Tips on Creating ESL Resources to Reinforce Students’ Learning Part 2

Custom Designed ESL Resources  2

This post covers the pedagogical aspects of creating your own ESL resources.

Things to Consider:


  • Audience (Who are your students? Young people? Children? Adults? Migrants? Job seekers? Etc.
  • Purpose (What do you need/would like to achieve with the activity? Are you targeting a particular skill/grammar point, vocabulary use? Is the activity for a quiet/transition time? Explain the purpose of the activity to your students clearly.)
  • Relevance (Is the activity relevant to your students? Is it relevant to your curriculum?)
  • Variety (How can you present the target material differently from your mainstream course book?)
  • Level (What level of English does the activity target? Are you using appropriate language or level of difficulty?)
  • Cultural appropriateness (Is the activity culturally appropriate for your students?)
  • Inclusivity (Will the activity work for all students in your class?)
  • Multi-purpose use (How else can you use the activity?)
  • Open ended nature (How can you link the activity with other activities?)
  • Number of students (Is it for a group of students, pairs or individual work?)
  • Steps involved in completing the activity (Do you clearly understand what students need to do to complete the activity? Check unfamiliar vocabulary first? Review grammar pattern/vocabulary? Make a connection with the previous material? Too many steps will take longer than expected to complete or make the teaching objective unachievable)
  • Level of support required to complete your worksheet (Can your students do the activity with minimal/no supervision? Or, it’s a teacher guided activity?)
  • Time required to complete the activity (Is it just a warmer where 10-15 minutes will be enough or maybe you would like to use your activity for focusing on something more substantial?)
  • Effectiveness (The worksheet is the most useful when it reinforces and builds on what the learners already know. Avoid vague activities – for example, giving students a task to ‘Write down a few ideas about…’ or ‘research your topic’ without giving any guidance or structure.). It is a crucial point for all language learners.

In Part 3 some design considerations will be suggested.

Part 1
Part 3
Part 4


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