With the holiday season approaching, it’s good to add some fun into teaching to keep your students engaged and motivated. We’ve created 12 simple classroom activities and tips that you can carry out with your primary class to encourage them to be good.
6 easy ways to learn English
When you’re learning English, it’s important to keep your motivation up. As with any task, there may be times when it feels a bit more difficult, so switch up your methods and don’t be afraid to make mistakes – you’ll reach the level you want to be at.
We’ve already provided some unique ways to teach English that you may now have experienced with your teacher. Here, we suggest some easy ways to learn English that you can try any time – at home, at work or on the move. Why not try them today? Surround yourself with English and you’ll see improvements in your language confidence and skills, while having fun at the same time…
1. English words with friends
Scrabble is a classic board game in which players use random lettered tiles to create words in a crossword fashion. It’s a fantastic way to strengthen your English vocabulary, and there’s also a Scrabble Junior version for beginners. Playing Scrabble challenges you to really think in English as you try to come up with different words using your set of letters.
If you’re taking an English class, buy the board game and invite your classmates to play with you. You can also play Scrabble online through websites like Facebook, where it is called Words With Friends.
2. Add some music
Not only will your favorite song wake up your mind and put you in a positive mood to learn English, but the lyrics can help you expand your skills. Research demonstrates how music can help second language learners acquire grammar and vocabulary and improve spelling.
Songs almost always contain a lot of useful vocabulary, phrases and expressions. And since the intended audience is fluent English speakers, the latest tunes include up-to-date language and colloquialisms. The language used in songs is casual and usable, if you pick the right music. Music also has an uncanny ability to stick in our heads, which can help you remember your new English words.
3. Try, try and try again
To commit new English words to memory, it’s important to keep using them. Keep a notebook of new words you learn, and try to use them in three different sentences. Write your sentences down and say them out loud. The repetition will help you remember the word, and working out different uses of the word will help expand your vocabulary bank. Remember, taking small steps like these will still help you to reach your goal.
4. Join online English forums
The key here is to join forums for subjects you are interested in – that way, your motivation will rub off on your English learning and you’ll be more inclined to participate. So, whether it’s photography, movies, traveling or cooking, discuss your passion with other like-minded people in English.
If you feel nervous about people identifying you, make an anonymous profile. Then read through the forum to see what people are discussing. Once you feel confident, actively participate in the forum by answering questions posed by other people – or post your own questions and have a conversation with the other members who answer you.
5. Get with the language
One of the most effective and easy ways to learn English is to immerse yourself in the language fully. Find an English-speaking radio station to listen to, watch an English-speaking movie or TV show or surround yourself with people having conversations in English. Listen carefully to conversations in restaurants, on the bus or in shops and try to pick up the everyday use of the language.
Not only will this help your listening skills, but you can also try to pronounce the words yourself in context to improve your speaking skills. With modern technology and apps, this can be done practically anywhere.
6. Read to learn English
You could really give your reading skills a boost here – but your speaking skills can benefit, too. The more you read English text to yourself or aloud, the more confidence you will have. If you feel nervous, start by practicing at home then move on to reading in front of an audience and asking for their feedback. Of course, it’s also enjoyable to read some wonderful stories.
E-readers and tablets make learning English even easier because if you don’t know a word, you can click on it to read its definition. On the Kindle, you can add new words you’ve learnt to its Vocabulary Builder feature, which is stored on the device.
Others recommend listening to and reading text at the same time as an excellent way to enhance the learning process. Kindle’s Whispersync for Voice is designed for just this purpose and includes audio with selected books, so you can listen and follow the text as you read.
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Sometimes, it’s nice to share cultural insights with our students so they can get a deeper understanding of the context of the language they are learning. However, without lots of time and money, it can be tough to travel to an English-speaking country yourself and experience what life is like first-hand.
But what if you could learn about British history, customs and culture from the comfort of your sofa?
That’s right - in an instant you could be transported back to the dark cobbled streets of 19th century London, to an industrial town in northern England or a rural village in Surrey.
Today, we want to share six English stories set in Britain that provide cultural, historical and social aspects of British life, both past and present.
So sit back, relax and let us take you on an adventure.
Written by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
This story about the intelligent and beautiful Emma was first published at the end of 1815. The book, which takes place in a fictional village called Highbury (located in the charming county of Surrey), covers themes such as romance, social class and female empowerment.
Emma is a social person who enjoys seeing people happy and contented. She spends her time arranging marriages between her friends but sometimes makes mistakes. Will the problems she causes upset people? And can she find love herself?
2. The Picture of Dorian Gray
Written by Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
This philosophical yet supernatural thriller, first published in 1890, is full of lies, secrets and mystery. The tale revolves around the main character, Dorian Gray, who after inheriting a property from his grandfather, travels to London and soon makes new friends. One of his new acquaintances paints a portrait of Dorian, who makes a dangerous wish that he would give anything - even his soul - to stay as young and good-looking as he appears in the painting.
Soon, things start to go wrong and his life gets out of control. But he doesn’t seem to get older. Why? The terrible secret he’s hiding in his attic is the answer. What could it be? Allow yourself to travel back to Victorian times and see London through the eyes of this handsome and hedonistic young man.
Written by Mary Anne Evans (1819-1880)
Written under Mary’s pen name,George Elliott, this work of realism was first published in eight installments during 1871 and 1872. The story, set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch from 1829-1832, tells a tale of science and discovery. It follows Dorothea, a young woman determined to change the world and Dr. Lydgate, an ambitious man who wants to be a leader in science. Dorothea and Dr. Lydgate are both married, but soon their marriages go wrong.
Can they ever be happy? Will they achieve their dreams? Although the central theme of the book revolves around the marriage of the two main characters, with many historical references such as the 1832 Reform Act, the beginnings of the railways and the death of King George IV, Middlemarch is great for those who are interested in history as well as provincial life.
4. Four Weddings and a Funeral
Written by Richard Curtis (born 1956)
Those looking for a more modern look at British life can learn plenty about customs and cultures in this contemporary book, which has been adapted from one of Britain’s funniest and most popular films. Released in 1994, Four Weddings and a Funeral is about Charles (played by Hugh Grant in the film), a charming man who is very unlucky in love.
One day, during his friend’s wedding, he meets a beautiful girl called Carrie. Unfortunately, she does not plan to stay in England, and travels back to the United States. But they keep meeting each other, so maybe things can work out for the couple. Laugh while discovering the ins and outs of the British social scene in this romantic comedy.
5. North and South
Written by Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865)
North and South, published in 1855, is about a young woman named Margaret Hale who moves with her parents from rural southern England to an industrial town called Milton in the north. There, she meets a wealthy mill owner named Mr. Thornton, and though she dislikes him, he immediately falls in love with her.
During her time in Milton, she witnesses what it’s like to work in the mills where employers and workers constantly clash. As his workers go on strike, will Mr. Thornton be able to charm Margaret? This complex and provoking story follows the working class struggle during the Industrial Revolution.
6. Oliver Twist
Written by Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
Published in 1832, Oliver Twist was Dickens’ second novel. The story tells the tale of a young orphan we can all feel for. Oliver is brought up in a workhouse where he is beaten, starved and poorly treated. With no parents to look after him, he decides to run away to London, where he joins a gang of thieves.
His new friends look out for him, but can they protect him from a life of danger and crime? An interesting look at the darker side of Britain’s capital, Oliver Twist is still popular today with film, musical and TV adaptations.
Want some more reading inspiration for your English lessons?
Discover graded Readers featuring some of the world’s best-loved authors.
Pearson has Readers adapted from classic English novels with audio files and a comprehensive teacher resources section, meaning you can use them in class with your students too.
In the fast-paced world of business, there is one undeniable fact that holds true: employees are the key to success. Their commitment and expertise propel organizations towards their objectives, which is why investing in a learning culture is essential. The advantages are numerous and include improved staff retention, increased productivity and the goal of higher employee engagement.