ESL Drilling Resources

One aspect that I got pulled up on after my first LSA on the DELTA was my drilling ability. I suppose it was fair enough considering that I just wasn’t doing any before. I used to think drilling was a waste of time and I felt silly getting my students to repeat the same sentences or phrases over and over again. I know now that it is a vital part of teaching English. Students need to practise their pronunciation repeatedly so that they can transfer the language to memory.


Okay, that might be a bit extreme, but I love doing drilling now and have a lot of fun doing it. I also feel a lot less self conscious, especially in front of the older teenagers and adults. If you’re looking to improve your drilling techniques then check out this list of resources below:

1) Minimal Resources: Drilling.
Have a look at this post on one stop English by Philip Kerr which has a decent list useful tips and ideas for drilling in the classroom. The post includes information about the point of drilling, basic drills, drill management, and whether to write or not.

2) Drill Bits
There’s a good article on An ELT notebook by Lee Shutler as he covers various aspects of drilling. Lee covers the benefits and variations which include the direct approach, silent drill, and communicative drilling.

3) Teaching Techniques – Drilling
Check out this article on ESL base called Teaching Techniques – Drilling. It gives a run down on what drilling is, when and how you should drill, and what to highlight when you drill.

4) How to Drill
Busy Teacher has a useful article on How to drill by Tara. This post gives a detailed description of different ways to drill and various activities.

5) Drilling
Have a look at this post titled Drilling on Language Link for a decent break down on what drilling is, why we drill, and various drilling techniques.

6) Drilling can be fun
Drilling can be fun according to Simon Mumford on iteslj. The article explains how you and your students can have fun drilling in class with vocabulary, intonation, and different ways of saying words.

7) Use of Brute force in the ESL classroom
This post on Using English by Alex Russell Judicious use of brute force in the ESL classroom is worth reading for some ideas on choral drills, interactive drills, substitution drills, and transformation drills.

8) Drill it!
And finally, Don’t drill it! Drill it! Drill it now! on ELT Reflections is worth a look for some more fun ideas on how to drill.

If you have any more posts about drilling then just leave a link below. Hope that helps.

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