Spring is here and your ESL students are thinking more about enjoying the good weather than that fill in the gap you spent ages preparing. This time of year is when you need to be more creative and keep the students engaged and motivated by switching it up and subtly sneaking grammar into some fun activities out of the classroom. Here are a couple of great ideas for off-site learning:
Take your students to a museum
There are all sorts of exhibitions in Madrid. There are some great free museums, like the Matadero or Espacio Fundación Telefónica and you can enter into some of the more expensive centers for free at certain times of the day. There are a lot of grammar points that you can practice outside of the classroom. For example:
- Present Continuous: What are they doing in the picture? The man in a red suit is looking at the woman in a blue dress.
- Order of adjectives: She’s wearing a lovely green silk dress.
- Prepositions: “In the background, on the left, etc.”
Organize activities in the park
Sunny days are a perfect excuse to get out and deliver your class outside. We all know how confusing phrasal verbs can be, therefore, having enough space to “jump around”, “sit down”, “stand up” and “run into” is very important. You can play games involving commands and imperatives, like Simon says. Another way to enjoy a sunny day is having a picnic where your students use modal verbs while enjoying food, for example, “Could you pass me the salt?.”
Living in a city usually makes people forget what a gems the city has for outsiders. Have your students become tour guides for a couple of hours. It is a great way to practise past tenses and passives, for example “Madrid was built in the 9th century”. If your students don’t have a good knowledge of history, they can always organize a tour around places they know or go to the most, like their favorite streets, bars, terraces and monuments. They can walk around and tell each other about the last time they “went” (Past Simple) to a certain bar.
There are several things you can focus on when window shopping with your students. Don’t forget to pre-teach all the necessary clothes vocabulary in class so your students to express themselves freely. This could be your last class in a series about clothes and accessories. In terms of grammar, you can definitely focus on modal verbs like “you shouldn’t wear a green skirt with red boots.” Another area you can practice is question structure. You can swap roles in being your student’s personal shop assistant and ask things like “how would you feel about wearing these boots with those jeans?”
Don’t forget that you can’t take your students outside without due preparation. Make sure that you check the museum ticket prices, talk to your students about bringing blankets to go to a park, ask them about the main sights in Madrid and check if they like shopping. And last but not least, don’t be afraid. Your students are going to love it!
All of these ideas are great for your students’ fluency.