Small Talk for ESL Students: 4 Activities to Try Out

small-talk-for-ESL-students

Small Talk for ESL Students I taught in Korean universities for 10 years. Something that I’ve noticed during that time is that my students are often really, really bad at engaging in small talk, even the more advanced level students. They usually know how to put together complex sentences and the intricacies of vocabulary usage but when it comes to having a basic conversation with something they don’t know, they’re often at a bit of a loss. This makes my students sometimes very awkward, shy and uncomfortable. This results in that my students seem like they don’t know English! However,…

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Role Plays for ESL Students

role-plays-for-ESL-students

Role Plays for ESL Students Skills: Writing/speaking Time Required: 15-40 minutes Level: Beginner to Advanced Materials Required: Nothing Role Plays are one of my favourite ESL activities for lower-level students. They allow beginners to feel like they’re “having a conversation,” but there’s some structure so they don’t feel overwhelmed. Here’s how it works-give the students a conversation starter to get them going. For example, if you’re talking about feelings in class that day, you can use: A. Hey _____, how are you doing? B. I’m great, how are you? A. I’m _____ (sad, embarrassed, angry, bored, etc.). ***Anything besides, “I’m…

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Task Based Language Learning

Task Based Language Teaching

Task Based Language Learning:The New Way Task based language learning is kind of all the rage these days as part of the overall communicative approach. This focuses on having students being competent communicators as opposed to some of the older models like grammar translation or the audio-lingual method. If you’re not familiar with task based language learning, here is a brief introduction to it. Task based language learning can be an excellent choice for large classes. A class of 20+ students makes it impossible for students to get enough speaking time if it’s a teacher-centred classroom. Why I Love Task…

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ESL Warm Up Questions- Student Generated!

ESL warm-up

ESL Warm-Ups Questions One of the things I find with in English classes is that most of the burden is on the teacher. The teacher is the person who keeps the conversation going. She is the one who asks questions. She’s also the one who decides what to study and how. Whenever possible, I like to take this burden off myself and try to go as student centred as is feasibly possible. An interesting question is an excellent ESL warm-up to begin your classes with. They help ease the students back into using English in a fun, engaging way. This…

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Disappearing Text ESL Vocabulary Game

ESL Vocabulary Game

Disappearing Text ESL Vocabulary Game Skills: Reading/Speaking Time: 5-10 minutes Materials: Whiteboard, marker and eraser Disappearing text is a fun ESL vocabulary game that also works on English grammar. Write one (or more) sentences on the board reviewing new material from that class, or from the previous class if you’re using this as a warm-up activity. This can be done as last man standing or last group/table standing. Begin with all students standing. Have them read aloud what is written on the board. Remove one word (or phrase) at a time, and have them repeat the entire passage as it…

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Top 5 ESL Conversation Activities for Adults

ESL conversation activities

ESL Conversation Activities If you want to make your English conversation class as interesting, engaging and fun as possible for the students, you’ll need these top 5 ESL conversation activities for adults. They’re guaranteed to get your students speaking English in the most painless way possible! They range from warm-ups, to fun games to complete ESL lesson plans. Check out these conversation activities below. Clicking on the title will take you to the article with all the information. How to set it up, resources needed, etc. The Small Talk Game Small talk is an important, but often overlooked skill. Get…

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Apples to Apples Vocabulary Game

Apples to Apples Vocabulary Game

Apples to Apples ESL Vocabulary Game Skills: Listening/speaking Time: 30+ minutes, including deck-building Level: Intermediate to Advanced, age 9+ Materials Required: Paper, pen/pencils, textbooks, and scissors Apples to Apples is a vocabulary game in which players defend their choice of card played. This version is somewhat different than the actual Apples to Apples game, in order to increase speaking time. Before playing, students need to make two decks of cards using vocabulary words. This is best done at the end of a semester or book, so that there are more words to play with. You may also want to encourage…

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Show and Tell ESL Speaking Activity: Not Just for Kids!

show-tell

Show and Tell ESL Activity Skills: Speaking/listening Time: 1-2 minutes per student (no questions). 4-6 minutes per student (with questions) Level: High beginner to Intermediate, all ages Materials Required: Nothing Show and Tell is a classic activity from way back in elementary school but it can work well in your ESL classes too. Tell students a few days before the “show and tell ESL speaking style” class that they need to bring an object from home that is meaningful to them. If it’s something really big (a piano) or something that doesn’t transport easily (a cat), then they can email…

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Top 5 Kids ESL Speaking Games

ESL-activities-for-total-beginners

Top 5 Kids ESL Speaking Games If you’re looking for some fresh new ideas for Kids ESL speaking games, you’ve come to the right place. Here are my top 5 games that I like to use in my own classes. They’re guaranteed to make your life easier because you can plan interesting, engaging and fun lessons without spending a lot of time on it. I know you’re tired of searching around on the Internet for the good stuff, right? Search no more! Try out some of these kids ESL speaking games in your classes today! Your students will be happy,…

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My Top 5 ESL Activities for Kids: Try them out today

ESL Activities for Kids

ESL Activities for Kids If you’re looking for some great ESL activities for children, you’ve come to the right place! I have 5 of my favourite ones that are guaranteed to get your kids engaged, excited and energetic about learning English in your class. Add some variety to your ESL classroom today. Show and Tell Show and Tell is an excellent activity for kids because they get to talk about something that’s important to them and show a bit of their personalities. You can do it during one entire class period, or space it out over the semester and use…

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81 Ways to Make your ESL Speaking Class Awesome

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Make your ESL Speaking Class Awesome I’m sure you want your ESL speaking classes to be as awesome as possible. Everybody does! Here are my top 81 tips to help you do that. Ready for great classes in the future? Because that’s what you’re going to get if you follow these tips! Ready? Keep on reading for the ESL speaking class awesome. 1.What’s your Target Language? The first way to make your ESL speaking class awesome is to be clear about the aims of your lesson. “Practicing speaking” isn’t enough. Something more specific like, “Introduce and practice 5 feeling words,”…

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Conversation Starters for Adults

conversation starter

Top 10 Conversation Starters for Adults If you’re looking for a quick warm-up or perhaps a more in-depth discussion, check out these 10 conversation starters for adults–perfect for your ESL speaking classes. They are appropriate for students in almost any country. If you want to start your ESL class off in style, with the students talking, sharing ideas and having fun, then you’ll need to consider using these Top 10 Conversation Starters for Adults. Have fun! If I won the lottery Have students describe what they would do or what they would buy if they won the lotto. I usually…

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Top 5 ESL Warm-Up Activities

ESL-warm-up-activities

Top 5 ESL Warm-Up Activities ESL Warm-up activities are an excellent way to begin class because they ease students back into using English again. In many cases, the last time students thought about or spoke English was in your class last week! Here are five of my favourite ESL warm-up activities that I use in my own classes in a Korean university. Warm-Up Activity #1: Just a Minute Just a Minute is a very simple activity that you can use to get your students talking. Write a bunch of general categories on the board such as jobs, hobbies, dreams, movies,…

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Never Have I Ever ESL Game: An Excellent Icebreaker

Never Have I Ever ESL Game

Never Have I Ever for ESL/EFL Students Skills: Speaking/listening Time: 10-20 minutes Level: Intermediate to Advanced Materials Required: Nothing Never have I ever ESL Game is taken from the classic party game that you can play in your ESL speaking classes as well. The way it works is that students think of a few things that they haven’t done but that they think others in the class have. For example, maybe someone hasn’t been to Japan or China but most of the people in the class probably have. Or, perhaps someone has never tried Indian or Vietnamese food. If you…

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