Jokes and cartoons reflect the language and behavior of the population. When studying languages, empty joke and cartoon drawings allow students to write in their own story or joke line. Introducing some common, well-used slang can also be fun and help students to understand words they are hearing around them, that may not be described in the dictionary to match the present usage, but are certainly being used. Slang words such as "cool", "awesome", "cute", "hot" are examples of the many, many words used in the American culture. Esl teachers living in other places can include the local jargon to help their students. The use of dialog role play can also be drawn into cartoon form and used as a writing platform.
Jokes and cartoons introduce humor, discussion and a fun element into lessons. A collage of jokes can be made on poster boards to decorate a corner of the classroom too. Use a theme, such as Christmas, holidays, vacation time, travel, to help introduce relevant vocabulary and keep lessons interesting in this interim period between the festivities of Thanksgiving and the Christmas break.
The more topics we have to choose from, the better. Click on the link here for Esl Ideas' list of creative topics for classwork or homework, esl or any language classroom.
Creative Topics List
Dialogs for pronunciation practice, such as this example, should be written
to suit the learners in the class, to practice sounds that are difficult specifically for the L1 background of the students in the class. Working on dialogs will facilitate practice and sharpening of clear sounds in the context of real conversation in the new language. In general, acting out dialogs either in front of the whole class, or in small groups, gives all the students the platform to
participate, practice, listen to others, and improve in their pronunciation skills.
Here is a script using "F" and "V" sounds.
Hey Fred. I’m very hungry. Will you do me a favor? ·
Sure Valerie. For you…anything. ·
The vending machine is broken. The factory will only fix it next week. Will you buy me some fries, fish and vegetables at the fast-food place on Valley Street? ·
Sure. It will probably be more than five dollars. Do you have money to give me? ·
Here is five dollars. Today the sodas are free. Thanks very much Fred. ·
You’re welcome. By the way, are you free on Friday night? We are all going to
the Food Fair on Van’s farm? ·
Actually, I really don’t like fairs, but you know, for you, I am free on Friday night. ·
Great. I have your cell-phone number…so I’ll call you soon. ·
Grammar comics - what a great way to introduce and practice new grammar structures! Comics are such a popular medium, so using these small illustrations to create dialogs or scripts appeal to a wide audience. Comics work both for young and old, can be adapted for simple structures to the most complex, and are universal.
Creative teachers can write their own scripts using a ready comic with the original words removed, or have students write the words,(the teacher corrects the work), and hand out to all the students to read and enjoy while reviewing a particular grammar structure. Comics can even be used in a test situation; pictures add the element of fun thereby easing test tension.
On this site are a number of grammar comics, under the Grammar Dialogs section.
Hello fellow teachers,