Please check out All Things … Worksheets – the latest link added under “Teaching Ideas” category. You can find time saving worksheets on various topics and grammar points,
Teachers! If you need some ideas for weather lessons be sure to check out the resources in the English Blog. There are videos showing sample weather forecasts, online games students can use to practice weather vocabulary, and interesting videos to introduce weather terms.
Read this post on the English blog for directions on how to those activities. You can also use that post to guide students to the activity you want to use.
Tipping is a part of American culture. Most of us know to leave a tip for hair stylists, waiters, massage therapists, pizza delivery people, and valet parking? But, what about other services, such as movers, hotel housekeepers, and take out food? What’s the standard? Who should we tip? Along with vocabulary and grammar in a lesson on tipping, you’ll also be sharing in American culture with your students. Take a look below for lesson plans and resources.
The information here is for teachers. Students can use the link on the Civics/Culture page at http://eslblogs.waketech.edu/esl-civics/2016/05/14/how-much-should-you-tip/
Lesson Plans and Resources for the Classroom
Video with recommendations for tipping: http://www.eslvideo.com/esl_video_quiz_high_intermediate.php?id=686
Students come into our classrooms with varied levels of knowledge, experience, and motivation. With differentiated instruction, the teacher plans and carries out varied levels of instruction in response to this variety of needs.
What is Differentiated Instruction?
And, for those who want to read a little more, here’s an interview with one of the “gurus” of DI, Carol Ann Tomlinson. http://www.edweek.org/tsb/articles/2008/09/10/01tomlinson.h02.html
Much of the research and information about differentiated instruction centers around K-12 education. However, many of the recommendations are applicable to the adult ESL classroom.
In summary, there are two key points about differentiated instruction:
- Teacher uses a variety of instructional methods and activities to meet the needs of all of the students.
- Teacher uses a variety of assessments to evaluate knowledge, instruction, and learning.
Here are some links that include academic research, classroom strategies, and approaches, specific to ESL.
http://iteslj.org/Techniques/DelliCarpini-RoundRobin.html (w/lesson plan idea)
This link has specific recommendations for differentiated instruction in the classroom. Although it is geared toward K-12 education, the activities and ideas are applicable to the adult classroom.
The Core Tenets of Differentiated Instruction https://www.amle.org/BrowsebyTopic/WhatsNew/WNDet/TabId/270/ArtMID/888/ArticleID/350/Differentiating-Instruction-for-ELLs.aspx
Differentiated Instruction for the English Language Learner: Strategies for the Secondary Teacher http://journals.library.wisc.edu/index.php/wej/article/viewFile/378/479
This article obviously is targeted towards the secondary level teacher, but there are many strategies included here that apply to adult learners. It includes specific examples of differentiated activities.
More learning strategies.. https://elt-resourceful.com/2012/02/17/ideas-for-providing-differentiation-that-dont-involve-writing-different-materials-and-a-different-plan-for-each-student-in-the-class-2/
Differentiating Reading and Writing Strategies for the Classroom
- shorten a lengthy text
- Provide visuals along with the text
- Simplify text
- Write words instead of complete sentences
- Write a fewer number of sentences
- Create an illustration to demonstrate comprehension
- Use a word bank for cloze activities
- For a dictation activity, (lower level), have students write the beginning letter of the word, while the higher level students write the complete word
Differentiated Learning Stations
- Open ended activity. Example: Students draw a picture to illustrate a story. Beginners can write key words, other students can write sentences. The video demonstrates using thought bubbles for this activity.
- From simple to complex. For example, in the Memory Game, the higher students use vocabulary words, while the beginner students use pictures and letters.
- Students choose the activity.
Today’s post is about food idioms. It focuses on materials you can use in the classroom for some of the common food idioms that we use in the United States. It is structured to be used in combination with the food idioms post on the English Language blog (http://eslblogs.waketech.edu/esl-english/)which has information and practice for students! Use them together and save lesson planning time! Scroll to the bottom of the page to find quizzes.
http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/lessons/learning-idioms-in-esl/ This lesson plan is not specific to just food idioms, but you can follow it and use the idioms of your choice.
Butter someone up – be extra nice to get someone to do something
Take it with a (pinch) of sale – be careful, don’t believe everything you are hearing
A piece of cake – easy
Go pear shaped — get fat
Not my cup of tea – something you don’t like
Take the cake – be #1
A bag egg – be a bad person
A big cheese – a leader or important person
Bread and butter – basic necessities
Cool as a cucumber – to be calm and relaxed
Cup of tea – enjoy it, like something
A hard nut to crack – to be difficult to understand or figure out
Out to lunch – be crazy or mad
Apple of my eye – someone you like very much
Couch potato – lazy person
A piece of cake – easy
Spill the beans – reveal a secret
Take something with a grain of salt – believe only part of something
Have a bun in the oven – to be pregnant
To butter someone up – be extra nice to someone for personal benefit
One smart cookie – very intelligent
List of even more idioms in chart form: https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/idioms-food.htm
Quiz about food idioms: https://www.englishclub.com/vocabulary/idioms-food-quiz.htm
Practice using idioms: http://a4esl.org/q/h/id-lb-food.html Students read the sentence and select the correct word/idiom from the drop down box.
Halloween Lessons and Resources
Halloween is next Saturday, and many ESL teachers will include some type of lesson or celebration about the holiday. Here are some links to some of the most popular sites that offer lessons on Halloween. This post just might save you a search or two!
If you are new to teaching ESL, or unfamiliar with Larry Ferlazzo, this might be the first place you want to look. It is filled with links and ideas, from lower level lessons to lessons on metaphors and figurative writing! http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2008/10/05/the-best-websites-for-learning-about-halloween/
This site includes a powerpoint lesson, crossword puzzle, and other writing practice. www.elcivics.com/halloween
Above and beyond the usual vocabulary lessons about Halloween, this blog site has some good suggestions for classroom activities. This information is free, but they also have a paid site with complete lessons. http://blog.esllibrary.com/2010/10/25/10-ideas-for-teaching-halloween-english/
Comprehensive reading and associated comprehension activities about Halloween. http://www.eslholidaylessons.com/10/halloween.html
This site includes games for a Halloween party, but you could adapt some of them for the classroom.
That should be enough information to get you started on a fantastic Halloween lesson. What are your favorite activities or websites for Halloween?
If you are searching for lesson plans you might want to visit the ESL Virtual Library of Lesson Plans. It’s a collection of plans and learning activities created by teachers at North Carolina community colleges.
Who can use the site? Anyone who teaches ESL!
What can you find on the site?
- Lesson plans
- Civics lessons
- North Carolina Curriculum Guide (includes lesson plans and activities)
- Citizenship Preparation
- In My Own Words (students’ stories about coming to live in the United States)
- Links to Literature (student activities to link literature to American history and civics)
- Participatory Learning in ESL
- Living in America (addresses civics and culture)
- Salud Latina (health lesson plans)
- Technology (lesson plans focused on civics/incorporating technology)
- The House I Live In (civics, housing, and the American Dream)
Can I use these materials in my class? Yes, of course! That’s exactly what the site is for! Use the materials for lesson planning and classroom activites. There are worksheets, activities, lesson plans, videos, audio collections, and games.
Who created this content? Most of the lesson plans were created by instructors at North Carolina community colleges. Each lesson plan includes the creator’s name/community college.
What is best about this site? It’s full of lesson plans and activities. Once you choose a topic you’ll find multiple levels of information. You just have to start looking around! It’s very easy to navigate.
What levels are the lessons intended for? The majority of the lessons are appropriate for beginner and intermediate level students. As with most lessons, you can simplify or expand the lesson to accommodate the students in your class.
What is challenging about the site? As a user, I want to know the credentials of the authors, and also the sources and reasons behind a post. At times it’s not clear to me the purpose of a post, or the source of the information. But, that wouldn’t stop me from using the site! It has tons of information!! Take a look!
The New American Horizons organization is a wealth of resources for ESL teachers. They have multiple videos for ESL teachers that demonstrate teaching techniques and tips. Today we’re going to focus on vocabulary instruction for lower level students. There is a link to a video included in this post at the bottom of the page.
Some key points from the video:
TPR is a great way to introduce vocabulary! Why? It includes multiple skills and senses, such as watching, touching, speaking, and listening.
Teach the vocabulary in context.
- Begin with explicit instruction.
- Recycle the vocabulary through diverse activities.
- Use the vocabulary in new ways.
- Connect the new vocabulary to real life.
Questions that come up during the lesson.
- If they are related to the current lesson, then deal with them at that moment.
- If they are not related to the subject, address them later. (For unrelated questions, I usually have a “parking lot” list for things to address after the lesson.)
Classroom routines are important to support learning. Use the same games and activities for each lesson. Students focus on vocabulary practice rather than learning a new game. Use these activities to assess learning and where the gaps are. For example, students might be able to identify a word on the page, but can they spell it, or actually use the word?
Examples from the video:
- Bingo-play first with pictures to associate the sound/picture relationship, and then next, with words.
- Spelling activity-teacher dictates, students listen and use letter tiles to spell the word
- Line up activities (by alphabetical order, birth date, etc.
Use the different activities to assess learning and where the gaps in learning are. For example, the students may be able to identify a word, but can they spell it, or use it? Watch this video for more details!
Do you like to trade ideas with other ESL teachers? Ever wonder what other teachers are doing in the classroom? How about “best practices” for teaching a particular grammar point or managing a classroom? These, and other ideas, can be shared and discussed on a new Facebook page. Beth McMillian started the group called Adult ESL/ESOL Exchange, and it’s open to all ESL teachers!
It’s new, so you can be one of the first to join. Want to give it a try? Just click on this link:
Until I became an ESL teacher I had no idea there were rules for pronouncing the simple past of regular verbs! I guess that is probably the case for most native English speakers! But for our students it can be a confusing undertaking to correctly pronounce the –ed endings of the simple past. What follows here in this post are: 1) the pronunciation rules for simple past, and 2) exercises and practice activities, 3) two youtube.com videos.
|Verbs that end in:||Pronunciation:||Examples:|
|D or T sounds||D||Wanted, decided|
|UNVOICED sounds (k, f, p, sh, ch, th)||T||Cooked, worked, kissed|
|All Other sounds (A, B, E, G, H, I , J, L, M, N, O, Q, R, U, V, W, X, Y, Z)||id||Damaged, listened|
Exercises and Activities for Pronunciation Practice of Simple Past:
https://www.englishclub.com/pronunciation/-ed.htm (includes audio)
http://www.pronuncian.com/Lessons/Default.aspx?Lesson=42 (includes audio)
Speaking Games: Gone in Thirty Seconds. Although this isn’t geared specifically toward pronunciation practice of -ed endings, it’s wonderful for that very purpose. The directions are written on the game, it’s easy, and the students seem to like it. And, playing the game helps to build relationships in the classroom! http://www.teach-this.com/images/resources/gone-in-30-seconds.pdf
Memories Game. http://www.teach-this.com/images/resources/my-memories.pdf
Traditional ESL Lesson: