Are you looking for some ESL classroom decoration ideas? Then you are definitely at the right place! If it is your first time decorating a classroom for ESL students (or your first time decorating a classroom in general), you can feel lost. If you want to know where to begin and get the top 5 ESL classroom decoration ideas, continue reading! Use our tips as a guide to making your classroom more creative and appealing. You will be able to make your classroom look more exciting using vocabulary and grammar points!
Why You Should Decorate Your Classroom
Teachers are already packed with responsibilities. You might wonder why you even have to deal with decorating the classroom when you already have so much to do. As a teacher, you will have to prepare your lesson, gather teaching material, plan ahead, and teach classes. Of course, those duties are more important than decorating the classroom. However, even if it is not as important as the other responsibilities, you should still decorate your classroom.
Following are the reasons why you should decorate an ESL classroom:
- The environment has a huge impact on teaching and learning. If you want the maximize the effect of your teaching on ESL students, you should customize the classroom and make it fit your teaching style. How do you do that? You do it by decorating the classroom!
- How do students remember what they have learned? The answer is through repetitive learning, right? That’s why at the beginning of the class, teachers often go over what students have learned in the previous lesson. Another way to do this is by decorating your classroom with vocabulary, grammar points, and any things else the students have learned.
- Give some extra inspiration to your students. Decorate your classroom using inspiring quotes or posters that will make students want to learn English.
Tips for Decorating ESL Classroom
Now that you know why it is important to decorate your ESL classroom let’s go over some tips to help you do it.
Use Familiar Topics for Classroom Decoration
You want students to actually look at the classroom decoration. In order to make them care about the decoration, it should be related to topics that students are familiar with. It can be something that they learned in class or other general topics like music, movies, celebrities, or sports.
Classroom Decoration: Make it a Class Activity
The good news is you don’t have to do the whole decoration on your own. Make it part of your lesson activity. For example, you can assign homework for students to find one inspiring quote or make students create a poster in class. The only thing you will have to do in this case is to prepare the props! Colour papers, stickers, tape, scissors, and so on.
Find Classroom Decoration Resources
Not sure how to make it look artistic? No worries. Here are some classroom decoration resources you can use!
ESL Classroom Decoration Ideas
Check out the top 5 ideas for decorating your ESL classroom!
#1: Inspirational Quotes
Create an engaging classroom environment. Provide more motivation by having inspirational quotes. You could use your favourite ones, or you could easily find inspiring quotes online. Another way is to give students homework to each find an inspirational quote that they like the most. Every class, start by reading one or two of the quotes on the wall. Once your students get used to all of the quotes, introduce them to a new one and update the quote board or wall.
Some examples of inspirational quotes for ESL students:
- Language is the road map of a culture.
- The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.
- You can never understand one language until you understand at least two.
- If you can dream it, you can do it.
- Believe in yourself.
- It always seems impossible until it’s done.
- Just do it.
#2: Vocabulary Posters or Grammar Posters
Get a list of vocabulary or grammar points that you want your students to master. Assign each student with one or two, and make them create a vocabulary poster or grammar poster as an in-class activity. Students will have a write the word or phrase, write an example sentence using the word or phrase, and draw a picture related to the sentence that visually explains the meaning of the word or phrase. Don’t forget to have colour papers and colour markers ready. Let your students be creative.
It is important to update. Once your students get used to these words and phrases, make them do it again with a new set of words and phrases. That way, students will never get bored of the posters. If you keep the same old ones for too long, none of your students will pay attention to the board or wall. Also, when their work is on the wall, they are more likely to look at the posters.
#3: Idiom of the Week Board
On one side of a bulletin board, make a section called ‘idiom of the week.’ One of the weakest areas of ESL students is idioms. Find an idiom you want your students to learn. Print it out or write it on an A4 paper, make it look colourful and cute, and post it to the bulletin board. You can change the idiom every week or every two weeks. But for the week or two, try to use that week’s idiom often in class! If you regularly update the board, you will be able to keep students interested.
#4: Classroom Rules
Classroom rule is another great topic for making creative posters and filling up the board or wall. First, create a list of classroom rules. Second, tell your students the rules. Third, put students into groups and make them come up with the rules. Each group will be responsible for one rule. You can also make the poster project a semi-speaking activity by asking each group why they designed their poster in that way.
#5: Holiday Decorations
Every few months, we have holidays like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, winter vacation, and summer vacation. When you get closer to those holidays, make a separate holiday section. When you give ESL holiday lessons, have a mini activity time letting students create classroom decorations related to the holiday theme.
#6: World Map
Display a large world map on one of the walls to help students develop their geographic knowledge and learn about different countries and cultures.
#7: Alphabet Wall
Create an alphabet wall with large letters of the English alphabet. You can include pictures or words that represent each letter to help students associate the letters with their sounds.
#8: Vocabulary Word Wall
Dedicate a section of the classroom to a word wall where you can display vocabulary words. Arrange them alphabetically or categorize them by themes. Add visuals or illustrations to make it visually appealing.
#9: Flags of the World
Hang flags from different countries around the classroom to promote multiculturalism and expose students to diverse cultures.
Print and display inspirational quotes about learning, perseverance, and success. Change the quotes periodically to provide motivation and encouragement to your students.
#10: Book Nook
Set up a cozy reading corner with shelves filled with books in English at various reading levels. Include comfortable seating and cushions to create a comfortable reading space.
#11: Grammar and Language Rules
Create visually appealing posters that highlight important grammar rules, verb tenses, or other language concepts. Make them colorful and easy to understand.
#12: Student Work Display
Dedicate a bulletin board or wall space to showcase your students’ best work. It can include their writing samples, drawings, or projects. This encourages a sense of pride and motivates other students to excel.
#13: Cultural Displays
Celebrate different cultures by creating displays that showcase aspects of various countries. Include information about traditional clothing, food, festivals, and customs.
#14: Interactive Games
Incorporate interactive games or educational posters that focus on language skills, such as vocabulary matching, grammar quizzes, or word puzzles.
#15: Flashcards and Posters
Use colorful and visually appealing flashcards and posters to reinforce vocabulary, grammar rules, and language concepts. Hang them on the walls or display them on bulletin boards.
#16: Classroom Language
Put up some common classroom phrases on the bulletin board such as,
- Can I go to the bathroom?
- May I borrow a pencil?
- I didn’t bring my book.
This will really help beginners who may not have these things memorized.
#17: Word of the Week
I like to teach my students fun, new words in English. For the word of the week, I often choose a slang word or idiom, just to spice things up. Write a few example sentences, so students can see how it’s used in real life.
FAQs About ESL Classroom Decoration Ideas
Here are some of the most asked questions about decorating ESL classrooms.
How should I decorate an ESL classroom?
Consider decorating an ESL classroom using inspirational quotes, vocabulary and grammar points, idioms, classroom rules, and holiday-themed decorations.
Do the decorations in your classes affect or improve learning?
Good use of decorations can improve students’ learning by reminding them of key learning objectives like vocabulary, idioms, and grammar points. However, you don’t want to decorate the classroom too heavily because it can be overwhelming and distract students from focusing on the teachers.
How can I make my classroom look attractive?
Use posters, stickers, drawing of your students, printed materials, and images to decorate your classroom and make it look attractive.
English Classroom Decoration Ideas: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts on these ESL classroom decoration ideas? Which tip would you like to try in your ESL classroom? Or do you have a better tip for decorating an English classroom? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to hear from you.