Here you can find a range of short activities to use in your adult classroom with students at upper-intermediate level. All of our activities are designed around engaging themes engaging and relevant to adult learners of English. Written by experts from around the world, our activities are easy to use and aim to give your students the skills and confidence they need to enjoy learning English.

Find useful activities

Choose a city

In this speaking activity students think about and discuss a city they would like to live in for a year. The activity is based on themes from the British Council OPENCities project.

Theft in the hotel

This activity is a role play that allows students to take control, decide how the story will develop, and use their imagination. It can be used with a range of levels as students drive the content, but they will have to think on their feet and use the language in real time as they can’t prepare for what is going to happen.

Artists as immigrants

This activity attempts to challenge some of the preconceptions that people often have about immigrants by looking at a group of artists that have emigrated and exploring some of the challenges they have faced. The activity is based on themes and images from the OPENCities project:

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 holiday maze

This is a reading and speaking activity. Students make decisions in pairs or groups with the aim of going on a successful holiday. It is based on a 'maze' principle, which gives students different options and a variety of different holiday outcomes.

Gerunds and infinitives: Farmer Jones and his wife

This activity looks at the problem of whether verbs are followed by the gerund or infinitive. At Upper Intermediate level (B2 on the CEF level and FCE Cambridge exams) students are confronted with this problem and it is often useful to practise more thoroughly to help the difference in meaning of the verbs become part of the learners’ active knowledge.

A business letter

In this activity, learners attempt to re-write an inappropriately informal business letter in a more appropriate, formal style.

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