Welcome to
ESL Printables, the website where English Language teachers exchange resources: worksheets, lesson plans,  activities, etc.
Our collection is growing every day with the help of many teachers. If you want to download you have to send your own contributions.





ESL Forum:

Techniques and methods in Language Teaching

Games, activities and teaching ideas

Grammar and Linguistics

Teaching material

Concerning worksheets

Concerning powerpoints

Concerning online exercises

Make suggestions, report errors

Ask for help

Message board


ESL forum > Ask for help > Help with ideas!    

Help with ideas!


Help with ideas!
I am wondering if you can list some of the difficulties that you encounter in teaching English a s second language. That will help in the research I am doing now.
Thanks in advance for the help.

30 Nov 2010      


Well, I īm brazilian and so are my students, and for them, the difficulties are:
- false cognates
- īth" pronunciation, they tend to say "fink" instead of think, for example
- linking sounds, like "I īm a teacher"...they cannot link the words
Well, I hope I was useful..

30 Nov 2010     


My ss want me to explain grammar rules in their native laguage but when I do some of them are not familiar with some basic notions in their mother tongue iether (prepositions for example and I īm talking about 7th graders here) So I think those ss who do poorly in their native language usually do poorly in English. That īs my observation.
Also I find it difficult to teach English to my ss after they īve had a pt class, as it takes longer to make them focus and engage them in activitiesConfused

30 Nov 2010     

banska bystrica


I īve just got back from school, and today, again  and again, I had to deal with the most difficult part of teaching English (in my opinion) -  listening activities. Although I try very hard (I provide the necessary vocabulary, I prepare the topic which is going to be dealt in the recording, I often bring popular songs to make listening activities more attractive.... ) all of that is just a little help for them. They say they cannot be really involved in somebody else īs conversation if they don īt see them. And sometimes they cannot concentrate on a track that takes for example 4 minutes. If people speak fast, students get lost very easily...There are some exceptions among the students, but generally speaking, listening skills are the most difficult to gain for my students (and as far as I know, my colleagues say the same)....


30 Nov 2010     


Here īs a tip, Zuzana: stop the recording after each phrase and let them complete the while listening tasks in this way they won īt be lost. Play the phrase again if needed. It works with my ss.
Warm regards from a chilly Ukraine.

30 Nov 2010     


Hi! in the productive stage of any lesson, many of my students find it very difficult to express themselves either in speaking or in writing activities. They understand the topic but they cannot use the language appropriately. They sometimes tend to use other words from other languages like French and Arabic.

30 Nov 2010     

banska bystrica

Thanks Sophia, I usually do it that way... (actually I never interrupt a conversation or story if it īs one unit, unless they ask for that), but they (not all of them, but most of them) still keep on having difficulties.... Confused BTW, it īs pretty cold in Slovakia, too! I want summer! Cry

30 Nov 2010     


My biggest problem is the structure itself. My ss simply can īt write sentences using the correct word order. In Spanish, for example, adjectives generally go after nouns and they do have plural forms. So they always follow spanish rules when writing or speaking. Spelling is another issue because, let īs face it, ss hardly study every day as they should.

30 Nov 2010     

Czech Republic

Students in the Czech republic study English for ten to thirteen years. The biggest problem is they don īt see the importance of mastering a foreign language. They aren īt exposed to English on everyday basis - all English films are broadcast in Czech :-( But we have the DVDs in English of course...
It is hard for them to pronounce "th" correctly and they have problems with tenses. They aren īt used to listen and read regularly in Czech, so they rarely read/listen to graded readers even though there are hundreds of readers available at the school / public library... What a pity...
So to sum up, Czech students seem to miss the chance, even though the language resources are rich here...

30 Nov 2010     

South Africa

I agree with all of you!
One of my biggest problems is that my students have English class with their entire homeroom class, which is mixed level. The students who attend English academies are at a much higher level than those who don īt. The lower level students are unmotivated, and also possibly intimidated by the higher level students. It seems the lower level students just can īt keep up, and give up, despite my attemps to help them as much as possible.

1 Dec 2010     

United States

I have a completely different perspective on this because I teach adults from different language backgrounds and different educational backgrounds. Probably motivation is less of a problem for my students than for many of the other teachers who responded to this letter. Believe me, my students want to learn English very much because they can see that they need it.

Generally in my class, a student does well with reading and writing if he or she is well-educated in his or her own country first. It is much easier to learn to read and write in your own language and then transfer the skills to a new language. It is easier to explain grammatical concepts if the student already knows what nouns and verbs are, for example.
Speaking and listening are completely different. The degree of immersion seems to have more to do with proficiency in these areas. Students who get fewer opportunities to speak English don īt progress as well. It īs sometimes harder for the Spanish-speaking students to speak and understand than speakers of more obscure languages such as Krio or Ogoni or Amharic., despite Spanish being much more like English than most of the other languages my students speak. (Native languages of my students include Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Arabic, Amharic, Krio, Ogoni, Jerai, Rhade, Mandarin Chinese, Wu Chinese, Korean, and Urdu.)
Determination helps too, of course, and natural talent in language can īt be denied, either. And I īm sorry, but age is also a factor. Young students usually learn faster than older students.

1 Dec 2010     

1    2    Next >