Teaching Numbers to ESL Beginners

Teaching numbers
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The use of numbers for beginners is important during this initial phase of study. At this point, students should feel comfortable performing simple conversations speaking about where they are form, what their jobs are and naming a number of objects. It's time to go back to some basic rote repeating for students to learn their basic numbers.

These exercises can be done almost like a grammar chant. The back and forth of a chant helps to memorize the numbers more quickly.

 

Part 1: 1 - 20

Teacher: (Write a list on the board and point to the numbers.)

Start by learning numbers one through twenty. Once students have learned these numbers, they will be able to handle other, larger numbers. 

1 - one 2 - two
3 - three
4 - four
5 - five
6 - six
7 - seven
8 - eight
9 - nine
10 - ten
11 - eleven
12 - twelve
13 - thirteen
14 - fourteen
15 - fifteen
16 - sixteen
17 - seventeen
18 - eighteen
19 - nineteen
20 - twenty

Teacher: Please repeat after me.

Teacher: (Point to the numbers.)

1 - one Student(s): 1 - one

2 - two Student(s): 2 - two

3 - three Student(s): 3 - three, etc

4 - four
5 - five
6 - six
7 - seven
8 - eight
9 - nine
10 - ten
11 - eleven
12 - twelve
13 - thirteen
14 - fourteen
15 - fifteen
16 - sixteen
17 - seventeen
18 - eighteen
19 - nineteen
20 - twenty

Teacher: (Write a list of random numbers on the board and point to the numbers.)

Teacher: Susan, what number is this?

Student(s): 15

Teacher: Olaf, what number is this?

Student(s): 2

Continue this exercise around the class.

Part II: The 'Tens'

Teacher: (Write a list of the tens and point to the numbers.)

Next, students learn 'tens' which they can use with ever larger numbers.

10 - ten
20 - twenty
30 - thirty
40 - forty
50 - fifty
60 - sixty
70 - seventy
80 - eighty
90 - ninety
100 - One hundred

Teacher: Please repeat after me.

10 - ten Student(s): Ten

Teacher: 20 - twenty
Student(s):Twenty

Teacher: 30 - thirty
Student(s): Thirty, etc

40 - forty
50 - fifty
60 - sixty
70 - seventy
80 - eighty
90 - ninety
100 - One hundred

Part III: Combined 'Tens' and Single Digits

Teacher: (Write a list of various numbers and point to the numbers.)

Putting the single digits and the 'tens' together will help students cover all the numbers up to 100.

22
36
48
51
69
71
85
94

Teacher: Please repeat after me.

22 Student(s): 22

Teacher: 36
Student(s): 36

Teacher: 48
Student(s): 48, etc

51
69
71
85
94

Teacher: (Write another list of random numbers on the board and point to the numbers.)

Teacher: Susan, what number is this?

Student(s): 33

Teacher: Olaf, what number is this?

Student(s): 56

Continue this exercise around the class.

Part IV: Contrast 'Teens' and 'Tens'

Teacher: (Write the following list of numbers and point to the numbers.)

The 'teens' and 'tens' can because of difficulties is distinguishing between the pairs 13 - 30, 14 -40, etc. Exaggerate your pronunciation focussing on the 'teen' of each number and the unaccented 'y' on the 'tens'.

12 - 20
13 - 30
14 - 40
15 - 50
16 - 60
17 - 70
18 - 80
19 - 90 Be careful to pronounce slowly, pointing out the difference in pronunciation between 14, 15, 16, etc. and 40, 50, 60, etc.

Teacher: Please repeat after me.

12 - 20
Student(s): 12 - 20

Teacher: 13 - 30
Student(s): 13 - 30

Teacher: 14 - 40
Student(s): 14 - 40, etc.

15 - 50
16 - 60
17 - 70
18 - 80
19 - 90

If numbers are especially important for your class, teaching basic math vocabulary should prove quite helpful. 

Back to the Absolute Beginner 20 Point Program

 

 

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Beare, Kenneth. "Teaching Numbers to ESL Beginners." ThoughtCo, Feb. 28, 2017, thoughtco.com/teaching-numbers-to-esl-beginners-1212122. Beare, Kenneth. (2017, February 28). Teaching Numbers to ESL Beginners. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/teaching-numbers-to-esl-beginners-1212122 Beare, Kenneth. "Teaching Numbers to ESL Beginners." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/teaching-numbers-to-esl-beginners-1212122 (accessed December 14, 2017).