TET Vietnam Holiday 2024, A Good Time or Not?

TET In Vietnam 2024.

After living in Vietnam now for 16 plus years I think I am pretty qualified to let you know what TET is like in Vietnam.

From the firecrackers one year that sounded like machine guns (Or were they machine guns) to the cleaning of the house to appease the spirits, or the wife, to the utter boredom of eating pork and eggs until you hate pigs. lol.

This is what it is like over TET in Vietnam.

First What is TET?

You might have heard of the TET offensive, this is when the USA got their butt kicked.

Basically, with a bit of help from AI, this is what it was about. A mixture of butt-kicking and lunar new year.

The Vietnam War.

During the Vietnam War, the North Vietnamese forces launched a significant military operation known as the Tet Offensive against both the South Vietnamese and the Americans12. On January 31, 1968, the first day of Tet, the lunar new year, it started.

Over 100 South Vietnamese cities and outposts were simultaneously attacked. The goal of the offensive was to undermine American support for the war and incite a rebellion among South Vietnamese citizens.

And it worked. sadly so many good people on both sides died on this day and days before this. I am not trying to be flippant, but it was a terrible time for so many people. It is time we laid it to rest. I salute all.

Now All is Forgotten

Some of the older people remember the war, but Vietnam is predominately a young persons nation and they have forgotten and don’t care as much. But they are still respectful.

They are more interested in V-pop, K-pop, or Techno. Their aspirations are similar to Western culture however they are a lot more family-orientated.

This brings us to, what is it like now.

Vietnam TET 2024.

Now let us get into the good stuff. What is it like now and is Vietnam worth visiting over TET?

Yes and no. Let me explain.

When is TET

It changes with the lunar new year so even the kids do not know. And I am not sure if the adults do as well, lol.

But generally, it is in the first or second week of February. I’ve been here so long and still do not know the exact date, damn I am becoming Vietnamese.

What is TET About?

TET is generally about family but there are traditions you need to abide by. For example, wait till you are invited to see someone as it is important who walks through the door first. If you are not invited and just roll in, then it may be viewed as bad luck for the hosts.

And don’t sweep the dirt out of the house on TET because you will be sweeping out money. Love that, another excuse not to clean the house.

TET starts slow as everyone prepares and buys food and flowers. Much like the pictures above. And the video below.

A year or so ago, but the same stuff, damn almost said Krap.

When you do get to someone’s house, what do you do? Drink beer (Don’t pass out) , and wine and eat an enormous amount of food. When drinking you will commonly hear Morb, hai, ba YO. Which is basically 1,2,3 ..drink. And you might hear something that sounds like “chum a chum”, which means drink your whole glass of beer.

This is a Normal TET for me.

Tomorrow we start with this healthy stuff. I promise it will go downhill from here.

A swim, yippee.

Location: You’ll find it at 48/10 Dien Bien Phu Street, Ward 22, Binh Thanh District.

Operating Hours: The pool is accessible to the public from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m

Entrance Fees:

Weekdays (Monday-Friday):

Adults: VND 70,000

Children: VND 40,000

Weekends (Saturday and Sunday):

Adults: VND 80,000

Children: VND 50,000

What Is My Plan?

Drugs, sex, and rock-n-roll, NO, I can’t say that.. let’s be serious…

Back to normality, we need to take the kids home first.

No Teaching for 2 weeks is a bonus so what is next….hehe…

Next is… Reality

A more family-orientated activity.

Clean the House.

Everyone goes on a cleaning binge and wash the floors, take down and wash the fans and if it is dirty…it gets cleaned.

This is the one time everything is spotless. I try to hide and drink beer all day and pretend I am working on my website.

Pork and Eggs

If you have been in Vietnam for longer than two TET holidays you will know about “pork and eggs”. It is a staple food source over these holidays and the first year I spent with my Vietnamese family I ate it for 5 days straight.

To say I am over it is an understatement. This is what it looks like.

Pork and EggsBuying Flowers

Buying some flowers. everyone must spend money on flowers to leave outside their doors.

Here are 7 of the most popular flowers used during Tet in Vietnam, with their Vietnamese names and meanings:

  • Apricot blossom (Hoa Mai): A symbol of spring and the Lunar New Year, apricot blossoms are often used to decorate homes and businesses during this time. They are believed to bring good luck and prosperity in the coming year.
  • Peach blossom (Hoa Đào): Another symbol of spring, peach blossoms are also associated with beauty and love. They are often given as gifts during Tet to express good wishes for the new year.
  • Kumquat tree (Cây Quất): Kumquat trees are small, citrus trees that are often decorated with red kumquats during Tet. They are believed to bring good luck and prosperity, and they also symbolize wealth and abundance.
  • Daisy (Cúc Mẫu Đơn): Daisies are a popular choice for Tet decorations because they are simple and elegant. They are also associated with purity and innocence, which are qualities that are valued during the Lunar New Year.
  • Marigold (Cúc Vạn Thọ): Marigolds are often used in religious ceremonies and are a symbol of good luck. They are also believed to ward off evil spirits, making them a popular choice for Tet decorations.
  • Orchid (Hoa Lan): Orchids are considered to be a symbol of elegance and sophistication. They are often given as gifts during Tet to express good wishes for the new year.
  • Chrysanthemum (Hoa Cúc): Chrysanthemums are associated with longevity and happiness. They are often used in Tet decorations to bring good luck and prosperity to the home.

These are the favorites and normally sit outside the gates of the house to the left or right. And they are never stolen, although I have been tempted. After TET most are thrown away apart from the very expensive ones which are then sometimes sent back to a farm to look after.

TET Superstitions.

TET is accompanied by some superstitions and traditions believed to bring good luck and ward off bad fortune. Here are some common superstitions observed during the TET holiday in Vietnam:

Cleaning before TET.

It is believed that cleaning the house before TET can sweep away the bad luck of the previous year and make room for good fortune in the coming year. However, cleaning during the TET period itself is avoided, as it is believed to sweep away the good luck.

Avoid black and white clothing.

Wearing black or white clothes during TET is considered inauspicious, as these colors are associated with mourning and funerals in Vietnamese culture. Instead, bright and vibrant colors, especially red and yellow, are preferred to attract good luck and prosperity. Although this is now considered old fashioned with younger people.

Money and giving lucky envelopes.

It is customary to exchange red envelopes, known as “lì xì” or “mừng tuổi,” during TET. These envelopes contain lucky money, which is believed to bring good luck and blessings for the new year. New money is best to give with fresh crisp notes.

Avoiding borrowing and lending.

Vietnamese people believe that borrowing or lending money during TET can bring financial difficulties in the coming year. It is considered better to settle any debts before TET and avoid engaging in monetary transactions during the holiday period.

Firecrackers and loud noises.

Firecrackers used to be a common part of TET celebrations in Vietnam, as the loud noises were believed to scare away evil spirits and bad luck. However, due to safety concerns, firecrackers are now largely prohibited.Apart from a couple of years ago when someone in my area set off firecrackers that sounded like a machine gun. Damn.

First visitor of the year.

The first visitor to a house after midnight on New Year’s Eve is considered significant. The belief is that the first guest can determine the luck and prosperity of the household for the entire year. Usually, a respected and successful person is chosen as the first visitor to bring good fortune.

These are just a few examples of the many superstitions and traditions associated with TET in Vietnam. So was I lucky this year. Read below.

What Happened to Me this TET.

All my good intentions of going to District 1 to look at the flowers and walk around and video for this blog went out the window. How did this happen?

My Vietnamese wifes friend invited us to her shop to drink beer and eat. The food was amazing and the company was great. My wifes boyfriend is a policeman and a big drinker and a big guy. Also very funny.

Unfortunately after drinking about 15 beers, he brought out the whisky. It laid me low for 3 days. but this is what happens over TET and you have to roll with the flow.

All in all, I did have a great TET but did miss out on the flowers in District 1. Walking around with thousands of others….hmmm.

If You Were in Hanoi

You would have seen this amazing show. The video is a live drone show in Hanoi during the New Year festival, showcasing a spectacular display of drones in a 4K60 HDR format. Amazing.

And in Ho Chi Minh City

And if you were in Ho Chi Minh City, this is what you would have seen.

Hanoi is the capital and there is also some leftover animosity so I am sure the funding is not the same.

However, every city and town has its own TET celebrations and each is special in its own way.

Final Words

I hope you liked a look at what Vietnam has to offer and the experiences you can have if you come here to work as a teacher.

So is TET fun and a good time to visit? Vietnam is never boring but be prepared for a lot of shops to be closed over the official TET holiday.

Steve


Any or all links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation, you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

 

Addressing Cultural Differences In ESL Teaching

Vietnam views

Don’t Be Offensive.

I’m going to be talking about why cultural sensitivity isn’t just a bonus in ESL (English as a Second Language) teaching; it’s a necessity. Imagine you’ve got a classroom bubbling with students from Brazil to Bhutan, navigating not only a new language but also a new cultural milieu. The way you handle cultural diversity can make or break their language acquisition journey.

Cultural differences influence how students interpret language cues and classroom dynamics. For instance, notions of politeness, directness, or even humor vary drastically from one culture to another. Recognizing these differences helps in tailoring teaching methods that don’t just communicate language, but also respect and celebrate individual cultural identities.

Creating an inclusive learning environment goes a long way. It boosts confidence, fosters mutual respect, and makes the classroom a welcoming space for everyone. This isn’t just my opinion; there’s ample evidence from educational research that demonstrates how inclusivity can spur student engagement and improve language retention.

Take a look at some case studies and you’re going to find out about schools where teachers have embraced cultural diversity with outstanding results. From using bilingual assistants to celebrate language days, strategies that incorporate cultural elements into the ESL curriculum have been shown to significantly enhance student participation and performance.

Now, let’s move on to the nitty-gritty of communication. How do we, as ESL educators, facilitate a more nuanced understanding of the language that goes beyond mere grammar and vocabulary? Well, that’s going to include an exploration of non-verbal communication and cultural nuances, which is exactly what we’ll dive into in the next section.

Breaking Language Barriers: Communication Beyond Words

When it comes to teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), there’s much more to consider than grammar rules and vocabulary lists. If you’re an ESL teacher, you’re going to find out about the significance of non-verbal communication and cultural nuances, which are just as crucial as the words used in conversation.

Cultural expression is a huge part of how we communicate, and it’s often overlooked in language education. In my opinion, as an educator, you must balance the technical aspects of language teaching with activities that immerse students in the cultural subtleties of English. This is where the use of culturally relevant materials comes into play. Whether it’s through literature, film, or music, exposing students to a variety of media can help them pick up on idiomatic expressions and societal norms.

Role-playing is another fantastic tool. By simulating real-life scenarios, students get a chance to practice their language skills in a context that mirrors the diverse cultural situations they might encounter. In other words, they’re learning to read the room, not just the textbook. This includes understanding body language, personal space, etiquette, and humor, all of which vary widely across cultures.

So, what’s next? It’s critical to weave these insights seamlessly into the very fabric of your curriculum—that’s going to include designing lesson plans that resonate culturally with your students. That’s what I’m going to cover next, giving you practical tips to integrate cultural competence into your everyday teaching, ensuring your students are not just linguistically prepared, but also culturally attuned.

Curriculum Design: Integrating Cultural Competency in Lesson Plans

When you set out to create lesson plans for your ESL classroom, you’re not just shaping grammar and vocabulary lessons; you’re designing experiences that should resonate with every student, regardless of their cultural background. That’s going to include a variety of tasks to ensure that each individual feels accounted for and understood.

Designing culturally responsive teaching materials requires a blend of creativity and insight. It’s all about making sure that examples, topics, and activities reflect the diverse world we live in. Texts, videos, and images representing a spectrum of cultures can make lessons more engaging and relatable.

Adapting curriculum shouldn’t be a one-off effort. It is a dynamic process that involves regular revisions based on your students’ feedback and the latest pedagogical research. This ensures the materials remain relevant and sensitive to the evolving cultural landscape.

Incorporating cultural celebrations and traditions from the students’ home countries can bring a real-world context to abstract language concepts. Imagine celebrating the Chinese New Year or Diwali in class—I’ve seen it ignite students’ enthusiasm and provide a shared experience for language practice.

But remember, continuous professional development is key. Engage in ongoing cultural competency training. This not only broadens your own global awareness but equips you with the latest strategies to handle diverse classrooms effectively.

You can always adjust your approach down the road by staying responsive to both your students’ cultural needs and the latest teaching methodologies. The ultimate goal here is to construct a learning environment that not only teaches English but also fosters cross-cultural understanding.

Here is a lot more about “Lesson Plans and Free Stuff”

Fostering Inclusive Classrooms: Strategies and Best Practices

I’m here to help you with a few strategies and best practices that can transform your ESL classroom into a hub of inclusivity. It’s not just about acknowledging the mix of cultures but actively promoting an atmosphere where every student feels valued and heard.

In my opinion, the role of the teacher is paramount in cultivating an inclusive space. This involves being proactive in addressing any biases, ensuring equity in student participation, and being open to continuous learning about different cultures.

You’re going to find out about techniques like setting ground rules for respectful communication and regularly checking in with students to understand their perspectives. It’s crucial to make room for students to share their cultural backgrounds and experiences as part of the learning process.

If you want to effectively manage culturally sensitive scenarios, it begins with education. Equip yourself with knowledge about potential cultural conflicts and have plans in place to navigate these with sensitivity and respect.

Peer learning and collaborative projects are instrumental in bridging cultural gaps. Choose activities that encourage students to work together, learning from each other’s strengths and cultural insights.

Learn more here about “How to Teach English in Vietnam”

Finally,

You can always adjust your approach down the road, based on the measurement of success. Assessing cultural awareness growth among students is essential. Use reflective journals, feedback sessions, and inclusive practice surveys to gauge the classroom’s progress toward cultural competency.

Steve


 

Any or all links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation, you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Vietnam Is Not All Sunshine And Sweethearts.

Things I Dislike about Vietnam

Generally, I love Vietnam and its people and the magnificent landscape that never fails to “awe: me.

After 16 years of living here, I consider Vietnam my home for reasons above and beyond being married to my wonderful wife.

Listening to foreigners whingeing about Vietnam is one of my favorite “sports”. I have heard people complaining about being “shortchanged” 10,000 dong and seen arguments over 50,000 dong.

While this is quite petty, there are some valid reasons for people to feel aggrieved. Especially if they have been here for a while.

Not that we want special privileges for lasting so long, lol. More for the fact that we know that you know the scam about to be perpetrated.

Here is my small list of “complaints”. Just another whingeing foreigner, go home “”Om Tay” or, my favorite “Tay balo”…..Mr Backpack. Lol.

My Favorite Peeves.

My normal response to people who moan and complain about a country they were not born in, is…to go home. But there are things over the last decade and a half that I have tried to avoid but not always successfully.

Before I start my “decompression”, let me start by saying every place has its pros and cons and luckily the cons far outweigh the pros, albeit you can find a lot of them here too. Lol.

Sitting over a hot computer and a cold beer (75c U.S.A)here is the list I have come up with.

The Heat.

It is not so much the heat, but the consistency of the heat. Yes, I could move out of H.C.M.C. Unfortunately, that is where our business is.

One of the best jobs in H.C.M.C Vietnam would have to be a weather forecaster. There are seasons, but they all revolve around hot. For example, hot and dry or hot and wet. Sometimes even hot and windy.

The Traffic.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Vietnam has the second-highest motorcycle ownership in the world, after Taiwan. As of 2016, there were over 37 million registered motorcycles in Vietnam, accounting for more than 90% of all vehicles on the road.

Motorcycles are the main mode of transport for most Vietnamese people, as they are cheap, convenient, and flexible. However, they also contribute to many traffic problems, such as air pollution, noise pollution, road accidents, and fatalities.

And I feel like I am caught in the middle of it. Just crossing the street can be hazardous let alone driving. I do not know of any foreigner who has stayed for a long time and not had a traffic accident of some description or another.

The traffic congestion in Vietnam is mainly caused by rapid urbanization, the lack of public transport infrastructure, the poor road quality and design, and the low compliance with traffic rules.

HCMC is the most affected city by traffic jams, as it has a population of over 9 million people and an area of only 2,095 square kilometers. The average speed of vehicles in HCMC during peak hours is only 15-20 kilometers per hour, and sometimes even lower than 10 kilometers per hour.

Traffic Accidents and fatalities in Vietnam.

The road accidents and fatalities in Vietnam are also alarming. According to the WHO, Vietnam ranked among the top 10 countries with the highest road traffic death rates in the world in 2018, with 26.7 deaths per 100,000 population.

Roads are being fixed and things are slowly changing, but it remains one of my pet peeves. Just about everyone I know has witnessed a fatality. I have seen two very traumatic fatalities and even watching it leaves you shaking.

Higher Prices for Foreigners.

Even after living here for 15 years I am still obviously viewed as a foreigner, and because of that the natural assumption is that you are rich. Because of this when shopping in a lot of markets, especially the touristy ones you are charged triple the normal price.

The best way to deal with this is to quote a reasonable price and if it is not accepted, walk away. Quite often you will be called back grudgingly and the price agreed upon. But please don’t haggle over a few thousand “dong”. The merchants do need to make a profit and it is embarrassing to see foreigners haggling over a few cents.

Petty Crime in Vietnam.

Vietnam is one of the safest countries I have ever lived in. It is safer than Australia and most Western countries.

But opportunistic petty crime can be a pain. It is not rampant, but there is enough to make you nervous about holding your mobile phone in a street situation. I have seen and been a victim, of people on motorbikes snatching your phone or bag if you are negligent in safety.

Vietnam Hospitals and Doctors.

The doctors who have helped me here in Ho Chi Minh City have been great. Let me tell you my hospital story about bowel cancer and then the little niggling things that don’t quite add up.

Approximately 11 years ago my stomach swelled up and I was rushed to hospital after several days of constipation. I had a bowel blockage caused by a cancerous growth.

I was taken to surgery ASAP and operated on over 17 hours. The doctors saved my life, however it did cost me about $15,000. Probably not much for the USA, but a lot here. Anyway, I certainly couldn’t complain.

That being said, medical communication in Vietnam differs greatly from that of medical communication in my own country. In Vietnam they give you only the essential information here, ignoring any things they consider to be “optional.”

Not being able to buy what I want.

After living in Vietnam for so long it can become difficult to buy certain things, especially clothes in Western sizes. Purchasing specialized sports goods, hardware, large-sized clothing and shoes, and other uncommon items can be quite difficult in Vietnam.

I am frequently compelled to buy goods from abroad or arrange for a family member to buy them for me and have them shipped to Vietnam. Of course, this operation means that there are often long delivery delays—up to one month.

A real pain if you want the right-sized underpants.

Final Say.

Overall I love Vietnam, but if you are thinking about staying for a while it is also good to know about the problems.

Steve


Any or all links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through those links I will make a small commission on them.

There will be no extra cost to you and at times due to my affiliation, you could actually save money.

You can read our full affiliate disclosure here.

 

 

 

 

 

Free ESL Lesson Plan for Kids

Lesson plans should be a part of your skillset as an EFL or ESL teacher. Using this time wisely will help a lot when you are in the classroom.

Building a Lesson Plan.

Building a lesson plan is essential if you want a defined outcome for your class. Students and some teachers need structure and a determined direction to move from one learning point to another. And even though you may feel that “after 15 years I can wing it easily”. A lesson plan is like the “ABCs” of learning English. A good lesson starts with a good lesson plan.

I have wanted to provide free lesson plans for all classes. However, after thinking about it I believe each teacher is unique much like their students. And we should be doing our own lesson plans depending on the teaching styles we use. 

For example, I use the T.P.R style of teaching or Total Physical Response as it fits in with my personality. T.P.R revolves around using all aspects of communication to teach English. I use body language, visual representations like flashcards or newspaper clippings, and music to enhance my lessons.

Wikipedia has a good understanding of TPR and click the link to find out more.

Mapping Out a Lesson Plan.

It does not take long to map out a good lesson plan and there are a lot of different resources on the internet that can help, from templates to word searches and everything in between.

The following is the lesson I did tonight for fifteen 8-year-olds who need movement in the class to help stimulate the brain cells.

This is what I wrote and what I did. I do not keep rigidly to a lesson plan and if something doesn’t work I will drop it immediately and use something else. What you should take away from that statement is “always have an extra 15-minute segment” that you can use in the classroom if something you have planned does not work.

Also, look at How to Design a Lesson Plan.

Free Beginners ESL Lesson Plan for Body Parts.

I keep my lesson plans short and then that gives me enough room to improvise depending on the students’ questions or responses. The best attribute a teacher can bring to the classroom is the ability to think on one’s feet. 

My class size was 15 students and the class time was 1 hour and 30 minutes. I think this is the best length for an 8-year-old class without them getting bored. At 8 years old you still need to move them from activity to activity to keep their minds engaged in learning.

I broke my lesson down into 4 parts.

1. Introduction.

We had two new students starting so I wanted everyone to introduce themselves. At this level, it is not the easiest thing for the students unless you provide an outline for them to write. If you look up ESL introduction templates or images you will have a wide selection to choose from. This is what I chose tonight.

I usually do my class time allotment in 5-minute blocks for younger children and I estimated this would take 3 blocks or 15 minutes.

By the time I had explained everything and the children had written and filled in the gaps, we were on the 11-minute mark.

I then got the children to read and they did a pretty good job so I rewarded them with “points.” It took about 20 minutes for these exercises to be finished.

I used ESL Printables for this.

What’s This Points Thing?

At the start of the class, even before we did the introduction worksheet I split the class into two teams, Boys and Girls. Vietnam is very competitive and it can really help in learning and class control at this age.

There are 8 girls and 7 boys in this class, so thankfully a perfect (almost) split. Otherwise, I would go A and B. The reason I use teams is if they do a good job, I reward them and if they are noisy I will penalize them. Peer pressure is quite a deterrent at this age, and anything that helps in their learning works for me too.

Also at the start of the class, I will go around the class with the alphabet and if anyone gets the letter wrong they lose a point to the opposing team.  

I do the same with days of the week and months of the year and numbers from one to 50. It is a great way to review the basics or go over a past lesson.

2) Body Parts Game and Video.

Because my whole lesson revolves around learning new body parts and learning the correct pronunciation I use all the different TPR styles that I can in 90 minutes. 

The game is very basic but extremely funny. The students must follow you in touching various body parts. You get them to watch and participate 4-5 times and then they have to do it (as a group) alone. For example, I will say…touch your nose…touch your eyes…touch your mouth, etc, and they must follow your actions. I one team member gets it wrong they lose a point to the opposing team.

I break it up with, stand up, sit down, and raise your left arm (watch how many copy and still follow with the right hand) Thus you have to teach left and right. I blocked this out for 2 units of time followed by a video that ran for 5 minutes. 

I improvised after the great video and handed out a sheet of paper for the students to listen, follow, and draw the face that was explained in the video. It was an easy video for the students to follow and we all had a lot of fun. We ended up watching the video twice because of the improvised drawing and the time stretched out to a 25-minute block.

3. Body Parts Writing and Matching.

After a few minutes of very noisy activity, I had to quiet them down and get back to doing some writing and matching words to their respective body parts. There are a lot of great worksheets for this and this is the one I used today.

Body Parts

After the students completed this chart, we read out the body part names for pronunciation purposes and then we had a flashcard game. This game uses the “family and friends” body part flashcards. 

I then go individually through the flashcards pronouncing the words and placing them face down on the ground so the students do not know which card is which. I then choose one person from each team to come and pick a card that I have asked for. I may have said “I want a nose”, and they may pick up an arm…Lol, no points. If they get the correct card then it is 2 points for the team.

I estimated this would take up 3 blocks of time or 15 minutes and I was almost correct, it went for 20-plus minutes because the children didn’t want to stop. If you are looking for Flash Card games click on the link to an older post.

4) Wordsearch and Final Game.

Even though I am not a big supporter of word searches as they can sometimes be overused by teachers who don’t want to teach, I do sporadically use them myself. Especially for the younger students and as a reward if the lesson has gone well and the students seem to have absorbed the content of the lesson

.This word search is from English 4Kids.

You can also use these types to elicit the spelling of the words from the students. This took about 10 minutes.

My Final activity was reinforcing the new vocabulary by getting them to stand up, touch your eyes, nose, mouth, hair, etc.

The Girls won and then we all went home. 

Final Thoughts.

It needn’t take a lot of time to write a lesson plan and it should be flexible enough to change at the drop of a hat. Some of my best lessons have happened when I left the boundaries of the lesson plan. 

The lesson plan took me less than 15 minutes to do, although I have been doing them a long time and know where to get most of my resources. I also have 15 years of material for teaching in several folders. Prepping time has become much shorter.  

But a good teacher should always prepare a lesson plan for no other reason than to determine what you want to get out of today’s lesson. What improvement do you want to make to your students English skills?

Steve the ESLMAN


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money.  Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

ESL Lesson Plans for Adults Free

Teaching Adults English.

Designing an ESL lesson plan for adults can be challenging, but also rewarding. Adult learners have different needs, motivations, and goals than younger students, so you need to tailor your lessons accordingly. Here are some tips on how to create an effective and engaging ESL lesson plan for adults.

1. Know your learners. Before you start planning your lesson, you need to know who your learners are, what their level of English is, what they want to learn, and why they are learning English. This will help you choose the most relevant and appropriate topics, materials, and activities for your lesson.

2. Set clear and realistic objectives. Based on your learners’ needs and goals, you need to define what you want them to achieve by the end of the lesson. Your objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For example, by the end of the lesson, learners will be able to introduce themselves and ask for basic personal information in a formal setting.

3. Choose engaging and authentic materials. To make your lesson more interesting and meaningful for your learners, you should use materials that are relevant to their lives and interests, such as articles, videos, podcasts, or songs. You should also use authentic materials that expose them to real-world language use, such as newspapers, websites, or social media posts.

4. Plan a variety of activities. To keep your learners motivated and involved, you should plan a mix of activities that cover the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. You should also include activities that promote interaction and communication among learners, such as pair work, group work, role plays, or discussions. You should also vary the level of difficulty and complexity of the activities according to your learners’ abilities and progress.

5. Assess your learners’ performance and provide feedback. At the end of the lesson, you should check if your learners have achieved the objectives you set for them. You can use different methods of assessment, such as quizzes, tests, presentations, or portfolios. You should also provide constructive feedback to your learners on their strengths and areas for improvement. You should also encourage them to reflect on their own learning and set goals for future lessons.

Make Your Own Lesson Plan Template.

If you are looking for a template ESL lesson plan for adults, you might find this blog post helpful. It outlines the basic steps and components of a successful ESL lesson, as well as some tips and resources to make your teaching more effective and engaging.

A template ESL lesson plan for adults should include the following elements:

– A warm-up activity to review previous material, activate prior knowledge, or introduce the topic of the lesson.

– A presentation stage to introduce new vocabulary, grammar, or skills, using clear explanations, examples, and visuals.

– A practice stage to give students the opportunity to use the new language or skills in controlled or guided activities, such as drills, exercises, or games.

– A production stage to allow students to apply the new language or skills in more authentic or creative tasks, such as role-plays, discussions, or projects.

– A feedback and correction stage to provide students with positive and constructive feedback on their performance, as well as to correct any errors or misunderstandings.

– A wrap-up activity to summarize the main points of the lesson, review the learning objectives, and assign homework or further practice.

Some tips and resources to make your ESL lesson plan more effective and engaging are:

– Use a variety of activities and materials to cater to different learning styles and preferences.

– Incorporate real-world contexts and situations to make the lesson more relevant and meaningful for the students.

– Adapt the level of difficulty and complexity of the activities to suit the students’ needs and abilities.

– Use clear and simple instructions and check for understanding before starting each activity.

– Monitor and support the students during the activities and provide feedback and corrections as needed.

– Encourage student interaction and participation and create a positive and supportive learning environment.

Template Examples.

You can find more examples and templates of ESL lesson plans for adults on these websites:

– https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk

– https://www.fluentu.com

– https://www.esl-lounge.com

My current fave site is Twinkle, have a look, don’t worry I’m not making money off this. Twinkle..

Example Lesson Plans.

Here are two examples of ESL lesson plans for adults that you can use in your classroom or online teaching.

Example 1: Present Perfect vs. Past Simple

Objective: To help students practice the difference between present perfect and past simple tenses in speaking and writing.

Materials: A worksheet with sentences in present perfect and past simple, some dice, and a timer.

Procedure:

– Warm-up: Ask students to think of an event that happened in their life recently and write a sentence about it using the present perfect tense. For example, “I have finished reading a book.” Then, ask them to write another sentence using past simple tense with a specific time expression. For example, “I finished reading the book yesterday.” Have them share their sentences with a partner and compare the use of tenses.

– Presentation: Review the rules and examples of present perfect and past simple tenses on the board or on a slide. Explain when to use each tense and how to form them. Highlight the differences in meaning and usage.

– Practice: Give each pair of students a worksheet with sentences in present perfect and past simple. Have them roll a dice and read the sentence that corresponds to the number they get. Then, have them rewrite the sentence using the other tense. For example, if they get a sentence in present perfect, they have to rewrite it in past simple, and vice versa. Set a timer for 10 minutes and have them complete as many sentences as they can.

– Feedback: Check the answers as a class and correct any errors. Ask students to explain why they chose a certain tense and how it changes the meaning of the sentence.

Example 2: Giving Advice

Objective: To help students practice giving advice using modal verbs and expressions in speaking.

Materials: A set of cards with common problems or situations that require advice, such as “I want to lose weight” or “I have a job interview tomorrow”.

Procedure:

– Warm-up: Ask students to think of a problem or a situation that they need advice on and write it down on a piece of paper. Collect the papers and shuffle them. Then, distribute them randomly to the students. Have them read the problem or situation they got and think of some possible advice they would give.

– Presentation: Review the modal verbs and expressions that can be used to give advice, such as “should”, “could”, “might”, “why don’t you”, “have you tried”, etc. Give some examples of how to use them in sentences. Explain the difference in meaning and tone between them.

– Practice: Divide the students into pairs or small groups. Have them take turns picking a card from the set and reading the problem or situation aloud. Then, have them advise each other using the modal verbs and expressions they learned. Encourage them to use different ones and to explain their reasons for giving that advice.

– Feedback: Ask some pairs or groups to share their problems or situations and the advice they gave with the class. Comment on their use of language and give suggestions for improvement.

Check it Out.

Check out my other posts for more information on teaching Adults. This is the link to click on…

How to Teach ESL English to Adults.

How to design a Lesson Plan.

I also have a lot of other stuff you may find useful, so check out my site. www.vietnamesl.com

Final Thoughts.

Remember, every group of students is different. What works well with one group may not work as well with another. Be flexible and willing to adapt your teaching strategies as needed.

Don’t stick to your lesson plan and if you have to veer off in a different direction that is fine, The one thing I have learnt is teaching should be flexible to cater to your students’ needs. And the best thing to do is incorporate FUN. Do that and your students will want to learn English and love you forever as a great Teacher. 8-).


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

ESL Earnings and Costs in Vietnam

Living and Working in Vietnam as a Teacher.

When I read the news I see a lot of people complaining about the cost of living. I read stories of people in England having to choose between heating their house or eating. I also see so many pictures of the homeless in America it makes me sad.

There is another option. Asian countries, and especially Vietnam are crying out for English teachers and I am going to explain what qualifications you need, how much (or little) it costs to live, and how much you can make…and save. Yes, you can easily save $1,000 a month and more if you are prepared to work hard.

Let’s Cut to the Chase.

Qualifications.

The qualifications you need to teach English in Vietnam are minimal. If you are really interested in teaching English legally in Vietnam the minimum requirements for most teaching jobs in Vietnam are:

– A passport from a native English-speaking country or a high level of English proficiency

– A university degree certificate in any field, preferably in education or a related subject

– A teaching certificate such as CELTA, TEFL, TESOL or equivalent

– A health check from a local hospital or clinic

– A landlord form or police registration to prove your address in Vietnam

– A clean criminal background check from your home country or the country where you have been living for the last six months

Some employers may have additional or different requirements depending on the type of institution, the level of students, and the curriculum. For example, some international schools may require a degree in education and several years of teaching experience. Some language centers may accept candidates without a degree or a teaching certificate if they have other relevant qualifications or skills.

To work legally in Vietnam, you will also need to obtain a work permit and a temporary residence card. These documents are usually processed by your employer once you have a job offer and a valid business visa. The process may take several weeks or months and require various fees and paperwork. If you get a job with a good school they should pay for this.

Not that I recommend it, but there are schools that will pay cash for anyone who can speak English without the above requirements. Also, you will find that some schools will pay for ad-hoc or part-time work and you can get paid after class. If you want to find out more about this, leave a message.

Pay Rates.

The average salary for teaching English in Vietnam in 2023 can range from **27 million VND ($1100)** to **51 million VND ($2200)** per month. Nearly a year after the pandemic, English centers and schools have gradually recovered financially and in revenue, so the average salary of expat teachers has also been raised. Rates are on the rise and it is a good time to come to Vietnam as an ESL teacher.

However, this is just a general range, and the actual salary you can earn may vary depending on the type of institution you work for. Here is a breakdown of the salary ranges for different types of teaching jobs in Vietnam :

– Public Schools: **1500$ – 2000$/ month**

– Private Language Schools: **1150$ – 1800$/ month**

– International Schools: **1900$ – 2300$/ month**

– Universities: **895$ – 2200$/ month**

– Private English Lessons: **15$ – 60$ /hour**

As you can see, there is a wide variation in the pay rates for ESL teachers in Vietnam, depending on the level of education, prestige, and location of the institution. Generally speaking, public schools pay less than private language centers, which pay less than international schools and universities.

However, public schools may offer more benefits, such as paid holidays, visa assistance, and accommodation allowance. Private language centers may offer more flexibility, such as part-time or freelance contracts, and more teaching hours.

International schools and universities may require higher qualifications, such as a master’s degree or a teaching license, but they also offer higher salaries and more professional development opportunities.

Another factor that affects your income as an ESL teacher in Vietnam is your location. The cost of living and the demand for English teachers vary across different regions and cities in Vietnam.

For example, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are the two largest and most developed cities in Vietnam, where you can find more job opportunities and higher salaries. However, they are also more expensive to live in than smaller cities or rural areas. So consider your personal preferences and lifestyle when choosing where to teach in Vietnam.

Cost of Living.

Personally, I can live in Vietnam for less than $1,000 a month. However, I am quite frugal and don’t go out a lot. You can rent for about $200 a month for a room or small house in the suburbs of Ho Chi Minh and you can live on $10.00 per day quite easily. But if you want to party every night then your costs will obviously go up as well.

Here is a link to a site that provides a comprehensive list of Vietnams costs. Vietnam costs. However, I believe they are a bit high.

What is it Like Teaching in Vietnam?

I have quite a few posts explaining both what it is like teaching in Vietnam and how to teach different levels of students. here is one link you may find useful or once again leave a comment and I will answer you directly.

If you are looking for a job here, I will also be able to help you if you are qualified or not. => LOOK HERE <=

Final Thoughts.

In conclusion, teaching English in Vietnam can be a lucrative and fulfilling career choice for ESL teachers who want to explore a new country and culture while making a positive impact on their students’ lives.

The pay rates for ESL teachers in Vietnam depend on many factors, but they are generally competitive and sufficient to cover your living expenses and save some money.

If you are interested in teaching English in Vietnam, make sure you do your research on the job market, prepare your qualifications and documents, and apply for the positions that suit your skills and goals.


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

How To Avoid Teacher Burnout in ESL

Avoiding ESL Burnout.

Teaching ESL can be a rewarding but challenging career. You get to interact with students from different cultures and backgrounds, help them improve their language skills, and witness their progress. But it can also be stressful, exhausting, and demanding. How do you avoid burnout teaching ESL? Here are some tips that might help:

Tips for Sanity.

– Set realistic goals and expectations. Don’t try to do everything at once or expect perfection from yourself or your students. Focus on what you can control and celebrate small achievements. Some students are great, some not so much, but you are helping them even if they don’t know it.

– Take care of yourself physically and mentally. Eat well, sleep enough, exercise regularly, and find time to relax and recharge. You can’t teach well if you’re not feeling well. Try not to party too much. It tends to happen when you first arrive in a foreign country, especially Asia.

– Seek support and feedback. Connect with other ESL teachers, join online communities, attend workshops, or find a mentor. Share your challenges and successes, ask for advice, and learn from others’ experiences. Build a network of friends you can talk to about any problems at work. Personal problems will happen and having someone to talk to is a literal lifesaver.

– Be creative and flexible. Try new methods, materials, and activities in your lessons. Experiment with different ways of teaching and learning. Adapt to your students’ needs and interests. Keep things fresh and fun for yourself and your students. Learn new stuff, It makes class life more exciting and fun. Go into your class and focus on having fun and the students will warm to you immediately which will make your teaching easier.

– Remember your purpose and passion. Remind yourself why you chose to teach ESL and what you love about it. Think about the positive impact you have on your students lives and the difference you make in the world. You are helping others achieve their dreams and traveling the world at the same time. Not many get to do this, so revel in the joy.

  • If Things Get Bad. Do not hesitate to contact me or a professional if you are suffering. There are online services that provide help. You can use this link. I Want to Talk.

What are some fun ESL activities?

Here are some ideas that you can try in your classroom:

– Games: Games are a great way to motivate students, practice vocabulary, grammar, and skills, and have fun. You can use board games, card games, online games, or create your own games based on the topic or skill you want to teach.

– Songs: Songs are a wonderful way to expose students to authentic language, culture, and pronunciation. You can use songs to teach vocabulary, grammar, listening, speaking, or writing skills. You can also have students sing along, fill in the blanks, or write their own lyrics.

– Stories: Stories are a powerful way to engage students’ imagination, creativity, and emotions. You can use stories to teach reading, writing, speaking, or listening skills. You can also have students read aloud, act out, or write their own stories.

– Projects: Projects are a good way to integrate different skills, topics, and resources in a meaningful way. You can use projects to teach research, presentation, collaboration, or problem-solving skills. You can also have students work individually or in groups on topics that interest them. This takes a bit of time to set up and is better with more advanced students, however, the benefits are amazing. I have a lot of ideas on my website about this.

– Websites: There are a lot of websites that you can use for free that will help you in the classroom. Here is a link to some of them. Teaching Websites.

– My Website; I have a lot of stuff that can help you teach from young kids to adults if you take the time to check out my site. It is all free and I do not advertise. Yet. Lol. Here is the link to my website. MY WEBSITE.

Final Thoughts.

My Father and Mother were both teachers as well as my brother, so chalk flows through my veins. I have been teaching in Vietnam for over 15 years and now own 2 schools, so I know what I am talking about. Burnout is a thing we all have to cope with, and how we cope is what makes the difference.

Steve


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

Back to School in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

A new school year means we need to prepare for new classes and new students.

The Holidays are Over Again.

In Vietnam, a school year is divided into two semesters: the first begins in mid or late August and lasts until the end of December, while the second begins right after the first, which is about mid-January and ends in May.

It took me quite a few years to adapt to the extended holidays for children they have in Vietnam. With almost 3 months a year of holidays for children, it was, I realized, both a blessing and a curse. (A blessing and curse for all involved, the teachers, parents, and students. Perhaps the worst affected are the parents who have to organize what to do with their kids while they work.)

As a traveler, it gave me 3 months in which I could easily move around the country, or even further, as I had plenty of time to use. And as a lot of the teaching contracts are yearly it gave me time to look at where I wanted to spend my next 12 months and find suitable accommodation in an area close to my new school.

On the downside, I had to make sure I had correctly budgeted for the time I had off. Not that it was a significant problem as I could pick up piecemeal work at any number of private schools or even pick up private tuition.

You can read here at ‘The Vietnamese Education System” to learn more about teaching in Vietnam and the type of work available. And things have not changed much over the years. You can find many posts and many tips and techniques that I have found to be successful over the years and I am happy to share these free of charge via my website.

Another almost beneficial downside was the amount of knowledge that the students had forgotten during their extended holidays. And it was this ( amongst a few other things) that made me decide to open my own school in Vietnam.

Back to School and Enhancing Your Opportunities.

September has arrived, and if you’re anything like the teachers I know, your thoughts have already begun to return to the long list of tasks you “need” to complete before you enter the classroom. We are all aware of how lengthy the to-do list is when it comes to setting up your classroom for a new school year. For this reason, this post will provide you with a list of actions you may take to aid in back-to-school preparation.

And your to-do list relates to whether you have your own school or private students or whether you are teaching in the public school system. I will try to cover both as they are equally important. I often came across teachers who used to say, why bother preparing as it is just the same but just a new year. I found those who said that were the teachers who drifted from one place to another and never “kicked on” to become professional ESL teachers.

If you have your own private school or students you will have been continually teaching but perhaps on restricted hours. Or perhaps you have closed for a week so the students’ parents can spend some time with their children over their holidays.

So here we go.

Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

If you have taken the 3 months off the first thing I do is mentally and physically prepare myself for the resumption of classes. It might seem trivial or an ad-hoc thing to do, but if you have gotten into the habit of sleeping in again, I like to spend 1 week prior to school waking up at 5.30 a.m. and re-adjusting my body clock.

Most schools and classes will start between 7. a.m. and 8 a.m. in Vietnam and it doesn’t help if you are still half asleep with 50 noisy kids starting your day. You must be alert and on the ball, especially in the first few days of the new semester. How you present yourself in front of the class in the first week will establish how the rest of the semester goes.

Preparing your “tools of the trade” is the next step. As basic as it sounds, make sure everything you take with you works. I want my markers, pens and pencils to be ready for use along with erasers and rulers. This is very basic stuff, but I have seen teachers on the first day asking if they can borrow a pen or marker or chalk because the school has not got any. Really embarrassing if it happens to you.

If like me you use a microphone headset, check it out the day before to make sure you have enough charge for the day or replacement batteries if needed.

When teaching in a classroom in Vietnam you may have upward of 50 people per class. (My biggest class size was 56 children who were 7-8 year olds).

If you don’t want to lose your voice by the end of the day I strongly advise that you invest in a microphone headset. The Aporo headset I have is 30 watts output and is very light. It comes with 2 headbands and is easy to wear for a whole day.

The use time is between 8-12 hours and I have never needed to recharge it through the day. This is perhaps the best “tool” I have ever used in the classroom and has without doubt saved my voice on many occasions.

If you are lucky enough to have your own classroom then other types of preparation come under what I call…….

Simple and useful.

1) Name tags.

2) Welcome signs.

3) Classroom schedule.

4) Pre-prepared exercises

A Day in The Life of a Vietnamese High School Student.

Here is a video that was made about a day in the life of a Vietnamese High School Student. A lot of ESL teachers will say they hate teaching teenagers. But while teaching teenagers has its own challenges it also provides one of the sweetest emotional rewards. I have seen students at their worst and at their best. During this stage of their lives, they are at their most open and if you can establish a good connection with your students you will have an outstanding year of teaching.

Updating Your Electronics.

If you’re a teacher, you already know what a difference having the appropriate materials and equipment makes. A good laptop is a necessary tool for today’s professionals. Of course, you’ll want to get a good deal on your buy, with an emphasis on the appropriate specs.

You’ll need something that delivers powerful processing performance. Ample storage is important as well, so there’s no concern about storing a multitude of documents and media files. You will also want a robust machine that can take a few knocks as well as something that is covered by a good warranty in case of any misfortune.

I have used a lot of brands and models over the years and because of my role, I continually stay on top of the latest models. These are my current top 5 laptops for price and performance. All these laptops can be had with a price sub $1,000.00.

  • Apple MacBook Air M1: This laptop is one of the best laptops overall, as well as the best MacBook for students. It has a fast and efficient M1 chip, a long battery life, a high-quality display, and a sleek design. It is also compatible with many apps and software that you can use for learning English or Vietnamese. It starts at $999, which is a reasonable price for its value.

  • Dell XPS 13: This laptop is one of the best Windows laptops, as well as one of the best business laptops. It has a powerful performance, a stunning display, a comfortable keyboard, and a durable build. It is also lightweight and portable, making it easy to carry around. It starts at $999, which is a competitive price for its features.
  • Google Pixelbook Go: This laptop is one of the best cheap laptops, as well as one of the best Chromebooks. It has a simple and elegant design, a long battery life, a smooth performance, and a great webcam. It is also ideal for using Google apps and services, such as Google Translate, Google Drive, and Google Classroom. It starts at $649, which is an affordable price for its quality.

  • HP Pavilion Aero 13: This laptop is one of the best laptops on a budget, as well as one of the most popular laptop brands in the U.S.. It has a compact and lightweight design, a fast processor, a decent battery life, and a colorful display. It is also customizable and upgradable, allowing you to choose the specifications that suit your needs. It starts at $630, which is a bargain price for its performance.

Language App.

As well as a decent laptop that can be used by both the teacher and student, I have found that MONDLY is a great app that can be put on your computer and laptop that helps the student with their learning. Click on the MONDLY logo to check this out.

I also have 2 other posts relating to tech tools in the classroom that may help you organize what you need to make life in the classroom easier for you. These are…

And don’t forget the free online tools that we can use as well, here is a link to a list of my top 10 online tools.

  • Online Teachers Tools to make life easier.
  • Final Thoughts.

    After teaching in Vietnam for over 15 years in various schools ranging from Kindergarten to teaching Teachers how to teach English, the one thing that I have learned to be most necessary is to make sure you prepare for each new semester as thoroughly as you would as if it is the first class you have ever taught.

Every student is different and each of them deserves 100% input from you the teacher. The more you involve yourself in the lesson the more personal satisfaction you derive from it.

If you have any questions or feedback I am happy to answer any or all directly or by email.

If you wish to read more about Education in Vietnam you can look at this post from Wikipedia.

“Education in Vietnam”




Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

The Best Free Digital Tools for Teaching English On-Line.

Here are 8 of my best digital tools that I use for teaching on line and in the classroom.

My Best 8 Digital Tools for Teaching English Online.

Teaching English online can be fun and rewarding, but it also requires some planning and preparation. You need to have the right tools to communicate with your students, create engaging materials, and provide feedback.

In this blog post, I will share with you some of the best digital tools for teaching English online that I have used and personally recommend.

There are free options for all of these tools which fits perfectly within my budget but does not provide me with any revenue.

If you see anything on your travels around my website that you think is cool, I would appreciate it if you purchase via me as so far I have kept this site ad free and would like to continue doing that.

Google Meet.

Google Meet is a video conferencing platform that allows you to host live classes with your students. You can share your screen, use captions, chat, and record your sessions. You can also create breakout rooms for group activities and use polls and quizzes to check understanding. Google Meet is free for anyone with a Google account and works on any device.

Most people I know use Skype, but I have always found this to be easier and the free period during covid was 30 minutes longer than Skype. The quality is exceptional and I never had any complaints from my students. I still continue to use Google Meet for my personal life as well as my business and can not fault the service.

Google Docs.

Google Docs is a word processor that lets you create and edit documents online. You can collaborate with your students in real-time, leave comments, and track changes. You can also use Google Docs to create assignments, quizzes, and feedback forms. Google Docs is part of Google Workspace, which also includes other tools like Google Slides, Google Sheets, and Google Forms.

I run Google Docs from my smartphone (As well as my laptop) and tie it into the books and lessons I am teaching on the day. With most of the tools being Google I find I have little to no problems. It is a no-brainer to use the whole set of Google tools to provide the best experience for your students and to make it easy for yourself.

Yes, there is a bit of learning to do to make sure everything runs seamlessly. But once you have done it a few times you will look like a master and your lessons will run as smoothly as silk.

Google Workspace.

Google Workspace is a suite of cloud-based applications that helps you manage your online teaching business. You can use Gmail to communicate with your students, Google Calendar to schedule your classes, Google Drive to store and share your files, and Google Classroom to organize your courses and assignments. Google Workspace is free for educators and students with a school email address.

Google Jamboard

Google Jamboard is a digital whiteboard that allows you to create interactive lessons with your students. You can draw, write, and add images, stickers, shapes, and text boxes. You can also import slides from Google Slides or PDF files. You can invite your students to join your jam session and collaborate with you on the same board. Google Jamboard is free for anyone with a Google account and works on any device.

Canva.

Canva is a graphic design tool that helps you create beautiful and professional-looking materials for your online classes. You can use Canva to design slides, posters, flyers, worksheets, certificates, logos, and more. You can choose from thousands of templates or create your own from scratch. You can also access millions of images, icons, fonts, and colors. Canva is free for basic features and offers a premium plan for more advanced options.

I use this for so many things, from designing class brochures to templates for advertising on social media. How can this still be free and offer so much? I am embarrassed to the degree I feel like I must upgrade to a paid membership.

There is also a special education offer for teachers and schools. Canva Education…

ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to generate natural and engaging conversations in English. You can use ChatGPT to practice speaking and listening skills with your students or to provide them with extra practice outside of class. You can also customize ChatGPT to suit different levels, topics, and interests. ChatGPT is free for anyone to use and works on any device.

A,I is going to change so much of how things will be done, there is a steep learning curve in front of us all. My other website, which is called AITechWarriors will be helping people stay on top of what is happening in the field of A.I.

Speechnotes

Speechnotes is a speech-to-text tool that converts your voice into text. You can use Speechnotes to dictate your notes, essays, emails, or blog posts. You can also use Speechnotes to transcribe audio or video recordings of your classes or interviews. Speechnotes is fast, accurate, and easy to use. Speechnotes is free for anyone to use and works on any device.

This is a great tool as you can use it to test your students’ pronunciation and vocabulary skills as well as provide obvious benefits for the teacher.

Grammarly

Grammarly is a writing assistant that helps you improve your grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary, and style. You can use Grammarly to check your writing for errors and suggestions on how to fix them. You can also use Grammarly to set goals for your writing based on your audience, tone, and purpose. Grammarly is free for basic features and offers a premium plan for more advanced options.



The basic version is so good I have never felt the need to upgrade. I am 100% happy with the format and what I can do with it. They have recently added an AI interface which I am playing with and it gives you 100 free “prompts” per month. Along with chatGPT and the other A.I tools, I doubt I will ever get to use the lot.

Quillbot

Quillbot is a paraphrasing tool that helps you rewrite any text in different ways. You can use Quillbot to avoid plagiarism, simplify complex sentences, or generate new ideas for your writing. You can also use Quillbot to change the tone or mood of your text based on different modes like formal, informal, creative, or humorous. Quillbot is free for up to 700 characters per paraphrase and offers a premium plan for unlimited paraphrasing.


This extension is permanently open on my browser and that shows you how often I use it. Being able to paraphrase something quickly is vital for my business, thus the reason I stare at it every day.

Final Thoughts.

These are my 8 favorite online tools for teaching English. There are many ways you can use them and, as is said, you are only limited by your imagination.

For example with “speechnotes” you could use it not just for translating from speech to text but you could use it for testing the vocabulary and pronunciation of your students. How well are they pronouncing that word? Are they stringing sentences together grammatically correctly?

With chatGPT, you can get your students to phrase questions about their favorite topics and see if the answer corresponds with what they thought.

So fire up the thinking cap and use the tools that we have on hand to make our classrooms a lot more fun. And if the above aren’t enough tools for you, here are a few more that I have reviewed and used in the past, and for most still do. Look at my post named “On-Line Teachers Tools to Make Life Easier”. It just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

Steve.


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

What is LMS for ESL?

An article outlining some of the learning management systems available for ESL teachers and administrators.

What is LMS?

Simply put, an LMS is a system for keeping track of students, tasks, and educational resources. It has many more features, and they are all ultimately designed to save teachers and administrators time by centralizing students and course materials.

It helps manage educational courses, training programs, and learning and development programs. Simply automate tasks like tracking and reporting on student progress, and can also be used to deliver course materials to students.

What Are The Key Points of an LMS?

An LMS is a complex online learning environment created by several components working together, hidden beneath a user-friendly interface. The list of features in a contemporary LMS might be extensive, as with most contemporary software solutions. There are, nevertheless, a few key elements that are essential to any LMS.

These fundamental elements include the server database, which holds all of the LMS’s essential features, and the user interface, which allows teachers and students to interact with the servers. They are, in a nutshell, the front end and the back end of an LMS.

But keep in mind that these are only some of an LMS’s most fundamental features. Any modern LMS incorporates many, many more features than these, such as e-commerce capabilities and student performance analysis powered by machine learning.

A learning management system (LMS) is a software application that provides a framework for all aspects of the learning process. It is designed specifically to create, distribute, and manage the delivery of educational content.

The main purpose of an LMS is to provide an online learning experience while the availability of some capabilities change. Access is granted to verified users to accomplish this, and thus, supposedly aids in the global distribution of knowledge for educators.

A Checkered Past.

However, it is possible to argue that an LMS is simply a means of organizing students, tasks, and educational resources.

Nevertheless, as was already mentioned, an LMS is much more than that. However, all administrators and teachers crave more. By gathering all of the students and class materials in one location, we want to save time and make things simpler.

They (LMS) do, however, have a murky image among educators. They can be tough to master, awkward to use, and challenging to traverse.

Available LMS Options for ESL Teachers.

There are many learning management systems available for ESL teachers (And administrators) and here are five that I consider are worth your attention.

  1. Off2Class: This LMS is designed specifically for ESL teachers and offers a wide range of features such as lesson plans, quizzes, and student progress tracking. Off2Class has nearly 800 ready-to-teach modules which may be combined to create unique courses. These are based on actual errors that students make on a “Placement Test.”

    Without leaving the site, you can manage your students (and teachers if you run a school), mark your lessons as you go along, give out and grade assignments, and link with video services like Zoom or Google Meet.

    Off2Class was specifically created to be an LMS for ESL teachers. And it has nothing else that may block or limit your needs. The reviews for Off2Class are all overwhelmingly positive and frequently use the phrase “I am extremely impressed.” However, more lessons on pronunciation may benefit the overall experience.
  2. Moodle: This open-source LMS is free to use and offers a wide range of features such as course creation, student tracking, and reporting. However, it is significantly more powerful than most ESL teachers require, making it more complicated as a result. People have created incredible things using Moodle across many industries since it is free and open-source. Moodle can be used to create an entire online learning platform from scratch, but for most teachers, it’s complete overkill.
  3. Google Classroom: This free LMS is designed specifically for educators and offers a variety of features such as course creation, student tracking, and reporting. For many ESL teachers, Google’s products acted as their de facto LMS. During the Covid lockdown, I used Google Meet for online teaching. I also used Google Docs for my lesson notes. While others have taken advantage of Google Sheets and even held class sessions via Google Hangouts. Now, with Google Classroom you can post announcements, respond to student posts, and even create and grade assignments, Google Classroom is an effective way to combine these services under one roof. It’s a simple, cost-free solution to give structure to your lessons.
  4. Edmodo: This free LMS is designed specifically for K-12 educators and offers a variety of features such as course creation, student tracking, and reporting. Students and teachers can connect and exchange resources safely with Edmodo. Edmodo offers packages that allow school leaders to benefit from strong analytics, provide professional development, and curate their educational content. These products are free for teachers and students.

    Pros: Only a small learning curve for people who regularly use social media. There is also a robust community of users and a good support network.

    Cons: The user interface is very busy for teachers, especially with ads and information on the screen, and it could use a rubric tool and better collaboration options.
  5. Powerschool: Is advertised by the company as the leading k-12 learning management system offering a comprehensive teaching and learning platform. Its ability to transfer data across Schoology Learning and PowerSchool SIS, two different educational software platforms, is one of its distinguishing qualities. “Passback” refers to the automatic transmission or synchronization of data or information entered into one system with another. Schoology Learning is a learning management system (LMS) that both teachers and students can use to keep track of course materials, homework, and communication. A student information system (SIS) called PowerSchool is what schools use to handle student data like grades, attendance, and demographics. It has mixed reviews, with some criticizing it while others love it.

Final Thoughts.

There is an old saying that goes along the line of “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” So if you are running a small school like mine, you may well decide that not having a learning management system worked well for a long time and it can continue to do so.

Adding any learning management system adds another task that needs to be done. Make sure that the effort you need to exert is really worth it. You have to ask yourself if the benefit of using an LMS is worth the extra work that needs to be done.

Do not fall prey to the “shiny object syndrome”. However, if it saves time and increases the “bottom line” of the balance sheet by all means go ahead and take the plunge.


Some links on this site may be affiliate links, and if you purchase something through these links, I will make a commission on them. There will be no extra cost to you and, you could actually save money. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.