Anyone who is teaching adult ESL knows the drill: You’ve got maybe 15 minutes to come up with an activity to use in class. Frantically you start searching the internet for something that will engage your students, enhance their knowledge of a concept, and not take a lot of time to prepare. Don’t forget that you’ll be sorting through tons of material made for children. Check your breathing; has it changed already with the stress of this imagined scenario? Mine has just writing about it!
Find it on the internet?
Oh, the perils of relying on internet searches to find what you need in a timely manner! I can remember clicking on link after link thinking, “Yes! This is it!” …only to find the bare outline of an activity that would take a minimum of an hour to set up, more if I wanted it actually to be good and not just slapped together.
How frustrating is it to follow a link that promises to provide just what you need and then only give you 10%? Right now, I’m sitting in the middle of a forest while typing this, and I’ve got a stress pit in my stomach from remembering those times!
What about the ones that give you a rather nice lesson plan with everything laid out…except the activity requires multiple sentences written to target a particular concept, and THOSE AREN’T PROVIDED? Being creative at the drop of a hat while time is ticking away will not lower your heart rate.
Last minute observation announcement!
By the way, someone will observe you in your third-hour class. (You find this out at the end of your first-hour class.) Oh, and this observation? It’s going in your file. Just make sure all the students are actively engaged. Okay, so no pressure, right? *sigh* You’ll just reach into your magic box and pull out the perfect activity. What if that is possible?
Material specifically designed for teaching adult ESL is here!
It’s because of times like these that I try to make sure that my resources for teaching adult ESL involve as little preparation as possible, and ideally, that preparation would have to happen just ONE time. I create with the idea of teachers using any activity again and again. Having as many different types of activities on hand as possible can make an unplanned class period seem inspired, and a formal observation result in glowing remarks in your file.
Read more about teaching adult ESL!
- Adult ESL: Honest Tips From the Trenches
- Two Priceless Adult ESL Teaching Tips to Always Remember
- 6 Important Things to Remember When Discussing Goals with Your Adult ESL Students
- Getting into the Nitty Gritty of Practical English for Adult ESL
Not feeling confident about teaching grammar? Try one of my grammar guides!