ESL Classroom Management Tips and Tricks

ESL classroom management

ESL Classroom Management Tips and Tricks I remember back to when I first started teaching in a hagwon (private language institute) in Korea and how much of a struggle it was. The root of the problem was that I was totally and completely clueless about classroom management and the kids totally knew it. They walked all over me and I basically had no control, for at least the first six months. Even though I did eventually establish some order in my ESL classroom, it wasn’t as happy or as productive of place as it could have been. Over the years, I’ve…

Continue Reading

Refusing to Participate in Class: How to Handle It

students refusing to participate

A Student Refusing to Participate in Class A problem that teachers sometimes have is a student that just straight-up refuses to participate in class. I’ve taught in Korean universities for many years and have certainly had my fair share of these students over the years. I know that it can even be worse when you teach kids, particularly middle school students who have a lot going on, inside their own heads, with their bodies, and socially. It’s tough! “How can I get a student to participate if they refuse?” Poor Language Skills Often, when students are refusing to participate in…

Continue Reading

ESL Speaking Lesson Plan Template

ESL Speaking lesson plan template

An ESL Speaking Lesson Plan Template Whenever I talk to people who are preparing a lesson plan or a demo lesson in order to get ready for an ESL teaching job interview, I’m always surprised that many people really have no idea how to plan a lesson. I was pretty clueless too, until I took the CELTA and the DELTA where my trainers beat this ESL speaking lesson plan template into my head such that I could basically recite it in my sleep. A short disclaimer. “Speaking” is not enough of a lesson plan objective in itself. You need to…

Continue Reading

Free Talking for ESL Students: Why I Hate It

Free-Talking for ESL Students

I recently attended the Kotesol International conference 2015 in Seoul and want to talk about a presentation that I attended by Tina Zaman called, “English Conversation Workshops for Fluency.” The gist of it is that she begins her classes by having students talk with their partner about a single open-ended question for 15 minutes. She made no mention of whether or not this question is related to anything else that her class is studying, or whether it’s stand-alone. I tried asking her, but she wasn’t open to answering questions it seemed. A few people questioned how it was possible that…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

ESL Conversation Class: Tips to Make it Awesome

ESL conversation class

ESL Conversation Class: Great, or Terrible? Over my decade teaching English in South Korea, I’ve had some great English conversation classes and I’ve also had some pretty terrible ones. Here are some tips for teaching these kinds of classes from my other blog, My Life! Teaching in a Korean University that will hopefully make them as awesome as possible. Multi-Level ESL Classes– These kinds of classes are most definitely not awesome, especially in a conversation class because the best students can easily dominate, leaving the weaker ones feeling frustrated and unhappy. Some tips to deal with this bad situation. How…

Continue Reading

How to Teach ESL Speaking

speaking

Over at my new website, My Life! Teaching in a Korean University, there are some posts which you need to check out if you teach conversation or speaking classes. Kind of a “how to teach ESL speaking 101.” Vocabulary Review Game for ESL Students– This is a fun game for kids as well as adults which works best in a smaller class of 12 or less. It’s possible to play with larger groups, but it will be far less student-centered. It requires very little in the way of prep, which is most definitely my style. For even more ESL Speaking…

Continue Reading

English Conversation Teaching Tip

conversation

For those who teach English conversation classes, here is my #1 tip to do it well. Conversation is a two-way street and in order to be good at it our students need to know how to ask questions. Conversation is not simply asking and answering something like: A: “How was your weekend?” B: “It was good.” A better conversation would look like this: A: “How was your weekend?” B: “It was good, I saw a movie.” A: “Really? What movie?” B: “I saw Kung Fu Panda. Have you seen it?” Or: A: “How was your weekend?” B: “It was a…

Continue Reading