Reinforcement Activities for ESL Students

Although many ESL students have a good level of English, they need to continue practicing the language through different activities that allow them to achieve their language goals. In this way, they will not only maintain fluency, but will also improve their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

First of all, most students need to reinforce the grammar mainly where difficulties first appear. People tend to translate from their mother tongue into their second language, and this is where some questions arise because we know that grammar is not the same in all languages. Students are not used to learning the second language as their mother tongue; they tend to focus more on rules and a more structured way of learning. This causes language learning to incorporate slowly. Second, in many cases they need to improve their listening and speaking skills.

ESL programs offer a wide range of activities to refresh and reinforce topics that have been covered throughout the year. These activities are available online, as well as in brochures or study guides to practice in the comfort of your own home.

When it comes to business English, where it can be essential for students to travel and where they will have to speak with native speakers, attend business meetings and close important deals, maintaining good fluency is extremely important. Business travelers have higher demands and need constant language practice not only in class but with extra material and a large number of activities to do at home. Since some of the activities are done at home with the absence of a teacher, they should be clear, with detailed instructions, and should be something they can do on their own and bring to class later to correct.

You can see some examples below of different types of exercises that can be done at any level to reinforce any type of topic or grammar point.


1. Multiple choice: consists of choosing the best option

2. Fill in the blanks: it is also a constructive activity where you must complete with the correct time.

3. Complete dialogues: complete a conversation, filling in the gaps with the correct verb tenses, prepositions, auxiliaries.

4. Word order: consists of putting the words in the correct order to form a sentence.

5. Writing questions: students will write a question for each of the statements.

6. Matching: it is an interesting activity in which you will have to match two halves to form a sentence.

7. Answer questions: about yourself (practice all tenses, past, present simple, or whatever else you want or need to improve)

8. Change from infinitive to past tense: you will see a list of verbs and you will have to change them to the past tense.


1. Students receive a title and pictures. They create a short story about what they think the story is about. Warm-up exercises are generally short paragraphs.

2. Students read the story.

3. There are comprehension questions about the story.

4. Fill in the blanks with tenses.

5. Look up words in the dictionary.

6. Write a summary about the story.


Guided instructions are essential for students.

1. Write emails in English: you will see a set of words and expressions that you will have to use and write an email.

2. Write about your daily routines, where you will practice the present simple.

3. Write a story in the past tense: state what happened; you have to use the vocabulary provided.

4. Role play: very fun, as it also facilitates interaction and improves speaking skills. A situation is presented and the students must write the dialogues. They act afterwards.

Speaking and listening activities are available online, where you can practice pronunciation through repetition, for example.

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