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ESL forum > Teaching material > What Is ´Useful ´ and ´Attractive ´?    

What Is ´Useful ´ and ´Attractive ´?


What Is ´Useful ´ and ´Attractive ´?
Hello All,

It seems that a lot of people are having technical difficulties today... So my apologies if these questions seem trivial in light of that m(_ _)m

Two words that get used a lot to describe popular worksheets are ´Useful ´ and ´Attractive ´. Although we all have an intuitive feeling about what these words mean I wanted to get more specific opinions by people about what it means to them. I think it might be useful for newer members like myself and others. Also I think they are relative to where you work.

So, if you are happy to do so, could you answer these three questions:

1. Where do you work? e.g. Conversation school, ESL school with full-time students, state school etc.

2. What is ´Useful ´ for you? e.g. Worksheets for homework, worksheets that can be used for oral practice, anything to keep kids quiet (joke) etc

3. What is ´Attractive ´ for you? e.g. Lots of colours and borders, good clip-art, simple lay-out etc.

Thank you in advance if you are willing to share your wisdom and experience Thumbs Up

11 Feb 2009      

United States

Here you go:
1. I run an ESL program for a private manufacturing company in Germany.   All of my students are adult volunteers.  My groups (max size 10) range from true beginners to others that daily use English for business correspondence and communications.  I have each group for 75 minutes a week.  Some prefer a conversational format, others prefer a more structured format.  Dependent on their specific needs, I use a bit of both.
2. Currently, "useful" worksheets for me are ones that I can use as homework or do together in class.  I find my beginning and intermediate students like grammar worksheets that summarize the grammar rules and have examples at the beginning (it helps them to remember what was taught after returning home). 
For my advanced students, "useful" usually means comprehension and listening exercises with a good series of qustions and conversation points afterward.  I usually extend these worksheets to include internet research questions (to help them learn to "scan" in English). 
Generally, worksheets focused on specific grammar or vocabulary with lots of opportunity for repetition are prefered.  Puzzles and games aren ´t usually too useful for me.
3.  "Attractive" for me means some clipart, but not too much (preferably not too small-child oriented).  Important is that it looks good (and is legible) in black and white as well as in color (b&w is cheaper to print/copy). Many fancy print fonts look nice on the computer screen but are almost illegible on paper.

11 Feb 2009     


Douglas, thank you very much for taking the time to give a considered response. I really appreciated it Thumbs Up

11 Feb 2009     


1. I work for a private company here in Chile.  I teach their executives in one to one classes.

2. I use video almost exculively in class.  So useful worksheets are ones related to this, hence most of my uploads are of that nature.  I also find some grammar worksheets useful.  I teach any point that comes up in the video, and give a worksheet from here as homework.  In that I agree with douglas about the brief explanation and examples then questions.

3. I use my laptop in class, so I don ´t actually print, so colour, colour and more colour for me.  Interesting and provocative images are also good.

13 Feb 2009     


1. I work for an European Aerospace company in Germany teaching both young students doing their appreticeships here to become aircraft mechanics etc (age 15-20) and also adults from other areas of the company (Procurement Dept. etc...). My classes vary from 20 to 5 students. I teach everything from aircraft-related English, to everyday vocab, grammar, etc. to business English (also history or science-related).
2. A useful worksheet usually includes both a good clear explanation of a grammar point and interesting engaging exercises. Also creative activities, interesting reading comp., etc.
In my particular case, I don ´t find children-oriented ws useful, I have mostly teenagers and mostly boys, so it ´s quite hard to keep them entertained while teaching them!
3. For my classes the ´atractiveness ´ of the WS plays a big role. I ´m a firm believer that everyone learns in a different way (auditory, visually, kinesthetic, and so on) and therefore I like to cater to every student ´s need by having a visually engaging ws as well as phisical activities and oral explanation/conversation included in the class. However a good visually engaging ws would, in my opinion, include images that complement the topic and that are interesting, not merely random borders...
Hope it helps!!! :o)

16 Feb 2009