advanced ESL

Example question from "Learn English Grammar (US Edition)"

The iTunes App Store has hundreds of English learning apps.  Most are targeted at either children or adults outside the U.S.  It can be difficult to find content that's a good fit for adult English learners in the U.S.  How do you know what's worth downloading?  What's worth investing a few dollars in?  Here are five iPad apps that Minnesota teachers have found, tried, and liked.

table and chairs

Purpose: to practice describing vocabulary words

Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Materials: a set of word cards with vocabulary to review

Prep: create the set of word cards and place a chair in the front of the room, facing the class


1.      Divide the class in to two teams.

2.      A student from team A sits in the chair in the front of the room and chooses a word card.

3 women discussing


Purpose: to use verbal and nonverbal communication signals to acknowledge and affirm others and their contributions

Man thinking

Purpose: to increase listening comprehension by making inferences and giving evidence to support answers to questions about a text. 

Making inferences is an important transitions skill. For more information about this skill please see the Transitions Integration Framework, page 15.

Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes

the circle game

Prep Time: 2-5 minutes

Materials: flip chart paper, markers, tape

Prep: gather the materials and decide on a topic


Journeys book

Thanks to Jessica Horning at Open Door Learning Center, Lake Street for sharing this tip!

Purpose:   Students answer comparison questions about a story from Journeys by comparing their life to the author’s life.  They also identify any unknown words and guess at the meaning through determining the part of speech.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Materials needed: Journeys books, Journeys Response Sheet (see link below), copier

four arrows

Many thanks to Lori Leininger for sharing this activity idea!

Purpose:  This activity stimulates student learning through movement, social skills and discussion. This activity is fun and takes very little preparation and is a great review activity.

Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Materials: Four large signs that you will create

Purpose:  to review vocabulary and practice asking and answering questions

Prep time:  10-15 minutes

Materials:  sets of index cards, each with a question and answer (see attached handout for examples)

Prep:  You’ll need an even number of people to do this activity.  Each person needs one card, so prepare the cards accordingly.



  • gives students practice with reading comprehension and using prior knowledge to make sense of a text
  • helps with vocabulary development
  • provides opportunities for one-to-one interaction and cooperative learning.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes once story has been selected; longer if you need to type up the story

Purpose:  To help learners become familiar with the state of Minnesota and to work on map-reading skills.

Prep time:  variable

Materials:  Each student or small group of students will need a fairly current highway map of Minnesota; other examples of maps might also be useful, e.g. city or neighborhood maps to show; a U.S. map is also required



Subscribe to RSS - advanced ESL