If you’re looking for a reported speech speaking activity, look no further than tell your story. It’s a fun reported speech activity to try out with your higher-level ESL or EFL students. Keep on reading for all the details you need to know about teaching indirect speech!
You can often find a unit on reported speech in most intermediate-level English textbooks. But, it’s not that easy to design some ESL activities to practice this. Not to worry. Keep on reading for one of the best reported speech activities to try out with your students.
Check out one of my favourites: “Tell a Story.” It’s fun, and engaging, and creates some great opportunities for students to practice this important skill. Reported speech activities don’t have to be terrible any longer! Have some fun with reported speech ESL.
Reported Speech ESL Speaking Activity
Time: 15-30 minutes
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Materials Required: Nothing
Have students write something interesting. Some examples are the most embarrassing moment, the scariest thing you’ve ever done, your dream for the future, future predictions, etc. Base it on whatever topic you are studying in class that day. Make it clear to the students that it should be something they’re willing to share with the entire class so as not to write something very private.
Then, distribute the stories to other people in the class. Then the students have to go around the class, finding the person whose story they have by asking questions. Once they find that person, they have to ask them three interesting questions about the story. And the person who originally wrote the story has to answer them of course.
I like this part of it because it gets students up and out of their seats, moving around and talking to different people. It gets boring sitting down all the time and talking to only 1 person! It’s ideal for those sleepy classes that you might have on Friday afternoon or those ones who are just waking up on Monday morning.
Teaching Tips for Tell Your Story:
Emphasize to students that they are to practice asking good questions. For example, “USA?” is not a good question, while, “Did you study abroad in the USA?” is much better. Full sentences are the key here.
Also, emphasize that students should think of interesting follow-up questions that expand upon their knowledge about that situation. This involves reading carefully so they can avoid asking about things that are already mentioned.
You can give your students a couple of minutes before the activity starts to write down a few questions based on the paper they received to help facilitate this. Based on the topic you’ve assigned for the story, there should be some obvious ones that they’d want to ask.
This activity provides an excellent opportunity for your students to work on reported speech. This is something that high-level students are often surprisingly weak at. If you have a small class (less than 10), students can report what they learned about their partner to everyone.
If larger, students can tell their seating partner what they learned. For example, students might say something like, “I talked to Min-Ji. She told me that she got in a car accident last year. She said that it was really scary, but thankfully nobody got injured seriously.”
Procedure for this Reported Speech Activity:
- Have students write an interesting story based on a certain topic. Adjust for length and difficulty depending on your students.
- Collect stories and redistribute them–one per student, making sure a student does not get their own story.
- Students go around the class asking people if that is their story. For example, “Did you get in a car accident when you were little?”
- When they find the person, they must ask them three interesting follow-up questions about it.
- Do the optional variation of having students tell other people what they learned about their classmate in order to practice using reported speech.
- Follow-up with a worksheet, other activity or homework assignment.
Do You Like this Reported Speech ESL Speaking Activity?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 148 Pages - 03/09/2016 (Publication Date)
If you like this ESL speaking activity to help your students practice reported speech, then you’re going to love this book: 101 ESL Activities: For Teenagers and Adults. It’s lesson planning made easy, guaranteed. The key to better English classes is a wide variety of engaging and interactive games and activities and this book will help you get there in style.
There are dozens of top-quality ESL games and activities for teenagers and adults that are organized into various categories: reading, writing, speaking, writing, warm-ups, and 4-skills. You’re sure to find something that will work for any level of students or topic.
You can get the book on Amazon in both print and digital formats. The (cheaper!) digital copy can be read on any device by downloading the free Kindle reading app. It’s super easy to have fun, engaging ESL activities with you anywhere you go.
Or, buy the book and keep it as a handy reference on your bookshelf, or teacher supply room. You can check out 101 ESL Activities for yourself over on Amazon:
Teaching Reported Speech FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about reported speech games and activities for English learners. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What is reported speech in English?
Reported speech is when we talk about or repeat what someone else has said using our own words.
Why do we use reported speech?
We use reported speech to share information, statements, or questions that someone else has said.
What changes occur when turning direct speech into indirect speech?
Pronouns, tense, and time expressions often change for indirect speech.
Can you give an example of direct speech changing to reported speech?
Direct: She said, “I am going to the store.” Reported: She said that she was going to the store.
What happens to the pronouns in reported speech?
Pronouns usually change to match the perspective of the speaker in reported speech.
How do you shift tenses in reported speech?
Generally, you shift the tense back one step. For example, present simple becomes past simple.
Do all time expressions remain the same in indirect speech?
No, time expressions usually change, e.g., “now” becomes “then,” “today” becomes “that day.”
What’s the reporting verb?
The verb that introduces indirect speech can be things like, “said,” “told,” “asked.”
Can questions be reported too?
Yes, questions can be reported using reporting verbs like “asked” or “wondered.”
How do you report imperative sentences?
Imperative sentences are reported using the verb “to” + infinitive, or with phrases like “ordered” or “told.”
What’s the key to successfully teaching indirect speech to ESL students?
Practice and exposure through various exercises and real-life examples are crucial for understanding indirect speech.
Tell your Story English Speaking Activity: Have your Say!
What do you think of this activity to practice ESL reported speech? Is it a good one or do you have another reported speech lesson plan activity that you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API