ESL Teacher Training Outline

Have you been asked to put a teacher training workshop together? If so, don’t sweat it. I have an outline that you can use to pull it off. With that being said,  you still have to do the actual leg work and presentation yourself.

Any questions? Leave me a post and I’ll try to get back to you  A.S.A.P.

1) Start with an Ice breaker activity. Pick out one you feel comfortable doing. Tell them that it is a great way to build “community.” Do one with the class and then cherry pick the best ones to put in a handout. BTW – The first four are geared to the business crowd.

ESL Ice breakers –

2. Next, teach them how to write a lesson plan. Show them examples of good lesson plans. Talk about the objective, materials, activities, etc;  Also, show them an example of a lesson that incorporates before, during and after activities. For example, a before activity will be something that will tweak your student’s interests, motivate or inspire them. A during activity will be something they can do during the lesson, pair work, group work, jigsaw activities, something like that. An after activity can be a reflection, a game or video that reinforces the targeted skill or  a worksheet. The trick is to present a cumulative activity that sums up the lesson in neat little package.

3. Model how to do a lesson plan for them on an overhead projector, if you have one. Do this on the fly. Have the teachers throw out suggestions for a lesson. Pick one and talk them through it as you are writing it down. The idea here is to show them your internal thought process. This is important, sometimes ESL teachers have no formal pedological training. By revealing your thought process you will help break down any internal barriers that may prevent them from being the best teacher they can be.

Lesson plan templates. Give them choices. Here are a a couple of  links. Cherry pick the best ones to put in your handout packet.

4. Make sure to tell them that they should put the objective on the board, but it should look like this: What am I learning today? Then state what it is that the students are learning that day. For instance, is the targeted skill grammatically focused? Then list the grammar skill the students are learning and below that  list two or three examples to show proof that they actually learned the skill. So, below the objective write something like – I learned  ___ and I can  ____  and _______ .

Other useful resources:

5. Talk about the different needs in the age groups and the assessment process dividing them into beginner, intermediate and advanced.

6. Primary and middle school –  Here I would push Genki English. Yes, I love Genki English. Richard Graham has done all the work for you. It’s a no brainer. It is worth the investment, if you are going to work with kids, that is. Also, I believe his lesson plan model is excellent, even if you don’t want to invest in the product.

BTW – If you are going to be teaching ESL to children and you don’t  have any formal teaching background, do yourself a favor and buy this product. You will be so happy you did. The kids will love it, you will have fun teaching the lesson and most importantly, you won’t have to spend all your free time putting lesson plans together.

7. Richard Graham also has a bunch of games on his site too.
Cherry pick these, do a couple with your trainees and put some for the handout packet.

8. No matter what the student’s age group, music is a good way to introduce new vocabulary and get the students to remember it.

Music is always good to help reinforce grammar and vocabulary. Try to work in a few gestures to activate muscle memory.
Here is an example to show them.

For teens and adults.
For school age youngsters.

Using music to teach ESL tips:
I would highlight the vocabulary words on the worksheet and put it on the board too. Tell the  trainees that this is just an example of what they can do to any song they choose. Make sure you try to get that idea across, that’s important.
You want to empower your teacher trainees.

Model how to introduce the new vocabulary. Richard Graham suggests singing it with out the music first, then add the music and gestures later. Lastly, wrap it up with a game that uses large muscles. That creates muscle memory and helps the students remember the words better. The same idea applies to the gestures when doing the songs.

9. Introduce TPR. Model how it is done. Have fun! You could insert this randomly when it looks like you are starting to loose the your trainee’s attention.

10. Talk about cooperative group activities and pair work.
This subject is huge! You could put together another workshop on this topic alone. Below are a slew of links that will introduce the concept of cooperative group work and give you and idea of how to incorporate it into the classroom.

Jigsaw activities

Newspaper Jigsaw activities

Pair Work – Talk about why it is important and how to incorporate it into the lesson.

Additional resources

Games – I’m sure you have some favorites too.

Links to other sites that you can give them as a “free gift.” Be sure to download some of the songs and showcase the ones you like best. Or if you have the LED projector, go to the website and click on a few songs.

Here is the link to my TPT page. Feel free to share it with your teacher trainees. It is a free download. If you like it, please give it a good rating.

Lastly,show them how to do this:
Cut and paste questions to make a Powerpoint, sentence strips or question cards.
Have an example ready. Show them how to use the same questions to make 3 different activities (Powerpoints, sentence strips and question cards.)

Don’t forget to cover thematic units and phonics.

I know there is a lot here and you probably won’t be able to cover all of in in one session.  Just pick what is the easiest to manage for you and check back, soon I’ll elaborate more on cooperative learning activities and more.