intermediate and advanced ESL

collage of multi-colored speech bubbles

Purpose:  To help learners build their familiarity with basic parts of speech and improve their writing skills.

Preparation Time:  5 minutes                    

Materials Needed:  Pictures from magazines or printed off from the computer. The pictures should be in color, and have multiple actions happening in them.


writing on text

Purpose: to have students think about their reactions to a text as they read it

Prep Time: 10-20 minutes

Materials: a level appropriate reading text, a projector

Prep: read the text and decide on the purpose for reading the text, such as finding key details, summarizing, or building background knowledge about a topic


1)     Based on the purpose for reading, choose one to three marks for students to use while they read.

conversation bubbles

Purpose: These techniques can be added to any discussion to help students express themselves more clearly with more robust language.

Prep Time: 10-20 minutes

Materials: A board and markers, a discussion topic

Get a Quote!

Purpose: Distinguishing between webpage content and advertisements is an important critical thinking skill, especially since many educational websites contain ads. You can find this skill, described as “Categorize items or ideas and articulate rationale” on page 42 of the Transitions Integration Framework.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

repeating arrows

Purpose: Restating a question shows that you heard the question correctly and helps you remember the question. Restating is also an effective communication skill that helps listeners and writers offer clarification, as listed in the Transitions Integration Framework on page 8.

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

woman holding a card

Purpose: When students work in small groups, the participation may not be equal. Question Prompts help ensure that everyone participates, makes contributions, and encourages the contributions of others in order to accomplish a shared goal. These important communication skills are in the Transitions Integration Framework, page 9.


Purpose: to use the learning strategy of predicting and storytelling in order to increase reading comprehension

Making predictions before reading is an important transitions skill. For more information about this skill please see the Transitions Integration Framework, page 14.

Source: Based on an activity in Zero Prep by Laurel Pollard and Natalie Hess

To practice reading comprehension; to practice speaking skills.
Gives intermediate and advanced level students practice working with dictionaries and recognizing differences in the definitions of similar words, as well as increasing learners’ vocabularies.
Writing book and pen
To improve writing fluency and to practice language specific to the chosen role play situation. An interesting problem can get students writing without being too concerned about making mistakes.



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