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…)

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…)

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…)

That’s Wicked! 20+ Halloween Activities, Apps & Tools Kids Will Love All Year Long

“As astronauts and space travelers children puzzle over the future; as dinosaurs and princesses they unearth the past…as monsters and gremlins they make sense of the unreal.” —Gretchen Owocki

Children across the globe enjoy dressing up, monsters, ghosts, witches, sorcerers, and horror. Halloween is that time of the year to explore spooky themes that will get your students learning English, science, history, math, and culture hands-on. However, the fun does not have to end on Halloween. Feel free to use any of these wickedly awesome activities, apps, and resources throughout the year to continue to engage your young learners! (more…)

Spooky Halloween Fun for Young Learners

If you live in a country that celebrates Halloween, you’ll soon be surrounded by little witches, zombies, and pirates! With the focus on costumes and candy, it’s a given that kids love Halloween. Teachers can make the most of this time of year by decorating their classrooms, putting on a costume parade, and having pumpkin-carving contests. There are many ways to make Halloween educational as well. Read on for many spooky ideas! (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…)

Clothing & Shopping Activities Using Flashcards

Learning new vocabulary can be a struggle for English language learners. Teachers can make it easier and more interesting with flashcards! This week our Spotlight was on Clothes in the Card Games section of our Games Room, and we wanted to give teachers some suggestions on how to use these flashcards in class. If you have your own favorite flashcard activity, please write it in the comments section below—we’d love to hear it!

Activities with Cards/Flashcards for Clothes & Shopping:

1. Dress Up: Put students into pairs and have them draw two stick figures (a man and woman or a boy and girl). Give each student a set of flashcards and tell them to place the clothing pictures on the stick figures to “dress them up.” Students should discuss their choices using the clothing vocabulary. You can repeat this activity using different themes such as formal, casual, business, etc. Ask each pair to come up with a theme to share with the class.

2. Silly Dress Up: (more…)

Clothing Flashcards

Clothes and shopping are popular topics in most classrooms. With 32 picture cards and 32 word cards, our Clothing Cards make vocabulary learning fun!

Use these cards as a warm-up, filler, or wrap-up to a lesson on clothing or shopping, or use them anytime for a fun, educational activity. These Games Room cards make learning new vocabulary fun and easy. Try printing them out double-sided so that the pictures are on one side and the words are on the other. (more…)