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Friday, July 31, 2015

August - ESL Planning Themes and Topics

August is full of some interesting topics that your ESL students will enjoy starting with Friendship Day and Sister Day on August 2nd! If your students like cats, International Cat Day might be a fun topic to explore too.

Other mentionables are International Indigenous Day, World Humanitarian Day, Senior Citizens Day, World Mosquito Day, Dream Day and Daffodil Day!

Don't forget to mark your calendars with all of August's Themes and Topics for your ESL students here!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July Topic: Parent's Day

It's National Parents' Day in the United States on July 26th! This day promotes responsible parenting and celebrates the special love between a parent and their child. It also recognizes the important roles that parents play on their children's lives. Get your students talking about what it's like to be a parent, what their parents were like and/or what their childhood was like.


1.  Are you a parent? If so, how many children do you have and what are their ages? If you aren't a parent yet, do you want to have children and, if so, how many would you like to have?
2. What are/were some of the house rules observed by your family? (Ex. no computer after 10 p.m., formal dinner every Sunday...etc)
3. What are some of the challenges parents face today when it comes to raising young children? What about when it comes to raising teenagers?
4. Do you think parents today have a more difficult time raising children than their parents and grandparents had? Explain.
5. In what ways can parents "spoil" their child? What negative consequences might this have on their child's life?
6. What are some things that your parents did when you were a child that you would or wouldn't do now as a parent?
7. What do you think makes someone a good parent? What makes someone a bad parent?
8. The verbs 'make' and 'let' are often used when describing a childhood experience. 'Make' suggests being required to do something and 'let' suggests being allowed.  (e.g. my parents used to make me tidy my room every Saturday and my parents used to let me stay up late on Saturday night). Make your own sentences using the verbs 'make' and 'let' based on your own childhood experiences. If you are a parent, what are some things you make or let your children do?


Friday, July 10, 2015

July Topic: Nelson Mandela International Day


It's International Nelson Mandela Day on Monday, July 18th. This day is set aside not only to celebrate Nelson Mandela's life, but to remember some of Mandela's greatest achievements towards working with conflict, human development, democracy, peace and resolution. Get your ESL students talking about the values Nelson Mandela shared with the world on  freedom, equality and respect!


Monday, July 6, 2015

July Topic: World Population Day!

WORLD POPULATION DAY, held every year on July 11th, was created by the United Nations Development Program in 1989. This important day was established to raise awareness of the issues and solutions related to our global population level.

With over 7 billion people in the world (see the worldometer here!), there is no doubt that this is an issue that affects us all. It's also a topic that should spark some lively discussion as your ESL learners address such related issues as the impact of further development and population growth, sustainability and the impact all of this has on our young people.

Watch this short video clip "7 Billion - National Geographic" here.


YouTube: 7 Billion and Counting
Breaking News English: The Aging World Population reading and follow up activities
ESL Discussions: Discussion questions on population
Breaking News English: A reading with follow up activities on population
Listen A Minute: Reading and follow up activities on population
ESL Video: World Population Hits 7 Billion video with questions
ESL Holiday Lessons: World Population Day reading and activities
Learning English: Reading with listening on the World's Population Hitting 7 Billion
To Learn English: Can the Earth Cope? Video with listening exercise
Many Things: Video and script on world population
One Stop English: Global World Population lesson
ISL Collective: Describing population worksheet:  donation site
ESL Printables: Worksheet on World Population:  lesson sharing site
FAO: World Agriculture 2030 Findings
English Online: World Population Growth reading and activities
World of 7 Billion: Dialogue and debate questions on the issues of the world's population
Index Mundi: 2014 thematic world map of population count

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Happy Fourth of July!

Monday, July 4th is Independence Day in the United States. Also known as the Fourth of July, this date commemorates the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain.  This is a festive day for many Americans as they celebrate with fireworks, parades, fairs, concerts, picnics and family reunions. It's a fun and proud day for Americans so get your students talking about the history, the culture, and the traditions of the United States! >>>

July ESL Planning Themes and Topics

Be sure to check out July Themes and Topics and follow ESL Made Easy for weekly posts on some of them this month. There's plenty to celebrate in July starting with Canada Day on July 1st and Independence Day in the United States on July 4th. July is also a good month to talk about chocolate, the world's population, and the importance of parents as it's Parents Day on July 26th. There's plenty more topics that fall in July so don't forget to mark your teaching calendar!