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Incorporate Authentic Material in Your Classroom

Using authentic material in your lessons can stimulate and capture the imaginations of your students. Original and native material such as newspapers, maps, brochures, menus and magazines are some ideas to bring real world language into the classroom.

Challenge Your Students with Task Based Lessons

Involving your students in real world tasks will help reinforce new skills and encourage the practical use of the language. Reading and comprehending a utility bill or a shopping receipt are some ways to motivate and enhance language learning.

Be a Guide on the Side, Not a Sage on the Stage

Student centred learning can go a long way in the classroom. Help stimulate student curiosity and encourage confidence by acting as a facilitator or guide and deliver lessons that reflect your interest in student experiences and learning skills.

Create an Enjoyable Learning Environment

Encouraging laughter and self-correction of mistakes in the classroom can help promote a positive learning environment that is safe and risk-free. Avoid criticism and judgement.

Remember the 80-20 Rule

Talking less and letting your students do 80% of it in class can reinforce speaking and listening skills in language learning. Encourage pair or group conversation after every lesson highlighting grammar points, new vocabulary and life/cultural experiences.

Monday, February 5, 2024

February is Here!

February is a busy month providing ESL teachers with lots of planning topics. Be sure to check out February Topics and Themes and follow ESL Made Easy for weekly posts on some of them. One fun topic is Valentine's Day coming up on February 14th. The days leading up to it can be a good time to talk about other topics such symbols and customs, love and relationships and special gifts such as chocolate and roses. February is also Black History month which is observed not only in Canada, but in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. It is a special month to honour the experiences and legacies of those who became an important part of black history.

Other mentionables are Canada Flag DayPresident's Day, and Levi Strauss's Birthday!

Black History Month: Recommended Sites for Your ESL Students!


 
February is Black History month  in Canada, the U.S., and the United Kingdom. Be sure to get your ESL students learning more about the activities, events, and the important figures in black history.

See recommended links on Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement here.



RECOMMENDED LINKS FOR TOPICS AROUND BLACK HISTORY MONTH:


Please send us any of your suggested topics, links or ideas around Black History Month!

Monday, January 15, 2024

Civil Rights Day

January 15th is Civil Rights Day in the United States. It is a day to celebrate and honor all those who took part in the American Civil Rights Movement (video) in the 1960's. It also celebrates the contributions of activist Martin Luther King, Jr., who was well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation and to promote black equality in the United States and globally.

RECOMMENDED MOVIE:  THE HELP 


Recommended for: High Intermediate/Advanced Students

An aspiring author during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.

Listen to Martin Luther King's Famous Speech "I Have a Dream" - Have your students take notes and then discuss as a class.



RECOMMENDED ESL LINKS AROUND THE TOPIC OF 'CIVIL RIGHTS':

 

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Happy Holidays!


Christmas is in the air! Your ESL students should be busy for the next week or so with the various activities, worksheets and lessons related to this festive holiday season found below!

Make sure to spend time talking about the origin and meaning of Christmas as well as the festivities, symbols, songs and stories that make it one of the most joyous times of the year for Christians and non-Christians alike throughout the world!  


RECOMMENDED LINKS AROUND THE TOPIC CHRISTMAS FOR ESL STUDENTS:

ESL About: An easy reading on Christmas traditions
ESL PDF: A vocabulary matching exercise on Christmas symbols (1)
ESL PDF: A vocabulary matching exercise on Christmas symbols (2)
ESL PDF: Intermediate vocabulary worksheet on Christmas words (1)
ESL PDF: Intermediate vocabulary worksheet on Christmas words (2)
Simple ESL: Easy Christmas word search puzzle
ESL-Galaxy: Christmas activities for beginners
Anglomaniacy: Christmas printable worksheets
Daily ESL: Christmas Day reading with listening
English Page: Christmas vocabulary fill in the blanks worksheet
Breaking News English: Christmas conversation and activity ideas
123 Listening: Christmas listening activities and follow up
EL Civics: A picture lesson with follow up activities about Christmas
BogglesWorld ESL: A collection of Christmas worksheets and activities
ESL-Lab: Reading: The Christmas Gift with listening and follow up activities
ITESLJ: Christmas conversation questions
Heads Up English: Conversation questions about Christmas
Many Things: The Origins of Christmas video
ESLFlow: Christmas activities and worksheets for all levels
ESOL Courses: A variety of online Christmas songs, lessons and activities
ESOL Courses: A variety of online quizzes and games on Christmas shopping
Teach-This: Christmas lessons and activities PDF
ESL Holiday Lessons: I Love Christmas Day reading and activities
ISL Collective: Over 600 Christmas exercise sheets:  Donation site

RELATED ACTIVITIES:

SOON: What is Christmas like around the world?
Merry-Christmas: Christmas trivia on traditions, food and music
ESOL Courses: Popular Christmas songs with lyrics, videos and follow up activities
Many Things: Learning video with words - The Origins of Christmas
Huffington Post: Ho-Ho-Ho That Holiday Spending - article
The Digeratilife: Holiday Spending Infographic - and Christmas Budgeting



Friday, November 10, 2023

World Kindness Day!


November 13th is World Kindness Day (watch video). Created in 1997, this special day was developed by  a group of humanitarians in Japan who felt that we needed a day to help us all focus on making the world a better place. The idea is that by performing local "random acts of kindness" such as holding the door open for a stranger, paying someone a compliment or donating items to a local charity, we can actually help make the world a better and kinder place.

WORLD KINDNESS DAY makes for an excellent discussion topic and also represents a great opportunity to become part of the solution. After discussing the topic, why not challenge your ESL students to perform their own "random acts of kindness" on November 13th? The next day have a follow up discussion about their experiences!


CONVERSATION QUESTIONS ON THE TOPIC OF WORLD KINDNESS DAY BY ESL MADE EASY:

 1. When was the last time you went out of your way to be really kind to someone? What did you do and how did it make you and the other person feel?
2. When was the last time you felt someone went out of their way to be kind to you? What did they do?
3. What might cause some people to "pretend" to be a kind person?
4. Can being kind really make a difference in life? Explain.
5. What could be some negatives associated with being too kind a person?
6. What are some things that could affect someone's ability to be kind? (i.e. weather, money, health...etc)

RECOMMENDED LINKS FOR ESL STUDENTS ON THE TOPIC OF WORLD KINDNESS DAY:

YouTubeVideo of 24 Incredible Acts of Kindness
Printable Worksheets: World Kindness Day
Breaking News English: A short reading on a "kindness act" with activities
Random Acts of Kindness: Short motivational stories on acts - of kindness
(ACTIVITY SUGGESTION: Have your students read and discuss while looking at new vocabulary and expressions)
Quote Garden: Kindness Quotations
(ACTIVITY SUGGESTION: Get your students to discuss what each quote could mean)
World Kindness: Some random acts of kindness ideas
The Free Dictionary: Idioms and expressions using the word "kind"

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Remembrance Day: Peace

  

November 11th, known as Remembrance Day, Veterans Day and even Poppy Day in some parts of the world, is a time to recognize and remember those courageous soldiers, airmen and sailors who died during times of armed conflict. Originally associated with WW1, the scope of this day has since been expanded to acknowledge those who served in other wars as well as those currently serving.

There are a number of key symbols associated with November 11th including the famous war poem from WW1 Flanders Fields Poem (video lesson), the Last Post call, and the Two Minutes of Silence
 

CONVERSATION QUESTIONS THAT FOCUS ON PEACE BY ESL MADE EASY:

1. What do the words 'peace' and 'freedom' stand for? Which is more important to you?

2. In what ways do countries try to achieve and maintain peace? What are some of the laws surrounding the concept of peace in your country? 

3. What is your ideal vision of peace in the world? Do you think it is, or will ever be, achievable? Why or why not?

4. What are some characteristics of peaceful people? How can we teach our children to live peaceful lives? If the world was full of just peaceful people, what do you think it would be like?

CONVERSATION QUESTIONS ON THE TOPIC OF REMEMBRANCE/VETERANS DAY:

Activity Village: Activity worksheets on Remembrance Day 
DLKT-Holidays: Remembrance/Veterans Day worksheets for beginners
Bogglesworld ESL: Remembrance/Veterans Day activity worksheets
Bridge Ontario: Flanders Field - poem - beginners - picture vocabulary
MrDonn.Org: What is Remembrance Day PowerPoint
Canadian Reader: A Poppy is for Remembering - full lesson
ISL Collective: 6 Remembrance Day worksheets and activities - donation site
Government of Canada: PDF version of Canada Remembers Times - articles
VA U.S. Government: The History of Veterans Day
Teachnology: Veteran's Day worksheets
Education World: Lesson ideas and activities for Veterans Day
Homeschooling: Printable Veterans Day activity worksheets
Little Red Poppy: Reading and follow up activities
ESLVideo: A Remembrance Day tribute by Bryan Adam with follow up questions
English Gateway: A short fill in the blank exercise on Remembrance Day collocations
ESL-Library: A free listening podcast - Remembrance Day
War Poetry: Remembrance and Peace Event Poems
Altius Directory: Remembrance Day activities (poems and quotes)

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Celebrating Thanksgiving!


It's that special time of the year again when many Canadians celebrate THANKSGIVING - a time for giving thanks for the bountiful harvest and for all the other blessings in life. Even as Canadians take part in roasting turkeys and baking pumpkin pies, people in America are celebrating COLUMBUS DAY a day for commemorating one of the first European travelers, Christopher Columbus, and his arrival to the New World in 1492. In other parts of the world, countries have been busy with their own 
HARVEST FESTIVALS  to celebrate all the successful harvests on their land. No matter what part of the world you're in, this time of the year provides ESL students with a bit of history and a lot of vocabulary!  

October Themes and Teaching Topics


There's a lot to talk about in the month of October! 
 It's Vegetarian Day on Oct 1st and a busy week with World Animal Day on Oct 4th, World Habitat Day on the 5th and World Egg Day on the 9th. But, the big topics this month will be Thanksgiving celebrated here in Canada and the U.K. on Monday, Oct 9th as well as Halloween on Oct 31st. Be sure to check out October ESL Planning Themes and 

Topics here and follow ESL Made Easy for updated posts on recommended links to free ESL activities!

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

September Teaching Themes and Topics

 


Your ESL students whether returning or new, online or in class will be feeling the September butterflies of "Back to School".  Make it easier for yourself and for your students by introducing a few ice breaker games and activities on the first day of class in order to create a comfortable and warm classroom environment.

Note: You may want to begin by having students ask YOU questions instead of volunteering information. It's a great time to also review question making too!

See this month's suggested themes and topics here!

Here's a list of some sites offering first few day ideas (you might need to modify if online) and worksheets! 


Whether you're teaching online or in class, all the best for an exciting, successful and most importantly, a rewarding school year!

Thursday, June 1, 2023

June Topic: World Oceans Day


June 8th is
 WORLD
 OCEANS DAY! 
 Officially declared by the U.N. in 1992, this day was intended to help us recognize the importance of oceans as part of our overall ecosystem. Given that they cover 71% of the Earth's surface and represent 99% of the living space, why not get your ESL students talking about the importance of oceans as sources of food, oxygen, and medicine around the world! 


Read more about World Oceans Day here!

WARM-UP QUESTIONS ON THE TOPIC OF OCEANS 

1. Name the world's five oceans. Which one(s) are closest to your home country?
2. What are some things people do in oceans?  Which ones have you done? Explain. 
3. Why are oceans considered to be one of the world's most important resources?
4. What are some differences between an ocean, a sea, a lake, a river and a pond? (i.e. resources, animal and plant life, commercial & recreational uses...etc).

RECOMMENDED LINKS FOR ESL STUDENTS AROUND THE TOPIC OF OCEANS:

Fact Monster: Fact table about oceans and seas - get your students to create their own questions!

A fun way to explore the oceans is to watch the ecological drama/documentary, filmed throughout the globe. Classified as part thriller, and part meditation on the vanishing wonders of the sub-aquatic world.