ESL Speaking Activity for Adults: Something in Common

esl speaking activity

Find Something in Common If your students are not shy, this ESL speaking activity for adults is an excellent way for everyone to get to know each other. The students stand up with a piece of paper and pencil in their hand. They have to talk to everyone in the class to try to find something in common (they are both from Seoul, or they both know how to play the piano). Once they find this thing in common, they write it down along with the person’s name. Keep going until most of the students have talked to everyone. Teaching…

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ESL Speaking Warm up Activity

Michael Jackson

Skills: Speaking/listening Time: 5-15 minutes Level: Intermediate to Advanced Materials Required: Nothing This is an excellent ESL speaking warmup activity for higher levels. Put the students in small groups of 3-4 people. Have them pick four famous people, dead or alive that they’d like to invite to a party they are having. Then, they have to say the reason why they’re inviting them. I do an example like this: Person: Michael Jackson Reason? He has a cool house and he can play some dance music for us. Also, I want to know why he got so much plastic surgery. Give…

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5 Lesson Plans for Advanced ESL Conversation Classes

conversation

Advanced conversation classes can be a bit tricky to teach because it’s sometimes hard to see any improvement in your students. But, I’ve found that it can be really useful if you use authentic material and challenge your students that way instead of just relying on ESL textbooks, which are often too easy and often quite boring. Here are five lesson plans that I’ve used in my own advanced level English conversation classes: Students in any Country Technology and Sleep Google Investing in Renewable Energy Students in Korea Cigarette Prices to Double Agricultural Subsidies Korea’s Aging Population For even more…

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Vocabulary Review Game for Kids and Adults

vocabulary

Vocabulary Review Game for Kids Skills: Speaking/listening Time: 20 minutes Level: Beginner to Advanced Materials Required: Flip-chart or flashcards The “captain” sits in a chair at the front of the class facing her team. The teacher stands behind the captain with vocab words on a flip-chart or a stack of flashcards. If you use flashcards, make sure they are big enough for everyone to be able to see them, even at the back of the class. The team has to give hints in English to the captain until she can guess the word. At that point, the team moves on…

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39 ESL Speaking Activities for Adults

esl speaking activities adults

Good news my readers! My editor and I have been working away like busy beavers writing and editing a book filled with 39 of my favorite ESL speaking activities for adults. The book also has some teaching tips, advice for teaching very low level speaking classes, lesson plans, my favorite ESL speaking websites (besides this one!) and other goodness; it should be done in less than a month. I plan to give the book away for free for one week but only to members of my email list. When you join the list, you get an email about every 5-10…

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Top 5 Fun ESL Speaking Activities For Kids

kids speaking

If you teach kids and are struggling a bit with how to make your ESL speaking classes for kids interesting and engaging, here are some of my favorite fun activities that I use in my own classes. Rocks-Scissors-Paper with a Twist: it’s perfect for review and also makes an excellent activity for the class before midterms or finals with your beginner university students. It contains the perfect mix of skill and luck. SOS Review Game: remember playing SOS when you were a kid? Well, it’s back…ESL style. Kids, university students and adults all love it. I explain how to adapt…

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English Conversation Teaching Tip

conversation

For those who teach English conversation classes, here is my #1 tip to do it well. Conversation is a two-way street and in order to be good at it our students need to know how to ask questions. Conversation is not simply asking and answering something like: A: “How was your weekend?” B: “It was good.” A better conversation would look like this: A: “How was your weekend?” B: “It was good, I saw a movie.” A: “Really? What movie?” B: “I saw Kung Fu Panda. Have you seen it?” Or: A: “How was your weekend?” B: “It was a…

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Flashcard Sentences: ESL Speaking Game for Kids

ESL vocab flashcards

Skills: Speaking Time: 5-10 Minutes Level: Beginner-Intermediate Kids Materials Required: Flashcards Free: 40+ ESL Games and Activities Email Address This flashcard ESL speaking activity for kids is the perfect way to review whatever grammar and vocab points you’ve been studying. Go around the room asking each student, or a team of 2 a question. Pull a flashcard from your pile and then the student has to make a sentence using the grammar point with that card. A correct sentence gets the card, not correct, and the card goes back at the bottom of the pile. The winner is the person…

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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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If I Had a Million Dollars: ESL Listening and Speaking Lesson Plan

if i had a million dollars

If I Had a Million Dollars by the Barenaked Ladies is one of my favorite ESL listening and speaking lesson for when we’re studying conditionals (if). It’s appropriate for middle-school to adults and it can even work for high beginners, with a bit of hand-holding from the teacher (the official term is scaffolding!), but this lesson plan is best for intermediate-advanced levels because you can get into some really interesting discussions. The lesson takes approximately an hour, but it can go more quickly with very high-level students. Inspiration for the classroom-games, activities and other goodness (and see the lesson plan…

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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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4 Hot Discussion Topics for Adults in Korea

discussion topic

In my advanced conversation class at my university job in South Korea, we’ve been talking about rules and regulations using the passive form and for homework, I had my students make a short video answering the questions, “What 2 things should people be encouraged to do to make Korea a better place. And, what should they be encouraged not to do?” Four topics that the students mentioned almost without fail were: Smoking in public places. The lax sex crime laws, especially if drinking is involved. Trash on the streets and lack of trash cans. Cutting in line at the bus…

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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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