5 Minutes Prep - 2 Hour Interactive Lesson!
Not all countries celebrate Father's Day (or even Mother's Day) so it's a nice tradition to teach students about. If you have adult students, even if they don't plan to celebrate, they may be surprised to get a card their son or daughter has made in elementary school.
Who says you can't teach about Earth Day in low beginner ESL? Earth Day is a great time to discuss things we can do to live a more sustainable lifestyle and to practice simple "Do you" questions with low beginner students.
Making your study of Canada for beginner and intermediate ESL come alive is easy with the use of some supplemental materials, like pictures, video and songs. Over the years I have collected about 15 images per province or territory from free Canada calendars, depicting such things as wheat fields, fishing villages, salmon, Douglas Fir trees and igloos that perfectly illustrate aspects of the jigsaws in Callan’s Beginner Canada Jigsaws or Callan’s Canada Jigsaws. I also like to use the video Destination Canada, found in most tourist shops. I show the section of the video related to a given province or territory, either with the sound off and my own narration for lower levels or with the sound on for higher levels.
If you have been off for the summer or part of it, soon it will be time to return to classes. Maybe you are thinking about decorating your classroom. Why not give it a makeover with some affirmations? Our subconscious mind is bombarded with so many messages throughout the day, many of them negative. Affirmations give your subconscious mind new more positive messages to believe in. They literally re-program the mind.
Many new immigrants answer the phone in their own language. A Korean immigrant might answer, "Yabusayo?" A Chinese immigrant might answer, "Wei?" Often their thinking is that most people who call them speak their language anyway and those who don't will understand that they are simply answering in their own language.
Summer is the natural time for a unit on leisure. This unit is suitable for ESL or EFL students of all levels and has many opportunities for fieldtrips. Low beginners can learn the names of activites and practice "can" and "can't". "I can dance." "I can't dance." Higher level students can practice the intricate soft skills required to politely navigate invitations, both in speaking and in writing. Email is an obvious medium for invitations.
When choosing a jigsaw that is appropriate for the level of your class, it’s important to remember that jigsaws are not passive reading exercises. These four skills lessons require the students to not only read their part, but to teach it to their classmates. Pronunciation and listening skills are key.
As tax season approaches, we often teach a unit on money. With low beginners, I structure my unit around learning numbers, counting, asking and saying prices, the names of bills and coins, and finally the task of asking for change. I've put together some exercises for Canadian and American teachers on asking for change.
Discussion of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms can make for an interesting lesson in an intermediate ESL class. Students often assume freedom of expression is the right to say anything about any person or about the government. Here’s where you can let them know about libel laws and Canada’s Hate Speech Laws. Unlike the United States, the Criminal Code of Canada prevents “hate propaganda”. Is this a good thing? Why do we have those laws?
In adult immigrant ESL classes, within a health unit, many teachers touch on the subject of dental care. I highly recommend a visit to an actual dentist’s office, if you can arrange it. My dentist Dr. Marcy Schwartzman was kind enough to allow a visit to her dental clinic for my intermediate ESL students, many of whom had never been to a dentist in their lives.