Introduction activities to help beginner ESL learnersThere’s a common difficulty I’ve encountered among language learners around the world, at various levels, and with different backgrounds—the hardship of introducing themselves. You might be surprised how many people cannot introduce themselves in a concise, coherent manner. It’s not limited to lower-level language learners either. Higher-level learners struggle with this at times and even native speakers!

Our focus here will be on using an introduction activity to aid beginner-level learners. We’ll show you how to help them gain a sense of accomplishment by class end. Today’s blog will not only offer an idea to work with beginner-level students, but also present a way to engage them in a meaningful, practical, and useful activity. Learning how to introduce themselves will serve them well both inside and outside ESL classrooms. Read more

How to teach English to Beginners in Immersion programs - fun activitiesOften teachers fall back on the direct method when teaching beginner students, as it is difficult to engage them communicatively when they speak little or no English at all. Well, think again! Beginner students can be engaged with such simple tools as photographs and cellphones, which teachers often struggle to tear students away from. This blog will explore communicative activities for teaching beginners in immersion programs and give you step by step guidance to implement these activities in the classroom!

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Teaching English to BeginnersTeaching English to Beginners may seem like a challenge at the start, but these tips can help. You may find (like me) that this is your favourite level to work with!

1) Keep it Simple

Pay careful attention to your language in class. Use simple sentence structure, and avoid long explanations.  Try to use materials that are visually uncluttered, too. This will help learners focus on the key information.

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How to teach English to beginners with ImagesIt’s an old saying that an image is worth a thousand words. In English language teaching we can take that saying and adapt it: ‘Every image can help learners speak a thousand words.’ Images can be our greatest allies! Instead of worrying about trying to form grammatically correct sentences in a course book activity, learners always react positively when asked to discuss an image instead.

Images are great language learning tools for so many reasons. Firstly, images are open to varying interpretations. This inherent ambiguity enables your learners to be creative and invent all manner of sentences based on what they see. Secondly, an image provides a natural talking point. Shy and introvert learners often feel less anxiety about discussing an image than they do when doing a course book speaking activity. Furthermore, images help to practice sub-skills like prediction, telling stories and recognizing main ideas. Finally, images are just a bit more fun to work with. The following simple activities will help you take advantage of all that images have to offer:

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Scaffolding Teaching Beginners ESLTeaching Beginners requires skill, experience and compassion. In my opinion, it can be the most challenging of levels, but also the most rewarding. In this article, I am going to be talking about who beginners are, some of their unique challenges and needs as learners, and some strategies that we can use to enhance their learning experiences.

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Teaching Low Beginners TESOL StrategiesYou have just received a phone call about a new TEFL job! The only problem is, you have been assigned to a low beginner class, and you don’t speak your students’ languages. How are you going to teach them?

Don’t panic. It’s possible to get off on the right foot with some simple pictures, markers and paper, and good sense of humour.

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Authentic material for ESL BeginnersBringing authentic materials into Beginner classrooms is important because this provides exposure to real-world language use.  However, Beginner students can become quickly frustrated with these materials if they find the associated activities too difficult.  When using authentic reading and listening material, consider the following strategies to help Beginner learners grapple with the difficulty of the language.

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Teaching beginners simply the languageSimplifying the way we word the language of instruction, especially when teaching beginners, is very important. As teachers, we have to remember that we are talking to learners of the English language, not to native speakers. The more difficult the words are and the longer and more complex the sentences are, the less our beginner students will understand our instructions, or explanations.

  –TESOL 101: The Free TESOL Course by OnTESOL

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