Summer Listening Practice

I’ve made suggestions for summer reading, so why not summer listening? I can’t take all the credit for this idea. A private student asked that I put together a study guide for the two months we won’t be meeting. The request is specifically for listening practice. I’m trying to compromise on who should set the tasks….

Tagged: An activity for tag questions

Here’s a fun game to practice tag questions. See suggested variations on my Tag questions_handout, which includes modifying the activity in order to practice negative questions. Step 1 – Students will be working in groups of three or four. Prepare enough copies of the statement cards (see handout, Set A) for each group to have one…

A Timely Text: An activity for diphthongs

Make pronunciation practice fun and meaningful. Why wait until Halloween to use a spooky story? Try the following activity with upper level students. Click here to view the Diphthongs_handout. Step 1 – Write the key words on the board in the following manner and have students listen and repeat after you: find                            boy                             owl                 climbed               …

Truth or Dare: An activity for vowels followed by R

Why not take a fun party classic like Truth or Dare and turn it into a pronunciation game? The following activity makes use of truth-seeking questions and gives practices with vowels followed by R. Note that I chose not to include the diphthongs /aɪ, aʊ, ɔɪ/ mainly because this exercise will supplement my next lesson…

Phrasal Verb Dominoes: An activity for intransitive phrasal verbs

Here’s a fun way to study 20 phrasal verbs in a meaningful context. Multiple encounters with the 20 key verbs found throughout the entire activity will help students retain the meaning and use of each verb. View Intransitive phrasal verbs_handout. Step 1 – Hand out Quiz 1. Have students complete the quiz solo. Then ask them to…

Little Steps, Useful Lessons: Braving the learning curve of a new online resource

It’s Week 1 of the Electronic Village Online 2011, an annual online even sponsored by the CALL-Interest Section of TESOL, Inc. Latecomers are often allowed to join, so I wouldn’t hesitate to request membership in a group if a particular session catches your interest. I signed up for VILLAGE: Language Learning and Community Building in Second Life. I…

Student Stumper 26: Phonetic Symbols

QUESTION: Why are there different phonetic symbols for the same sounds? Which ones should I learn? ANSWER: First of all,  I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary for students to learn the IPA or any other set of phonetic symbols in order to master English pronunciation. However, I do think that familiarity with the symbols is…

Shop and Chop: Practice with fricatives and affricates

Need to offer upper level students some practice with troubling fricatives and affricates? Consider using this activity, which contextualizes the sounds in a fun and meaningful way. Step 1 – Read the list of phrases in the box in Task A (see Shop and Chop_activity) and have students listen and repeat after you. Next, ask them…

ESL/ EFL Site Forecast for 2011

I’m curious to see if anyone reading this will suggest a website we should all keep our eyes on in the future. Do you anticipate the growth of any particular resource or contributions of an individual content creator? Let me share a few sources that I predict will develop some good materials for ESL/ EFL teachers…

First and Last: A speaking activity

About a year ago, I posted a speaking activity called “Firsts” for upper level students. Allow me to offer another activity that could be used with both upper and lower level students. I call it “First and Last”. I find it timely for such activities as 2010 is drawing to a close, and we’ll soon be welcoming…

Celebrating New Year’s Eve: A whole language activity

Are you planning ahead for your last lesson of the month? Perhaps you’d like to use an activity with a New Year’s Eve theme. Here’s one for adult learners at the lower levels.  Enjoy! Step 1 – Present the following vocabulary: at midnight                         champagne                        make a toast                      celebrate                             dress up                               New Year’s Eve                                                                                          …

More Play with Poetry

I can’t resist offering another idea that makes use of holiday poetry. There’s a wealth of material online, and as soon as I see a few verses, the wheels in my head start turning. So many poems, especially those written for children, lend themselves to ESL/ EFL instruction. Just look, for example, at the poems…