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10 Fun & Engaging Activities for ESL Learners


ESL Teachers and Coaches Have Passion

Are you an ESL teacher looking for fun and engaging activities to spice up your online classroom? Look no further! In this article, we’ll explore 10 exciting activities that are sure to keep your ESL students entertained while helping them improve their English language skills. So grab your notepad and let’s get started on this ESL Teacher Training journey! We recently had the following article published in "The Press Outlet"

1. Quotes: It’s been said that the best things have already been said by the greats. Take their words and ask your student “What is the quote saying?” and then ask “What is the quote really saying?” Quotes can have many layers to them. Use these to get your students thinking. What’s your favourite quote? great, now what’s your student’s favourite quote? Great, now go looking for more quotes.


2. News In Levels: You can read the news in the levels of your students with your students. That one small article can take an entire lesson with all of the related conversations and experiences associated with the article. 



3. Role-Playing: Assign specific roles to your students and ask them to act out real-life scenarios. This will help enhance their conversational skills while making the learning experience more enjoyable. Role-Playing such as job interviews are perfect for this. Then swap roles. 


Singing, for both adults and kids. You would be surprised how much singing helps.

4. English Songs: Introduce popular English songs that your students can sing along to. Study the lyrics, and talk about what the artist is looking to communicate. This activity is not only fun and also effective in improving pronunciation and vocabulary. Kids love nursery rhymes.


5. Business Wording: Take words not commonly used in a ‘friends’ setting, that are commonly used in business such as “ambiguous, cohesive, and congruent” for starters. Then once the meaning is known, ask the student to use the business word in a sentence. 

6. Presentations: Ask the student to create a presentation on a topic they love. Ask the student to prepare the presentation to be delivered to you (the teacher) and others in the class. After the presentation is given discuss the topic directing questions at the student that gave the presentation. The student loves the topic, so the student will have things to discuss. However, you can also talk about the presentation style or techniques and offer some help in this area. 


Who doesnt love a healthy debate.

 

7. Mini Debates: Organise a debate club within your classroom (online or in class) and encourage your students to engage in debates on various topics. This activity helps improve critical thinking, speaking, and listening skills. Come up with a relevant and current topic. Ask half of the class to create an “affirmative” argument, and the other half to create a “negative” argument. Ask them to prepare their arguments for the next class. Run the debate, the teacher ensures everyone plays fairly, and is also the judge at the end. The teacher can then also offer feedback to each student that participated.


8. English Movies: Show famous clips of movies and discuss what is happening in each clip. Then discuss if anything like this has occurred in the lives of your students. Watch how long these conversations go for. Once a movie clip evokes a memory, the story can go on for awhile. Listen to the student’s pronunciation and vocabulary skills. 


Your student will love hearing from you.

9. Rhyming words: During the day, send your student a random word text. Ask the student to send back a word that rhymes. 



10. Critical Thinking Games: Often used as rewards for our young learners we often tap into online games for our online learners. Of course in the classroom you’ll have to get access to the real games. In a real classroom games like Pictionary or Scrabble are really great. However online, we love Checkers & Connect 4. Now you might be thinking “What has Checkers and Connect 4 got to do with English?" Wait until you play them with your students. Watch their confidence grow, and watch their critical thinking expand. At first, you’ll beat them. Don’t go easy on the student. Go hard, do your best. Then watch them start beating you because your not concentrating. Then watch their desire to beat you be so great, they actually do start beating you regularly. It’s a great feeling to know you contributed to that.   We have a free video on our ESL Teacher Training page. Scroll down to the first set of videos and look up Teacher Training #75 and watch this 12 minute video. It's free, and worth a look. Little Kevin beats the teacher. You have to see how excited little Kevin gets after winning two games in a row. Then watch Kevin's little dance because he's so excited after winning three games in a row. This is why we teach. In conclusion, incorporating these 10 fun and engaging activities into your ESL classroom will not only make the learning process enjoyable, it’ll also enhance your students’ language skills. So go ahead, try out these activities, and witness the magic of ESL Teacher Training firsthand. Remember, a fun and engaging classroom environment is the key to successful language acquisition! By Mr Russ

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