Have a Very Merry Christmas with activities for ESL Students
Christmas was that one time of the year when I absolutely loved to go to school. The halls were decked with fairy lights and decorations and teachers would focus more on holiday-themed activities than textbook material. However, as you can imagine, adult ESL students may not be as excited as elementary school children in singing cheerful Christmas songs and reading stories.
Unlike kids, adults need more objective-based activities that can help them meet certain learning goals. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can help adults improve their English while helping them know about Christmas and keeping them engaged.
Reading Christmas Poetry
Christmas-themed poetry is an easy way to teach students not just important holiday-themed vocabulary but also help them gain an understanding of the Christmas culture. It is also a great reading and pronunciation exercise.
Depending on the proficiency level of your students, you can have each student recite a poem stanza by stanza or read a whole poem. You can also choose simple poems to deeply allegorical poems so that your students can grow more proficient in understanding the nuances and hidden meaning behind every line. A great poem to read is the “Journey of the Magi” by T.S. Eliot since it can help ESL students understand how metaphors are played out in poetry.
This is the best thing about Christmas poems — they are not just geared towards kids but adults as well.
Discussing Christmas Food
Everyone loves food and there is no better time to incorporate food into your lessons than Christmas. Food lessons often tend to go well and are twice as engaging but they can also provide your students with some insights on what kind of food is made on Christmas and how various English-speaking countries celebrate the holidays.
Mince pie is one of the traditional dishes that you are bound to come across when reading Christmas-themed literature and is also an important part of every British Christmas. You can also discuss the differences in Christmas foods in the UK, US, France, Germany, and other countries that celebrate the holiday.
Make sure that you introduce Christmas vocabulary beforehand by covering the names of various Christmas food, as well as various flavours like eggnog, chocolate, peppermint, nutmeg, gingerbread, and so on.
Learning Different Cultures
Adults love to learn about the differences between their cultures and others. The Christmas season is the perfect time to learn about each other’s customs while also becoming more proficient in English.
You can kick off the lesson by asking everyone to talk about how Christmas is celebrated in their country. Once the students have all had their turns, you can ask them to make comparisons between the different Christmas traditions that are celebrated in the UK and other countries, either in writing or orally.
Teaching Christmas-themed lessons to adults is not difficult, provided the process is used to help them improve their English. The main goal of ESL Christmas activities should be to boost your student’s English language skills, increase their confidence in English, and get them into the holiday spirit.