Using fun and interactive games to teach ESLThe students at my school struggle to pay attention and to maintain interest when learning English. They avoid speaking in English, especially with their classmates, because they lack confidence. This reduces interaction and thus, they do not communicate well in English in the outside world. In this article, I present a lesson where I used a technique to educate students in a fun and interactive way.

About the Author: Zarin Tasnim completed OnTESOL’s 250-hour TESOL diploma and Teaching English to Young Learners Specialist Course and is now teaching primary English in China. Read more

Teaching using the news in ESL classrooms If you’re looking for something to use for one hour, for several classes, or even long-term, this will fit the bill. The Daily News integrates reading comprehension, vocabulary building, grammar, pronunciation, listening comprehension, fluency, and confidence building.

It’s also a practical way to keep a class active on a daily basis while providing variety at the same time. No one will get bored and class members will learn new things. In addition, students stay current on news and have opportunities to build their English skills. What more could you ask for in a classroom activity, right? Read more

blankGetting a classroom of ESL learners to speak is difficult sometimes. Especially in a mixed-level class, it can be downright challenging. This week’s post will provide an activity to get ESL students speaking, develop new vocabulary, and give opportunities for feedback at the same time. Read more

        No prep Games for TESOL Teachers If there’s one thing to be learned in teaching, it is that no matter how thoroughly you plan, the unexpected will always occur. In addition, it could be that the homeroom teacher asks for a last-minute lesson extension. Perhaps your boss forgot to mention the 8:00am kindergarten class.  It could be that your planned lesson took half the time you expected. You could’ve just forgotten your flashcards on your desk. Stressful as this is, it’s much less so if you have a few games in your back pocket to pull out at a moment’s notice – no prep required.

About the author:Rosemary Hanson is a teacher specializing in English and early education, and a graduate from OnTESOL’s 250-hour program. She now teaches English to elementary students in Nagoya, Japan

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The Best Task-Based Learning ActivitiesThe Task-Based Learning approach focuses on the acquisition of language through relevant, applicable tasks that take place in a relaxed, positive environment.  The best way to experiment, learn more about, and eventually perfect the Task-Based Learning approach in the classroom is to do it.  Here are 5 fun activities to help you get started with TBL!

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ESL games for reading and listeningStudents get a bit stressed with reading and listening activities. I don’t blame them: it’s hard. I imagine it’s incredibly frustrating to be forced to read something or listen when you don’t understand a majority of the words. Luckily, there are a few tricks to make these aspects of English class less painful for everyone involved. These 5 ESL games are perfect for teaching listening and reading skills in a fun and effective way.

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ESL games for teaching speaking and writingSpeaking is certainly the most complicated part of learning a language, and this typically presents the biggest challenge for learners. In many schools, students are taught to recite robotic sentences and are often uncomfortable when presented with casual, everyday speaking situations. Likewise, ESL learners do not always get the chance to practice expressing their views, opinions, and experiences through writing. Written assignments are often centered around mirroring the grammar concept for the week. This is definitely not a bad thing, but written assignments work best when they are supplemented with creative and fun tasks. While there are a plethora of speaking ESL games that probably come to every teacher’s mind, some may struggle with the writing element in this. Don’t worry: we’ve got you covered with a few quick and easy options to spruce up that lesson.

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ESL games for teaching grammar and vocabularyAs teachers, we want the English skills that students learn to really stick with them. ESL games are a great way to commit grammar and vocabulary to memory and enable students to use them beyond the weekly quizzes. While many students may request hangman, try to think outside the box and offer games that keep students actively engaged. A little hangman here and there never hurts, but I’ve found that it allows most of the class to either a) doze off or b) say a random letter when it’s their turn. ESL games that get students moving around will keep the blood pumping and the minds cranking. Have a go with some of my favorites below. While these games are great for teaching grammar and practicing vocabulary, they can be altered to cater to any teaching points you might have.

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Fun vocabulary activitiesTypical native speakers of English have an active vocabulary of somewhere in the region of 20,000 words. For someone learning the language, this figure can sound extremely intimidating, as becoming fluent requires knowing many, many words. Consequently, helping our students acquire vocabulary items is a vital part of teaching. So, how do we do this? If you can keep in mind word grouping, the way that our brains categorize things, context, viewing words as conveyors of meaning in particular situations, and styles of learning, the way in which your students take in new information, you’re on the way to success. The following activities take these factors into account, but are also fun and motivating ways to develop vocabulary knowledge in the classroom.

-Read: How to Pursue a Career in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

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Teaching vocabulary TESOL blog    This TESOL game may be referred as Concentration, Memory, Pelmanism, or Pairs. It is usually played with a regular deck of cards. All of the cards are laid out in front of the players and they take turns turning over two cards to try to find a matching pair. Players keep the pairs they correctly identify and the winner is the one with the most matching pairs once all the cards have been matched. The game can be adapted and exploited in innumerable ways for different linguistic purposes. It can also be adapted for different levels with additional instructions; for example, players must pronounce the matching pair correctly or use each word in a sentence in order to be able to show they can use the words appropriately.

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