Try This Game
In your next ESL speaking class, have your students practice more natural conversation with this fun game that will get them speaking, listening to their partner, and responding.
How it works:
1. Break the students up into pairs or groups of three (or more depending on your way of doing it)
2. Give them a general topic to ask a question about. (ex. What they did last weekend. A movie they've seen recently. Etc)
3. The students are to ask their partner a question and their partner answers.
4. The partner then asks a question based on their answer to continue the conversation moving.
5. The game goes back and forth until one person can't think of anything else to ask or time runs out.
Demonstrate - You should demonstrate the activity first by eliciting responses from the class.
Props - Props always help, even if it's just a tennis themed photo on the screen or bring in tennis balls (the second one could get a little out of hand, so be careful)
Countdowns - Countdowns are always your friend to put a bit of pressure on your students to go when it's their turn. Use this to award points.
Easter Egg Lessons:
Community - The students will eventually learn something new about each other you do this often enough.
Conversation Skills - They will build a better feel for how a smooth conversation works which will help them in their own language.
What else can you find?
Whether you're a beginner teacher or an experienced professional, the main thing that we should be looking to do in our EFL classes is to provide value. Especially if our students are paying us a decent price for our lessons. How can we provide maximum value to our adult students?
One way is to provide extra work for them to do on their own. This doesn't have to be extra work for you, and it doesn't have to be annoying work for the student.
How it works
If you click on the Superstar Students tab at the top, you'll see a checklist of tasks you can give your students to have small tasks to do in their daily lives, you'll also see a listening and reading worksheet for the students to grasp the content that they are taking in and give them opportunity to review expressions they knew as well as learn new expressions from their listening or reading piece.
Things they do anyway
"Assigning extra work doesn't have to be a task. Watch something you genuinely enjoy."
When you assign extra work for your students, make it as stress-free as possible. One way is to remind them that anything they enjoy reading, watching, or listening to in their own language probably has an equivalent thing in English. Give them a reminder to do these things in English and give them the worksheets above to give them some guidelines as they're watching.
The important thing is that they are taking in things they genuinely want to hear or learn about. If the desire doesn't come from inside, it really won't be very effective in the end.
Use the Material - Use these materials (including the worksheets) in your private lessons and the students will get to reinforce and check their expressions. Practice them together.
Adults Need A Little Push, Too - Just because your student is a working professional, doesn't mean that they will automatically do your homework. Give them small assignments and tasks to do as homework even if it's just to be regular contact with English. Consistency is Key.
Easter Egg Lessons:
Motivation - Our objective should be to provide intrinsic motivation.
Other Lessons - By looking at interesting articles or watching interesting videos, students will learn new things PLUS they will be learning it in English.
What else can you find?
We've come to the realization in language learning that using genuine material that interests us in the best way to truly learn a foreign language.
Listening to fake conversations for exams has its purpose, I guess, but they are not going to teach your students anything about business. Maybe you don't know much about business yourself and the idea of teaching business English intimidates you a bit. No worries!
Apply this worksheet to the videos from the channels below. Your professional students will appreciate it! Enjoy and benefit from these!
How to study with them
7. Charisma on Command
Ok, this may not be a "business channel", but it is a great resource to learn how to communicate better. They give tips and advice on topics like- starting small talk, dos and don'ts in social situations, using body language effectively, and tricks to add to your sense of humor- to name a few.
These will be useful in business if you have business meetings, dinners, you have to meet with clients, and any social situation you may find.
One thing to keep in mind, they do talk a bit fast. If you're using this for class, you may have to slow the video down or play it several times to catch some of the details.
The target audience for this channel is web designers and professional development for starting your own web design business. He shows his process in designing a professional quality website, gives business tips and strategy, and he goes through case studies of his and others work.
This will be useful for creatives and entrepreneurs who want to learn tips and practical vocabulary in the web design or graphic design field.
One thing to keep in mind, he also talks a bit fast. Also English is his second language, but he doesn't really hav an accent, but it may be a challenge for some students. If you're using this for class, you may have to slow the video down or play it several times to catch some of the details.
5. Tim Ferriss
The author of The Four-Hour Work Week has a YouTube channel where he discusses his strategies and ideas to improve productivity in our businesses and lives. He also interviews important guests in their fields to get their top advice for running a business.
This will be useful for creatives, people who create start-ups, CEOs, and anyone who wants to be more productive in their lives.
One thing to keep in mind, he and his guests shares a lot of technical vocabulary that aren't used everyday (for example "batching"). However, he explains them well.
I don't know if you've ever heard of this new TED Talk thing, but let me break it down for you. You can find an expert speaker giving a talk about... oh, you already know about TED Talks? Well, they are a perfect tool for blue belt+ (intermediate or higher) learners to learn about something and practice their English listening. Why aren't you using them more often in your lessons?
This will be useful for students who want to learn about most any topic.
One thing to keep in mind, the topics of TED Talks can quite literally be about anything, so it can be hard to narrow down a search when you want to sit down and practice listening.
3. Silicon Valley Girl
Business isn't a man's world anymore. If you or your students want some content that gives advice, business ideas, or lifestyle videos from a woman's perspective, assign something from Silicon Valley Girl. She speaks clearly, her videos aren't terribly long, and she gives plenty of actionable tips. Her channel also has a bit of variety as well, which could be helpful for some students.
This will be useful for small business owners, start-ups, entrepreneurs, and girls who need a bit of female inspiration.
Another useful thing about her channel is, it seems that she had either taught English abroad or has had some hand in the EFL world because she has been a part of several language-learning start-ups as you will see in the video below. She naturally speaks slowly and clearly which makes it easy to follow what she's saying.
2. Salesman Podcast
Do you want to make deals, increase sales, know when and how to call people, and close deals? The host, Will Barron, interviews a variety of guests on his show and digs deep into the world of business. If you follow the worksheet above, you will get plenty of gold expressions and content.
This will be useful for people who want English for sales, business strategy, or any kind of business venture.
One thing to keep in mind, he has plenty of guests and some English learners may have a hard time with some accents and speeds of talking. The shows are also long, so lessons or sessions may need to be broken up in bite-size pieces.
1. The Futur
This is personally my favorite business channel to follow. I watch something from The Futur every week, if not daily whether on YouTube or Instagram. If you follow the More Than English Podcast on YouTube, you'll see some familiar styles borrowed from The Futur. If anybody is in the field of creating things and trying to turn it into a business, follow The Futur.
This will be useful for any and all creatives, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and more specifically graphic designers. Students who want to learn clear, useful, and targeted vocabulary and expressions that they can apply to growing their business.
One thing to keep in mind, there are many different types of videos on this channel. Some videos are long and some are short, some have music in the background and some are just conversations. Taking short excerpts from the longer shows and accompanying it with the listening exercises above, could make for some very valuable language lessons for business English learners.
Slow the video - Some of these videos may talk a bit fast for you or your students to catch some things. A simple solution is to click on the gear button and you can change the speed to play faster or slower.
Break up longer sessions - Some of the videos on these channels are longer. A teacher or tutor will want to break them up into bite-size sessions of 4-8 minutes depending on the level of the student and the content being discussed.
Easter Egg Lessons
Content - The students learn real life expressions in context while learning content to help them in the real business world instead of isolated expressions.
What else can you find?
This lesson will be using the Ted Talk by Simon Sinek called How Great Leaders Inspire Action. (Video below).
AGE & LEVEL: Advanced Adult Learners and Professional Classes
Lesson Focus: Concept Listening and Responding
Why do you think people follow certain people? Who inspires you?
Listening: Listen to the talk and answer the questions
1. What three examples does the speaker give of good leadership?
2. In the “Golden Circle”, what does he mean by WHY?
3. FINISH THE SENTENCE:
“People don’t buy what you do, _______________________________.”
4. According to Sinek, all of his information is rooted in psychology/biology. How?
5. The goal isn’t to do business with everybody who needs what you have, the goal is to do business with people who _______________________________________________.
6. Samuel Pierpont Langley had education, funding, and support. How do we know that he just wanted fame and fortune?
7.a. Law of diffusion of innovation:
8. What examples did the speaker give on good and bad examples of Law of diffusion of innovation?
Good (Success) Bad (Failure)
3. What or who inspires you? Write their names and a few words about why.
If you're working with business or professional English, this interview is fantastic to work through in a series of lessons.
I would probably go over a bit of who Chris Voss is and his background. This would interesting to learn about and make the interview more meaningful.
Who and Why?
This would be perfect for adults or students looking for professional or business English.
This could be used for many lessons that are more than just English. For example:
We learn best with things that are interesting to us.
Pre-Teach and Background
Background information about Chris Voss. Here is a link to his bio in his company's website The Black Swan Group. Knowing information about the author/speaker will give more meaning to the video to the students.
Information and Vocabulary to highlight and/or pre-teach:
Split the difference -
High-stakes negotiations -
The lead (adj) -
Prior to... -
... on such cases as... -
Hostage (n) -
Tenure (n) -
Listen and Discuss
Listen and discuss what you heard in the video. I suggest you break it up in 3 or 4 different classes (or parts).
VIDEO PART ONE: 0:00-11:44
I. Comprehension Questions: Watch the video and then answer the following questions based on what you hear.
II. Vocabulary:Match the words with the meanings and then fill in the blanks for the sentences from the video.
____ 1. A follow-up a. a strong reaction based on emotion
____ 2. Jump into b. a specific warning before information
____ 3. Caveat c. instinctual
____ 4. Predicated d. founded or based on something
____ 5. To tap into something e. to reach something on a deeper level
____ 6. Innately f. to start something immediately
____ 7. Visceral g. something that comes after a thing
ANSWERS I:Comprehension Questions
ANSWERS II: Vocabulary
1.G 2.F 3. B 4.D 5.E 6.C 7.A
a.tap into itb. a follow up of c. caveat d.innately e.jump intof. predicated on g.visceral
If you'd like a worksheet to bring to your students, I'll see you on Patreon. If not, feel free to copy and paste the information above onto a document.
Have more time.