advanced ESL

The cover of the new book Journeys: An Anthology of Adult Student Writing, 2016

Journeys 2016: An Anthology of Adult Student Writing will be available on May 26! In its 27th year, Journeys 2016 collects and showcases short written pieces by 600 Adult Basic Education learners from every corner of Minnesota and from more than 60 countries of origin. Their written pieces are personal, humorous, tragic, and inspirational.

Hand holding a card

Purpose: to practice the meanings of vocabulary words

Prep Time: 0-20 minutes, depending on availability of the materials

Materials: sets of about 10 word cards—either with text or a picture on each card

Prep: gather the materials

reading and thinking

Have you ever been asked to pull a small group of students out of class and lead them in a reading lesson? How much lead time did you get? If the answer is, “not much,” then the following suggestions can help.

pencil inside a circle

Many classes are wrapping up writing assignments to submit their writing to be published in Journeys in time for the February 1st deadline. What can a tutor do to support a student who is working on a writing task?

job application

Sooner or later every adult ESL class will come around to a unit about filling out applications or forms. There are quite a few activities to give students practice with using them.

writing process slides

Purpose: Effective writing instruction includes teaching students how to plan, revise and edit their writing. Students work through these steps at different rates. These printable posters both remind students of the steps and help track where each student is in the process.

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of the class

Materials: Writing Process Posters (see link below), a permanent marker, one clothes pin for each student, tape, and some ribbon or string.

Over at MindShift (one of my favorite education websites for big ideas and innovations), a new article is up about the potential of avatars (cartoon representations of the self) for language learning.

job interview

Purpose: One of the skills in the Transitions Integration Framework is Navigating Systems.  This skill includes evaluating processes (such as the process of getting a new job) in order to successfully operate in the workplace. The following activity ask students to reflect on the types of questions an applicant can ask during an interview in order to get more information before starting a job.

Prep Time: 5 minutes


Many adult students are interested in learning more about potential career paths.  Navigating a Future Pathway is one of the categories in the Transitions Integration Framework.  The following resources help students explore their potential interests. For suggestions on how to use these in a lesson, please see the ACES resource library, download the webinar handouts, and scroll to the last few pages of the handout.

rubber band ball

Purpose: The role of stress in pronouncing English is different than most other languages.  This activity can be used to both demonstrate and practice this key aspect of pronunciation.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Materials: one rubber band for demonstrating; a class set of rubber bands for practice; a list of vocabulary words or valuable sentences that fit with the lesson topic



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