Teaching ESL: Tips & Flashcards to Share with Your Students

cartoon illustration flashcards featuring different weather patterns

ESL teachers provide a foundational understanding of the English language to their students – helping young learners and adults learn new words and cultural nuances. Are you an ESL teacher or tutor? Or perhaps you’re a homeschooling parent in search of flashcards. In either case, this article is for you. Below you’ll find practical tips to share with your students and a free set of weather-themed flashcards!

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10 Practical Tips to Improve English Language Skills

English can be a difficult language to learn for many people. Luckily, there are ESL teachers, like you, to help learners hone their skills. Do you want to help your students succeed in their language learning journey? Share the following tips with them: 

  1. Practice often. Consistency is key when it comes to learning any language and English is surely not an exception. Encourage students to spend 25-45 minutes each day practicing their English language skills.
  2. Use English words regularly. Encourage students to make use of the vocabulary words you share with them in class (or for homework). Increased use of English words, in daily conversation, will aid in their pronunciation and grammar skills in the long run. 
  3. Set small goals. Work with each student to set small, achievable goals. As students progress in your class, consider revising these goals to meet or challenge their current skillset.
  4. Immerse yourself in English media. Consistent exposure to English words can help students gain a contextual understanding of how those words are put into practice. As students progress in class, ecourage them to create playlists of music or podcasts that feature native English speakers. Alternatively, students can watch TV shows and movies, play video games in English or read English literature. 
  5. Find new words. Building one’s vocabulary is a necessary step is every language learner’s journey. Encourage your students to seek out new vocabulary – especially if they hear a word that they are particularly intrigued with. In those instance, encourage the students to research the word and related terms. With consistency, this activity can help students build an extensive vocabulary, one word at a time. 
  6. Practice pronunciation. When a student is learning English for the first time, they may struggle with pronunciation. But with practice, they’ll certainly see progress. So, encourage your students to break down words into syllables and practice sounding each letter out. 
  7. Use learning tools outside of the classroom. There are a plethora of language learning tools on the market – from gamified ESL websites to apps like Duolingo. Encourage young learners and adults to utilize all of the tools they have at their disposal. 
  8. Be patient and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learning a language can be a lifelong journey, so encourage students to be patient with themselves and each other along the way. There are many commons words that have multiple spellings and meanings (to, too, two), irregular verbs, proper nouns, adjectives and so much more to grasp. English is certainly not the easiest to learn. But with patience and persistence, it can be mastered. 
  9. Enjoy the journey. Find ways to infuse a bit of fun into your ESL lessons and homework assignments. After all, students are already being challeneged. To keep them encourage, inspired, and eager to learn more; try to make your ESL class as fun as you can. 
  10. Stay positive: Everyone’s language learning journey will be different. For one student, certain vocabulary words may come to them easily. For othes, those same words may present a challenge. Encourage students to focus on themselves and avoid comparing their journey to that of the next student. 

Bonus tip: Use flashcards to practice English words in small groups or individually. 


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