ESL in Korea Survival Guide: No-tech and low-tech life savers in the classroom.

Having an arsenal of notech activities is something I highly recommend as an ESL teacher in South Korea. At any given moment, you could experience a technical difficulty with your computer or TV in the classroom. These activities are also helpful if you have some extra time before class ends (use all your time wisely!) Most of these activities can easily be printed or played without extensive effort but do not sacrifice quality.

No-tech ESL/EFL games

  1. Board slap – Listening domain. Group activity.

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  • Materials needed – 2 soft objects to hit the board. (Picture cards are optional)

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  • Process – Have the class divided into two groups. Each round of the game, pictures related to the lesson vocabulary are posted on the class white/black/chalkboard. Two students come to the front of the class with their backs facing the board. In a lesson such as “Who is she” The rest of the class may ask in unison “Who is she/he?” The teacher then may respond with “He is a _____. 3, 2, 1!” After the teacher says 3,2,1 the the students race to the board and then hit the photo of the vocabulary word spoken by the teacher.  Continue until all students have participated. Picture cards are useful in that the pictures may be rearranged on the board periodically.
  • You may use picture cards or even draw pictures (maybe younger or lower level classes)/or words on the board.

Missing picture card – Speaking/Reading

  • You can also play this with words, so again, select the best option based on the proficiency level of the class. Arrange the photos/words on the board. Ask students to put their heads on their desk and remove one word/photo from the board. Ask students what photo has been removed. 

Additional low-tech activities

  • Find the letters – Reading
    • Similar to a word search. Good for young learners mastering the alphabet. Ask them to find how many of each letter is hidden within the letter search box.
  • Color by letters – Reading
  • Whisper game – Listening/Speaking
  • Word searches – Reading
  • Crosswords – Reading/Writing
    • I premake crosswords using the vocabulary from each lesson and have them saved and ready to print. – Also helpful to provide the translation of their native language as the hint to the crossword. 
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