Do you want to find out all the details about parts of speech ESL activities and games? Then keep on reading for all the ideas and information you need to teach the English parts of speech in style.
Parts of Speech ESL
Let’s get into the best ESL parts of speech games and activities.
Adjectives are one of the most important parts of speech in that they give color to the language. They are what describe people, place, and things. Check out these adjective ESL activities that are designed to provide lots of practice opportunities as well as help students distinguish when to use the ____ing vs the _____ed endings.
Adjectives (Comparatives and Superlatives)
A comparative adjective compares two things. For example, “Timmy is taller than Tommy.” A superlative describes something to the highest degree. For example, “Russia is the biggest country.” There are lots of interesting ESL games and activities for this part of speech. Find out more:
Adjectives (Feelings and Emotions)
Check out these engaging TEFL activities that will help students use adjectives to describe feelings and emotions. Students will be able to practice talking about how certain things make them feel. Take a look:
Adverbs of Frequency
These are a key part of speech as it allows people to talk about how often something happens. There are lots of great activities for these frequency words that are fun and engaging. Have a look at some of the best ones here:
Common and Proper Nouns
Common nouns are a general version of something while proper nouns are a specific, named version. There are a few key differences in how these types of nouns are treated, especially with regards to punctuation and articles. That’s why it’s important to focus on this English part of speech with some dedicated practice. Here are some recommendations:
We use conditionals (statements or questions using “if”) frequently in English. They can express a future possibility or a possibility in the past if something were different. Find out some of the best ideas here:
Conjunctions and Linking Words
Check out these engaging and interactive conjunctions activities and games to help students learn how to use linking words in their writing or speaking. The activities cover both coordinating and subordinating conjunctions and how and when to use each one. Have a look here:
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
A key concept for nouns is the idea of countable and uncountables. These enjoyable ESL activities will help students with the key differences between them as well as how to use them with quantifiers. More details:
For/Since (Present Perfect)
Being able to use for and since along with the present perfect is important for our students to be able to master in English. Have a look at these interactive, student-centred TEFL activities that will help students with this.
Linking or helping verbs are key to forming the more complicated verb tenses in English as well as for conveying meaning like in the case of modals. It’s vital that our students are able to recognize them and form them as well. Here are some of the best ways to help them with this:
This important part of speech helps students refer to non-specific people, places or things by using words like anybody, anywhere, someone, something, etc. Find out some of the best ways to help students practice using these kinds of pronouns:
Prepositions of Place
Prepositions are one of the most important English parts of speech. They tell the location of things in relation to other things and are very common in general conversation. Students will learn how to describe the location of things in relation to other things with these games and activities:
Being able to use relative clauses effectively is important for our students to master. These ESL activities will help them with this skill. Check them out here:
Singular and Plural Nouns
Knowing how to make singular nouns into the plural is a key skill for English learners to know. Try out these fun, engaging ESL activities with your students:
Subject and Object Pronouns
These types of pronouns can replace a named subject or object within a sentence. Check out these ESL games and activities to help students practice this important part of speech:
Subject Verb Agreement Activities
Being able to make subjects and verbs in a sentence agree with each other is a key skill for English learners to master. There are plenty of fun games and activities to help with this. Have a look here:
These parts of speech games and activities related to suffixes will help students build their vocabularies. They encourage students to use their powers of deduction to guess the meanings of words. They will also learn how to use a suffix to form a new word. Check them out:
Verbs are one of the most important parts of speech as every sentence must have one! It’s vital for students to learn how to conjugate and use verbs correctly. Check out these activities that will help students master the most common verbs, including their meaning and usage.
Verbs (Past Tense)
Verbs are one of the most important parts of speech. In this case, students will learn how to use verbs in the past tense to talk about things that have previously happened. They cover both regular and irregular past tense verbs. Find out more:
Parts of Speech ESL Activities and Games
If you’re looking for some of the best parts of speech activities ESL, then keep on reading. Here are some of the top picks to help students learn how to differentiate between the various parts of speech and to make better sentences.
#1: Sentence Building ESL Games and Activities
Building good sentences is ALL about using the various parts of speech. There are certainly lots of grammatical rules that students must pay attention to. For example, word order. A common way to construct an English sentence is with a subject-verb-object. These activities are designed to help students with parts of speech when making sentences:
#2: Dialogue Substitution
Various parts of speech are often introduced in ESL/EFL textbooks through a dialogue of some kind that students are supposed to read with a partner. However, students often blow through these without really paying that close of attention to what they’re reading. Removing some of the key words (the part of speech you want to focus on) can turn this from a simple reading activity into one that focuses on meaning as well. Try it out:
#3: ESL Listening Lessons and Parts of Speech
I love to use listening lessons to focus on a certain part of speech. To start off with, I’ll introduce the part of speech I want to focus on. For example, adverbs. I’ll elicit some adverb examples and give a quick primer on what they are. Then, I’ll get students to listen to someone and take notes about which adverbs they hear. This can lead into a more complete lesson on adverbs where students can become more proficient at recognizing and using them. Find out more:
#4: Puzzle Finder Activity
I generally use puzzle finder as a kind of icebreaker activity but it’s also ideal for focusing on various parts of speech. For example, you may want to make up some simple sentences with subjects/verbs/objects. Then, students get a puzzle piece with one of these things on it and have to form a group of 3 with a good sentence. Add in things like adjectives or articles to increase the group sizes that have to find each other.
#5: Parts of Speech Quest
Parts of Speech FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about teaching students to use the various parts of speech. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What are the 4 main parts of speech?
In English, the 4 main parts of speech are nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs.
What are the 9 parts of speech with examples?
In English, here are the 9 main parts of speech with examples:
- noun (table)
- verb (sit)
- pronoun (it)
- adverb (slowly)
- adjective (tall)
- conjunctions (and)
- article (the)
- preposition (on)
How do you introduce a part of speech?
In a language class, a part of speech is usually introduced in the context of a reading or listening passage. Students notice the specific part of speech, learn a short lesson on the meaning and forms, do some controlled practice and then engage in an activity that allows for more freedom. It can be followed up with a homework exercise.
How do you teach parts of speech in a fun way?
There are various activities and games that can make teaching parts of speech more fun. Some of these include vocabulary auctions, puzzle finder activities, charades, disappearing text, board games, and more.
How do you identify a noun?
You can identify a noun by considering whether the word is a person, place, or thing. It may be singular (tree) or plural (trees) and countable (glass of water) or uncountable (water).
Part of Speech ESL Lesson Plans
If you’re a teacher then you know how much time it can save to not have to make your own lesson plans. If you’re looking for some ESL parts of speech lessons that other teachers have made, have a look at our top options here:
English Parts of Speech Worksheets
Another huge timesaver is worksheets for parts of speech. Here are links to some of the best resources:
Did you like these Parts of Speech ESL Activities?
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- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 147 Pages - 03/09/2016 (Publication Date)
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Have your Say about ESL Parts of Speech Activities
What’s your top pick for a parts of speech ESL activity? Is it one of the options from this list or do you have another one that you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2020-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API