Fortunately/Unfortunately Speaking and Listening Activity

Speaking and listening activity

Skills: Speaking/listening Age: 9+ Materials Required: None You may have done this speaking and listening activity at school yourself. Start of by telling students some good news (something that “happened to you”) followed by some bad news. For example, “Unfortunately, my car wouldn’t start this morning. Fortunately, my neighbor gave me a ride to school. Unfortunately, she drove through a red light. Fortunately. . .” Students will then generate similar language using fortunately/unfortunately or luckily/unluckily. Procedure: 1. Divide students into small groups of 3-5. 2. Give them a scenario (something that “happened to you”), alternating between good and bad news.…

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ESL Speaking Bingo

ESL Speaking Bingo

Skills: Speaking/listening/writing Time: 20-30 minutes Level: High-Beginner to Advanced Materials Required: Blank “Bingo” grids, or blank paper   ESL Speaking Bingo is a very fun activity that kids, teenagers as well as university students seem to love. Have a list of about 35-40 vocabulary words that you’ve been studying (on the PPT works well). If you use less, the game will be over very quickly. Give the students a pre-made Bingo Grid, or have them draw a 5×5 grid. Then the students fill in the grid randomly from the list of words on the board or PowerPoint. Then, choose someone to…

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Retell the Story 1-2-3: A Fluency Activity for ESL Students

Retell the Story 1-2-3

Skills: Speaking Time: 15-20 minutes Level: Beginner to Advanced, 8+ Materials Required: Timer   This is a fluency activity which can be done with beginners by having them introduce themselves. Higher level students can tell a story they know or recap a story that was covered in class. Give the students a bit of time to think about what they’re going to say; the lower the level of students, the more time they will need. Working in pairs, each student will tell the same story three times. The first time, they will each speak for one minute. Then, have the…

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Hot Potato: an ESL Speaking Game for Kids

Hot potato ESL speaking game for kids

Hot Potato: A really fun ESL speaking game for kids Skills: Speaking Time: 5-10 minutes Level: Beginner, up to 11 Materials: Flashcards, timer, “potato” (an object for students to pass around) This is a simple vocabulary review game, spiced up with a timer. There are plenty of phone app timers, but a kitchen timer works well. To play, start the potato, which can be a white board eraser, ball, or any lightweight, easily-seen object, moving around the class from student to student. If there is not a practical way to play in a circle, have a contingency for the last…

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What am I? An ESL Speaking Warm-Up

What am I? An ESL Warm-Up Activity

Skills: Speaking/listening/reading Age: 10+ Materials Required: Tape or pins and vocabulary words on paper What am I? is a classic party game that is an excellent way for beginner students to practice asking simple questions. I often use it as an ESL speaking warm-up in the next class if in the previous one we studied about question forms. For more advanced students, you can choose much harder vocabulary words instead of simple ones like you would for beginners. A good topic for advanced students (or a party you are hosting) is famous people. Write a bunch of animals, jobs, hobbies…

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81 Ways to Make your ESL Speaking Class Awesome

introduction

I’m sure you want your ESL speaking classes to be as awesome as possible. Everybody does! Here are my top 81 tips to help you do that. Ready for great classes in the future? Because that’s what you’re going to get if you follow these tips!   1.What’s your Target Language? Be clear about the aims of your lesson. “Practicing speaking” isn’t enough. Something more specific like, “Introduce and practice 5 feeling words,” or “Practice using the simple past in conversation” is much better.   2.Change Speaking Partners Often– It’s boring to talk to the same person all the time!…

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Teaching English to Children: Have a routine to start your class

Teaching Young Children: Have a routine

Teaching English to Young Children: It’s All About Routine When you’re teaching English to children, especially young ones, it can be really useful to have a routine to get your class started. They know what to expect so they can feel comfortable and secure and you have a few minutes of your class that you don’t have to put thought and energy into planning in a detailed kind of way. Sure, it’s a bit boring to start every class off in the same way but for young children (and older ones too?!), it’s all about repetition and review, so power…

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No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Kids (7+)

ESL Speaking Activities for kids

If you teach ESL Speaking or Conversation to children (age 7+), this is the book that you need to have in your library. It has 39 ESL activities and games that are guaranteed to get your students talking, having fun and learning some English, the interactive way. They are no-prep or low-prep so will make your lesson planning easy and they’re the perfect supplement to a coursebook of some kind. There are plenty of tips for new teachers about how you can implement these games and activities in your classroom. Awesome ESL Speaking Activities right at your fingertips! Buy it…

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Charades ESL Game

charades esl speaking game

Charades ESL Game: An Introduction Skills: Speaking Time: 20-30 minutes Level: Beginner to Advanced Materials Required: White board You can use this charades ESL speaking game to review whatever you’re studying. For example, verbs work especially well. Write out some phrases or words that can be easily acted out on small pieces of paper and put them in an envelope. Divide the class up into two teams. The first team sends one person, the captain up to the front and they have to act out and describe in English as many things as they can in two minutes. Alternatively, you…

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ESL Speaking Games and Activities

esl speaking activities adults

Conversation or speaking class lesson planning made easy! You’ll be able to find some awesome ESL speaking games or activities for your teenage or adult students to do in class in less than 5 minutes, guaranteed. It’s the book you really can’t afford not to have in your library. There are 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL speaking activities and games that are all tested and proved to work in the real-world, with real university and middle/high school students. They range from the most simple of warm-up games to some advice on how you can get your students to make videos or posters…

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Show and Tell ESL Speaking Activity: Not Just for Kids!

show-tell

Skills: Speaking/listening Time: 1-2 minutes per student (no questions). 4-6 minutes per student (with questions) Level: High beginner to Intermediate, all ages Materials Required: Nothing Show and Tell is a classic activity from way back in elementary school but it can work well in your ESL classes too. Tell students a few days before the “show and tell ESL speaking style” class that they need to bring an object from home that is meaningful to them. If it’s something really big (a piano) or something that doesn’t transport easily (a cat), then they can email you a picture to put…

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Board Games for ESL Students

ESL board game

Board games for ESL students are a fun way to review the concepts you’ve been talking about during that class. They often come in the teacher’s book that accompanies your textbook, or you can easily design your own in just a few minutes. Here’s my simple past board game so you can get an idea of just how easy it is to make them yourself. In this short video, I talk about why I like board games so much: If you want even more ideas for your ESL speaking or conversation classes, check out my book on Amazon: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep…

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Do You Like to _____? ESL Speaking Activity

esl-speaking

Skills: Speaking/listening Time: 15 minutes Level: Intermediate] Materials Required: Strips of paper (or students can make their own) Give each student five strips of paper. On each piece of paper they write something interesting about themselves. Then, collect them, mix them up and distribute them back to your students (three per student). At this point, everyone stands up and goes around the class asking questions to try to find the owner for each paper that they have. If someone is done early, you can give them another paper from the reserve pile that you have. For example, “Do you go…

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5 Successful ESL Speaking Activities

ESL survey

A video showing a demonstration of 5 successful ESL Speaking activities from The Art of Teaching Speaking: Research and Pedagogy for the ESL/EFL Classroom by Dr. Keith Folse. The explanations for the activities are very clear and useful, especially for beginners to ESL teaching.

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