Thursday, 6 July 2017

More IELTS Writing Activities

Take a look at my website, for some great IELTS Writing lessons you can use for free with your own students.

Yesterday I posted a new gap-fill activity to help students work on their IELTS Writing Task 1.

Saturday, 17 June 2017

IELTS Lesson Ideas

Recently I have been mostly teaching my students IELTS skills. Therefore, most of my teaching materials have been posted at my IELTS blog instead of here, which I reserve for more general ESL stuff. If you want to get some cool IELTS teaching material, check out my other website. 

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Teaching Creative Writing to ESL Students

You might be wondering, "Is it a good idea to teach creative writing to ESL students?" After all, many of them are studying English for academic or business purposes. If you're teaching at a university like me, your students want to know how to get a high score in the IELTS exam or how to use business English well enough to get a good job.

Is creative writing worthwhile for ESL students? In my opinion, yes. It may not seem like it has much real world value, but it's a fun and engaging way to impart some valuable lessons to your students. Doing creative writing allows them to work on grammar, punctuation, spelling, tenses, structure, functions, and much more. What's more, it's exciting compared with writing IELTS essays and business reports. I always have great fun with my students in our creative writing classes.

The PPT below outlines what creative writing is and why it's useful for ESL students. It also contains a great activity for your students that requires little to no set-up time and can fill an hour long class easily.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Talking About Ocean Conservation

I absolutely love the sea, and I care deeply about conservation, so whenever I get the chance to teach an ESL class about either of these topics, I throw my heart and soul into it. Particularly in China, there is little education about ocean conservation, and so I feel it makes a difference not just in a student's English level, but in raising awareness over a hugely important issue.

I'm going to attach my lesson as a Word document and a PowerPoint presentation. It's all pretty self-explanatory. It also follows a fairly straightforward methodology that you will have seen in my other lessons. I begin with a discussion to raise interest, and then move into a PPT that pre-teaches some blocking vocabulary from the following listening exercise. The listening exercises are different to what I usually do because I wanted my students focused on an overall idea. Thus, I look in detail at the introduction.

It's all based on this TED Talk by Brian Skerry. If you like this lesson, you'll probably get a kick out of my other website, which teaches IELTS skills by using TED Talks.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Teaching Paraphrasing Skills for ESL

Yesterday morning I gave my students a lesson on paraphrasing. Right now they're learning how to do the IELTS Writing Exam and paraphrasing is an important element. So I made this PPT, which allows for plenty of in-class practice. You could probably adapt it to be printed with more success, but my school doesn't allow printing anymore. <angryface>

Monday, 15 May 2017

Race/ Racism/ Racial - Vocabulary Lesson

Here's a PPT I made to teach your students some key vocabulary for talking about race. It can be a tricky topic to tackle, but armed with the right language points, your students will be able to speaking more freely.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Teaching Profanity to ESL Students

To swear or not to swear... that's a difficult question. I've sworn in front of my students, but only quietly to myself after dropping something. I also taught them how to *not* say "shit" when instead they intend to say "sheet."

Should you teach your students bad words? Well, that depends entirely on you, your students, and your employer. It's also a big no-no in many cultures. However, I have put together a lesson on profanity that doesn't actually teach any swear words - it just tells students when they should and shouldn't use them.

I use this PPT and then follow up with various parts of this lesson from Breaking News English, with my own discussion questions thrown in. When using material from that website, I like to do the T/F and comprehension questions, as well as sometimes the vocab material.