Lesson 10 - Tutoring English Language Learners Illinois State Library

English as a Second Language (ESL): More Learning Activities and ESL Resources

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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.

Following Directions
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:

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.