As an educator who has always been prepared for class, you might wonder how zero prep activities and worksheets for adult ESL learners could be of any help to you. No matter how prepared you are, glitches can still arise with workplace computers, copiers, and the like. These ideas will help you to move quickly on your feet, improvise and provide your students with valuable ESL lessons and activities.
Before you go into panic mode, think about what you have lying around the classroom. Chances are, you have a variety of learning materials that you could use. For example:
Don't stop with what you find in your classroom. You might even have some newspapers, magazines, or other materials sitting in your car that could be of assistance.
Once you have determined what materials you have to use around you, figure out how to turn them into educational lessons and activities.
These are some ideas that will help you to get started with your on-the-spot lesson planning for the day.
Part of learning the English language is being able to understand what people are saying. You can choose a selection from a book, magazine or flyer and read to the students, and have them take down what you are saying.
If no source material is available, you could recite a favorite poem of yours or a piece of a short story. This listening and writing activity can also help improve their spelling.
Understanding English is a major component of learning the language, so is being able to communicate in it.
Select a discussion topic that the class has not worked on before and get everyone talking. Here's how:
By working in both small and large group discussions the ESL student can increase both their vocabulary and their confidence.
No matter what type of reading material you have, it can serve as a valuable tool in teaching your ESL students. For example, if your students have pens and paper you could:
Recalling a list containing dozens of vocabulary words off the top of your head can be difficult. However, if you do remember them all or have them recorded as a word list on YourDictionary, you can:
View the Zero Prep Activity Sheet for the Teacher above for an activity on Vocabulary Building.
As long as your students have been working hard since the term started, then there's nothing wrong with taking some time out for fun. Of course, you want to incorporate vocabulary, grammar, and questions about the English language into the games.
If your class has recently read a story or if you read your class a story, then the door is open for some reading comprehension activities. You can put questions on the board about:
Once the questions are on the board, ask students to write responses to them. They could be asked to share the responses with the class, or you might collect them at the end.
You can always allow the students to guide the discussion. This works particularly well with high school and adult ESL students because they are often more eager to ask questions than younger students.
Let them ask you whatever they want about the English language. However, remember, you need to be prepared to answer any type of question, so you'll have to be on your toes.
Need ideas? Here's an activity plan to follow for questions to ask.
Essentially, many of these zero prep activities require you to stay super alert to your surroundings and their potential; but, these activities can really present some wonderful teaching opportunities.