• Future Progressive: Elevating Adult ESL Students’ Communication Skills

    The future progressive is the future! Are you ready to take your adult ESL students’ communication skills to the next level? Teaching the future progressive tense, a crucial aspect of the English language, can help them do just that. The future progressive tense is used to describe actions that will be in progress at a… Read More

    Future Progressive: Elevating Adult ESL Students’ Communication Skills
  • Brushing Up on Dental English: How Role Plays Can Help Adult ESL Students Prepare for a Trip to the Dentist

    A trip to the dentist can be a nerve-wracking experience when you speak the same language.  Now imagine sitting in that chair when you don’t speak the same language as the dentist! (Been there, done that; not fun!) Not only do you have to worry about the potential pain or discomfort that may come with… Read More

    Brushing Up on Dental English: How Role Plays Can Help Adult ESL Students Prepare for a Trip to the Dentist
  • Improve Your Grammar Lesson with Fun Speaking Activities!

    I think these English classes are a waste of time and money.  We don’t get to practice speaking enough.   -unnamed student I overheard a student say that, though, thankfully not my student.  Truthfully though, after doing a mental review of my classes, I could see that my own classes were part of the problem.  I… Read More

    Improve Your Grammar Lesson with Fun Speaking Activities!
  • Gestures: The Secret Language You’ve Been Unaware of

    I’d been teaching Saudi students for almost a YEAR when I finally found out that they’d been trying to communicate a crucial bit of information to me with gestures. For a year, I’d obliviously ignored my students’ pleas for more time to think. It looked like I refused to give them more time to formulate… Read More

    Gestures:  The Secret Language You’ve Been Unaware of
  • 3 Easy Hacks that will make Worksheets Exciting!

    “Worksheet time!” I call out, waving a small stack of freshly-copied papers.   Students begin smiling as they put away their phones and sit up, talking excitedly to each other.  Yes, that really happens!   Now, I always include off-the-wall bits in my grammar worksheets because I love to hear my students laugh out loud while they’re working.  I often… Read More

    3 Easy Hacks that will make Worksheets Exciting!
  • Clothing Vocabulary: 3 Important Reasons to Dress up Your Adult ESL Lessons

    Why is clothing vocabulary a must-have for your adult ESL lessons? As an adult ESL teacher, you know that vocabulary is the backbone of any language-learning journey. But let’s face it, sometimes vocabulary lessons can be a bit…boring. That’s where clothing vocabulary comes in! Clothing is a fun and engaging topic that can spice up… Read More

    Clothing Vocabulary:  3 Important Reasons to Dress up Your Adult ESL Lessons
  • Teaching Body Vocabulary: Building a Strong Foundation for Adult ESL Learners

    Body vocabulary is a crucial aspect of language learning, particularly for adults studying ESL. This was brought home to me on my third day hospitalized in a foreign country where I couldn’t speak the language. The nurses kept asking me questions I couldn’t answer, and they had to resort to bringing in patients from other… Read More

    Teaching Body Vocabulary: Building a Strong Foundation for Adult ESL Learners
  • 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… Read More

    The Intense Power of Minimal Pairs in Teaching Pronunciation to Adult ESL Students
  • Color Vocabulary Made Fun:  3 Levels of Engaging Activities for Adult ESL

    Teaching color vocabulary in the adult ESL classroom goes way beyond identifying basic colors like red, blue, green, or yellow. Teaching color vocabulary isn’t just about recognition; it’s a gateway to engaging language instruction, offering opportunities to practice grammar, expand vocabulary, and have meaningful conversations.  This article is a guide for ESL teachers working with… Read More

    Color Vocabulary Made Fun:  3 Levels of Engaging Activities for Adult ESL
  • Theme Time: Hygiene in Adult ESL Speaking Classes: Helpful Tips, Fun Activities, and Cultural Considerations

    Let’s talk about using the theme of hygiene in adult ESL lessons. As an English language teacher, creating engaging and relevant lesson plans for your students is one of your missions. One theme that is both practical and culturally relevant is hygiene. Not only does using the theme of hygiene in adult ESL classes offer… Read More

    Theme Time:  Hygiene in Adult ESL Speaking Classes: Helpful Tips, Fun Activities, and Cultural Considerations
  • Check Out These Fun Summer Vocabulary Ideas for Your Adult ESL Classes

    Why do we need summer vocabulary lesson ideas for adult ESL? When schoooooool’s NOT out for summer… Well, across the country, students and teachers look forward to the school-free summer months, but for many adult ESL courses/classes, it’s business (or education) as usual.  If that’s the case for you, consider trying out some of these… Read More

    Check Out These Fun Summer Vocabulary Ideas for Your Adult ESL Classes
  • Practical Pet-Themed Activities for Adult ESL Classes: Tips and Ideas

    Are you ready to add some excitement to your adult ESL classes? Look no further than our furry, feathered, and scaly friends! Incorporating pet-themed activities into your lesson plans is a surefire way to engage your students and make your classes a hit. Not only are pets a common topic of interest for people of… Read More

    Practical Pet-Themed Activities for Adult ESL Classes: Tips and Ideas
  • 6 Fun Simple Present Activities for Adult ESL

    Try these simple present activities in your adult ESL classes! My students always struggled more with the simple present than they did with the simple past or simple future. Using simple present activities was a fun way to review this concept to help them master it. If you already have the basic simple present rules… Read More

    6 Fun Simple Present Activities for Adult ESL
  • Two Priceless Adult ESL Teaching Tips to Always Remember

    We assume that our students will learn English because that’s why they are there–to learn English. But, it’s not just a case of “we teach,” so “they learn.”  Read on for two adult ESL teaching tips. Adult ESL Teaching Tip #1: Take the Time to Teach the How and the Why I remember when I… Read More

    Two Priceless Adult ESL Teaching Tips to Always Remember
  • 12 Exciting Ways to Use TED Talks with Adult ESL

    Stop thinking TED Talks are just for high-level adult ESL students!  I’ve successfully used them with students from high-beginner and up, and you can, too!  I’m going to share with you twelve ways you can use TED talks to help your students develop their proficiency in the four language domains, make connections to their lives,… Read More

    12 Exciting Ways to Use TED Talks with Adult ESL

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Read more GRAMMAR posts

Learning New Vocabulary: 3 Reasons Adult ESL Students Struggle

I can give you three reasons your adult ESL students struggle with learning new vocabulary, but let’s not stop there.  Let’s talk about some strategies for overcoming these challenges. First, their go-to strategy is straight-out memorization. How many times have you spoken to students who are despondent over how few vocabulary words they retain compared …
Read More about Learning New Vocabulary: 3 Reasons Adult ESL Students Struggle

Teaching Body Vocabulary: Building a Strong Foundation for Adult ESL Learners

Body vocabulary is a crucial aspect of language learning, particularly for adults studying ESL. This was brought home to me on my third day hospitalized in a foreign country where I couldn’t speak the language. The nurses kept asking me questions I couldn’t answer, and they had to resort to bringing in patients from other …
Read More about Teaching Body Vocabulary: Building a Strong Foundation for Adult ESL Learners

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Getting into the Nitty Gritty of Practical English for Adult ESL

Somehow, in every Intensive English Program I’ve taught in, practical English is always relegated to the lowest level classes, the beginners.  Even then, we rushed through it, almost dismissively, trying to hurry them into higher levels of English–the level they need to master to pass those English proficiency exams to get into university.  It’s like …
Read More about Getting into the Nitty Gritty of Practical English for Adult ESL

3 Powerful Reasons to Incorporate Conversational Visits in a Speaking Activity

What are conversational visits? Simply put, conversational visits are when one or more of your students visits another classroom to practice speaking in English with another teacher’s students for a specified ESL speaking activity.  You can freshen up just about any speaking activity when you incorporate students from a similar level in another class.  But …
Read More about 3 Powerful Reasons to Incorporate Conversational Visits in a Speaking Activity

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Improve English Pronunciation with 4 Strategies to Overcome Strong Accents

Your highly-motivated student is eager to talk and capitalizes on every opportunity to speak. The problem? You can’t understand what she says. Bigger problem? Neither can the rest of your class! Time to tackle English pronunciation challenges! The Otherwise Perfect Student No One Understood “Shimin,” a 19-year-old, started in our lowest level class, but it …
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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 …
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