Play and Learn! Game-Based Language Learning for Kids

“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” —Fred Rogers

Spring and summer breaks are right around the corner. Motivate your young learners to continue practicing their English skills beyond the classroom with free online games. Many websites and apps have free games to help children enhance their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. Children will play these games for hours till they achieve a certain score or pass to the next level. Children will also learn vocabulary within a multimedia-rich context. Many games include an interesting background story, which comes alive through colorful worlds and animated characters. Below are tips and resources to get you started on your journey integrating games in the classroom. (more…)

Clowning Around in the ESL Classroom

Sprout English is all about having fun in the ESL classroom. In the Spotlight this month, we have a new Word Bank lesson about Sea Life and a fun Discovery Center lesson about Acrobatics. We also have a new Adverbs of Manner lesson in our Fun Grammar Lessons section that gives kids a chance to act out what they’ve learned.

These action-packed lessons inspired us to come up with even more ideas to get your students laughing and moving while they practice English. Here are 3 silly games to play along with this month’s featured Sprout English lessons. (more…)

3 Christmas Tree Crafts for English Class

If you’re a teacher or parent, Pinterest is probably your favorite site at this time of year. This year, I’ve used Pinterest to find inspiration for gifts, cards, parties, and treats. Pinterest is also great for crafts!

Are you looking for holiday crafts to use with your English learners? Here are three very simple Christmas tree crafts to try. Use one or all of these crafts to review English colors, shapes, sizes, and prepositions of place. Your students will also practice following instructions. Ask your students to describe their finished trees to you or their group members. (more…)

Film It! Tips for Getting Children to Be Directors

“I believe my camera should always be in one hand and a good script in the other. That makes it possible for storytelling to come to life.” —Leticia Alaniz

“Pick up a camera. Shoot something. No matter how small, no matter how cheesy, no matter whether your friends and your sister star in it. Put your name on it as director. Now you’re a director.” —James Cameron

‘Tis the season to celebrate with your students! Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other holidays around the world take place in fall and winter. One of the best ways for students to learn and teach others about the way they celebrate is by producing a movie. (more…)

Punctuation Resource List

Are your young learners comfortable using apostrophes, commas, and hyphens? Even native speakers of English need a little help with punctuation from time to time. In honor of National Punctuation Day (September 24, 2015) the editor for Sprout English and ESL Library has collected all our past punctuation posts into one handy reference list. (more…)

6 Ways to Get Kids to Express Themselves in Another Language

“It is said that children learn languages from their environment. They get into an environment where language can happen, and language learning happens.” —Greg Thompson

Although kids learn English in school, the most powerful language learning takes place outside the classroom with family or peers. Children need a context and time to experiment and play with the vocabulary and grammar they’ve acquired. They need to make plenty of mistakes so they learn from them. Outside the classroom, children can make mistakes safely and don’t feel intimidated by grading or assessment. Below are six ideas for helping children practice English outside of school in fun and engaging ways. This is a great list to share with parents at the beginning of the school year! Feel free to make a copy of this parent email template to send to the parents of your English language learners this year. (more…)