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.

Mingling: Terry’s trip

This is a simple mingling activity that can be used with low level groups to provide practice in the past simple, particularly the question form. The lesson is designed for adults but could also be used with teenagers.

To Catch A Thief: Past simple and past continuous practice.

I use this activity as practice for using narrative tenses, particularly past simple and progressive/continuous with pre-intermediate students. It is a very structured activity in which students write a short newspaper article about a robbery.

Storylines

This is a speaking and listening communication activity which is aimed at pre-intermediate students and above. It was developed to help students practise narrative tenses and structures. The duration of the activity depends on the size of the class, but will take at least twenty minutes for an average size class.

Vanishing Dialogue

This activity practises language of ordering food in a restaurant although this can be adapted for any scenario. It's a great way to consolidate the language and recycle the vocabulary.

When did you last...?

This is a simple activity to set up and gives Elementary level students plenty of opportunity to speak and practise using the past simple.

An Interview with Sir Peter

This activity is based on the real story of Merhan Karimi Nasseri, who found himself unable to leave Charles de Gaulle airport in France, but became a popular subject for TV and newspaper interviews. It is a pair-work speaking, listening, reading and writing exercise for students who are at a good intermediate level or above.

The phone rang - essay planning

This idea comes from a short story by Raymond Carver called 'Put yourself in my shoes'.

Gap fill poems

I like to use this activity to introduce poetry into the classroom and to raise learners' awareness of the beauty and fun to be had with poetry. It can also be used to practise learners' pronunciation.

The new student role-play

This is a role-play activity in which your students practise asking for and giving personal details and directions.

Spot the vocabulary

This is a visual activity which helps make the process of recalling vocabulary motivating and memorable. My students enjoy the 'suspense' aspect at the start, which really gets them involved.

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Choose a city

In this speaking activity students think about and discuss a city they would like to live in for a year. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project

What's the pronunciation?

This is a pronunciation game I made up called 'What's the pronunciation?'

Inventions

This is a fun speaking activity in the form of a game. It can be used with most levels and most age groups. Students practise presenting their opinions and reaching agreement. There is an initial group work activity and extension speaking and writing activities.

Same as the teacher?

This activity is designed to be used as a vocabulary review or test of existing knowledge of the learners' vocabulary. It generates lots of words and is a lot of fun. The categories can be changed to suit the level and learner.

British and American English

This activity is designed to be used when teaching or practising the difference between British and American English vocabulary.

Listening for specific information

These activities are good for training the students to hear everything and to identify individual words.

Songs, symbols and lyrics

I am an English teacher in Brazil and I really enjoyed finding this site because it has helped me by giving me tools to use while teaching, such as activities, games and useful tips.

Puzzle time

Thinking time - a puzzle

This is a motivating speaking activity for lower levels to develop fluency. Students are given plenty of support and use ‘thinking time’ before the speaking task. The lesson is usually successful with adults and teenagers because of the ‘puzzle’ element. The only materials you need are a box of cocktail sticks.

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Dictation 1 - Correction techniques

These notes on dictation come from a talk presented by Edna Equihua

Dictation 2- The senses

These notes on dictation come from a talk presented by Edna Equihua.

Dictation 3 - Texts

These notes on dictation come from a talk presented by Edna Equihua, 22 August , 2003.

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.

Discussion Bingo

I have an activity which I use with my intermediate / advanced students. It's called 'discussion bingo' and I use it to get students using set phrases.

Discussion wheels

Discussion wheels are a good way of giving students time to think and formulate opinions before they do discussion work.

Doctors and patients - speaking activity

This lesson can take anything from half an hour to an hour and a half.

Divide your class in half, half are doctors, half are patients.

Doodles: Psychoanalysis

This is a simple speaking activity that can provide practice for describing personalities. The lesson is designed for adults but could also be used with older teenagers.

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