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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, November 19, 2018

November topic: Shop Til You Drop!

With the holiday season fast approaching, many of us are getting in the spirit of shopping! It's a good time to get your ESL students talking about shopping and how it relates to CONSUMERISM. There is no shortage of vocabulary, expressions and phrases when it comes to teaching around the theme of SHOPPING (see recommended links) and all the linking topics including sales and discounts, types of stores, online shopping, as well as the countless number of products that society needs and of course wants. 

Have your students talk about the culture of shopping in their country and see if it compares to days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday (kick offs to the official start of the holiday shopping madness this Friday, November 24th and Monday, November 27th).

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping to our American neighbours! (see links to Thanksgiving worksheets and activities).**

WARM UP CONVERSATION QUESTIONS BY ESL Made Easy:

1. Do you like to shop and if so, what are some things you usually like to shop for besides the basics?
2. How have shops and stores changed over the years? How does this compare to shops and stores in your home country?
3. Are you an online shopper and if so, what do you typically buy? How does this experience compare to shopping in a physical store?
4. How are the terms 'consumption' and 'consumerism' related? What role does consumerism play in the environment, the economy, and in our daily life? Do you think consumerism can affect our well being?
5. What are the differences between "needs" and "wants"? Do you think society's needs and wants have changed over the years? If so, what could be some of the reasons besides creative and sneaky marketing strategies?
6. How has the role of marketing and advertising influenced consumerism? Can you give any specific examples?

RECOMMENDED ESL LINKS AROUND THE TOPIC CONSUMERISM:

ESL Discussions: Discussion questions on "Consumerism"
ITESLJ: Conversation questions on money and shopping
ESL Library: ESL Podcast: How Much Stuff Do We Need?
ESL Library: A reading and vocabulary lesson on consumerism
Breaking News English: Men Suffer from Shopping Too! - reading and activities
YouTube: The Story of Stuff - find matching comprehension worksheet here
Teaching English: Consumer - Society Lesson Plan
ESL Right Now: Consumerism-supermarket-psychology lesson plan
ESL Ect: Reading activities on Black Friday and Consumption
ESL Printables: Worksheets and on-line exercises on consumerism - membership site
ESL Video: 10 minute documentary on consumerism
ESL Holiday Lessons: Reading and activities on Buy Nothing Day
ESL Lab: Short video with 3 questions on Black Friday
YouTube: What is Black Friday All About! Watch and discuss
ESL Fast: Black Friday reading with follow up activities
ESL Library: Lesson Plan on Cyber Monday - membership site
English Blog: Reuters Video on Cyber Monday with full script
English Post: Reading on Black Friday and Cyber Monday with questions
Daily Infographic: Learn all about Cyber Monday - get your students to write summary sentences
Lyrics Mode: Shania Twain's Song with lyrics: "Ka-Ching"

Monday, November 12, 2018

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"

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


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)

Thursday, October 25, 2018

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 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.