Activities

Teaching activities to try out in the classroom. For each one you will find a simple guide for preparation and procedure, and sometimes printable worksheets too.

Pronunciation whispers

This activity is based on the fun and effective game of whispers. It can be used with all ages and levels in a number of ways and for different elements of pronunciation.

Using the vocabulary game Pic-your-wits in class

Pic-your-wits is a vocabulary game that you can find on Facebook and on the LearnEnglish site.

Retelling the story

This activity can be used in a number of different ways and for a number of different tenses. I have used it to practise using there is / are and the present continuous. However it’s up to the teacher or students to decide on this.

Listen and draw

This is a simple speaking activity that can be used with A2 level groups to provide practice in using prepositions of place and giving clear instructions. The lesson is usually successful with adults and teenagers.

My Wikipedia

This is an activity 'about' the internet, but it doesn't start online. In fact it has to start offline: the idea is that students try and predict the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry for their town, region or country.

Family snapshot

If you teach young learners who are all the same age and live in the same town, opportunities for sharing and comparing life experiences can feel more limited than they would be in a multi-national class of adult learners.

I couldn't believe my eyes

In this activity the teacher creates situations for the students to get plenty of practice with the form and meaning of the past perfect.

Getting the whole class talking

The following activities are designed to get everyone talking. They can be used with all levels because the language required to communicate is determined by the students.

Romeo and Juliet - a class play

This simple activity gives higher-level students the chance to write and act in their own version of Romeo and Juliet.

Transplants

This activity provides students with upper intermediate vocabulary for parts of the body such as blood, liver, lungs etc. and provides opportunity for debate on an interesting subject that is frequently in the news, as well as giving students the opportunity to express their views on a little-known experiment that took place 40 years ago.

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Easter reading

This is a simple reading task on the theme of Easter in the UK. It helps students learn about how this time is celebrated in the UK and reflect on special occasions in their own culture.

Listening activities for songs

Here are some tried and tested ideas I get my students to do when listening to a pop song. Activities need not require hours of preparation time and some of the best activities are spontaneous and simple. Below are a few suggestions. They are categorised into pre-listening, while listening and after listening activities.

Family tree

It's amazing how students can't stop telling their friends about themselves. I introduced my class of second-language learners to the family tree and the different relationships between people in the family - in-laws, step-family, cousins, paternal and maternal sides etc. even terms like widow, widower and divorcee.

Good manners

This activity is all about manners and etiquette. This can be an interesting topic to discuss with your students, especially if there are cultural differences regarding norms of behaviour between the country you're working in and the UK.

Revision activities

On this page you will find lots of ideas for classroom activities to help your students with revision.

Musical landscapes

Pictures are probably the most often used prompts. Here is an activity that combines physical movement, imagination, self-expression and pictures.

Lateral thinking

I like to use this activity to promote recognition and then practise the past continuous. It utilises a well known lateral thinking puzzle.

Daily routines

This is a writing and speaking activity using the silent-method to practise vocabulary of daily routine, present simple and telling the time.

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A shopping role play

This activity gives learners at an intermediate level and above the opportunity to use interactional language in a role-play situation

Accidents anecdotes

In this speaking activity students exchange authentic personal anecdotes.

Action Research - Stop, Start, Continue

This is an idea I got from a workshop that I went to many years ago. I have used it many times since and found it to be a really useful way of getting feedback from my students on my lessons and my teaching.

Active listening activities

Students are often asked to listen to tapes or to their teacher talking, but it can be just as useful to encourage them to listen to each other in a more active way.

Activities for using comic strips

Comic strips can be used from beginner level to advanced level for a variety of language and discussion activities.

Adopt a word

At the start of the school year I ask my students to 'Adopt a word' and share it with the class.

Algorithms

This is a whole-class speaking activity, needing no preparation, that gets the students practising question forms in a way that is useful practice as well as fun.

Alien abduction

This role-play can be used with students who are studying about aliens (a common course-book topic), for the practice and revision of narrative tenses or as a lead in to writing newspaper stories.

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Your comments

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Baajuun's picture Baajuun

This is most difficult part for me, I understand little of this but hoping to improve it using...
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Porcre's picture Porcre

What are the main differences of [l] and [ɫ] ?


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sadeem.alameer's picture sadeem.alameer

I believe it is a good activity to learn past perfect tens and to practice it.
but I think...
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