Make your Life Easier: ESL Lesson Plans

ESL lesson plans

All About ESL Lesson Planning 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. They often say things like, “You speak English! Just go teach.” Teachers are often left to their own devices when it comes to lesson planning. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. The good news is that planning a decent ESL lesson really isn’t…

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Role Plays for ESL Students

role-plays-for-ESL-students

Role Plays for ESL Students Skills: Writing/speaking Time Required: 15-40 minutes Level: Beginner to Advanced Materials Required: Nothing Role Plays are one of my favourite ESL activities for lower-level students. They allow beginners to feel like they’re “having a conversation,” but there’s some structure so they don’t feel overwhelmed. Here’s how it works-give the students a conversation starter to get them going. For example, if you’re talking about feelings in class that day, you can use: A. Hey _____, how are you doing? B. I’m great, how are you? A. I’m _____ (sad, embarrassed, angry, bored, etc.). ***Anything besides, “I’m…

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Task Based Language Learning

Task Based Language Teaching

Task Based Language Learning:The New Way Task based language learning is kind of all the rage these days as part of the overall communicative approach. This focuses on having students being competent communicators as opposed to some of the older models like grammar translation or the audio-lingual method. If you’re not familiar with task based language learning, here is a brief introduction to it. Task based language learning can be an excellent choice for large classes. A class of 20+ students makes it impossible for students to get enough speaking time if it’s a teacher-centred classroom. Why I Love Task…

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ESL Classroom Management Tips and Tricks

ESL classroom management

ESL Classroom Management Tips and Tricks I remember back to when I first started teaching in a hagwon (private language institute) in Korea and how much of a struggle it was. The root of the problem was that I was totally and completely clueless about classroom management and the kids totally knew it. They walked all over me and I basically had no control, for at least the first six months. Even though I did eventually establish some order in my ESL classroom, it wasn’t as happy or as productive of place as it could have been. Over the years, I’ve…

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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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Apples to Apples Vocabulary Game

Apples to Apples Vocabulary Game

Apples to Apples ESL Vocabulary Game Skills: Listening/speaking Time: 30+ minutes, including deck-building Level: Intermediate to Advanced, age 9+ Materials Required: Paper, pen/pencils, textbooks, and scissors Apples to Apples is a vocabulary game in which players defend their choice of card played. This version is somewhat different than the actual Apples to Apples game, in order to increase speaking time. Before playing, students need to make two decks of cards using vocabulary words. This is best done at the end of a semester or book, so that there are more words to play with. You may also want to encourage…

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Show and Tell ESL Speaking Activity: Not Just for Kids!

show-tell

Show and Tell ESL Activity Skills: Speaking/listening Time: 1-2 minutes per student (no questions). 4-6 minutes per student (with questions) Level: High beginner to Intermediate, all ages Materials Required: Nothing Show and Tell is a classic activity from way back in elementary school but it can work well in your ESL classes too. Tell students a few days before the “show and tell ESL speaking style” class that they need to bring an object from home that is meaningful to them. If it’s something really big (a piano) or something that doesn’t transport easily (a cat), then they can email…

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Dictogloss: An ESL Listening and Speaking Activity

Dictogloss ESL Listening and Speaking Activity

Dictogloss Listening and Speaking Activity Skills: Speaking/listening Age: 8+ Materials Required: A short story Dictogloss is a simple activity for more advanced level students that helps them practice their listening and memory skills, as well as substituting vocabulary words if the original word is no longer accessible to them. Find a short, interesting story or make up one yourself. I’ve used various things from children’s stories to a story about something I did on the weekend. Nearly anything can work. Tell the story 1-3 times, depending on the student level and of course you can also vary your speaking speed…

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Would You Rather? An ESL Warm-Up Activity

Would You Rather? An ESL warm-up activity

Start your Class Off in Style with this ESL Warm-Up Activity Would You Rather? is a fun ESL warm-up activity. You can buy ready-made decks, but they aren’t ESL specific. I use self-made cards, which takes a bit of time buy then you can recycle them from class to class. Another options is to just make a list of questions. If you’re quick on your feet, you can do this without materials. For example, “Would you rather have eyes like a fly’s, or eyes like a spider’s?” Students must choose one and explain why. If you class is small, you…

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Top 5 Kids ESL Speaking Games

ESL-activities-for-total-beginners

Top 5 Kids ESL Speaking Games If you’re looking for some fresh new ideas for Kids ESL speaking games, you’ve come to the right place. Here are my top 5 games that I like to use in my own classes. They’re guaranteed to make your life easier because you can plan interesting, engaging and fun lessons without spending a lot of time on it. I know you’re tired of searching around on the Internet for the good stuff, right? Search no more! Try out some of these kids ESL speaking games in your classes today! Your students will be happy,…

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My Top 5 ESL Activities for Kids: Try them out today

ESL Activities for Kids

ESL Activities for Kids If you’re looking for some great ESL activities for children, you’ve come to the right place! I have 5 of my favourite ones that are guaranteed to get your kids engaged, excited and energetic about learning English in your class. Add some variety to your ESL classroom today. Show and Tell Show and Tell is an excellent activity for kids because they get to talk about something that’s important to them and show a bit of their personalities. You can do it during one entire class period, or space it out over the semester and use…

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81 Ways to Make your ESL Speaking Class Awesome

introduction

Make your ESL Speaking Class Awesome I’m sure you want your ESL speaking classes to be as awesome as possible. Everybody does! Here are my top 81 tips to help you do that. Ready for great classes in the future? Because that’s what you’re going to get if you follow these tips! Ready? Keep on reading for the ESL speaking class awesome. 1.What’s your Target Language? The first way to make your ESL speaking class awesome is to be clear about the aims of your lesson. “Practicing speaking” isn’t enough. Something more specific like, “Introduce and practice 5 feeling words,”…

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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 favourite 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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Top 10 ESL Activities for all Levels

students refusing to participate

Top 10 ESL Activities for Beginner-Advanced Students Top 10 ESL Activities for all Levels is what you need if you teach a wide variety of students from beginner to advanced. All of these activities can be adapted to make them very easy, or quite difficult. If you want to save time when you’re planning your lessons, keep the framework of the lessons the same (same activities, games, etc.) but then adapt the material to suit the individual class. It’s much easier and faster than reinventing the wheel for every single lesson for every single class. Smart teachers use something like…

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