Over the summer my fiancé and I traveled to West Africa to visit his native country of Ghana and his family. We had a great visit and spent some time in four different countries: Morocco, The Gambia, Senegal, and Ghana. During the trip, I heard many different languages, which got me thinking about languages in general and the process of learning another language. Every language is unique, beautiful, and intricate. Learning another one gives you new windows to view the world through. Continue reading
After a wonderful vacation in West Africa over the summer, it’s time to get back to work here at TESOL Planner. Let’s start with a fun activity for beginners. As native or fluent speakers of English, we use the verb BE all the time, often without even taking note. Beginners, on the other hand, have difficulty with its use and very irregular forms. I designed this activity as a vocabulary development activity that also gives students practice using the BE verb with adjectives. It can easily be adapted to fit your classroom. The basic idea Continue reading
One common grammar structure in English is using going to to discuss future plans. It’s something learners will hear and need to use in their daily lives. I created this going to bingo activity to get my adult ESL students a chance to practice the grammar while at the same time giving them a moment to get up out of their chairs and stretch. They really seemed to enjoy it, and it gave them ample opportunity to practice the target grammar as well as learn more activities and plans vocabulary. If you’re planning on covering this topic in class, check out this activity. Continue reading
I came up with this activity on the fly today as I was working on the past tense with my class, and it worked great. My students got into it and didn’t want to stop. I used this activity after I had introduced simple past tense statements (positive and negative) and questions. We did some guided practice, and then I had them play a game with verb cards I had created for another activity previously in the semester. This activity is great because it also gives them a chance to learn more vocabulary. Continue reading
I’m using the book World English Intro by Cengage learning in my beginning integrated skills course. I love this book because it has engaging material and photos by National Geographic. I just completed unit 10 which covers health and illnesses. The unit introduces expressing feelings such as “I feel sick” as well as using should and shouldn’t for advice. This article contains all of the material I created for this unit, but if you’re teaching illnesses, remedies, health, or advice with should and shouldn’t, you’ll get great ideas and materials no matter what book you’re using. Continue reading
In my opinion, teaching is the perfect profession for the creative mind. Teachers are constantly faced with the challenge of creating new and exciting materials that are interesting and useful. Sometimes this process of creation runs us into challenges, which is exactly what this activity did for me, but in the end, I created an awesome and interested activity sequence that I can use in future semesters. We’ve been working on count and non-count nouns and food vocabulary in my class. This week I introduced how much and how many. I wanted to give my students an interactive way to practice this topic, so I came up with an idea for a modified bingo activity that would get students to Continue reading
I’m currently in the middle of a unit on food in my beginning ESL course. One of the topics of this unit is using some and any in questions and statements. I created this grocery shopping activity to give students a chance to ask and answer questions using the target grammar. There is also a hint of competition in the activity, which I find always gets students excited and active. This activity also works to reinforce food vocabulary because students will get food vocabulary cards with pictures on them. Continue reading
It can at times be a challenge getting beginning students to use the target language. I’ve found that giving them specific meaningful tasks and supports for those tasks can make it easier for them to practice target structures. Giving students a card with a vocabulary word and a picture can give them a talking point and save them time looking up unfamiliar words in the dictionary. Having them work in groups to complete tasks can also help the weaker students because, in my experience, the stronger students are usually happy to explain things to others. I used this set of vocabulary cards in my class for an activity to Continue reading
A picture is worth a thousand words. It’s a saying I’m sure many of us have heard before. This phrase rings so true in language teaching. Pictures help students make associations with words without having to translate. I use tons of pictures in class. I often display pictures on slides, but recently I’ve also started creating vocabulary cards with pictures. This lets me structure different interactive activities that get students talking and learning in a fun way. These food vocabulary cards can be used in many different ways to get students learning food vocabulary and different grammar structures. One way I recently used them is Continue reading
As self-study or as a whole class review, these slides can help your students learn to recognize errors in their sentences. Click to go to the review slides.
One mistake I commonly see my students make, especially at the beginning levels, is confusing verb tenses and forms. Have you ever seen this sentence? “She is cook breakfast every day.” Knowing when to use the BE verb and when to use the DO verb to help form verb tenses can be complicated for beginning learners. Continue reading
Learning irregular verbs can be challenging, especially for beginning students. I like to give my students guided practice with new structures by getting them to write out their answers and then having them ask and write their classmates’ answers. This gives them a chance to prepare what they will say, so the discussion part isn’t so daunting. This is especially important for beginning students who are yet very comfortable with using the language. Continue reading
Last week, TESOL Planner debuted the first of a weekly grammar review to help learners practice noticing errors. Although it’s designed as a resource for English learners to use, with this week’s issue, we’d like to talk about how it can also be a great resource for teachers.
What is The Sunday Review?
When it comes to learning a language, there is no magic pill you can swallow and instantly speak perfectly. It takes time, dedication, and lots of practice. This week, TESOL Planner is releasing the first in a series of grammar practice slide shares to offer English learners the opportunity to study and review on their own. If you’ve ever found yourself asking “How can I improve my English?” then The Sunday Review is a great resource to add to your study routine. Continue reading
I always tell my students that the language classroom is great because it’s 100% okay to make mistakes. In fact, mistakes are expected and normal. You can’t learn a language without making mistakes; it’s a part of the process. It’s how you learn from your mistakes that’s important. Continue reading
As an ESL teacher, I constantly find myself thinking of ways I can approach a particular topic to engage my students and give them interesting ways to learn and practice. I create word docs and slides. I cut up magazines. I tape things; I fold things; I hang things. It’s a never ending endeavor. As you all know, some things go great, and some things fail terribly, made apparent by 30 confused or bored faces staring at me. Then, there are times that I give something a shot even though I think it will likely fail, but I end up pleasantly surprised by the outcome. This is one such activity. Continue reading
TESOL Planner is happy to introduce the first of many in a series of classroom slides. In my classes, I use slides as my lesson plans. They keep me on task and help me flow through activities smoothly. They also provide visuals for students throughout the lesson and allow students the ability to review the lesson at home if they need more practice. Continue reading
One verb tense that I always find my students struggle with is the present perfect. It’s present, but it’s past, but it’s not finished? What? I’m always trying to create different ways for students to be able to practice this verb tense. Continue reading
The simple present can be a challenging to beginning students, especially that pesky third person s. I like activities that get students talking, but I also like activities where students are writing down the grammar. This gives me a way to assess their progress on a given topic. This activity comes great after introducing or reviewing the simple present tense and morning routine vocabulary. Continue reading