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If you are teaching a class abroad (rather than a mixed-nationality class in your home country), you should be aware of local sensitivities, especially suitability in mixed-sex situations.
Esl Speaking Lessons For Adults
Despite the unique challenges every adult ESL learner faces, with the right motivation, encouragement, and direction, they can still learn to improve their English speaking skills.
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Students need to speak out loud for themselves, not just follow in their head while someone else speaks. It is not enough to gossip with the crowd as in a training exercise.
It is also important to lay the groundwork outside of dedicated ESL speaking activities. While young learners are often comfortable diving right into new assignments, adults may want to see it first and mentally prepare.
Each student draws their card and then assigns them a time limit; that limit might be one minute at the beginning or maybe three minutes after you’ve done an internship. That is the amount of time they will have to talk about a given topic.
Now give the students a good chunk of your time to collect their thoughts. You can give them five minutes to half an hour for this preparation phase. You can allow them to write three to five sentences on the card to remind them of the direction they will be taking during their speech.
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To keep students focused on listening, you can create an instant game of “Bingo.” The class is briefed on the topic and asked to write down five words they might expect (apart from common words like articles, conjunctions, and auxiliary verbs). They hear those words, cross them as soon as they hear them, and politely raise their hands if they hear all five.
Students may be asked to bring an object to school for show and tell. This is so much fun because students often enter something that is meaningful to them or makes them proud. That means they’ll have something to talk about! Encourage students to ask each other questions about the topics.
Instead of having students bring their own items, you can give them some of them and ask them to try to explain what they think it is and what its purpose is. Another option is to bring photos to chat. This can be discussed with a partner or as a group, before presenting ideas to the whole class.
Videos in English, with built-in dictionary lists, can be catalysts for conversation practice. Each word used in the video has a definition, plus additional usage examples.
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In this activity, students will learn some vocabulary words from the video and then create their own definitions or usage examples for those words.
Pick a few videos to watch for your student teams. With hundreds of videos available, you can easily find matching videos that match your students’ learning levels and interests. The videos are authentic, which means your students can learn from original content like music videos, TV clips, news clips, and more.
You can then use the built-in vocabulary list to select the words you want your students to learn. (You can also combine words from several different videos on the same deck of media cards.)
Divide your class into teams of three or four students and have them watch the selected videos. Students will work together to come up with new use cases or definitions to illustrate vocabulary words from the videos they have chosen. The context of each sentence should clarify the meaning of the target vocabulary.
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The teams will then alternately represent words (and their own examples or definitions) to each other. Students from each team should take turns presenting their own sample sentences or definitions.
Students can also be given time to discuss the words they are learning, talk about the meaning of words and how to use them.
After watching the other teams’ presentations, students who didn’t watch the video can take the attached quiz to see how well they learned the target words from their peers.
If your students have laptops (or a computer lab they can use) and are reasonably familiar with presentation software (such as PowerPoint), then all that remains for this activity is access to an LCD projector.
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Students can have a great time talking while giving a presentation to the class. The use of projected images helps to distract the speaker and can be helpful for shy students.
The presentation style of “PechaKucha” * can be even more interesting because each student can show 20 slides for only 20 seconds (the software controls the time so that the slides change automatically) or any time limit you choose. You can do 10 slides of 15 seconds each, for example.
You can also add rules like “no more than three words on each slide” (or “no words”) so that students actually have to speak, not just read the slides. They should be given enough time, either at home or in class, to prepare and practice timing. It can also be prepared and presented in pairs, with each partner speaking for half the slides.
“Nowadays, PechaKucha Nights, held in many cities around the world, are fun, informal gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, work, thoughts, vacation photos, just about anything.” – PechaKucha 20 × 20 format.
Do You Like… Speaking Activity.
There are a number of ESL websites that will allow you to quickly create a set of bingo cards containing up to 25 words, phrases, or even complete sentences. It will allow you to make as many unique cards as you need to distribute a different card to each student in the class. Each card can contain the same set of words arranged differently, or you can select more or less than 25 items included.
Instead of having students mark their cards, you can give them markers (such as pebbles or sunflower seeds) to place on each square as they recognize it. That way the markers can be removed and the game can be repeated.
For the first round, the teacher must “invite” the game. The first student to receive five markers in a row in any direction yells “Bingo!” You must then give this student to read each article in their winning order.
The winner is congratulated and then rewarded by becoming the next caller. This is a great opportunity to speak. Everyone removes their tags and the game starts over. Each phrase that is spoken is repeated quietly by everyone in the room and, at the end of the session, everyone can say all the expressions on the card.
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This challenging assignment is great for more able students and involves reading. Having texts in front of you can make adult learners feel more supported.
Select two short texts and print them. Print enough of each text for half a class. Make a list of simple questions for each text and print the same amount.
Divide the class into two groups and divide the texts. Save the question sheets for later. One group gets one text, the other group gets another text. The texts can be on related topics (or not).
Group members then read their texts and are free to discuss them within their group, making sure everyone understands everything. After five minutes, remove the papers.
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This useful activity requires students to use all four language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking) and, if carefully planned and well controlled, can lead to great excitement and exceptional learning.
Print some short texts (related to what you are learning) and stick them on the wall away from the tables. You should post them somewhere out of sight of the students, for example in the hallway.
The texts can be several numbered, and students can be asked to collect two or three. The texts may contain blank spaces that need to be filled in later or they may be asked to organize them. There are many possibilities here!
Running students run (or walk) to their assigned texts, read, remember as much as they can, and then return to dictate the text to the writing student. Then they run again. The first couple to finish writing complete and accurate texts wins.
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In the simplest form of classroom survey practice, the teacher shares prepared questions, perhaps 3 for each student, about the topic being studied.
For example, let’s say the topic is food. Each student may be given the same questions, or there may be several different sets of questions, such as questions about favorite foods, fast food, breakfast, restaurants, ethnic food, comfort food, etc.
Each student then joins several others (as many as the teacher requires), one at a time, and asks them questions on paper. At each interaction, the student asking the questions will take notes
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