How to Create Engaging ESOL Lessons in Four Easy Steps

Guest post by Allie Beldin, @AllieBeldin

There are several considerations when creating an engaging ESOL, English for Speakers of Other Languages, lesson. Just as we need specific ingredients and routines to cook a delicious meal, an ESOL lesson requires unique components to provide opportunities for English Language Learners to flourish! Luckily, this recipe only requires four steps and a few ingredients.

You will need:

Using WIDA’s four language domains, reading, listening, writing, and speaking, this online module activity creates opportunities for students to learn English while engaging in culturally-relevant conversations. As the activities spark conversation, they also support core content-specific standards.

4 Steps to Create An Engaging ESOL Lesson

Step 1Collaboration

If you are an ESOL teacher, email or meet with students’ core-content teachers so that you can find content-specific paragraphs to use for your writing, reading, listening, and speaking activity prompts. An efficient way to share and receive resources with core-content area teachers is to utilize a Google shared drive or collaborative folder to quickly send documents. By using informational text from teachers, students will be working on their English skills while also receiving core-content supports.

Step 2Language Supports
Next, decide which activities would benefit from read-aloud buttons. Read-aloud buttons are used in this activity to provide English and non-English audio clips to support students struggling to understand the text.

To create an English-speaking audio button for a listening activity: Use the free voice recorder website to record any prompts. Download the audio file, then upload the file to your Google Drive. IMPORTANT! Do not forget to change the share settings on the audio file to anyone with the link can view! If you skip this step, then the audio buttons will not work.

To create an audio button in a student’s first language: go to Google Translate, then type the writing prompt into the window. After you have typed your prompt, click record on your free voice recorder website, then play the audio button so that the computer begins speaking the translated message. While Google translate may have some translation errors, it still provides additional support if students are struggling to make connections from their first language to English.

Step 3Brain Breaks
Find games for brain breaks to practice skills! I normally find content-specific games from Quizziz!

Step 4Share with Students
Once you have finished typing the activities on the Google slides template, share the presentation on Google Classroom or your chosen learning management system.

How are you creating ESOL lessons? Please reach out! I would love to collaborate.
A special shoutout to SlidesMania for always being my go-to for creating presentations and to Dr. Stacie Pettit for her mentorship during my ESOL certification process.
To use the free ESOL lessons template, please first log in to your Google account, then click here! Once you click on the click, it will ask you to make a copy. The copy will then be added to your Google Drive.

About the Author

Rachelle Dené Poth is a Foreign Language and STEAM Educator at Riverview High School in Oakmont, PA. She is also an Attorney, Edtech Consultant, and Speaker. Rachelle is the author of seven books about education and edtech and a blogger. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @Rdene915

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