Resources for EFL Small Groups

I recently led a small PD session for beginning educators working with EFL (English as a Foreign Language) small groups, and I wanted to share the resource document I wrote. It’s a collection of activities, organised by learning objective, written with Israeli students ages seven through twelve in mind, but most are adaptable for beginning English students of all ages around the world. Please feel free to share by linking back to this pageand let me know what activities you use and how they go. Please contact me with questions, comments, or suggestions to add or change by commenting below or at madeleinebella [at] gmail [dot] com. Thank you! Here’s the doc: EFL Small Group Resources

Topics: 
Blends and Digraphs
Prepositions
Present Progressive
“To Be” and Other Irregular Conjugations
Pronouns
Contractions
WH- Questions
Past Simple
Comparatives
Spelling
Classroom Management
Additional Resources

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“The Surprise,” by Arnold Lobel

This month I’ve been reading Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad All Year with my advanced EFL* students in Israel. You can access a PDF of the text (with a few typos) for free here, though without images. I highly recommend getting your hands on a copy of the original with Lobel’s sweet illustrations. PSA: The whole Storybook Treasury is available at time of this writing for under $3. I adore the Frog and Toad books for a number of reasons:

  • They deal with universal philosophical themes that are relavent and critical across cultures and age groups, such as friendship, altruism, fairness, time, reality, will-powerlonelinessbravery, and more.
  • They are collections of short stories that can generally be read within one lesson block.
  • They are told in relatively simple language with some repetition, making them accessible to many early readers and ELLs,** but they do not fall into the trap of being simplistic in order to be comprehensible.

In the story we read today, Continue reading

“What is a lesson plan?”

These past few months teaching in Israel have been such a whirlwind. In no uncertain terms, it’s been a positive experience, and I’m glad I’m here. It has also been one of my most challenging experiences, and has pushed me to grow to a new level of adaptability – an essential skill for a teacher anywhere in the world! Interestingly, it has also required me to behave and eventually become more confident and calm in order to be successful.

During my last year teaching in New Zealand, I was always surprised at how much time I seemed to have (compared to studying and teaching in the States- albeit while simultaneously completing my Master’s). Here, I always seem to be running out. Of course, part of this is the extra time it takes to get things done while learning about how things work in a new place* – this is true everywhere. But to thrive in this culture, I need to readjust how I conceptualise time and what it means to be prepared.  Continue reading