Lessons & Classroom Games for Teachers

ESL Exercises for Beginners
By:Lissa J

ESL, or English as a Second Language, is an important subject for some students all over the world. You may encounter many different levels of ESL students in your classroom, and Patty Middleton, an ESL teacher with a degree in ESL from Hamline University in St. Paul, shares several strategies for making sure that you have quality exercises for ESL beginners.

Create exercises for basics based around one of the most fundamental aspects of language, which is learning how to say hello and introduce yourself to others. Middleton says that introductory exercises are important because they foster a community for your students and also provide you with chances to have those students explore a different language. Have students introduce themselves to other students, using important vocabulary word phrases like "hello, how are you" and "pleased to meet you." This is going to be the basic of conversation for students, so have them learn it early.

Create different introduction exercises as beginners learn more information and vocabulary. Have students take on different roles and use correct vocabulary such as a customer and a waiter when learning food terminology. Students can also use other travel words, student-teacher words and medical terms, as they role play with other students and learn more about English in general.

Have ESL students begin their journey into English by keeping journals and writing about their experiences. Journals are helpful places to keep vocabulary words that they want to remember and good opportunities to write down questions that they hope to have answered in the next class period. Encourage students to keep journals both in and out of class. As students continue to keep journals, they will learn more about their own vocab and how to use it. You can also collect journals from time to time, suggests Middleton, so you can get an idea of how the students' reading and comprehension skills are coming along.

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