ILLINOIS STATE LIBRARY
Lesson 10 - Tutoring English Language Learners
English as a Second Language (ESL): More Learning Activities and ESL Resources
Page 4 of 5
Comic Strip Add-A-Frame
The tutor and learner take turns reading comic strips aloud. At the end of each reading, the listener should try to predict what might happen if another frame were to be added to the comic strip. The learners may also clip the comic strips they worked with and mount them on construction paper. Then they draw in the additional frame that they created. This activity builds listening comprehension.
This is another activity that builds listening comprehension. Using a newspaper, the tutor reads directions while the learner listens carefully and marks their newspapers according to the instructions. Examples of what the tutor could ask the learners to do are:
- Circle the capital Rs on the front page.
- Put a check mark by the date of the newspaper.
- Underline the name of the reporter.
Exploring Other Cultures
This is an activity that enhances the learner's comfort level with a variety of cultures. Newspaper advertisements and entertainment sections often reveal that there are many people from other lands who have come to this country to live. They provide us with an opportunity to discover new foods, traditions, art, and entertainment. Look through the newspaper to find opportunities to discuss other cultures.
Similar and Different
Watch the newspaper for articles or explore the Internet for information about how holidays are celebrated in this country. Talk with learners about which holidays celebrated here are similar to those celebrated in their countries of origin. Discuss any holidays that are quite different from those of their countries of origin. Again, this activity increases their comfort level with the U.S. culture.
Listen to the Music
Folk songs and music are great resources to use when teaching vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar. The rhythm of the music often assists learners in pronunciation and remembering how sounds and syllables work together. Use a CD or tape player and a CD or tape of songs with repetitive lines and rhythms. Some examples might be "Row, Row, Row Your Boat, " "Clementine," or "She'll be Comin' Round the Mountain When She Comes."
For more advanced learners, try popular American music. Make sure it is slow and understandable enough so learners can hear and make sense of the words. Many rock, country, and rap songs offer excellent opportunities for learning vocabulary. The grammar and/or pronunciation is sometimes unconventional, so be prepared to address this issue.
Use games such as charades and Pictionary to help build comprehension and conversation skills. Role play the situations they will face in their real lives.
Online Resources for ESL Tutors
There are numerous websites you may go to in order to get additional strategies and assistance for your lessons with ESL learners. Here are some Web sites you may find helpful as you work to plan lessons for your ESL learners.
- Activities for ESL Students
Quizzes, tests, exercises and puzzles for ESL learners.
- The Adult Learning and Resource Center ESL and EL Civics
The Illinois based Adult Learning Resource Center provides English as a second language workshops and programs for teachers and volunteers online and around the state.
- Adult Literacy Education (ALE) Wiki
The ALE Wiki is a community of practice with links to research for practitioners, researchers, learners and others.
- Bright Ideas - ESL for Elders
A project of the Coalition of Limited English Speaking Elderly, this Web site builds on and extends practical research in how adults best learn English and how programs can implement promising practices. Products related to the project include learning materials for students, tips for teachers, and assorted papers of use to teachers, policy makers, and other researchers in the field.
- Center for Adult English Language Acquisition (CAELA)
The CAELA Resource Collection provides an extensive list of resources that can help teachers who are working with beginning- or literacy-level adult English language learners or in multilevel classes, including:
- Bringing Literacy to Life. Heide Spruck Wrigley and Gloria J. A Guth, Aguirre. International for the U.S. Dpeartment of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), 1992 (2000).
- The Practitioner Toolkit: Working with Adult English Language Learners. National Center for Family Literacy and The National Center for ESL Literacy Education at the Center for Applied Linguistics, 2008.
- Working with Literacy-Level Adult English Language Learners. MaryAnn Cunningham Florez and Lynda Terrill. ERIC Q & A, 2003.
- Colorado Department of Education – Adult and Family Literacy
This site provides a wide variety of resources to use with ESL learners.
- ESL Cyber Listening Lab
Real audio resource for beginning, intermediate and advanced learners.
- ESL: English Study and Learning Materials! Gold
ESLgold.net provides over a thousand pages of free information and resources for both teachers and students.
- ESL New Teacher Resource Guide
Designed to introduce teachers to the most important aspects of teaching adult ESL in California; however, the information is relevant elsewhere.
- Focus on Basics
Focus on Basics is the quarterly publication of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy. It presents best practices, current research on adult learning and literacy, and how research is used by adult basic education teachers, counselors, program administrators, and policy makers. The publication is copyrighted. However, they " ... urge readers to photocopy and circulate the publication widely." When reprinting the articles, please credit Focus on Basics and the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy.
- Hands-on English
Hands-on English is a 16-page print publication mailed six times a year with practical teaching ideas, hints and tips, and copyable activities for the classroom. All their back issues available for purchase for $7.00 each. In addition, you can read their free article 40 Helpful Hints and Tips for Making Your ESL Teaching Easier and More Fun.
- The Internet Picture Dictionary
The Internet Picture Dictionary is a multilingual picture dictionary designed especially for ESL students and beginning English, French, German, Spanish and Italian language learners of all ages.
- Purdue Online Writing Lab - ESL Instructors and Students
English as a Second Language (ESL) resources for ESL instructors, tutors and students.
- What are some major problems that ESL learners have with grammar?
Written by C. Ray Graham and Mark M. Walsh of Texas A&I University in Kingsville, Texas, this article assists in anticipating grammar difficulties English language learners commonly experience.
- Working with Adult English Language Learners with Limited Literacy. Miriam Burt, Joy Kreeft Peyton, and Kirsten Schaetzel. Center for Applied Linguistics, July 2008. This brief was written to ensure those who work with adult English language learners with limited literacy have the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively to address the literacy needs of adult English language learners.