5 Tips to improve communication in your ESL class

Hi There,

One of the hardest parts in an ESL class is making your students communicate , make them use their English in a meaningful context.

Tip 1: Information Gap. Let’s face it, in most questions on an ESL class the answer is not a mystery! Look at the next example:

Peter bought an ice-cream. 

What did Peter buy?

Boring, isn’t it?

Students will be more motivated with challenging task where they have to find some kind of missing information. So if you want to practise simple past question like in the example above you can use a short video showing what Peter did yesterday, ask them to pay attention and try to memorize the activities and then ask them.

Tip 2: Give a context. The right context makes learning much more meaningful for the students and for us! Sadly, the use of context is not a regular practice in ESL lessons.

Some examples of easy and motivating contexts are : fairy tales, books, films or even the news. Each context has a limited vocabulary and gives a lot of clues to the students, so it makes them feel more comfortable with their master of the language.

Tip 3: Take your time. Rome wasn’t built in a day! And communication relies on complex variables such as self-confidence or motivation so don’t try to run very fast. Try to find a pace that fits both you and your group.

Tip 4: Allow some time in their mother language. Students will feel more relaxed if they know that they will be able to comment on the activities and express themselves in their mother tongue at some point. So why not let them do it? The thing is to make crystal clear when they are expected to speak in English and when they can use their first language.

Tip 5: Try to use games. Games are wonderful when it comes to communication, in a way they sum up all the previous points. They are challenging for the students, they provide a context and they make the student feel motivated and relaxed.

To finish up I would like to share an example activity to boost communication at your class. It’s a classical one but I find it really handy and students also like it. You can download the activity here:

Find a person who..

    Image source

As always I hope that you find this post useful and I’m really looking forward to your comments!

Wonderful exercises on have to/ don’t have to

Hi there,

I’ve been really busy lately. But now I’m back with some new materials. This time I’ve brought some exercises on have to/ don’t have to. Students have to fill out some gaps but also there is a creative task at the end of the exercise.

Have to/ don’t have to

I hope you find them useful!

If you like them, please leave your comment.




5 common mistakes you’re problably making with your class (by my students)


It`s said that being teacher isn’t always easy. However they don´t change their bad habits that make student feel mad. Here we have the worst habits:

  • Smell like an ashtray: if you smoke it doesn’t bother you, but if you aren’t a  smoker you don´t want that awful smell.
  • Talk to you like if you were two: they enjoy telling you how you have to study or do your homework like if you were in primary school.
  • Speak about other subject that aren’t about the class: some teacher are the habits of go off on a tangent every time, like our teacher, who started about kelps and ended up talking about airports.
  • Have the ability to full a day in five minutes: some teachers believe that student has only their subjects, but it´s not the worst thing, because the can´t correct them.
  • Perfectionism: some teacher want the student to write all the book in the exam, and this is impossible.

In conclusion, if you are thinking about the idea of becoming a teacher, be careful, because always there are student judging your acts every time.


Image Source:educationdissected

Here comes Mr Otis Happy Shop to help Indian students

I’ve been thinking about helping others. Of course, working as a teacher I help my students on a daily basis but It’s my work! Every day you read about the situation in other countries and how difficult is for some kids to get a regular education. So I decide to look into this issue and I found a Spanish NPO (nonprofit organization) called “Niños de la India”. After reading their web page I realized that they were doing a great job making possible to have an education for many kids in India.

And that’s the reason for my awesome store! All the benefits will be donated to this organization. If you like this project please visit their web page and see how can you participate.

In the mean time please take a look at the awesome products I’ve have designed for them! You won’t regret it! Mr Otis Happy Shop

Últimamente he estado pensando en ayudar a otros. Claro que siendo profesor ayudo a mis alumnos diariamente, pero es mi trabajo! Cada día leemos sobre la situación en otros países y  que dificil es para muchos niños conseguir una educación normal. Así que decidó investigar sobre este problema y descubrí Niños de la India, una ONG española. Tras leer su página web me di cuenta de la labor que estaban llevando a cabo, haciendo que muchos niños pudieran tener una educación.

Y esa es la razón por la que creé mi tienda increíble! Todos los beneficios serán donados a esta entidad. Si te gusta este proyecto puedes visitar su página y ver cómo puedes colaborar.

Mientras tanto echa un vistazo a los diseños molones que les he hecho. No te arrepentirás! Mr Otis Happy Shop



Learning English and Spanish with The Rodriguez

Recently I’ve discovered a cool blog form a family called “The Rodríguez” or as we say in Spain “Los Rodríguez” Every post is written in English and Spanish so you can learn tons of useful real vocabulary or have your students doing so.Besides, their stories are really funny and entertaining

You really have to check this out: Los Rodríguez Life

Hace poco he descubierto un blog genial de una famila llamada “Los Rodríguez” Cada una de las entradas está escrita en Español e Inglés, por lo que puedes aprender cantidad de vocabulario útil o hacer que tus alumnos lo aprenda.Además sus historias son de lo mas curiosas y divertidas.

No te lo pierdas: Los Rodríguez Life