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Brain Teasers & Logic Problems for ESL Students

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Doing brain teasers and logic problems can be a great way to get ESL students involved in abstract thinking and language! This lesson offers some examples to get you started.

Why Brain Teasers?

As an ESL teacher, it is easy to focus on the nitty gritty of teaching your students' academic and conversational English. Between vocabulary, grammar, and pragmatics, there is certainly plenty to work on! At the same time, it is important not to forget to let your students see the fun in language; they will become more motivated to work on their English if they can use language to exercise their brains in novel and exciting ways. It is also important to remember that working with language on an abstract level helps prepare ESL students for a variety of communication situations.

One way to work with abstract language and help your students have fun with their language is by incorporating brain teasers and logic problems into your instruction. These kinds of problems force your students to think deeply and pay attention to various nuances of language. At the same time, brain teasers and logic problems are generally fun and sometimes even funny, so they can help your students see that language mastery does not have to be a chore.

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