English Discussion Topics for Adults

discussion topic

If you’re looking for English discussion topics for adults, here are my top recommendations: 4 Hot Discussion Topics for Adults in Korea. My own recommendations based on some homework that my Korean university students did. Breaking News English. If you’re looking to discuss current events in your ESL speaking or conversation class, this is the site for you. I particularly like the 2-page mini lessons. ESL Writing and Film English. If you’re looking for some thought-provoking videos and ESL speaking lesson plans to generate some ideas for your own classes, check out either of these sites. ESL Discussions. This site…

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Pronunciation Practice Worksheet and Game

pronunciation

I used this pronunciation practice worksheet and pronunciation game while I was teaching a TOIEC speaking class to students in South Korea. Here’s how to play the game: 1.Cut up one sheet of paper for each group of 3-4 students. 2.The students place the papers in an orderly fashion face down on the desk. 3.The first student chooses two papers. Make sure all the students are able to see the papers. 4.If correct, they keep the papers and get one point and one more try. 5.If incorrect, they put the papers back in the same spot and the next student…

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ESL Speaking Rubric

speaking test

A common question that I get from people is how to evaluate an ESL Speaking test. Although there are different ways to conduct ESL speaking tests, I do the 1-1 conversation with a random partner style. There are also a million and one ways to evaluate speaking tests, but I always prefer the simple way. If you look on the Internet machine, you’ll notice that lots of other people have talked about this before, but most of them are so complicated that I don’t think their students will actually understand them. I have three categories in my ESL speaking rubric…

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Graded Language: Use it!

graded language

Stephen Krashen: Comprehensible Input One of the major principles of language acquisition is the idea of comprehensible input, whereby learners are able to comprehend language that is it a slightly higher level than they’re currently at. This is a major tenet in Stephen Krashen’s Natural Approach to language acquisition. Vgotsky’s ZPD Closely related to this is Vgotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development, where he proposes real learning can take place if the concept is something that is just slightly higher than the student’s current ability and they can be assisted by a teacher or another student to understanding. Graded Language: Use…

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Speaking Activities for ESL Students

speaking

Most people find their way here searching for something related to ESL Speaking, so here’s the goods for you. My top 10 list of favorite ESL Speaking Games and Activities, all personally classroom tried and tested. Enjoy! Plans are also in the works for a book of No-Prep/ Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities and Games. Be the first to know by signing up here, as well as getting even more ESL activities and games delivered straight to your inbox. Only the goods-not all the junk like those other sites. Free: Classroom Tried and Tested ESL Games and Activities * indicates required…

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Preventing Partner Fossilization in ESL Speaking Classes

dinosaur fossil

In the ESL world, fossilization is what happens when an error that a language learner makes becomes permanent, and cannot be fixed, no matter what further forms of input or error correction that learner is exposed to. I use this term to apply to ESL Speaking classes and what happens when students sit with the same person every single day and talk to only that one person. They basically become fossils, unable to move, or break away to find a new partner. Fossilization of language learning partners is bad for a lot of reasons including: That poor person who gets…

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ESL Speaking Lesson Plan

lesson plan

Free: 40 of my favorite ESL games and activities, delivered straight to your inbox. Lesson planning made easy. Email Address ESL Speaking Lesson Plan: People Don’t Know! Something that I’m always surprised by when I go to conferences and present on what I think is pretty basic stuff that any ESL teacher should know, or talk to newbie English teachers in a more informal way is the lack of framework for conducting an ESL lesson. By framework, I mean a system that you have either on paper, or in your head for how you go about planning a lesson. I…

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How to Teach Speaking

how to teach speaking

Most newbie teachers will primarily end up teaching speaking and conversation classes when they first head overseas to teach ESL so How to Teach Speaking  by Scott Thornbury will give you a leg up on the competition. Teaching speaking certainly involves a whole lot more than just “talking” with the students and Thornbury’s books does a great job of explaining that. How To Teach Speaking covers the theory, but also gives a wealth of practical advice and information that you can use in the classroom, along with ESL speaking games and activities that are easy to apply to your own…

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World Link ESL Textbook

World Link ESL textbook

World Link An excellent choice for a general English conversation class for adults I used World Link for about 4 years at my old university and I can say with certainty that it is a really solid book. The units are interesting and engaging and are on the simpler side if you have lower-level, or multi-level classes. There just isn’t that much text on the page, which is something I appreciate in an ESL textbook. The supplementary teacher’s resource book was excellent and I used almost every single activity in it, so make sure you get that as well. While…

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Smart Choice: ESL Textbook for Adults

smart choice Ken Wilson

I used the Smart Choice series for a number of years at my old university for a supplementary program and really enjoyed teaching it. Smart Choice makes an excellent pick for an esl textbook for adults. It has a good bit of grammar, but in a very simple, easy to understand way and not too much is packed into each lesson. It made teaching easy and very minimal prep was required because the book was good enough to just teach straight from it. The students usually seemed to enjoy the topics and it was easy enough to build natural conversations…

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4 Corners: An Excellent ESL Speaking Textbook for Adults

My Top Choice for ESL Speaking Textbook If you’re looking for a book that covers all 4 skills, but that is slanted towards speaking activities, 4 Corners by Jack Richards should be your top choice. The communicative activities are excellent at fostering natural communication, unlike many other ESL speaking textbooks where the conversations are quite unnatural and artificial. There are plenty of fluency activities as well, which is an important, but often overlooked area of speaking for English as a Second Language students. In addition, the vocab and grammar sections are thoughtful and easy to understand, and the topics are…

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ESL Speaking Tests: 3 Options

speaking test ESL students

There are various ways for language teachers to do ESL speaking tests, all of which have their positives and negatives. I will give only the most basic of overviews of three different speaking test methods for English as a Second Language students, but if you want to dive deeper into the topic, I recommend this book: Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices (2nd Edition). 1-1 interviews with the teacher This method is generally thought to have the highest validity, since weaker students cannot affect the stronger students in any way. However, I think there are more negatives than positives: The…

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Speaking Activities that Don’t Suck

Speaking Activities That Don't Suck

Speaking Activities That Don’t Suck: Foolproof Ways to Force Your EFL Students to Produce Enormous Amounts of English is one of the best resources out there for ESL teachers looking to add some fresh, new speaking activities and games into their lesson plans. Unlike most of the more academic books out there, Speaking Activities that Don’t Suck is filled with practical, interesting and fun ideas that will have your students coming back for more. Very little in the way of preparation time is required and this book is basically just read and go.

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