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Classroom Management ESL Activities for Rowdy Young Students

Learning a new language can be tough. Sitting in one place for an hour or more doesn’t make it any easier. Adding some opportunities for movement during class time can help keep your students motivated and can help them learn better.

Here are some simple ways to get students out of their seats during class time:

Mingle – Classroom Management ESL Activity

Keep some index cards on hand with different words written on them. When students need a break or change of pace, give each student a card and have them think of a question using the word on their card.

Get students to stand up and mingle by asking their question to classmates. There are lots of ways to vary the activity: students can exchange cards when are done and think of new questions with their cards; students can ask 2 or 3 follow up questions for more extended practice.

The teacher can tell the students to answer their questions in different ways- shyly, angrily, happily etc. Set a time limit for the activity and then have students return to their seats.

Race to the blackboard – Classroom Management ESL Activity

Divide the class into teams, and have each team line up behind a line (imaginary or drawn with chalk) for a quick verb tense or vocabulary review. The teacher gives the base form of a verb or the definition of a vocabulary item, and students must race to the board and be the first one to write the word correctly. This can get a bit loud but is usually good for reviving energy.

Take it Outside

If the weather permits, some language schools provide an open area for teachers to book and take their class outside. Fresh air and natural light are important for health and well-being, and the opportunity to read or talk outside can provide a welcome change of pace.

Stand Up

When you are working on pronunciation, have students stand up and move. For stress practice, for example, students can stomp their feet for stressed syllables or words. For intonation practice, the can move their arms or hands.

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