ESL Guide 
 
This short online guide offers an introduction into how handouthub materials fit easily into your lessons and current TEFL/ESL methods. 
 
1. Why supplement your ESL lesson with Handout Hub handouts?  
All Handout Hub handouts are offered as supplementary materials, meaning that they are intended for, though not restricted to, being used with an existing course book or class material. The design of our TEFL handouts has been tailored for use with the most common TEFL/ESL course books used around the world; Cutting Edge, English File, Total English, Inside Out, Headway and Language to Go. But why supplement a lesson? Here we offer ten reasons why we supplement everyday.  
 
1. The course book provides insufficient writing language practice. 
2. The course book provides little or no speaking practice of grammar/vocabulary. 
3. An item of language you want to do isn't covered at all. 
4. The course book presents language in a way which is too simple or complex. 
5. The course book doesn't provide a 'discovery approach' to learning grammatical rules. 
6. You have too much time/not enough course book material to cover the lesson. 
7. You want to use the course book as a springboard for something else. 
8. You want to add variety to a class or change the class dynamic. 
9. You want to review previously covered material or test your students. 
10. You need a warm-up for a topic you're going to do. 
 
As you can see there are a lot of reasons why you would want to add a little bit more to your lesson through supplementation, and there are even more reasons why you would want to supplement with Handout Hub materials. Find out here >. 
 
2. The skills of English 
At Handout Hub, we have a range of TEFL handouts to be used on any classroom occasion. The majority of our general English worksheets can be categorised into the four main skills of English. Let us explain some of the ways our resources can be integrated into your classroom practice. 
 
2.1 How do Handout Hub TEFL/ESL handouts ensure students improve their English? 
Handout Hub was founded by experienced professionals, well-rehearsed in TEFL/ESL pedagogy and techniques. Years of resource development, handout production, and understanding what motivates learners have allowed us to fine tune an approach which focuses on three important TEFL/ESL classroom principles. 
 
1. We use grammar handouts for language production practice. That is, we want use supplementary handouts to help our students improve their speaking, mostly through more accuracy in grammar and more experience in fluency. 
 
2. We use vocabulary handouts for practice of vocabulary in context. Forget word lists, we are sure the most appropriate ways of acquiring and maintaining vocabulary are through activities that involve students speaking and writing vocabulary in context. 
 
3. We think language practice is best done in pairs or small groups. Sometimes in the thick of grammar presentations, readings or listenings it is easy to forget that students are learning a language to communicate. We think this is best done in collaboration with others. 
 
These three principles are reflected in our TEFL handouts. We have a wide variety of grammar handouts that are done through the mediums of speaking and writing. All our speaking handouts are done in pairs or small groups. We believe students should practise using vocabulary more in their speaking, and we know students are motivated through our engaging vocabulary handouts. 
 
2.2 Speaking 
The most important skill for all students whether they recognise it or not, the skill of speaking is one highly valued at Handout Hub. What makes a student good at speaking and how can all students improve their spoken proficiency? It is widely recognised that there are three core components of spoken language competency; grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation (GVP). Accuracy with grammatical rules, using a wide range of English words, and speaking in a coherent and clear fashion combine together to underpin spoken language competency. 
 
Handout Hub handouts are aimed at TEFL/ESL teachers who want to get their students speaking better; through practise of grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. We want students to actively use language through their own production. Actually 'making' language through more accurate grammar forms, better fluency and more diverse vocabulary is vital for this. This is a key ability for language learners, because if they can't produce language then it doesn't matter how many gaps they can fill with whatever verb form. A suitable metaphor that stresses the importance of being able to 'produce the rules' is football. Knowing the rules of football doesn't make a person a good footballer. The same is true for grammar. Only practice and experience speaking using grammatical rules can improve students' fluency and accuracy. 
 
Handout Hub offers a large amount of TEFL/ESL handouts that involve speaking activities, designed to improve students' productive abilities with grammar. From the verb 'be' at starter level to cleft sentences and inversion at advanced, the full range of grammatical principles are represented in an array of different activities. Activities differ from being tightly controlled to enhance students accuracy, to freer tasks giving students less input and revolving more around students' fluency. The best time to use these tasks is after students have acquired the rules through a grammar presentation or grammar discovery, and then have undertaken some written practice of grammar.  
 
2.3 Writing 
The other aspect of language production is being able to write effectively using grammatical rules. While most students do not highly rate writing ability as a required skill, productive writing practice is a good stepping stone from acquiring language in a grammar presentation to using the grammar in spoken English. Students need writing practice to make the link from language acquisition to language use.  
 
All course books offer writing practice of grammatical principles, so why should you supplement? Handouthub provides teachers with productive language practice worksheets, which should be contrasted with receptive language practice. In the latter, students usually complete the missing gaps in sentences with an appropriate verb phrase. There is usually one correct answer. The activity is over within five minutes. On the other hand, Handout Hub writing tasks involve students making their own language from a sliding scale of input given on the worksheets. Like speaking activities, the writing handouts have varying levels of structure and control. Use the controlled writing practices for students coming to grips with using the basics of grammar. Extended free writing practice offers minimal language input and is great for more creative writing. 
 
2.4 Vocabulary 
While not a skill in itself, vocabulary forms one of the three pillars of English capability. The acquisition of vocabulary by students is actually a complicated process, and scholars still debate how second language learners 'pick-up' and continue using foreign language words. Handout Hub vocabulary worksheets follow three basic TEFL/ESL principles. Firstly, vocabulary is best acquired in context. That means a student shouldn't learn words on their own (for example in lists), but rather in the context of something they can relate to or have experienced. One of the biggest mistakes language learners make is noting down lists of words in their books with an adjacent translation. This method of vocabulary learning never works. In practice, our method means students exemplifying in speaking and writing, students acquiring vocabulary from a reading as opposed to learning lists of words, and the teacher using concept checking questions to check understanding. 
 
The second principle of vocabulary acquisition is recycling. Like metals and plastics, newly-acquired words need to be used over and over again to be hard-wired from someone's short-term memory to the long-term. In practice, this can be done through speaking and writing activities, recaps, tests, crosswords and quizzes. There is nothing worse than noting a word down and not looking at it again. The third principle Handout Hub follows for vocabulary learning is, like grammar acquisition, production. In order for students to add words to their vocabulary repertoire, it is necessary for them to use the words in both speaking and writing tasks. 
 
2.5 Reading 
Reading is often regarded as the easiest skill in English. Students don't have to make the language themselves, students may have access to dictionaries to help them with new or unfamiliar words, and language is usually carefully graded in course books to ensure student understanding. However this is simply a myth. An important principle concerning reading is that it is not the content which generally makes a graded reading easy or difficult, rather the nature of the task set.  
 
Handout Hub offers vocabulary handouts which accompany some of the articles featured in all the common course books. The principle of such worksheets is to help and guide students through the vocabulary of an article. Nothing sinks a student's motivation and confidence than dozens of new words sketched on the board. Don't let it come to that, and instead let students uncover the meaning of words from the context with our helpful sheets. 
 
2.6 Pronunciation 
An often overlooked aspect of language competency is intelligible pronunciation, that is speaking English in a way that a person's accent or dialect does not interfere with understanding. A fundamental principle of pronunciation proficiency in any language is getting it right (or better) from the beginning rather than correcting mistakes at the end. A well-known metaphor goes like this; it's far better to have a railing at the top of a cliff, rather than a hospital at the bottom. 
 
So how can a native teacher with perfect pronunciation hope to affect students with diverse and possibly vastly different accents in a TEFL/ESL classroom? The answer requires students and teachers to meet in the middle in terms of effort. While it's down to the teacher to provide pronunciation practice and model correct pronunciation to students, a student has to have a good ear and a certain flexibility with their mouth and tongue to succeed in pronouncing English correctly.  
 
As with everything practice makes perfect. Handout Hub offers a range of pronunciation activities that act as excellent lead-ins and energisers. The range of tasks includes differentiating between individual sounds, tongue twisters, pronunciation poems, and vocabulary tasks on homographs, homophones etc. Pronunciation is a great way to begin a low level lesson when students lack the spontaneity to speak in English with each other. 
 
3.1 Lead-ins 
Handout Hub offers dozens of activities that can be used as lead-ins to your lesson. Firstly, what is a lead-in and why is it necessary to do one? A lead-in is simple speaking activity designed to engage students at the beginning of a lesson. A useful metaphor that explains all is comparing your students to track and field athletes. To be competition ready, all athletes must warm-up by doing several low-intensity tasks. The same is true for English students, who need a low-difficulty lesson entry speaking task to ease them from not speaking English to being lesson ready. Teachers starting early in the morning are acutely aware of the need to  
 
Handout Hub offers a number of successful lead-in handouts including quizzes, brainstorming tasks, discussion activities, mini-debates, and pronunciation drills. They have been designed with many specific book chapters in mind, so are ideal for teachers in need of a way to start a book chapter or module well.  
 
3.2 'Split' speaking 
For speaking activities whatever their purpose or language focus, pair work is an excellent set up that allows most language aims to be fulfilled. Pair work simply refers to any classroom activity that centres on interaction between two students. Pair work motivates students as it increases the opportunities for student interaction in spoken English. The downsides of pair work mostly centre on students communicating with 'someone else who can't speak English'. While only a minority of students have this frustration, the best way to assuage it is for the teacher to be proactive in monitoring during pair work activities. On the spot error correction and post-activity error correction are essential for improving students' accuracy and confidence. 
 
Split speaking refers to a pair work activity where students receive similar but different worksheets, usually performing differing roles; A and B. Such activities require spoken interaction in many different forms. Here is a variety of common scenarios which Handout Hub handouts follow.  
 
Descriptive guesswork tasks involve students having to describe or explain a concept or picture using the target language to their partner. Their partner, who listens and asks questions, has to guess/identify an answer. 
 
Rephrasing tasks comprise of students reading short sentence extracts to their partner, whose role it is to rephrase the sentence using the target language. Such activities make great accuracy speaking and listening tasks. 
 
Conversational activities are just that. Students use the different questions they have to generate conversation using the target language. 
 
Prediction games consist of students predicting pieces of information about their partner (usually in the form of some target language). These predictions form the basis of discussion and are great, motivational activities for students coming to grips with grammar. 
 
3.3 Prediction games 
Speaking activities involving answer prediction are popular with students and easy to set up for teachers. Apart from the aforementioned prediction games involving pairs of students, the 'find someone who' can be modified to form an excellent group prediction game. In these activities, students make predictions about their fellow students and later locate and speak to the student in a whole group mingle activity. 
 
3.4 Board and card games 
A good board or card game can work wonders in a language learning classroom. Motivating and energising, board games provide productive language practice in a format which is very student friendly, appealing to everyone's love of competition, co-operation and achievement, which are fundamental principles in any pedagogical situation. Handout Hub offers a range of board games on both grammar and vocabulary, some involving free language practice and some focusing on student accuracy with the 'nuts and bolts'. 
 
Card games are a double-edged sword for many teachers, who rightfully resent excessive cutting-out and sorting which goes hand in hand with such activities. In spite of the lengthy preparation, card games offer numerous benefits to full worksheet activities. By not revealing everything at once, card games are useful for grammar and vocabulary games involving stages and in groups. Handout Hub's approach to card games has been this. If a card game can be modified and carried out on an A4 worksheet without any detrimental effect on its modus operandi, then it should be done so, to save a teacher on cutting out, sorting out and clearing up. Therefore, you will find many of Handout Hub's resources are modified A4 card games. 
 
3.5 'Tell me about' 
A 'tell me about' (TMA) worksheet is no more complicated than the name suggests. Efficient to prepare, easy to set up in class and fun to feedback, TMA handouts are great for students learning grammar. This is because on such handouts the language is modelled for the students, who can use this framework to construct accurate English sentences. TMA handouts can be done in pairs or small groups. To encourage better pair or group work you can distribute just a single worksheet to a pair, which is great for focusing co-operation. 
 
3.6 'Find someone who' 
The 'find someone who' is a staple activity in English speaking supplementary materials. From basic single 'meet and greet' activities ideal for new courses so students can meet each other to complex question-making and information gathering tasks, the basic premise of a 'find someone who' involves students getting practice speaking to anyone and everyone in their class. The benefits of a 'find someone who' involve their motivational qualities, the frequent requirement of some form of preparation or pre-practice, and the long duration that these activities require. For Handout Hub 'find someone who' worksheets simply browse 'class mingle activities' or search for 'find someone who'. 
 
3.7 Vocabulary race 
Not necessarily a race, this way of doing vocabulary gets students speaking using the target grammar or vocabulary. The vocabulary is laid out in sentences which require students to think of and discuss examples. Ideal for dealing with how vocabulary is used with verbs, and fixed expressions, the vocabulary race contextualises new or unfamiliar words for students. 
 
3.8 Sentence correction 
Tired of gap fills that don't offer a challenge or get students using the target language? A great way to improve students' writing abilities, Handout Hub is pleased to offer many sentence correction writing worksheets that get students using the target language. The basic premise involves students correcting pieces of information in a number of sentences. Students must use the target language and their own knowledge or information to complete the tasks. 
 
 
4. TEFL/ESL Links 
Onsite TESOL Courses and Online TEFL courses in UK, Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru, Italy, USA. 
Description: INTESOL International is a global TESOL training organisation, offering TESOL/TEFL certificate qualifications accredited by Ascentis, a QCA approved UK National Awarding Body. Your first step to a new adventure teaching English abroad! 
 
 
Title: TESall.com 
Description: ESL TEFL TESOL teaching jobs, teacher resumes and news for teaching English abroad. 
 
Description: This website provides free vocabulary learning material for students to learn English vocabulary online. 
 
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