My World ESL Speaking Activity | ESL Icebreakers

earth

This is an excellent activity that you can do on the first day of class to introduce yourself and then have the students get to know one or two of their classmates. You start by drawing a big circle on the whiteboard with the title, “My World.” Inside the circle there are various words, pictures or numbers that have some meaning to you. For example, inside my circle there might be 1979, blue, 37, a picture of 2 cats, and a mountain. The students would then have to make some guesses about why these things are special to me. The…

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Ice breaker Speaking Activity | English Icebreaker Activity

icebreaker

Skills: Speaking/ Listening Time: 10-30 minutes Level: Beginner-Advanced Materials Required: nothing A way that you can get your students to remember names (and you too!) is to do this simple ice breaker speaking activity. Go around the class, and have students say, “My name is ______and I like _______.” The next student repeats the previous ones, and adds their own. it goes on until it finally gets to you and you can impress the students with your memorization abilities! It works best for smaller classes of less than 10. For more advanced students, you can choose something more difficult than…

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Rocks Scissor Paper ESL Speaking Game | Fun ESL Activity Kids

rock scissor paper

Skills: Reading/ Speaking/ Listening Time: 20 minutes Level: Beginner-Intermediate Materials Required: Question/Answer papers (~5/student) Make up strips of paper with questions and answers (on separate papers). Give each student 5 random papers, a mix of both questions and answers. They have to walk around the class finding their “match.” Once they do, they can rock scissor paper and the winner takes both papers. The students with the most points at the end of the allotted time are the winners. This is the perfect game to do for review in basic conversation classes before the midterm or final exam. Free: 40…

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Draw a Picture While Someone Else is Talking | Fun ESL Speaking Activity

draw a picture

Skills: Speaking/Listening Time: 10 minutes Level: Beginner-Advanced Materials Required: Blank Paper Drawing a picture is a fun way to practice body parts or descriptive words (big, small, long, etc). The students sit back to back and one person is the “talker” and the other one is the “drawer.” The person talking describes something that they’re looking at to their partner (a face, body, city, etc) and that person draws what they hear. The results are usually hilarious! It’s perfect for a quick warm-up game, or time-filler.

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How to Teach Speaking | Teaching ESL 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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ESL Survey Activity | ESL Speaking Activity

Esl survey

ESL Survey Activity-The perfect way to get your students out of their seats and speaking in English. Skills: Speaking/Listening/Writing/Reading Time Required: 15-30 Minutes Level: Beginner-Advanced Materials: a Survey Handout Give the students a sheet of paper with some questions and they need to find one of their classmates who fits each slot. For example: “Do you travel sometimes?” or, “Are you a university student?” Then, if their partner answers yes, they write down their name and ask them one more question to elicit an extra piece of information. You can review the 5 “W” + “H” questions if necessary before…

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World Link ESL Textbook | ESL Textbooks Adults

World Link ESL textbook

World Link An excellent choice for a general English conversation class for adults I used World Link for about 4 years at my old university and I can say with certainty that it is a really solid book. The units are interesting and engaging and are on the simpler side if you have lower-level, or multi-level classes. There just isn’t that much text on the page, which is something I appreciate in an ESL textbook. The supplementary teacher’s resource book was excellent and I used almost every single activity in it, so make sure you get that as well. While…

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20 Questions ESL Speaking Game | 20 Questions ESL Students

twenty questions

Skills: Speaking/Listening Time: 20 minutes Level: Beginner-advanced Materials Required: Nothing This is a “20 questions” style game, based on whatever you’re studying (Animals/Jobs, etc). In groups, the students ask the teacher a yes/no question. After the teacher gives the answer, the students can have one chance to guess the secret thing. Play a few rounds and the team with the most points is the winner. You can also have students take turns being the one with the “secret.” It’s an excellent way for students to practice asking questions in English. If you have a very large class, divide the students…

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Smart Choice ESL Textbook for Adults | Smart Choice Reviews

smart choice Ken Wilson

I used the Smart Choice series for a number of years at my old university for a supplementary program and really enjoyed teaching it. Smart Choice makes an excellent pick for an esl textbook for adults. It has a good bit of grammar, but in a very simple, easy to understand way and not too much is packed into each lesson. It made teaching easy and very minimal prep was required because the book was good enough to just teach straight from it. The students usually seemed to enjoy the topics and it was easy enough to build natural conversations…

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Shootout Game at the ESL Corral | ESL Speaking Game Kids

shootout

Skills: Listening/ Speaking Time: 10-20 minutes Level: Beginner Materials Required: Nothing How the Shootout Game Works This is an ESL listening and speaking game for kids that works for classes from 10-30. Divide the class into groups of two. You can do this on 2 sides of the class, at their desks standing up or get the students to make a line at the front of the class. The first 2 students play rock/scissor/paper. The loser has to answer a question about what you’ve been studying within 5 seconds. If correct, they go to the back of their line, or…

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Partner Conversation Starters | English Conversation Starters

conversation

Conversation Starters: ESL Speaking Activity If you teach lower level students, it can be a bit difficult to get a free-flowing conversation going. Most times, it’s almost impossible. The students often don’t know how to get the conversation started, but the good news is that you can help them! For all but the lowest level students who are just learning the most basic of vocabulary and grammar, conversation starters can really help. Here’s how you use Conversation Starters:  Skills: Writing/Speaking Time Required: 5-15 Minutes Level: Beginner-Intermediate Materials Required: Nothing Give the students a conversation starter to get them going and…

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ESL Speaking Textbook for Adults | 4 Corners ESL Textbook Review

My Top Choice for ESL Speaking Textbook If you’re looking for a book that covers all 4 skills, but that is slanted towards speaking activities, 4 Corners by Jack Richards should be your top choice. The communicative activities are excellent at fostering natural communication, unlike many other ESL speaking textbooks where the conversations are quite unnatural and artificial. There are plenty of fluency activities as well, which is an important, but often overlooked area of speaking for English as a Second Language students. In addition, the vocab and grammar sections are thoughtful and easy to understand, and the topics are…

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ESL Speaking Tests: 3 Options | English Speaking Tests

speaking test ESL students

There are various ways for language teachers to do ESL speaking tests, 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, but if you want to dive deeper into the topic, I recommend this book: Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices (2nd Edition). 1-1 interviews with the teacher This method is generally thought to have the highest validity, since weaker students cannot affect the stronger students in any way. However, I think there are more negatives than positives: The…

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Speaking Activities that Don’t Suck | ESL Speaking Games

Speaking Activities That Don't Suck

Speaking Activities That Don’t Suck: Foolproof Ways to Force Your EFL Students to Produce Enormous Amounts of English is one of the best resources out there for ESL teachers looking to add some fresh, new speaking activities and games into their lesson plans. Unlike most of the more academic books out there, Speaking Activities that Don’t Suck is filled with practical, interesting and fun ideas that will have your students coming back for more. Very little in the way of preparation time is required and this book is basically just read and go.

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