Teaching english games
Learning is fun!

Are you new to ESL, switching age groups or looking to motivate your pupils? Make your ESL teaching easier and more fun here.

Hello. I'm Shelley Ann Vernon and I specialize in teaching English as a second or foreign language through English games, short stories, songs, plays and more. I have already helped over 15,000 teachers take the stress out of teaching and put the fun back in. Now I'd like to help you too. I am here for you. I offer you personal support to get the best out of my resources. Every email is answered.

Stories Games and Songs, the acknowledged and documented BEST resources to:

- develop children’s attention span and listening skills*

- stimulate children’s imagination and understanding of the world*  

- develop language ability and appreciation of literature

**(Dragan 2001, Rippel 2006)

Here’s how to motivate your pupils, help them learn effectively and ensure you and your pupils enjoy your lessons more.

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Books of ESL games
ESL Stories
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What teachers are saying

USA, All my best and with so much gratitude

Thank you, so very tremendously, for your stories, activities and ideas for keeping this very active age of 2-5 year olds engaged. I see the looks on the parents faces and the children are opening up more and more each class. You make me look Soo good!

Milan, Italy, Dec 2015

I’m very excited about using all the activities and transforming my lessons into less teacher-centered ones. Congratulations on the book! It is really well organized and easy to use.

Han sur Lesse, Belgium, Jan 2016

I keep being a bit afraid to 'abandon' my school book, but from time to time I use the games in your book for a change. My pupils really appreciate it and I see them change. When I use a game, they are happy and all participate.

Turkey, March 2016

I keep using the games from primary esl games book and so many things have changed for me for the better. My classes are more fun, I am gaining more confidence as a teacher. My pupils love the games and are learning very fast!!! It's all been really great!

Qatar, March 2016

The Adult games book has really reduced my preparation time. Activities such as 'Guess the Question' have really gone down well with my classes.

International School, Prague

You have no idea how much your resources have changed my work, professional business AND personal life! My job is a source of pleasure and I look forward to it every day. Once again, thank you for all your help and inspiration! You are a great contributor to our world!

France, Nov 2015

I love this book. It has saved me many times. I love getting the kids to work together, it's such an important skill to learn. It is just such refreshing relief for these French kids who have no idea about learning through games.

Dec 2015, China

After I bought your "games for kids" book and started using it my lesson planning became so much simpler and quicker. The lessons a lot more fun and rewarding for my students. I am totally happy with it.

Kiev, Ukraine, Nov 2015

The stories and songs are brilliant, my 4 1/2 year old student loves them and his mother is rapt with his improvement.

Chengdu, China (Wuhou District), Nov 2015

First of all... I love you!!!!! I teach English to 3-7 year olds in China. You speak my children's language! F-U-N !!!

Poland, May 2016

You make the best teaching materials on the planet.

New Zealand, May 2016

I am still enjoying my English teaching. After the 20 stories I am finding the children are able to respond and answer questions. Your course is fantastic. Last week I used the teddy story, it went so well. Thank you for making ESL such simple fun.

Great work, Love from Portugal, Luzia, May 2016

My little students love your stories and I love the fact that I can teach the language always doing what they like best - playing and listening to stories.

Teaching English Games Blog

Useful ESL tips to solve teaching problems

3 April 2017

Here is a poem by Abdul Hafeez Jhelumi, from his book of Urdu poetry, published in Pakistan. For such a short poem so many questions arise and could be discussed in small groups. Thank you Abdul for this concise, elegant and thoughtful poem and for allowing it to appear on this blog.One sees the man at the gallows giving up his life to remain integrous. Who would do that today? It happened often in Europe during the religious wars. What historic events do your students know of when this happened? How truthful are people today? Many of our politicians lie to us routinely, but what about you, how truthful are you?Then comes the quiet admission of great pain, but kept private. This is not some people gossip magazine, where people spread their innards out over glossy pages. This personal poem has dignity. I hope you enjoy this poem as much as I do and share it with your students to help increase their appreciation of literature, while improving their English discussion skills.  If I were Looking glass By Abdul Hafeez Jhelumi Never ever in my life,Would I lie for expediencyEven before the king, even at the gallows,Only and only truth I’d speak,If I were Looking glass, But for being human,I’m born to be shattered ceaselessly, dear.Sometimes by shock,Sometimes by fatal pangs of separation,If I were Looking glass,Surely I'd be crashed into tiny pieces by ruthless stone.But only once it happened – just once in my life.If I were Looking glass.  

child reading a magical story book
30 March 2017

The power of stories is incredible and they are a fantastic teaching tool. Here are ten reasons to use them in your preschool or kindergarten English class. 1. Children love them. Start a story and preschool children will suddenly be mesmerized. It is amazing the effect stories have on preschoolers, even if they already know the story inside out!  2. The story can be the focal point of the lesson, giving meaning and context to odd words and phrases learned in isolation.  3. Children can absorb the structure of language subconsciously as well as hear familiar words they know.  4. Preschoolers will be happy to hear the same stories over and over again, which is fantastic for revision and absorption.  5. You can use the stories as a base for fun activities in class.  6. A useful message can be contained in the story, aside from language learning.   7. Using stories develops creativity and imagination in a way that watching TV never can, not to mention the negative effects of computer screens and computer games on children.  8. You can use stories as a quiet time in between boisterous activities.  9. Stories, along with songs, allow children to hear and understand far more English than any other method.  10. Enhancing story telling with gestures, actions, colourful illustrations, relevant games and role-playing increases language retention and acquisition, and makes for fun lessons. This helps you repeat and review the same language as well as making it real through play.  Check out my fabulous curriculum of preschool stories, with lesson plans, games, songs, masks and more. This curriculum of stories is especially written for preschool and young primary English language learners. The first 20 stories are for ages 3 to 6, although teachers repeatedly tell me older children enjoy them also. The complete series of stories goes through to prepare for the A1 European Language Certificate.  You too can be an inspirational teacher!"What took me days to figure out piling over internet sites and going to the library now takes me an hour with Shelley's program and you can quote me on that! (...) I see the looks on the parents’ faces and the children are opening up more and more each class.  You make me look so good!" Kathryn Williams, USA

18 March 2017

A distraught parent, who is also an English teacher, asked me what she could do to help her 13 year old son, who is being kept down a grade. One could no doubt write several books on this topic, but here are some initial steps to try.  Notice what's working, and change if you don't see any positive results. 1. Check the child does not have any neurological problems such as attention deficit or dyslexia.  These issues are surprisingly common today and if diagnosed, the child may benefit from extra help, or even treatment. 2. There is no magical cure. To improve takes effort. Therefore, I suggest arranging for a private tutor to help the child in one subject.  If it were my child I would have the tutor for an hour a day in one subject, the same subject every day!  I would hope that from massive input on one subject, it would improve tangibly, giving the child new confidence in his/her ability to learn.  Hopefully that confidence would have a knock-on effect, improving motivation and results across the board.  As for finding the money to pay for this, if there is no available money in the family budget then it could come out of the child's leisure budget - money you would have spent on an outing, or a present, goes to the tutor.  That's called tough love! 3. Notice if it's working: If you get no results from the tutor, try a tutor with a different approach.  OR try massive input on a different subject and see if you make any headway there instead. 4. Never make negative comments about the child's ability to learn.  You might tell him/her off for having a poor attitude, but you never want to humiliate or deflate a child. You want to be encouraging, to give hope, and make the child feel like he/she can succeed.  There's no need to exaggerate or over do it, just find some positive points to praise and nurture. You don't want to make him/her feel stupid, so he/she gives up.  5. Make sure the child has a hobby, such as dance, music, sport, drama or art that he or she has a passion for.  Achievement in any sphere is positive for the child. Make time for that hobby or passion!  Do not leave your child stuck with the paper and pen alone! Your child may have other skills and areas of genius, as Albert Einstein said: "Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." 6. Never give up on your child. If you give up, your child will feel it, and that may be the nail in the coffin of his/her academic learning.   

cartoon of different animals being asked to climb a tree
18 March 2017

It's a common and empoverished attitude that emphasizes reading, writing and arithmetic, known in England as the 3 Rs, to the neglect of other subjects and topics.  At primary school children need a wider spectrum, to try many things, and discover where their talent lies.  Many laborious hours are spent on the 3 Rs and the results are still poor. Conclusion?  Do more of the 3 Rs.  "It's not working?""Let's do even more of what is not working." This cartoon sums it up succintly.  Enjoy!

If you prefer paperbacks and Kindle books by Shelley Ann Vernon, you will find them here:

shelley ann vernon photoSuccessful author and ESL teacher Shelley Ann Vernon has a passion for helping teachers make their job easier and more fun. Having been a dedicated teacher herself, Shelley knows exactly what it's like to spend hours preparing for a lesson, trying to make it fun and interesting for the students. She has shared her extensive experience as a fun, effective ESL teacher. She has two highly rated books on Amazon, plus other outstanding resources for teaching children. She always responds to fan mail and questions. Shelley speaks at conferences such as IATEFL Cardiff 2009, YALS Belgrade 2011, UCN, Hjorring, Denmark 2014 and Barcelona in 2015. See her upcoming events on author-central for the next opportunity to meet her.

Shelley Ann Vernon, BA, BAMus

Books by Shelley Ann Vernon: