Top 10 ESL Speaking Activities for False Beginners

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Top 10 ESL Speaking Activities for False Beginners I taught English in South Korea for almost a decade and most of that time was spent teaching false beginners. False beginners are students who’ve studied English at some point in the past but had to stop for whatever reason. Or more commonly in Korea, they’ve studied English for years, sometimes very advanced level concepts but didn’t really even grasp the basics. It was all too common amongst my students! Some students realized that they were actually at quite a basic level, and they were easy to teach because they were willing…

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Toilet Paper Ice breaker Speaking Activity: Get to know each other

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Toilet Paper Ice Breaker Speaking Activity Skills: Speaking/Listening Time: 5-30 minutes Level: Beginner-Advanced Materials Required: Toilet Paper This toilet paper ice breaker speaking activity is the perfect way to start your first class off with a bit of fun. It also helps your students get to know each other, as well as you, the teacher. Although some students may have played it before, it’s still worthwhile. Bring in a roll of toilet paper, and depending on the size of your class, tell the students they can take a certain number of pieces (big classes 1-4, small classes 4-8). Don’t give…

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Cosmo Quiz ESL Icebreaker Activity

ESL Icebreaker Activity

Cosmo Quiz ESL Icebreaker Activity Skills: Speaking/listening/reading Materials Required: A Cosmo quiz or Cosmo-type quiz If you are a guy, you may not be familiar with the quiz in each month’s edition of Cosmopolitan magazine. These generally predict something about your relationship style, finances, etc. In other words, they are quiz-style horoscopes. They are pretty fun to do as a group, because they are not meant to be taken seriously. However, they can tell you a little something about the quiz-taker. The classes that Cosmo quizzes work best with are full of young women. A bunch of teenage guys probably…

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A Relative Clause Speaking Activity which is Fabulously Fun

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Relative Clause Speaking Activity 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. Relative clauses are a bit grammar heavy to teach and lessons about them are usually focused on pen and paper exercises. But, it is possible to practice relative clauses in a fun speaking activity too. Here’s How to Set Up this Relative Clause Speaking Activity Make a list of things or people and cut them up into little pieces and…

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ESL Activities for Listening and Speaking

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Top 10 ESL Activities for Listening and Speaking If you’re looking for some ESL activities for listening and speaking, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to give a brief description of our 10 favourite ESL activities that focus on two very important skills-listening and speaking. We’ll also include a link to more details about how to set up the ESL activity and use it in your classes. #1: ESL Surveys ESL surveys are one of my all-time favourite ESL Activities for listening and speaking. I love them for the following reasons: They get students up and out of…

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How to Teach English Conversation

English-conversation

How to Teach English Conversation Many foreign ESL teachers abroad, especially in places like South Korea, teach predominantly English conversation classes. Some teachers (and students too!) have the perception that teaching English conversation involves just “talking” to the students. Free-talking does have a role in helping students learn English. However, it shouldn’t be the only thing we do in our English conversation classes. More than just Free-Talking There is far more to English conversation than just free-talking. In my first year of teaching, I was given a “free-talking” class with middle school students. My boss told me to just talk to…

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Private Teaching ESL Activities and Games

Private Teaching Activities and Games Private teaching can sometimes be a little bit difficult because the activities and games you’d normally use with bigger classes often won’t work when it’s just you and a student. I know that I’d way rather teach a class of 30 than a private session with only one or two students! However, I still occasionally do private teaching and I have a go-to repertoire of activities and games that I rely on. I’ll share a few of my favourite activities for 1-1 ESL teaching here. English Central Videos for Private Teaching I love to use…

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Story Timeline: ESL Reading and Speaking Activity

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An ESL Reading and Speaking Activity If you’re looking for an ESL reading and speaking activity, check out this story timeline activity. It makes an excellent follow-up activity for whatever reading your students are doing inside, or outside of class. It works equally well for both children and adults. It’s an excellent 1-1 activity, or if you have a bigger class, you can put students into pairs or groups of 3-4 and have them work on it together. If you want to make it more difficult for advanced level or older students, just include some extra strips of paper with…

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ESL Speaking Activities for Kids

ESL Speaking Activities for Kids

39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Kids (7+) Do you want to make your English classes for kids engaging, interactive and fun for both you and the students? Want to make you life easy and save time when planning your ESL lessons? You’ll need to get 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities for Kids (7+). Stop Wasting your Time! Whether you’re a first-time English teacher, an experienced but overwhelmed instructor, or an instructor without a textbook, you need more activities for speaking classes for children. If you’re tired of wasting your time wading through the junk on the Internet to find the…

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Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities for Teenagers and Adults

esl speaking activities adults

39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults Sometimes even experienced ESL teachers get stuck in a rut. It’s time to find some fresh ideas!  Tired of Wasting Time Looking for ESL Speaking Activities? Whether you’re a first-time English teacher, an experienced but perhaps overwhelmed instructor with not much time for lesson planning, or an instructor without a textbook, you need more activities for your English conversion or speaking classes. If you’re tired of wading through the junk on the Internet to find the ESL speaking game or activity that you can actually use in your classes, then Jackie…

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Puzzle Finder ESL Ice Breaker Activity

Puzzle Pieces ESL Ice Breaker

Puzzle Finder ESL Ice Breaker Skills: Speaking/listening Materials Required: puzzle pieces (from an actual puzzle or a cut and laminated image) I love to use ESL ice breakers in my classes. They’re a fun way for students to get to know each other, as well as you. I find that by using icebreakers, the rest of the course goes more smoothly. The atmosphere is friendlier, and students feel like they are part of a cohesive group. Try out this Puzzle Finder ESL ice breaker in your classes. The objects of this ESL ice breaker activity are both teamwork (to create…

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Vocabulary Games for ESL Students

Vocabulary games for ESL students

  Teaching English vocabulary is traditionally quite boring for the students as well as the teacher. However, it doesn’t have to be tedious if you play a few vocabulary games for ESL students. They’re guaranteed to get your students talking, thinking and most important of all: remembering and knowing how to use those words they’ve been studying. Error Correction Relay Race: Correcting errors is a very important skill for language learners but it’s often quite boring and students usually don’t like to do it. However, you can make the old new again with this exciting relay race that the students will…

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Dialogue Substitution

ESL vocabulary activity

Dialogue Substitution Skills: Reading/Listening/Speaking Time: 10-15 minutes Materials: PowerPoint or handouts of photocopied textbook dialogue with parts removed. Lower-level text books contain many dialogues but their effectiveness is reduced when students don’t have to listen to their partner in order to successfully complete their role. An easy solution to this is to use dialogue substitution which provide the dialogues with key elements missing. Students then have to listen in order to respond appropriately. Dialogues are an excellent way for students to see how new vocabulary is used in real-life situations. You may want or need to scaffold this activity by…

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I’m an Alien: An ESL Speaking Activity for Kids

I'm an Alien: ESL speaking activity for kids

I’m an Alien: ESL Speaking Activity for Kids Skills: Speaking/listening Age: All Materials Required: None I love a no-prep, no-materials ESL speaking activity for kids, and students always enjoy this one. You begin class by telling the students you are an alien. You landed just a few minutes earlier, right outside the school. Since you are new here, you don’t know a lot of words, and you need some help. You can create a mission scenario, and elicit vocabulary that will help you. Maybe you want to send a letter telling your mother you arrived safely. You can elicit pen,…

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