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.

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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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

New ideas for plays, skits or theatre for teens.
10 October 2016

Since teens are often preoccupied with being cool in front of their peers it can be tricky presenting them with ready-made theatre skits. It can be more productive and creative to have your teen students make up their own short skit or play to keep them interested. At least that way if it is uncool and boring they only have themselves to blame ! Few students are natural play-wrights, especially in a foreign language, so give guidelines or a framework where pupils can easily fill in the blanks. Here are two light-hearted ways of producing short plays or skits.Students work in groups of three or four. Spread better students about rather than having them work together since this helps weaker students. It also means the more advanced pupils will be group leaders and take bigger roles in the skit they create together.Skit creation option one: Provide a short opening dialogue. Think of something dramatic and ambiguous for the opening dialogue that stimulates the imagination and will be more likely to give rise to varied outcomes, for example: « Listen, what’s that ? » « Wow, what is it ? » « It sounds like… » then pupils decide how the dialogue will continue. The whole skit, including opening dialogue, must take between 60 and 90 seconds to perform. This forces students to come up with at least a minute of content. Allow five minutes for students to work in groups while you circulate, listening in and ensuring groups are on target with the task. After three minutes tell the class they have two more minutes to prepare. Let them know when they have one minute left.Watch the skits.Skit creation option two:Tell students that their skit can be about anything, but it has to be one minute long minimum and has to contain these words: rhinocerous, pasta, phone, message and sock. (Change the words as you like).Alternatively say the skit must contain a certain sentence, such as « Johnny Depp (insert person’s name) would never have done that. »Allow five minutes. Circulate and observe. Warn students at each minute how much time they have left. This type of activity gets better as students practise it. They gradually get more creative and less inhibited.See my book ESL Classroom Activities for Teens and Adults here for more great ideas like these.

5 September 2016

Thanks to requests from teachers I've been a busy bee over the summer holidays.  I have created an entirely new ESL workbook for children aged 4 to 6 years old! How exciting! Visit my shop for links to get your copy, either in download or paperback. About the book:49 Colourful, attractive worksheets for Shelley Ann Vernon’s preschool stories 1-10These worksheets are suitable for children aged 4 to 6The worksheets are a mix of colouring, tracing over letters, copying words, counting, labyrinths, listening and following instructionsThere are also two join the dots and a puzzleThere are: 5 worksheets to trace over the alphabet letters4 worksheets per story making a total of 404 pages of verbsIf you have any questions, please contact me on info@teachingenglishgames.com. Find out more here.

27 June 2016

An experienced ESL teacher asked me this question: ‘I am preparing a lesson on accurately reading words, sentences and phrases out loud. My pupils are 14 years old. What activities can you recommend for this Shelley?’This question isn’t only about reading fluency, it is also about speaking fluency since this teacher would like students to be able to read well out loud. I would recommend reading the passage many times until it becomes fluent. After all practise makes perfect. For variety try having the kids read it out in a high pitched voice, boys and girls. Then someone else reads it in a very low voice, someone else with sadness, another in a panic. It’s a bit of fun and is an excuse to review the same passage over and over without getting bored.Students could also work in pairs and repeat the passage to different rhythms. This is quite challenging and takes some practise, but it’s brilliant for fluency. Check the game CHANTS in the Teen/Adult games book for a full description of that idea.Students could read out the text with a fixed rhythm in the background. Use a metronome or have the class or a partner clapping rhythmically as the beat. Students are free to fit the text into the beat as best they can. Some students who are musical will do this well naturally and for others it will be much harder. If you try this yourself first, you will see that it is excellent for encouraging fluency, as one is often obliged to run many words together quickly to fit into a beat.Be sure to do a clear demonstration first using a slow beat and a then a faster one.The pace of the beat should not be too fast. One beat per second is quite slow, and you could use this for beginners. Here are some examples. The syllable in bold indicates where the beat falls, which is when the other students clap.Give—stu—dents—short—di—a—loguesThis is one syllable per beat. You don’t want this, as it is dreary and too slow.Give—stu-dents—short—di-aloguesThis is much better, and students have to say the word ‘dialogues’ quite quickly to fit it into the beat.Give—stu—dents—short—di-a-logues ly—rics—from—songsThis is far more musical – the student has started on the upbeat with ‘give’.Remember repetition is the mother of skill, and this game makes repetition a fun challenge.If you are reading this blog and you’d like more ways to liven up your teaching then please visit Teaching English Games or check out my books on Amazon.Thanks for reading!All the bestShelley Ann Vernon

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Successful 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

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