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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Small Talk for ESL Students: 4 Activities to Try Out

small-talk-for-ESL-students

Small Talk for ESL Students I taught in Korean universities for 10 years. Something that I’ve noticed during that time is that my students are often really, really bad at engaging in small talk, even the more advanced level students. They usually know how to put together complex sentences and the intricacies of vocabulary usage but when it comes to having a basic conversation with something they don’t know, they’re often at a bit of a loss. This makes my students sometimes very awkward, shy and uncomfortable. This results in that my students seem like they don’t know English! However,…

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Top 5 Games and Activities for Big ESL Classes | ESL Activities

big-ESL-classes

Big EL Classes: They don’t have to be a Nightmare 50 students in a class? Sounds like your biggest nightmare? I’m not going to sugar-coat it for you-it is kind of a nightmare and in a language class, it’s really ridiculous. However, it’s quite a common situation in universities in Asia, particularly in Thailand,  China, Vietnam or Korea. Ideally, you’d have between 8 and 16 students. Eight is enough to do pretty much any activity, while 16 isn’t so big that you’ve unable to give any sort of individual feedback. After about 25, it’s mostly just a sea of faces.…

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Top 5 ESL Speaking Activities for University Students | ESL Speaking Adults

ESL speaking activities for university students

ESL Speaking Activities for University Students I’ve been teaching in South Korean universities for the past nine years or so, which means I have plenty of ESL speaking activities for university students up my sleeve. Students here are totally burnt out from high-school studying hell, so by the time they get to university, they often aren’t that motivated to study English. This is especially the case if you teach mandatory freshman English classes. However, by using some of these ESL speaking activities, you’ll be able to make your classes awesome and your students happy, participating and enjoying using English as…

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6 ESL Survey Ideas your Students Will Love | ESL Surveys

ESL survey

ESL Surveys: Love Them! You’ve probably made your way here because you’re searching for ESL survey ideas. We’ll get to that, but first I’ll tell you why I love ESL surveys so much. I’m convinced that every ESL teacher should be using them every single month in all their classes. Surveys are one of my favourite ESL activities. If you ask my students, they’ll probably tell you the same thing. I use them at least once a month in all my classes, for a huge variety of topics. They can also be used for just about any level, with the…

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