10 Ways to Use Your Sprout English Kid Accounts This Summer

Did You Know?

When teachers sign up for Sprout English, they automatically receive 30 free kid accounts! Kid accounts give students access to all of the great resources that teachers use in the classroom. This includes reading materials, games, puzzles, and more! If your child doesn’t have a free account, you can sign up for free and get 20 sample lessons.

If you’re a teacher who already uses Sprout English, download and print this Summer Letter to Parents to send home with your students this summer. Add your students’ names, passwords, and User IDs. (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…)

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…)

10 Ideas for Practicing Telling Time at Home

Practice Telling Time at Home

When it comes to learning about time and clocks, teachers can teach the basics in the classroom. However, the best way for kids to really practice is at home or when they’re on the go in the real world. Involve your kids whenever you’re consulting a clock and they will quickly learn to tell time naturally.

If English is your second language, make sure that you are saying times correctly. Review Tanya’s pronunciation tips, and practice the dialogues below.

Here are 10 ideas for practicing telling time at home. Each idea comes with a model dialogue with useful vocabulary and phrases for ESL parents. (more…)

#ELT Ideas: Games, Activities, and Tips for Teaching English to Young Learners

Sprout English has been growing for over a year now!

As a materials writer who contributes to various Red River Press publications, including Sprout English (previously English Avenue) and ESL Library, I was excited about the opportunity to blog with the Sprout team. I have been blogging in the field of ELT for many years both personally and professionally. Here are a few reasons why Sprout English has been my favorite place to blog so far!

  • It’s beautiful! The clean design and gorgeous illustrations make it a pleasure to blog here. I love looking at the finished product. Thanks, Robyn!
  • It’s organized! Sprout’s editor Tanya Trusler has the blog team working on a handy, theme- and grammar-based schedule. Each post connects with a featured lesson in our Spotlight section.
  • It’s useful! Many of our posts offer free, professionally designed worksheets to go with our suggested activities. The blog allows teachers to get a feel for the quality-based materials that Sprout English offers to subscribers. (more…)

50+ Grammar, Vocabulary & Pronunciation Resources for Teaching Young ELLs

Time flies when you’re having fun! When you enjoy blogging about grammar, teaching, and the English language as much as I do, a year of weekly blog posts goes by just like that! Our goal at Sprout English has always been to provide quality educational materials to English teachers and students, and my personal wish is that teachers and students will continue to learn from and use our free blog materials. We love helping young learners grow their English skills!

I thought it would be helpful to organize all the articles I’ve written so far into a list that’s easily accessible. (Some articles are included twice if they belong to more than one category.) I hope you find this resource list useful! (more…)

10 Summer Printing Practice Ideas for Kids

Summer Printing Practice

For Parents

Kids need plenty of free time to explore their personal interests in the summer. Finding an English-speaking friend is probably the best summer homework your child can do. Are you worried about your child’s printing and spelling skills? Look for fun games and activities you can do with your child that won’t feel like work. Here are a few ideas to make printing practice fun.

1. Beach Sandman

This game is like Hangman, but instead of using pen and paper, use a stick and the beach!

a. Ask your child to think of an object in English. Your child may need to ask another adult or friend to help with the correct spelling.

b. Tell your child to count the amount of letters in the word. You child will then draw that number of spaces (small lines) in the sand in front of you using a stick. (This game works best in wet sand near the water’s edge.) (more…)

Minimal Pair Craft – Holiday Paper Chains

Minimal Pair Holiday Paper Chain Craft

minimal pair: a pair of words that differ in sound by one phoneme (EX: cat/bat, sit/sip, hit/hat)

Are your students reviewing Three-Letter Words with Sprout English’s featured phonics pack? Have you introduced the concept of minimal pairs? Here is a fun holiday-themed craft that you can do to practice three-letter minimal pairs in December. Adjust the difficulty based on your students.

You will need
* lots of red, green, and white strips of paper about 5″ long by 1″ wide  (or use wrapping paper)
* felt markers (black or something that shows up well on colored paper)
* staplers or tape (a few shared around the classroom)

Minimal Pairs Activity
1. Review the concept of three-letter minimal pairs. Show lots of examples on the board, and get students to give you examples. Use Sprout English’s phonics pages for ideas. (more…)

For ESL Parents – Supporting Your Child’s Language-Learning Journey

“At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” ~ Jane D. Hull

Dear ESL parents,

Is your child learning English? Are you an English learner yourself? The most important thing you can do to support your child’s language learning is to be involved. After all, parent involvement is the key to early literacy!

Think back to when your child learned his or her first language. You were your child’s first teacher! Parents teach their children their native language by talking to them, singing to them, reading to them, and keeping them close by during daily routines and interactions with others.

Parent involvement is crucial when it comes to learning additional languages as well. Here are five tips for supporting your children during their language-learning journeys.

1. Be a role model. Show that you care about learning English yourself. Read books, newspapers, and magazines in English. Tell your child, “I’m learning English too!” (more…)