4 Variations on a Speaking Task

Do you struggle to increase student production during a speaking task? Sometimes it can be a matter of choosing the format that students feel most comfortable with. With lower level students, you also need to be sure they have enough language support to complete the task. I sometimes use templates to facilitate speaking. The templates…

Simpler, Livelier Tasks With Comparative Adjectives

I recently shared a Basic English lesson on comparative adjectives that form with -er. As simple as this topic seems, plenty of practice is always called for. Inevitably, production requires accuracy with other grammar elements. I found my students still struggling with subject-verb agreement and singular vs. plural nouns. (Bananas are better than cherries. And…

3 Fun and Easy Warm-Ups

My basic level students, Andreia and Flavia, are gaining comfort with me and with the whole experience of filming for YouTube. (See my Basic English playlist.) They start each lesson with smiles and willingness, but it certainly helps to warm up, and so I’ve had a fun time doing simple speaking tasks to get us…

Cheering Our Students On

Taking taekwondo classes over the past few months has put me firmly back into the role of a learner. As with any subject, I’m discovering that some aspects are more easily mastered than others.  I feel pretty good about picking up the forms, and I’m pleasantly surprised to say I enjoy working with weapons. However,…

Easier Said Than Done: Practice with comparative adjectives and adverbs

My beginner student will soon be studying comparative forms of adjectives and adverbs. I designed an activity that will review forms and test her ability to use the forms in context. The Easier Said Than Done_handout has been modified to meet the needs of a group class rather than a private lesson. I hope it works…

Channeling TV Guides Into the Classroom

The listings in a TV guide provide a wealth of material for the ESL classroom. The authentic source places common grammar structures and high frequency vocabulary in an entertaining context. Here are just a few ideas for putting this material to use to facilitate your instruction. Adjective clauses. Plot summaries of films and TV show…

Good, Better, and Best Practices for Teaching Comparatives and Superlatives

Teach comparatives before superlatives. This is a no-brainer: the order is logical.   Consider teaching the use of more and less before the use of the suffix -er. Let students master sentence structure before dealing with spelling rules. (X is more [adjective] than Y).  Work first with common adjectives, such as expensive, beautiful, difficult, and…

Fun for Everyone: An activity to practice comparatives and equatives

Level: Intermediate to advanced Objective: To describe lesser-known sports and identify their appeal to people Skills targeted: Reading for details, using graphic organizers, making conclusions, writing with comparatives and equatives STEP 1 – Students receive a list of 4-6 lesser-known sports. For each sport, provide a recommended link that offers background information. Suggestions: Bocce Orienteering…