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Greetings from eslactivities.com!

This edition is short, but I needed to share with you one of my favorite ESL resources of all time. 100 TESOL Activities for Teachers: Practical ESL/EFL Activities for the Communicative Classroom. This book is written by a close friend of mine, Dr. Shane Dixon. We co-designed the award-winning Teach English Now! TESOL Certificate program together, and he is an expert teacher-trainer. This book is a teacher training manual and activity guide that has been used by teacher training groups from Korea, China, Japan, Iraq, Peru, Mexico and many other parts of the world. Designed to be practical, these techniques support the general need to communicate, interact, and make language come alive in the classroom. The manual is organized into 3 distinct parts. The first section introduces teachers to some of the most common activities in English language teaching, followed by activities categorized by reading, writing, listening, and speaking. The second section provides a unique model of lesson planning. This adaptable model helps teachers prepare organized routines to make classes more effective and easier to prepare. The third section includes photocopiable worksheets for the activities described in the manual. This is a great resource for any teacher.

Here is a sample activity:


Dictation may or may not seem like a communicative activity. Dictation can simply mean, "Write down exactly what I say," and for some teachers, this may seem like an audiolingual or rote-memorization technique. However, dictation activities are often still used today to help introduce students to new vocabulary or ideas, and can help students to practice their listening skills. It can also give students a chance to interact if done in groups.

For example, a dictation exercise can be done by instructing students to take out a piece of paper and have a pen or pencil ready. The teacher repeats the utterance (a word, phrase, sentence, or paragraph) a specific number of times. Many teachers I know call out a word three times. It seems to work best if a teacher tells the students that they will have to write down every word exactly the way they hear it.

After students are done writing, each student can confer with a partner or group, and then they can raise their hand to add a word they heard until the sentence is completely written. A teacher may choose to correct students or have other students help if a student makes a mistake. Alternatively, students enjoy helping one brave student, who is asked to write the entire utterance on the board, who then asks the other students to shout out possible corrections until the entire class agrees.

Another interactive version of dictation would divide a class into teams, and each would choose a team captain to write down what was heard. The winner would be the group with the fewest initial mistakes.

Dictation could also be used with the tools available at eslactivities.com. For example, you could use the BINGO Card Maker to create cards with part of the dictation sentences, and as you read the sentences, the students mark off spaces on their cards. That is a great way to practice listening skills. You could also dictate the utterances, and have the students write them down on blank BINGO cards, and then play the game.

And if you like 100 TESOL Activities, you should check out 100 Ways to Teach Language Online. Dr. Dixon and I wrote this together, and it is in a very similar format, and contains great ideas for teaching language online.

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