advanced ESL

Scrabble tiles spelling the word pause

Purpose:  To practice noticing and using thought groups. Thought groups are when speakers break their sentences into chunks by pausing after phrases or to add emphasis to their speaking. Using thought groups in speech makes it easier for the listener to understand the speaker’s message.

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  Copies of a reading text

Procedure:

twitter logo white bird on a blue background

Activity Name: 

Purpose:  An innovative activity to help learners develop their writing skills and improve their writing focus in 140 characters or less!

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Materials Needed:  index cards

Procedure:

Green grid with examples of pronunciation of -ed endings

Purpose:  To help learners correctly pronounce the final –ed at the end of past tense regular verbs.

Preparation Time:  15 mins

Materials Needed:  Class copies of Pronunciation of Past Tense Regular Verbs handout, a list of past tense regular verbs that the learners are familiar with (e.g. walk, stop, wash, clean, want, etc.

picture of a paper with sentences and pictures written on it

Purpose:  A super fun game that is guaranteed to generate a lot of laughter and gives learners a chance to practice writing in a low pressure setting.

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  1 piece of blank paper per learner

Procedure:

multi-colored board game

Playing board games in English class is a great way to make speaking and grammar practice fun and engaging, while making sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to speak. The American English website has a series of board games that are free to download and print. The board games are part of the Activate: Games for Learning American English collection.

multi-colored theater tickets

New resource for teachers and tutors! Now you can watch a video of this activity and print a PDF of the instructions at http://mnliteracy.org/classroomvideos. If you are unable to click on this link from your email, view this tutor tip on the Minnesota Literacy Council website to access this link.

Purpose:  To get a quick assessment of student learning and help learners apply skills outside the classroom

Preparation Time:  5 minutes (to decide on task)

Materials Needed:  None

Screen shot of Walking Dictation youtube video

New resource for teachers and tutors! Now you can watch a video of this activity and print a PDF of the instructions at http://mnliteracy.org/classroomvideos. If you are unable to click on this link from your email, view this tutor tip on the Minnesota Literacy Council website to access this link.

Purpose:  To reinforce vocabulary and grammar structures in an active and participatory context.

Preparation Time:  5-10 minutes                              

Pyramid of Bloom's Taxonomy Labeled from the bottom to the top: Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, Creating

“Good learning starts with questions, not answers.” –Guy Claxton

Critical thinking is required in the workplace, in educational settings, and to address everyday challenges.  In ESL classes, teachers often ask only factual questions that rely on short-term memory, such as “What did Lee Pa do yesterday?” and “What is the capital of Minnesota?”  While memory is an important skill, teachers should ask questions and plan activities that dig deeper. Even in beginning level classrooms, it is essential that learners are asked questions that challenge them to think critically.

Silhouettes of business men and women standing and talking with multi-colored speech and thought bubbles over their heads

Purpose:  To review vocabulary in an engaging and interactive method, or to preview new vocabulary for a reading.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Materials Needed:  Index cards with vocabulary words written on them (enough for one per student; words may be repeated)

Procedure:

A blue W with hands, feet, and a smiling face

Purpose:  A wrap-up activity that gives learners a chance to reflect on what they learned during the lesson and think about how they will use what they learned outside of the classroom

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  None

Procedure:

  1. Students think about their responses to the following prompts and write their answers independently on a piece of scratch paper:

What did we learn today?

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