Esl Teaching Methods, Materials and Techniques

ESL Teaching Methods

English teaching methods make teaching process considerably easy, promote students being active during the class.ESL teaching methods develop students communicative, listening skills, enrich their word stock etc .

But in many countries it is still difficult to perform English as a second language (ESL)  teaching as :

    • Millions of people around the world can’t access to modern technologies such as: internet, TV, telephone or they have limited access to it .
    • Contact with native speakers is almost missing .

So the task of ESL teachers is to try to develop students speaking, writing, reading and listening skills taking into consideration their personal characteristics, abilities. Here below we present some ESL teaching methods using hand made cards, posters, audio and video listening, watching cartoons and short movies, discussing them and using another ESL teaching materials.

Learning English

ESL Teaching Methods, Materials for School

Parts of Speech

According to their meaning ,morphological and syntectic features words in English fall into classes called parts of speech.
These are :

Parts of Speech are divided into 2 main types: notional and structural. Nouns, adjectives,  pronouns, numerals verbs and adverbs belong to notional parts of speech, as they have independent meaning and function in the sentence. Prepositions, conjunctions, articles and particles are considered structural parts of speech. They have no independent function in the sentence. They serve to connect words or clauses or to specify the meaning  of words. Interjections are used to express various kinds of emotions, but they do not enter the structure of the sentence as a part of sentence.

Table of Content

1) The Nouns

According to morphological composition nouns can be  divided  into simple, derived  and compound. Simple ones consist of one root -morpheme : rat, nose, book, hat, hand pen, man, chalk, milk, bread etc. Derived nouns consist of one root morpheme and one or more derivational morphemes (prefixes and suffixes ): modesty , unemployment, freedom etc .

Compound nouns consist of two or more stems : girlfriend, blackboard, classwork, classroom, timetable, bookcase etc .

Semantically, nouns fall into:  proper nouns and common nouns.

The Category of Number

If the noun ends in -s ,-ss,-sh,

-ch,-tch,-x plural is formed by  adding -es to the singular  form: actress-


actresses,match-matches , brush-


If the noun ends in -y preceded

 by a consonant, y is changed into -i before -es  .ex lady-ladies,candy-candies.

But the letter y remains unchanged in :

1) proper names : the Abrahamyans, the Kennedy

2) compounds: stand-byes,lay-byes

If the  final -y is preceded by a vowel,it remains unchanged before -s:

day-days,key-keys,play-plays etc.

Words of foreign origin or   abbreviated words ending in –o add only  -s: 

dynamo-dynamos, piano-pianos,  kimono-kimonos, kilo-kilos.

Nouns ending in-o form their plural by adding -es:


2) The Articles

The article is a form word whose basic role is to mark nouns or noun phrases as either definite or indefinite.

There are 2 articles in English: definite and indefinite. The definite article usually points to something which is already known while the indefinite article presents something new ,strange . The choice of the definite  or indefinite article is determined by the speaker’s and hearer’s  mutual perception of objects.

The Indefinite Article – a, an 

The indefinite article has 2 forms : 1) a

before words beginning with a consonant (  a lady , a a book , a note, a stone ) 2) an  before words beginning with  a vowel ( an orange ,an apple , an envelope, an address).

 Ther indefinite article is used :

with countable nouns in theT-shaped table singular.  There was a stranger at camp this summer .

The Definite Article-the 

The definite article is  used to  specify people or things, both singular and plural.

Unlike the indefinite article the definite article has specifying and generic functions  in the utterance .

This is a notebook. The notebook is green.

Here is a mistake in a test .The mistake is about tenses in English.

The Use of Definite Articles with Proper Nouns 

The definite article is used with:

1) astronomical names :

the  East, the West ,the South, the North ,the Great Bear, the North Pole , the Arctic

2) the names of rivers, lakes, seas, oceans:

the Hrazdan ,the Pacific ,the Indian Ocean 

3) with names of mountains , ranges:

the Alps,the Pennines;

4) the names of canals and gulfs:

the English Channel, the Gulf of Mexico

5) the names of some countries and cities :

the UK ,the USA, the Congo , the Lebanon ,the Vatican

6) the names of deserts

the Gobi, the Sahara

7) the names of groups of islands :

the Philippines

8) the names of vessels :

the Titanic , the Queen Elizabeth

9) the names of public buildings,museums , institutions ,organisations , hotels ,theatres :

the National Gallery ,the white house ,the Hermitage , the Saryan Museum ,the NATO

10) the names of most newspapers  and journals :

the Times ,the Washington post, the Independent

11)the definite article is used with personal names and names of pop groups :

the Beatles ,the Rolling Stones

12) the definite article is used in a number of set expressions:

    • in the morning (afternoon, evening  )
    • the other day
    • the dat after tomorrow
    • by the way
    • to pass the time
    • on the whole etc .

3) The Pronouns

The pronoun is a part of speech which indicates objects  and their properties without naming them.

Ann is  a schoolgirl. She is 10.

Rob and David are teens. They are

Personal (Subject ) Pronouns

 the fallowing groups:



Pronouns fall  into

    • Personal pronouns
    • Possessive  pronouns 
    • Reflexive   pronouns
    • Reciprocal pronouns
    • Demonstrative pronouns
    • Indefinite pronouns
    • Definite pronouns
    • Interrogative pronouns
    • Conjunctive pronouns
    • Relative pronouns
    • Negative pronouns

4) The Adjectives

The adjectives are words that  describe nouns or pronouns .They do not modify verbs , adverbs or other adjectives .

Ex. Furry dogs may overheat  in the summertime .

According to  morphological  compositions adjectives are classifies into 3 groups :

    • simple ( young, true, brave )
    • derived ( glorious, homeless , troublesome)
    • compound ( dark-eyed,yellow-coloured,well-known)

Adjectives do not have the categories of number or case. The only form of morphological change is the degrees of  comparison.

   There are 3 degrees of comparison of adjectives : Positive, comparative and superlative .

Comparative and Superlative Adjectives 

Comparative and superlative adjectives are used to make  comparisons between people and things .

Robert is the tallest boy in their classroom.

This is the hardest work I have ever done .

Ann had a cold last week .Now she looks healthier.

Yesterday Mike was late for the class .Today he has arrived earlier.

How to form comparative and comparative adjectives 
    • We usually add -er or -est to one syllable words to make comparative and superlative .

short-  shorter -(the) shortest

clean- cleaner-(the ) cleanest

strong-  stronger -(the) strongest

    • If an adjective ends in -e we add   -r  or -st.

nice -nicer -nicest

brave -bravest  Grouping

large -larger -largest

    • If an adjective ends in a consonant -y we change it into -i and add – er ,-est.

noisy- noisier-noisiest

silly -sillier-silliest

happy-happier- happiest

    • If an adjective ends in a vowel and a consonant ,we double the consonant .

big -bigger -biggest

hot -hotter-hottest

    • We use more and most to make comparatives and superlatives mostly for 2 syllable  adjectives and for all adjectives with 3 or more syllables.

harmful-more harmful-most harmful

interesting -more interesting – most interesting

    • There are some adjectives that are used  more and most with  even though they have one syllable.

fun -more fun -most fun

real-more real- most real

right-more right-most right

wrong -more wrong -most wrong

 Irregular  adjectives 

Irregular adjective don’t follow the  standard rules  for their  comparative and superlative forms. Irregular adjectives can be both regualar and irregular .

A small number of adjectives are irregular .The most important irregular adjectives are listed below :

    • good- better -best
    • well-better-best
    • well-better -best
    • bad-worse-worst
    • far-farther-farthest(regular)
    • far -further-furthest(irregular)
    • old(general use) -older-oldest
    • old(people in a family)-elder-eldest
    • many/much-more-most
    • little-less-least
    • late-later-latest/last

5) The Numerals

English numerals are used to count people , things or are used to put things in order .

There are simple (1-12),   derivative (13-19) and composite numerals(43, 65, 24).

There are 2 common types of  English numbers:

    • cardinal
    • ordinal

Cardinal numerals  show   number ( one, two,three).

Four  students missed the graduate  exam.

For example :

There were 6 mistakes in the test .

Vivaldi composed 4 seasons .

Ordinal numerals describe the order , position or rank in sequential order ( first,second, third )


0-zero 0-zeroPrism

1-one 1st-first

2-two 2nd-second

3-three 3rd-third
4-four 4th-fourth
5-five 5th-fifth   
6-six 6th-sixth
7-seven 7th-seventh

8-eight 8th-eighth 
9-nine 9th-ninth

10-ten 10th-tenth
11-eleven 11th-eleventh
12-twelve 12th-twelfth
13-thirteen 13th-thirteenth
14-fourteen 14th-fourteenth
15-fifteen 15th-fifteenth
16-sixteen 16th-sixteenth
17-seventeen 17th-seventeenth
18-eighteen 18-eighteenth
19-nineteen 19th-nineteenth
20-twenty  20-twentieth
21-twenty-one  21-twenty-first
22-twenty-two  22-twenty-second
23-twenty-three  23-twenty-third

6) The Modal Verbs

Modal verbs are used  to express, obligation, give advice, talk about possibility, ask for permission  etc.

Modal verbs are auxiliary verbs. It means we can add ”not ” to the end of the auxiliary verb. For example:

    • We should not go out today .
    • They must not stay out late.
    • To make  a question  place  the modal verb before the subject .
    • Should we go out tonight?
    • Must they stay out late?

Modal verbs can’t be used in different times or tenses .

There are 12 main modal verbs in English . They are :

    • can -ability, doubt, permission  He can correct his mistakes in the test .
    • could– ability, possibility     We could have a chance to  leave London for a week .
    • will– willingness, promise    Ann will enjoy her birthday party  at the restaurant .
    • would – request, invitation  Tom would invite his best friend Narek for his birthday.
    • shall-obligation ,suggestion  We shall visit our grandparents next week.
    • should– advice ,suggestion  We should stay at home and have good rest .
    • may– permission   You may not play computer games till midnight .
    • might-possibility   They might have lost the keys at the bus stop .
    • must – obligation  He must wait until school bus arrives .
    • ought to-opinion ,advice  90 minutes ought to be enough to take an exam.
    • have to– obligation  I have to wake up early to go to school.
    • be to- obligation    She is to stay at home till her parents return .

7) The Verbs

A verb describes what the subject of a sentence is doing . Verbs are “doing ” words .They can indicate actions ,occurrence etc .

Verbs Conjugation 

verbs can change form depending on subject ,tense, mood and voice .This is called conjugation .

Verbs and subjects must agree in number .If  the subject is plural the verb must be plural .This is called subject -verb agreement .

Ann talks a lot .

X  Ann talk a lot .

V We talk a lot .

X  We talks a lot .


Verbs Aspect 
Moods of the Verb

Verbs have 3 moods :

    • indicative 
    • imperative 
    • subjunctive 
Indicative Mood 

Indicative mood is used in most statements, questions .

He works every day .

Does he work every day ?

Imperative Mood

Imperative mood is used in  requests and commands .

    • Sit down!
    • Stand up !
    • Go back !
Subjunctive Mood 

It is used to express ,wishes , hopes desires and other imagined  situations you might describe in speech and writing.

Subjunctive verbs usually appear with 2 clauses :in one clause  is ther is a subjunctive verb, and in the other is an indicative verb .

There are 2 types of subjunctive verb forms :

    • Present subjunctive
    • Past subjunctive

Verbs in the present subjunctive take the indicative form .

 My parents suggested that I entered technical  college.

8) The Adverbs

An adverb is a word that describes a verb, adjective, another adverb or entire sentence .

Adverbs are usually formed by adding“-ly “ to the  end  of an adjective ( hard-hardly, quick-quickly). Depending on the ending adverbs can be formed from adjectives in another way .

-y-ily  happy – happily

-le-ly   able-ably

-ic- ally  energetic -energetically

Some adverbs have the same form as their corresponding adjectives .These are known as flat or simple adverbs (early, fast, slow, smart, bright, clean, close, deep, far, fast, flat, hard, kind, quick etc).

Adverb: types
Time, Place and  Manner  Adverbs
Time Adverbs 

Time adverbs tell us about when something happens .They are typically placed at the end of a sentence (soon, already, lately, still, tomorrow, early, now, yesterday, finally, recently, today, yet etc).

  • See you tomorrow.
Place Adverbs 

Place adverbs tell us about where something happens ,or where  it is.They mainly occur after the main verb of a sentence (nearby, there, upstairs etc.)

  • Go  upstairs ,open the window.
  • Come here.
Manner Adverbs 

Manner adverbs tell us how something  happens or is done. In most cases they occur after the main verb (sadly, slowly, happily, bravely , unexpectedly, suddenly, anxiously, nervously, rapidly, carefully, loudly,  unfortunately etc).

  • Ann read quietly .
  • Tom laughed loudly .



9) The Prepositions

Prepositions are words that show a relation  between a noun, a pronoun  and  other parts of the sentence.

There are 3  main types of prepositions:

    1.  Prepositions of time 
    2. Prepositions of place 
    3. Prepositions of movement and direction


1) Prepositions of time usually indicates something happening in the present, in the future or in the past.

There are several prepositions of time in English such as : at, on, in, before, during and after .


2) Preposition of place is used to refer to a place where something ,somebody is located .

There are 3 main prepositions : in,on, at .They can be both prepositions of place and time .

10) The Interjections

Interjections are  used  to express  emotions, feelings .They 

are often used in everyday speech , but not in formal writing  and speech .


Oh no,oh well , ow, yay, 

ugh, whoops, gosh,  ouch, hi, hey, goodness, bye, cheers, wow, hmmm, hurray etc.

Interjections are used as part of speech.

How Are They Used in Sentences ?

You can use interjections before 


, after a sentence . Examples:

Wow , Ann looks amazing.

Ouch, he broke the window by mistake .

Mike was unable to walk , but he made a full physical  recovery. Hurray!

It is possible to use an interject

ion in a sentence .

The program is, uh, finishing 

at last . 

Interjections and Punctuation 

Exclamation points and commas are most commonly used.The period and the question marks can also be used for punctuating interjections.

Examples :

Delhi is,er, the capital of India .
Shh,baby Adam is sleeping .
Wow !
Ann,delivered a girl,yey .
Oh gosh ,she has cut her hair .
Oh no, I lost my golden ring last day .
Hmm, I think I’ll watch my favorite movie and then I’ll go for a walk with my friends.

11) The Conjunctions


Conjunctions are words that connect other words, phrases, clauses together .

There are 3 types of conjunctions :

    • coordinating 
    • subordinating 
    • correlative 


1. Coordinating conjunctions are used to connect items  that are grammatically equal : There are seven coordinating conjunctions in English : for,  and,  nor,  or, yet, but, so .

    • I like orange, and I like banana.
    • Ann took a taxi, but she will be late for the party  .

2.  Subordinate conjunction defines  the relationship between the clauses . They are used to show a dependent  clause.

A dependent clause  does not express  a complete  idea ,so it must be used with an independent clause . Subordinating conjunctions include words like : because, if, although, since, while, till, until, as soon as, as long as, as much as, when, after, before, where, wherever etc   .

    • The children  ran to their grandparents, as soon as they saw them .
    • We are staying at home, because it is raining outside.

3. Correlative conjunction always comes in a pair and is used to join grammatically equal elements in a sentence.

These pairs include : either … or ,neither … nor , not only … but  also, both … and  etc 

    • Both Ann and her  friend  Mary study  at secondary school after K. Abovyan .
    • Summer camp starts on the first of June,  not only me but also my classmate Armen will be there .



About Us

ESL specialists often come across with teaching problems ,they try to make teaching material as interesting as possible, easy and not standard . Many of them use interesting ESL teaching methodsmaterials  and many  of them look for these materials intensively.

This website aims to help  ESL teachers, students to make teaching process, practice more interesting , effective, equipped.

We’ll present most teaching methods practically  such  as  KWL, Writing Circle, Grouping, Brainstorming, T- shaped table, M-shaped table, Prism, Venn Diagram, Popcorn etc, using cards, posters .

These methods are  used at Armenian Republic and  at Artsax secondary  schools, but they are also intrduced at the Smiley Club of Armenian Red Cross Society.

The aim of this website is to give brief information about parts of speech in English , using them practically, doing exercises in the classroom in oral or written form . In this website are also presented:

    • ESL grammar, reading and vocabulary worksheet examples
    • Group discussion topics for middle or high school students 


So we invite you to this website .