Tell your Story | ESL Speaking Activity to Practice Reported Speech

reported-speech-esl-speaking-activity

You can often find a unit on reported speech in most intermediate level English textbooks. But, it’s not that easy to design some ESL activities to practice this. Check out one of my favourite: “Tell a Story.” It’s fun, engaging, and creates some great opportunities for students to practice this important skill. Reported Speech ESL Speaking Activity Skills: Writing/reading/speaking/listening Time: 15-30 minutes Level: Intermediate to Advanced Materials Required: Nothing Have students write something interesting. Some examples are: most embarrassing moment, scariest thing you’ve ever done, your dream for the future, etc. Base it on whatever you are studying in class.…

Continue Reading

Vocabulary Review Game for Kids and Adults | ESL Vocabulary Game

vocabulary-review-game

Flip Chart ESL Vocabulary Review Game Skills: Speaking/listening Time: 20 minutes Level: Beginner to Advanced Materials Required: Flip-chart or flashcards This is a fun way to review some vocabulary words. It can work for any level of student, but it’s ideal for beginners to intermediate when the vocab words are quite simple. I’ve used this activity for small classes of 10, or big classes of 20. It works equally well for all, but the ideal number of people on a team is around 5-6. More than that and not everyone is able to participate. The “captain” sits in a chair…

Continue Reading

SOS Game | Speaking Review for ESL Students | ESL Game

SOS-game

SOS Game: Review Just about Anything I like to play the SOS game as a way to review whatever we studied in the previous class. I use it as a quick warm-up at the beginning of a class. It’s fun, interesting, and fast moving, so it’s the perfect way to begin your English class. For example, maybe the grammar point is countable/uncountable nouns and all the technical details surrounding it. It can get quite complicated, so it’s something I’d for sure want to review before moving on with new material. This SOS game is a great way to do that!…

Continue Reading

ESL Board Games | ESL Games Kids | ESL Games Adults

ESL-board-games

Board games for ESL students are one of my favourite in-class activities. Students generally love them, and they’re an excellent way to recap a class or unit. It does take a bit of time to teach students how to play them, but after doing it once, you can use board games a few more times during the course easily. I’ve also used them many times as a review activity in the class before a midterm or final exam. It’s quite easy to make a question to cover just about everything you’d possibly include on a test in a conversation class, or…

Continue Reading

Top 10 ESL Icebreakers | ESL Warm-Ups | Icebreaker Questions

ESL-icebreakers

If you’re looking to get your semester started off on the right foot, then you’ll need to use a few of these ESL icebreakers. They’ll help the students get to know each other and you as well. By starting your classes off with some ESL icebreakers, you’re setting yourself up for a successful semester. Keep reading for the top 10 ESL icebreakers. You can see the detailed activity description by clicking the links! #1: Ball Toss If you’re looking for one of the most versatile ESL activities ever, look no further than this Ball Toss one. You can use it for…well…just…

Continue Reading

120-90-60 ESL Speaking Fluency Activity | Speaking English Fluently

fluent speaking

All of our students want to speak more fluently in English! It can be difficult to help your students with this though because most of the activities you’ll find in textbooks focus more on accuracy. Teachers are more comfortable fixing accuracy mistakes as well. After all, it’s easier to pick out wrong grammar or vocabulary choices than telling a student to just “talk faster!” Here’s one ESL speaking fluency activity that you can try out in your classes. It’ll help get your students speaking more quickly, but with a bit of the familiar. They’ll be speaking more quickly, using a…

Continue Reading

ESL Speaking Lesson Plan | Speaking Lesson Plan for TEFL Teachers

ESL Speaking Lesson Plan I have to confess that I didn’t really know how to plan an ESL lesson that well until I took the CELTA. I kind of knew the steps that should be in there, but I was pretty fuzzy on how they all fit together. Sometimes even experienced teachers who’ve been using textbooks for much of their career can not really have a framework for how things should be done. By “framework,” I mean a system, on paper or inside your head from which you hang all the little pieces and parts and activities. In case you’re…

Continue Reading

Make your Life Easier: ESL Lesson Plans

ESL lesson plans

All About ESL Lesson Planning If you’re looking for help with your ESL lesson plans, you’ve come to the right place. I know that many teachers first go abroad to teach English without any sort of training in teaching English. Employers, especially if you work at a private language institute are often no help. They often say things like, “You speak English! Just go teach.” Teachers are often left to their own devices when it comes to lesson planning. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it. The good news is that planning a decent ESL lesson really isn’t…

Continue Reading

Role Plays for ESL Students

role-plays-for-ESL-students

Role Plays for ESL Students Skills: Writing/speaking Time Required: 15-40 minutes Level: Beginner to Advanced Materials Required: Nothing Role Plays are one of my favourite ESL activities for lower-level students. They allow beginners to feel like they’re “having a conversation,” but there’s some structure so they don’t feel overwhelmed. Here’s how it works-give the students a conversation starter to get them going. For example, if you’re talking about feelings in class that day, you can use: A. Hey _____, how are you doing? B. I’m great, how are you? A. I’m _____ (sad, embarrassed, angry, bored, etc.). ***Anything besides, “I’m…

Continue Reading

Task Based Language Learning

Task Based Language Teaching

Task Based Language Learning:The New Way Task based language learning is kind of all the rage these days as part of the overall communicative approach. This focuses on having students being competent communicators as opposed to some of the older models like grammar translation or the audio-lingual method. If you’re not familiar with task based language learning, here is a brief introduction to it. Task based language learning can be an excellent choice for large classes. A class of 20+ students makes it impossible for students to get enough speaking time if it’s a teacher-centred classroom. Why I Love Task…

Continue Reading

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

Disappearing Text ESL Vocabulary Game

ESL Vocabulary Game

Disappearing Text ESL Vocabulary Game Skills: Reading/Speaking Time: 5-10 minutes Materials: Whiteboard, marker and eraser Disappearing text is a fun ESL vocabulary game that also works on English grammar. Write one (or more) sentences on the board reviewing new material from that class, or from the previous class if you’re using this as a warm-up activity. This can be done as last man standing or last group/table standing. Begin with all students standing. Have them read aloud what is written on the board. Remove one word (or phrase) at a time, and have them repeat the entire passage as it…

Continue Reading

Apples to Apples Vocabulary Game

Apples to Apples Vocabulary Game

Apples to Apples ESL Vocabulary Game Skills: Listening/speaking Time: 30+ minutes, including deck-building Level: Intermediate to Advanced, age 9+ Materials Required: Paper, pen/pencils, textbooks, and scissors Apples to Apples is a vocabulary game in which players defend their choice of card played. This version is somewhat different than the actual Apples to Apples game, in order to increase speaking time. Before playing, students need to make two decks of cards using vocabulary words. This is best done at the end of a semester or book, so that there are more words to play with. You may also want to encourage…

Continue Reading

Show and Tell ESL Speaking Activity | English Speaking for Kids

show-tell

Show and Tell ESL Activity Skills: Speaking/listening Time: 1-2 minutes per student (no questions). 4-6 minutes per student (with questions) Level: High beginner to Intermediate, all ages Materials Required: Nothing Show and Tell is a classic activity from way back in elementary school but it can work well in your ESL classes too. Tell students a few days before the “show and tell ESL speaking style” class that they need to bring an object from home that is meaningful to them. If it’s something really big (a piano) or something that doesn’t transport easily (a cat), then they can email…

Continue Reading