advanced ESL

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

Surprised man

Purpose: In this activity students use their listening skills. They may also review vocabulary, grammar or demonstrate reading comprehension, depending on the topic focus.

Prep Time: 5- 10 minutes

Materials: a text, worksheet, or list of sentences

Prep: write in some mistakes in the text to refer to during the activity

thinking about reading

Purpose:  Synthesizing is an important and challenging critical thinking skill (it is in the Transitions Integration Framework on page 42). This activity practices one approach to synthesizing: changing your thinking as you read new information. 


Purpose: This activity can take up to an hour and focuses on speaking, listening, writing, and, to a lesser extent, reading.  Students also get a chance to see target vocabulary used in different ways. 

Preparation time: none

Materials needed: Sentence template for each learner with a different color for each group (see link below), white board or area of whiteboard for each group, and red pens


popsicle stick puppets
In a classroom setting, students hear many voices, providing all students with multiple language practice opportunities. In a one-to-one setting it can be challenging to give the student enough practice. The following suggestions give the student ways to talk about one topic several times, from several points of view.



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