81 Ways to Make your ESL Speaking Class Awesome | Teaching ESL

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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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Top 5 ESL Warm-Up Activities | ESL Warmers | ESL Games

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Top 5 ESL Warm-Up Activities ESL Warm-up activities are an excellent way to begin class because they ease students back into using English again. In many cases, the last time students thought about or spoke English was in your class last week! Here are five of my favourite ESL warm-up activities that I use in my own classes in a Korean university. Warm-Up Activity #1: Just a Minute Just a Minute is a very simple activity that you can use to get your students talking. Write a bunch of general categories on the board such as jobs, hobbies, dreams, movies,…

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Top 10 ESL Activities for all Levels | ESL Speaking Activity

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Top 10 ESL Activities for Beginner-Advanced Students Top 10 ESL Activities for all Levels is what you need if you teach a wide variety of students from beginner to advanced. All of these activities can be adapted to make them very easy, or quite difficult. If you want to save time when you’re planning your lessons, keep the framework of the lessons the same (same activities, games, etc.) but then adapt the material to suit the individual class. It’s much easier and faster than reinventing the wheel for every single lesson for every single class. Smart teachers use something like…

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Toilet Paper Ice breaker Speaking Activity | ESL Warm-Ups

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Toilet Paper Ice Breaker Speaking Activity Skills: Speaking/Listening Time: 5-30 minutes Level: Beginner-Advanced Materials Required: Toilet Paper This toilet paper ice breaker speaking activity is the perfect way to start your first class off with a bit of fun. It also helps your students get to know each other, as well as you, the teacher. Although some students may have played it before, it’s still worthwhile. Bring in a roll of toilet paper, and depending on the size of your class, tell the students they can take a certain number of pieces (big classes 1-4, small classes 4-8). Don’t give…

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A Relative Clause Speaking Activity which is Fabulously Fun

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Relative Clause Speaking Activity If you’re studying about relative clauses (who, which, that), and want to lighten up the mood a bit you can use this “Who or What is it?” relative clause speaking activity. My students always love it. Relative clauses are a bit grammar heavy to teach and lessons about them are usually focused on pen and paper exercises. But, it is possible to practice relative clauses in a fun speaking activity too. Here’s How to Set Up this Relative Clause Speaking Activity Make a list of things or people and cut them up into little pieces and…

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Can Can’t ESL Game | ESL Grammar Activity

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Can Can’t ESL Game This can can’t ESL game is great for practicing speaking, listening and writing. It’s a game for children or adults, but the content is usually covered with children more than adults. Can/Can’t is a very basic grammatical concept. Related: ESL Activities for Advanced Level Students To play this can can’t ESL game, put the students in teams of 2, 3, or 4 depending on how big your classes are. They have to pick 1 animal, and 1 thing, but must keep it a secret from the other teams My 2 examples that I give the students…

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The Memory Circle Game | ESL Speaking for Kids

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Memory Circle Game for Kids Memory circle game is a fun way to help students remember names, or English vocabulary. It is a game that I often use with smaller (less than 10 students) and younger students (elementary school or kindergarten). However,  I’ve also used it with university students in South Korea when learning new vocabulary words with good results. Here’s How to Do It:  To set up the memory circle game, you need to make a rule about what kind of words or grammar that the students can use. Base it on whatever you are studying that day in…

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Guessing Game ESL Warm-Up Activity

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I always like to begin my classes with a warm-up activity. After all, you don’t really know where your students have been, what their frame of mind is, or whether or not they have spoken a single word of English since your last class I find that easing into it works well. Compare this to jumping right into the “meat” of your lesson at the beginning. I find that students often won’t really “get” it because they’re too distracted by other things. If you do a warm-up activity first, they’ll be ready to take in the main point on the…

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Tell a Story, ESL style | ESL Speaking Adults

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Tell a Story, the Bad Way In almost all general, 4-skills ESL textbooks such as Smart Choice, or World Link there are usually pages with discussion starters that require students to tell a story of some kind. You can most often find this activity in the unit related to the past verb tenses. A big problem with telling stories in class is that most students will not do a very good job of it if they are given no time to prepare. It’s pretty boring to listen to quite often, especially with lower level students. Their “story” of their best vacation…

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Top 10 Blog Posts on ESL Speaking | English Speaking Activity

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Top 10 Blog Posts of All-Time on ESL Speaking We’re going to take a little trip down memory lane with this blog post. I’ve looked back in time and found the 10 most popular blog posts here at ESL Speaking. Find out what other people have found most helpful! #1: Small Talk ESL Activity This small talk ESL activity is the most popular blog post here at ESL Speaking! Small talk is one of those extremely important skills for our students to learn. But for some reason, it’s also something that is rarely practicing in the ESL classroom. My goal…

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Vocabulary Auction | Fun Game for ESL Students

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Vocabulary Auction: Preparation There are plenty of variations of auction games, but vocabulary has the least amount of preparation involved. It will be more fun if you have fake money, poker chips, etc. Begin by having the students list vocabulary they have been studying. Try to get at least 20 terms from them. Next, divide the class into groups of 3-4. Give each group a budget of $1000 and have them bid in increments of $50-100. (Note: if you are using money or tokens, you will need your own supply, to pay out groups who double down.) Vocabulary Auction: How…

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Top 10 ESL Review Activities and Games | ESL Review Games

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ESL Review Activities If you’re looking to make sure your students understood what you taught them in a previous lesson, consider using one of these top 10 ESL review activities and games. They’re fun, engaging and interesting, which will equal happy students and happy teachers! Most of them are appropriate for just about any age or level of student, just adjust them accordingly. Click on the titles of each ESL review game to be taken to the full description of the activity. #1: Odd One Out This ESL warm-up activity is also one of my favourite ESL review activities. It’s…

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Terrible ESL textbook: Help is Here! | Best ESL Textbooks

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Terrible ESL Textbook Doesn’t Have to Mean a Terrible Class I remember back to the days when I first started teaching in Korean universities and how clueless I was about basically everything. That first semester, I was given a total piece of crap textbook to teach English conversation from (which shall remain nameless) for my freshman classes and of course it was a disaster. Instead of using some of theses strategies I’ll talk about in a minute, I soldiered on through the terrible ESL textbook with awful results. Don’t let a terrible ESL textbook ruin your class! It really is…

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How to Teach English Conversation | Teaching English Speaking

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How to Teach 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. However, it shouldn’t be the only thing we do in our English conversation classes. More than just Free-Talking There is far more to English conversation than just free-talking. In my first year of teaching, I was given a “free-talking” class with middle school students. My boss told me to just talk to…

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