For Teenagers and Adults

All English teachers who work with teenagers or adults need some ESL icebreakers to get their classes started off on the right foot when students don’t know each other, or you. Icebreaker activities are the perfect tool for the job, but it’s not easy to find the best ones. If you’re tired of wading through the junk on the Internet to find the one activity that you can actually use in your class, then help is here. During her decade of experience as a CELTA/DELTA certified teacher, Jackie Bolen has developed countless games and activities for her students. Jennifer Booker Smith taught…

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Puzzle Finder ESL Ice Breaker Activity

Puzzle Pieces ESL Ice Breaker

Puzzle Finder Skills: Speaking/listening Materials Required: puzzle pieces (from an actual puzzle or a cut and laminated image) The objects of this ESL ice breaker activity are both teamwork (to create the puzzle) and a review of common vocabulary, such as colours, shapes, and common objects. Before class, you should either prepare a puzzle with enough pieces for each student to have one or two, or print an image which you cut into the correct number of pieces and laminate. The former is easier, but the latter gives you much more flexibility and you can cut the pieces as large…

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Cosmo Quiz ESL Icebreaker Activity

ESL Icebreaker Activity

Cosmo Quiz Skills: Speaking/listening/reading Materials Required: a Cosmo quiz or Cosmo-type quiz If you are a guy, you may not be familiar with the quiz in each month’s edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. These generally predict something about your relationship style, finances, etc. In other words, they are quiz-style horoscopes. They are pretty fun to do as a group, because they are not meant to be taken seriously, but can tell you a little something about the quiz-taker. Prep could not be easier. Simply find a few old issues of Cosmo and copy the quizzes. Some of them are a bit…

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Make your Life Easier: ESL Lesson Plans

ESL lesson plans

Left to your Own Devices? If you’re looking for help with your ESL lesson plans, you’ve come to the right place. I know that many teachers first go abroad to teach English without any sort of training in teaching English. Employers, especially if you work at a private language institute are often no help and say things like, “You speak English! Just go teach them.” Teachers are often left to their own devices when it comes to lesson planning, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. The good news is that planning a decent lesson really isn’t so…

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ESL Speaking Lesson Plan Template

ESL Speaking lesson plan template

Whenever I talk to people who are preparing a lesson plan or a demo lesson in order to get ready for an ESL teaching job interview, I’m always surprised that many people really have no idea how to plan a lesson. I was pretty clueless too, until I took the CELTA and the DELTA where my trainers beat this ESL speaking lesson plan template into my head such that I could basically recite it in my sleep. A short disclaimer. “Speaking” is not enough of a lesson plan objective in itself. You need to put it together with something else,…

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Vocabulary Games for ESL Students

Vocabulary games for ESL students

  Teaching English vocabulary is traditionally quite boring for the students as well as the teacher. However, it doesn’t have to be tedious if you play a few vocabulary games for ESL students. They’re guaranteed to get your students talking, thinking and most important of all: remembering and knowing how to use those words they’ve been studying. Error Correction Relay Race: Correcting errors is a very important skill for language learners but it’s often quite boring and students usually don’t like to do it. However, you can make the old new again with this exciting relay race that the students will…

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Disappearing Text ESL Vocabulary Game

ESL Vocabulary Game

Disappearing Text ESL Vocabulary Game Skills: Reading/Speaking Time: 5-10 minutes Materials: Whiteboard, marker and eraser Disappearing text is a fun ESL vocabulary game that also works on English grammar. Write one (or more) sentences on the board reviewing new material from that class, or from the previous class if you’re using this as a warm-up activity. This can be done as last man standing or last group/table standing. Begin with all students standing. Have them read aloud what is written on the board. Remove one word (or phrase) at a time, and have them repeat the entire passage as it…

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