ESL Speaking Tests: 3 Options | English Speaking Tests

ESL-speaking-test

There are various ways for language teachers to do an ESL speaking test, all of which have their positives and negatives. I will give only the most basic of overviews of three different speaking test methods for English as a Second Language students. If you want to dive deeper into the topic, I recommend this book: Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices (2nd Edition). ESL Speaking Test #1: 1-1 Interview with the Teacher The 1-1 interview with the teacher method is generally thought to have the highest validity, since weaker students cannot affect the stronger students in any way. However,…

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How to Teach English Conversation | Teaching English Speaking

English-conversation

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. Teaching English Conversation: 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…

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5 Lesson Plans for Advanced ESL Conversation Classes

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An advanced ESL conversation class can be a bit tricky to teach because it’s sometimes hard to see any improvement in your students. But, I’ve found that it can be really useful if you use authentic material and challenge your students that way instead of just relying on ESL textbooks, which are often too easy and often quite boring. Here are five lesson plans that I’ve used in my own advanced level English conversation classes: Lesson Plans for Students in any Country Technology and Sleep This is a good one for the cellphone zombies in your class. Wake them up…

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English Conversation Teaching Tip | How to Teach ESL Conversation

conversation

Many native English speakers when they go somewhere like China or South Korea teach “English Conversation.” Many people teach it poorly. Few do it well. Tip: It’s more than just talking to your students! Check out my #1 tip for doing English conversation a bit better. #1 Tip for Teaching English 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:…

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5 Tips for Engaging Apathetic Students | Teaching ESL Speaking

Engaging Apathetic Students

A reader question from Katrina about how to get her low level middle school students to participate in class when the last thing they want to do is speak English. I’ll start with this: It’s not easy! Engaging very apathetic students to speak in another language is a thankless job. However, there are a few strategies you can try. If they work, great. If they don’t, don’t worry too much about it. As the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” If your students truly don’t care about learning English, there…

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Discussion Starters for Children | ESL Conversation Topics for Kids

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It’s common that native speaker English teacher have to teach “conversation classes.” This is not always easy to do with lower level students, especially kids who might be a little bit shy. I like to start off my classes with one of these interesting discussion starters for kids. Or, you can keep a few in your back pocket for those few minutes at the end of class when you’re done your lesoson. The Best Discussion Starters If you want some conversation starters for children, you’re in the right place. Use a favourite discussion starter to start your classes off in…

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Top 5 Fun ESL Speaking Activities For Kids | ESL Games

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If you teach kids and are struggling a bit with how to make your ESL speaking classes for kids interesting and engaging, here are some of my favourite fun activities that I use in my own classes. Fun ESL Speaking Activities for Kids Rocks-Scissors-Paper with a Twist: it’s perfect for review and also makes an excellent activity for the class before midterms or finals with your beginner university students. It contains the perfect mix of skill and luck. SOS Review Game: remember playing SOS when you were a kid? Well, it’s back…ESL style. Kids, university students and adults all love…

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ESL Speaking Rubric | ESL Speaking Test Rubric

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A common question that I get from people is how to evaluate an ESL Speaking test. Although there are different ways to conduct ESL speaking tests, I do the 1-1 conversation with a random partner style. Simple vs Complicated There are also a million and one ways to evaluate speaking tests with an ESL speaking rubric. However, I always prefer the simple way for just about anything. If you look on the Internet, you’ll notice that lots of other people have talked about this before. But, a lot of the other ESL speaking rubrics you see are so complicated that…

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

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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…

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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…

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ESL Speaking Tip: Expressing an Opinion | English Speaking Tips

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ESL Speaking Tip: How to Express your Opinion Another very common question type of speaking exam question is expressing an opinion. For example, part six of the TOEIC speaking test shows a question on the screen. You then have 15 seconds to prepare, and 60 seconds to answer the question. When you speak, you are evaluated on: pronunciation, intonation and stress, grammar, vocabulary, relevance of content, and completeness of content. You can use these four simple steps to do well on these kinds of speaking exam questions. 4 Simple Steps to Express your Opinion Step 1. State your preference (Directly…

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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 in my ESL classroom, it wasn’t as happy or as productive of place as it could have been. Over the years, I’ve…

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Level Up your Teaching Game: A Resource for Busy Teachers

resources for busy English Teachers

Usually Not My Style… I’m really, really not one to use a lot of other people’s stuff in my classes. I usually just combine the best from the textbook that I’m given and then make the rest of my own materials-surveys, board games, presentation projects, or lesson plans. I usually think that making my own activity or game is way better than searching around for hours on the Internet trying to find something that I can actually use. But, the one thing that I do use in each and every single one of my university classes here in South Korea is The…

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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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