Classroom Activities for Adult ESL Learners

A video series featuring teachers leading adult ESL classes through common classroom activities.

Author(s) Organizational Affiliation
Minnesota Literacy Council
Publication Year
Resource Type
Informational Material
Target Audience

Observing classroom instruction delivered by experienced teachers is a good way for teachers and tutors to acquire classroom management techniques and learn new activities. Because finding time to do in-person classroom observations can be difficult, the Minnesota Literacy Council developed the Classroom Activities for Adult ESL Learners video series. The 17 videos feature professional teachers leading adult ESL classes through common classroom activities. Teachers and tutors can use the videos to develop their teaching practices and become more comfortable introducing new activities to students.

Each activity includes:

  • a PDF version of the lesson plan;
  • a full version of the video ranging in length from 8 to 35 minutes that shows the entire activity from beginning to end; and
  • a shorter 3- to 16-minute version that gives an overview of the activity and highlights the instructions and teacher-led transitions.

The activities featured in these videos were selected from the Minnesota Literacy Council’s Pre-Beginning ESL Curriculum and Beginning ESL Curriculum. The site also features a Classroom Video Observation Form to analyze and reflect on what users see in the videos.

What the experts say

The activities modeled in the Classroom Activities for Adult ESL Learners videos bring variety and interest to the classroom. They will be helpful to beginning tutor and teachers as well as those who previously relied on workbooks and lecture. Many of the activities are directed toward beginning learners, who often present a challenge to teachers. There is, however, little information about learner preparation or follow-up activities.

The videos in the Classroom Activities for Adult ESL Learners series show teachers working with adult ESL students without a formal workbook or worksheets. The videos feature teachers facilitating cooperative/collaborative learning activities with small group work and discussion. ESL students are quick to learn and engage when the instructor (like those in the video) demonstrates a true interest in them and their learning. Performance-based assessments activities are used in some of the videos that concentrate on oral communication and/or reading.

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