English as a Second Language Activities

By Published On: April 7th, 2016

How frequently do you find yourself planning a course, racking your mind for something different, a new action to liven up an organization of exhausted students, or merely to provide something unique to the classroom? Thinking of something new and fascinating each day is not simple, if you’re like most teachers, and usually we just do not have the time. Therefore we revert to the tested and tried thoughts, or to following page after page of the textbook.

It will not need to be that hard for you anymore. Lots of thoughts can be adapted to a variety of language points, providing some thing to you that can be utilized over and over again. When the activity you show your students has an obvious goal in mind and the students are showing motivation (students have to understand why they are performing some thing), then you are onto a victor.

There are several great source guides obtainable with hundreds of simple and fast activities requiring minimum training. Have a search around your English school for publications such as “Five Minute Activities”, or “Keep Talking” by Friederike Kippel. Remember that your fellow teachers are great assets too!

In addition to that, below are a few activities that should help you if you’re in a bit of a crunch.

One: Sentence reduction: Create a lengthy sentence or a brief paragraph on the board, rich in terminology. In groups, pupils take turns to erase several successive words. Sense must be still made by the sentence, grammatically, after words are erased. Keep on till no more erasing is feasible (your pupils will be astonished at how brief the sentence can become, while keeping its grammatical sense!) The winning group is the one who eliminates the most phrases. (Variation: Do the reverse – begin with one term and have students change it with several, growing the sentence).

Two: For spelling and vocabulary training, attempt this: Start with one letter up on the board, such as “T”. The first pupil then thinks of words starting with “T” and provides the next letter, for instance “Th”. The next pupil then thinks of the word beginning with “Tg” and provides another letter, and etc. The victor is the last pupil still up at the board.

Three: This is one we do a lot of with our English classes in New Jersey. If your pupils are creative, give each team four or five images cut from magazines, and get them to produce a graphic story. Don’t let them compose their story on paper to force them to concentrate on oral communication. Once they have completed, have each team tell their tale for the remainder of the course.

Four: As a “Getting to know you” workout, ask pupils to create three stories which are true about themselves, and two which are not true (but believable). A great ice-breaker is to do this one yourself first so they get the idea – write the five things about you on the board. (Variation: Write five one-word facts about yourself on the board, for instance “28”, “New Jersey”, “Seven”, “Reads”, and have pupils, in pairs, attempt to imagine what these all point to about you).

Five: One more for creative pupils: Dictate the first line of a diverse story to each of several teams. They will have a couple of minutes to carry on the tale, and then move their bit of paper to the story to be read by the next group, who will then add to the tale. You may do this orally as a chain tale : Give the first sentence, then have the student continue the tale, to concentrate on a special language level or product of terminology. They have to at some stage use the tense, or construction, or term (allocated beforehand), that you need to be teaching them in that class period.

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