ESL teachers group discussion & lesson props

Introducing Props To Your ESL Lessons

Cecilly Author EF
Gin Wu

Props help your lesson delivery in several ways. Props help kids associate words with meaning, especially when presenting new language. Children are naturally drawn to engaging content, especially when it involves vibrant and humorous elements in the classroom. Props also make kids feel like you are standing with them in the same world.

What kinds of props can I use?


A fundamental tool for every teacher, the whiteboard stands out as the most effective instrument for guiding and illustrating concepts, particularly in online classes. In situations where you're instructing children who speak a different language, every word, pattern, and movement you convey becomes a visual communication. The dynamic nature of using a whiteboard ensures that each action contributes to deepening their memory, creating a more impactful and interactive learning experience.

Flash cards

Integrating flashcards into your teaching approach is essential, serving as a valuable tool in the early education of Chinese characters for children. When you demonstrate mouth shapes and pronunciation that correspond to the cards you present, it significantly enhances your students' cognition and memory retention, creating a more engaging and effective learning experience.


Young girls often find joy in dolls and puppies, while boys gravitate towards cars and robots. Recognizing these preferences is crucial. Unlike adults or teachers, children are more inclined to communicate with their beloved cartoon characters and toys. Incorporating 1-2 characters as your partners or assistants during classes can make the 20- or 40-minute duration more engaging and manageable for your students.

Colorful and funny items

A child's attention span is about 10-15 minutes at 6 ages. Children's attention span is about 15-20 minutes at ages 7-10. Attention span is affected by a number of factors. All novel, intuitive, vivid, specific images and constant stimuli, can attract the attention of childrenou're at it!

Reward system

In real classrooms, we observe that teachers with diverse teaching styles employ various reward systems. Whether it's a card, a star, a badge, or an enticing treat, these methods effectively encourage students, bolstering their self-confidence and fostering a heightened awareness of the joy of learning.

When should I use props?

  • Self-Introduction

Write down some information about yourself and your students on the whiteboard. Prepare a lovely name card for yourself to help your students get to know you and initiate the conversation. Break the ice with your students in 5 minutes!

  • Phonics and Vocabulary Teaching

Use flashcards to assist in your phonics and vocabulary teaching, leaving a lasting impression on your students. Set up conversations with your characters based on the curriculum.

  • Knowledge Extension & Review

Extend and review knowledge through games and activities, such as engaging in conversations with toys using new words or solving word puzzles. If there are multiple students in the classroom, encourage them to interact with each other. Don't hesitate to provide encouragement and reward your students.

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Cecilly Author EF
Gin Wu

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