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…)

Bird, Bird, Worm: Pronunciation Game

Are your YLs learning to distinguish between closely related sounds? In the Spotlight this week, we’re featuring our Phonics lesson on ir, er, ur, and or. Words with these letters can be difficult for learners to pronounce and write because they look different but sound the same.

One fun way to practice commonly confused sounds and spellings is to play an adaptation of Duck, Duck, Goose. We’ll call it Bird, Bird, Worm to start, but you can change the name of the game to whatever word pair you’re working on. (more…)

Act It Out: Present Progressive Practice

What’s your favorite way of practicing the present progressive (present continuous)? I’ve tried many methods, from describing pictures or movies to guessing games, but my favorite activity involves acting. I like it because it’s easy to prepare and lots of fun for my students. Our Spotlight lesson on Sprout English this week was Riding the Train: Present Progressive Reading, so I thought it was a great time to share this activity with you. I also had our designer whip up some verb cards so you wouldn’t have to make your own. Feel free to print them out when you try this activity! There is also a blank page of cards for you to add other verbs (or get your students to make their own verb cards). Enjoy!

Verb Cards (more…)

Family Speed Game

Ready, Set, Guess!

Have your young English learners studied family vocabulary yet? Sprout English has two new lessons on the family: Family Vocabulary in the Word Bank and Subject & Object Pronouns in the Grammar School. After your students have learned basic family vocabulary, challenge them to this fun, fast activity!

Family Speed Game is one of my favorite ways to practice family vocabulary. My students love the competition that this brain-teaser activity provides! (more…)

Guess the World’s Weather Game

“Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”
—Anthony J. D’Angelo

This week we are featuring Sprout English’s NEW Word Bank lesson on Weather and Seasons. After you teach your students weather-related vocabulary and expressions, you’ll need to find some fun ways to practice.

This past weekend in my city it was hot, humid, sunny, rainy, windy, mild, and cold (with a chance of frost!). Fortunately, not every weekend is so variable, though it is handy for reviewing the weather. To practice all types of weather, your class will probably need to take a trip around the world!

Here is a fun weather game to play with English language learners of any age. (more…)

Reviewing Numbers: The One & Only Fun Game

My daughter recently complained about how boring French class is. When I asked what was boring about it, she said they were reviewing numbers—again. The boring part about reviewing numbers is that they can all already count to one million in French. Really?

The One & Only Fun Game

Unfortunately, though many kids don’t realize it, not all students learn languages at the same pace. Fortunately, when you bring fun into the class, students who don’t feel like they need the review will still be interested in participating and will undoubtedly benefit. (more…)

3 Fun Ways to Use Irregular Verb Cards

Our Spotlight lesson this week was our Simple Past grammar lesson. When it comes to learning the simple past, students rejoice at the lack of subject-verb conjugation. Unlike the simple present, where students must add an -s to the end of third person singular subjects, the simple past has only one form for all subjects. There’s more good news when English language learners realize they must only add -ed to the end of the base verb to form the simple past for regular verbs.

However, irregular verbs can pose a problem for learners. How do they memorize all the various endings and changes that irregular past tense verbs take? Repetition is key, and if teachers can make it fun, students are more likely to want to practice! (more…)

Vocabulary Baseball Game

Are you looking for fun ways to review vocabulary? This vocabulary game can be played with all ages and levels. It may last a whole week or just 15 minutes. Keep score as your students work through nine innings. Unlike real baseball, no equipment (and no running) is necessary! (more…)