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One thing that teachers always wonder about is how to encourage students to interact more with each other. Many times, they are so focused on understanding the material and how to teach a particular grammar point that they forget that communication and interaction activities between students are also important for an effective classroom. This article will introduce you to some ESL activities to encourage and create opportunities for students to interact in class.


#1. In the morning, encourage discussion, especially on Mondays and Fridays

Ask each student to share with the class or in pairs what they know about the topic. You can then call on individually or in pairs to retell what you just said.

Also, remember to share your opinion as well. Because students probably also want to know to adults but what this topic means. Give students the opportunity to learn more about you outside of grammar or vocabulary lessons, because they also want to know their teacher well.

#2. Before taking up homework, instruct students to share their answers with a partner

Orchestrate the activity by encouraging students to be curious about what their peer got or if they struggled with an answer to ask their partner what answer they got.

#3. Jigsaw reading is a great way to not only make reading fun but to also introduce speaking into the lesson

It also encourages critical group thinking skills on the topic of interest. Students have to be prepared to explain what they read in their own words with the textbook closed, which encourages genuine speaking and summarizing skills.

Give each group a time limit so they know to work effectively and efficiently with each other.

The quizzing aspect of the activity is really important as it ensures that all students stay focused throughout the duration of the activity.#4. If you are preparing students for the Cambridge exam with FCE or PET, for example, you will at some point be administering the practice tests in class

Once the students have finished, instruct them to share their answers with each other.

#5. If you’re working towards providing your students with more independence in their learning, which is a key benefit of peer-to-peer learning, try scaffolding with running dictation as an activity.

I always do running dictation with a part of or a whole text.

Once they are finished, I have them sit down as a group to compare what they wrote with what is written in the text and to correct any errors made.

The Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Education

#1. It gives the teacher more time to relax and observe instead of constantly trying to entertain students.

#2. Once students have bonded through fun, engaging ESL activities, it allows for a more relaxed atmosphere where students are more willing to take the lead in learning.

#3. The smaller discourse between a couple of students as opposed to a larger group allows for greater understanding.

#4. Peer-to-peer education has been proven to show greater communication skills and higher self-esteem.

#5. Students become more productive and produce greater results compared with teacher-led instruction.

If there are times when your students are too quiet, see if you’ve given them enough opportunities to encourage them to talk to you and their friends. You can also learn more about ESL activities and interactions to create an effective classroom in the TESOL course at Horizon TESOL. Please contact us at https://tesolcourse.edu.vn/ or the Facebook page Horizon TESOL – Teacher Training & Solutions for more information.

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