Puzzle Finder ESL Ice Breaker Activity

Puzzle Pieces ESL Ice Breaker

Puzzle Finder ESL Ice Breaker Skills: Speaking/listening Materials Required: puzzle pieces (from an actual puzzle or a cut and laminated image) I love to use ESL ice breakers in my classes. They’re a fun way for students to get to know each other, as well as you. I find that by using icebreakers, the rest of the course goes more smoothly. The atmosphere is friendlier, and students feel like they are part of a cohesive group. Try out this Puzzle Finder ESL ice breaker in your classes. The objects of this ESL ice breaker activity are both teamwork (to create…

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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

An 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…

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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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Dialogue Substitution

ESL vocabulary activity

Dialogue Substitution Skills: Reading/Listening/Speaking Time: 10-15 minutes Materials: PowerPoint or handouts of photocopied textbook dialogue with parts removed. Lower-level text books contain many dialogues but their effectiveness is reduced when students don’t have to listen to their partner in order to successfully complete their role. An easy solution to this is to use dialogue substitution which provide the dialogues with key elements missing. Students then have to listen in order to respond appropriately. Dialogues are an excellent way for students to see how new vocabulary is used in real-life situations. You may want or need to scaffold this activity by…

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I’m an Alien: An ESL Speaking Activity for Kids

I'm an Alien: ESL speaking activity for kids

I’m an Alien: ESL Speaking Activity for Kids Skills: Speaking/listening Age: All Materials Required: None I love a no-prep, no-materials ESL speaking activity for kids, and students always enjoy this one. You begin class by telling the students you are an alien. You landed just a few minutes earlier, right outside the school. Since you are new here, you don’t know a lot of words, and you need some help. You can create a mission scenario, and elicit vocabulary that will help you. Maybe you want to send a letter telling your mother you arrived safely. You can elicit pen,…

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How to Teach Speaking

how to teach speaking

You want to know how to teach speaking? You’ve come to the right place if you want a basic overview of a few of the principles you need to remember when teaching speaking. Here are 5 things to keep in mind: Repetition is Key Be sure to provide plenty of opportunities for your student to practice. Start out with controlled practice, and then move to freer speaking sessions where students can experiment with using the language. Then, follow-up with review in subsequent classes. Another thing to think about is teaching language in “chunks.” If students can get to the point…

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Top 10 ESL Games

Top 10 ESL Games

You need some ESL teaching awesome in your life, right? Fun, engaging classes filled with happy students? Painless lesson planning that gets done in no time? Of course you do! Jackie is here to help you with these top 10 ESL games to try out in your own classes. Password: This is a fun ESL activity that gets your students practicing an important skill-using alternatives to describe a vocabulary word if it’s not available to them because they forgot it. It’s an often overlooked skill that is important for our students to use if they want to speak English fluently.…

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Fortunately/Unfortunately Speaking and Listening Activity

Speaking and listening activity

Skills: Speaking/listening Age: 9+ Materials Required: None You may have done this speaking and listening activity at school yourself. Start of by telling students some good news (something that “happened to you”) followed by some bad news. For example, “Unfortunately, my car wouldn’t start this morning. Fortunately, my neighbor gave me a ride to school. Unfortunately, she drove through a red light. Fortunately. . .” Students will then generate similar language using fortunately/unfortunately or luckily/unluckily. Procedure: 1. Divide students into small groups of 3-5. 2. Give them a scenario (something that “happened to you”), alternating between good and bad news.…

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How to Teach Listening to ESL Students

How to teach listening

How and Why to Teach Listening to ESL Students Listening is an extremely important skill if students want to speak fluently in English. No matter how well you speak, if you don’t understand what your conversation partner said, your answer will be a little awkward at best, or totally random at worst. In order to help our students, we need to include some practice with listening into our English classes. Here’s some basic advice on how to teach listening to ESL students, including a lesson plan template and some ESL listening activities. ESL Listening Lesson Plan Template 1. Set the…

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Top 5 ESL Activities for Beginners

English speaking activities for beginners

ESL Activities for Beginners Fun activities and games should be an essential part of teaching ESL for beginners. It creates an interest in learning English which in turn would motivate an individual to learn with interest – irrespective of whether it is a young adult or a child. Games can make your classes even more awesome and keep your students hooked and interested in learning more. Of course, it’s not easy to teach total beginners especially if you don’t share a common language. But, it really is possible and there are a few activities you can use that will work well.…

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Picture Prompt: An ESL Warm-Up For Kids and Adults

Picture prompt ESL warm-up

An ESL Warm-Up Activity Picture prompt is a great ESL warm-up for kids as well as adults that can be used for all levels from beginner to advanced. Show students an image and have them generate questions or speculate about the picture.   For lower level students, this can be purely descriptive: Q: What do you see?   A: I see a house, a car, and some people. Q: What color is the car?   A: It is blue. For high beginner/low intermediate students, have an image which can generate questions such as: What is happening in this picture? How does that…

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How to Make your ESL Classes Awesome

Make your ESL Classes Awesome

I’m sure everyone reading this wants to make their ESL classes as awesome as possible. Any teacher would and even those who are abroad for just one or two years still want to have great classes and help their students learn English. But teaching isn’t an easy thing to do and it’s often the case that foreign English teachers walk into the classroom at their first job with absolutely no training whatsoever. Help is here! If you want to make your ESL classes as awesome as possible, keep reading for my top 10 tips. How to Teach English-Jeremy Harmer Read…

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ESL Speaking Bingo

ESL Speaking Bingo

Skills: Speaking/listening/writing Time: 20-30 minutes Level: High-Beginner to Advanced Materials Required: Blank “Bingo” grids, or blank paper   ESL Speaking Bingo is a very fun activity that kids, teenagers as well as university students seem to love. Have a list of about 35-40 vocabulary words that you’ve been studying (on the PPT works well). If you use less, the game will be over very quickly. Give the students a pre-made Bingo Grid, or have them draw a 5×5 grid. Then the students fill in the grid randomly from the list of words on the board or PowerPoint. Then, choose someone to…

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