For ESL students, pronouns provide a great way to liven up speech or make written text flow more naturally, because they can substitute for nouns and help avoid repetition. Therefore, it’s important to enrich the vocabulary of your students by teaching pronouns in a fun, engaging way. This important for all English teachers, but especially for those Teaching English as a Second Language. ESL games and activities can go a long way when you’re teaching English to kids. The same goes for more specific lessons, like learning pronouns. There are six types of pronouns in English: personal, demonstrative, indefinite, emphatic, reflexive, and relative. In this article you will get familiar with various pronoun activities for your next ESL pronoun lesson.
Teaching Personal Pronouns To ESL StudentsPersonal pronouns are the most widely used pronouns. As the name suggests, they represent a person – first person (I, we), second person (you), and third person (he, she, it, they). Third person pronouns are most useful, because they can replace common nouns. Therefore, a great ESL personal pronoun activity would be to give the students some simple sentences that introduce some nouns. You can then ask the students to describe nouns and use the third person pronouns to replace them, instead of repeating the same noun. For example, “This is my book. It is very interesting.” instead of “This is my book. The book is very interesting.”
Teaching Demonstrative Pronouns To ESL StudentsDemonstrative pronouns are used to replace specific nouns. There are only four of them in English – this, that, these, and those. They sound pretty similar and thus can be confusing for some ESL students, so your task is to explain the differences between demonstrative pronouns in a clear and transparent manner. Actually, it is quite easy to do with an ESL pronoun activity using some real-life objects, such as books and chairs:
- Put a book near the students and place a chair away from them in the classroom.
- Point to the book and say “This is a book.”
- Point to the chair and say “That is a chair.”
- Swap the book and the chair and ask the students to define these objects by using demonstrative pronouns, so they can understand that the difference is related to the distance.
- Add another book and another chair to practice the plurals.
- Point to the books and say “These are books.”
- Point to the chairs and say “Those are chairs.”
- Again, swap the books and the chairs, or other objects that you may be using, and ask the students to define the objects by using the plural form of demonstrative pronouns.