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22 Nov 2002

There are many ways you can work with classroom readers that are more inspiring and engaging than standard approaches, which can have...

06 Sep 2002

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

23 Jun 2002

This activity gives learners at an intermediate level and above the opportunity to use interactional language in a role-play situation...

23 Jun 2002

I've always found it really useful to have simple pictures on hand. Just some simple pictures of food can be used in a multitude of ways...

girl in room
23 Jun 2002

This activity can be used at any level from elementary up. The aim of the activity is to get students talking about people's lives and...

23 Jun 2002

Speaking English on the telephone is difficult for learners for many reasons and even high-level students often feel uncomfortable with...

23 Jun 2002

This is an ice-breaker for a first lesson, suitable for all ages and levels.

23 Jun 2002

This is a series of engaging role plays based on the concept of the gap year or a round-the-world trip.

23 Jun 2002

This fun writing and speaking activity helps learners practise food and cooking-related vocabulary as well as instructions.

23 Jun 2002

This oral story-creating and relating activity works best with intermediate level and above learners.

23 Jun 2002

This speaking activity is very effective for practising telling stories and learning fascinating things about your students.

23 Jun 2002

This speaking activity involves students working in pairs to make up excuses.

23 Jun 2002

This is a low preparation fun activity that works well with large classes, especially with young learners and teens. All your students...

23 Jun 2002

A role-play in which your students practise making complaints and dealing with people in a shop.

23 Jun 2002

This is a great activity for getting students talking. I have used it successfully with many different levels and age groups and have...

23 Jun 2002

Here are five useful ways that I have used to try to encourage my teenage learners to use more English in class.

23 Jun 2002

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

23 Jun 2002

This activity practises describing people and events and asking questions.

23 Jun 2002

This is a speaking lesson on the theme of planning a night out that uses a listening exercise to provide language input.

23 Jun 2002

Have you ever felt you were asking all the questions about students’ opinions? Do you find you are doing more talking in a discussion...

23 Jun 2002

Here are some tips and three discussion ideas, all aimed at getting teenagers to speak.

23 Jun 2002

How do improvisations work? Role play involves giving students role cards, instructions and time to prepare. Improvisations are more...

23 Jun 2002

Speaking and listening activity

Level: Intermediate or advanced

23 Jun 2002

In the event you have students who are stressed out or just plain bored by the dull approach to teaching grammar, there's a game you can...

23 Jun 2002

This project is based on compiling 'top five' lists and really gets students talking.

23 Jun 2002

This highly personalised activity generates a great deal of speaking about students' experiences and opinions.

23 Jun 2002

These are activities that encourage students to talk about their plans for the summer.

23 Jun 2002

A simple and effective speaking activity practising questions and answers.

23 Jun 2002

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

23 Jun 2002

This (diagnostic) activity is designed to give students freer speaking practice in the form of mini-talks. The teacher then focuses on...

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  • Preparation These activities take little or no preparation. You can either cut pictures from magazines, or download and use the images we have supplied here. Food flash cards 576k zip © All images are copyright Chris Tribble, King's College,...
  • At lower levels it can be used to practise present simple in the third person. For higher levels it can be used to practise expressions for giving opinions or for using modal verbs for deduction. It can be used at any level to teach or revise a wide...
  • These role cards present a series of simple situations for pre-intermediate and intermediate-level learners, working in pairs. They could also be used for higher levels, who should be encouraged to elaborate on the conversations and make them more...
  • Preparation You will need lollipops, sweets with wrappers or slips of paper. Prior to the lesson write a secret message (the code is described below) on the wrappers or lollipops or another type of sweet. You may also write out the secret messages...
  • This is a series of five small role plays which work best with intermediate students. The students are motivated to persuade and argue in a light-hearted manner.Preparation Download and make copies of the role play cards. You'll need one set for...
  • Preparation Your students will need to know vocabulary associated with food and cooking. It is a good idea to teach them words for cooking utensils too (e.g. saucepan, knife) and verbs connected with cooking (e.g. fry, chop). You might also like to...
  • I don't recall the origins of this activity. I picked it up from some book or workshop at least ten years ago! Preparation Before class, the teacher fills paper bags with five or six random objects. You'll need one bag per group of four students....
  • Preparation You don't need any materials for this, just an invented story that you are ready to tell. Procedure
  • Procedure Ask students if they've ever had a party. If they have, tell them to share their experiences with the class. If they haven't, explain to them what a party is. Tell students to 'remember' the class party they had last week. All the...
  • Procedure
  • Description This is a lively role-play in which one student is a customer returning goods to a shop and the other student is a shop assistant. Each student has a role card with the information they need to give or find out from their partner, and...
  • It is particularly useful for practising describing appearance, character and interests. Preparation You will need a selection of flashcards of people, a mixture of ages and types. Procedure
  • Bribery The oldest trick in the book, and not one to be over-used. The idea is simple, take in small prizes to give to students whenever they have spoken enough English. What is 'enough' depends on you and the class - one word may be all you want...
  • They work particularly well with areas of discussion which can have ranges of agreement or disagreement. Preparation To create a discussion wheel you simply need 8 or 10 contentious sentences based around a theme which you would like the students...
  • This is an activity that I've used with students of all levels. It's also good for getting students to really listen to each other and to take notes or just for some fun. Preparation The activity is based around a short video clip of a crime. Any...
  • Preparation and materials You will need to record two people planning a night out on the town. Pre-task (15-20min)Aim: To introduce the topic of nights out and to give the class exposure to language related to it. To highlight words and phrases.
  • Here are some tips to shift the task focus from you talking to them (they have to talk to each other). give them control of their own discussion. give them practice in formulating their opinions within a controlled framework. Discussion envelopes
  • Keep the conversation peer centred: plenty of pair or small group collaboration. Avoid asking discussion questions around the class: this puts them in the spotlight and causes potential embarrassment in front of friends. You also risk dominating the...
  • Improvisations work best if students are given roles and situations and asked to react immediately.Improvisations can be introduced very briefly with a ‘warm up’. Improvisations encourage students to use whatever language they have available to...
  • Target language: Past continuous 1. Write on board: Mrs. McDonald was found dead in her house on Tuesday at eight in the morning. You have to find who killed her and why. 2. Explain to students they are going to prepare a play and perform it (...
  • I used this for teaching Present Perfect tense. It is just like bingo, but involves the students mingling and asking questions. In a 4 or 5 by 5 grid write statements like 'Has never been to Colombia’, or ‘Has been to the cinema twice this month’...
  • There's nothing like a group project to get students talking. They work well if: the topic is centred on the learners' interests there is not any real need for extensive or time-consuming research students can present their work orally to the...
  • Preparation Prepare individual questions on slips of paper. The questions should all use the superlative form. For example: What's the most interesting country you've been to? What school subject are/were you worst at? What's the tallest...
  • Practise descriptions of places using photos from travel brochures. Give each group a selection of five or six places. Ask them to take turns describing the place in their picture: the climate, the location, the activities you can do there, etc....
  • Three students sit in a line at the front of the class. They are the experts, but they don't know what they are experts about. The rest of the class choose the area of expertise, e.g. cooking, car maintenance, trees, etc.  The other students then...
  • Construct a 10 x 4 grid and in each square place a phrase often used in discussion (Can you explain? Really!, Where was I?, Is that clear?, Can I ask a question? etc.).You'll have to tailor the phrases to your group but I usually set a limit to how...
  • It follows a Test-Teach-Test logic. Procedure Day 1: Student A chooses a topic and talks for 3 to 4 minutes - students B, C and D then ask questions about the content, the teacher notes down problematic language Day 2: The teacher inputs all the...
  • Make up a dialogue about six or eight lines, for example a dialogue on making arrangements: A What are you doing this evening? B Nothing much, why? A Would you like to come and have a cup of tea with me in the cafe? B Yes, I'd love to. What time? A...
  • Basically, you need a controversial topic to start. Once you have established a controversial topic, divide your students into two groups; those who agree with the statement and those who disagree. They now prepare their arguments. Once you have...
  • At this age, the learners aren't motivated by new language, they're motivated by an activity. It can be very difficult to get them to speak if they really don't see the point. You can approach this by focussing on the following.The function of the...

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