One of the biggest challenges for online tutors is to locate suitable materials for online lessons that promote authentic use of the language. Off2Class has launched a library of lesson content that is specially constructed to promote speaking. We think they are an ideal follow-on activity once your students have a strong familiarity of grammar form.
The ESL speaking activities are organized first by language focus (e.g. Present Simple) and then by theme (e.g. A Visit to the Doctor). Of course, natural authentic speech uses a whole range of grammar, but we hope that our themes promote the use of a primary tense within their context. For example, in the ESL Speaking Activity S-105-Past-Simple-Visit-To-The-Doctor, the student should be encouraged to use past simple within the theme, but naturally, be permitted to use whatever else comes into the narration.
Structure of our ESL Speaking Activities
Each of our ESL Speaking Activities consists of approximately 20 slides. For half of the slides, bright and engaging images are presented to elicit target language and to identify the student’s current lexicon required to do the speaking activity. The slides are in pairs, the first contains images that should be used only to elicit vocabulary, and the second with some vocabulary to encourage the student further:
Next comes a reading activity, which allows the student to see an authentic text with appropriately graded language. Students will see their target language, and hopefully the language they have produced in previous slides, in a real context. If they wish, teachers can use the text to highlight words in context or even look at particular grammar points, such as tense, the use of transition words, etc:
After the text, a series of question prompts appear, the final slide(s) before the student will have the opportunity to speak. On the slide(s) there are a few questions that the student needs to answer, to develop their own narration, description or argument.
The final two slides provide the scaffolding to assist the student through the speaking task. Here the student should now be producing the language with logical flow. Introductory clauses are provided to support the student’s sequence of events:
At the end of the activity, we recommend asking the student to return and retell the story, without the prompts. If successful, these lessons lend themselves naturally to a writing activity that can be completed post-lesson. While some teachers may choose to look at grammar within the scope of these ESL Speaking Activities, Off2Class recommends that student production be the focus of these activities. If you need to review form, then you can always return to our library of grammar-based lesson.
Get teaching using our ESL speaking activities!
We have already tested our ESL Speaking Activities with many students and we find they appreciate the professional and consistent lesson format, bright images and clear structure.
As with all Off2Class content, we provide teacher notes, to encourage you to ask plenty of information questions, and to engage your students.