Writing a short book is a great way for students – especially young students – to use their written language in a meaningful and creative way. This is an activity that lends itself to mixed-level classes. In addition, if these books are kept, displayed, and referred to, they also offer a method of passive review – either as a class or by individual students. Finally, in teaching a book lesson, it is important to read a completed book to the class before starting the activity, so that students can see the goal and understand the target of the story. Here are some examples of simple books that can be made by young ESL/EFL learners:
Besides speaking, the next thing my Korean students struggle with is their pronunciation. Pronunciation is challenging to learn because adult learners have already developed their own oral musculature patterns.
This blog is perfect for English teachers in South Korea and ESL teachers in Canada who are teaching newcomers or international students.
I teach English immersion lessons in Toronto, and the number one request I receive from my students is to include more speaking practice into my lessons, as the majority of my students have difficulties conversing with native speakers.
When I tell my students that a conversation is like a simple activity of passing the ball, the thought of conversing in English becomes much easier. When someone speaks, they are “passing a ball” to the person they are having a dialogue with. So when it’s their turn to reply, they are “passing the ball back” and they relate their own experience with what they understood from their partner. Then it’s their partner’s turn to do the same, and the activity continues.
This activity encourages full participation in the conversation. If students really challenge themselves, they eventually lead the conversation.
About the Author: Melissa Alvia is an experienced ESL and public school teacher, who completed OnTESOL’s 120-hour TESOL course. All combined, Melissa has 7 years of TESOL experience in Canada and abroad.
For many Korean students, essay writing is a daunting task that requires attention to details and understanding of essay structure.
Essays can be broken down into the following structure: Introduction, Body, and Conclusion. Simply explaining this foundation, however, doesn’t make the writing process any easier. It is important to break down each and every component for students to realize that an essay practically writes itself.
About the author: Melissa Alvia is a graduate from the 120-Hour Advanced Certificate Course. She has been teaching English for 7 years. Melissa spent one year in Japan as a public school teacher, and she currently teaches English to Korean students in Toronto, Canada.
Songs are a great way to use Authentic Material in the ESL classroom! Teaching English with songs is exciting for young learners because songs are often engaging and fun.
Below you will find 3 reasons to teach English with songs. This blog includes a video sample of a teacher from China who uses songs in her classroom. You will also find a sample lesson plan at the end of this blog!
There is a long tradition of the ESL and EFL classroom as a space of cultural instruction. In fact, given the overlapping nature of language and culture, this is almost inevitable. And yet, this interdisciplinary approach need not end with culture alone. There are many ways in which the English classroom can include and in fact exploit a variety of subjects and skills – especially for young students.
Already in young learner contexts, it is common to find elements of music, dance, art, and physical education built into activities, but this incorporation can be expanded into the hard sciences, and even into the higher grades. By conscientiously pairing age and level with the interdisciplinary topics that are appropriate, a teacher can add variety and richness to their classes. Not only that, but this inclusion can help set students up for success outside of the English classroom.
I have included two examples of this, but this integration is limited only by imagination:
Young children are kinesthetic creatures. Their brains and their bodies are still one unit and as such, they are always moving and dancing and touching things and exploring their world in a physical way. Therefore, when we teach writing – particularly to very young, immature, or active students – it is useful to find a way to harness, as opposed to fight, this whole-body learning. This is especially true when a lesson is otherwise very settled or sedentary as students may need a constructive physical outlet to focus more effectively. In lessons like these, there are a host of options that allow students to not only engage with but embody written language while simultaneously refining the fine motor skills necessary for letter formation.
About the Author: Rosemary Hanson completed our 250-hour TESOL Diploma and the 20-hour TEYL specialist. She has been working as an assistant teacher at a Montessori school in China since March of 2016. She also taught a college-level English course and a preschool class in Xian, China back in 2014.
Textbook Used: Longman Academic Writing Series
Authentic Material to Supplement Textbook: 15-minute Video Humans Need Not Apply
Mixed-level classes are the norm in East Asian high schools, and this is especially true in Hong Kong. Due to the prevalence of English content on the Internet, by FC6 Level (grade 12) some students attain native level fluency, and keeping them engaged and drawing on the advanced students as a resource can actually enhance the experience for the entire class and make for a dynamic and fruitful lesson.
When teaching high school students in Hong Kong the teacher needs to be able to devise a lesson plan that engages the fluent students without alienating the lower level students.
This lesson uses the video below to teach about argumentative essay writing, expose students to authentic listening material, and create interest for the writing assignment.
About the Author: Jacob Pejvack completed our 250-hour TESOL Diploma. Jacob has more than 20 years of experience as an ESL teacher, having spent the majority of time in East Asia. Teaching writing skills to advanced students is his preferred subject.
Curriculum classes in the EPIK program will likely have 20-30 students, a mixed ranged of English proficiency, and limited space for desk rearrangement/movement. NETs are encouraged to supplement and/or replace textbook activities with their own, while bearing the following in mind:
- The practice stage has students working as a class or in large groups, and has them drilling the material through the various styles of repetition. As these activities will be teacher-guided, NETS should be wary of having excessive teacher-talk-time (TTT).
- The production stage has students working in smaller groups, where they have developed sufficient proficiency with the targets to become self-regulatory. Although these activities have students transforming/manipulating the target language, there will be inevitably some overlap with the practice stage depending on how the NET chooses to implement the activities.
- TPR activities will be somewhat difficult to incorporate into curriculum classes, given the number of students and likely limited space to move around. “Fun” activities can still be devised, but NETs need to think of the logistics (where students will be, if they need to move their chairs / bodies / books to play, etc.) before implementing the game.
About the Author: Tania Sanclemente completed Advanced 120-hour TESOL Certificate program and the 20-hour Practicum. She spent two years in South Korea working as a public school teacher and provincial coordinator.
As mentioned in my previous post, South Korean elementary school students do not get enough reading in their English language curriculum. One class hour—a class hour actually being forty minutes—out of every six is dedicated to reading a short contrived passage of just a few sentences, all of them carefully formulated to fit with what the students already know and are currently learning. There is nothing new or exciting in the passages or in the one or two simple comprehension questions that follow them. As a native English teacher (NET) in a South Korean public elementary school, I feel I should introduce the students to longer authentic passages to give them some solid, meaningful reading practice. I found a perfect opportunity to do so with my sixth graders.
About the Author: Patricia Brooks completed the 250-hour TESOL Diploma. She teaches grades 3 to 6 with EPIK in South Korea.