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Teaching English As a Foreign Language

Updated on May 3, 2011

Teaching strategies for English speakers of other Languages (ESOL) includes teaching grammar along with vocabulary. Understanding the proper use of grammar is important so that students will be able to communicate using the native flow of the English language. Teaching ESOL classes requires preparation, spontaneity and creativity.


Ice Breakers

Step 1

Start the class with an icebreaker activity. Ice breakers help people to get to know each other along with creating a relaxed and positive atmosphere. (1)

Step 2

Use a deck of playing card and have the students pick a card. The value on the card will determine how many things to tell the class about their self.

Step 3

Create a second ice breaker take notes of what the student says about their selves and then create game, like a crossword puzzle, for students to complete in the next class.


Step 1

Create text that has been structure for the grammar being taught. Read the text aloud and have the students listen for understanding. (2)

Step 2

Pass out a worksheet that has the text but with blanks where the key grammar points are.

Step 3

Have the students listen to the text again, this time “listening to notice” by filling in the blanks with the missing words.


Step 1

Make flash cards as effective tools to learn vocabulary. Write the vocabulary word down on an index card in English. (3)

Step 2

Add a picture or write the word in the native language of the student on the other side.

Step 3

Have the students use these cards to reinforce vocabulary words throughout the day such as when they are standing in line, in a waiting room or riding on a bus.

Role Playing

Step 1

Encourage ESOL students to speak in a variety of situation with role playing. Assign roles such as a banker, a grocery cashier, a waiter and a customer. (4)

Step 2

Prepare the students by asking questions about the parts being played like what the role entail and vocabulary terms.

Step 3

Give students time to think of questions and answers before beginning. Always give help when needed and switch the roles around to gives more practice.


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    • dragonflyfla profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from South Florida

      Thanks Carol7777 :-)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      5 years ago from Arizona

      Interesting hub and useful for school teachers. Lots of good solutions and ideas. Voting up and Sharing.

    • dragonflyfla profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from South Florida

      Lampshanliang- you are so right - your mind cannot drift....the students deserve your complete attention! It can be very exhausting.

    • lampshanliang profile image

      Ryan Andrew Peters 

      6 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Teaching English can be a very rewarding career. On the other hand, it can also be incredibly draining role, considering the fact that your mind cannot really drift off. You have to be completely focussed all the time. Love the information you've posted in this article.

    • d.william profile image


      7 years ago from Somewhere in the south

      God bless school teachers. This seems like way too much work for me. Good article. Good suggestions. Very important and appropriate learning tools. dw


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