ELT: Vocabulary Activities and Materials



Screenshot 2017-03-20 08.47.02

Grammar Game Past Tense


Group work as an essential component for EL success


Erik Halvorson

Education Connections

Group work has long been a part of U.S. classrooms, but recently schools and districts have begun investigating how group work might affect English learners specifically. Schools like San Francisco International High School (SFIHS) have found that explicit incorporation of mindful group work leads students to be more motivated, far more willing to engage with instructional content, and better able to refine critical social and emotional skills (Schwartz, 2017).

For a closer look at the benefits of group work for EL students, and to learn how schools like SFIHS are working to include group-learning opportunities throughout the curriculum, check out the article from Mind Shift.

For a look at further ways to incorporate paired and group work opportunities for oral language skill building, check out this resource from Colorín Colorado.


Schwartz, K. (2017, February 23). Why group work could be the key to English learner success. Retrieved from https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/02/23/why-group-work-could-be-the-key-to-english-learner-success/

games that teachers can use in class to explore issues around immigrants and refugees


Check them out here https://www.edutopia.org/article/border-crossings-matthew-farber

Listening and Speaking


Tuesday’s Tips (Education Connections)

Erik Halvorson

Education Connections

How do you mix up your lessons and units to make sure all students have the opportunity to practice active listening and speaking?

For EL students, speaking and listening in group activities can be challenging, since other more confident students often monopolize active speaking time and contributions to the group. During lesson planning, it’s important to consider how you can provide safe spaces for all to share ideas and contribute to lessons. Luckily, there are already many effective techniques that you can use in your lessons to better enable all students to refine their listening, speaking, and group work skills. A wonderful example is the “Save the Last Word for Me” activity, which balances students’ contributions in group work by encouraging them to actively listen and contribute, giving them the opportunity to think aloud, respond, and interact with ideas. “Save the Last Word for Me” can be used across all grade levels and English skill levels, and can be adapted to work with text, images, or even film and audio samples.

For a closer look at “Save the Last Word for Me,” plus some thoughts on using it in your classroom, visit the activity outline from Facing History.

English Learning and Group Work


Why Group Work Could Be the Key to English Learner Success at https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/02/23/why-group-work-could-be-the-key-to-english-learner-success/

Another Instant Classroom Feedback Tool


Looks like a good and free platform to me to plan instruction and to conduct assessments.  Find more at https://www.plickers.com/

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