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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How to Teach Speaking

how to teach speaking

You want to know how to teach speaking? You’ve come to the right place if you want a basic overview of a few of the principles you need to remember when teaching speaking. Here are 5 things to keep in mind: Repetition is Key Be sure to provide plenty of opportunities for your student to practice. Start out with controlled practice, and then move to freer speaking sessions where students can experiment with using the language. Then, follow-up with review in subsequent classes. Another thing to think about is teaching language in “chunks.” If students can get to the point…

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Fortunately/Unfortunately Speaking and Listening Activity

Speaking and listening activity

Skills: Speaking/listening Age: 9+ Materials Required: None You may have done this speaking and listening activity at school yourself. Start of by telling students some good news (something that “happened to you”) followed by some bad news. For example, “Unfortunately, my car wouldn’t start this morning. Fortunately, my neighbor gave me a ride to school. Unfortunately, she drove through a red light. Fortunately. . .” Students will then generate similar language using fortunately/unfortunately or luckily/unluckily. Procedure: 1. Divide students into small groups of 3-5. 2. Give them a scenario (something that “happened to you”), alternating between good and bad news.…

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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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Picture Prompt: An ESL Warm-Up For Kids and Adults

Picture prompt ESL warm-up

An ESL Warm-Up Activity Picture prompt is a great ESL warm-up for kids as well as adults that can be used for all levels from beginner to advanced. Show students an image and have them generate questions or speculate about the picture.   For lower level students, this can be purely descriptive: Q: What do you see?   A: I see a house, a car, and some people. Q: What color is the car?   A: It is blue. For high beginner/low intermediate students, have an image which can generate questions such as: What is happening in this picture? How does that…

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How to Make your ESL Classes Awesome

Make your ESL Classes Awesome

I’m sure everyone reading this wants to make their ESL classes as awesome as possible. Any teacher would and even those who are abroad for just one or two years still want to have great classes and help their students learn English. But teaching isn’t an easy thing to do and it’s often the case that foreign English teachers walk into the classroom at their first job with absolutely no training whatsoever. Help is here! If you want to make your ESL classes as awesome as possible, keep reading for my top 10 tips. How to Teach English-Jeremy Harmer Read…

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ESL Speaking Bingo

ESL Speaking Bingo

Skills: Speaking/listening/writing Time: 20-30 minutes Level: High-Beginner to Advanced Materials Required: Blank “Bingo” grids, or blank paper   ESL Speaking Bingo is a very fun activity that kids, teenagers as well as university students seem to love. Have a list of about 35-40 vocabulary words that you’ve been studying (on the PPT works well). If you use less, the game will be over very quickly. Give the students a pre-made Bingo Grid, or have them draw a 5×5 grid. Then the students fill in the grid randomly from the list of words on the board or PowerPoint. Then, choose someone to…

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Retell the Story 1-2-3: A Fluency Activity for ESL Students

Retell the Story 1-2-3

Skills: Speaking Time: 15-20 minutes Level: Beginner to Advanced, 8+ Materials Required: Timer   This is a fluency activity which can be done with beginners by having them introduce themselves. Higher level students can tell a story they know or recap a story that was covered in class. Give the students a bit of time to think about what they’re going to say; the lower the level of students, the more time they will need. Working in pairs, each student will tell the same story three times. The first time, they will each speak for one minute. Then, have the…

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Hot Potato: an ESL Speaking Game for Kids

Hot potato ESL speaking game for kids

Hot Potato: A really fun ESL speaking game for kids Skills: Speaking Time: 5-10 minutes Level: Beginner, up to 11 Materials: Flashcards, timer, “potato” (an object for students to pass around) This is a simple vocabulary review game, spiced up with a timer. There are plenty of phone app timers, but a kitchen timer works well. To play, start the potato, which can be a white board eraser, ball, or any lightweight, easily-seen object, moving around the class from student to student. If there is not a practical way to play in a circle, have a contingency for the last…

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2 Lesson Plans for Advanced ESL Students

2 Lesson plans for advanced ESL students

Here are 2 lesson plans for advanced ESL students that are guaranteed to get your students speaking English and enjoying their conversation or discussion class. Renewable Energy The first is a renewable energy ESL lesson plan. It’s perfect for advanced ESL students anywhere in the world that are reasonably knowledgeable about technology. It also contains my PPT that I used for a 3-hour class, although I’ve adapted this lesson for classes ranging from 1.5 to 4 hours. Youth Unemployment in Korea The second is a lesson plan for advanced students about Youth Unemployment in Korea. In this case, I used…

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No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Kids (7+)

ESL Speaking Activities for kids

If you teach ESL Speaking or Conversation to children (age 7+), this is the book that you need to have in your library. It has 39 ESL activities and games that are guaranteed to get your students talking, having fun and learning some English, the interactive way. They are no-prep or low-prep so will make your lesson planning easy and they’re the perfect supplement to a coursebook of some kind. There are plenty of tips for new teachers about how you can implement these games and activities in your classroom. Awesome ESL Speaking Activities right at your fingertips! Buy it…

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Presentation Projects for ESL/EFL Students: Some Ideas

Presentations for ESL Students

Presentation Projects for ESL/EFL Students Over the years teaching in a Korean university, I’ve had students do plenty of presentation projects, with varying degrees of success. I hope that you can learn from my mistakes and make your ESL speaking classes as awesome as possible. Presentation projects, if set up well are an excellent way to add a bit of variety to the ESL classroom. After all, students get tired of hearing the teacher talk all the time! And you probably get tired of talking. I know that I always did! Plus, it’s fun to hear what students have to…

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