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7 English Filler Exercises for Online Teaching
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7 English Filler Exercises for Online Teaching

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After completing your lesson and ensuring that all of your pupils have finished their assignments, you suddenly realize that the class is still in session. Uh-oh! You may easily make this unplanned time into a fun and informative experience because you don't want to waste it away. You won't waste any time by having a few ESL filler tasks on hand when you're teaching online.

What does an ESL filler mean?

It's crucial to be ready for anything when it comes to classroom management. For instance, you might find yourself with excess class time and be unable to engage your online students. You must prepare for this type of scenario by having a variety of ESL filler exercises available to you while teaching online. The tone will remain light and enjoyable while the course material is still being incorporated thanks to these planned activities. 

Games, music, and rhyme are the main components of ESL activities for young learners and teenagers. 

Yet the enjoyment isn't just for your youngest students! Adult learners of ESL have access to a ton of filler activities that promote conversational speech and intonation.

When instructing English online, ESL filler exercises might be very helpful in the following situations:

  • You ended early and covered everything on your lesson plan already.
  • You experience technological difficulties in class (e.g., an app fails to load or the internet connection is poor).
  • During class, you start to observe that your younger students start to lose interest or grow agitated.
  • At the last minute, you have to take over for another teacher's class.

Class fillers frequently offer the same advantages as ESL icebreakers, which are typically designed to help students feel at ease in class and get to know one another better. The major objective of fillers, however, is to maximize students' learning time and interest students whenever difficult transition moments occur before, in the middle of, or at the end of an online English class. Both tasks should be quick and simple to complete.

What filler exercises for ESL classrooms may I utilize online?

Although fillers can be used as stand-alone exercises in the classroom, you can also use them to supplement your lesson plans or as additional practice for difficult grammar or vocabulary concepts. These ESL filler exercises can be used while instructing online English lessons. We've determined which age range, from young learners up, the activity will function best with.

1. 20 inquiries

Best for: People of all ages

Select a category (such as sports, food, or animals) and come up with a word that falls under it. The learner must then guess the word you have selected by responding affirmatively to a maximum of 20 questions. The student earns a point if they successfully guess the term. For kids who are learning how to formulate questions appropriately, this is excellent practice!

Students can take turns making assumptions and posing questions to one another when learning English in groups online. You can divide larger gatherings into virtual breakout rooms.

2. Language Race

Best for: Younger students

Inform the class that they will need to speak (or type in the chatbox) the name of the object you will be showing onscreen in order to receive a point. A single object should be displayed at a time.

Further to eliciting vocabulary for objects, you might have a verb race in which students compete to correctly conjugate verbs.

3. Image Hunt

Best suited for: Teenagers and young adults

Inform your students that they will need to search for images on their laptops or mobile devices before you begin this exercise. In the event that any are available, they may also employ actual prints.

After they are prepared with their physical or digital images, choose a category or a specific type of photo they will need to search for. You might ask them to find a picture of their family or of themselves from a recent vacation, for instance. Give pupils a few minutes to select a photo.

After that, request that each pupil present the image to the class by either holding it up to the camera or sharing it on a screen. Then, ask each person to discuss the picture and describe the location, the individuals in it, and what they were doing when it was shot. The class may also pose inquiries regarding the image.

You can post your own images first and provide a description of a model in order to help students feel comfortable sharing their own photos.

4. Song-Based Activities

Best for: Students of all ages

Songs can be used in your ESL class in a variety of ways. You will need YouTube or a digital music streaming service like Spotify or iTunes for these activities.

Identify the Title
Choose five to ten songs that are well-known among your students, especially from recognized genres. Next, after playing the chorus or the opening few seconds of the song, have the kids try to name it as quickly as they can!

Songs with Lyrics
Inform the pupils that you will play a section of a popular song before pausing it in the middle. The next line must be said or sung once you pause the song.

After then, play the song again to ensure that your students' words are accurate.

5. Short Articles

Best suited for: Teenagers and young adults

Instruct pupils to have something to write on, such as a notepad, a piece of paper, or Microsoft Word, ready for this writing and speaking activity.

They might write about their favorite spot, a special time in their lives, their aspirations in life, or even the lyrics to their own song! You might also make a list of five to ten themes in advance and assign each pupil a number from it.

6. Inventive Storytelling

Best for: People of all ages

Write five random words on the chatbox or virtual whiteboard. After that, inform the class that each student must write a story utilizing every word on the list. Before allowing each student to share their story with the class, give them some time to reflect or write. They can then vote on the finest or weirdest story after that.

In addition to coming up with the five terms yourself, you can urge your pupils to contribute their own vocabulary and compose the list onscreen.

7. Why Does It Matter?

Best suited for: Adults

List vocabulary terms, phrasal verbs, and idioms that your students may or may not be familiar with. The words may come from a random dictionary entry or terminology from your most recent session.

Inform the class that you will use a word or expression and that each student must determine its meaning. Give them a minute to think on the meaning before the timer goes off.

Ask each pupil to define the word after that. After everyone has had a chance to speak, pupils who have comparable or similar meanings earn points.

These five-minute filler exercises for the ESL classroom are the ideal backup plan to account for the unexpected in addition to creating lesson plans and supplies. Avoid wasting time or learning opportunities by having fun, involving your pupils, and constantly feeling on top of your game as a teacher.

While working at, you can get more ideas for games and activities that will make your online English classes exciting every time.

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