Author Archive | susanverner

Guide Your Students to Success with These 50 ESL Writing Prompts

Ever find yourself staring at a blank page for extended periods of time? We all do, even the most experienced writers. But for many ESL students, the dreaded blank page isn’t just intimidating—it’s immobilizing. After all, they’re working in …

Speak Easy: 7 ESL Icebreakers to Get Your Students Talking

Many of us have seen over-used or boring icebreakers fall flat, whether leading them or enduring them during conferences or training sessions. But don’t let bad experiences with icebreakers turn you off to them altogether! There are actually fun, effective …

Use Blogs in Your ESL Class and Join the Blogosphere!

What do the words photobomb, binge-watch, throw shade, face-palm, NSFW and trainwreck have in common? No, I’m not talking about the movie “The Hangover” or your students’ stories about their crazy weekends. These are …

5 Computer-friendly Ways to Upgrade Your ESL Classroom

Do you ever feel like your classroom is more like one from “The Flintstones” than “The Jetsons”? Are you ready to leave the Stone Age? For many of us who are teaching today, we learned how to teach in the …

4 Awesome ESL Topics for Teenagers

My high school years were the best years of my entire life. I would do anything if I could live them again. My high school years were the worst years of my entire life. You couldn’t pay me a million …

6 Essential Ideas for Teaching English Creatively

I’m not much of a fancy coffee drinker. A little sugar and cream is generally all I need to be happily caffeinated. But on a recent road trip I splurged. I got a very large, very chocolatey frozen coffee concoction …

6 Dazzling Movies for ESL Students with 12 Targeted Activities

Reading, writing and ‘rithmetic might traditionally go together. And of course there’s that other great combo for the ESL classroom—movies and books. In native speaking classrooms, many teachers start with students reading a book and then …

5 ESL Activities for Teaching Students About Presidents’ Day

I cannot tell a lie—Presidents’ Day is an incredible opportunity for ESL teachers. You can teach interactive English lessons and discuss American history in one fell swoop. Not to mention, American presidents are fascinating, important figures for students to learn …

6 ESL Groundhog Day Lessons to Chase Away the Winter Blues

Are you a fan of Bill Murray? “Zombieland”… “Ghostbusters”… “Lost in Translation”… You’ve got plenty of movies to choose from when picking from the best this seasoned actor has to offer. One of my favorites just happens to resurface …

7 Must-know Strategies for Teaching High School ESL

“You are really…bringing me over, man.” You may not have seen the classic 1980s movie “Better Off Dead.” But if you teach teenagers, you could probably relate to John Cusack’s character’s dad when he tries, unsuccessfully, to bridge the gap…

4 Great Grouping Strategies for More Effective ESL Group Work

Two heads are better than one. This is the oh-so-simple answer to the oh-so-common question, “Why the heck are we doing group work in class?” You might ask yourself this question in more challenging moments, when it has become exceedingly …

What the Best ESL Christmas Activities Really Look Like

Do you hear bells ringing? Are the chestnuts roasting? Are your jingle bells rocking? That’s right. I’m talking about Christmas! And whether or not it’s a white Christmas, it’s a good time to celebrate. Oh yeah, and to teach …

5 ESL Writing Ideas Based on the Best Movies of 2015

If your students are anything like mine, they love movies! English-language movies are great, guilt-free entertainment for ESL students. Action-packed blockbusters take the excitement to a whole different level. If movies weren’t entertaining, we wouldn’t watch them. Plus, …

5 Handy Go-to Conversation Questions for the ESL Classroom

All ESL teachers are familiar with this awkward moment: You ask one of your students a question, and in response you get… “…Yes.” Don’t be discouraged, though. Your students have a lot to say! If they’re not speaking up…