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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 12, 2018

October Theme: World Food Day!

WORLD FOOD DAY is recognized globally on Tuesday, 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 for 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. 

Find links to activities for ESL students on World Food Day here.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Happy 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, September 21, 2018

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. >>>


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?


ESL Printables: Autumn worksheets *lesson sharing site

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

September Topic: Positive Thinking Day!

For those of you who don't know, Positive Thinking Day is on September 13th. An American entrepreneur started this day in order to concentrate on all things positive. Thinking positively is not always an easy thing to do, but if you train your brain to know when you are in, or entering a negative state of mind, then the shift to positive thinking might just become a habit! I do believe that positive thinking in general is an excellent topic to be sharing with any ESL learner!
Here is a list of ten ways to create a positive day from the website This list could be turned into a group discussion. Have students give some examples that could reflect the points and also share experiences on how their own personal thinking has shaped their lives.


1. Use affirmations - Read and listen to affirmations so that you can begin to change your self-talk.
2. Intention - Set your intention each morning to have a positive day! Remember you choose your attitude!
3. Mindfulness - Keep your attention in the present moment.
4. Link to think -Pick something you do frequently (perhaps making a phone call) and let that be a reminder to think a positive thought.
5. Gratitude - Develop an attitude of gratitude by keeping a gratitude journal.
6. Inspiration - Read and watch inspirational and motivational material to lift your mood.
7. Positive people - Surround yourself with positive people. They will help you stay focused on the positive.
8. Kindness - Be kind to yourself and those around you.
9. Applied faith - Trust that every situation has the seeds for growth and opportunity.
10. Smile - Smile when you see others. Smile when you are talking on the phone. A smile is contagious.


Huffington Post: A reading on the science of positive thinking -  *DOWNLOAD COMPREHENSION WORKSHEET by EslMadeEasy
Breaking News English: A lesson on optimism
Buzzle: Positive thinking - quotes and phrases
English Clip: Games on positive thinking
Positive Quotes: A list of positive adjectives
ESL Holiday Lessons: Be positive reading and worksheet
English with Jennifer: The Power of Positive Thinking - poem
Effective Positive Thinking: The Ten Best Positive Thinking Phrases
The Benefits of Positive Thinking: Positive thinking activities to keep you uplifted
ITESLJ: Discussion questions on mind, body and health
Brainy Quote: Dr. Wayne Dyer Quotes
Spirituality Health: 10 Ways to Raise Your Vibration
EFL/ESL: Positive thinking questions
Pharrell William's HAPPY song on YouTube: A must to watch to change any negative mood!

Enjoy and let me know if you have any ideas or activities about positive thinking in your ESL class!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Welcome back to ESL Made Easy!

If you haven't already scheduled in some teaching ideas, be sure to visit September's Themes and Topics for ESL Students here!  September is busy starting with Labour Day on September 3rd, follow by World Suicide Prevention DayA Day of Remembrance (September 11th), Positive Thinking Day, and National Grandparents Day. Other topics that might be interesting to your ESL students are World Heart Day and International Coffee Day.

ESL Made Easy's Classroom Templates will also be available to purchase online! We've created over 24 ready-to-use activities that cover all 4-skills to make your teaching easier and to get your students talking. Find out more here!

We wish everyone a great start to the new teaching year! As always, we welcome your suggestions, ideas and comments!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Teaching with Movies!

Watching movies is one of the best ways to learn a new language. Not only can movies improve listening and comprehension skills, but they can help with vocabulary and pronunciation while keeping your ESL students entertained along the way!

My students are big fans of "Movie Days"! They also enjoy learning about the plot and the characters before watching a movie (which you can find online or some sites have worksheets on vocabulary and discussion questions). 

I tend to stick to comedy and dramas with lighter plots in order to capture the attention of all students regardless of their levels. Most DVDs these days come with subtitles which I do use as I find many students in the lower levels prefer reading along with the movie and visually seeing the words. 

My Big Fat Greek Wedding, What About Bob, ELF, The Sound of Music, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Mrs. Doubtfire, Marley and Me, Groundhog Day, Momma Mia, The Blind Side, Mr. Bean and animated ones such as Despicable Me are just a few movies I have found to be a big success with my ESL students.

Find recommended sites for teaching English with movies here!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

June Topic: 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)!

Find recommended links for your ESL students here!

Friday, June 1, 2018

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!


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

June: Suggested Themes and Topics!

For many teachers and students, June marks the end of the school year, but for others, it's about getting ready for summer classes! There's still a lot to talk about with your ESL students so be sure to check out our June Topics and Themes and don't forget to follow ESL Made Easy for weekly posts. One topic that may not get a lot of attention is Father's Day (June 17th). Why not use the days ahead to talk about the history of Father's Day as well as the various roles fathers play in the family and in the community.

Other noteworthy topics for this month are World Ocean Day, International Sushi Day, the Summer Solstice, World Music Day, and International Anti-Drug Day. Stay tuned for related links to recommended ESL worksheets and activities!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May Topic: World Telecommunication Day!

Image result for world telecommunications dayIt's World Telecommunication Day on May 17th which could create some lively discussion in your ESL classroom! Get your students talking about how information travels the world, changes in communication (the good, the bad and the ugly!), as well as the importance of telecommunications in our ever changing world today.

Read more about World Telecommunication Day here!


Friday, May 4, 2018

May Topic: Sleep!

May 12th is International Fatigue Syndrome Day. This day is set aside to recognize the fact that sometimes life can make us feel tired and worn-out. It is also a day to create an awareness on how sleeping problems and disorders can lead to serious health issues. Your ESL students might find this to be a familiar and interesting topic to discuss as they can talk about their own sleeping problems, habits and routines!  >>>

Download the ESL MADE EASY

Student-centred reading and conversation lesson plan!
Great for multi-level classes or one on one teaching!

May Topic: Mother's Day!

Sunday, May13th marks a special appreciation day for mothers! Get your students talking about the roles of mothers in the family and in society as well as the modern history behind this well-known celebration.

Download the ESL Made Easy

Student-centred reading and conversation lesson plan!
Great for multi-level classes or one on one teaching!