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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, November 17, 2017

November Topic: Universal Children's Day!



November 20th is officially observed as Universal Children's Day. It's a day to honor and promote the welfare of children around the globe. Many parts of the world celebrate Children's Day throughout the year however on this day there has been more international awareness to protect the rights of children worldwide. Focusing on children and some of the key issues they face in developed and developing countries makes for an important discussion topic with your ESL learners. >>>


Watch YouTube video on Universal Children's Day with Micheal Jackson's song, Heal the World

CONVERSATION QUESTIONS ON THE TOPIC OF CHILDREN BY ESL MADE EASY:

1. Does your country have a day to celebrate and honor children? If so, what are some of the events and traditions that happen?

2. What are some of the basic rights that every child should have? How can we as parents, teachers, and citizens help to protect them?

3. What kind of risks do you think children in developing countries are currently facing? What about in developed countries such as Canada or the United States?

4. What are some free programs and services that help promote the welfare of children in your country? What about paid programs and services?

5. What are some things that children are expected to do at home and in school in your country? For example: In Canada, children are expected to clean their rooms and brush their teeth twice a day. Children are also expected to do their homework everyday.

Universal Children's Day Infographic - get your students to discuss or write some summary sentences.

PHAC-ASPC.GC: Children's Rights Activity Guide (Canada)

Monday, November 13, 2017

November Topic: World Kindness Day!

 



WATCH: Music video for the song "One Day" was produced by Life Vest Inside. It shows just how "kindness can be contagious".

November 13th is World Kindness Day. 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:

YouTube: Video 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"

Thursday, November 9, 2017

November Topic: Remembrance Day!

 

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 31, 2017

November Topic: Daylight Savings Time!

 


It's that time of the year again - Daylight Saving Time (DST) - officially ends this Sunday (Nov 5th), so get ready to turn those clocks "backwards"! DST was first introduced in the late 1800's before electricity and  modern lighting as a way to gain an extra hour of daylight and productivity. When the energy crisis hit in the 1970's, more and more countries began to practice DST and today it's observed by over 70 countries worldwide. Applauded for its role in energy conversation, but criticized for the way it disrupts daily life, DST makes for a great ESL discussion topic - one that can also provide a springboard for talking about "time".

CONVERSATION QUESTIONS ON THE TOPIC OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS AND TIME BY ESL MADE EASY:

1. What are some advantages and disadvantages associated with moving the clocks forward one hour in March and back one hour in November? What about for businesses?  Do you think this has changed since DST was first introduced?
2. Many countries have chosen not to switch to daylight saving time. What do you think their reasons might be? Does your country use daylight saving time? What have been the advantages and disadvantages?
3. Time plays a big role in our lives. What do these common time expressions mean; time on your hands, free time, make time, on time, in time, to pass the time, it's only a matter of time.

RECOMMENDED LINKS FOR ESL STUDENTS ON THE TOPIC OF DAYLIGHT SAVINGS AND TIME:

EL Civics: Daylight Saving Time picture vocabulary and definitions
ESL Video: How to adjust to DST video and short quiz
English-Online: Easy reading with vocabulary on Daylight Saving Time
The Free Resource: Facts about Daylight Saving Time
EnglishBaby: Reading and listening lesson on Daylight Saving Time
Huffington Post: Daylight Saving Time Ends  **DOWNLOAD COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS BY ESL Made Easy**
National Geographic: A reading on the case against Daylight Saving Time
Bogglesworld ESL: Time worksheets
ESL Tower: Activities for telling time
Teach-This: Activities on time expressions and telling time
EZ Tales: Daylight Saving Time lesson plan  NEW!
Rachael's English Classes: Reading/follow up worksheet on Daylight Saving Time - NEW!
ITESLJ: Conversation questions about time
ESL Partyland: online quiz on time expressions
Daily Writing Tips: 15 time idioms and expressions

November Suggested Themes and Topics!

There's lots to talk about with your ESL students this month! Be sure to check out November's Themes and Topics here for your month's curriculum planning or if you just need a quick idea.

International observance and celebratory days that might provide some interesting springboard topics this month include World Vegan Day, World Tongue Twister Day, Remembrance/Veteran's Day, World Kindness Day, Say Hello Day, World Television Day and of course the biggie in the U.S. is American Thanksgiving! Be sure to check them all out and feel free to add any of your ideas and suggestions for this month too!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

October Topic: Halloween!


Halloween, celebrated in many parts of the world, is an exciting time of the year and well known for traditional and festive activities such as trick-or-treating, costume parties and pumpkin carving. Halloween is a cultural celebration with an interesting history that dates back nearly 2,000 years. This time of the year not only provides ESL teachers with lots of fun activities, but it can also provide an opportunity for some very lively conversation around linking topics such as superstitions and fears! So, have fun with it!

CONVERSATION QUESTIONS ON THE TOPIC OF HALLOWEEN BY ESL MADE EASY:

1. Is Halloween or a similar tradition celebrated in your country? If a similar tradition,  rather than Halloween itself, how is it different from Halloween in North America?
2. Why do you think the colors black and orange are used for Halloween?
3. On the eve of October 31st, most children go trick-or-treating door to door in their neighbourhood. What do you think might be some positive and negative aspects associated with this traditional activity?
4. Halloween is believed to be related to many superstitious stories and beliefs. Are you are a superstitious person? What are some common superstitions in your country?
5. What is your biggest fear now? Did you have any fears/phobias when you were a child? Has this changed?

RECOMMENDED LINKS ON THE TOPIC OF HALLOWEEN, SUPERSTITIONS & FEARS:


Feel free to add any of your favorite Halloween links you have used with your ESL students!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017

October Topic: World Food Day!


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. 

 

WARM UP CONVERSATION QUESTIONS by ESL MADE EASY:

 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?

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

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October Topic: 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!  >>>

Thursday, September 28, 2017

October Planning Themes and Topics


There is a lot to talk about in the month of October!  It's World Habitat Day on the 2nd 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!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

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?
 

RECOMMENDED LINKS FOR YOUR ESL STUDENTS:

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

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