speaking

ESL teacher watching adult learner review vocabulary

Encouraging very beginning level learners to speak English and participate in classes can be a challenge, but setting speaking routines and planning activities that allow for lots of interaction can give even the lowest level learners opportunities to build their speaking skills. The new video Adult ESL Literacy Level Instruction: Building Speaking Skills features a pre-beginning level adult ESL class moving through a high-energy level speaking lesson.

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:

cards with numbers 1 through 12

Thanks to Megan Hallstrom for this activity idea!

Purpose:  To practice verbally reviewing numbers

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Materials Needed:  cards with numbers written on them

Procedure:

standing woman holding a hand to her ear

Purpose:  To encourage learners to practice listening to each other and recalling specific information

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  None

Procedure:

  1. As a class, brainstorm a list of questions that learners can ask one another. Write the questions on the board. The questions should be personal questions on the topic that the class is currently studying.

Example: Weekly topic: Food and Shopping

three words with large and small circles behind them to show the stress patterns

Purpose:  To help learners become familiar with the word stress patterns of their vocabulary words through using a visual support

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  None

Procedure:

two stick figures with overlapping speech bubbles

Purpose:  To practice using vocabulary words in a conversational setting

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  list of 5-10 vocabulary words, one copy per learner

Procedure:

clouds in the shape of question marks against a blue sky

Purpose:  To keep a conversation going, learners need to be able to ask follow-up questions in English. This activity provides some support and structure as they practice using follow-up questions.

Preparation Time:  none

Materials Needed:  whiteboard, markers

Procedure:

clipart image of red and white striped circus tent

This activity was adapted from ESL Teacher Alison Hoyer.

Purpose:  To give beginning level learners a concrete understanding of different tenses

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Materials Needed:  a class set of cards with three different verbs written on them (one verb per card)

Procedure:

multi-colored speech bubbles

Purpose: To facilitate students speaking to each other, to get to know classmates and to use vocabulary related to the day’s lesson

Prep Time: 3-15 minutes

Materials: copies of the conversation grid (see link below)

Prep:
Version 1: print the grid, write a title on it, and write four questions related to today’s lesson on it, and then make copies of it

Version 2: print the grid, write a title on it and make copies of it

clipboard with the word summary and a checkmark

Purpose:  To give learners practice with verbally summarizing a reading text

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  A class reading text

Procedure:

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