Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Describing Houses with ESL Students

It's always fun and interesting teaching your ESL students how to talk about houses. There are just so many possibilities for what to do. One way to start is to introduce a place you have lived. If you are working on the other side of the world (like me), then this glimpse into your own culture will be exciting for the students.

So I like to start by showing a photo of my parents' house, and then talk a little about it. I talk very slowly and put emphasis on any vocabulary I will highlight later - livingroom, bedroom, etc.

After that, I like to teach this house vocabulary PPT:

The house vocabulary from joseklo

I usually make my own vocabulary PPTs but this one is just too perfect to change. It's so packed full of useful words that I certainly wouldn't add anything else, and instead would only maybe remove an item here or there for lower-level students, or to speed things up.

In this sort of class, I like to show a video, too. One fun thing to do is to show clips from MTV Cribs. If you can find them on YouTube, that works very well. I also like using professionally made realtor videos where they show off houses for sale. Typically these are pretty easy to follow and if your students come from a different culture, it will be a very surprising and interesting insight into another world.

In the past, I've used this one:

After that, you'll want to have your students describe the house, or describe their own house, depending on their abilities. If they're quite low-level you'll probably be best having them just point out the rooms and features they saw in the video. If they're higher-level, you can have them use it as a model to present their own house for sale.