ESL Activities: Top 9 Sites

esl-activities

ESL Activities and Games in Abundance!

If you’re looking for ESL activities, you’ve come to the right place! There are a ton of ESL activities and ESL games for just about any skill, level or age group of students. However, if you can’t quite find what you’re looking for on this site, there are a few other ones that can check out. In this post I’ll share my top 9 sites where I go to find ESL activities.

ESL Writing

ESL Writing–¬†In a former life, I spent a ton of time teaching academic writing to university students in South Korea and my go-to site for lesson planning was ESL Writing. The guy behind this site, Rob Whyte is a Lonely Planet Korea author. Pretty cool!

As a kind of aside, if you’re looking for the ultimate supplementary activity book for teaching writing, Rob has written it. LOVE IT! Teach Essential Writing Skills.

ESL Speaking

ESL Speaking– If you have classes that are focused on speaking or conversation, this is the website for you. And it’s in fact another one of mine ūüôā Although I might be biased, I think it’s pretty easy to navigate. Just go the top menu bar and you’ll find kids or adults and then games or activities. Easy stuff and your lessons should be planned in minutes.

ITESLJ

The Internet TESL Journal (ITESLJ)- The look of this site is a bit old school, but the content is rock-solid. There are a ton of great games, activities and lesson plans you can use in your classes. And it’s also quite well organized so you can hopefully find the ESL activities you’re looking for.

English Club

English Club– Think of English Club as kind of a curated version of the far more chaotic Dave’s ESL Cafe Idea Cookbook.¬†There aren’t that many games, activities and ESL lesson plans but what is there is great. If you’re looking for a quick hit of ESL activity awesome, check this one out.

ESL News Articles

ESL News Articles– If you’re looking for some news articles that are suitable for ESL students, then you’ll need to check out this post I did over on another blog. I list my top 5 sources for current events articles that have easier vocabulary and grammar than the original article. Graded reading awesome coming your way!

The Monster Pack

The Monster Pack– The Monster Pack is full of English teaching goodness, including trivia, worksheets, puzzles, etc. Although I rarely use materials other than my own when teaching, I did use the Monster Pack every single day for years. The trivia make an amazing warm-up and sure, you could find your own by searching around on the Internet but for 10 bucks? It’ll pay for itself in timed saved in the first month alone.

ESL Games

ESL Games– Don’t be put off by appearances! Although this site does look a bit old-school, the content is most definitely solid. It’s also organized in an extremely easy to navigate way so you should be able to find what you’re looking for pretty quickly.

Fluency MC

Fluency MC– Jason, who is behind Fluency MC is a super rad guy and I like to promote his stuff whenever I can. Use his stuff in your classes and your students are guaranteed to have a bit more fun¬†and learn some English too.¬†Trust me on this one. They’ll love his stuff!

FluentU

FluentU– I sadly only discovered this site recently. The sad part is that there is a ton of great stuff on it and why didn’t I know about it sooner? Check it out and you’re sure to find something inspiring/helpful/awesome, including some great ESL activities that you can use in class today.

 

 

 

Teaching Writing Skills

Teaching Writing Skills Just Got Easier

teaching-writing-skills

A Little Bit of the Dead on the Inside Feeling

I worked for a decade in South Korea universities and much of that time was spent teaching writing skills. I taught everything from how to construct a basic sentence to the five paragraph academic essay and of course, everything in between. I usually was given a textbook to teach from by the university administration but sometimes I was on my own. Or, sometimes the textbook was a total and complete piece of trash that left me with a kind of dead feeling on the inside upon flipping through it. I knew instinctively that my students would hate it. So, in both of these situations, I had to figure out an alternative plan.

All Was Not Lost

More often than not, I turned to Rob Whyte’s site, ESL Writing. If you’re teaching writing skills to teenagers or adults, Rob is the man you can count on to pull through with the goods. I mean seriously, most of the other stuff out there in the teaching writing to ESL students is total and complete trash. Who even cares about the five-paragraph academic essay for ESL student’s these days? But, ESL Writing is solid. Super solid.

Finally…

teaching-writing-skills

So, I was extremely happy to see that Rob Whyte (FINALLY!) put out a book pulling together all the awesome stuff on his site into one single, easy to use resource. You can check it out here:

Teach Essential Writing Skills

What the Book is All About:

His materials focus on the following four things, geared towards intermediate learners:

  • Fluency
  • Proficiency
  • Style
  • Inquiry-based reasoning

Basically, it gets away from the standard 5-paragraph essay which is pretty boring to teach and extremely boring to learn. Rob focuses on teaching actual writing skills that students can use in a variety of contexts. His materials also focus on fluency, which is an oft-overlooked skill in the ESL writing arena. It was a big frustration of mine with the ESL writing textbooks I used over the years.

Let’s Sum This Up:

Anyway, I could blather on endlessly about how much I love Rob’s stuff. I’ve been using his trivia and riddles in my classes every single day for a couple of years. This writing book is equally solid and Rob stands behind his stuff with a 7-day money-back guarantee. You don’t like it, you get your money back. Get your copy of Teach Essential Writing Skills today:

Buy the Awesome Now!

ESL Surveys and Why I Love Them

Why I Love ESL Surveys

ESL-surveys

Surveys are one of my favourite ESL activities and I use them at least once a month in my classes. I love them for the following reasons:

  • They cover all 4-skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking).
  • They’re student-centred to the extreme. The teacher just has to set it up and then the students do all the hard work.
  • ESL surveys are great for sleepy classes because students have to get up out of their seats and move around the classroom.
  • Surveys encourage follow-up questions, which most students are usually quite weak at.
  • They can be adapted to just about any topic or grammar point. Just get creative!
  • ESL Surveys encourage students to interact with as many other students as possible.
  • They’re fun and most students seem to really enjoy this activity.
  • You can use them for follow-up too!
  • ESL Surveys are the ultimate ESL activity for big classes and in fact, the bigger the better! I only use them in classes that have 16+ students (12 is the absolute minimum).

In short, ESL surveys are kind of the best thing since sliced bread if you’re an ESL/EFL teacher. Try them out in your classes today and I’m sure you’ll love them as much as I do.

How to Use ESL Surveys

It’s really easy to use ESL Surveys in your classes. I most often use surveys at the end of a class to provide a bit of a review of the day’s lesson. They’re excellent for the end of class because the time required is pretty flexible and they can be cut short, or lengthened depending on your needs.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Print off enough copies of this¬†Dependent Clause Survey¬†(1 per every 2 students) if it’s suitable for your class. If you’re doing another topic or grammar point, use this as a template to make your own. It’s really easy to adapt surveys to just about anything.
  2. Give one copy to each student and draw an example one on your whiteboard.
  3. Do two example questions. One where you ask a student a question and one where another student asks you a question.
  4. If the answer is, “No” you have to choose another question and don’t do any writing. The ultimate goal is to fill up the chart with different people who all answered yes to one of the questions.
  5. If the answer is, “Yes” you have to write the name in and ask 1-2 follow-up questions. Then you use the extra information box to briefly record the answers to the follow-up question(s). Of course, the answers should be written in English, although full sentences aren’t necessary.
  6. Find a new partner and continue with another question, trying to find someone who answers “yes” to something.

Like this ESL Survey Activity?

ESL-activities-for-adults¬†Then you’ll probably love this book: 101 ESL Activities for Teenagers and Adults.¬†It’s the ultimate resource for ESL or EFL teachers! It belongs on the bookshelf of every ESL teacher who has teenager or adults students.

You can get the book easily on Amazon in both print and digital formats. The (cheaper!) digital version can be easily downloaded onto any device by getting the free Kindle reading app.

—>Buy 101 ESL Activities for Adults on Amazon Today<—

It’ll make your lesson planning easy, guaranteed.

101 ESL Activities for Teenagers and Adults

101 ESL Activities: For Teenagers and Adults

101_ESL_Activities

101 ESL Activities for Teenagers and Adults is a new book from Jackie Bolen and Jennifer Booker Smith that’s now available on Amazon. It’s designed to make life easy for teachers!

Here’s how 101 ESL Activities for Teenagers and Adults will help you:

  • Save time lesson planning. Maybe you’re tired of wading around the junk on the Internet to find some ESL games or activities that you can actually use in your classes. We were too! That’s why we wrote this book. Just open it up, go to the section you’re looking for (4-skills, listening + speaking, writing, reading, or warm-ups/icebreakers) and find quality ESL activities that are easy on the prep. Your students will love them too and will definitely appreciate the variety in your classes. And, you can have more time to do the stuff you really like to do! No more wasting time lesson planning ever again. There are enough ESL games and activities to last you an entire year or more!
  • Stuck in a rut? Do you do the same things over and over again in your classes? You’re probably so bored of them and I’m sure your students are too. Make things interesting and fresh with some new games and activities. The students will love your classes (and you too!). No more sleeping at the back of your class for your students!
  • Make your lessons student-centred. The activities and games in 101 ESL Activities are all student-centred so you can put the focus back on your students. The only way to get good at a language is to practice it! Help your students learn English effectively by using an ESL activity in this book. We guarantee that they’ll be speaking, listening, writing, or reading English like stars!

Want to Check it Out?

Saving time lesson planning, getting unstuck out of your rut, making your lessons student-centred sound good to you? It sounds really good to us! That’s why we wrote the book. It’s the one that we wish we had years ago when we first started our teaching careers.

It’s really easy to get 101 ESL Activities: For Teenagers and Adults on Amazon by downloading the free Kindle reading app. It’s the book that belongs on every single ESL teacher’s personal bookshelf. Click the link below to get the book on Amazon today:

—>Buy 101 ESL Activities: For Teenagers and Adults on Amazon Now<—

English Grammar Activity: Is that Sentence Correct?

English-grammar-activity

Is that Sentence Correct?

Skills: Listening/ Speaking/ Writing
Time: 10 minutes
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Materials: Blank paper, vocabulary words

Is that Sentence Correct is an English grammar activity. It’s a sneaky way to get your student to make grammatically correct sentences using the target vocabulary. Start off by giving your student a few different vocabulary words. It should be something the student is quite familiar with already. The challenge in this activity is not the actual word; it’s using it in a sentence. Give the student a few minutes to make one sentence using each word. Do not offer any assistance or correct any errors. The teacher should also make some sentences using the same words, some of which are correct and some of which are not.

The student reads their first sentence and discusses with the teacher if it is correct or not. The teacher reads their first sentence and the student must decide if it’s correct or not and why. Continue until all the sentences are finished.

Teaching Big Classes?

This activity works really well with a student in private teaching sessions. However, you can also use it with big classes. Put student into groups of 3-4 and have them make sentences together. Then, check the sentence together as a class.

Procedure:

1. Give the student a few different vocabulary words.
2. The student writes one sentence per vocabulary word (five words = five sentences). The teacher also writes sentences using the same words, some of which are incorrect.
3. The student reads his/her first sentence and discusses with the teacher if it’s correct.
4. The teacher reads his/her first sentence and the student decides if it’s correct.
5. In incorrect, the student should explain why.

Like this English Grammar Activity?

private-English-teaching-activities

Then you’ll love: 39 Awesome 1-1 ESL Activities: For Kids (7-13). If you teach private classes, it’s the book you need in your personal library. It’ll help you make your classes interesting and engaging. This will make the Moms as well as child you’re teaching happy! You’ll also save lots of time lesson planning so you can spend more time doing what you really love. There’s also enough material to keep things fresh for a year of weekly private tutoring sessions.

You can buy the book on Amazon in both print and digital formats. The digital one can be read on any smartphone, tablet, Mac or PC by downloading the free Kindle reading app.

Buy 39 Awesome 1-1 ESL Activities: For Kids (7-13) on Amazon Today