If you teach kids and are struggling a bit with how to make your ESL speaking classes for kids interesting and engaging, here are some of my favourite fun activities that I use in my own classes.
The key is to mix things up a bit. Nobody (kids or adults) like the same old thing when learning a language. So, add some variety to your classes and keep your students on their toes! They’ll appreciate it, and also be able to learn English more easily.
Here are the fun ESL speaking activities:
#1: Rocks-Scissor-Paper (kind of)
Rocks-Scissors-Paper with a Twist: it’s perfect for review and also makes an excellent activity for the class before midterms or finals with your beginner university students. It contains the perfect mix of skill and luck.
Perhaps kids love it best of all though. This simple game is universal in just about all cultures!
#2: SOS (perfect for review)
SOS Review Game: remember playing SOS when you were a kid? Well, it’s back…ESL style. Kids, university students and adults all love it. I explain how to adapt it for your speaking classes.
It works best as a fun review game before a test, or as a way to review some material from previous classes. You can use it with the entire class (for smaller classes), or have students play in small groups for bigger ones.
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Draw a Picture, the fun way: if you’re looking for some pure entertainment value, then this is the activity for you! Draw a person, a monster, or just about anything.
It makes a fun warm-up or icebreaker at the beginning of a class. Or, if you teach a summer or winter camp, this might just be the activity for you!
#4: Board Games (It’s easy to make your own)
ESL Board Games: I love me a good board games, and our students do as well. It’s much easier than you think to make your own; I explain how to do it here.
A quick tip: Many of the resource books that go along with popular ESL textbooks include a board game or two in them. This is a nice way to save yourself a ton of time!
If they don’t, it’s not a big deal. It’s easy enough to make your board games using a basic grid. After you get a bit of practice, it’ll only take you a 10-15 minutes.
And don’t forget to bring in a little prize (chocolate bar?) for the winner in each group! Everyone likes competing for something, no matter how small it is.
#5: Do You Like to?
Do you Like to?: This is a simple English speaking activity that you can use to help students get to know each other, making it an ideal icebreaker activity. The best part is that students have to get up, out of their seats and walk around the classroom talking to each other.
I often found that an activity like this one is the best way to fight those sleepy Friday afternoon blues!
Did you Like these Fun ESL Speaking Activities?
Yes? I thought so! Then you’re going to love this book over on Amazon: 101 ESL Activities: For Kids (6-13). Lesson planning is a breeze with these fun, engaging and interesting English activities and games.
The book is divided into skill sections: speaking, listening, reading and writing, as well as warmups/icebreakers and 4-skill activities. Pop over to the section you’re planning a lesson for and find a fun activity that your students will love.
The good news is that the book is easily available in both digital and print formats. The (cheaper) digital copy can be ready on any device by downloading the free Kindle reading app.
Check out 101 ESL Activities for Kids over on Amazon. But, only if you want to get yourself some ESL awesome in your life!
Fun ESL Speaking Activities for Kids: What’s your Go-To?
What’s your top ESL activity for kids? Do you have one that is guaranteed to work with a sleepy or bored class? Leave a comment below and let us know.