ESL teachers can employ many different techniques to make their classes interesting. This is important because engaging students with interesting activities is essential to ensure that learning happens. If classes are interesting, students won’t skip them and are likely to complete the course. In this lesson we will explore some techniques that teachers can use to keep students interested.
Photographs and pictures
The teacher can bring a picture book to the classroom and ask students to describe the pictures. Or the teacher can ask the students to describe their own photos. Most students like to talk about their photos because they already have an emotional connection to the subject they are describing. Describing a photograph or a picture requires the students to use many different grammatical structures and colorful vocabulary.
These activities are particularly helpful while teaching the present continuous tense. Ask students to look at a picture and then describe it. The teacher could also ask questions to elicit a response.
What is the old man in the picture doing?
The old man is waiting at a bus station.
What is the boy in the photo doing?
The boy in the photo is playing with his pet cat.
What is the dog in the photo doing?
The dog in the photo is chasing a rabbit.
Who are digging a pit?
Two men are digging a pit.
As the students answer these questions they automatically also learn the use of the present continuous tense.
While describing their own photographs students can explain what happened the day the photo was taken. The teacher can introduce this activity while teaching past tense forms. Ask questions to get the students start speaking.
When was this photo taken?
This photo was taken on my sixteenth birthday. We were living in Mexico at that time.
As the student explains these things the teacher can introduce important grammar points.
Students will also learn to use descriptive adjectives while describing the people or places in the photographs.