5 (other) Great ESL Activities

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Since you all seemed to enjoy 10 Great Speaking Activities I decided to write another similar post. I hope you find this one as useful as the previous one and that your students have fun with the activities.

  • Fun Scattegories

This is more like a mix of scattegories and list 5 things. Divide your class into pairs or small groups. Write one of these on the board:

-things to say while breaking up

-things you say to avoid meeting your mother-in-law

-things racist people say to show they are not racist

-excuses for not having your homework

-things to say to get out of a parking ticket

Then tell your students to write 5 options. Warn them to be original as they will only get 1 point if another team has the same options, but 2 points if nobody has the same.

This is a nice, quick and easy activity that students usually really like.

 

  • The Forced opinion game

Randomly choose half of the class to be the agree side and the other half for disagree. Have them seat according to the opinion you have assigned them. It could be a good idea to tell your students that you are of course aware that whatever they will say during the game is not their real opinion. Then write one of the following on the board (feel free to add your own, the more controversial the better):

-Women should stay at home (If your male students are very shy I suggest making sure they are are on the disagree team for this one)

-Holy Week should be banned (this one works magic here in Seville)

-Politicians should earn more money

-Real Betis is better than Sevilla

-Being famous…what a horrible life

As you can see some of those statements can be quite difficult to agree (or disagree with) so I suggest you give your students a few minutes to think of some aguments and then just let them debate. Make sure everybody participates!

 

  • The Speculation Game:

This is a nice activity to apply the use of modal verbs (possibility, certainty, impossibility, speculation…). Here are a few examples of photos you can use for this activity.

 

Pair your students up and have them tell you what happened in those photos. Make sure they use modal verbs (e.g. The monkeys must have been curious).

To extend this activity tell your students to actually write the story of how this happened. You will see how imaginative those students of yours can be.

 

  • The Wikipedia Race

This game might be better for more advanced students.

Tell your students to get their phones out (has to be a smart phone as you need internet). Tell your students to go on Wikipedia. Look for random articles (it is an option on wikipedia) and choose 2. New tell your students to all go to the same one on their phones. The more similar the two articles the easier is will be so don’t hesitate to use your teacher veto on some of the articles suggested.

The goal is to get to the other article by only clicking on the links provided by Wikipedia. It is a really good exercise to practice reading fact and scanning for information (which is something students need to do for their exams).

  • The 5-second rule game

This is one of my new favourite games.

Give your students 5-6 little papers each. Tell them to write things to list on each paper ( ex: types of soups, words starting by the lette -e-, blue objects, things you cannot buy at the supermarket…) and then gather the papers.

Now one student will take a paper and has 5 seconds to list 3 of what is asked on the paper (or more depending on how advanced your students are). If the student doesn’t manage to list what he was supposed to, the person on the left gets 5 seconds as well. BUT none of the words mentioned by the previous student can be used. Continue until one of the students manages to do it (he gets the point). If none of them manages to do it, the first student gets the point. Then another student gets a paper and the game continues until the teacher says so (or maybe the end of the class).

It is actually a real game that you can buy in shops. If you decide to buy it, instead of making it as I suggest it, keep in mind that you will have to go through the cards first (some cards require pretty advanced vocabulary or a fairly advanced knowledge of British culture). It does come with a 5 second timer and this is very convenient.

 

Let me know how these activities went and which one your students preferred! Have fun and of course…

Keep on teaching!

XOxo

 

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

 

 

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Cambridge Exams – Speaking Part 1 Activity

14570499_10153691732262396_8256139764729811039_nHi there!

Here is a little board that I created to help your students practice Speaking Part 1 of the Cambridge exams. I created it because any time I say “we are now going to do some speaking like in the exam”, half of the class shuts down and starts whining. Students just panic when they know they have to practice the speaking exam and this why I love this exercise. The students don’t always realise that it is exactly what they have to do in the exam, and once they have done it, their mouths drop open when I tell them that they just practiced speaking part 1!

It could be used for PET, FCE or even CAE (you might have to make it a little more difficult for that last level by forcing them to give 3 minute answers for example).

How to play it:

Give a board to each of the students. If you have a lot of time (speaking day for example) tell them to talk to every single person in the class and write the answers to all the questions they have asked their classmates. If you have less time, tell them to only ask 3 of the 7 questions.

Then tell your students to present by saying 2-3 things (again, depending on how much time you have) that they have learnt about a student.

That is a very good exercise to get to know each other better, practice speaking of course, but also listening and writing!

So here is the board: speaking-part-1-board

I hope it comes in handy and that you can successfully trick your student into doing speaking exam tasks with it.

 

And also don’t forget to like My Little English Page on Facebook and Instagram!

Phrasal Battleship

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Here we go again…Those stupid phrasal verbs that we all hate! This time, I have created the phrasal battleship for one of my Skype students. After 2-3 hours straight of planning, my brain was completely out of ideas. So I asked myself…What can two people play that doesn’t require face to face interaction? Battleship is the first thing that came to mind. But this game can be played perfectly in class as well (that’s the version I will explain in this post).

Here are the 3 boards I created:

battleship-board-1

battleship-board-2

battleship-board-3

How to play it:

I suggest you use this game to reinforce the phrasal verbs you have already taught your students. Here is a list of all the phrasal verbs covered in this game: phrasal-verb-list

Pair up your students. Give a board to each student (make sure they don’t get the same one). The students have to hide their board from their partner. Then have them take turns creating phrasal verbs using a verb from the vertical line and an adverbial particle for the horizontal line. They must form a sentence with the verb each time. The partner looks through his board and crosses out the verb on his board. If it is  box that has a boat on it, the student informs his partner by saying “hit”, otherwise he says “miss”.

If an entire boat has been hit, the student should say “you´ve sunk my battleship”. There are 4 boats to sink on each board. I suggest you have your students use the list of phrasal verb from above to make sure they don’t “invent” new phrasal verbs.

It took me quite a while to create the game and several drafts to make sure the combinations worked. So I hope your students enjoy this activity and stop hating phrasal verbs (we are all dreamers right?!).

 

That’s it for today guys…Keep on learning! Xoxo

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

 


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The Best Way to Improve Your Pronunciation Alone!

It can be quite difficult to learn and practice English on your own, and even more if you are studying at home and not in a school or an academy. And I would say that the most difficult thing to improve on your own is pronunciation!

But there is a solution that I think you will like because it’s easy and convenient!

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What you need:

  • A smartphone
  • words/sentences to practice pronunciation with (tongue twisters for example)

How to do it:

Basically you need Siri or the alternative versions that you find for Microsoft or Android phones. You have to set it to English though, otherwise it just doesn’t work.

Once it is set in English, just practice reading and saying things to Siri. The advantage is that it shows what you said on the screen and if you say it incorrectly Siri will tell you that he/she didn’t understand and you will be able to see what words are problematic for you when it comes to pronunciation.

And that’s it! Of course, a proper teacher that can personally correct your mistakes is always better but this is the closest alternative I have found so far.

 

You should also check this Youtube channel English With Lucy. It’s run by a friend of mine, who is also a teacher and she creates great videos for English learners. The videos are short, funny and you can usually add subtitles! Go check out her channel and tell her I sent you.

Here is one of her videos on pronunciation (I though that would be pretty appropriate right!?).

 

And don’t forget to like My Little English Page on Facebook and Instagram!

Intermediate Crossword on Food

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I created an intermediate crossword for you all today!

Here is the crossword itself: food-vocabulary

And here are the answers: food-vocabulary-answer-key

There is a little hidden word in the exercise. Actually it is two hidden words. Once you have finished the crossword, take the first letter of all the words you wrote. Those letters need to be organised in the correct order to create 2 words. Those words are what I like doing best on Friday night!

 

Let’s see who gets it…

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High Basic Reading Activity – The Afterlife

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Photo taken at TEFL International Seville

Hello students and teachers!

Here is a quick reading exercise that will help you (or your students, if you are a teacher) improve your reading skills.

Firs read the text: afterlife-text

Now have a look at the vocabulary list and learn the words you didn’t know : afterlife-vocab

And here is a little quiz to test your understanding of the text: afterlife-quiz

Good luck!

 

1 Hour Basic Lesson – Technology

Hi guys! Today, I am sharing a lesson I created while I was getting certified at TEFL International Seville. It was designed as a one-on-one lesson but it can of course be tweaked and adapted to  bigger groups.

(Here is a photo of me teaching that exact lesson 2 years ago! Once again I have a weird face…)

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This lesson is topic based (technology) and might require a tiny bit of preparation but then it is reusable!

Some of the activities could be done separately and I suggest you have your students watch The Matrix (do it like I suggested in my Movie Club post, it’s a nice little intro to the class).

Here is the lesson plan you can download and another document that you could use for the lesson.

technology-lesson-plan

tablet-template

Please don’t hesitate to comment and like the blog but also My Little English Page on Facebook and Instagram!

 

10 Great Speaking Activities

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Photo taken at TEFL International Seville

Here are some of the activities that I play with my students in conversation class. Most are originally intended for my upper intermediate-advanced students but they can all be easily tweaked down.

  • The Expert Game

T writes original job titles on pieces of paper (sushi expert, horse jockey, flight instructor, broker…).

One student picks a paper. Then he sits in front of the classroom. The other students have to ask that first student questions. He must answer as if he was an actual expert. The student has to last 3 full minutes. All students get to go and at the end they should all vote who they thought sounded the most like an expert.

  • Prioritise

Teacher writes the following things on the board:

-splits the bill

-talks about his mom

-keeps looking at his cell phone

-talks a lot about ex-partner

-keeps sunglasses on inside the restaurant

-is rude to the waiters

-doesn’t leave a tip

-shows a photo of his collection of figurines.

-has salad in his teeth all night

-had stains on his clothes when arrived.

Now tell your students that those are some of the things that can repel a woman on the first date (you probably have some students in the class that are male so tell them to either think of the worst things they could do or to step in a woman’s shoes). The students will individually organise those things from bad to the worst.

Then students pair up and have to come up with a new list that they both agree on (there will be a lot of debating going on). Then put 2 pairs together and so on until the whole class agrees on the same list.

  • Dinner Table

T writes the following job on the board:

-pet psychologist

-pet food taster

-hunter

-housekeeper

-broker

-golf ball diver

-Bed warmer

-professional queuer

The students now have to debate how to seat those people at the table. The students work in pairs and then discuss what each pair did.

  • Question Tic Tac Toe

Teacher draws a tic tac toe board and writes a number on each of the boxes. Each number is then given a word to form questions (1-what/2-where/3-why/4-how often/5- who/6-when/7-whose/8-how/9-do)

The students work in pairs and every time a student draws a cross or a circle, he/she has to ask their partner a question that starts with the corresponding word.

Review how to form questions if necessary.

  • Tell Me How to Draw it

Each student needs to draw a little drawing. Teacher pairs the students up. They are now going to instruct their partner on how to draw their picture without showing it. The students are only allowed to use geometric shapes to describe, no normal words allowed.

  • The Time Capsule

This can actually be done as a real project (probably with kids though). Teacher tells the students that they are going to bury a time capsule. 5 items will be placed in that capsule and it will not be opened for 20 years. In pairs, the students have to come up with 3 items they think represent the beginning of the 21st century best. Each pair should have a go at presenting what they would choose and explain why. Everybody then gets to vote the 5 best items.

  • The Definition Game

Teacher tells the students to look for an interesting word (they can use phones or dictionaries if necessary). They write the definition on a paper as well as 2 other invented definitions. Then they present to the class and the rest of the students get to guess what they think is the real definition.

  • Crazy Inventions

Teacher shows the crazy invention pictures. In pairs, the students choose one to present as if they had designed that product (if your students are more advanced, don’t let them choose…randomly give them one). They must invent a slogan, a name and a little advertising blurb. Then the students come to the front of the class and present. At the end, the whole class votes which one was the best.

Here are some examples of crazy inventions that I found on the internet.

  • The Movie Scenario

Teacher needs to give each student 3 little papers.

On paper 1 they write a number, an adjective on paper 2 and a noun on paper 3. The put all the paper 1 together, all the papers 2 together and the 3 together.

Teacher now puts the students in pairs. They are going to take a paper from each pile. Whatever they picked up is the title of their latest movie. They must write the plot of their movie and then present it to the class. The students can vote whether they would like to watch that movie or not.

  • Whose is it?

Teacher gives each of the students 2 little papers. On one of the papers, they write the thing they like the most in the world. On the other paper, the thing they hate the most. Teacher collects all the little papers in a box/hat/container (I have seen other teachers do a paper fight instead, could work nicely with kids). Each student randomly takes 2 new papers.

The activity can be done 2 different ways. The longer version would be to tell the students to ask each other questions and then to take a guess. The shorter version would be to jump straight onto the guessing part (probably better if your students know each other very well, like at the end of the year).

Try those activities out and tell me how they went!!

That’s it for today guys…Keep on learning! Xoxo

And don’t forget to follow My Little English Page on Facebook , Instagram and YouTube for regular updates.

 


If you want to help me create more content more regularly, please consider helping me with just a coffee. Ko-fi is a website that gives you the possibility to power me with lots of energy by offering me a coffee. It’s easy, simple, no engagement is required…Just a bit of help, love and support from you to me.

Here is the link to my ko-fi account: Ko-fi My little English Page

Idiom in G – Go Nuts

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What it means:

This idiom can be interpreted in 2 different ways. The most common use of this idiom is the same as to go crazy, which means to become crazy, disoriented, frustrated, annoyed…

The other meaning of this idiom is that of getting excited over something. If I say that I go nuts for chocolate, it means that I cannot resist chocolate…I REALLY like it.

When to use it:

No limitations for the second meaning. You could go nuts for kittens, new fashion, films, AC-DC, apples, milkshake flavours…Anything basically.

There are a few other little variations for the first meaning such as to be nuts or to look nuts. Use it anytime you see someone who looks scary or maybe extremely angry.

Other interesting idioms in G:

To go Dutch – To split the bill in half.

To get away with murder – To do something bad but not be punished for it.