Teaching Tips

Poker Idioms

Play poker with your students, teaching them terminology along the way. Afterward, take a look at some common expressions which are literal for poker but can also be applied to other contexts as idioms.

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YLE Prep: Fill-In-The-Blanks

You can prepare for fill-in-the-blank sections of exams like the Cambridge Assessment: Young Learners English tests by combining the two techniques of recalling small, common words and writing down answers before looking at answer choices.

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Great Vocabulary Board Games

Whether you want to do a nice vocabulary review or you just want your students to have fun for a day, here are some games we recommend for finding, creating, explaining, demonstrating, and guessing words.

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Brainstorming Well

When your class is brainstorming, you want to make sure you’re facilitating well. First let all the ideas pour out, then take a closer look at the better ones. Here are some things to keep in mind.

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Make Connections

As you introduce new grammar topics, make connections with related grammar topics that students have already learned. This is good for review, and it also helps students catch on to the new material easier.

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Recommended Reading Board

Create a wall display of books (or better yet: series of books) that your students should consider reading. Make sure to have a variety of formats and genres so that there’s something for everyone!

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Translating Noun Cases

Many languages have noun cases. We don’t teach cases in English, but there definitely are some correlations between cases and English grammar. Maybe it would be a good idea to acknowledge some of the cases used in the students’ native tongue(s) and explain what English uses instead.

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Vocab Evaluation

The more students write, the more they should expand their vocabulary. However, it’s natural to develop favorite words, which can be overused. Try creating word clouds to see which words your students are using too much, then come up with some synonyms.

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The Value of Verbal Prompts

Is there any value in saying phrases like “Here’s what you need to do:” or are they just a waste of time? Even though they have no real meaning themselves, prompts can serve a purpose in the classroom.

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Review Activities

Here are some activities that you can use with your class to review vocabulary and grammar. There are quite a few to choose from, and each is customizable; use whatever is best for your class!

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Word Puzzle Tactics

Word Puzzles and Word Games are a fun, engaging, and effective way to practice vocabulary, spelling pronunciation, word-building, and more. If you’d like to try some with your students, here are some tips to give them.

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Verb Lists to Have on Hand

As a teacher, you sometimes need to come up with examples on the spot. Sometimes it’s hard to think of a particular example, especially when more common alternatives (ones that don’t fit your category) come to mind far too easily. That’s why it’s good to have some word lists on hand.

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