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.


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.


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.

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.

What's the pronunciation?

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


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.

British and American English

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

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.

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.


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.