Engaging Delivery Methods for ELLs: Captivating Your Audience

Person giving a speech


Language education is a profoundly transformative pursuit, especially in the case of English Language Learners (ELLs). Ensuring that these learners remain engaged, motivated, and progressively competent requires a fine-tuned teaching methodology. This in-depth exploration, titled ‘Engaging Delivery Methods for ELLs: Captivating Your Audience’, offers an immersive deep-dive into dynamic, interactive, and efficient teaching approaches designed specifically for ELLs.

With ELLs, standard pedagogical methods may not always yield the desired results, as the combination of cultural nuances, varying proficiency levels, and the uniqueness of the English language itself can create learning barriers. Hence, it is crucial to leverage more engaging, student-centred, and inclusive delivery methods that can hold the learners’ attention while facilitating effective language acquisition.

This discourse examines the theory and practice of captivating instructional delivery methods, pedagogical models, classroom activities, and technology-driven solutions that can help ignite curiosity, boost engagement, and improve comprehension for ELLs. Whether you’re an experienced educator looking for new strategies, a novice teacher grappling with the challenges of teaching English to non-native speakers, or an educational policy-maker seeking innovative teaching methods, this comprehensive guide offers valuable insights into captivating your audience in ELL instruction.

As we delve deeper into the nuances of Engaging Delivery Methods for ELLs, we will collectively pave the way for a more inclusive, engaging, and impactful language learning experience in practice sessions for English learners across the globe.

Engaging Delivery Methods Chart

Presentation SkillMethodDescription/Impact
Non-Verbal CommunicationEye ContactMakes content relatable and memorable, aids in the comprehension and retention of concepts.
 Body LanguageConveys enthusiasm and confidence, making the presenter more persuasive and engaging.
 Facial ExpressionsAdds emotional depth to the delivery, can amplify the message and make it more memorable.
Vocal VarietyIntonationBuilds rapport with the audience, and makes them feel acknowledged and involved.
 PronunciationEnsures clear and accurate communication, essential for audience comprehension.
StorytellingUsing StoriesImproves visual appeal, and enhances information processing and retention.
 Personal AnecdotesEstablishes a personal connection with the audience, humanizes the presenter and engages listeners.
Visual AidsSelecting Appropriate VisualsReinforces the verbal message, aids in comprehension, and makes the presentation more engaging.
 Good Design PrinciplesFacilitates peer learning and interaction, and enhances understanding through practical application.
Audience InvolvementAsking QuestionsEncourages participation and critical thinking, keeps the audience engaged and involved.
 Group ActivitiesEncourages participation and critical thinking, and keeps the audience engaged and involved.
Engaging Delivery Methods Chart
LillyPad english language software CTA

Utilizing Non-Verbal Communication

Eye Contact: Building Rapport In the realm of non-verbal communication, eye contact stands as a cornerstone in establishing rapport and engagement with your fellow students. When teaching ELLs, try this exercise: practice a short speech while deliberately maintaining eye contact with different points in the room, mimicking a diverse audience. Afterwards, reflect on how this approach impacts your delivery and the level of engagement it could foster in a real audience.

Body Language: Conveying Attitude Body language is another vital element in the non-verbal communication toolkit. It is a silent but compelling language that conveys your enthusiasm, confidence, and interest in the subject matter. The way you stand, move, or gesture can effectively set the tone of the classroom, making your learners more receptive and engaged.

Facial Expressions: Enhancing Emotional Communication Lastly, the role of facial expressions in communication cannot be overstated. These visual cues add depth and an emotional dimension to your communication, creating a personal connection with your learners. A well-placed smile, a thoughtful frown, or an expression of surprise can turn a standard lesson into a memorable, engaging experience.

Each of these elements—eye contact, body language, and facial expressions—serves as a unique strand in the intricate web of non-verbal communication. When utilized effectively, they can significantly enhance the learning experience for ELLs, making lessons more dynamic, personal, and captivating to fellow students.

Harnessing the Power of Voice

Vocal Variety: Keeping It Dynamic An essential aspect of keeping your audience engaged is utilizing vocal variety. This means manipulating your tone, pitch, and speaking speed to maintain audience interest and prevent monotony. Varied vocal dynamics can turn even the most complex language lessons into captivating experiences that keep your ELLs hanging on to your every word.

Intonation: Emphasizing Key Points Intonation, or the rise and fall of your voice when speaking, is a powerful tool for enhancing understanding. By emphasizing keywords and phrases, you can guide your learners’ attention to crucial points, making it easier for them to grasp core concepts in the entire speech. Intonation not only makes your speech more engaging but also facilitates better comprehension of the language’s rhythm and flow.

Exercise: Understanding Emotions Through Intonation To appreciate the impact of intonation, try this exercise: listen to an audio clip where the speaker uses different intonations. As you listen, identify the various emotions being conveyed through the speaker’s entire speech. This practice can help you understand how intonation influences the message’s emotional resonance, making it a powerful tool in language teaching.

Pronunciation: Striving for Clarity Lastly, pronunciation is critical in language instruction. It’s not just about teaching students how to articulate sounds accurately, but also about modelling clear and correct pronunciation yourself. To aid this, there are numerous tips and exercises available, from tongue twisters to specific phonetic drills, that can help you deliver your lessons with precision and clarity.

Each of these elements – vocal variety, intonation, aural exercises, and pronunciation – brings a unique flavour to your speech and, when skillfully harnessed, can make your English instruction sessions more effective and engaging for ELLs.

Storytelling and Personal Anecdotes

Using Stories: Relatable and Memorable Content One of the most powerful tools in any teacher’s arsenal is storytelling. By turning abstract lessons into narratives, you can make the content more relatable, digestible, and memorable for your ELLs. Stories not only enrich the learning experience but also aid in the comprehension and retention of language concepts.

Personal Anecdotes: Building Connection Personal anecdotes serve as potent instruments in building a connection with your audience. Sharing personal experiences or stories adds a human element to your lessons, making you more relatable as a teacher. It allows learners to see language use in real-life contexts, which can be more engaging than textbook examples.

Exercise: Evaluating the Impact of Anecdotes Try this exercise to understand the effectiveness of personal anecdotes: share a few anecdotes related to a specific topic during your online courses, then later discuss their impact with the students. How did these stories influence their understanding of the topic? Did the anecdotes make the lessons more engaging or memorable? Reflecting on these questions can help you refine your storytelling techniques.

Cultural References: Engaging Diverse Learners In a multilingual classroom, incorporating cultural references can significantly enhance learner engagement. References to popular culture, traditions, or experiences from different cultures make lessons more inclusive and relatable, particularly for learners from diverse backgrounds. They can also foster cross-cultural understanding and respect among students, making the classroom a more welcoming learning environment.

Utilizing storytelling, personal anecdotes, and a wide range of cultural references while teaching English can transform a standard lesson into a rich, engaging, and inclusive learning experience for ELLs. The integration of these elements encourages active participation, enhances comprehension, and contributes to a more vibrant and effective learning environment.

lillypad english learning app banner

Effective Use of Multimedia and Visual Aids

Selecting Appropriate Visuals: Supporting the Content Visual aids are a crucial part of any teaching strategy, particularly in language instruction for ELLs. Selecting the appropriate visuals—be it images, graphs, charts, or videos—can significantly enhance the content, making it easier for learners to understand and remember complex concepts the entire time. The right visual aid acts as a bridge, linking abstract language elements with concrete images or ideas.

Design Principles: Crafting Visually Appealing Materials Good design principles are essential when creating teaching materials. Balance, contrast, alignment, repetition, proximity, and colour are among the crucial elements to consider when designing slides or visual aids. A well-designed visual not only appeals to the learners’ aesthetic senses but also aids in information comprehension and retention.

Avoiding Information Overload: Striving for Clarity While visuals are useful, it’s important to avoid overwhelming learners with too much information at once. Presenting clear, concise visuals with just enough information to support the content can significantly improve learners’ understanding. The key is to strike a balance between providing necessary information and maintaining an uncluttered, focused visual presentation.

Exercise: Justifying the Choice of Visuals To understand the impact of visuals, consider this exercise: select a piece of information or a language concept you would like to teach, then choose the most appropriate visual aid to support it. Explain your choice—why did you choose that particular visual? How does it enhance the understanding of the concept? This exercise encourages a thoughtful selection of visuals and fosters an understanding of their effectiveness in language teaching.

The thoughtful use of multimedia and a wide range of visual aids is a powerful strategy for engaging ELLs. By combining suitable visuals, applying good design principles, and avoiding information overload, teachers can create vibrant, interactive lessons that support effective language learning.

Promoting Audience Involvement

Asking Questions: Encouraging Active Participation One of the most effective ways to promote audience involvement in language learning is through asking questions. Questions, especially open-ended ones, can foster critical thinking and encourage learners to actively participate in the learning process. By prompting learners to articulate thoughts and solutions, you can facilitate deeper engagement with the material and promote personal development in meaningful practice time.

Group Activities: Facilitating Interaction Group activities are another powerful tool to enhance learner involvement. Effective practices such as collaborative projects, problem-solving tasks, or group presentations can facilitate peer learning and interaction. These activities not only stimulate the active use of language but also foster a collaborative learning environment where students learn from each other, promoting social and communication skills.

Providing Opportunities for Discussion: Sharing Experiences Discussion provides an opportunity for learners to share their perspectives, opinions, and experiences. By fostering an environment that values open discussion, you encourage learners to engage more deeply with the material and with each other. Discussions also enable learners to practice English in a safe, supportive environment, helping them to develop their speaking skills and boost their confidence.

Exercise: Participating in Group Discussions To cultivate these skills, consider this exercise: engage in a group discussion with practice observers or debate on a specific topic. Encourage students to express their opinions, ask questions, and interact with other public speakers. This exercise not only allows learners to actively use English in a real context but also develops critical thinking and listening skills.

By promoting active audience involvement through questioning, group activities, and discussion opportunities, teachers can turn passive learning into an interactive experience. These methods help to foster a sense of community in the classroom, encourage active language use, and enhance the overall learning experience for ELLs.

LillyPad english language app CTA icon

Exercises for Captivating Your Audience

Below, we have compiled our best tips for students to practice effective communication from home.

  1. Non-Verbal Communication Exercise: Record yourself giving a short speech challenge. Review the video focusing on your eye contact, body language, body movement, natural gestures, and facial expressions. What do you notice? How could you improve? Are there any overused gestures? Do you have an overly casual posture? How are the audible aspects? Do you make fake eye contact or firm contact? Repeat this exercise periodically with a good, well-prepared speech to track your progress.
  2. Harnessing the Power of Voice Exercise: Select a short story or a piece of text. Practice reading it aloud using different tones, pitches, and speeds. Record your practice and listen to it. Reflect on how the changes in your voice affect the delivery and the mood of the text. You could also enlist the help of classroom peers, classroom teachers, or speech therapists who can assist you in all aspects of speech delivery. 
  3. Storytelling and Personal Anecdotes Exercise: Choose a language concept or a grammar rule. Create a story or an anecdote that demonstrates this concept. Share this story with a peer or a small group and ask for feedback.
  4. Effective Use of Multimedia and Visual Aids Exercise: Create a short slide presentation to explain a complex language concept. Use visuals to support your explanation and ensure you are following good design principles. Share your presentation with a peer and ask for feedback.
  5. Promoting Audience Involvement Exercise: Develop a lesson plan that involves group activity. It should involve a discussion and have a series of questions prepared to encourage critical thinking. Implement this lesson plan in a study group or a classroom and observe how learners engage with each other and with the basic aspects of the material.

Conclusion: Emphasizing the Power of Engaging Delivery Methods for ELLs

Engaging public speaking skills hold significant potential for enhancing the English language learning experience for ELLs. The integration of non-verbal communication techniques, harnessing the power of voice, using storytelling and personal anecdotes, implementing effective multimedia and visual aids, and promoting audience involvement, all play a pivotal role in not just holding the attention of learners, but also fostering deeper comprehension, active participation, and genuine enthusiasm in learning.

One comprehensive resource that can greatly support English language learners is Lillypad.ai. Offering a rich collection of materials, exercises, and interactive elements, Lillypad.ai enables students to enhance their language proficiency, while also boosting their communication confidence. It provides an immersive, intuitive platform for self-paced learning, allowing learners to actively engage with the content and apply their skills in meaningful contexts the entire time.

In the journey of language learning, continuous practice is key. With the diverse resources provided by Lillypad.ai, learners can regularly practice and reinforce their skills. By continuously utilizing the rich toolset provided by Lillypad.ai, learners can steadily improve their language proficiency, broaden their communication skills, and gain the confidence to effectively use English in various contexts. Remember, every step taken on this journey brings you closer to linguistic fluency and mastery. Keep exploring, keep practising, and keep growing with Lillypad.ai.

lillypad english learning app banner


Non-verbal communication—including eye contact, body language, and facial expressions—adds a layer of depth and emotion to your presentation skills, making it more engaging. Eye contact helps establish a rapport with your audience, while body language and facial expressions can convey enthusiasm, confidence, and a genuine interest in the class session.

For pronunciation, practising with phonetic drills, tongue twisters, and listening to native speakers can be helpful. For vocal variety, try experimenting with different tones, pitches, and speeds when you speak. Recording and listening back to your speech can also be a great way to identify areas for improvement. It’s also helpful to enlist non-native English speakers who are also struggling with impromptu speaking skills. This way you can see the mistakes novice public speakers make in a different context.

Storytelling and personal anecdotes make your presentation more relatable and engaging. They provide real-life contexts and applications of language use, making the learning process more interesting and memorable for the audience.

The cultural references you incorporate should be relevant to your audience’s backgrounds or the content you’re delivering. The goal is to make your content more relatable and engaging for learners from diverse backgrounds. Be sure to maintain a respectful and inclusive approach when referring to any cultural elements.

The key is to select visuals that support and enhance your content. The chosen visual aids should be clear, relevant, and simple enough to avoid overwhelming your audience. They should also adhere to good design principles, such as balance, contrast, and alignment, for a visually appealing presentation.

In order to become an excellent speaker, encourage the classroom audience involvement by asking open-ended questions, conducting group activities, and providing opportunities for discussion. These techniques foster active participation, critical thinking, and engagement with the content.

Ensure your slides are uncluttered and organized, with a balance of text and visuals. Use contrasting colours for text and background for easy reading, and align elements neatly for a professional look. Remember, less is often more; keep your slides simple and focused on the key points. Sources such as Google Classroom can help you perfect your Computer-Aided Classroom Presentations. 

Lillypad.ai provides a range of online-version resources that can help enhance your delivery skills. It offers content that aids in improving communication studies, familiar posture, extemporaneous speaking, vocal variety, non-verbal communication, and more. It also provides interactive exercises for practice and self-assessment. Continuous use of Lillypad.ai can help you refine your skills, improve language proficiency, and boost your communication confidence as an advanced student.

Learn from History – Follow the Science – Listen to the Experts

For learners of all ages striving to improve their English, LillyPad combines the most scientifically studied and recommended path to achieving English fluency and proficiency with today’s most brilliant technologies!

What’s the one thing that makes LillyPad so special? Lilly! Lilly’s a personal English tutor, and has people talking all over the world! Lilly makes improving your English easy. With Lilly, you can read in four different ways, and you can read just about anything you love. And learning with Lilly, well that’s what you call liberating!

Additionally, the platform incorporates goal-setting capabilities, essential tracking & reporting, gamification, anywhere-anytime convenience, and significant cost savings compared to traditional tutoring methodologies.

At LillyPad, everything we do is focused on delivering a personalized journey that is meaningful and life-changing for our members. LillyPad isn’t just the next chapter in English learning…

…it’s a whole new story!

Do you want to improve your English? Visit www.lillypad.ai.

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram!

lillypad english learning app icon
Bethany MacDonald

Bethany MacDonald

Bethany MacDonald has contributed articles LillyPad.ai since 2020. As their Blog Lead, she specialises in informative pieces on culture, education, and language learning

Related Articles

Improve your English Faster with Lilly!
An Artificial Intelligent Tutor!

Latest Posts


How long will it take you to improve your English?


Design, write and practice your own phrases or learn 3,500+ premade English phrases with Lilly!