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.

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) and 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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A Perfect story

The present perfect is a tense that many students have problems with. Most course books provide only controlled grammar sentences where students choose the correct tense.

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.

Where would you live?

In this activity, students compare the advantages and disadvantages of living in different countries. It takes 90 minutes and it is designed for intermediate students.

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.

Revising texts

When it comes to revision, this is an activity I've found time-effective and motivating. After my students have worked on three texts in the textbook and done various comprehension and grammar exercises I use this activity to revise.

Teaching Unplugged - Activities

If you’d like to have a first go at ‘Teaching Unplugged’ your aim is simply to get students to produce language and then to use the language they produce as the basis for your lesson.
The most important part of ‘Teaching Unplugged’ for the teacher is not how you generate the emergent language (that is the language that the students produce as they are talking) but what you do with the language.

What's the pronunciation?

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

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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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