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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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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My World ESL Speaking Activity

earth

This is an excellent activity that you can do on the first day of class to introduce yourself and then have the students get to know one or two of their classmates. You start by drawing a big circle on the whiteboard with the title, “My World.” Inside the circle there are various words, pictures or numbers that have some meaning to you. For example, inside my circle there might be 1979, blue, 37, a picture of 2 cats, and a mountain. The students would then have to make some guesses about why these things are special to me. The…

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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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Ice breaker Speaking Activity

icebreaker

Skills: Speaking/ Listening Time: 10-30 minutes Level: Beginner-Advanced Materials Required: nothing A way that you can get your students to remember names (and you too!) is to do this simple ice breaker speaking activity. Go around the class, and have students say, “My name is ______and I like _______.” The next student repeats the previous ones, and adds their own. it goes on until it finally gets to you and you can impress the students with your memorization abilities! It works best for smaller classes of less than 10. For more advanced students, you can choose something more difficult than…

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Rocks Scissor Paper ESL Speaking Game

rock scissor paper

Skills: Reading/ Speaking/ Listening Time: 20 minutes Level: Beginner-Intermediate Materials Required: Question/Answer papers (~5/student) Make up strips of paper with questions and answers (on separate papers). Give each student 5 random papers, a mix of both questions and answers. They have to walk around the class finding their “match.” Once they do, they can rock scissor paper and the winner takes both papers. The students with the most points at the end of the allotted time are the winners. This is the perfect game to do for review in basic conversation classes before the midterm or final exam. Free: 40…

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A Relative Clause Speaking Activity which is Fabulously Fun

barrack obama

If you’re studying about relative clauses (who, which, that), and want to lighten up the mood a bit you can use this “Who or What is it?” relative clause speaking activity. My students always love it. Here’s how to do it: Make a list of things or people and cut them up into little pieces and put them in an envelope (here’s my very Korea-centric who/what list). Put the students in groups of 4 and the first person has to choose a paper at random and keep it secret. Then, they give hints about it, preferably using relative clauses or…

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Can/Can’t ESL Game

can can't

A fun ESL speaking, listening and writing game for children or adults that you can play to help your students learn can/can’t is the following: Put the students in teams of 2, 3, or 4 depending on how big your classes are. They have to pick 1 animal, and 1 thing, but must keep it a secret from the other teams My 2 examples often are: Animal: Giraffe It can eat leaves It can’t live in Korea outside of a zoo It can see easily over tall things Thing: Air Conditioner I can see it now It can be bad…

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