listening

hands holding up a true and a false card

Purpose:  This silent activity gives learners a chance to develop their listening skills. It is helpful for learners who are not comfortable sharing answers aloud in class develop confidence in their listening abilities.

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  True/False cards for the class

Procedure:

a blue and red image of a brain within a light bulb

Purpose:  Total Physical Response (TPR) is a method of teaching that connects language with physical movement. Movement in language learning is an excellent way to boost memory. This listening activity helps to build learners’ understanding of language, and allows them to demonstrate understanding in a physical and low-pressure manner. Movement in the classroom also contributes to lowering learner stress levels.

Preparation Time:  None

Materials Needed:  A list of 4-8 movement-based commands

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

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.

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:

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

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:

rainbow colored question marks

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:

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