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.

Using Glogster for creating interactive online posters

You can create attractive and colourful Glogster posters with your students on many different occasions: for celebrating festivals, for illustrating project work or for presenting a topic.

Creating Vokis – online animated characters that speak

'Voki's' are great for practising speaking skills with students of all ages. Creating an animated character and giving it a voice is real fun to do and breaks down the inhibitions that students often have when faced with recording themselves speaking in English.

Discussing languages

This is a discussion activity that you can use to find out about your students’ opinions of language learning and how important they think it is.

Working with biographies

The Biography section of portfolios is a documentation of the learners' personal language learning history and can include, for example, a short narrative about the summer camp they attended and for which they may include a certificate of attendance in the passport section.

It’s 12.00 o'clock!

This is a drawing and speaking activity that is fun to use with primary classes to revise the present continuous form. It is easy to set up and requires no preparation or materials, except a board and a board pen.

Who is it?

In this activity students listen to information about two people who emigrated to Dublin. They then have to create profiles of other immigrants based on the text from the listening. The activity is based on themes and images from the OPENCities project www.opencities.eu

Lucky number 6

This is a quick simple game that reviews question forms and can be used as a warmer or a filler at the end of the lesson with all students aged 7 – 11.

Shopping at the minimarket

To set up the activity requires quite a lot of preparation. However, this activity can be repeated over future lessons as a review (using new shopping lists), develops a number of skills (CLIL) and creates an appropriate context for students to communicate at this age.

Mingling: True or false?

This is a simple mingling activity that can be used with low level groups to provide practice in asking and answering questions. The lesson is designed for adults but could also be used with older teenagers.

Pairwork: What’s in the fridge?

This is a another simple pairwork activity that can be used with low level groups to provide practice in countable and uncountable nouns, in the question structure – How much … is there? /How many … are there? and the corresponding answers There is … / There are … and food vocabulary. The lesson is designed for adults but could also be used with older teenagers.

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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.

Why didn't you come to the party?

This speaking activity for higher-level beginners up to upper intermediate involves students working in pairs to make up excuses.

Realia in the bag

This is vocabulary activity that can be used easily with students of different ages.

Chain story telling

In this speaking activity the students tell personal stories which are prompted by pictures.

Henry VIII

This is a role-play speaking activity based on Henry VIII for upper-intermediate students and above. This is a topic that reappears in course books and he is a historical character who is well known throughout the world.

Mini-talks

This (diagnostic) activity is designed to give students freer speaking practice in the form of mini-talks. The teacher then focuses on accuracy in the next day follow-up activity and feedback sheet.

Accidents anecdotes

In this speaking activity students exchange authentic personal anecdotes.

Working with passports

The Passport section of portfolios summarizes the owner’s linguistic identity, language-learning experiences and language qualifications in an internationally transparent manner.

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Collocation pelmanism

This activity follows on from the Think article Lexical exploitation of texts. It is often necessary to recycle new words several times in class before they become part of learners' active vocabulary, and the same is true of collocations.

Comparative plips and plops

I like to use this activity to promote the use of the comparative form. It is a fun guessing game that encourages creativity.

Comparatives and superlatives through pictures

A short but fun way to revise comparatives and superlatives is to give students a blank piece of paper and ask them to draw an easy to draw object, such as a star, a tree, a flower or a house on it.

Consequences role play

Why not play a game of consequences with a difference, where students must take on the role of another person?

Conversational English

This low-level activity

Creating a framework for writing

This is a creative-writing exercise in which the teacher moulds the story but allows plenty of scope for the students' creative expression.

Creating Vokis – online animated characters that speak

'Voki's' are great for practising speaking skills with students of all ages. Creating an animated character and giving it a voice is real fun to do and breaks down the inhibitions that students often have when faced with recording themselves speaking in English.

Creative group writing

This activity really makes writing in class fun. I have used this activity for years and it has always been a hit. It's good practice for writing creative stories using narrative tenses.

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