EFL Activity: Battleships!

Developing EFL activities for the English Language classroom is a big part of teaching English. I’ve found classic childhood games to be a great source of inspiration. One example of a classic game turned EFL activity is Battleships! The Rules Battleships is a two player game. Each player has an identical grid onto which they…

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Using Pop Culture in the EFL Classroom

One of the things I’ve discovered while teaching English as a foreign language is that students want to tell me things. They want to know if I’ve heard the latest song by so-and-so or watched that new movie starring whats-his-face or seen whos-ya-father on the whatchamajiga show. I quickly realised the obvious: kids are far…

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ESL Activity: Mind Maps

When teaching English as a foreign language I’ve often found it useful to get the students to generate their own ideas. There is many an ESL activity to get the mental cogs turning and one such activity is Mind Maps. When? Then! Teach. In Japanese High Schools I’ve found lessons to be most effective when they contain a solid…

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ELT In A Special Needs Class

English Language Teaching, or ELT, in a Special Needs class can be a drastically different experience from an English Teacher’s regular classes. Trying to communicate with someone in a foreign language whilst also being sensitive and aware of any other issues they may have is a challenge that I worried about a lot before my…

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ESL Activty: The Envelope Game for Junior High/High School

Before exam time schools often ask their resident ESL instructor to teach a review lesson. Going over previously taught content and structure can be a little dull. I’ve done more than one review lesson which were nothing more than a series of simplistic writing drills echoing the structure found in many traditional written tests. This might…

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When a Christmas Activity Goes Sour

This is a quick post as this event just happened and I wanted to get it down while it’s still on my mind. There are times in the classroom when things do not go smoothly; where they don’t go as the teacher expected. Often these things are unpredictable but other times a drop of consideration…

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Activity: Word Trees

There are many sounds in the English syllabary that ESL students struggle with. Sounds like the ‘th’ in “this” or the ‘v’ in “va-va-voom” just don’t exist in some other languages and many students struggle to contort their mouths into the right shapes. So what can the ever-resourceful ESL teacher do to support their flagging…

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The Halloween Lesson

ESL Lesson topics are often chosen based on the time of year. So students might spend some time discussing what they plan to do in Summer or what Christmas presents they’re going to buy. One of the most popular themes is Halloween. There are , here are just a few thoughts for a Halloween lesson. Short Activities…

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Teaching With A Topic

Memory plays a big part in learning. After all, what’s the point in spending all day studying something just to forget it all the next day? There are many ways to help retention. For example, I used to use a specific incense stick every time I revised for an exam, then in the test I…

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When There’s Nothing To Do

Not all of the time a teacher spends at school is occupied with actual teaching. For many foreign teachers a majority of their in-school hours are taken up with tedious desk-sitting. This is the ideal time to prepare for future classes, and that’s what most Japanese teachers and private company supervisors expect. However, what does…

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