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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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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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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Would You Rather? An ESL Warm-Up Activity

Would You Rather? An ESL warm-up activity

Start your Class Off in Style with this ESL Warm-Up Activity Would You Rather? is a fun ESL warm-up activity. You can buy ready-made decks, but they aren’t ESL specific. I use self-made cards, which takes a bit of time buy then you can recycle them from class to class. Another options is to just make a list of questions. If you’re quick on your feet, you can do this without materials. For example, “Would you rather have eyes like a fly’s, or eyes like a spider’s?” Students must choose one and explain why. If you class is small, you…

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81 Ways to Make your ESL Speaking Class Awesome

introduction

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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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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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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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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Top 5 ESL Activities for Beginners

English speaking activities for beginners

ESL Activities for Beginners Fun activities and games should be an essential part of teaching ESL for beginners. It creates an interest in learning English which in turn would motivate an individual to learn with interest – irrespective of whether it is a young adult or a child. Games can make your classes even more awesome and keep your students hooked and interested in learning more. Of course, it’s not easy to teach total beginners especially if you don’t share a common language. But, it really is possible and there are a few activities you can use that will work well.…

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Top 5 ESL Activities for Adults

ESL speaking activities

ESL Activities for Adults If you’re looking for some ESL activities for adults, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve been teaching in South Korean universities for the past 10 years and have spent a lot of time honing my ESL-game in order to make my classes as engaging, interactive and interesting as possible. Here are my top 5 ESL activities that will help you along that same path! Click the title of each activity for more specific details about what each one is and how to set it up in your class. Retell the Story 1-2-3–This is an extremely…

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Free ESL Speaking Books Giveaway!

Want some free stuff?

Like Free Stuff? I’m holding a contest where you can have a chance to win one of three Ebooks of mine that I’m giving away for free. The contest is only open for a week and the winners get their choice of: ESL Speaking Books ESL Speaking Activities for Kids ESL Speaking Activities for Adults All About Money The Wealthy English Teacher: Teach, Travel, and Secure your Financial Future South Korea Stuff: How to Get a University Job in South Korea How to Thrive in South Korea: 97 Tips from Expats Tell Your Friends = More Chances to Win! The…

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ESL Speaking Activities for Adults

esl speaking activities adults

My new book about ESL speaking activities for adults is up on Amazon: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults. The electronic version is only $2.99 or you can get it for free if you’re in the Kindle Unlimited program. You can get the Ebook version with any Mac, PC, tablet or smartphone-just download the Kindle App. It’s way easier than you think it is and even the non-techie can do it! And in other news, I started a new website related you might be interested in if you teach at the university level. My Life! Teaching in…

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Speaking Classes Don’t Always Need to be Fun

clown

When you’re new to teaching, there is the temptation to always be a constant entertainer and make your speaking classes always fun. I call these people edutainers. However, edutainer mode is hard to keep up, week after week, month after month, and year after year. While it’s good to have a laugh and a joke once in a while, learning English is not easy so it is okay to have more serious kinds of speaking activities that do not involve a game of some sort. For example, partner conversation activities or surveys are extremely valuable because that means that every…

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