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ESL activities for a fun second language learning experience

Do you know of any fun ESL learning activities to use in your classroom?

ESL or English as a Second Language is taught in many language learning schools. New learners might feel that they are forced to cope with much more than they had bargained for. However, English can be learned effectively through lots of interesting activities. These are suitable for all ESL classrooms and learners at different language learning stages. ESL activities for the classroom could include games based around vocabulary, grammar, short writing, and situational conversation.

ESL games for learners of all levels

There are many fun activities to develop beginner language skills. Learners might be asked to recognize common signals and signs used in hotels or on the road, and use them in English. In groups of four, they might be put into roles of traffic sergeants and vehicle owners. Each sergeant is to manage a particular traffic intersection, and put up signals in the target language. Others are to ask them for directions or what the signs and symbols mean. This is a multipurpose game and helps develop reading, listening, and speaking skills. In another game, learners could be asked to talk about their favorite food. They could write short notes on it and read out from their neighbor’s write ups.

Vocabulary activities for the ESL classroom

There are various ways a trainer can help learners expand their second language vocabulary. They could be involved in word gap filling activities. They could be asked to choose between multiple options for descriptive questions.  For instance, learners could choose among ‘pants’, ‘skirts’ and ‘shirts’ for a question about something which is ‘long, has two legs, and worn above shoes. Word relationship exercises about the days of a week, the human body, professions, seasons, and other things are also great options. These and such other ESL activities are great for both intermediate and advanced users and could also be tried for beginners.

Conversation and activities promoting all language skills

Most activities work best when they combine two or more language skills. One way to do so is to talk about the learner’s special abilities. It is certain that each learner has a special quality. One might be good at singing while another might be an amateur chef. When learners talk about their own special abilities, it gives them a lot of confidence to interact with others and the trainer. They not only develop speaking skills but also expand their vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and public speaking abilities.

Trainers can manage their classes better when they include fun ESL activities. These retain learner interest better and help them overcome language deficiencies sooner.

What is your favorite fun ESL learning activity?


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