Sunday, June 30, 2013

ESL Video - How to use Simple Present Verbs

This is a quick goanimate Cartoon that shows how to use Simple Present Verbs...

Simple Present Verbs by philrice on GoAnimate

How to Punctuate Adverb Clauses












This tutorial shows when to use the elusive comma in an adverb clause.

American Slang for "Good"

American Slang for "Leave"


How to say "Leave" in American Slang. Believe it or not, there are many ways. 


American Slang for the colors




Have you ever wondered what the colors mean in American English? Well, here they are in 30 seconds.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

ESL Music Listening Activity - "Yesterday" Beatles Cloze Activity (stative verbs)



This Beatles music listening is a review activity is intended to be used after stative (non-action verbs) like “need, want, believe, long, etc,” have been taught for a few days. This activity can be done two ways.  One is to just do a simple cloze activity in which students fill in the blanks on the sheet. The other way is to first have them sort the lyrics.

Download the worksheet HERE. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Powerpoint Alternatives - Best Web Based Slide Presentation Applications

Powerpoint has been the staple for slide presentations for years, but there are many easy and sometimes free alternatives for students and teachers who can't afford the Office Suite. Here are some good alternatives that some may even say are better than Powerpoint.

1. Prezi - This is the zooming presentation platform that has caught fire in the last few years. Done well, prezis can be amazing. Done badly, they can be a real headache. Below is an example made on Prezi, then added to Youtube. Note, Prezi only has the visual features, not the music.  Note that Prezi gives you 100 MB of prezis for free.


Here is an example Prezi I made for iPad apps for ESL teachers.






2. Slides - Looks like a good presentation app with mobile access that seems pretty simple and good for those with powerpoint experience or little to no experience.




3.   Emaze - This looks like a real winner to me. The slideshows look like infographics. They are more linear than Prezi, but they seem very clean and neat.





4.  Empressr - This looks very much like powerpoint in many ways, but is a free web based program that can be embedded. Below is an example.


5. SlideRocket - Very much like powerpoint, but web based, this seems like a business focused preentation platform with collaborative capabilities. Also, you can import powerpoints to sliderocket and collaborate through their web based service. You do have to sign up to use it. This is a very collaborative form of slide presentation.
















Thursday, June 6, 2013

Movie Trailer ESL Classroom Writing Activity - The Wolverine




Here is a fun activity from the new Wolverine movie for ESL students. Students discuss, take the quiz, then write about immortality (living forever)!  This is sure to be an exciting topic for the classroom!



Download the Classroom Worksheet Here! It may look odd in the viewer, but when downloaded to Word, it will be fine. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Movie Trailer ESL Listening - The Wolverine




This is a new listening quiz from the new movie The Wolverine! Enjoy!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ways to Increase ESL Students' Motivation

Most ESL students need more than just a burning desire to learn English to help them get through the difficult nuances, exceptions, and challenges that await them in learning English. As a teacher to adults in an IEP, I realize that most of my students are motivated by their need to advance in careers or in education, but I find that this doesn't usually happen at the pace they expect it to. This is when a strong dose of teacher inspired motivation can help them to keep going on their English journeys. Therefore, I want to give a few ways to help teacher inspire their students to be motivated to learn English in and out of class.

1.  Get excited! - If you aren't excited about your class, no one else will be. Of course, teaching the 3rd conditional for an hour isn't inspiring to most ears, but it is the teacher's job to make it interesting. Bring in props, wear costumes, act silly, make jokes. Do whatever it takes to make English exciting without sacrificing the core principles of sound instruction.

2. Experiment! - I have done many activities that have failed, but changing mid course is okay if something is not working out. I have found that students appreciate the fact that a teacher is trying something different if they know that the teacher is doing it for their good. Most of the time, they don't mind taking a detour from the normal routine as well.  Try games, contests, championships, and fun activities to mix up the classroom.

3. Vary your tone!- We tell our students not to be monotone, but sometimes we are the worst culprits of this language sin. A little syllable and word stress goes a long way. Get quiet in order to get the attention of students, then get louder to drive home your points.

4.  Ask questions! - Don't simply lecture the whole class!  By asking students questions, the teacher makes them feel valued and respected. This is not common in many cultures, and could set your class apart from many classes that your students have taken in their home countries.

5. Be unpredictable!  -  Routines are great, but as the idiom says, "Variety is the spice of life." I teach classes for two hours at a time, five days a week, so doing the same thing each day will not cut it as the heads will droop, and students will begin to catch up on the previous night's sleep.  Switch up the order of class. If you usually teach grammar first, jump to writing or reading first for one day. Of course, you don't want to do this too much, but sometimes it helps when the students are obviously disinterested.

6. Break out of the textbook! - Nothing is worse than painfully going through every single exercise in a long textbook. This may be good for some, but many will grow weary of this in long classes ( I speak from experience).  Make the textbook a resource and not a prison. Use it in creative ways. Cut up exercises and have students relay the answers back and forth to you. Call out random #s from an exercise and ask students to answer those questions. Try to do anything but the student #1, question #1 format every time.

These are just a few points, but I will try to give more specific examples in upcoming posts on how to liven up a seemingly boring exercise for students. 

Past tense pronunciation in English - the "ed" sound

This video focuses on when to add a syllable to the end of a past tense verb in English.



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