TeachingEnglish

Deja vu

This speaking activity gets students to think in English and use their memory, simultaneously. It is a simple way of recycling texts previously studied in class.

It works well with factual texts in EFL, texts used in CLIL lessons and quizzes related to any subject.

Materials

Texts/authentic articles previously studied or quizzes completed in class.

Preparation

Prepare a few questions about factual information from the text(s) e.g. dates, proper names, percentages, figures, etc.

Procedure

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TeachingEnglish

Stand up sequences

This is a good game to practise any standard sequence such as numbers 1 – 30, days of the week, months of the year, the alphabet etc.

Students sit in a circle. Establish which sequence you are going to do and without coordinating with the others, one student should just start by standing up and beginning the sequence. For example, if it’s the alphabet, one student (any student) will stand up and say “A” and sit down again. Then another student (anyone) will stand up and say “B” and so it goes on. If two students stand up at the same time the sequence must begin again from the very beginning. This is good for students to practise using eye contact and turn taking.

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TeachingEnglish

Conditional chain game

This game is good to revise and practise structures in the first conditional. 

The teacher begins with a sentence, for example “If I go out tonight, I’ll go to the cinema.” The next person in the circle must use the end of the previous sentence to begin their own sentence. Eg “If I go to the cinema, I’ll watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The next person could say, “If I watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, I’ll eat lots of chocolate.” Then, “If I eat lots of chocolate, I’ll put on weight” etc. etc.

BY JO BUDDEN
First published 2009

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TeachingEnglish

One word stories

This is a simple activity where each student adds a word to create a group story.

Despite the simplicity it can be really challenging and I would only use it with higher levels.

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TeachingEnglish

Chain drawings

This is a fun activity using music which can be used with all groups.

Just select a follow-up activity that is appropriate for the age and level of the class but the basic procedure is the same for everyone.

Procedure

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TeachingEnglish

Talking topics

This simple board game provides an excellent way to give students a bit of free speaking practice.

You can choose your own topics either based on the topics you've covered in lessons or topics that you think will be of interest to your students.

Download game board

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TeachingEnglish

What's my line?

The classic guessing game! Players take it in turns to ask another player questions in order to discover their job.

Procedure

  • Students take turns in coming to the front of the class or sitting in the ‘hot seat' and thinking of a job.
  • The rest of the class must ask them questions in order to guess the job they're thinking of. For example, ‘do you work at night?', ‘do you wear a uniform?' etc.
  • If the class ask ten questions without being able to guess the job the student who was thinking of the job wins.

By Jo Budden

First published 2008

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TeachingEnglish

What's on my head?

This activity is an adaptation of the original Hedbanz and is good for practising or revising vocabulary in general or it can be related to a specific topic.

It works well with lower intermediate and higher levels and it can be stretched and used as part of a lesson, as a warmer or filler.

Preparation
You will need rubber bands, mini-flashcards and a timer (or a sand clock).
Little flashcards can either be made by the students themselves or given by the teacher (time-consuming and more expensive e.g. if laminated, but worthwhile).

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TeachingEnglish

Get in line

This is a kind of class survey where you can practise asking for personal information.

The great thing about this activity is that nobody needs to write anything so you need absolutely no materials, all you need is enough space for your whole class to stand up in a line (it doesn't have to be straight!)

Procedure

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TeachingEnglish

Talking points

This is a great student-centred speaking activity.

You need scraps of paper and dice for this activity. You will need 12 bits of paper and two dice for each group of between 3 and 6 students. 

 Procedure

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