ESL Speaking Activity for Adults: Something in Common

esl speaking activity

Find Something in Common If your students are not shy, this ESL speaking activity for adults is an excellent way for everyone to get to know each other. The students stand up with a piece of paper and pencil in their hand. They have to talk to everyone in the class to try to find something in common (they are both from Seoul, or they both know how to play the piano). Once they find this thing in common, they write it down along with the person’s name. Keep going until most of the students have talked to everyone. Teaching…

Continue Reading

ESL Speaking Warm up Activity

Michael Jackson

Skills: Speaking/listening Time: 5-15 minutes Level: Intermediate to Advanced Materials Required: Nothing This is an excellent ESL speaking warmup activity for higher levels. Put the students in small groups of 3-4 people. Have them pick four famous people, dead or alive that they’d like to invite to a party they are having. Then, they have to say the reason why they’re inviting them. I do an example like this: Person: Michael Jackson Reason? He has a cool house and he can play some dance music for us. Also, I want to know why he got so much plastic surgery. Give…

Continue Reading

5 Lesson Plans for Advanced ESL Conversation Classes


Advanced conversation classes can be a bit tricky to teach because it’s sometimes hard to see any improvement in your students. But, I’ve found that it can be really useful if you use authentic material and challenge your students that way instead of just relying on ESL textbooks, which are often too easy and often quite boring. Here are five lesson plans that I’ve used in my own advanced level English conversation classes: Students in any Country Technology and Sleep Google Investing in Renewable Energy Students in Korea Cigarette Prices to Double Agricultural Subsidies Korea’s Aging Population For even more…

Continue Reading

Vocabulary Review Game for Kids and Adults


Vocabulary Review Game for Kids Skills: Speaking/listening Time: 20 minutes Level: Beginner to Advanced Materials Required: Flip-chart or flashcards The “captain” sits in a chair at the front of the class facing her team. The teacher stands behind the captain with vocab words on a flip-chart or a stack of flashcards. If you use flashcards, make sure they are big enough for everyone to be able to see them, even at the back of the class. The team has to give hints in English to the captain until she can guess the word. At that point, the team moves on…

Continue Reading

39 ESL Speaking Activities for Adults

esl speaking activities adults

Good news my readers! My editor and I have been working away like busy beavers writing and editing a book filled with 39 of my favorite ESL speaking activities for adults. The book also has some teaching tips, advice for teaching very low level speaking classes, lesson plans, my favorite ESL speaking websites (besides this one!) and other goodness; it should be done in less than a month. I plan to give the book away for free for one week but only to members of my email list. When you join the list, you get an email about every 5-10…

Continue Reading

English Discussion Topics for Adults

discussion topic

English Discussion Topics for Adults English discussion is a key component of an ESL speaking or conversation class. However, it can be a bit boring to rehash the same topics found in the ESL Textbooks over, and over again. You know the ones: the Hobby Unit, sports, movies, family, etc. The students get bored talking about the same thing again and again and teacher do too! Mix things up in your ESL speaking classes by introducing some fresh, new English discussion topics for adults. Your students will be happy to talk about something else, and it’ll keep things interesting for…

Continue Reading

Pronunciation Practice Worksheet and Game


I used this pronunciation practice worksheet and pronunciation game while I was teaching a TOIEC speaking class to students in South Korea. Here’s how to play the game: 1.Cut up one sheet of paper for each group of 3-4 students. 2.The students place the papers in an orderly fashion face down on the desk. 3.The first student chooses two papers. Make sure all the students are able to see the papers. 4.If correct, they keep the papers and get one point and one more try. 5.If incorrect, they put the papers back in the same spot and the next student…

Continue Reading

If I Had a Million Dollars: ESL Listening and Speaking Lesson Plan

if i had a million dollars

If I Had a Million Dollars by the Barenaked Ladies is one of my favorite ESL listening and speaking lesson for when we’re studying conditionals (if). It’s appropriate for middle-school to adults and it can even work for high beginners, with a bit of hand-holding from the teacher (the official term is scaffolding!), but this lesson plan is best for intermediate-advanced levels because you can get into some really interesting discussions. The lesson takes approximately an hour, but it can go more quickly with very high-level students. Inspiration for the classroom-games, activities and other goodness (and see the lesson plan…

Continue Reading

4 Hot Discussion Topics for Adults in Korea

discussion topic

In my advanced conversation class at my university job in South Korea, we’ve been talking about rules and regulations using the passive form and for homework, I had my students make a short video answering the questions, “What 2 things should people be encouraged to do to make Korea a better place. And, what should they be encouraged not to do?” Four topics that the students mentioned almost without fail were: Smoking in public places. The lax sex crime laws, especially if drinking is involved. Trash on the streets and lack of trash cans. Cutting in line at the bus…

Continue Reading

Speaking Activities for ESL Students


Most people find their way here searching for something related to ESL Speaking, so here’s the goods for you. My top 10 list of favorite ESL Speaking Games and Activities, all personally classroom tried and tested. Enjoy! Plans are also in the works for a book of No-Prep/ Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities and Games. Be the first to know by signing up here, as well as getting even more ESL activities and games delivered straight to your inbox. Only the goods-not all the junk like those other sites. Free: Classroom Tried and Tested ESL Games and Activities * indicates required…

Continue Reading

My World ESL Speaking Activity


This is an excellent activity that you can do on the first day of class to introduce yourself and then have the students get to know one or two of their classmates. You start by drawing a big circle on the whiteboard with the title, “My World.” Inside the circle there are various words, pictures or numbers that have some meaning to you. For example, inside my circle there might be 1979, blue, 37, a picture of 2 cats, and a mountain. The students would then have to make some guesses about why these things are special to me. The…

Continue Reading

Ice breaker Speaking Activity


Skills: Speaking/ Listening Time: 10-30 minutes Level: Beginner-Advanced Materials Required: nothing A way that you can get your students to remember names (and you too!) is to do this simple ice breaker speaking activity. Go around the class, and have students say, “My name is ______and I like _______.” The next student repeats the previous ones, and adds their own. it goes on until it finally gets to you and you can impress the students with your memorization abilities! It works best for smaller classes of less than 10. For more advanced students, you can choose something more difficult than…

Continue Reading

Draw a Picture While Someone Else is Talking

draw a picture

Skills: Speaking/Listening Time: 10 minutes Level: Beginner-Advanced Materials Required: Blank Paper Drawing a picture is a fun way to practice body parts or descriptive words (big, small, long, etc). The students sit back to back and one person is the “talker” and the other one is the “drawer.” The person talking describes something that they’re looking at to their partner (a face, body, city, etc) and that person draws what they hear. The results are usually hilarious! It’s perfect for a quick warm-up game, or time-filler.

Continue Reading

ESL Survey Activity

Esl survey

ESL Survey Activity-The perfect way to get your students out of their seats and speaking in English. Skills: Speaking/Listening/Writing/Reading Time Required: 15-30 Minutes Level: Beginner-Advanced Materials: a Survey Handout Give the students a sheet of paper with some questions and they need to find one of their classmates who fits each slot. For example: “Do you travel sometimes?” or, “Are you a university student?” Then, if their partner answers yes, they write down their name and ask them one more question to elicit an extra piece of information. You can review the 5 “W” + “H” questions if necessary before…

Continue Reading