Monthly Archives: July 2012

ESL Activities: Breaking the Ice without Breaking a Sweat

Here’s one simple yet effective ESL activity that builds a community among the students. It also allows the mentors to openly gauge the pupils’ English speaking skills. Ideally, it is used for first-time meetings as well as having two groups or classes interact with each other for a wider scope of language exercises.

To start off, divide the class into pairs of two. Have each of the students pair off with another person to whom they aren’t familiar or have not met before. Instruct them that for the next 10 minutes, they have to get to know about the other person and vice versa. Take note that they should only use English in both asking and answering questions.

After the allotted 10 minutes, each couple should stand and take turns introducing each other with whatever information they have learned from the interview portion. For bigger classes of more than 20 students, cluster the pupils into 3 pairs or 6 students in each group to keep the activity short and meaningful.

For beginners and for the younger pupils, the teacher can provide the class with a couple of questions to get the conversation going in between the partners. Kids can be asked to share their favorite English joke or riddle while those young-at-heart can talk about their favorite English movie, song, or novel.

With the activity, the teacher can get a clearer assessment of each student’s communication skills as well as each one’s own personality. The proceeding lessons and ESL activities can be tailored to suit the class’ own level and pace, making the classes more effective.

The students also get to bond with their fellow learners, getting a more comfortable atmosphere inside the classroom. Not only do they get to practice their English-speaking skills but they also get their ears accustomed to the new language. The activity also leaves them with lesser room for shyness and awkwardness, as they each get to hear how their own classmates communicate in English.

As with any other ESL activity, this can be modified and customized to fit various classroom scenarios. Have the students report in pairs right after a film showing or a field trip; start clustered discussion groups about a controversial news article. Increasing the interaction among other class members help in making the pupils more comfortable in speaking English as well as in listening to English.

How to Deliver a Highly Effective Speech


Many people around the world have trouble with public speaking because they do not understand what they have to do to become a good public speaker. There are various self-help gurus who try to cash in on these people who do not understand public speaking, but there are actually just a few simple tips that you need to remember when you practice speaking. As long as you practice your speaking skills on a regular basis, you should be able to deliver a stellar speech much sooner than you would have expected.

One of the main things that you need to remember when you practice speaking is that how you practice is going to affect how well you can speak publicly at the end of the day. This means that you will need to understand the keys of public speaking before you can even start to practice your speaking skills at home. As long as you keep these tips in your head while you practice, you should be able to improve your overall speaking skills over time.

First of all, good posture is a key element to delivering a good speech. Your audience is going to respect you much more if you stand up straight and at least act like what you are saying is important. In addition to standing up straight, you also need to make sure that you are making eye contact with the audience. Instead of staring blanking out into the crowd of people, try to make eye contact with as many of them as possible. Thirdly, facial expressions can help you drive a point home. If you are talking about something serious, then you cannot be cracking a smile every now and then because you are nervous.

Although some people will tell you that certain gestures can have a positive impact on your speech, you don’t want to go overboard. When you practice speaking in the mirror, make sure that you are not moving around too much and taking the audience’s attention away from what you are actually saying. Another thing that can take away the audience’s attention is if you continually use an upward inflection and talk with a lot of filler words. These are two problems that almost everyone has to deal with when they are giving a speech for the first time. You also do not want to apologize very often during your speech because it will make you seem like less of an authority figure. The last thing you need to remember when you practice speaking is that you need to use simple language.

As long as you use these guidelines while you practice speaking, you should be able to improve your speaking skills quite quickly. Try to practice your speech on a daily basis because that kind of repetition will make it much easier to relax when you are actually giving the speech for the first time. All you need to do to give a solid speech is prepare with as much practice as possible, and then everything else will fall into place.