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ESL Essentials – Important Teaching Tips

In this section there are 2,079 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 2,079 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 Articles
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Teaching with How-to Videos: Adapting Authentic Tutorials into Listening Lessons

Teaching with How-to Videos: Adapting Authentic Tutorials into Listening Lessons

ESL Essentials
Practical, “how-to” tutorials are everywhere on the Internet. YouTube, as well as websites such as wikihow.com, instructables.com, and soyouwanna.com, have an incredible assortment of ...
Views 5,913 All
Flashpoint: An ESL Class on ‘Cold War 2.0’

Flashpoint: An ESL Class on ‘Cold War 2.0’

ESL Essentials
There’s something very familiar, and very scary, about the tone of the news at the moment. It took me a while to pin it down, but then I remembered where I’d first heard these worries ...
Views 2,716 All
Flashpoint Korea: An ESL Class on the Korean Conflict

Flashpoint Korea: An ESL Class on the Korean Conflict

ESL Essentials
I walked straight into the classroom and announced, “I’m thinking of a country. Ask me questions, and figure out which country I’m thinking of.” We quite often begin class ...
Views 2,299 All
Classroom of Dread: Get Your Students Pulse Thumping with These Six Speaking Activities

Classroom of Dread: Get Your Students Pulse Thumping with These Six Speaking Activities

ESL Essentials
Halloween is not exactly around the corner. But you don’t have to put spooky language learning on the backburner and wait to embrace this holiday. Here are six great speaking activities you ...
Views 4,369 All
Beyond Counting: An ESL Class on Population Change

Beyond Counting: An ESL Class on Population Change

ESL Essentials
The old adage reminds us that, “You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” Well, that sounds true enough, but I’ve always thought we were selling oursel ...
Views 1,832 All
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Playing in the Mud: An ESL Class on Cheating in Sport

Playing in the Mud: An ESL Class on Cheating in Sport

ESL Essentials
How often do you put your pedagogical beliefs to the test? A few weeks ago, I found myself dragged into an online discussion related to an article which claimed that a teacher’s responsibil ...
Views 5,181 All
Safe Havens: Studying the European Migrant Crisis with an ESL Class

Safe Havens: Studying the European Migrant Crisis with an ESL Class

ESL Essentials
I guess I’m one of the luckiest teachers I know. My academic director is an enlightened pedagogical superstar, my students are bright, curious young people from all over the world, and I&rs ...
Views 3,529 All
Out of the Cave: An ESL Class on Internet Trolls

Out of the Cave: An ESL Class on Internet Trolls

ESL Essentials
I’m going to guess there’s hardly an ESL teacher in the world who has never played the game ‘Taboo’. It’s fast-paced fun, and more importantly from the teacher&rsquo ...
Views 4,405 All
First to Fall: An ESL Class on the First Casualties of Climate Change

First to Fall: An ESL Class on the First Casualties of Climate Change

ESL Essentials
One of the most beautiful places in the world is a little island group you may never have heard of. Kiribati is a group of 34 islands and reefs, populated by around 100,000 people. It islands are ...
Views 2,773 All
The Abyss: Helping ESL Students Understand the Syrian Civil War

The Abyss: Helping ESL Students Understand the Syrian Civil War

ESL Essentials
Like a lot of people, I’m concerned that our media isn’t depicting complex issues carefully enough. The coverage often seems to rush along as though concerned that we’ll lose in ...
Views 3,411 All
Teaching ESL Presentation Skills: How to Structure an Excellent Presentation

Teaching ESL Presentation Skills: How to Structure an Excellent Presentation

ESL Essentials
Watching our students become passionate about a subject, and work hard to research and learn about it, is one of the real pleasures of teaching. As an ESL specialist, I often require my students ...
Views 20,526 All
Putting the Puzzle Together: 6 Tips for Helping Your Students See the Full Picture One Piece at a Time

Putting the Puzzle Together: 6 Tips for Helping Your Students See the Full Picture One Piece at a Time

ESL Essentials
Have you ever had a student who just wants to know everything there is to know about English all at once? Or how about students who feel that because they can’t speak as fluently as they wo ...
Views 4,177 All
Beyond Top-Down and Bottom-Up: Nine Different Ways to Explore Listening

Beyond Top-Down and Bottom-Up: Nine Different Ways to Explore Listening

ESL Essentials
Consult several books about teaching listening and you will come across some of the same types of listening: top-down, bottom-up, listening for gist, listening for main idea, and listening for inf ...
Views 4,894 All
The Interconnected World: An Advanced ESL Class on Globalization

The Interconnected World: An Advanced ESL Class on Globalization

ESL Essentials
Before we begin, I’m going to invite you to think about tea. I started my morning with a pot of Anxi Tie Guan Yin, a tea from eastern China. It’s aromatic and energizing, and I can sc ...
Views 3,643 All
What Came First the Book or the Movie? Great Pairings That Work for ESL Students at Any Level

What Came First the Book or the Movie? Great Pairings That Work for ESL Students at Any Level

ESL Essentials
Have you ever noticed that if you read the book before seeing the movie, the book is always better? I think that’s because, as we read, we picture the characters and events in a certain way ...
Views 2,496 All
Inside Outside Upside Down: Everything You Need to Know about Internal and External Motivation

Inside Outside Upside Down: Everything You Need to Know about Internal and External Motivation

ESL Essentials
What motivates you? Is it the spark of comprehension on your students’ faces when they finally “get” something? Is it a sense of accomplishment you feel within yourself when you ...
Views 5,554 All
Wired for Story: 5 Fantastic Ways to Teach Listening through Story

Wired for Story: 5 Fantastic Ways to Teach Listening through Story

ESL Essentials
As author Lisa Cron puts it, human beings are wired for story. We like stories. We know what makes a good story just by our human nature. And we love them. The publishing industry and success of ...
Views 5,349 All
Teaching ESL Presentation Skills: Preparation, Rehearsal and Feedback

Teaching ESL Presentation Skills: Preparation, Rehearsal and Feedback

ESL Essentials
When working with foreign students who are preparing for college or a career, it makes good sense to help them gain public speaking skills. This work needn’t be restricted to improving the ...
Views 5,311 All
Turning on All the Lightbulbs: 4 Easy Ways to Prepare Students for Reading

Turning on All the Lightbulbs: 4 Easy Ways to Prepare Students for Reading

ESL Essentials
Whether your students are about to read Charlotte’s Web or War in Peace, it’s always a good idea to prepare them before reading. It’s difficult to go into a new piece of literat ...
Views 4,618 All
An Occasion to Celebrate: 3 Special Occasions That Will Get Students Talking

An Occasion to Celebrate: 3 Special Occasions That Will Get Students Talking

ESL Essentials
We all love special occasions. They give us a reason to get together with the people we love and celebrate. Sometimes we celebrate a birthday. Other days we celebrate a holiday. Still other times ...
Views 3,860 All
The Echo Chamber: An ESL Lesson on 21st Century News Media

The Echo Chamber: An ESL Lesson on 21st Century News Media

ESL Essentials
Here’s a great way to begin a class with ESL students: ask them where, in their opinion, the impact of the Internet has been felt the most. Some will tell you that email and instant messagi ...
Views 5,868 All
The ABCs of A B C: Reading Comprehension Strategies That Work

The ABCs of A B C: Reading Comprehension Strategies That Work

ESL Essentials
Reading. It’s a little word that encompasses so much. As one of the core skills in learning English as a second language, you know it’s important. But exactly what elements of reading ...
Views 19,540 All
Skynet or Utopia: Challenging AI Discussions for ESL Students

Skynet or Utopia: Challenging AI Discussions for ESL Students

ESL Essentials
If someone mentions ‘Artificial Intelligence’, what does that make you think of? Perhaps you recall the Spielberg movie of the same name, or an article you read about Stephen Hawking ...
Views 4,029 All
There’s No Place Like…Class?: 7 Ways to Help Students Feel at Home in the Classroom

There’s No Place Like…Class?: 7 Ways to Help Students Feel at Home in the Classroom

ESL Essentials
How homey is your class? I only ask because sometimes making a class feel more like home is just what your ESL students need to relax and prepare to learn. If your room is feeling a bit too insti ...
Views 5,610 All
Playing the Phonics Game: 7 Games for Practicing Pronunciation

Playing the Phonics Game: 7 Games for Practicing Pronunciation

ESL Essentials
If you are looking for some fun ways to practice pronunciation with your ESL students, try one of the following games that puts the fun in phonology. 7 Games for Practicing Pronunciation 1 ...
Views 27,472 All

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