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!

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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

Great blog to learn English and Spanish

I’ve been following this blog for more than a year and I find it really handy. What can you find there? Well virtually everything about teaching English, from useful language tips to free lessons and advice for your career as a teacher. Although most of the information is in Spanish.

If you are interested in a awesome blog about English in Spanish you shouldn’t miss this one.

 

Printable week schedule to work with verb tenses

Hi there,

In this post I bring a pretty straightforward activity.  But I find it a useful one when it comes to teach the differences among present and past tenses. It combines, both individual work with group discussion activities.

Download the Week Tenses Worksheet

Source: google.es via AMPA on Pinterest

I hope that you enjoy it!

Printable images to work with feelings and emotions

Looking for a versatile material to work with emotions in your class?

By thunder, you should try this document! It’s a collection of thirteen images showing different feelings and emotions. I use them to make the students talk about emotions, to associate them with vocabulary or just to play with them as cards.

Download the feeling and emotions sheet.

Source: google.es via AMPA on Pinterest

Enjoy them!

Mr. Ottis