all levels

drawing of woman in a red shirt shrugging her shoulders and looking confused

Purpose:  It can be embarrassing and difficult for learners to admit that they don’t know the answer to a question in class. This activity helps learners to become more comfortable with expressing uncertainty.

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  None

Procedure:

two-persons-sitting-back-with-back-in-symmetrical-posture

Purpose:  This partner activity helps learners to develop listening skills that are necessary for phone calls and other methods of communication that aren’t face-to-face.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  handouts with 3-6 questions written on them (one for each learner)

Procedure:

a brain in a clear lightbulb

Purpose:  Help learners improve their listening and recollection skills, as well as practice responding to questions.

Preparation Time:  2 minutes

Materials Needed:  mini-whiteboards, markers, erasers

Procedure:

  1. Generate a list of 2-5 questions that tie into the current class theme.

Example 1:

(Low beginning level class, theme of family)

red and white target with an arrow in the middle

Purpose: This small group activity gives learners opportunities to practice formulating questions and answering a wide variety of questions.

Preparation Time: None

Materials Needed: None

Woman listening with her hand up to her ear

Purpose: When it comes to developing strong communication skills, strengthening listening skills is critical. This activity helps learners practice listening to both questions and answers, as well as improve their auditory memories.

Preparation Time: None

Materials Needed: Several small talk questions

line drawing of four wrists and hands

Purpose:  A simple kinesthetic way to help learners count syllables and practice word stress  

Preparation Time:  none

Materials Needed:  a list of weekly vocabulary words

Procedure:

clipart of crystal ball containing the word predict

Purpose:  An important reading skill that fluent readers possess is the ability to make predictions about the text. Predictions may be based on prior knowledge and experience around the topic, information from the unit content or established learning structure, or clues from the text itself, such as the title, subtitles, graphics, and/or highlighted key words.

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  A reading text with 3 pictures or objects which are connected to the text

Procedure:

man holding a sign that reads free

For many teachers, finding an appropriate reading text for your adult ESL or GED class is a time-consuming endeavor, particularly if you are looking to align the text with the new College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS).  The following three articles from the ATLAS (ABE Teaching & Learning Advancement System) website provide a wide variety of resources where teachers can access free high-quality texts for GED, ESL, and lower-level learners. 

If you receive this tutor tip in your email and are unable to click on the link, copy and paste the link in your browser window.

silver whistle

Purpose:  A fun, energizing team game that develops listening for specific information skills

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Materials Needed:  Song, slips of paper with words from the song, tape

Procedure:

Contents of the MN Literacy Council's ESL Pull-Out Phonics Kit

If you are looking for small group or one-to-one activity ideas for adult ESL learners, take a minute to explore the four different ESL pull-out kits. The kits take time off of teacher and tutor preparation by providing volunteers with complete activity instructions and materials for small-group and one-on-one instruction in four different areas: reading, phonics, pronunciation, and citizenship. The kits also provide structured support to volunteers which helps to develop their confidence, build independence and strengthen their teaching skills.

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