Top 10 ESL Activities for Listening and Speaking
If you’re looking for some ESL activities for listening and speaking, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to give a brief description of our 10 favourite ESL activities that focus on two very important skills-listening and speaking. We’ll also include a link to more details about how to set up the ESL activity and use it in your classes.
#1: ESL Surveys
ESL surveys are one of my all-time favourite ESL Activities for listening and speaking. I love them for the following reasons:
- They get students up and out of their seats
- ESL surveys encourage interaction with a wide variety of students
- Surveys help students practice follow-up questions
- They’re fun!
For more details about ESL Surveys and how I use them in my own classroom, you’ll need to check out this post:
#2: Agony Aunt Problem and Advice Activity
Everyone has problems and everyone loves giving advice. Even lower-level ESL or EFL students can understand basic problems and then give some simple advice using the following structures:
“You/He/She should (n’t)….”
For more details, see this post:
#3: Dictogloss- A Classic ESL Activity
Dictogloss is a challening, yet easily adaptable ESL Speaking and Listening Activity that will quickly become one of your favourites. It can be used with just about any level, individually or in groups of up to four students. Listening is necessary, but then you can choose to focus on either writing or speaking. It really is an extremely flexible ESL activity that your students will enjoy.
For more details, check out:
#4: Conversation Starters
Conversation starters for ESL students are a fun way to get the class started off on the right foot. They’re a great warm-up activity because they’ll get your students thinking, talking and enjoying using English. Here are some of my favourite conversation starters:
#5: ESL Trivia
If you want to level up your ESL teaching game, then you’ll need to get some ESL trivia in your life! You can use them to focus on listening by reading the questions, instead of posting them on the PowerPoint. Then, have your students tell you the answers to focus on speaking.
My absolute favourite ESL trivia for teenagers and adults can be found here. It’s the only ESL teaching resource besides my own that I use in my classes every single day:
If you teach kids, you’ll need to check out this book on Amazon:
#6: ESL Listening Lesson
If you want to focus on ESL speaking and listening, a great way to do this is through a listening lesson. Once you get the basics of it down with something like this ESL listening lesson plan template, then you can add in a bunch of other listening and speaking activities.
Check out how I expand this basic listening lesson plan into a full class that includes speaking activities as well:
#7: English Central Videos
Using videos in my classroom is one of my favourite ESL listening and speaking activities. While there are a ton of great resources on YouTube, you’ll have to wade through a ton of stuff to find exactly what you’re looking for. That’s why I like using English Central. There are so many good ones and not all of the junk. Plus, they’re organized by level and topic so it’ll be easy for you to find what you’re looking for. Saving time when lesson planning? Love it!
#8: Running Dictation
Running dictation is another classic ESL Activity. This one is particularly good because it uses all 4 skills-speaking, listening, reading and writing. It’s challenging, easily adaptable to just about any age or level. It also gets students up and out of their seats and helps you get some energy back into your classroom.
#9: Role-Plays for ESL Students
One of my favourite ways to finish off a unit for lower-level students is with a role-play. They’re fun, encourage a bit of creativity and can be easily adapted by adding, or removing the amount of mandatory text that students must use. You can also use them for just about any topic you can imagine!
Check out: How I Use ESL Role-Plays in my Classroom
#10: Infographic Presentations
If you have higher-level students and want to challenge them, try out this task-based learning activity. Students have to make an infographic presentation and then present it to the class. It involves all 4 skills and the results are always very interesting! I thoroughly enjoy the class where students present their findings.
Did you enjoy our Top 10 ESL Listening and Speaking Activities? We hope so! Please leave a comment below and tell us your favourite listening and speaking activity for ESL or EFL students.