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Lesson Plans & Activities

A box of TEFL tricks for you!

Here we list hundreds of lesson plans, activities and ideas to use in your TEFL classroom.

The main list below has activities which practice many different aspects of English: reading, writing, listening, speaking. These can often be used with many different types of classes.

A Curious Visitor – relative clause activity

A Curious Visitor is a simple activity to practice relative clauses‏‎ with your class.
Preparation
Prepare some flashcards‏‎ with pictures of local objects, people or items specific to the country or region you are working in and the name of those items or people. For example, this could include:

food
drink
celebrities
events

If you were working in South Korea, for example, you might…

A First English Lesson for Beginners

This article offers a simple First Lesson for Beginners. It assumes that all instruction will be done in English‏‎ and the class knows no English at all, i.e. the class are all complete beginners‏‎.
Background
It is generally accepted that using English only‏‎ in the classroom (known as full immersion‏‎) is one of the more effective ways of teaching, however some teachers find this difficult in a very first lesson…

A First Private TEFL Lesson

You’ve been asked to give a private TEFL lesson to a new student. You know virtually nothing about them but you know you’ll be sitting in a room with them, one on one, for an hour and half.

This article is all about how to prepare for a First Private Lesson.
What Interests Them?
First lessons with private students are often difficult since before going into the…

Act an Adverb‏‎ – adverb activity

Act an Adverb is a simple game which you can play with different levels‏‎ and ages of class. It is based around the meaning and use of different adverbs‏‎.
Preparation
Prepare a set of flashcards‏‎, each of which has an adverb on it, e.g.

happily
quietly
sadly
carefully
crazily

(You can also do this without flashcards by asking students to call…

Action Mazes in TEFL

In an Action Maze students are put in a difficult situation and they need to decide what to do next. Often they’ll be given a few options to choose from.

As a result of their choice, the students are then faced with the next situation in the story and with other sets of options to choose from. Working through this branching tree is like negotiating a maze…

Ad Break – project activity

Ad Break is a simple activity which gets students working together in a project-like way. It can be completed in a longer lesson (say 2 hours).

The idea is that students will practice language they’ve been learning by putting it together to create a television commercial. You can tailor the subject, setting or specific aspects of the dialogue to suit the class.

The activity then allows…

Alias Words‏‎ (or Don’t Say a Word)

Alias Words (also known as Don’t Say a Word!) is a flexible activity which can be used in many different ways with speaking‏‎ activities. The basic idea is that a Chosen Word cannot be used in the classroom and must be exchanged for another, nonsense, Alias Word. For example, the Chosen Word might be SCHOOL and when anyone needs to use this word, they must replace it with the Alias…

Alibi!‏‎

Alibi! is a longer TEFL‏‎ game which can be played by an intermediate or above class. It involves a lot of speaking‏‎ and listening‏‎ and can also be helpful with skills such as note taking. For the teacher there is little preparation and once the students are familiar with the game then it can be used with the same class with just slight variations. The game can last an entire lesson. Pre-Teaching…

All Tied Up

All Tied Up is a simple but fun activity to practice intense, careful listening.

The basic idea here is that you give instructions on how to tie a tie. The students must listen very carefully!

To run this activity all you need is a tie and a set of instructions; make sure you have plenty of ties to go round the class.
Pre-Teaching
First, demonstrate how to tie…

Alphabet Dictation‏‎

Alphabet Dictation is a simple way to have your students practice pronouncing the letters of the English alphabet‏‎. This is ideal with a beginner level class as what they learn in this activity will help later when it comes to you spelling out new words for them. Preparation Prepare two short texts of a suitable level and content for your class. Above all make the text interesting: a good idea…

Anti-Word Association‏‎

Anti-Word Association is an ESL activity based on Word Association‏‎ but taking the opposite approach and rewarding non sequiturs‏‎. In Word Association the idea is to have the students give words which are somehow related to the previous word. In this – much harder – version of the activity the idea is to give out words which have NO association with the previous word. When it is turned into a game…

Backward Spelling‏‎

Backward Spelling is a simple filler activity you can play at the end of your class for a few minutes before the lesson ends. It helps with concentrated listening‏‎, vocabulary‏‎ and spelling. Simply choose a word which the class will know and begin – slowly – to spell it backwards. Award a point to the first person who can guess the word correctly. T: A… N…S1: Can?T: Sorry, no! A…

Badger vs Baboon‏‎ – comparison activity

Badger vs Baboon is a fun game for young learners which can also be adapted for older learners as well! It helps with basic vocabulary‏‎ for animals and can encourage speaking‏‎. It also is very useful indeed for practicing comparatives‏‎. Preparation Cut out and prepare a selection of flashcards‏‎ with a picture of an animal on each one. Later you can include other objects depending on how you want to…

Banana‏‎

Banana is a fun activity for young learners (and even above!) to help practice asking and answering questions‏‎. It needs no preparation and is easy to run. Pre-Teaching With your class, go over how to ask and answer questions. These can be as simple as you like but should be of the right level for the class: What’s your name? How old are you? What color is your dog? The…

Big Sentence Scramble‏‎

Big Sentence Scramble is based on the British television game, Countdown. In the original version contestants choose letters (consonants or vowels) and have to come up with the longest word they can. Although that’s a possibility too, in this version contestants choose words and have to come up with the longest sentence possible. This activity encourages analytical thinking on the part of the students; they will also practice their sentence…

Blind Artists‏‎

Blind Artists is a fun (and noisy) way to get the class talking. It’s good as a short activity at the end of a lesson or as a longer activity. Props Two blindfolds; ideal are the masks from long-haul airplane journeys but a scarf will do. Blackboard and 2 markers. Pre-Teaching Make sure the students are familiar with giving instructions. go up, go right, go left further down, over to…

Brain Teasers‏‎ in the TEFL Classroom

Brain Teasers are ideal classroom activities and can be used in loads of different ways. They’re easy to adapt and you can tweak them to be just right for your TEFL class. Basically a brain teaser is a puzzle where your students have to think to find the solution. There’s often an element of thinking laterally (or in an unconventional way) so it isn’t always the case that the best…

Brief Reminders‏‎

Brief Reminders is an Ice Breaker activity ideal for a first class. It requires little or no preparation and can be great fun. This is probably more suited to an intermediate and above level class. Demonstration On the board simply draw a large bag shape. Ask the class what it is and invite discussion about it. Finally write above the shape: MY MEMORIES and explain that the bag contains some significant…

Building Diagrams

Building Diagrams is an activity to help students with reading comprehension‏‎ and speaking‏‎. It can be run in a similar way to jigsaw reading‏‎ in that groups of students come together to pool their knowledge to build a diagram.

Basically the students are given a series of written statements which explain several relationships. They come together as groups to try and reconstruct a diagram based on those relationships.
Preparation…

Busy People – past continuous‏‎ activity

This is a simple way of Teaching and Practicing the Past Continuous‏‎. I’ve used it several times with my (small) classes and it provides a method of practice where students can see the use of the past continuous‏‎. Preparation Prepare a large sheet of paper; in the middle draw (or photocopy/paste) a picture of a row of houses or an apartment block. Around the edge of the paper paste pictures…

Can You Do My Job?‏‎ – modal verb activity

Can You Do My Job? is a simple game which allows your Business English‏‎ students to practice modal verb constructions. As with all activities, you should introduce this to your class in stages. What do you do? Using simple declarative sentences, write on the board a few statements about what you – as a teacher – do in your job. I mark homework every night. I prepare lessons. I give grammar…

Categories Word Search‏‎

Categories Word Search is a simple exercise which gives students practice in grouping and thinking about either semantic fields or parts of speech‏‎ (word classes) or both. Preparation You will need a method of choosing a letter of the alphabet‏‎ at random. This could be by using flashcards‏‎ with one letter of the alphabet on each. In this case these will need to be made. Alternatively you could use a Scrabble bag…

Celebrity Chat‏‎

Celebrity Chat is a simple game you can play with classes of all ages and levels from beginners‏‎ up to advanced. It helps practice speaking‏‎ and listening‏‎. Activity Preparation First prepare a set of flashcards‏ and on each one write the name of a famous celebrity along with a small photograph. Make sure that these celebrities will be known to the class and they can include (depending on the age of…

Clap Slap – tefl activity

Clap Slap is a simple game which is great fun with younger children. It practices listening comprehension, word groups and also helps them to let off a little steam!

Decide first on an appropriate word group. This will depend on your class and their level, but could be, for example:

things (nouns in general)
fruit
action words (verbs‏‎)
colors …

Coloring Dictation

Coloring Dictation (or Colouring Dictation if you prefer British English spelling) is a simple activity which is ideal for young learners. It’s fun and easy to set up.
Preparation
You need to find an outline drawing of a suitable subject for your class. It should have specific areas for coloring such as the picture on this page and how complex the drawing is will depend on the age and…

Comics in the TEFL Classroom

Comics are an excellent way to introduce your TEFL students to current, everyday English, in a non academic format.

Comics are ideal because

they are simple to understand (because they’re accompanied by pictures which often help explain)
they are hugely popular in many countries
they cover a wide range of subjects so you can find comics suitable for all ages and levels and…

Conditional Links‏‎ – conditional activity

Conditional Links is a very simple activity with no preparation needed; it’s ideal to practice conditionals and can be used as a quick filler to do just that.

Simply write up on the board the first clause of any conditional, e.g.
If I won the lottery…
Choose a student at random and ask them to finish the sentence:
If I won the lottery… I would buy a…

Conditional Mashups‏‎ – conditional activity

Conditional Mashups is a simple activity to have your class practicing conditionals.

It also encourages your students to use their imaginations which is never a bad thing!
Preparation
For this you’ll need loads of slips of paper. Each slip should have a dividing line right down the middle. Later a conditional sentence will divide them:

Later you will get your class to come up with unusual, weird…

Constantinople‏‎

Constantinople is a traditional word game that can be easily adapted for the ESL classroom. It works as an ideal filler activity at the end of class and can also be used to tire out lively students! It practices vocabulary but can also be adapted for semantic fields. Running the Game Divide the board into two halves. At the top of each half write in capital letters, well spaced: C O…

Counting Cards

Counting Cards is an activity which lets you practice countable and non-countable nouns‏‎ with your class. Preparation You will need to prepare a set of flashcards‏‎, each with a picture of a countable or a non-countable noun on them. You will need enough so that each student in the class can have at least 5. The nouns you choose should also be of the right level so your class will…

Creative Writing‏‎ Activity

Creative Writing is all about using imagination. Often, however, if you ask your students to write about their holidays, or what they did at the weekend, they will spend too long trying to think about what to write and decide there’s nothing to say so will produce a boring essay. Instead, here’s a simple activity which is designed to inspire your students to come up with something original and interesting…

D’oh! And Another Mistake!

This is an interesting idea for a lesson which helps with checking reading comprehension. It also introduces some good listening practice.

After you have worked on a text with your class you will want to make sure they understand it. Quite simply you can read it back to them but making plenty of mistakes as you do so.

As you do this, your class listens carefully…

Debates and Discussions in the TEFL Class

Debates and Discussions in the TEFL class are great techniques to improve student participation. They help to improve the students’ general communication skills and confidence. They encourage quick thinking and improve rebuttal skills. In a more general way, they are ideal for practising listening‏‎ and speaking‏‎. This article looks at how you can organize and implement them in your TEFL class. The Topic of Conversation The choice of topic is…

Detective Reading

Detective Reading is a simple reading exercise to give your students practice in intensive reading. The students will check for details and clues in the text to answer several questions. Preparation Find a text which is of suitable length and level for your class. It can be as long or short as you need, but the class should be able to understand much of it and (if necessary) use dictionaries…

Discarding Adverbs – adverb activity

Discarding Adverbs is a game based on a simple set of cards which can be used to practice different kinds of adverbs with your class. The game is also useful in helping to create and practicing questions‏‎. It helps if the class know each other, but it can also be used to get to know other students in the class a little better. Preparation Create a set of flashcards‏‎, each…

Distance Dictation‏‎

Distance Dictation (sometimes known as Energy Dictation) is great for a young class who need to work off some energy. It involves all the skills: reading, speaking, listening and writing and with an added element of competition it’s a good all round activity for the class.
Preparation
As with all dictations, find a text of suitable length and content for your class. This means it should be just above…

Dragons Den‏‎

Introduction Dragon’s Den is a detailed and long-term activity ideal for a class studying Business English‏‎. It is based on the popular television program where would-be entrepreneurs pitch their business idea to potential investors to try and raise money to get their business off the ground. The activity can be run over the course of several lessons. It can be broken down into shorter segments which can run anything…

Eccentric Traits‏‎

Eccentric Traits is a really fun way to practice close listening‏‎ and speaking‏‎. It’s also very funny and can be used for all learner levels‏ although it’s probably most suited to more advanced classes. Basically everyone in the class is given an eccentric trait. They then all mingle at a “party” and the object of the exercise is to find out the traits of as many people as possible. The students will…

ESL Backup Plan‏‎

Almost any teacher experiences sooner or later a time in their teaching career when due to lack of preparation, misjudgement of their students’ language ability, or simply laziness they ran out of material, activities and even ideas before the end of their lesson. Not a nice place to be! If you listen to their stories you’ll find that the common denominator is basically a poor or inexistent lesson plan‏‎. But…

ESL Bingo‏‎

This activity is to practice expressing likes and dislikes. The principle can be adapted, however, to practice almost any language item. The game is best suited to medium to large groups of students. The objective is for each student to fill in a row of their bingo card with the signatures of classmates who have the same likes or dislikes as the pictures on the card. Once a student successfully…

Example Lesson Plan

This is an Example TEFL Lesson Plan which illustrates some of the ideas presented in the article on TEFL Lesson Planning‏‎.

It will give you a good idea of how to approach the subject and lay out your plan. Obviously what we show here will need to be tweaked and changed for a particular class, but it’s a good start and will give you a good idea…

Family Tree – vocabulary activity

Family Tree is an ideal and fun activity for students to practice family relations and working within that semantic field.

The basic idea is that you give your students a series of statements about a family such as, “Joe is Mary’s brother” and, “Frank is Julie’s Grandfather” and so on and from these, the students need to construct a family tree. It takes not only knowledge of English…

First TEFL Lesson Interview

 First TEFL Lesson Interview is a good activity for a 1-to-1‏‎ lesson to break the ice and get to know your student. It can also be adapted for larger classes.

Quite simply, either before the lesson if you have the chance, or during the first few minutes of the lesson, ask your student to write down 10 questions‏‎ which they would like to ask you. Tell them the subject matter…

Fortune Telling‏‎ – verb forms activity

Fortune Telling is a fun way for your class to practice using future‏‎ verb forms: will, be going to and suchlike. It is probably best with intermediate or above although you can adjust the level as appropriate. It is also a useful speaking‏‎ activity. The basic idea is that the students will tell each others fortune. This can be done in a number of ways but it is important to…

Giving Directions‏‎

Giving Directions is an activity to practice giving and receiving directions around town. It’s simple to set up and involves practice in speaking and listening. Preparation You will need a town plan (or section of a town) for the class. With beginner classes the plan can be very simple but with more advanced classes it can be bigger and more complex. The plan should have major landmarks on it but…

Good News, Bad News‏‎

Good News, Bad News is a simple game you can play with almost any level of class. It’s useful to practice both listening and speaking. Students need to listen carefully to what was said before and prepare their own ideas as well. With your class, go through the concept of “good news, bad news” with an example: The good news is that I won a million dollars.The bad news is…

Guessing Game – passive voice activity

This is a simple activity to help students practice the passive voice‏‎ in the present simple‏‎. You should use it once you have gone through the basics of the passive voice and your students are familiar with the rules of formation for the passive present simple tense.

The activity can be used with any student level or age group and it can easily be played with very…

Hangman – vocabulary activity

Hangman is a traditional, simple game which is useful as a five minute filler for practicing vocabulary‏‎. Variations of the game and played in many different countries so one advantage is that some students will already know the game in their own language (see below).
Playing the Game
Choose a word that the students need to practice. It should be the right level for the class. The…

Have You Ever? – present perfect simple activity

Have You Ever? is a simple game to practice the Present Perfect Simple verb form using the “have you ever” question construction.

It’s very easy to set up and run and is ideal for reinforcing when we use and how we construct the verb form.

To begin, write up on the board
Have you ever…
and then put up a couple of endings (which should be…

He Said She Said Circle – tefl activity

He Said She Said Circle is a simple activity for students to practice their reported speech‏‎ (also known as indirect speech).

Ideally you should run this activity after a lesson where students have been working on reported speech. If not, you should quickly run over the rules and principles of turning direct speech into indirect speech.

The nice thing about this activity is that it takes no preparation time…

Heard It!‏‎

Heard It! is a simple game to play in class which practices intense listening. It’s also a good idea if you want a few minutes peace and quiet! The game can be played successfully with young classes from beginners upwards. Preparation Record a selection of spoken dialogs from the radio (or any other source) and have them ready to play in class. They should be fairly short and – of…

Hidden Relations‏‎

Hidden Relations is a way to get your class into groups using a more extended vocabulary activity.
Preparation
Suppose you want to divide your class into 5 groups of 3 students each. You need to prepare 5 sets of cards and each set will consist of 3 cards. On those cards write related words.

For example, for a low intermediate level class, you could prepare 5…

How To Use Competition to Motivate Your TEFL Students

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Today we have a guest contribution from Victoria Hughes from TEFLicious, which is perhaps the best name for a blog we have come across! Victoria has been a TEFL teacher for 5 years and has lived in Poland, China and Turkey. She writes about job hunting, lesson planning and the joys and frustrations of teaching. So if you enjoy this post, please check out her blog at TEFLicious.com.
Enter Victoria…

If I Were – conditional activity

If I were? is a simple activity to practice the second conditional‏‎ and it can, with some adaptation, also be used to practice other conditionals‏‎ forms.
Preparation
Prepare a few flashcards‏‎ on which you have the name of someone or something which would fit in suitably to the conditional sentence:
If I were… I would…
For example:

President of the USA
rich
a…

In Common‏‎

In Common is a quick game which can be used as an ice breaker or warmer or perhaps at the end of a lesson to fill 5 minutes. It’s easy to set up, requires little or no preparation and is suitable for all ages and levels of class. The activity helps TEFL‏‎ students practice questions‏‎ and answers. You can leave it wide open or restrict the kind of questions and information that…

Intonation in Practice – intonation activity

Intonation in Practice is a simple exercise which you can do with almost any class to help them understand what intonation‏‎ is and how it works in English. It’s easily adaptable to all learner levels‏ and abilities.

Explain that in English you have to give stress (or emphasis) to certain words to deliver certain meanings. Go through a brain storming session to elicit some of the feelings we can convey through the appropriate intonation: disappointment, excitement, anger…

Inventions Who & When?! – passive voice activity

Inventions Who & When?‏‎! is a simple activity to help your students practice using the passive voice‏‎. It is very flexible and can be used with all ages and levels who are familiar with the passive voice.

There are a number of variations on the activity at the end of this article, plus it can be adapted and developed in many different ways to suit your class. This means…

IPA Decode!‏‎

IPA Decode is a great game to play with the class which helps them understand and use the IPA or International Phonetic Alphabet.

It can be used with a reasonably proficient class who are familiar with the IPA already and who would benefit from a little more practice.
Preparation
Firstly take a text of an appropriate level to the class and transcribe it into the IPA.

If this sounds…

Irregular Threes‏‎

Irregular Threes is a quick game to practice and remember Irregular Verbs- it’s ideal for a younger class: it’s noisy, chaotic, energetic and great fun, too! (There are some quieter versions of this game at the bottom of the page, however!) Running the Game Firstly go over a few irregular verbs and make sure the students understand the way in which they work and the three parts to each verb…

Jigsaw Reading in TEFL

Jigsaw Reading is a common reading technique. The name comes from the way in which jigsaw puzzles are put together: several pieces slotted into the right place to build up the complete picture.

Essentially you divide the text into small parts. Each part is given to a different student who must read and understand it. Then the students come together and talk about what they have just read and…

Just a Minute – speaking activity

Just a Minute is a very popular British radio quiz game which is ideal for the TEFL classroom and great for practicing speaking skills.

It’s very simple to prepare and great fun to play. Best for small groups but it can be played with larger groups if you prepare it well. It works best, perhaps, with Intermediate and above level students.
Background
The principle of the game…

Just the Facts‏‎

Just the Facts is a simple game where students practice speaking‏‎ and listening‏‎. It’s fun, too, and can be used as a warm up activity to introduce a particular topic in the lesson. If done in this way, it will also help introduce students to a new area of study and also allow the teacher to understand what their students know already about the area of study. The activity is very…

Karaoke in the TEFL Classroom

The word Karaoke means empty orchestra from the Japanese Kara = empty and Oke (short for Okesutora) = orchestra.

Karaoke tracks are without lead vocals. The lead vocals are provided by the performer singing the Karaoke song through a microphone.

The song is played in the background and the words displayed on a television screen.

Singing Karaoke songs is a stimulating and fun activity that can be…

Kim’s Game – tefl activity

Kim’s Game is a simple (and classic) game which can be played to help memorize a group of objects. As such it’s a good game to help students learn vocabulary‏‎, especially objects within a certain semantic field.

Note that in general this works better with concrete nouns‏‎.
Preparation
First off, collect together a group of items in the same semantic field, for example kitchen utensils, office…

Lawyer Talking‏‎

Lawyer Talking is a simple activity which allows students to practice making questions and then using the third person. With a small adaptation it can also be used to practice reported speech. In Class Preparation Get the class into pairs and have them write up 3 or 4 questions on slips of paper. These must be questions that can be asked about other members of the class: How old are…

Laying Down the Law‏‎

Laying Down the Law is an activity which lets your class practice modal verbs used for permission. Running the Activity Firstly break your class into small groups of 3 or so. Then have each group brainstorm everything that is wrong with their town. Make them write down all the niggles and problems they can find, e.g. There aren’t enough buses at night. People smoke too much. It’s very noisy in…

Lesson Preparation Tip – Delegating Tasks

Here’s a quick tip which serves two purposes: less work for you, more English practice for the students.

Here we’re talking about TEFL lesson preparation, but the same idea applies during the lesson itself for many tasks. It’s well worth adopting this general approach to your teaching as we’re sure you’ll find it a win-win situation all round!
A Simple Example
Suppose you need to prepare…

Letter Hunt‏‎

Letter Hunt is a great TEFL game which helps with spelling, vocabulary and – of course – the alphabet. It needs no preparation and can be played in a variety of ways. Running the Game The first time you play this, it’s better to demonstrate to the whole class. Later they can play the game in small groups. Firstly draw a line down the middle of the board. On one…

Lexical Chunks

A Lexical Chunk is a unit of language which is made up of two or more words.

Here are a few examples of lexical chunks:
Good morning.
Nice to see you!
What’s the time?
Other lexical chunks can include phrasal verbs‏‎, idioms, collocation‏‎s and so on.

Lexical chunks are the common coinage of English. They’re the bread and butter, the everyday and the mundane. They’re the…

Lineups‏‎

Lineups is a simple concept which can be used in many different ways. They are useful as an icebreaker activity so the class can get to know each other, but also to help practice certain language items. Finally, they are useful for a quick 5-minute activity at the end of the lesson. Concept The basic idea is that all the students have to line up in a certain order. At…

Lining Up

Lining Up in Alphabetical Order is a great ice breaker for a brand new class who don’t know each other yet. It’s best with younger classes, post-beginner level and, as a side-effect, it can also help you in remembering student names‏‎. Five minutes into the first lesson, simply ask your students to stand up and come to the front of the class. Then tell them to get into alphabetical order…

Lip Reading

Lip Reading is a fun activity which can be used with all ages and class levels. On the one hand it teaches the “speaker” to carefully pronounce words and on the other it helps the “listener” in predicting what is going to be said. Both these skills are useful when it comes to listening and speaking in English, of course, in everyday situations. Introducing the Activity First off, you’ll want…

Living Sentences‏‎

Living Sentences is a fun exercise for younger children to give them practice in the way sentences are put together. Preparation On A4 sheets of paper write single words which will go to make up sentences which are an appropriate level for your class. THE – DOG – CHASED – THE – CAT. I – WENT – TO – THE – CINEMA – ON – SUNDAY. And so on. It’s…

Lyric Lineup – listening activity

Lyric Lineup is a fun game for young learners. It’s useful to practice listening‏‎ in TEFL.
Preparation
First choose a song suitable for the class. This means it needs to be the correct level‏‎ in terms of vocabulary and grammar and also suitable subject matter. For younger learners you can use simple nursery rhymes even.

Print out the lyrics in a large font and then cut…

Lyric Swap‏‎

Lyric Swap is a fun activity for intensive listening. Depending on the song you choose, you can also use it to practice certain semantic fields or grammatical constructions. Preparation Firstly, select a song you think your class will like; as mentioned above, if you want to look at a particular grammatical construction or semantic field, the song you choose should contain plenty of good examples of those. One thing to…

Mad Libs‏‎ – parts of speech activity

Mad Libs is a quick and amusing game which is ideal for teaching parts of speech‏‎ (word classes) and semantic fields. It’s ideal as a warmer or 5-minute end-of-lesson activity. Basically the game involves completing blank spaces in a template with various parts of speech and the results can often be very amusing. For example, the template could be: Yesterday a large [animal] was found [preposition + place] eating my [noun]. Leading…

Market Traders – business English

Market Traders is a useful game to help practice: semantic fields counting negotiating skills Once you have prepared the game, it can be adapted for a great number of classroom situations, levels and vocabulary areas. As you will see, it can also be adapted for Business English‏‎ and used to practice negotiation amongst business learners. Overview Essentially students are divided into two groups: buyers and sellers. Each seller is given a…

Memory Pictures

Memory Pictures is a simple game which involves the students listening carefully. The level can be changed to match the level of the class and also the subject can match their ages and interests.
Preparation
Select some interesting cartoons or pictures from magazines, etc, and make them into flashcards. The pictures should be suited to the class, fairly simple in content and slightly unusual (so students cannot…

Messy Desk – there is/there are‏‎ activity

This activity is ideal for teaching there is / there are to young children and then practicing it with them. In English to say that something “exists” or is in a certain location we use the phrase there is or there are according to whether we are talking about one or more items (i.e. whether it’s singular or plural). To help young students learn and use these correctly you can…

Miming in Class‏‎

Miming in Class is a simple activity which can be used with almost any level to learn and practice vocabulary‏‎. Of course miming is acting out a story or word‏‎ with the body only and without using any language. This has advantages in the classroom (especially with beginners) because it does not require students to come up with possibly difficult language in order to express themselves. In other words, they…

Mind Mapping‏‎

Mind Mapping is a powerful technique that allows you to make the best use of your brain power by using a combination of words, pictures, icons or symbols, sounds, colors and any other imagery you see fit into structuring and organizing your ideas together. Mind maps can be used to help your students think and learn more quickly because they help organize information more efficiently. The first mind maps were…

Mind the Gap‏‎

Mind the Gap is a simple, useful game which can be adapted for any age or class level. It helps with word recognition, word boundaries, and reading in general. One aspect of the game is that it can be used in any situation and with any class and takes very little preparation. Basic Idea The basic idea behind the activity is to take a text and remove the gaps to…

Mini Debates‏‎ for the TEFL/TESOL Classroom

Before engaging your students in a full blown classroom debate you may want to get them accustomed to discussing ideas and exchanging opinions and of course it’s great for listening‏‎ and speaking‏‎ practice. Here are a few ideas for mini debates. They are easy to hold and enjoyable for the class. Once the class is familiar with these kind of lightweight debates you have the option to move them onto…

Movie Trailers in Class‏‎

This is a good idea; basically you use a movie trailer in your class to provoke discussion amongst your students.

The trailer you choose must be suitable for the level of the class but it can be exploited in many different ways.

For more on using videos in class – how to introduce and exploit them – see the main article, Video in the TEFL Classroom…

Music in the TEFL/TESOL Classroom

Songs and Music are great tools to use in the TEFL‏‎ classroom. Everyone likes listening to music and the right song can not only be fun for the students (and the teacher) but also be used in an effective way to teach.

Popular song lyrics are often very simple and mostly in the first person. They use rhyme which can help in remembering and the language is often…

My Grandmother Went to Market – vocabulary activity

My Grandmother went to Market is a quick and simple traditional game which can be used in the TEFL classroom to practice various semantic fields. It is useful at the end of the class for a five minute filler to practice vocabulary learned earlier.

Once the class are familiar with it you can extend it and vary the gameplay to make it more complex and more engaging…

Name That Title‏‎

Name That Title is a simple game which can be used with intermediate levels and above (although with a little careful tweaking it can be used with all levels and abilities). It practices speaking and listening and is an ideal way to spend 10 minutes or so at the end of a lesson. Preparation Prepare a dozen or more slips of paper. On each one write the title of a…

Non Threatening Debates in TEFL

Non-Threatening Debates are ideal TEFL debates which can be held in class and then voted on.

The idea is simple. If you get your class to debate a hot topic (e.g. anything political or religious) then students can get very emotional and carried away. Because they are often emotionally involved in the subject they can struggle to find the right language because they are wrapped up in…

Old Fashioned Teachers & Music

Most teachers are old in comparison to their students. And because most teachers choose materials for their class, this often means that the materials they use are old. And by old, I mean stuck in the past and out of date.

When a TEFL teacher decides to use music in the classroom it inevitably means dredging up music from the past – the Beatles in particular seem…

One Word Speeches – skills activity

One Word Speeches is a very simple activity which needs very little preparation but which is highly effective in giving your students practice in all four skills, especially listening and speaking.

It is very flexible and in different forms it works for both beginners right up to highly advanced students, for writing as well as speaking.
Explaining the Activity
The first time you run…

Opposites Attract‏‎

Opposites Attract is an activity you can use to practice opposites (or antonyms) in class. Preparation Prepare a set of flashcards, each of which forms half of a pair of words. big – small always – never cheap – expensive and so on. The words you use should be of the right level for your class of course! Running the Activity In the classroom go over a few common antonyms…

Pictionary‏‎

Pictionary is a classic game which you can use in the classroom to practice vocabulary‏. The basic premise is simple: draw a picture to represent a word. This can be very easy to do with basic concrete nouns‏‎ where students can draw a picture of, for example: a cat a computer a tree and so on. But things get more difficult when it comes to more abstract nouns‏‎ such as: love…

Picture Word Match‏‎

Picture Word Match is a very simple activity ideal for young learners. It helps reinforce vocabulary and spelling. Preparation Cut out and prepare a load of flashcards. These should be in pairs. On one put a picture of an item and on the other, the written name of the item. The level should be fairly basic so it can be used with beginner classes (i.e. dealing with concrete nouns only)…

Plays in the TEFL Classroom

If you have the right class, using a play in the classroom is a great way to build enthusiasm for English as well as practice English amongst the students. Along with this there’s a great feeling of satisfaction for the students in creating and putting on their own production, which your school may also present to parents and other classes as well.

Fame beckons!
Scope and…

PoS Swap‏‎ – parts of speech activity

PoS Swap is an activity to practice different parts of speech. For TEFL teachers it’s well worth using as it requires little or no preparation and can be used any time there’s a slight uncertainty amongst the students over a particular PoS. Running the Activity Write up on the board a sentence structure which includes the PoS you want to practice. For example, suppose you wanted to practice adjectives and…

Process Writing in English

Writing is not just a matter of putting pen to paper. It requires some thought and a certain level of language skills.

We talk about good writing when the written work – be it an essay or an email, a poem or a business letter – expresses a clear point, has substance, is tightly structured, is grammatically and syntactically correct, and last but not least, is interesting…

Pronunciation Snake – tefl activity

Pronunciation Snake is a simple game you can use to have your students practice particular pronunciations. It’s especially good for those problems that a particular class might have in similar sounds. It can be used with both words and single sounds.

For example, some students find it difficult to distinguish between the /b/ or /p/ sounds. This activity will help give them practice with this.

The…

Pronunciation Whispers – pronunciation activity

Pronunciation Whispers is a quick and effective variation on the Chinese Whispers/Telephone game where students pass a message along a line to practice pronunciation.
Pre-Teaching
First, identify a pronunciation issue with your class. This will depend on their background and level, but for example the class may have difficulties with the various vowel sounds so you might write up this list on the board:

SHEEP…

Proverb Match‏‎

Proverb Match is a nice, simple way of practicing proverbs. It also allows for plenty of speaking practice. Preparation You will need to prepare a list of proverbs; each one needs to be written on two cards.  Too many cooks   spoil the broth. A stitch in time      saves nine. A fool and his money     are soon parted. The bigger they are      the harder…

Q & A Ice Breaker‏‎

Q & A Ice Breaker is an activity designed for a new class so that the students get to know each other and you, the teacher, can begin to understand the level and interests of your students. There are a number of different ways you can use this activity. Essentially thought it begins with you preparing a series of flashcards‏‎ on which you have a lot of random questions. These…

Question the News

Question the News is a simple but effective way of exploiting news stories in your TEFL class and giving your students plenty of practice in reading comprehension and speaking and also making questions. It’s very adaptable and can be used for many different kinds of classes and students. In this example below we’re running the activity for a Business English class but as long as you choose the right…

Quick Spell‏‎

Quick Spell is an ideal activity if you find your class has problems spelling a particular word. If you notice that the same spelling mistake crops up again and again it’s time to play this game! The idea behind the activity is making the spelling of this word so natural that students don’t even have to think about it. First write the word up on the board and check with…

QVC‏‎ – the Shopping Channel Activity

QVC is a tv shopping channel which is famous for showing short segments where presenters talk about a product for several minutes, describing it in detail and explaining everything one could possibly want to know about it. The concept can be transferred to the English Language Teaching classroom. Here students either individually or in small groups can do the same to practice fluency and presentation skills; ideally this should be…

Random Stories‏‎

Random Stories is a good activity for letting your students use their imagination and exercising all the skills. Preparation Cut out a large selection of random, unrelated objects from magazines. It’s a good idea to make flashcards out of these so you can build up a collection and use them again. Make sure you have enough so that each group in your class (of, say, 3 students) can have 5…

Ransom Notes‏‎

Ransom Notes is a fun way to practice sentence building, especially with younger children. Preparation For homework, simply ask your students to cut out 5 words, at random, from an English language newspaper headline. Tell them they can choose any word they want but ideally they should try to vary the words (i.e. get a noun, verb, preposition, etc). Some of the students may well either forget the words or…

Read My Mind‏‎

Read My Mind is a simple game which you can play at the end of a lesson. It is ideal for groups of 3 or 4 and practices vocabulary and speaking. If this is the first time you have played the game with the class, begin by demonstrating it to everyone and making sure everyone understands how to play it. Playing the Game Once the class know how to play…

Role Playing in the TEFL Classroom

Role Plays or Simulations are an extremely valuable method for learning and practicing the English in your TEFL/TESOL classroom.

Essentially the students are placed in a certain fictitious situation where they must use English. It allows creativity on the part of the student and offers a freer practice than written tests. The role play situation is easily chosen but should be related to the current language level…

Secret Words‏‎

Secret Words is a simple game you can use in the classroom. It can be adapted to many different levels. The game can also be used as a filler activity to take up a few minutes at the end of a class. Beforehand, prepare a list of words to be used. These should be fairly common and well known by your class. Write each word on a separate slip of…

Semantic Fields Game‏‎

This is a simple game you can play with semantic fields. Preparation Prepare a set of flashcards. On each one write the name of a semantic field. For example, kitchen itemsthings in my bedroomoffice equipmentfruit When you choose the semantic fields, make sure they are relevant to your class. If you teach Business English to a group of beginners who are all furniture sales staff, you could have cards with…

Sentence Completion – sentence activity

Sentence Completion is a TEFL activity which can be used to practice different forms of sentences‏‎. It works well with different verb forms‏‎, conditionals‏‎ and so on.
Preparation
Write out a series of sentences which are examples of the kind of sentence/verb structure you want to practice, and put them onto flashcards‏‎ (so you can use them later with other classes).

For example these are for…

Sentence Mix‏‎

Sentence Mix is a simple game you can use to help your students practice sentence construction and revise parts of speech. With no preparation it’s ideal as a five minute end-of-lesson activity or you can build it into something longer and more involved. Simply write up on the board a long sentence suitable for the level of your class: The old man worked hard during the afternoon on Friday. Now…

Sherlock Holmes – tefl activity

Sherlock Holmes is a fun ice breaker, ideal with a new class on the first day of school, ideally a class who do not know each other.

The idea is that the class guesses the answers their partner will give to certain questions; from this the class can get to know a little about each other. With a little thought it can work well with all ages from young…

Silly Sentences‏‎ – sentence practice

Silly Sentences is an easy game which is ideal as a 5 minute filler activity at the end of the lesson. It practices sentence structure and vocabulary. Method of Play As the teacher, you write on the board a few random letters (or draw them from a bag of Scrabble letters), e.g. b a d w The students then have 3 minutes to write down as many sentences as they…

Simon Says‏‎ in the TEFL Classroom

Simon Says is a very simple, very effective activity you can use in your TEFL class. It often works best with younger learners and has been adapted from the traditional English game.
How it Works
The game is simple. You, as teacher, give commands to your class using “Simon says” to introduce the commands. You say and the students follow:

Simon says stand up! – the students…

Speak as if…‏‎

Speak as if… is a great speaking activity which gets the students talking and repeating without realizing it. It is a great as a five minute filler activity or to use anytime you want to practice a certain few phrases with the class. It works with almost any class and is great fun with younger, more outgoing classes who are ready to enjoy themselves. Of course, if the class is…

Spelling Mix – spelling activity

Spelling Mix is a simple TEFL activity for students to practice the spelling of words in a semantic field.

It’s suitable for any age and level as long as the words the students are looking for are of the right level.
Preparation
Select a group of words of a suitable level and in the same semantic field. For this example we can use the semantic field WEATHER but…

Split Personalities‏‎

Split Personalities is a fun TEFL‏‎ activity which helps students practice their speaking‏‎ skills, specifically in describing how people look, their clothes and so on (although it can also be adapted and used for other descriptions). It is ideal for lower level classes but again can be adapted for higher levels, too. Preparation First you need to find a pile of pictures from magazines. Ideally these are clear shots showing a…

Story Chain

A Story Chain is a simple method of passing a story around the class, giving each student plenty of practice in storytelling. Prepare a Story There are many different ways to do this. The stories should be short and able to be told in a minute or so. Most importantly they should be told in the first person. brainstorm ideas with the class by writing up keywords and have them…

Storytelling in your TEFL Class

Storytelling is an ancient art that developed alongside the development of language and it is one of the earliest forms of folkart.

The story can be of a real event or it can be made up. Storytelling has been used over the millennia not only as a means of entertainment but also of education.

Storytelling techniques can be used to get TEFL students to practice listening‏‎…

Student Generated Tests‏‎

Student Generated Tests are a good way to prepare quick tests or quizzes for the class but with little effort from the teacher. Ten minutes before the end of the lesson ask each student to individually write down 2 or 3 questions based on the material they have learned over the past week or so (note that this will depend on how often you teach the class, but the questions…

Superheroes – speaking activity

Superheroes is a good speaking‏‎ activity for the TEFL class.

This is all about the students inventing a new superhero and testing them out in various scenarios to find out who has the most successful.
Preparation
You will need to prepare beforehand a number of threatening scenarios in which a superhero can help. Try and make these as unusual as possible and, to make it more…

Superlative Millionaire‏‎

Superlative Millionaire is a game you can play with your class to practice superlatives. Everyone knows the Who Wants to be a Millionaire game; this is a variation on that idea; it requires very little preparation on your part as the students themselves will be putting together the questions. Preparation in Class Firstly go over comparatives and superlatives with your class. Make sure they understand the basic principles and can…

Take a Letter‏‎ – business dictation

Take a Letter is a simple dictation practice which allows your business English students to practice the form and style of business letters. Business letters are often formulaic, using set words and phrases and layouts. This exercise gives your students practice with these and familiarizes them with the usual content and form of these letters. As a bonus, the students get practice in speaking and listening as well. Preparation You…

Talking Dictionaries‏‎

Talking Dictionaries or Describing Words is a simple word game which teaches students how to describe words. It’s a useful skill which lets students talk about something they do not necessarily know the correct word for. Preparation Either on slips of paper or flashcards, have a number of nouns ready which are of suitable level for your class. They can be almost any word but obviously concrete nouns are easier…

Talking Pictures‏‎

Talking Pictures is an activity for your TEFL class which involves the students from the outset and is guaranteed to interest them as they provide the impetus for the class. This is important. Often students can feel left out of the class; in this activity they are the ones who supply the essentials for the activity and the ones who make sure it works. Preparation Since these days virtually everyone…

Teaching Irregular Adverbs‏‎

When teaching beginners you should always work on the principle that any detailed grammar explanation will be too complicated for them. In TEFL it is always wise to keep things as simple as possible. This means that when you need to explain a new grammar item like irregular adverbs, for example, start from what your students already know. Start by putting on the whiteboard‏‎ a couple of examples of regular…

TEFL Battleships‏‎

TEFL Battleships is a game played by two players. In the original version of Battleships (a game dating from World War I) a grid of squares contains some “ships” and the players must try to guess their location and then sink them (see here for more on this game). However, this game can be adapted for use in the EFL‏‎ classroom and used with words‏‎ rather than ships. It is good…

TEFL Lesson Planning

A Lesson Plan is the outline of what will be taught in a single lesson. It is, if you like, a road map for the hour or 90 minutes or so you will spend with the class.

Creating a good lesson plan is vitally important for a successful lesson and good teachers invariably prepare good lesson plans. In fact, one of the easiest mistakes a new teacher…

Telephone – Chinese Whispers

Telephone (US name) or Chinese Whispers (as the game is known in the UK) is a simple game which can be used to fill a few minutes as a filler activity at the end of the lesson.
Playing the Game
Write down a phrase on a piece of paper. Depending on the level of the class make this as simple or as complex as they can manage…

The Alphabet Game‏‎

The Alphabet Game is a very useful 5 minute end-of-lesson vocabulary game or warmer. Simply get each student (or group) to write a letter of the alphabet on each line of a blank sheet of paper. If you play this game often with the class and they’re already familiar with the letters of the alphabet you can have these sheets already photocopied. Now decide on a subject or semantic field…

The Counting Game‏‎ for TEFL

The Counting Game is a simple but effective counting game ideal for young beginner level students in your TEFL classroom so they can practice numbers‏‎. It also helps keep a class quiet for a few minutes which is a nice side-effect! Running the Game Have the class stand in a circle. Tell them they must count out loud from 1 to 10 (or any other number you decide). However, there…

The ESL Art Activity‏‎

The ESL Art Activity is a simple classroom game for practicing prepositions, vocabulary, and speaking at all different levels and for all different classes.

Essentially what you are doing is describing a picture to your class and having them reproduce it. The key here is choosing the right picture for the class.

Let’s assume your class is beginners who have learned colors and basic preposition use. For them…

The Goodies’ Bag

This is a “show and tell” activity for the TEFL teacher who wants to encourage young learners to produce language in a natural way and create a more spontaneous response than the traditional “repeat after me” approach. How it works Take a large cloth bag (a black bin liner will also do – the important thing is that it is not transparent). Place different items related to the topic of…

The Grammar Wheel of Fortune‏‎

Traditional grammar classifies words based on eight parts of speech: verb, noun, pronoun, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection. Each part of speech explains not what the word is, but how the word is used. In fact, the same word can be a noun in one sentence and a verb or adjective in the next. The “Grammar” Wheel of Fortune is a game to get students revise parts of speech…

The Price is Right – tefl activity

The Price is Right is a popular television game which can be adapted for the EFL classroom. It’s ideal for a class who are learning numbers and simple objects.
Preparation
Get some flashcards and on each one have an everyday object; on the reverse put the price in local currency. A good source for pictures/prices like this are local brochures and advertising papers sent out by many supermarkets…

The Story Telling Stick‏‎

The Story Telling Stick is a simple activity which you can use in your TEFL class to develop a story and get the whole class talking and listening. It’s ideal for lower-intermediate level and upwards and can be used with both smaller and larger classes. Background Traditionally some Native American tribes (especially of the Northwest coast) would use a ceremonially decorated talking stick at council meetings. Whoever was holding the…

The Warm Up Game‏‎

The Warm Up Game can be used to literally warm up the class and is ideal for teaching new vocabulary, especially to younger students. An added bonus is that it gets the children going first thing in the morning and wears them out a little! How to Play It’s a simple game and perfect for a few minutes at the start of each class. The game is based on TPR…

The Welcome Code‏‎ to your TEFL Classroom

The Welcome Code is a TEFL game adapted from an old drinking game – but without the drinking! It can be used to practice vocabulary and spelling and semantic fields amongst other things and so it’s very flexible. Once your class is familiar with the game you can adjust it and use it time and time again with small variations. Although you can use it specifically to practice a language…

Trading Places‏‎

Trading Places is a great ice breaker activity and a lot of fun. It’s also ideal for practicing questions‏‎. It’s simple to run this activity and no preparation is needed which means it’s great to know for those emergency situations in class! Pre-Teaching With the class as a whole brainstorm some questions you can ask about each other. You should come up with a list something like this: Where do…

Truth and Lies

Truth and Lies is a simple game which gives students practice making basic statements and also in speaking. It is good for beginner‎ level students.
Step 1
Each student begins by working on their own. They simply write down 3 statements about themself: one is false and two are true. When you explain this to your students try to get them to think of 3 similar sentences with…

Truth or Lie – question making activity

Truth or Lie is an activity which is used to practice the Present Perfect Simple and also giving students practicing making questions.
Preparation
Prepare a number of flashcards on which you have written a present perfect simple question, have you ever…

Have you ever met someone famous?
Have you ever stayed awake all night?
Have you ever played poker?

The questions should…

Twenty Questions – speaking & listening activity

Twenty Questions is a simple game which can be played in class with minimal preparation. It is ideal for practicing both vocabulary (notably semantic fields) as well as making questions.
Preparation
Collect a group of pictures or photographs with different objects on them. (You can laminate these to make them longer lasting of course.)

The objects you choose should be of the right level and subject…

Unique People‏‎ – present perfect simple activity

Unique People is a game to practice the present perfect simple verb form. Firstly you’ll need to make sure your class are familiar with the Present Perfect Simple verb form, both formation and usage. Ideally the game can be played after teaching the it and can be used to practice it. Explanation Explain to your class that you believe that are unique. Tell them something really unique you have done…

Verifying Tags‏‎ – question tag activity

Verifying Tags is an activity which gets your TEFL class practising using question tags. Question Tags are often used to verify information of which we are not 100% certain. For example we might be discussing holidays and ask someone, “You went to the Seychelles a few years back, didn’t you?” It’s not a direct question but we are looking for confirmation for what we believe to be true. This activity…

Video in the TEFL Classroom

This article is on how to use Videos in the Classroom (or of course, movies or films in the classroom). It describes the basic technique so that you – and your students – make the most of this valuable resource. (Note that this also applies to DVDs, online clips, etc).
Choosing the right Video
This is important. Obviously it must fulfill the usual criteria for material given to…

Vocabulary Poker – vocabulary activity

Vocabulary Poker is a great game for practicing vocabulary and semantic fields. It’s easy to play and great fun for the students.

Although it can be played by beginners, it’s probably best for intermediate and advanced students.

NB in some countries it may be culturally inappropriate to use a term like “poker” with its gambling connotations. If this is the case simply rename it to Vocabulary…

Warmers‏‎ or Lesson Starters

Warmers‏‎ or Lesson Starters are quick activities used at the beginning of a lesson to get students warmed-up and ready to learn. They are useful to help students relax and feel comfortable in the classroom; they help promote a fun learning environment and can be a good way to help new students familiarize themselves with one another. By allowing everyone to take part in a relaxed atmosphere warmers promote a…

What I Did at the Weekend‏‎

What I Did at the Weekend is a common activity used in TEFL classrooms. At the beginning of the lesson as a kind of warm up the teacher will typically ask a few students what they did last weekend, or yesterday, or during the holidays, etc. This can be a useful activity, but it is often little more than excuse for one or two students to speak and the rest…

What If – third conditional activity

What If is an activity to practice the third conditional‏‎ looking at impossible outcomes.
Preparation
Firstly select a famous historical event and prepare a summary of it in about 200 words (you can often find good summaries online in Wikipedia for example).

Make sure the story is relevant to your students’ interests and age group, and the language you use in your summary matches their level‏‎. This…

What’s Missing?‏‎

What’s Missing? is a very simple extra activity you can play with any set of flashcards you use. Quite simply, whenever you use flashcards in class, save this for a quick 5 minute activity at the end just go over the vocabulary you’ve been practicing. It requires no preparation and the side-effect of the game is that the students unconsciously practice the vocabulary on the cards as they try to…

Who Am I?‏‎

Who Am I? is a fun warmup or icebreaker game which can be used to practice simple questions and answers. Preparation Using small cards, write on each one the name of a famous person known to the class, for example: Barack Obama Lady Gaga David Beckham John Lennon Einstein Harry Potter Queen Elizabeth Shuffle the cards and have them face down. One at a time, each student comes to the…

Who’s Lying Now?‏‎

Who’s Lying Now? is a gameshow type of activity which encourages question and answers from students. It is based on similar television shows and require little or no preparation. The activity can be used for intermediate and above classes, from teenage to adult. Running the Activity Tell the class about some aspect of your life that is unknown to them. This can be almost anything (though keep it away from being…

Who-What-Where-When-Why-How‏‎

Who-What-Where-When-Why-How is a TEFL game based on the popular boardgame, Cluedo. The game is ideal for practising speaking and listening. It is particularly good for formulating and practising questions and, above all, it can be adapted very easily for different themes and cultures making it very flexible and suitable for different classes. For the purposes of this article, the original Cluedo game will be used as a basis for the…

Wipeout‏‎

Wipeout is a simple end-of-class activity which is good for practicing pronunciation and speaking. It is a good activity for low level classes and can be used from beginners up. It’s better with smaller classes but with a little variation can be used for large classes as well. Start by writing up a sentence on the board. This should be of the right level and content for the class. They should be…

Word Association‏‎

Word Association is a simple 5 minute activity for the end of a lesson. It gets students talking and thinking about vocabulary‏‎. Explain to your students what word association is: when you hear a word, you say another related word that pops into your head. The difference with this game is that you might be asked to explain the association between the two words so your students have to think…

Word Ladder‏‎

Word Ladder is a simple game invented by Lewis Carroll (author of the Alice books). It’s perfect as a quick 5-minute activity at the end of the lesson and is ideal for practicing and playing with vocabulary. A slight variation has it great for dictionary practice as well. The activity is perhaps best used with students in pairs. Preparation Make up a list of word pairs. To begin with, each…

Writing Prompts‏‎ – writing activity

Writing Prompts is a simple idea to help your TEFL students develop their writing‏‎ skills and stimulate ideas and discussions. It can work with almost any age or level of class and is very flexible. Pictures as Prompts There are many variations of the method, but a simple one is to use pictures as prompts. First collect together enough interesting photographs for the class – 1 per student (with a few…

Yes/No‏‎

Yes/No is a simple game that helps get your class asking and answering questions and doing plenty of speaking and listening‏‎. The beauty of it is that it can be extended! Gameplay Write up on the board YES and NO in bold letters. Now tell your students that these words are illegal for the next few minutes and cannot be used. There are different ways to play the game, but…