• How to Teach Academic Vocabulary: A Helpful Guide for New Adult ESL Teachers

    Teaching academic vocabulary can intimidate new adult ESL teachers. Maybe you don’t know how to teach academic vocabulary. You need ideas, strategies, and resources, and if you are lucky, all that is provided to you in abundance. However, if you are reading this, that’s probably not the case for you. Luckily for you (though not… Read More

    How to Teach Academic Vocabulary:  A Helpful Guide for New Adult ESL Teachers
  • Free Talking: Getting Low-Level ESL Students to Talk

    Free talking sessions in A1?! Getting low-level students to talk can be a daunting mission.  They might be shy; they might not know what to say or how to say it.  Because of this, sometimes, in our eagerness to cover all the required material, we neglect to give our students time to talk.  I don’t… Read More

    Free Talking:  Getting Low-Level ESL Students to Talk
  • Beyond Basics:  Teaching the Passive Voice for Adult ESL Success

    Teaching the passive voice went from not on my radar to one of my favorite things to teach! When I first started teaching adult ESL, I didn’t even know what active versus passive voice was!  I used both voices in speech and writing, but I didn’t know what they were called, and I certainly couldn’t… Read More

    Beyond Basics:  Teaching the Passive Voice for Adult ESL Success
  • 4 Reasons We Avoid Teaching English Articles in ESL Classes

    English articles convey a greater wealth of information than you’d think. These useful little words enable us to be more precise. When we don’t teach our students to use them properly, we deprive them of the ability to be unambiguous in their own communication. But, time and again, I observed teachers completely ignore their students’… Read More

    4 Reasons We Avoid Teaching English Articles in ESL Classes
  • Create Listening Labyrinths Using Minimal Pairs: a Step by Step Guide

    I love to create listening labyrinths because they make fantastic informal assessments of students’ ability to discern the difference between two sounds. The icing? Students love them! Let’s say you have students who often use a short i sound when they need a long e sound (and vice versa). Here’s what you do: Here’s how to create listening labyrinths. Before… Read More

    Create Listening Labyrinths Using Minimal Pairs:  a Step by Step Guide
  • The Past Perfect Tense: A Pain in the Past, but a Necessity for the Present

    Some adult ESL teachers might be wondering, “Why do I need to know the past perfect tense? Can’t I just stick to the present simple?” Well, the past perfect is an important verb tense in English, and it’s time to embrace it (or at least try to understand it). Not sure what it is or… Read More

    The Past Perfect Tense: A Pain in the Past, but a Necessity for the Present
  • The Present Perfect Tense Survival Guide:  A Detailed Overview

    Did you know that the present perfect tense is a bridge between the present and the past, allowing us to understand how the past has shaped the present? It is a tool that helps us see the connections between different moments in time. News to you? No worries because this guide is here to help… Read More

    The Present Perfect Tense Survival Guide:  A Detailed Overview
  • Summarization: A Basic Take on an Essential But Often Forgotten Reading Strategy for Adult ESL

    It’s time to get your students to buy into the importance of summarization strategies and skills.

    Summarization:  A Basic Take on an Essential But Often Forgotten Reading Strategy for Adult ESL
  • The Power of Stress Discussions in Adult ESL Classes: Unlocking Growth and Language Proficiency

    In the world of adult ESL teaching, cultivating engaging and meaningful discussions is a cornerstone of effective language teaching. While many teachers may shy away from topics perceived as negative or discomforting, making a compelling case for incorporating stress as a discussion theme in the classroom is possible. Contrary to popular belief, stress discussions can… Read More

    The Power of Stress Discussions in Adult ESL Classes: Unlocking Growth and Language Proficiency
  • 8 Great Ideas for Teaching Weather Vocabulary in Adult ESL

    Weather vocabulary serves important communication purposes for adult ESL.  Students can use it to quickly break the ice when speaking with someone new because it is such an innocuous part of small talk. Knowing the terms associated with the extreme weather found in their location could be a matter of safety or even life or… Read More

    8 Great Ideas for Teaching Weather Vocabulary in Adult ESL
  • 5 Quick Tips for Engaging Days of the Week Activities

    Wondering why you should incorporate days of the week activities for adult ESL classes? Yes, the days of the week are such a simple concept and only seven words. If you’ve ever learned the terms in another language, you’re probably wondering why adult learners even NEED time to study the days of the week, right? … Read More

    5 Quick Tips for Engaging Days of the Week Activities
  • 2 Fun Superlative Adjective Games

    I want to share two fun superlative adjective games with you because I’m not sitting in your classroom.  *I* might have eaten worksheets when I was a student if I’d had the right side dishes to go with them.  I LOVED them.  I have this thing about text–letters and words have their own smells and… Read More

    2 Fun Superlative Adjective Games
  • 6 Exciting Subject-Verb Agreement Games & Activities for Adult ESL

    Subject-verb agreement need not be a musty grammar concept! First, let’s do a quick run-down on subject-verb agreement in case we have a new teacher reading this. Subject-Verb Agreement in a Nutshell What is subject-verb agreement? Subjects must agree with their verbs. A singular subject takes a singular verb. Plural subjects take plural verbs. Sounds… Read More

    6 Exciting Subject-Verb Agreement Games & Activities for Adult ESL
  • Teaching The Present Progressive Tense: Because the Past Tense is So Yesterday

    So you’re going to be teaching the present progressive? As native English speakers, it’s easy to take our knowledge of grammar for granted. We may not explicitly know the rules, but we’ve been using the language for so long that it feels natural to us. However, when it comes to teaching grammar to adult ESL… Read More

    Teaching The Present Progressive Tense: Because the Past Tense is So Yesterday
  • Short I and Long E Sounds: 4 Engaging Activities for Adult ESL Pronunciation

    Short I and Long E sounds require clear pronunciation for effective communication and building confidence in adult ESL speakers. Conquering these sounds may present challenges, but none of us want our students to confuse “beach” with “bitch,” right?  The thing is, drilling is effective but boring.  So how about some activities for Short I and… Read More

    Short I and Long E Sounds:  4 Engaging Activities for Adult ESL Pronunciation

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One Fun ESL Speaking Game for Adults

Beginner-level adult ESL students LOVE to play games, but their low English proficiency can seem limiting when you’re trying to come up with something engaging but practical, fun but not a time-waster.  (Don’t teach beginners? Keep reading because this game is easily adapted for all levels!) Playing the ESL speaking game I have…Who has…? is a …
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8 Practical Strategies for Teaching Grade 12 Tier 2 Vocabulary to Adult ESL Students

Why teach grade 12 Tier 2 vocabulary to adults?  Well, vocabulary is the cornerstone of language learning, and its importance in ESL education just cannot be overstated. After all, the ability to express one’s thoughts and ideas effectively hinges on having a robust vocabulary. However, some teachers find themselves with complete freedom in what to …
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Lights, Camera, English! 4 Engaging Movie-Based Activities for Adult ESL Learners

Movie-based activities are a fantastic way to liven up adult ESL classes and provide opportunities for language practice. Whether using movie posters, trailers, soundtracks, or creating a student-led game, there are endless possibilities for using movies to enhance your adult ESL classes. Not only do these movie-based activities provide a welcome break from traditional classroom …
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The Battle of B and P Sounds: Moving Toward Pronunciation Precision

If you’ve had the privilege of teaching students whose mother tongue is Arabic, you’re no stranger to their unique challenges when grappling with the b and p sounds.  It’s the structure of the Arabic language’s sounds and those oh-so-subtle distinctions between the b and p sounds in Arabic that create significant challenges when it comes …
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The Intense Power of Minimal Pairs in Teaching Pronunciation to Adult ESL Students

If you want to tempt some of your feistier adult ESL students into throwing their pencils at you, introduce them to minimal pairs during some pronunciation lessons. Okay, so Afaf deliberately missed me when she pitched her pencil in my direction, but using minimal pairs in pronunciation exercises will certainly engage your students! What are …
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Pronunciation Truly Matters!

Some of my most vocal students harbored a deep belief that they spoke English rather flawlessly, at least when it came to pronunciation. They would often complain about their classmates’ accents. They’d even protest at having to work with a partner who they couldn’t understand easily because of the classmate’s accent. I know this because …
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