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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.

Friday, October 16, 2020

October Topic: World Food Day!

is recognized globally on Monday, October 16th and is intended to help raise awareness about hunger and poverty. It also commemorates the founding of the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization back in 1945. This is a great discussion topic to use with your ESL students so set some time aside and get them talking about the importance of food and the challenges associated in its production and distribution around the world. 


1. Define the following words: nutrition, hunger, starvation, malnourishment, and famine.

2. Are there any 'hunger' problems in your country? What are some programs and services available for those suffering from hunger and malnutrition?

3. What different hunger related social and economic issues might various countries face?


ESL Made Easy: Food theme links to activities and worksheets

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

October Theme: 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 travellers, 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!  

Friday, October 2, 2020

October Themes and Topics!

There is a lot to talk about in the month of October!  It's Vegetarian Day on Oct 1st and a busy week next 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 10th 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!

Sunday, September 27, 2020

September Topic: International Coffee Day!

One of my favorite topics....International Coffee Day is coming up this week! This day has been traditionally observed and celebrated on September 29th or  October 1st (depending on who you talk to) in many coffee loving countries.  If you or any of your students are java lovers, then what could be more fun than learning about coffee, its origins, and all its economic and health benefits. International Coffee Day is a great day for helping to raise awareness for fair trade coffee and for all its coffee growers around the world. Learn more about fair trade coffee here.

World-wide coffee vendors also look forward to this day and celebrate with giveaways and special deals for their loyal customers. Talking about International Coffee Day can make for a lively and stimulating class discussion (on any day, really) - especially for your coffee drinkers!


1. Are you a coffee or tea drinker? If so, how many cups do you drink a day?
2. Is coffee considered a popular beverage in your country? How do most people take it?
3. Can you name some popular coffee brands or businesses? Do you have any coffee chains in your country? If so, has this hurt or benefited the economy?
4. What is fair trade coffee? How do you think this has helped local farmers and communities involved in these coffee farms?


Rong Chang: An easy reading with activities on How to Make Coffee
Listen A Minute: Easy reading with follow up activities on Coffee
ESL Discussions: Discussion questions around the topic of coffee 
Elemental English: How to Order at Starbucks  
Road To Grammar: Is Coffee Healthy? and exercises
BBC: Six Minute English - Coffee Addiction 
English-Test: Online quiz on the history of coffee 
WikiHow: Celebrate Coffee Day - with pictures
One Stop English: Reading lesson plans on coffee 
Breaking News English: A lesson plan on coffee
Reading ESL: A short reading with follow up activities on coffee
ESL Pod: Listening activity: Ordering coffee and tea
ESL Writing: Listening activity with questions: What is Coffee?
News English Lessons: A lesson plan: Coffee Drinkers Live Longer
Heads Up English: All About Coffee - advanced lesson plan pdf
Coffee: 20 Interesting Facts About Coffee

15 Things You Should Know About Coffee by Daily Infographic. Find here!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

September Topic: Autumn Equinox


It's that time of the year again when the hours of daylight become shorter if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. For those of you who enjoy cooler days and nights, the changing colour of leaves, and wearing warm fuzzy sweaters, you don't have long to wait. 

This year, the Autumn Equinox is on September 22nd, or depending on where you live, September 23rd. Many of us recognize this time to welcome the change of seasons with traditional celebrations, symbols and festivities. And with that, comes plenty of vocabulary words and activities you can do with your ESL students.

Warm-up Questions:

1. Does your country recognize the autumn or spring equinox at this time of the year?
2. What is your favourite season and why? Has your preference changed over the years?
3. Do you think people are affected emotionally, mentally, or physically by the change of seasons?
4. What are some things in people's lives that change with the change of seasons?


Earth Sky: Everything you need to know about the September Equinox 
StickyBall: "Fall" phrasal verbs - definitions and worksheet 
ESL Printables: Autumn worksheets:  *lesson sharing site
Bogglesworld ESL: Autumn words bingo cards
Bogglesworld ESL: Autumn worksheets and activities
EL Civics: Autumn powerpoint with picture vocabulary and sentences
English For Students: Fall and autumn vocabulary 
ESOL Courses: Online quizzes, lessons and games about autumn 
Live Science: 5 odd facts about autumn 
Teach-Nology: Reading comprehension worksheet about the autumn season 
Worksheet Library: Acrostic poem - FALL 
Anglomaniacy: Autumn worksheets 
DLTK-Holidays: Autumn puzzles 
English Worksheets Land: Autumn worksheet - practice possessives 
English for Everyone: Autumn worksheet
Educator Worksheets: Reading and comprehension worksheet on the autumn season  
ESL Pod: Listening lesson - things associated with autumn 
ESL Tower: Worksheets on the four seasons 
ISL Collective: Autumn worksheet  *Donation site
Can Teach: Fall poems

Thursday, September 10, 2020

It's Time to Teach!

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!

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!

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

World Left Handers Day!

August 13th is Left Handers Day and because I'm a leftie , it'll be a proud day for me! 

Almost 85% of the world's population is right handed which means much of the world's products such as scissors, desks, and sports equipment are projected for right paws. However, if you're a leftie like me, let's not let this get us down as many of us have learned to adapt quite well in this right-handed world. Interestingly enough, there's been many famous lefties such as Mozart, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Julius Caesar, Celine Dion, and Michelangelo who have made significant contributions in the creative world too!

What about you?...
1. Are you a leftie or a righty? If you are a leftie, how has this affected your life?
2. Do you know any left-handed people? If so, do they often complain about being left-handed?
3. Are there any challenges for left-handed people in your home country? Explain.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Need to add some fun in your online classes?

A library of games made by teachers

No explanation needed.....check it out here!

July Topic: Canada Day!

Happy Birthday Canada!
Wednesday, July 1st marks the anniversary date (1867) of the union of the British North America provinces. This statutory holiday means fireworks, festivals, concerts and parades all across Canada! (sort of.....check out what's online this year).

It's a proud day for Canadians to celebrate their heritage so why not get your ESL students talking about Canada Day too!
Watch Canada Travel Guide video here 

Here's another great video to share with your students about Canada here!


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

The World Needs Bees!

The world needs BEES and there's been a lot of buzz about them lately! Did you know that in North America, one third of the food we consume wouldn't exist without bees and other pollinators?

Unfortunately, the global population of bees and other key pollinators is dropping dramatically and scientists are struggling to understand the causes, impacts and potential solutions. A great thing to get your ESL students talking about might be ‎the sort of changes that are affecting the bee population (e.g., loss of habitat, pesticides and even viruses)!


Breaking News English: Reading with follow up activities on Bees and Pesticides
English For Everyone: Reading comprehension worksheet on bees
ESL Video: Video and quiz on honey bees
English Club: Reading passage with questions on honey bees
Breaking News English: Reading and follow up activities on the Disappearance of Bees
ESL Newscast: What's Happening to the Honey Bees? Reading and vocabulary
Many Things: Listening newscast on Bees and Beekeeping
Mental Floss: 13 Fascinating Facts about Bees
Perfect Bee: The Science of Bees
Youtube: What Happens If All the Bees Dies?
ESL Library: Discussion starter on the vanishing honey bees:  membership site
ISL Collective: 11 worksheets on bees:   donation site

Sunday, March 22, 2020

It's Time for Some E-Learning!

Due to the COVID-19 spread, many ESL teachers, if not all, will be continuing their teaching online. Good news is, since most of us are visual learners, e-learning and the technology behind it has become a fast growing field in the world of ESL. When learners see and hear words, phrases and sentences through electronic media and educational technology either on their own or projected and viewed in class, processing and retaining language might be easier for them.

But before you begin, read some helpful tips:
Teaching ESL Online: Tips & Resources from 19 Successful Teachers
ESL Authority: Online Teaching Tips
Fluentu: A Day in the Life of an Online ESL Teacher
Cambridge: 3 Mindfulness Tips for Teachers

Recommended online learning videos / sites that might be helpful for online teaching:

See YouTube for all your needs here! (and with a more advanced search)

**Check out ESL Library - during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are temporarily extending subscriptions to include their digital features until June 30, 2020. Yay! Thank you ESL Library!**

Adobe Spark: Transform your ideas into a video
A4ESL: Quizzes, tests, exercises and puzzles
Woodward English: Vocabulary Games
ESLVideo - Short videos on all topics for all levels with online quizzes
English Club: A mix of lessons / online activities in all 4 skills
Bogglesworld ESL: Listening / quizzes - everyday topics - beginner
Bogglesworld ESL - Listening / quizzes - intermediate
Bogglesworld ESL - Listening - news stories
Mark Kulek - Easy English speaking/conversation videos with dialogues
FunEnglishGames - Vocabulary and grammar video lessons
ElCivics - Short videos on vocabulary and American civics
ESL LAB - Listening and Quizzes
ESL Fast - a collection of online listening / reading list with activities
LearnAmericanEnglishOnline - Videos on grammar explanations
KidsLearningVille - Vocabulary videos for beginners
EnglishMediaLab - Vocabulary and grammar videos for beginners and intermediates
EngVid - 500+ videos for all levels on grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary
Real-English - Interactive ESL videos with/without lessons for all levels
Elllo - 600 short videos about everyday life with script and quizzes
Let'sTalkEnglish - ESL lessons on speaking - grammar / vocabulary
Monkey See: How To Videos - Watch, Learn, Discover (Look under Categories)

Recommended Sites for New Stories / Articles
E News Dispatch: Weekly news posts with listening and vocabulary
One Stop English - Complete PDF lessons on monthly news stories
News in Levels - Reading and listening to news stories in 3 levels
CNN: Student news with listening, reading and comprehension questions
VOA News - ESL friendly news stories with listening
NY Times: Teaching with news stories with follow up activities
Time For Kids: Easy reading news articles with follow up activities
News For You Online - Current news stories with follow up exercises 
ESLDivLabs - Printable news stories of the week with listening
EnglishClub - A weekly top news story with listening and comprehension questions
SlowEnglishNews - 2014 news on YouTube 
Teach ESL TV: Create your own lessons from new clips and videos in ten minutes
Student News Daily: Current news stories with questions and linking videos

Care to Share?
Feel free to comment or to send us any link or resource you would like to share so that we can continue to be part this ever growing and needed field of English language teaching!

Friday, February 28, 2020

March Topic: International Women's Day!

International Women's Day  is March 8th! This year's theme, Each for Equal, challenges stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women's achievements.  Various events and traditions will be taking place to honour and celebrate women's rights and achievements worldwide. Take the time to explore this global event with your ESL students and get them talking about the progress made, as well as the struggles that many women still face today.

See YouTube video - International Women's Day 2020


5 Minute English: Vocabulary and grammar exercise
ESL Video: Video with comprehension questions on IWD
Women in World History: Reading about the past and the present
Have Fun With Your English: IWD Poem (video and script) by Maya Angelou
BBC: An interactive quiz on women's rights in British history
News In Levels: International Women's Days - Listening and vocabulary
ESL Holiday Lessons: A reading with follow up activities on IWD
My English Pages: Vocabulary related to women rights and equality
My English Papers: Seven Women Who Changed the World - reading
The Holiday Spot: A crossword puzzle on IWD with answers
ISL Collective: Worksheets on IWD  donation site
ESL Library: A listening podcast on International Women's Day
Word Search Fun: A wordsearch puzzle on IWD
International Womens Day: A printable factsheet
Time For Kids: Worksheet on the History of Women in the Workforce (American)
Time for Kids: An activity worksheet on a women's suffrage march
Speak English: A lesson plan on IWD by ESL Library
International Women's Day: Resources for International Women's Day