Guessing Game ESL Warm-Up Activity

describing-something-guessing-game-esl-warm-up-activiyt

I always like to begin my classes with a warm-up activity. After all, you don’t really know where your students have been, what their frame of mind is, or whether or not they have spoken a single word of English since your last class I find that easing into it works well. Compare this to jumping right into the “meat” of your lesson at the beginning. I find that students often won’t really “get” it because they’re too distracted by other things. If you do a warm-up activity first, they’ll be ready to take in the main point on the…

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Private Teaching ESL Activities and Games | 1-1 ESL Teaching

Private Teaching Activities and Games Private teaching can sometimes be a little bit difficult because the activities and games you’d normally use with bigger classes often won’t work when it’s just you and a student. I know that I’d way rather teach a class of 30 than a private session with only one or two students! However, I still occasionally do private teaching and I have a go-to repertoire of activities and games that I rely on. I’ll share a few of my favourite activities for 1-1 ESL teaching here. English Central Videos for Private Teaching I love to use…

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ESL Speaking Activities for Kids | ESL Games for Kids

ESL Speaking Activities for Kids

39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Kids (7+) Do you want to make your English classes for kids engaging, interactive and fun for both you and the students? Want to make you life easy and save time when planning your ESL lessons? You’ll need to get 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities for Kids (7+). Stop Wasting your Time! Whether you’re a first-time English teacher, an experienced but overwhelmed instructor, or an instructor without a textbook, you need more activities for speaking classes for children. If you’re tired of wasting your time wading through the junk on the Internet to find the…

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Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities for Teenagers and Adults

esl speaking activities adults

39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Speaking Activities: For Teenagers and Adults Sometimes even experienced ESL teachers get stuck in a rut. It’s time to find some fresh ideas!  Tired of Wasting Time Looking for ESL Speaking Activities? Whether you’re a first-time English teacher, an experienced but perhaps overwhelmed instructor with not much time for lesson planning, or an instructor without a textbook, you need more activities for your English conversion or speaking classes. If you’re tired of wading through the junk on the Internet to find the ESL speaking game or activity that you can actually use in your classes, then Jackie…

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Vocabulary Games for ESL Students | ESL Vocabulary Activity

Vocabulary games for ESL students

  Teaching English vocabulary is traditionally quite boring for the students as well as the teacher. However, it doesn’t have to be tedious if you play a few vocabulary games for ESL students. They’re guaranteed to get your students talking, thinking and most important of all: remembering and knowing how to use those words they’ve been studying. Error Correction Relay Race: Correcting errors is a very important skill for language learners but it’s often quite boring and students usually don’t like to do it. However, you can make the old new again with this exciting relay race that the students will…

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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 | Fun ESL Games for Kids

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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Hot Potato | 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? | ESL Speaking Warm-Up | ESL Icebreaker

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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ESL Game: Running Dictation | A Favourite 4-Skills ESL Activity

Running Dictation ESL Game

Why Running Dictation is Awesome Running dictation is a classic ESL game because it’s fun, covers all 4 skills in a single activity and it also gets students up out of their seats and moving around. It’s like the gold-standard of ESL games! You can use it for adults, university students, kids-whoever! My variation of running dictation addresses the biggest negative of the game-the yelling and cuts it out completely. Don’t worry—no more angry teachers in neighbouring classrooms! How to Do Running Dictation ESL Game Skills: Reading/speaking/writing/listening Time: 10-20 minutes Level: Beginner to Advanced, 8+ Materials Required: Printed sentences, blu-tack…

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Charades ESL Game | Fun ESL Game for Kids

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. It’s an excellent way to review vocabulary. Related: Top 10 ESL Review Activities 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…

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Small Talk ESL Activity: Practice this important skill

small talk

Small Talk Activity for ESL/EFL Students This small talk ESL activity is the perfect way to get your students speaking English. It’s ideal for a warm-up activity to start the class, or as a way to finish off a lesson on small talk. You can use it for beginners to advanced students, but you’ll have to adjust the length of the conversations. Small talk is an important, but often overlooked skill. This is because it’s not that easy to practice it in a natural way in a very artificial classroom. Check out this small talk ESL activity below for a…

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Taboo: an ESL Speaking Game for Kids and Adults

words

This is an excellent ESL speaking game for kids or adults to review vocabulary words at the end of a unit and also to practice using synonyms. Make up a list of around 20-40 words, depending on how long you want to play. Put them on a grid and cut them out, one set per group of 4. Put students in groups of 4 and give them one set of words. The first student selects the first word (they are face-down and hidden) and has to describe the word, but cannot say it. The other three students can guess what…

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Rocks Scissor Paper ESL Speaking Game | Fun ESL Activity Kids

rock scissor paper

Skills: Reading/ Speaking/ Listening Time: 20 minutes Level: Beginner-Intermediate Materials Required: Question/Answer papers (~5/student) Make up strips of paper with questions and answers (on separate papers). Give each student 5 random papers, a mix of both questions and answers. They have to walk around the class finding their “match.” Once they do, they can rock scissor paper and the winner takes both papers. The students with the most points at the end of the allotted time are the winners. This is the perfect game to do for review in basic conversation classes before the midterm or final exam. Free: 40…

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