How to Teach English Conversation

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, but it shouldn’t be the only thing we do in our English conversation classes. If you’re looking to level-up your ESL teaching game, you’ve come to the right place! I have plenty of tips, lesson plans, and activity ideas for how to teach English conversation the better way. Help your students actually improve their conversation skills…

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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…

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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, it wasn’t as happy or as productive of place as it could have been. Over the years, I’ve figured it out, but…

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81 Ways to Make your ESL Speaking Class Awesome

introduction

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!   1.What’s your Target Language? Be clear about the aims of your lesson. “Practicing speaking” isn’t enough. Something more specific like, “Introduce and practice 5 feeling words,” or “Practice using the simple past in conversation” is much better.   2.Change Speaking Partners Often– It’s boring to talk to the same person all the time!…

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Teaching Mixed Level ESL Classes

conversation class

Mixed Level ESL Classes are a Big Problem! One of the negatives of teaching at a university in Korea is that students are often grouped according to what major they take and not what their level of English is. This results in classes having one or two students who are semi-fluent (having studied overseas perhaps, or private institutes for years) mixed in with a few students who struggle to say their name and how old they are. The instructor is then supposed to make one class fit all. This not only happens in Korea, but in all countries around the…

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Task Based Language Learning

Task Based Language Teaching

The New Way Task based language learning is kind of all the rage these days as part of the overall communicative approach, which focuses on having students being competent communicators as opposed to some of the older models like grammar translation or the audio-lingual method. Why I Love Task Based Language Learning A Why I personally love task-based activities because they give students a reason to do something as opposed to just using the language in a meaningless kind of way such as in a “repeat after me” activity. Learn what you want to Learn The second reason I like…

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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…

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How to Teach Speaking: Change Partners Often

change-partners

One aspect of how to teach speaking to ESL or EFL students is to require them to change partners often. This is necessary for a variety of reasons-I explain them in this short video. Even more ideas for how to teach ESL speaking, delivered straight to your inbox each week:

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ESL Speaking Feedback

esl-feedback

ESL Speaking feedback is really important if we want our students to improve their English speaking and writing skills. If you’re learning any new skill, it’s so useful to have a skilled teacher guiding you along and learning a language is no exception. In this short video, I talk about how and when to give useful feedback to our students during English conversation or speaking classes. For even more advice on how to teach ESL speaking, particularly to low-level students, check out: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults.

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5 Successful ESL Speaking Activities

ESL survey

A video showing a demonstration of 5 successful ESL Speaking activities from The Art of Teaching Speaking: Research and Pedagogy for the ESL/EFL Classroom by Dr. Keith Folse. The explanations for the activities are very clear and useful, especially for beginners to ESL teaching.

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How to Teach Speaking

how to teach speaking

Most newbie teachers will primarily end up teaching speaking and conversation classes when they first head overseas to teach ESL so How to Teach Speaking  by Scott Thornbury will give you a leg up on the competition. Teaching speaking certainly involves a whole lot more than just “talking” with the students and Thornbury’s books does a great job of explaining that. How To Teach Speaking covers the theory, but also gives a wealth of practical advice and information that you can use in the classroom, along with ESL speaking games and activities that are easy to apply to your own…

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