Getting an online TESOL certificate can open up a whole new world of teaching opportunities. However, all that great training will be for naught if you struggle to come up with appropriate games and activities for your students. Thankfully, these simple and effective ESL games should be easy enough for first time teachers like you to implement.
Consonants: Vowel-Free Shorthand
Consonants are the backbone of the English language: in fact, studies have shown that people can read sentences made of consonants and no vowels. Try this activity out with your ESL students to help them think about words in a brand new way.
Write a simple sentence on the board, such as “Let’s all go to the fair today” and read it out loud with your students. Now, erase it and rewrite it on the board without vowels: “Lt’s ll g t th fr tdy.” Your students will be shocked at how easy it is to read and understand the sentence.
Vowels: Riding the Roller Coaster
Understanding vowel pronunciation can drive new English speakers mad. However, you can turn this annoying process into a wild classroom activity by giving your students the chance to verbally act out their excitement when riding a roller coaster.
Start by putting up a common consonant and vowel combination, such as “so” and variations on it, such as “sow, sore, solo” etc. Pronounce each, but elongate the difficult vowel, as if you’re riding up and down on a roller coaster. Encourage your students to play along and soon they’ll have mastered these pronunciation variations.
Contrasts: Two Truths and a Lie
Contrasts can be a tricky concept for new English speakers. There are so many different ways to compare information and items in English that your ESL students may feel lost or confused. One of the easiest ways to help them break through this barrier is to connect the concept of contrasts to their personal lives.
Ask your students to think of two truths about themselves and contrast it with a lie. Start by performing the activity yourself and make the contrasts pretty severe. For example, your truths could be “I am an English teacher” and “I am a female.” Your lie could be “I am a man” or something similar.
Speaking Skills: Waiting it Out
Getting your students the confidence to speak English fluently can be frustrating, but you can take advantage of something called “wait-time” to help your students master their verbal English. Start by asking them a simple question in class and waiting for them to answer.
Waiting is the key skill here: studies have shown that teachers wait only 0.7 to 1.4 seconds of a student to respond before explaining the answer. However, if you simply refuse to answer the question, the power of silence and waiting should forces the student to create an answer and expand their verbal skills. Let your students know about this activity before implementing it.
These basic ESL games are a great head start towards a successful TESOL career. However, if you’re still uncertain if you even want to get TESOL certified, it may be worth taking to an online TESOL certification expert to decide if it’s a career choice that’s right for you.Read More