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23 Jun 2002

This short activity helps introduce learners to the phonemic alphabet.

23 Jun 2002

This activity uses a text from the course book, and involves listening and pronunciation practice. This task is challenging and...

23 Jun 2002

This is a little game I have used to help students with their listening practice and it develops pronunciation awareness.

23 Jun 2002

This is an activity for more advanced students. It is diagnostic because it reveals the mental picture of English sounds that students...

23 Jun 2002

Students are often asked to listen to tapes or to their teacher talking, but it can be just as useful to encourage them to listen to...

23 Jun 2002

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

23 Jun 2002

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

23 Jun 2002

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

23 Jun 2002

This activity consists of writing the lyrics of a song or even a story using symbols, code or pictures instead of some of the words.

23 Jun 2002

Despite the fact that most communication is face-to-face, most listening material does not train students to cope with this.

23 Jun 2002

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

23 Jun 2002

This is a simple way to improve students' concentration during listening activities.

23 Jun 2002

This simple activity encourages students to predict language for situations before they listen. 

23 Jun 2002

A short but fun way to revise comparatives and superlatives is to give students a blank piece of paper and ask them to draw an easy to...

23 Jun 2002

These suggested tasks are aimed at measuring the progress of advanced level students.

23 Jun 2002

This is an activity to be carried out before introducing phonemic symbols.

23 Jun 2002

Here are some tried and tested ideas when listening to a pop song. 

01 Jan 1970

On these pages you will find ideas for classroom activities which involve writing.

01 Jan 1970

This activity simulates 'online chatting' which has features common to both speaking and writing.

01 Jan 1970

In this activity learners construct a story based on comprehension questions.

01 Jan 1970

Using postcards in class can be a motivating writing task and add a level of stimulation for students.

01 Jan 1970

Writing can be much more motivating if you give the writer a chance to play a role. In this activity the students will have the chance...

01 Jan 1970

This is a creative-writing exercise in which the teacher moulds the story but allows plenty of scope for the students' creative...

01 Jan 1970

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

01 Jan 1970

This is an activity which is really useful for helping learners to write more fluently and can also help you to diagnose problems with...

01 Jan 1970

This is an idea I learned when I first started teaching and still use to this day. The main focus of the activity is on developing...

01 Jan 1970

This is an idea to help students with their writing of narratives. It gives all the students some essential (and some superfluous)...

01 Jan 1970

This activity can be used with students of English and also trainee teachers. It is a way to make your opinion or discursive essay...

01 Jan 1970

This activity would follow input work on writing in a particular style - for example, an informal letter inviting a friend to visit your...

01 Jan 1970

Rosh Pillay is a South African teacher. She used action research to help her students organise their argument essays and so improve...

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  • When you do this, you will feel as if you are looking inside students' brains. You will gain valuable information about their knowledge. Procedure
  • Learning to listen to each other more carefully can build their ability and confidence in real-life situations, in which they will need to focus on both listening and speaking. The following activities are a fun way of getting students to...
  • Telephone tree (sentence dictation) The teacher makes a telephone tree in class. After school, he/she calls the two first students in the tree and dictates one sentence. Then these two students have to call their assigned classmates in the tree and...
  • The senses The students write the following headings: I see I hear I taste I smell I feel The teacher dictates a variety of words and the students write them under the headings according to the sense(s) that the word awakens in their feelings...
  • Shadow dictation Put students in pairs. One is a writer and one is a listener. The teacher reads a paragraph at normal speed. The writer writes what they can and the listener just listens. Then they both try to re-construct the paragraph. The...
  • For example, there is a song that says He was warm, he came around like he was dignified. Instead of warm, you write cool then cross it out so that the students will understand it is something different or the opposite. Instead of around, you write...
  • Below you will find ideas that you can use with lower-level and higher-level students to develop their interactive listening skills and as a result their ability to interact. Lower levels
  • They are challenging and students can see an improvement. You can do these kinds of activities regularly and they needn't take up a great deal of time. Procedures1. For lower levels: a dialogue taken from an elementary to intermediate course book....
  • I'd like to share an activity I learnt from Jeremy Harmer, in his last lecture here in my town. It's called story words and it can work with different levels. First choose a text or a short story that students have never heard before, then choose...
  • Its main use is in listening skills development. It is closely related to question styles often found in EFL exams, but could be easily adapted for other listening work. Preparation Choose a lexical set, such as feelings, places, jobs, etc. For...
  • Once students have finished drawing their pictures ask the students either as a class, or in small groups if the class is very large, to line up according to the size of the object that they drew. The student with the biggest star stands on the...
  • No matter what textbook(s) you may use, you will need some special tasks for a lesson which is dedicated to measuring the progress of your advanced level students. These tasks should be different from the ones used regularly, and they should also...
  • It is designed to teach students: The difference between sounds and lettersThe difference between vowel sounds and consonant soundsThe difference between one sound and two sounds Procedure
  • Activities need not require hours of preparation time and some of the best activities are spontaneous and simple. Below are a few suggestions. They are categorised into pre-listening, while listening and after listening activities. Pre-listening...
  • Writing activities
  • It can be used in the language-learning classroom for students who still find it too difficult to speak without first having a little thinking time, and also as a means of moving students away from being overly concerned with accuracy, and focusing...
  • Students often get muddled when writing a narrative because they concentrate too much on the plot of the story. As a result tenses and syntax suffer. This activity helps students both with a storyline and with the tenses. Preparation Make copies...
  • My students have always been very fond of this activity as they don't have to write too much and it involves a certain level of communication and imagination. Preparation You'll need a stack of postcards (one or two for each student). If you don't...
  • PreparationPhotocopy the role cards for the student. You can download the role cards below. Procedure
  • Procedure The students work in pairs or groups of three. The teacher dictates a part of a story and then gives instructions on how the students should continue the next part of the story in their pairs. (This usually involves adding description or...
  • This activity leads students into writing a short story using the past simple, present perfect simple and continuous, but in a more creative way. Procedure
  • You can use it at the beginning or end of a class as a fun filler, or as an integral part of your lesson. Give out a sheet of A4 paper (219mm x 297mm) to each student and ask them to watch and follow your instructions.Hold up your paper and fold it...
  • The activity should work at most levels above elementary, as long as your students have some knowledge of past tenses, but it works best when they also know past continuous / progressive too. All you need to get things started is a sheet of plain...
  • Procedure Play a game of word association. The teacher gives one word and the student on the left must say the first word they can think of which is associated with it. Then the student on their left says the first word which they can think of...
  • The activity focuses on mistakes made at paragraph level in a text. I have tried this with my university students and they have found it useful. Procedure
  • Preparation Set up the context for the letter, you might do a letter layout on the board to make sure that everyone knows how to lay out an informal letter. Procedure
  • Once Rosh had decided on the problem of her students' poor performance when writing argument essays, she investigated this problem by analysing her students' writing. This analysis made her think that a possible cause of the problem was that...
  • Preparation Prepare the following cards. Half the students will need a copy of card 1 and the other half card 2. Card 1 You are 15. You know a very sophisticated girl called Juliet and you would like to marry her. You have decided to go...
  • Songs can be exploited in many ways. 1. The cloze or gap fill This is the most familiar and popular activity, and for that reason is probably overused. However, there are many important things to bear in mind when using them, and there are many...
  • Preparation Have a selection of superlative adjectives readily prepared. For example strongest, fastest, biggest, heaviest, tallest, most dangerous, etc. Procedure Write one of these adjectives on the board and elicit something that each...

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