Active Learning Strategies:

Supporting 21st Century English Learners

Welcome, English language teachers! We have an hour of fun ahead!

The English language is a critical tool in the workplace, both in Honduras as well as internationally. The 21st century global marketplace requires clear and effective communication and workers who are critical thinkers and actively engage in problem solving in the workplace. This presentation will provide strategies to develop specialized communication and active engagement for English Learners (ELs) and to promote all four language skills with active strategies in the EFL classroom.


The strategies presented in this session will enable teachers to promote critical thinking skills and opportunities for students to use more formal speech and specialized vocabulary that will prove useful to ELs as they move from the EFL classroom to the workplace.

Technology also plays a critical role in the 21st century marketplace, and advanced technology skills are critical for effective participation in the workplace. Thus, we will explore several strategies and resources to support technology usage in the EFL classroom.

9-9:10 Icebreaker, Entry Ticket, Session Overview (Matching Pairs)

9:10-9:15 Share Out Entry Ticket (Wheel Decide)

9:25-9:40 Structured Interaction and Language Development: Multiple Perspectives (Numbered Heads, 1-6)

9:40-9:50 Share out/Note taking Multiple Perspectives--Virtual Dice

9:50-9:55 Exit Ticket

9:55-10:00 Share Out

Active Learning Session Overview

Learning Objective:

1. Participants will review and practice active learning strategies.

Language Objective:

1. Participants will utilize sentence stems and educational vocabulary to actively participate in session activities.


General Principles of Active Learning for 21st Century English Learners

1. Use of stems are vital to academic language learning and practice. Ex: I believe that this learning strategy is important because....

2. Structured, purposeful academic conversation with roles must be used on a daily basis.

3. Academic, specialized language and critical thinking should be facilitated through reading, writing, speaking and listening activities.

4. Active, relevant and purposeful assessment is aligned to learning objectives.

5. Technology is integrated, interesting and relevant. Not just another powerpoint! :)

6. There is 100% full participation, no choice! :)

7. Use of multiple intelligences in activities and assessments is critical!

Shannon Lewis, Ph.D.

Icebreaker-Entry Ticket

“If I wasn’t an educator what would I be and why?”


  • Write down your answer on your Entry Ticket using the following stem:
  • If I weren’t an educator I would be…..because….
  • Find your partner match (example: Bert and Ernie) and share.

  • Then find 2 more people and when you have shared with these 2 people, go back to your seat.

Establishing Norms

“That’s True About Me!”


Please respond to each of the following statements by moving to the side of the room that corresponds with your belief. You will either AGREE or DISAGREE.

  1. I made New Year's Resolutions and am still sticking to them.
  2. I have turned my cell phone off or put it on silent/vibrate.
  3. From a very young age, I knew I wanted to be an educator.
  4. I promise to engage in purposeful conversation in this training.
  5. I've never gotten a speeding ticket.
  6. I promise not to engage in unrelated side conversations.
  7. I clean out my voicemail inbox regularly.
  8. I will seek one or more new ideas to implement in PD.

Multiple Perspectives

Numbered Heads

Perspective 1: EFL Teacher

Perspective 2: Administrator

Perspective 3: Parent

Perspective 4: Specialist in English language acquisition

Perspective 5: Adult English learner

Perspective 6: Kinder-High School age English learner


Go to the area of the room designated for your perspective-

Divide and skim read the article "Accelerating Oral Language with Academic Conversations".

Discuss the article, and be ready to respond using this stem:

From my perspective, this is important because...


After you finish discussing the article:

Meet with someone of a different perspective and discuss each other's response to the quote.

Meet with one more person of a different perspective and discuss each other's response to the quote.

When you have met with two people with two different perspectives, return to your table.

Wrapping It All Up!

  • On your exit ticket, jot down ONE word that captures the essence of today's training.
  • In your table groups, combine all of the words from every individual, add additional words if necessary, to make a complete sentence.**


**Rules: You must use all the words jotted down by individuals and it must be a complete sentence.