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ESL Essentials – Important Teaching Tips

In this section there are 1,785 articles that cover essential ESL topics such as how to teach grammar, use realia, and teach young learners. There are also a lot of lesson ideas and fun activities included in the articles. This ESL article, for example, is about teaching grammar and describes five great activities. It has been given five stars by other busy teachers so it obviously has useful content. Check it out for yourself or take a look at other articles that relate better to your questions or teaching situation.

There are a lot of dos and don’ts and tips and tricks that many teachers learn through teaching.

Our ESL Essentials section will help you master the basics of teaching English and will help you start teaching like a 'pro'. Every ESL Essentials article provides clear, to-the-point instructions that can be used with the students right away.
At the moment we have 1,785 ESL Essentials.
Sometimes that is the best way to learn but the experiences of others can also help you develop your teaching skills without having to make the same mistakes. If you have a great story or activity, feel free to submit your own article so that you can share your knowledge with others. We would love to hear from you!
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ESL Essentials for Busy Teachers
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1,785 FREE ESL Essentials

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Any Thoughts on This, Elizabeth? Teaching Students to Encourage Peers to Speak

Any Thoughts on This, Elizabeth? Teaching Students to Encourage Peers to Speak

ESL Essentials
Students bring varying experiences to topics as well as varying personalities and predispositions toward extroversion or introversion. This can be seen in class discussion, where typically there ...
2 All levels
The More The Merrier: 8 Reasons Big Classes Are A Blessing

The More The Merrier: 8 Reasons Big Classes Are A Blessing

ESL Essentials
Are you feeling down because you have a larger class and that means more work? Are you trembling at the thought that you might get the biggest class this semester? Large ESL classes have a lot to ...
1 All levels
“Shut Up” Isn’t Allowed: Teaching Discussion Etiquette

“Shut Up” Isn’t Allowed: Teaching Discussion Etiquette

ESL Essentials
Discussion groups are an integral part of most classes that are above the basic level in middle school and beyond. Students are expected to discuss the course material, wrestle with it, and bring ...
2 All levels
5 Reasons to Incorporate Drama in Your ESL Classroom

5 Reasons to Incorporate Drama in Your ESL Classroom

ESL Essentials
Drama is the most under rated genre in today's English curriculum. With so much time and effort spent on critical analysis and evaluations of selections, drama has been put in the back burner. Dra ...
2 All levels
What Should We Talk About, Anyway? Picking the Right Topics

What Should We Talk About, Anyway? Picking the Right Topics

ESL Essentials
Class discussion can often evoke groans from students. It is often rife with pitfalls: difficulties getting along with peers, students feeling they have little in common with their classmates, is ...
2 All levels
Navigating Difficult Issues: Avoiding Pitfalls While Moving Forward

Navigating Difficult Issues: Avoiding Pitfalls While Moving Forward

ESL Essentials
Some topics invite more discussion than others and even conflict. This is actually good for discussion, that students have strong opinions on the topic and that they are willing to engage in defe ...
3 All levels
Do We Really Have to Work Together? Discussion Groups and Dynamics

Do We Really Have to Work Together? Discussion Groups and Dynamics

ESL Essentials
Discussion groups and group work in general has become important and gained an increasingly dominant position in education over the past thirty years, especially in language classes. In ESL class ...
4 All levels
What Do I Say to Her Now? Teaching How to Respond to a Peer

What Do I Say to Her Now? Teaching How to Respond to a Peer

ESL Essentials
Often class discussion stalls not because of the group dynamics and that the students don’t like their peers, but more because they simply don’t know what to say to each other in an ac ...
3 All levels
Virtual Debate: 7 Advantages of Online Discussions

Virtual Debate: 7 Advantages of Online Discussions

ESL Essentials
The ideas “online” and “discussion” seems an oxymoron to many, that engagement in discussion can occur with participants removed in time and place. How to facilitate such ...
2 All levels
Too Cool for School? The Pitfalls and Promise of Independent Online ESL Teaching

Too Cool for School? The Pitfalls and Promise of Independent Online ESL Teaching

ESL Essentials
For new online ESL teachers, there are basically two choices when it comes to deciding how you’ll work: you can join an online school and work for them, or you can market yourself and teach ...
4 All levels
Different Strokes For Different Folks: 5 Tips For Tweaking Material To Suit Your Students

Different Strokes For Different Folks: 5 Tips For Tweaking Material To Suit Your Students

ESL Essentials
Every Intermediate Grammar class is the same, right? Not by a long shot. Even classes who have the same title and the same supposed skill level can be as different as night and day. So why is it ...
2 All levels
Let’s Circle Up: 12 Ñlassroom Tips for Making the Most of Large Class Numbers

Let’s Circle Up: 12 Ñlassroom Tips for Making the Most of Large Class Numbers

ESL Essentials
While most ESL classes tend to be on the smaller side, it isn’t always the case. Whether it’s because your school is large or there are just a particularly high number of students at ...
2 All levels
Fantastic Resources for Online ESL Teachers

Fantastic Resources for Online ESL Teachers

ESL Essentials
If you’re an online ESL teacher, you’re living in a golden age. Never before have there been so many methods for meeting students, marketing yourself, gathering resources, eliciting o ...
5 All levels
Free Diagnostic Classes for Online Students (And Why You Should Offer Them)

Free Diagnostic Classes for Online Students (And Why You Should Offer Them)

ESL Essentials
I noticed something very interesting while browsing around the huge range of new online ESL school websites: the majority (some 75%) offer a free, initial, diagnostic class, with no obligation for ...
2 All levels
From Zero to Online Hero: Building Your Online ESL Client Base

From Zero to Online Hero: Building Your Online ESL Client Base

ESL Essentials
Teaching English online, either through a school and as an independent freelancer, has become one of the fastest growing sectors of the ESL marketplace.  There is tremendous, global demand f ...
3 All levels
7 Teacher Tested Tricks for Remembering Student Names

7 Teacher Tested Tricks for Remembering Student Names

ESL Essentials
In my many years teaching English as a second language, I have had students from every corner of the world. Many of them have come to class with an English name already claimed. Past teachers enc ...
3 All levels
And…Action: 4 Reasons You Should Make Original Videos in Class

And…Action: 4 Reasons You Should Make Original Videos in Class

ESL Essentials
Are your students movie junkies? Lots of ESL students like to watch films when they have the chance. It’s an entertaining way for them to practice their receptive language skills. And if mo ...
7 All levels
Turning Pages Isn’t Enough: 9 Easy Strategies to Get Students Moving in Reading Class

Turning Pages Isn’t Enough: 9 Easy Strategies to Get Students Moving in Reading Class

ESL Essentials
When your students are reading, they are going to turn a page or two. But turning pages, no matter how many, doesn’t take much movement. And we all know the more your students move, the mor ...
2 All levels
More than A B C: 6 Approaches to Answering Multiple Choice Questions

More than A B C: 6 Approaches to Answering Multiple Choice Questions

ESL Essentials
I remember taking my first multiple choice exam in Kindergarten. It was for standardized testing, and I took similar exams many times between that day and the day I finished twelfth grade. And th ...
4 All levels
Make Sure Your Students Are Getting What They Bargained for: 5 Tips for Teaching What Students Really Need

Make Sure Your Students Are Getting What They Bargained for: 5 Tips for Teaching What Students Really Need

ESL Essentials
Whether you have a curriculum you follow for the semester or you make class up as you go along, you need to know what to teach. Sometimes including the right content in class is tough. How do you ...
5 All levels
Teacher Appreciation: 5 Ways to Boost Your Attitude When You Need Some TLC

Teacher Appreciation: 5 Ways to Boost Your Attitude When You Need Some TLC

ESL Essentials
We all have those not so great days. Even the most enthusiastic of teachers needs a little TLC from time to time. But sometimes we feel like taking care of our teacher selves means short changing ...
3 All levels
Tuning in the Feedback: 6 Strategies for Giving Students Feedback on Speaking

Tuning in the Feedback: 6 Strategies for Giving Students Feedback on Speaking

ESL Essentials
It can be awkward to interrupt your students as they are speaking, whether it’s to give them good or bad feedback on their spoken language. Here are six more subtle ways to offer feedback o ...
5 All levels
Play at Work: 5 Ways to Make Text Book Exercises Fun

Play at Work: 5 Ways to Make Text Book Exercises Fun

ESL Essentials
Text book activities are an easy go to in class. They target the specific skills students are learning, and they are right there ready to go, just open to the right page. But sometimes doing exer ...
4 All levels
We Are Family: 5 Tips for Helping International Students Form Strong Friendships

We Are Family: 5 Tips for Helping International Students Form Strong Friendships

ESL Essentials
For your ESL students, friendships are essential. Many of them have travelled from home, friends, and family to study the English language in a completely different country, away from all they kn ...
2 All levels
Getting Ready for Page One: 9 Things You Can Do Before Your Students Read

Getting Ready for Page One: 9 Things You Can Do Before Your Students Read

ESL Essentials
Don’t lead your ESL students into page-one panic. Help them get ready to read that long or longer passage with one of these nine pre-reading strategies. They won’t take a lot of effor ...
5 All levels

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