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Latest ESL articles for busy teachers:

Top 10 Times to Award Points in Your ESL Class (and What to Do with Them)

Top 10 Times to Award Points in Your ESL Class (and What to Do with Them)

Everybody likes to have a high score when it comes to playing games (except, perhaps, golfers). Maybe that’s why this simple motivator works so well with most ESL classes. Points. Something as easy as keeping a personal tally can make a big difference in how well your students participate in class activities and homework. And if you keep a running tally of points, you can motivate your students wi ...
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Say It Loud and Say It Proud: 8 Fun Games for Teaching English Pronunciation

Say It Loud and Say It Proud: 8 Fun Games for Teaching English Pronunciation

If you are looking for a way to shake things up a bit in pronunciation class, try one of these simple games that focus on accurate pronunciation and listening closely. 8 Fun Games for Teaching English Pronunciation 1 Odd Word Out How well do your students listen for accurate pronunciation? Try this game and find out. Read a list of words to your class, pausing briefly after each word. The words ...
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17 Great Ways to Use Pelmanism in Your ESL Class

17 Great Ways to Use Pelmanism in Your ESL Class

Memory, also called pelmanism, is a versatile and useful tool for ESL teachers. In this simple game, players lay cards face down in a grid and take turns flipping over two cards at a time looking for a match. If they find a match, they go again. If the cards are not a match, the player turns them back over and the next player goes. Most often, the game is played with two to four people at a time. You ca ...
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Party Time: How to Hold an ESL Presidential Election

Party Time: How to Hold an ESL Presidential Election

Few things are as illustrative of life in the modern US and UK than the way we handle our elections. Idolized by some, demonized by others, mystifying to many, they embody our most lofty principles while exposing the limitations and vagaries of our media and our political systems, often in ways which are hard to explain, and even harder to justify. For our students, witnessing a real election, particula ...
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“So, I"m Like, What?”: "Like" in the ESL Classroom

“So, I’m Like, What?”: ‘Like’ in the ESL Classroom

I invite you to try something the next time you’re in a classroom full of ESL students, especially those of intermediate level or higher.: count and note down how many times your students say ‘like’ (outside of similes, and verbs) and then inform them of your findings at the end of class. Students who have really made a habit of this popular and quintessentially modern expression can f ...
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Much Obliged: Going Beyond "Thank you" with ESL Students

Much Obliged: Going Beyond ‘Thank you’ with ESL Students

I’m a great believer in teaching our ESL students to speak politely. This might be a result of having my roots in Britain, where we thank and apologize for everything, but it’s a great habit to have, and will pay dividends as our students climb the language-learning ladder. Introducing this habit is especially important for students from cultures who do not routinely thank each other for thi ...
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3 Developmental Stages: Get to Know Your Students

3 Developmental Stages: Get to Know Your Students

Kids are simply incredible. Each age offers an incredible variety of surprises. As children grow, what they are able to do increases and becomes more and more sophisticated. That's why, as a teacher, you need to know what kids can do at certain ages and what comes naturally to them, also, what the challenges are. Knowing this can help you choose the right games, activities and material. Psychologists an ...
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