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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

English Discussion Topics for Adults

discussion topic

English Discussion Topics for Adults English discussion is a key component of an ESL speaking or conversation class. However, it can be a bit boring to rehash the same topics found in the ESL Textbooks over, and over again. You know the ones: the Hobby Unit, sports, movies, family, etc. The students get bored talking about the same thing again and again and teacher do too! Mix things up in your ESL speaking classes by introducing some fresh, new English discussion topics for adults. Your students will be happy to talk about something else, and it’ll keep things interesting for…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading