No-prep ESL Speaking Activity: Fashion Role-Play

Finding resources that strike a balance between engagement and practicality can be a challenge. Enter our No-Prep ESL Speaking Activity a resource designed to offer both stimulation and structure in the language learning process.

Navigating the Benefits of Role Play Activities:

While role-play activities offer undeniable benefits, it’s essential to approach them with a balanced perspective:

1. Realistic Engagement

Role plays simulate real-life scenarios, providing students with an opportunity to apply language skills in practical contexts. However, it’s important to recognize that these scenarios are simplified representations and may not fully capture the complexities of everyday communication.

2. Fluency Development

Through spontaneous conversation and improvisation, students can enhance their fluency and communication skills. Yet, it’s crucial to acknowledge that fluency takes time to develop and may vary among learners.

3. Vocabulary Expansion

Role plays can facilitate vocabulary acquisition, particularly when centered around specific themes like fashion. However, it’s essential to supplement these activities with other vocabulary-building exercises to ensure a comprehensive learning experience.

4. Cultural Insight

Exploring cultural nuances through role plays can foster cross-cultural understanding. Still, it’s important to approach cultural discussions with sensitivity and awareness of diverse perspectives.

5. Critical Thinking Skills

Role plays encourage students to think critically and problem-solve within the context of the scenarios presented. Yet, it’s vital to recognize that critical thinking skills develop over time and may require additional support and guidance.

Get ready to embark on a journey through the ever-evolving world of fashion, where every role-play scenario is a window into new possibilities. From spirited debates on sustainable fashion to heart-to-heart conversations about personal style, the adventures await:

  • Discover the clash of opinions between a fashion student who celebrates individuality and a trend-setting influencer who swears by the latest fads.
  • Navigate the creative tensions between a magazine editor advocating for diversity and a photographer striving for aesthetic consistency.
  • Dive into discussions on environmental responsibility, school dress codes, budget-friendly fashion, and navigating familial disagreements over wardrobe choices.

At the heart of every role-play lies a simple yet profound truth: language is a living, breathing entity, meant to be experienced, embraced, and shared. With No-Prep ESL Speaking Activity, you’re not just teaching English – you’re igniting a passion for learning, fostering connections, and empowering your students to shine.

So why wait? Step into the world of fashion with us and watch as your ESL classroom transforms into a vibrant tapestry of language, laughter, and learning. The adventure begins now!


Student A1: You are a fashion student who values personal style and individuality in fashion. You are talking to a fashion influencer who often promotes the latest trends and encourages their followers to follow them blindly.

Student B1: You are a fashion influencer who often promotes the latest trends and encourages your followers to follow them blindly. You believe that following trends is a crucial part of being fashionable.

__________________________________________________________________

Student A2: You are a fashion magazine editor who values diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry. You are talking to a fashion photographer who often uses the same types of models in their shoots.

Student B2: You are a fashion photographer who values aesthetics and consistency in your work. You often use the same types of models in your shoots because you feel that they fit the aesthetic of your portfolio.

___________________________________________________________________

Student A3: You’re concerned about the negative environmental and social impacts of fast fashion and believe in promoting sustainable clothing choices. Discuss your concerns with your friend.

Student B3: You love shopping for the latest trends from fast fashion brands and don’t think much about the consequences. Discuss your fashion choices with your friend and try to understand each other’s viewpoints.

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Student A4: You’re environmentally conscious and shop exclusively at thrift stores to support sustainable fashion. Discuss your reasons for this with your friend.

Student B4: You enjoy buying new, trendy clothing items from fast fashion brands and don’t think about their environmental impact. Discuss your preferences with your friends and try to understand each other’s viewpoints.

Student A5: You believe that dress codes at school are too restrictive and should allow more self-expression through clothing. Discuss your opinions on dress codes with your friend.

Student B5: You think that dress codes are essential to maintain a focused and orderly learning environment. Discuss your reasons with your friend and try to understand each other’s perspectives.

_________________________________________________________________

Student A6: You have a tight budget and need a new wardrobe but can’t afford a shopping spree. You want to organize a clothing swap event with your friends to save money and promote sustainability. Discuss your idea with your friend and ask for their support and participation.

Student B6: You usually enjoy shopping sprees and are skeptical about the clothing swap idea. Discuss your reservations and try to find a compromise or solution that benefits both of you.

___________________________________________________________________

Student A7: You have a limited budget for clothing but long for designer items that are beyond your means. You’re torn between staying within your budget and splurging on a high-end item. Discuss your fashion dilemma with your friend and seek their input on making the right decision.

Student B7: You have a passion for designer fashion but understand the constraints of a tight budget. Discuss your friend’s fashion dilemma and help them explore options to satisfy their desire for designer items without breaking the bank.

___________________________________________________________________

Student A8: You’ve been arguing with your parents over your clothing choices, as they think your style is too revealing or inappropriate. You want to discuss the issue with your friend and seek advice on how to communicate with your parents about your fashion choices.

Student B8: You’re a friend who has faced similar disagreements with your parents about fashion. Discuss your experiences and provide suggestions on how to have a productive conversation with parents about clothing choices.

Do You Want to Learn ESL? You’re on the Right Track; Find Out Why

Introduction

English is, in most cases, known as a worldwide language. The main reason behind this is that it’s the most commonly spoken language globally. More than 1.55 billion people globally speak English, either as their native or second language.

Additionally, it’s the official language of more than 100 states. Due to all these reasons, English has become the international business language. It’s used in all industries, including:

  • Technology
  • Science
  • Education
  • Law
  • Communication
  • Manufacturing, and more.

When you think about the effect of English on multiple industries, you will understand why most people are searching for this term; “the best ESL Tutor near me.” From enhancing career opportunities to enabling clear communication among people with different language backgrounds, learning English as a second language offers numerous benefits, which include the following.

ESL is Useful in Everyday Life

Your location doesn’t matter. English skills will only increasingly become crucial in everyday life. Whether you want to purchase groceries, navigate a huge city using a map, find the right train or bus stop, or get a prescription at a pharmacy near you, English will help you significantly.

Due to technology, you can communicate with people both far and near you. With a good English trainer, you can significantly enhance your speech, writing, and reading, making you a more valuable employer or employee.

English is the Language of Business

The world doesn’t have a language. However, English is one of the common communication forms used globally. Learning English as your second language can significantly enhance your learning potential.

It’s true that the future of business lies in a worldwide economy, and an increasing number of businesses currently requires workers to communicate in English.

The latest trend is to conduct every business in English since the economy spreads from local to global. So traders and consumers must find a perfect way to communicate, and that is none other than English.

Enjoy Travel Experiences

If you learn English as a second language, you provide yourself with the opportunity to travel anywhere in the world, allowing you to interact with other people as you learn about different cultures.

This will not only stretch your cultural awareness but also provide you with the opportunity to access many memorable travel experiences that you mightn’t have.

You will discover more about everything that makes your culture unique. Also, you’ll find some possible similarities in other states.

People who travel a lot acquire plenty of skills and knowledge, making their perspective unique. Don’t miss the great opportunity to travel around the world and experience new cultures.

Significantly Boost Your Confidence

The initial stages of learning English as a second language may pose a great challenge, just like any other course you may enroll in. But once you master the language, you’ll speak it boldly.

When learning anything, you should be ready to make mistakes. These mistakes are like a ladder to the next level. As you advance, you’ll want to avoid them completely, and this is where perfection comes in.

Practicing and being ready to take risks until you improve is key. You should always be appreciative of trying, even when you make mistakes. You will establish confidence in your new language-speaking abilities. Also, you’ll face anyone you meet with a lot of confidence since you can speak a language they understand.

By taking risks, practicing, and showing your body and mind that there aren’t massive consequences, you will feel more confident in handling all of your fears as well as taking risks so that you can easily accomplish your goals.

You’ll Not Get Lost in Translation

English is quickly becoming a vital tool for media consumption. The majority of online resources are available in English, which means learning and understanding the language provides you with the opportunity to participate in online:

  • Communities
  • Discussions
  • Forums

This is another perfect way to enhance your English skills, and you’ll no longer rely on subtitles and translations to enjoy your favorite films, TV shows, songs, books, and more.

Most translations usually lose their initial meaning. Reading or watching an untranslated version can help you quickly understand the initial intent of the content creator.

Learning ESL is a Great Exercise for Your Brain

Scientists have already proven it! Learning ESL can enhance your brain power significantly. This has numerous cognitive benefits, including;

  • Better problem-solving skills
  • Increased creativity
  • Sharper memory

Bilinguals not only have an excellent understanding of global cultures, but they can quickly and easily grasp complex concepts. Also, these individuals fare excellently with executive function.

These are brains that help people plan and solve issues. As bilinguals attain higher bilingualism degrees, they tend to become more resistant to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia symptoms.

Final Thoughts

Learning English might be a long journey. However, it’s well worth it. Learning English as a second language can allow you to:

  • Travel to new places
  • Advance your career
  • Make new friends, and more.

With the right training platform and trainer, you can be sure to learn English as a second language quickly, easily, and without a huge price tag.

ESL Vocabulary Activity Worksheet: Dictionary Skills

If you’re on the lookout for a cool and effective way to help your students improve their vocabulary, writing, and critical thinking skills, you’re in the right place. In this blog post, I’ll explain an ESL vocabulary activity that could become your secret weapon in the classroom. It’s all about taking complex language and making it simple using the good old paper dictionary.

The Magic of Vocabulary in ESL Teaching

Now, we all know that vocabulary is kind of a big deal when it comes to ESL teaching. It’s the building blocks of communication. The more words your students know, the better they can express themselves. And that’s where our “Dictionary Skills” activity comes into play – to help you give your students a vocabulary boost.

What’s the ESL Vocabulary Activity about?

It’s very simple. A text about an everyday activity but there’s a twist. The activity is described with a very sophisticated, complicated language. Your students are on a mission to break down that intricate language into everyday English, and they’ve got a trusty paper dictionary to back them up.

Goals for Your ESL Students:

Your students are going to be introduced to some pretty difficult words. Think of it as their passport to new vocabulary.

DIY Learning: This activity is all about independence. It’s like telling your students, “You got this!” as they tackle language challenges on their own.

Mastering the Dictionary: Armed with their dictionaries, your students are going to become pros at finding the meanings of tricky words. It’s like giving them a treasure map.

Writing Skills on Point: By simplifying complex language, your students are also leveling up their writing skills. It’s like taking a complicated puzzle and turning it into a simple picture.

Think Critically: Breaking down those fancy words into everyday language is a sneaky way to boost those critical thinking skills.

How to Get Your ESL Class in on the Action

Set the Challenge: Tell your students that they’re going to decipher a very complicated text. Don’t give away the twist.

Introduce the Dictionary: If you haven’t used a paper dictionary before, show them how to use it. It’s like unveiling a superpower tool. Alternatively, you can let them use an app on their phones but I think they will learn more using the paper dictionary.

Task Time: Explain what is happening – their job is to take the fancy text and make it sound like something you would say to your grandma.

The Whole Learning Package: Remind them that it’s not just about words. They’re also becoming better writers and thinkers during this journey.

In a Nutshell: Empowering Your ESL Students

So, when it comes to ESL teaching, having a solid vocabulary is like having the key to fluency. This ESL vocabulary activity is here to make vocabulary expansion, independent learning, and critical thinking a breeze. By simplifying those big words, your students will be not only learning new stuff but also mastering the art of using a dictionary.

With this activity, you’re giving your ESL students the tools to grow their vocabulary, work on their own, and sharpen their thinking skills. It’s time to unlock their full language potential. Get ready to start that journey to vocab mastery in your ESL classroom – it’s going to be fun!

Prefixes Worksheet for ESL: Conversation Practice

As ESL teachers, we’re always on the lookout for resources that can truly make a difference in our students’ language learning journeys. That’s why I’m excited to share a resource that has not only enriched my classroom but has also contributed significantly to my students’ language skills: the “Prefixes Worksheet for ESL: Conversation Practice.”

Negative prefixes, such as “un-“, “dis-“, “in-“, and “im-“, often pose a challenge for ESL learners. These tiny word elements can drastically change the meaning of a word, and mastering them is crucial for achieving fluency in English. This prefixes worksheet, however, takes a different approach to teaching negative prefixes, one that’s focused on engagement and genuine communication.

  1. Engaging Gap-Fill Exercises: The heart of this prefixes worksheet lies in its carefully crafted gap-fill exercises. Instead of dull, disconnected vocabulary drills, students are presented with sentences that have missing words. Their task? To fill in the gaps with the appropriate negative prefix. This approach transforms what might be a monotonous exercise into an interactive puzzle, piquing students’ curiosity and challenging them to think critically.
  2. Conversation Catalysts: What truly sets this worksheet apart is its dual functionality. Each sentence, in addition to being a gap-fill exercise, serves as a conversation starter. After completing the sentence, students are encouraged to discuss the meaning of the word or phrase in the context of the sentence. This not only reinforces their grasp of negative prefixes but also equips them with the ability to use these prefixes naturally in real-life conversations.
  3. Improved Comprehension: By encountering negative prefixes within sentences and conversations, students gain a deeper understanding of how these prefixes work and influence word meanings. This comprehension goes a long way in helping them become effective communicators in English.
  4. Enhanced Retention: The combination of active exercises and discussion-based learning not only helps students remember the correct usage of negative prefixes but also ensures that this knowledge sticks. They’re not just memorizing rules; they’re internalizing language patterns.
  5. Teacher’s Ally: As teachers, we value resources that align with our teaching philosophy and seamlessly integrate into our lesson plans. This worksheet is not just beneficial for students; it’s a teacher-friendly tool that enhances the overall classroom experience.

So, fellow ESL educators, I invite you to share in the success I’ve witnessed in my classroom. Consider using and sharing our “Prefixes Worksheet for ESL: Conversation Practice” within your teaching community. It’s a practical and effective resource that can empower both you and your fellow educators, fostering confident, fluent English speakers.

Exercise

In each sentence below, there is a missing negative prefix. Fill in the gaps with the correct prefix (un-, dis-, in-, ir-, im-, il-, etc.) to complete the sentences.

  1. Can you recall a time when you felt __________(estimated) or __________(valued) in a professional or personal setting? How did you prove your worth?
  2. Have you ever encountered a situation where someone was __________(fairly) discriminated against? What actions can society take to combat discrimination?
  3. Describe a moment when you found yourself in a __________(comfortable) or even __________(bearable) situation. How did you handle it?
  4. Share a story of someone who was initially __________(understood) but later gained recognition or respect. What can we learn from their experience?
  5. Can you think of an occasion when you felt __________(connected) or __________(engaged) from a group or community? How did you address this feeling?
  6. Discuss a time when you observed an action that you considered __________(ethical) or __________(moral). How did it affect your perception of the person involved?
  7. Have you ever experienced an __________(usual) or __________(expected) phenomenon that left you feeling uneasy or __________(oriented)?
  8. Share a situation where you or someone you know had to deal with an __________(cooperative) colleague or team member. How was it resolved?
  9. Can you describe a moment when you felt __________(valued) as a consumer or customer? How did you respond to the situation?
  10. Discuss a time when you observed an __________(ethical) or __________(moral) action that you believe should be discontinued. What alternatives would you propose?
  11. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt powerless or __________(able) to influence the outcome? How did you cope with it?
  12. Share an example of a __________(just) law or policy you believe should be discontinued. What alternatives would you propose?
  13. Describe a situation where someone exhibited __________(healthy) or detrimental behavior patterns. How can they be encouraged to change?
  14. Can you think of a time when you were __________(prepared) for a significant life event or challenge? How did you adapt and learn from it?
  15. Discuss an instance when you witnessed an __________(effective) or __________(productive) meeting or discussion. What improvements would you suggest?
  16. Share a story of a project or endeavor that initially seemed __________(feasible) but was eventually successful. What contributed to its success?
  17. Have you ever had to deal with an __________(responsive) or neglectful service provider? How did you seek resolution or compensation?
  18. Can you recall a situation where you felt __________(appreciated) in a personal relationship? How did you address the issue with the other person?
  19. Describe a time when you encountered an __________(dated) or __________(moded) practice or technology. What innovations could replace it?
  20. Discuss the concept of an __________(certain) future and the role it plays in making long-term plans and decisions.

Exercise 2

In each sentence below, there is a missing prefix. Fill in the gaps before the words with removed prefixes to complete the sentences.

  1. Have you ever encountered an ____ (efficient) system or process at work or in daily life? How could it be improved?
  2. Can you think of a situation where someone acted ____ (responsible)? What were the consequences?
  3. What are some examples of ____ (tolerant) behavior you’ve observed, and how can we promote more tolerance in society?
  4. Describe an experience when you found a book or movie to be ____ (interesting) despite high expectations. What went wrong?
  5. Share a story of a ____ (conventional) or ____ (orthodox) solution to a problem. Did it prove effective in the end?
  6. Share an instance when someone’s comments or actions were ____ (sensitive). How did it affect you or others involved?
  7. Do you believe there are any ____ (possible) tasks or challenges, or is it always a matter of perspective and determination?
  8. Discuss a time when you had to deal with an ____ (convenient) situation while traveling. How did you handle it?
  9. Can you recall a moment when you witnessed a dispute escalate into an ____ (controllable) argument? What could have been done differently?
  10. Describe a situation where someone displayed ____ (reasonable) behavior. How did you respond, and what did you learn from it?
  11. Have you ever faced an ____ (expected) setback that temporarily disrupted your plans? How did you adapt and move forward?
  12. What do you think about the idea of a ____ (known) or ____ (charted) future? Does it excite or worry you, and why?
  13. Have you ever encountered someone who was completely ____  (interested) in your favorite hobby, and how did you handle it?
  14. Have you encountered any ____ (desirable) consequences of technology in your life? How do you mitigate them?
  15. Can you think of a situation where someone was ____ (fairly) underestimated, only to prove themselves later on?
  16. Discuss a time when you had to confront your own ____ (securities) or ____ (uncertainties). How did you overcome them?
  17. Can you think of a time when you found yourself in an ____ (hospitable) or unwelcoming environment, and how did you cope with it?
  18. Have you ever encountered a ____ (functioning) device or piece of equipment, and how did you address the issue?
  19. Share a personal experience where you felt ____ (understood) or ____ (represented). How did you clarify the situation?
  20. Do you believe there’s such a thing as an ____ (reversible) mistake, or can most errors be rectified in some way?

Prefixes worksheet:

NEW: 12 Back to School Games That Foster Teamwork and Learning

As the new school year starts and the corridors buzz with the excitement of a fresh academic journey, educators everywhere are looking for innovative ways to motivate their students, spark their passion for learning, and create a dynamic classroom vibe. When it comes to achieving these goals, back to school games are a brilliant solution that seamlessly blends the thrill of fun with the magic of learning!

And guess what? We’ve got something pretty cool up our sleeves – a bunch of back to school games that mix the thrill of fun with the magic of learning! These action-packed activities aren’t just about having a good time; they’re tools that weave teamwork, spark conversations, and light up a love for languages. So, hold on tight because we’re about to dig into a treasure trove of fantastic games that are about to kick-start your school year in style!

In education, games are more than just play – they’re like secret ingredients that blend together teamwork, chatter, creativity, and even some serious thinking.

Back to school games aren’t just limited to physical engagement; they stretch your imagination and language skills too, such as swapping treasures in ‘The Trading Game’ or weaving memory threads in ‘The Memory Web.

These activities are like a recipe that combines a pinch of teamwork, a dash of collaboration, and a sprinkle of language magic. How about joining forces to solve a puzzle in the ‘Collaborative Puzzle Challenge’ or conjuring up a wacky story in the ‘Group Storytelling Relay’? These games aren’t just flexing your muscles; they’re like a workout for your language skills, as you swap ideas, connect words, and unravel mysteries.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or stepping into the teaching world for the first time, these back to school games are like a treasure chest of opportunities at your fingertips.

So, let’s dive into each game and watch your classroom buzz with energy, creativity, and a bunch of grinning faces. Get ready for a splash of laughter, smart thinking, and the art of working together – all while setting the stage for an amazing school year ahead!”

1. The Trading Game

Objective: To encourage collaboration, negotiation, and communication.

Materials: Various small objects or items (e.g., pens, erasers, stickers)

Instructions: Distribute one object to each student as they enter the classroom. Explain that the goal of the game is to trade their object with others and end up with an object they value the most. Students must negotiate trades with their classmates by communicating their preferences. Set a time limit (e.g., 10-15 minutes) for trading. After the time is up, ask students to share the object they ended up with and why they chose it.

2. The Memory Web

Objective: To help students remember each other’s names and build connections.

Instructions: Form a circle with the students. The first student introduces themselves, saying their name and a fun fact about themselves. The second student introduces themselves and repeats the name and fact of the first student before sharing their own. This pattern continues around the circle, with each student repeating the names and facts of the previous students before adding their own. By the end of the activity, each student will have repeated and heard all the names and facts in the circle.

3. Collaborative Puzzle Challenge

Objective: To encourage collaboration and problem-solving skills.

Materials: Jigsaw puzzle pieces (one per student), a complete jigsaw puzzle

Instructions: Distribute one puzzle piece to each student. Explain that the goal is to complete the puzzle together as a class. Students must find their matching piece by finding the student with the adjacent piece. Once all students are connected, assemble the complete puzzle.

4. Human Bingo Icebreaker

Objective: To help students learn interesting facts about their classmates and break the ice.

Instructions: Create bingo cards with empty squares, each containing a unique statement or fact (e.g., Has visited another country, Can play a musical instrument, Loves pizza). Distribute the bingo cards to students and provide them with markers. Instruct students to mingle and find classmates who match the statements in the bingo squares. Once a student finds someone who fits a statement, they ask that classmate to sign or initial the square. The goal is to complete a row, column, or diagonal by finding classmates for the statements. Celebrate the first student to achieve bingo and learn interesting facts about each other.

5. Word Association Circle

Objective: To stimulate vocabulary recall and encourage quick thinking.

Instructions: Have students form a circle. Start with one student who says a word (e.g., “apple”). The next student must quickly say a word that is associated with the previous word (e.g., “fruit”). Continue around the circle with each student providing an associated word.

6. Group Drawing Challenge

Objective: To foster creativity, cooperation, and communication.

Materials: Large sheets of paper, markers or colored pencils

Instructions: Divide students into groups of 3-4. Each group starts with a blank sheet of paper and a marker. The first student starts by drawing a simple shape or line on the paper. Pass the paper to the next student, who adds to the drawing. Continue passing and adding to the drawing until all students in the group have contributed.

7. Story Starters Relay

Objective: To enhance creativity, cooperation, and storytelling abilities.

Instructions: Prepare a list of story starters (sentences that initiate a story). Divide students into teams and line them up. The first student in each line receives a story starter and must start telling a story based on it. After a short time (e.g., 30 seconds), the teacher signals for students to pass the story starter to the next team member. Each student adds a sentence to continue the story. The last student in each line concludes the story and shares it with the class.

8. Circle of Compliments

Objective: To boost self-esteem and promote positive interactions.

Instructions: Have students stand in a circle. Explain that each student will give a genuine compliment to the person on their right. The compliments should focus on positive traits, skills, or qualities. Continue until each student has given and received a compliment.

9. Tower of Support

Objective: To foster collaboration and physical teamwork.

Instructions: Divide students into teams. Provide each team with newspapers and tape. Instruct teams to build the tallest tower using only newspapers and tape. The catch: the tower must support an empty plastic cup at the top. Set a time limit for the challenge. Test the stability of the towers by placing cups on top.

10. Emoji Charades

Objective: To promote non-verbal communication and creativity.

Instructions: Create a list of emojis representing different actions, emotions, or objects. Divide students into teams. One student from each team selects an emoji and acts it out without speaking. The team members must guess the correct emoji within a time limit. Rotate players within the team for each round.

11. Name Chain Reaction

Objective: To practice name recall and concentration.

Instructions: Have students stand in a circle. The first student says their name aloud and performs a simple action (e.g., claps hands). The second student repeats the first student’s name and action and adds their own. Continue around the circle, with each student reciting all previous names and actions before adding their own. See if the group can maintain the chain without mistakes.

12. Group Memory Game:

Objective: To improve memory and team coordination.

Instructions: Prepare a tray with a selection of small objects (e.g., pencil, eraser, coin, paperclip). Display the tray to students for a brief period (e.g., 30 seconds). Cover the tray and give each team a piece of paper. Teams write down as many objects as they remember from the tray. The team with the most correct objects wins.

Discover TEFL Lesson Plans: TEFLLessons.com’s Exceptional Teaching Resources

Ever seen confetti on a link? Well, not literally, but some links here might have a festive affiliate twist. If you click and end up at an amazing destination, it’s like a mini-party for both of us – you find cool stuff, and we get a little confetti shower too.


Hey there, fellow educators! So, I stumbled upon TEFLlessons.com – a website that is a treasure trove of TEFL lesson plans- not too long ago and as someone who’s passionate about teaching and always on the lookout for top-notch resources, I dove into their offerings with genuine excitement.

This website is all about backing up teachers like us. Founded by two experienced educators with nearly 30 years of combined teaching under their belts, they get the teacher life.

They get that prepping killer TEFL lesson plans can be stressful and time-sucking. That’s why they’re all about supporting us with top-quality resources that cut the stress and save time. Their lessons come with everything you need – teacher’s notes, answer keys, and even pronunciation guides. It’s like they’ve thought of everything.

And guess what? Their website is packed with all kinds of teaching goodies –TEFL lesson plans, activities, games, and worksheets. All designed to help us create lessons that light up our students’ faces. They’re constantly updating too, so there’s always something new to discover.

Getting Hooked on the Free Stuff:

Okay, let’s talk about their free resources. They’ve got this cool collection of stuff that’s like a treasure chest for teachers. I’m talking interactive activities, ready-to-roll lesson plans – you name it. I’ve sneaked some of these into my classes and trust me, the kids are loving it. It’s like a secret weapon for keeping them all jazzed up.

Diving into the 6-Month Membership:

The 6-month membership offers a burst of new content every time you log in. The lesson plans fit seamlessly into your teaching style, as if they were tailor-made for your classroom. It’s like having a toolkit of puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together to create engaging lessons.

Going the Distance with the 12-Month Access:

If you’re ready to commit to a longer teaching journey, the 12-month access membership is your trusty companion. Their impressive range of materials covers a multitude of topics and teaching styles, ensuring you never hit a teaching rut again.

Give a Nod to the School Package:

Oh, and listen to this – they’ve got this school package thing. If your school is all about teaching awesomeness, you’re in for a treat. It’s like they’re handing out goodie bags to all the teachers. And let’s be real, having the whole gang on the same page when it comes to teaching is a total win.

Bottom line, this TEFLlessons.com discovery has been like stumbling upon a goldmine. It’s not just about resources; it’s about having a buddy who totally gets the teacher life. So if you’re up for injecting some oomph into your lessons, give TEFLlessons.com a whirl. Let’s make teaching as fun as it should be, shall we?

Plus, get this – you can snag 20% off your first membership with their coupon code: INTRO20. I mean, who doesn’t love a good deal?

Check out the memberships below!


Other resources:

15 Back to School Activities: Icebreakers, Warm-ups, and Energizers

End of Year Activities and Games : No-prep, Easy to Print

10 No-Prep and Low-Prep Fun ESL Christmas Activities

Best English Games to Play in Your ESL Classroom

More Role-play Ideas for English Classroom

50 ESL Conversation Questions for Teens and Adults

End of Year Activities and Games : No-prep, Easy to Print

It’s June, the most wonderful month. For students, but mostly for teachers. We really need that break. Here are a couple of end of school activities that will help with that,

But before you start sipping that cocktail by the pool, have some fun with your students if you can. In some countries, students returned to school at the beginning of June to wrap things up. Use the last couple of days to connect with your students and enjoy your time together. Here are some quick and simple end of year activities and games for ESL classes.

No-prep end of school activities

  • Picture dictation

Students work in pairs. One has a picture (any picture from a textbook, their own photos on phone, whatever) and describes the picture to their partner who has to draw the picture as accurately as possible. Entertaining activity for future artists.

  • Picture description

A variation of the previous activity. Students choose a couple of photos(appropriate) from their phones and describe it to each other. Works great as a quick warm-up.

  • Write a survey

Tell the students to each write 10 questions for a class survey. Give them a topic (summer holidays, hobbies, habits, future, etc). When they have written the questions let them survey each other and report their results at the end of the lesson. They love to talk about themselves! Who doesn’t, right?

  • Dictionary game

Tell the students to use a dictionary(an app, online, or paper) and find a couple of words they don’t know. For each of the words they need to write down the original definition of the word and make up two more definitions that are false. Thy then work in groups of three or four and read their definitions to their classmates who have to guess the right definition. They get a point for every correct guess. This is a fun guessing game that is also great for learning new vocabulary.

  • Draw a giraffe

This is another activity for aspiring artists. Two students sit with their backs to each other. Each will have a paper and a pencil/pen. Their task is to draw a giraffe or any other animal or an object, but each of them has to draw only a half of the final image. They can’t see what the other one is drawing so they have to communicate, how to draw it. It’s a lot of fun and the students can have an exhibition of the finished drawings and comment on them.

So cute.
  • Plan a holiday trip

Put the students in pairs and tell them they have to plan a trip for the summer. They have to plan the whole itinerary and come with a budget for that trip. Hiking in the French Alps? A cruise in the Caribbean? Everything is possible!

  • Guess who I am

You’ll need a self-stick pad and a pen. Put the students in groups of four. They will write a name of a famous person or literary character(on anything else) on the self-stick note and stick it onto the forehead of a person sitting next to them so nobody know what is written there. They have to ask yes/no questions to guess the personality. A classic!

Prince William plays post-it note game on charity visit. Source: The Telegraph

  • Mini presentations

Give each student two slips of paper. Tell them to write down a topic they would like to discuss. When they are done, take ale the slips of paper, put them in a bin or a hat and have students each draw a slip. Tell them that they will have to give a short presentation on the topic. Give them 2 minutes to think about the topic, then put them in group of four. They will have each five minutes to present their topic. If there is time at the end of the lesson, have them ask follow up questions.


Print and play end of school activities

  • One minute talk

This is a very simple, no-prep activity.  In pairs, students give each other a topic to talk about and they have to talk uninterrupted for a minute. It is more difficult than it sounds, especially with topics such as egg yolks, armpit hair o or shoe laces. If your students lack imagination, you can use these ideas: One Minute Talk Cards.

  • Role plays

Role-plays are fun, educational, great for shy students, creative, fun, and did I mention fun? You can create your own, look for some online or download these:

Role-plays about nature and the environment

Negotiation role-plays based on real life situations

Everyone negotiates something.

  • Balderdash

Balderdash is a word bluffing game in which you write definitions for weird words. The definitions may or may not be correct. You will find more about the game and a free PDF in this link.

  • Discussion questions

Another classic activity. If you don’t want to waste time googling, you can download this 120 Conversation Starters activity.

  • Picture description

I’ve mention no-prep picture description activities above, for this activity you can download my free PDF resources:

Picture Prompts for Speaking

Creative Storytelling

  • Stories with a twist

This activity is a cross of telling a story, inventing your own and acting. I use famous stories with three or more characters so the kids can work in small groups. Then I assign the story and let them draw a card with a specific genre. You can download the activity with my stories here or prepare your own, using stories well known in your culture.

Stories with a Twist

What is going to happen?
  • Dominoes

A fun game of vocabulary dominoes. Students can work individually, in pairs or in teams. Great for vocabulary revision.

Travel Dominoes

Places Dominoes

Fancy a game of dominoes?


Online end of school activities

Jeopardylabs

Everybody knows Jeopardy. So far, I was able to find any grammar or vocabulary revision quiz I needed. Lots of quizzes on many topics, but beware as the quality varies. You can create your own Jeopardy quiz and you can also assign your students a topic and let them create their own quiz to test their classmates’ knowledge.

Baamboozle

I use this site mostly with my younger learners as it doesn’t have many higher level grammar or vocabulary quizzes.
My tip: put your students in teams (max number of teams is 4), choose a quiz and let them play the Classic mode with the power up, it’s much more fun!

Quizizz

My favorite online quiz tool can be used to assign homework (this works great) or do solo practice. Very useful during lockdown, but also anytime. Assigning homework online in just a few clicks? The system checks it? The students see and track their progress? It gamiefies the learning process? What’s not to love!

Kahoot

If you don’t know Kahoot, you should definitely start using it. Right now! Kahoot is widely popular and it’s good to know that its creators made Premium available for free for the rest of the academic year. Try it out!

The Game Gal

Here you can find plenty of simple, family-friendly games. I mostly use the Word Generator for charades, pictionary and other games. The great thing is I only need my laptop and I project the words on the whiteboard, so the students don’t need computers.


ESL Taboo Cards: Printable Vocabulary Activity

Are you looking for a stimulating and entertaining method to increase your vocabulary and communication abilities in English? Take a look our ESL taboo card games below!

ESL Taboo is a frequently played game that’s designed for teams of two or more players. The goal is to get your teammates to guess a particular word or phrase without uttering a series of taboo words or phrases that are closely linked to the target word. For instance, if the target word is “banana,” the taboo words could be “fruit,” “yellow,” and “peel.”

Using ESL taboo cards in your classroom is an excellent method to stimulate your students’ minds and broaden their vocabulary range. It’s also an ideal opportunity to develop communication skills like expressing ideas with clarity, actively listening to others, and providing feedback.

To play, split your class into teams and give each group a pack of taboo cards. One member of each team draws a card and attempts to get their teammates to guess the target word without using any of the taboo words or phrases. If their teammates guess correctly, the team earns a point. If they use a taboo word or phrase, the other team earns a point.

ESL taboo cards can be used to practice various topics and themes, such as food, travel, hobbies, and more. You can also generate your own cards based on your class’s specific needs and interests.

So why not add a dash of spice to your ESL classes with a game of Taboo? It’s an amusing, effective, and engaging way to improve your students’ English language abilities while having fun in the process. And who knows, you might even learn a few new words and phrases yourself.

Here are our favorite taboo games:

Science&Techology NEW!

Food

Health

Nature and Environment

Travel

Media

Business

Christmas

Other vocabulary activities:

ESL Vocabulary Quizzes and Games

ESL/EFL Vocabulary Activity: Travel Compound Nouns Dominoes

ESL Game Compound Nouns Dominoes: Town and Countryside

10 Interactive ESL Online Games for Language and Critical Thinking Improvement

In today’s digital age, online games have become a popular and effective tool for teaching various skills, including English as a second language. Interactive ESL online games, such as digital escape rooms, scavenger hunts, critical thinking games, and media literacy games, are not only fun and engaging but also provide students with unique opportunities to improve their language skills.

In this article, we will explore the benefits of using interactive games for language learning, and discuss how these games can help students achieve their language goals.

1. Enhanced Engagement and Motivation

Interactive games provide a dynamic and interactive environment that makes language learning more enjoyable and memorable. This can lead to increased engagement and motivation for students to continue learning.

2. Real-Life Practice

Many games simulate real-life situations. This allows students to practice their language skills in relevant and practical ways.

3. Improved Critical Thinking Skills

Games that teach critical skills, such as spotting fake news and hoaxes, and media literacy, help students improve their critical thinking and media literacy skills. These skills are essential for success in today’s digital world and will help students in their personal and academic lives.

4. Customizable and Convenient

Interactive games offer customization options, allowing students to tailor the game to their language level and learning goals. With the ability to play these games on a variety of devices, students can access language learning opportunities from anywhere and at any time.

5. Measurable Progress

Interactive ESL online games provide students with immediate feedback, allowing them to see their progress and identify areas that need improvement. This helps students stay motivated and track their progress.

Here’s a list of 10 interactive ESL online games you should check out:

Bad News Game

The Bad News Game is all about spotting fake news and hoaxes. You’ll be presented with news articles and videos and have to figure out what’s real and what’s not. It’s a fun way to improve your critical thinking skills and learn to be a media-literate person. Get ready to be challenged and have a blast doing it!

Fake News Game

This game is similar to the Bad News Game. It will challenge you to think critically and evaluate information sources, helping you become a savvier news consumer. So, get ready to flex your brain muscles and have some fun!

Interland

Interland is a free, online multiplayer adventure game created by Google that teaches digital safety, security and citizenship skills to children. Players explore four fantastical lands, completing challenges and quests while learning how to protect their online privacy, spot fake news, and be good digital citizens.

Digital Escape Rooms

The digital escape rooms at Madison Library are a fun and exciting challenge. These online puzzles will test your problem-solving skills and critical thinking as you try to escape a virtual room within a limited time frame. Immerse yourself in a world of digital elements and clues, to make the most of your escape room experience. With a variety of themes to choose from, there’s always a new challenge waiting for you and your friends.

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Escape Team

Escape Team is an online interactive game that challenges players to solve puzzles and complete tasks within a limited time frame in order to escape virtual rooms. Players must work together to find clues, decode messages, and complete challenges in order to escape each room before time runs out.

Reality Check

Reality Check teaches you to find truth online by locating the source of a story, comparing it to other sources, and using fact-checking tools and reverse image searches. Each mission presents a story from your social network feed, true, false, or in-between. Find out by clicking on magnifying glasses on the page, then decide how reliable it is and how to respond.

Spent

Spent is an online game where you play as a low-income worker trying to survive a month with limited money. You must balance daily expenses and make tough decisions that affect your finances. It’s a thought-provoking game that gives players a glimpse into the challenges faced by those living in poverty.

Trivia Crack

Trivia Crack is a fun online game to test your knowledge of different subjects. Play against others by answering trivia questions and spinning a wheel for categories like history, science, art, sports, and more.

Elevate App

Elevate is a fun online brain-training app with daily challenges to improve your memory, attention, and processing speed. Personalized to your progress, it’s perfect for students, busy professionals, or anyone looking for a mental workout.

The Meaning of Beep: Cyberbullying

This game teaches players about the effects of cyberbullying and how to stop it. Players will have fun while they learn to identify and handle cyberbullying in different digital scenarios. The game is designed to encourage positive online behavior and help players become responsible digital citizens.


Interactive ESL online games are a valuable tool for language learning. With their ability to engage and motivate students, provide real-life practice, improve critical thinking skills, and offer measurable progress, these games can help students achieve their language goals and unlock their full potential. Try incorporating interactive ESL online games into your language learning routine today and experience the benefits for yourself.

Similar resources:

47 Interactive and Online ELT Resources for Teachers

Best English Games to Play in Your ESL Classroom

Engaging Online Teaching: ESL Activities and Games

Online ESL Video Lesson Plans

Digital and Online Teaching Resources for Teachers Who Teach English from Home

Future Conversation Questions for Engaging Student Discussions: Future Perfect, Future Continuous, Future Simple in the ESL Classroom

If you’re an ESL teacher, you know that getting students to practice speaking is a top priority. One way to do this is by using future conversation questions that focus on future tenses (future simple, future perfect, and future continuous). In this blog post, we’ll dive into why using these types of questions can be a game-changer for ESL students and the overall importance of speaking activities.

Practicing the future tenses, especially in conversation, can do wonders for students’ ability to express their plans and predictions and understand what others are saying. Using conversation questions in class gives students the chance to put their knowledge of the tenses into practice in a natural setting. This helps them improve their fluency and confidence when speaking.

Another perk of using conversation questions is that it helps with vocabulary acquisition. As students discuss their future plans, they’re exposed to new words and phrases that they can add to their vocabulary. Plus, it’s a great way for students to see the tenses in action and understand how they’re used in real-life situations.

Using future conversation questions also promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students have to think about their plans and predictions and make decisions about what they’ll say. This type of practice helps prepare them for real-life conversations where they’ll need to think on their feet and respond to new information.

But the benefits of speaking practice go beyond just the future tenses. When students are speaking, they’re actively using the language and this helps solidify their understanding of grammar and vocabulary. Plus, speaking activities give students the chance to hear native speakers, which can improve their listening skills and accent.

Overall, using the worksheet Future Conversation Questions is a fantastic way to get students to speak and improve their language skills. But it’s important to remember that speaking activities should be used in combination with other methods like reading, writing, and listening activities. And it’s important to create a comfortable and safe environment for students to speak in, where they feel encouraged to take risks and make mistakes.


Looking for more conversation activities? Try 120 Conversation Starters!

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  1. What are some of the things you hope to have accomplished by the end of this year?
  2. How do you think your life will be different once you have completed all of your goals?
  3. How do you think your relationships will have evolved by the time you reach a significant anniversary?
  4. What do you think will be humanity’s greatest achievements in the future?
  5. What new places will you be visiting next week?
  6. How do you think your perspective on life will have changed by the time you turn 30?
  7. What do you think will be the biggest challenges facing companies in the future?
  8. How do you think people’s lives will have been impacted by major construction projects by the time they are finished?
  9. What do you think will be the most important issues facing politicians in the future?
  10. How do you think music will have evolved by the time the next concert season starts?
  11. How will you be spending your summer vacation?
  12. What do you think will be the most exciting developments in your field of work in the future?
  13. How do you think people’s leisure time will be spent in the future?
  14. What topics will you be discussing with your friends tomorrow?
  15. What do you think will be the most talked-about events in the world in the next few years?
  16. How do you think our economy will be performing in the next decade?
  17. What will you be doing at this time next year?
  18. What do you think will be the most significant challenges facing society in the next decade?
  19. How do you think technology will have impacted the way we live our lives by the end of this century?
  20. How do you think you will feel once you have reached a certain milestone in your career?
  21. What are some of the things you think will have changed in the world by the time you’re ready to retire?
  22. How do you think education will have evolved in the future?
  23. What do you think will be the biggest breakthroughs in science and medicine in the next 20 years?
  24. How do you think travel will have changed by the time you’re ready to retire?
  25. What will you be doing this time on Sunday?

Other useful resources:

Conversation Questions: Future Tenses

Online ESL Video Lesson : Can Sci-fi Predict the Future?

Travel ESL Conversation Questions

Conversation Questions Conditionals: ESL Speaking Activity

Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

Modal Verbs Conversation Questions, Use, and Examples

More Role-play Ideas for English Classroom

Welcome to Role-play English Resources!

Want to make learning English more fun? Try role-playing! It’s a great way for ESL students to practice their conversation, grammar, listening, reading, and writing skills. We’ve got a ton of cool role-play activities, games, scripts, and ideas for you to use in the classroom. Whether you’re a teacher or a student, our resources will help you bring role-playing into your English language class and improve your language skills.

Role-playing in the ESL classroom is a game-changer! As an ESL teacher, I’ve found that these activities are a fun and effective way to help my students improve their language skills in a natural way. It also gets my students excited and engaged in their English studies.

By putting students in realistic scenarios, role-playing allows them to practice using the language in a communicative context. It helps them develop their communication and problem-solving abilities, and it builds confidence and fluency in using the language.

There are so many role-play activities ESL teachers can use in the classroom! And, the best part is that you can always customize them to fit the needs and interests of your students. This way, they can practice language specific to all sorts of topics and scenarios.

I highly recommend incorporating role-play English scenarios in your lessons. Travel is one of my favorite topics to use, it’s always a hit with the students. Also, a restaurant role-play is a great way to bring some fun to the classroom.

Yo, there are so many role-playing activities English teachers can use in the classroom! And, the best part is that you can always customize them to fit the needs and interests of your students. This way, they can practice language specific to all sorts of topics and scenarios.

You will find more new engaging roleplays on different topics below. Give them a shot, and let me know how they go. I’m always curious to hear how they worked out for you and your students.


Roleplay 1: Family

Student A: You and your sibling are arguing over your shared bedroom. You are the older sibling, and you are very interested in fashion and design. You have recently started following some interior design blogs and Instagram accounts, and you have been inspired to redecorate your bedroom. You want to add some bright colors, modern furniture, and trendy wall art to the room.

Student B: You and your sibling are arguing over your shared bedroom. You are the younger sibling, and you are more practical and comfortable in your tastes. You have always enjoyed the traditional and cozy feel of the shared bedroom, and you don’t want to change it too much. You like the current furniture and decor, and you don’t see the need for a major overhaul.


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Roleplay 2: Housing, Education, Relationships

Student A: You are a first-year student, and you are very excited to be living in the dorms. You have made many new friends and you want to spend as much time as possible with them. You want to have people over every weekend to hang out, watch movies, and play games. Talk to your roommate.

Student B: You are a first-year student focused on your studies. You want to do well in college and you need a quiet and peaceful environment to study in. You are worried that having people over every weekend will be too distracting and disruptive. Talk to your roommate.


Roleplay 3: Education

Student A: You are a teenager who believes that the government should have a minimal role in education and that schools should be run independently. You believe that this would lead to more innovation and better outcomes for students.

Student B: You are a parent who believes that the government should have a strong role in education in order to ensure that all students have access to quality education. You also believe that government oversight is necessary to hold schools accountable for their performance.


Roleplay 4: Housing, Finances

Student A: You are the older sibling who is currently living in the family home. You have just graduated from college and are planning to move out soon. You believe that it is important to sell the family home so that the money can be split among all the siblings.

Student B: You are the younger sibling who is still living at home with your parents. You feel that the family home is an important part of your childhood and you would like to keep it in the family. You are feeling frustrated because Student A seems to only be thinking about their own financial gain, rather than the sentimental value of the family home.


Roleplay 5: Housing, Relationships

Student A: You are a resident of a suburban neighborhood. You are very proud of your lawn and garden and take great care to maintain them. You believe that the shared driveway should be maintained equally by all of the neighbors.

Student B: You are also a resident of a suburban neighborhood. You have just moved in and have not had time to work on your lawn and garden yet. You feel that Student A is putting too much pressure on you to keep the shared driveway looking perfect. You are feeling frustrated because you believe that Student A should be more understanding of your situation.


Roleplay 6: Health

Student A: You are a high school student who is an advocate for mental health awareness and de-stigmatization. You believe that mental health is just as important as physical health and should be treated with the same importance. You have personal experience with mental health issues and have seen the impact of a lack of access to resources and support.

Student B: You are a school counselor who works with high school students. You believe that mental health is important and support the use of therapy and medication in treatment. However, you believe that some students may be overdiagnosed and overmedicated and that other forms of support and intervention should also be considered.


Roleplay 7: Travel

Student A: You are a high school student who has always wanted to go on a trip to Europe. You have saved up enough money to finally make it happen, and you have planned out all of the destinations you want to visit. However, your best friend, Student B, has a different idea for where the two of you should go. Your role in this argument is to convince Student B that Europe is the perfect destination for your trip and to explain why you have been dreaming of going there for so long.

Student B: You are a high school student and the best friend of Student A. You have always wanted to go on a trip to Asia, and you think that it would be a more exciting and unique destination than Europe. Your role in this argument is to convince Student A that Asia is the better choice for your trip and to explain why you think it would be a more memorable experience.

Try also our other resources:

Business English Role-play Activity: Annoying Coworkers

ESL Communication Activity: Science Role-Plays

ESL Role-play Worksheet: Food

Travel ESL Conversation Questions

This is an excellent speaking activity for students when engaged in a conversation about travel, as well as for adult students in any program or one-on-one lessons. Travel words on the list include – journey, flights, destination, trip, license, accommodation, backpacking, international, leisure, and countries.

The free discussion worksheet for the topic of travel is anything but boring, and it’s guaranteed to pique your students’ curiosity. They may be inspired to go on vacation or organize group trips, especially when cheap flights are easily available on reputable websites such as sa.wego.com.

Students should be placed in groups or pairs, and they should take notes on what their partners say and answer.

Travel ESL Conversation Questions

  • Have you ever been abroad?
  • Where have you been?
  • Are you planning on going anywhere for your next vacation?
    • If so, where?
    • Who with?
    • How long will you stay?
  • Are you afraid of going abroad alone?
  • Do you have any tips to get cheap flights? 
  • Could you live in another country for the rest of your life?
  • Describe the most interesting person you met on one of your travels.
  • What was your best trip.
  • What was your worst trip.
  • Did your class in high school go on a trip together?
    • If so, where did you go?
    • How long did you stay?
    • How did you get there?
  • Do you have a driver’s license?
  • Do you like to travel with children? Why or why not?
  • Do you like to travel with your mother? Why or why not?
  • Do you prefer summer vacations or winter vacations?
  • Do you prefer to travel alone or in a group? Why?
  • Do you prefer to travel by train, bus, plane or ship?
  • Do you prefer traveling by car or by plane?
  • Have you ever been in a difficult situation while traveling?
  • Have you ever been on an airplane?
    • How many times?
    • What airlines have you flown with?
  • Have you ever been to a foreign country?
  • Have you ever gotten lost while traveling? If so, tell about it.
  • Have you ever hitchhiked? If so, how many times?
  • Have you ever taken a package tour?
  • How do you spend your time when you are on holiday and the weather is bad?
  • How many countries have you been to? How many states?
  • How many times have you traveled abroad?
  • How much luggage do you usually carry?
  • If you traveled to South America, what countries would like to visit?
  • If you went to ___(Insert a country name)__, what kind of souvenirs would you buy?
  • If you were going on a camping trip for a week, what 10 things would you bring? Explain why.
  • What are some countries that you would never visit? Why would you not visit them?
  • What are some things that you always take with you on a trip?
  • What countries would you like to visit? Why?
  • What countries would you most like to visit?
  • What countries would you not like to visit? Why?
  • What country do you most want to visit?
    • Why?
    • Do you think you will ever go there?
  • What do you need before you can travel to another country?
  • What is the most interesting city to visit in your country?
  • What is the most interesting souvenir that you have ever bought on one of your holidays?
  • What languages can you speak?
  • What place do you want to visit someday?
  • What was the most interesting place you have ever visited?
  • What’s the most beautiful place you’ve ever been to?
  • When was the last time your traveled?
  • When you are on a long car journey do you play games or sing songs to occupy your time?
    • What kind of games?
    • What songs?
  • Where are you going to go the next time you travel?
    • When are you going to go?
    • Who are you going to go with?
    • How long are you going to go for?
    • What are you going to do there?
    • What kind of things do you think you will buy?
  • Where did you go on your last vacation?
    • How did you go?
    • Who did you go with?
  • Where did you spend your last vacation? Your summer vacation? Your Christmas vacation?
  • Where will you go on your next vacation?
  • Would you like to take a cruise? Where to? With who?
  • Do you prefer traveling on a hovercraft or a ferry?
  • Would you prefer to stay at a hotel/motel or camp while on vacation?
  • Would you rather visit another country or travel within your own country?
  • Would you rather go to a place where there are a lot of people or to a place where there are few people?
  • Do you find more fulfillment from your leisure activities including vacations than from your job?
  • Do you think the type of vacation one takes reflects one’s social status?
  • What are popular tourist destinations in your country?
    • Have you been to any of them?
    • Which would you recommend if you could only recommend one? Why?
  • Do you prefer active or relaxing holidays? Why?
  • Which is better, package tour or a tour you organize and book yourself?
  • Why do you travel?
    • Why do people travel?
  • Would you like to go back to the same place?
  • Did you find anything of particular interest? / Did you get attracted to anything special?
  • What are some benefits of travel?
    • Why do people travel?
  • What is your favorite mode of travel?
  • Have you travelled in business class?
  • When you were a child did your family take a vacation every year?
  • Do you prefer a budget or first class hotel? Why?
  • Do you travel with a lot of baggage or do you like to travel light?
  • What is your favorite method of travel at your destination? Train? Bus? Boat? Bicycle? Backpacking?
  • What is the best kind of holiday for different ages of people? Children? Teenagers? Adults? Elderly people?
  • Do you think it is a good idea to travel with friends, or alone? How about with your family?
  • If you had $100,000, where would you go on holiday? How about if you had $10,000? What about $1,000?
  • Which countries have you travelled to?
  • Do you prefer hot countries or cool countries when you go on holiday
  • Who makes the decisions when your family decides to go on holiday
  • If you could choose one place to go this weekend, where would it be?
  • How do you browse for the best deals on flight tickets?
  • Has the airline ever lost your luggage? What happened?
  • On long flights do you usually walk around the plane to avoid health problems?
  • Have you ever read an interesting question in an in-flight magazine? What was it?
  • Is there any difference between young tourists and adult tourists?
  • Do you think tourism will harm the earth?

This is a sponsored blog post by sa.wego.com

Photo by 熊大 旅遊趣 on Pexels.com
Other resources:

ESL Travel Vocabulary Taboo Cards

ESL/EFL Vocabulary Activity: Travel Compound Nouns Dominoes

ESL Role Play Worksheet: Travel/Holidays

Food and Travel ESL Lesson: Interactive Online Lesson

ESL Conversation Lesson: Game Of Thrones And Traveling

10 No-Prep and Low-Prep Fun ESL Christmas Activities

It’s the time of the year again!

I’m slowly getting into the Christmas mood, and nothing says Christmas more than music. Although I love listening to festive music mostly when I’m wrapping presents, planning a holiday lesson isn’t that bad either.

So grab a cup of tea or mulled wine, enjoy the music and let the creative juices flow. Or try these ESL Christmas activities.

Secret Santa

You know how this works, don’t you? Every student will become a Secret Santa to a classmate whose name they draw. The catch- they will not give each other sweets or other small gifts. The gifts these Secret Santas will be giving are a personalized poem or a short story for the lucky recipient.

Baked Goods Party

If possible, have the students bake something at home and take pictures of the process. The next day, everyone will bring what they baked and the students will take turns describing what and how they baked it. Think of it as a show and tell Christmas Edition. Plus, there will be sharing and tasting.

Charity Auction

Let the students choose a charity they want to contribute to. The next day, they will bring stuff they don’t need or don’t use for the auction. Decide on the starting price and minimum bid. Each student will describe the product they are selling. The students love outbidding each other and the will learn about helping others.

Christmas Taboo

Taboo is a classic vocabulary activity. You can download the Christmas version below.

Christmas Traditions Presentations

Each student chooses a country and will prepare a presentation about the Christmas traditions of the chosen country (or any major holiday if the country doesn’t celebrate Christmas)

ESL Christmas activities

Christmas Movie and Discussion

Why not watch a short Christmas movie? Or download our Advent Activity Calendar for even more activity ideas.

Christmas Songs Complete the Lyrics

Find a couple of popular Christmas songs, copy the lyrics, erase some words and you’ll have a nice Christmas listening activity. And an earworm!

Christmas Charades

  • Prepare small slips of paper
  • Put the students into groups of three or four
  • Let them write vocabulary related to Christmas on the slips of paper(or use the Christmas taboo cards)
  • The groups exchange the vocabulary piles
  • In groups, they take turns and draw one paper slip at a time. They have to act out the word or expression for the group to guess

Bucket List

Depending on the age of your students, tell them to think about the things they would like to achieve by a certain age( 15,18,25,30). Have them write a list containing ten things they want to achieve, do, experience before that certain age. When they complete the list, put them into groups of three to discuss their choices.

Christmas Postcards

Cut drawing paper into postcard-sized pieces. Students first draw a Christmas postcard and then write a short holiday greeting to a member of their family or a friend. They’ve probably never written a postcard before. If you want, you can arrange for the postcards to be sent. It will be a nice Christmas surprise.

I hope you liked these ESL Christmas activities. Share your favorite ideas in the comments!

Christmas Vocabulary: ESL Taboo Cards

Another set of popular vocabulary game based on Taboo. This time, Christmas vocabulary. You know the drill, download, print, cut, and let your students have some fun while learning.

Download here>>>>>christmas-forbidden-words1
 
While you plan your holiday activities, enjoy this timeless classic.
 
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Other Forbidden Words card sets:

Travel/Holiday Vocabulary Cards

Media/Entertainment Vocabulary Card Game Based on Taboo.

Business English Vocabulary Card Game | Forbidden Words

Other resources:

Taboo Card Games

10 No-Prep and Low-Prep Fun ESL Christmas Activities

Storytelling Card Game

Last Days ESL Activities and Games : No-prep, Easy to Print

Negotiation Role-plays

Advent Calendar for ESL Students: 24 Ideas To Make Your Lesson Even More Fun!

Who doesn’t like Christmas?

This is my twist on a traditional advent calendar.

You will need a Christmas stocking, 24 slips of paper and your creativity!

Continue reading Advent Calendar for ESL Students: 24 Ideas To Make Your Lesson Even More Fun!

Halloween Vocabulary Activity: ESL Video and Speaking Activity

It’s almost here! Our students’ favorite holiday! Halloween!

Ok, not everyone loves Halloween, but it’s a perfect opportunity to have a little fun in the classroom. There are plenty of various activities online and for those who don’t like crafts and are not particularly artsy (as myself) I’ve put together this cute Halloween vocabulary activity based on even cuter video by TedEd, which is by the way one of my favorite sources for educational videos.

Despite the animated video, the topic and vocabulary are perhaps not suitable for younger students (younger than 12). Watch the video beforehand to make sure it’s appropriate for your class.

Halloween activity based on video from TedEd.

WARM UP

1. What is your favorite holiday/festival?

2. Do you celebrate Halloween?

3. What traditions do you celebrate in your country on Halloween?

4. Do you like scary stories?

5. What costume would you like to wear for Halloween?

VOCABULARY

1. Match the halves of the expressions

1) spindly                                           a) grounds

2) rusted                                            b) gardens

3) crumbling                                       c) tops

4) solitary                                           d) trees

5) blooming                                        e) catacombs

6) burial                                              f) grounds

7) head                                              g) gate

8) crowds                                           h) stone

9) mountain                                        i) yard

10) subterranean                                j) water

11) church                                          k) mourner

12) ground                                          l) of people

VIDEO

1. Watch the video and check your answers.

2. Complete the sentences with the expressions from Ex. 1

1. The ________________________are very extensive and hold numerous galleries and graves of different types.

2. Adding a ___________________ to a gravesite or memorial is one of the most common ways to commemorate a loved one once they are gone

3. The old ____________________ is bent and battered, but it holds a lot of memories for our family. 

4. Large parts of the northern _______________________ were destroyed in order to make space for the basements of the new building

5. There are fears that _____________________ might become contaminated

6. The fate of endemic birds of eastern Brazilian _________________ in the face of climate change.

7. __________________________ watched the fireworks.

8. Americans had always buried their dead, but did so in churchyards, town commons, or municipal __________________

9. Seven years before our story begins Scrooge is seen, as a _________________, at the funeral of his business partner Jacob Marley.

10. Making sure that no one was looking, I touched the ___________________. Sand grains accumulated in my hand. 

11. The island’s west side slopes into terraces and cultivated __________________.

12. Some tall, _____________________need to be cut at the top in order to produce new twig or branch growth.

DISCUSSION

What information from the video surprised you the most?

Would you be scared if you were in a graveyard at night? Why?

How did people bury their dead in the past?

How do you think people will bury their dead in the future? Why?

Download:

Halloween Worksheet: Video ESL Vocabulary and Speaking Activity SW

Halloween Worksheet: Video ESL Vocabulary and Speaking Activity TN


Bonus for your entertainment, a comic by Oatmeal.

Other resources:

Halloween ESL Video Lesson: Simone Giertz Made a Soup Robot

Online ESL Video Lesson Plans

ESL Personality Questions and Reading Worksheet

ESL personality questions based on reading activity and 20 conversation questions with personality adjectives.

1 Warm up. Watch the video and do the personality test. Do you agree with the result?
2 Read the text and answer the questions below.

Personality is the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make a person unique. It is believed that personality arises from within the individual and remains consistent throughout life.

Examples of personality can be found in how we describe other people’s characteristics. For instance, “She is generous, caring, and a bit of a perfectionist,” or “They are loyal and protective of their friends.”

The word “personality” comes from the Latin word persona, which refers to a theatrical mask worn by performers in order to either take on different roles or disguise their identities.

Personality Types

One theory suggests there are four types of personality. They are:

  • Type A: Perfectionist, impatient, competitive, work-obsessed, achievement-oriented, aggressive, stressed
  • Type B: Low stress, even-tempered, flexible, creative, adaptable to change, patient, tendency to procrastinate
  • Type C: Highly conscientious, perfectionist, struggles to reveal emotions (positive and negative)
  • Type D: Worrying, sad, irritable, pessimistic, negative self-talk, avoidance of social situations, lack of self-confidence, fear of rejection, appears gloomy, hopeless

Research on personality can provide us with fascinating insights into how personality develops and changes over the course of a lifetime. This research can also have important practical applications in the real world.

For example, people can use a personality assessment (also called a personality test or personality quiz) to learn more about themselves and their unique strengths, weaknesses, and preferences. Some assessments might look at how people rank on specific traits, such as whether they are high in extroversion, conscientiousness, or openness.

Other assessments might measure how specific aspects of personality change over time. Some assessments give people insight into how their personality affects many areas of their lives, including career, relationships, personal growth, and more.

Personality type can also have an impact on your health, including how often you visit the doctor and how you cope with stress. Researchers have found that certain personality characteristics may be linked to illness and health behaviors.

Adapted from: Verywell Mind


  1. What is personality?
  2. How can we learn more about ourselves?
  3. Can personality change over time?
  4. How can your personality influence your health?
  5. How would you describe yourself?

ESL Personality Questions

  1. How would you describe someone creative?
  2. Who is the most competitive member of your family?
  3. How do you feel about people who are impatient?
  4. Who is the most generous person you know?
  5. What are some irritable habits you have?
  6. Are you rather pessimistic or optimistic?
  7. In which profession do you need to be really achievement-oriented?
  8. How can we improve our self-confidence?
  9. Do you think one can train to become more patient?
  10. Do people get less flexible as they age?
  11. Have you ever been in a situation that felt hopeless? What happened?
  12. What makes some people charismatic?
  13. Do you know someone hilarious?
  14. Describe your most reliable friend.
  15. Describe your most conscientious friend.
  16. How would you describe someone who is resourceful?
  17. Do you think aggressive people should be put in jail?
  18. What are intuitive people good at?
  19. Do you think a mother can be impartial about her children?
  20. What are you determined to accomplish?

Similar resources:

Conversation Questions: Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Conversation Questions Passive Voice: ESL Speaking Activity

50 ESL Conversation Questions for Teens and Adults

12 ESL Negotiation Role-plays: Real-life situations

Communication Boardgame

ESL Reported Speech Speaking Activity: Gossip

TED Talks Worksheets

15 Back to School Activities: Icebreakers, Warm-ups, and Energizers

Fun and easy-to-use back to school activities

1) Learn your students’ names

New class, new faces, new names – a mess. This back to school activity has saved me multiple times. You can learn 30 new names in minutes, kids have fun and they painlessly learn new adjectives. Start by explaining how difficult it is for teachers to learn students’ names and that you need their help. At the end of the activity let them test you- they will be thrilled. Students need to introduce themselves by an adjective that starts with the same letter as their first name. You start by giving an example: My name is Al, so I am Artistic Al. The first student has to repeat your name after you – You are Artistic Al, and add their own –  I am Hilarious Hannah. The second student repeats the previous names and adds their own, and so on. At the end of the round, ask the first student(who had the easiest task) to say all the names backward. Finally, say all their names quickly(with or without the adjectives). Congrats, you’ve learned your new students’ names!

2) Oh, really?

Put the students in pairs and tell them they will have a conversation. The first student has to start with a short sentence, like this:

Student 1: I play tennis.

The other student responds: Oh, really?and adds extra information( a word or a phrase).

So it should be like this: Oh, really? I play tennis every day.

Student 1 continues: Oh, really? I play tennis every day with Serena Williams.

Student 2 responds: Oh, really? I play tennis every day with Serena Williams in Monaco.

Student 1 responds: Oh, really? I play tennis every day with Serena Williams in Monaco while feeding dolphins.

And so on. Can they keep up?

The student who will form the longest grammatically correct (and at least a little bit coherent) answer wins.

3) Questionnaire

Have your students write a questionnaire. Chose a subject(summer holiday, school, hobbies, general personality questions) or let them decide. After that, students circulate the classroom and ask their questions. They should talk to 4-5 people. When they finish, ask them to share any interesting answers, it usually leads to lively discussions.

Unfinished sentences ESL speaking activity is great for revising grammar, as a warm-up or a conversation starter.

It can be used with groups of various sizes as well as in one to one classes.

4) Unfinished sentences

Unfinished sentences ESL speaking activity is great for revising grammar, as a warm-up or a conversation starter. It’s a perfect back to school activity.

It can be used with groups of various sizes as well as in one to one classes.

Finish the sentence. Tell your story.

1. I was very surprised when__________________________________________________.

2. What I value most about my friends is_____________________________________.

3. I really regret_______________________________________________________________.

4. One of my favourite childhood memories is_______________________________.

5. I could never_______________________________________________________________

5) Find someone who

You can easily find tons of these worksheets online or just put together a couple of ideas.

Find somebody

-who doesn’t like chocolate.
-who is vegan.
-who has a tattoo.
-who speaks more than 2 languages.
-who’s never flown before.
-who wants to be famous.
-who has a special talent.

6) Vocabulary race

This is probably more suitable for younger kids. Put them into two teams, divide the board into two sections, give them a topic and let them run a relay with the marker to write as many words on the topic they know.

7) Get physical- Gordian knot

This activity doesn’t involve any language practice but it is great for kids who don’t know each other, to break the ice and create a positive atmosphere. It also shows you how the students communicate, who is a natural leader and how they deal with problems, so it’s quite useful.

You need an even number of students for this. The students stand in a tight circle. Tell them to close their eyes. Then they put their left hand in front of them and try to grab any free hand they can find. Eyes still closed. Repeat the same with the right hand. Eyes open. They should be intertwined – hence the Gordian knot. Without letting any hand go, they should untangle the knot and form a circle. Sometimes there are two or three smaller circles when they grabbed a hand right next to them. That’s ok, they will work it out after a couple of attempts.

8) Conversation questions

This speaking activity contains 50 ESL conversation questions for teenagers and adult learners. (16+, B1+). It is best for small groups or as a pair-work.

Conversation questions

9) One minute talk

This is a very simple, no-prep activity.  In pairs, students give each other a topic to talk about and they have to talk uninterrupted for a minute. It is more difficult than it sounds, especially with dry topics such as door, socks, or air. If your students lack imagination, you can use these ideas: One Minute Talk Cards.

10) What do they have in common?

This is mostly an activity you can use with new students, but it can be also used in larger classes where the students don’t know each other that well. Put students who don’t know (or don’t know well) each other into pairs and tell them to find out 3-5 things they have in common and 1-2 things they don’t have in common. Let them talk to more people. After that, discuss with the whole class what surprising or interesting things they’ve found out about their classmates.

11) Online quizzes

If your students like technology, you can use some fun interactive activities. You can find a list of 10 great sites here: 10 Websites To Make Your Lessons More Engaging And Fun.

12) Hypothetical questions

These conversation questions are more suitable for more advanced students as the questions are hypothetical, so it requires a knowledge of conditionals and a certain level of creativity. These can be also used for online classes.

Click here.

13) Vocabulary: taboo

A timeless classic! If you have time, you can make your own, if not try these:

Media/Entertainment Taboo Cards,
Travel/Holiday Vocabulary Cards
Health Taboo Cards
Food Taboo Cards.

14) Get them to know each other

A timer, fifteen questions and a lot of fun. A classroom appropriate variation of speed dating. Arrange the desks so that two students sit at one desk facing each other. Give each a set of “speed dating” questions. You can download a set here. Set a timer for a couple of minutes, and when the time’s up one student moves and another sits in their place.

15) Mini presentations

ESL conversation topics for intermediate and upper intermediate students. You can use the slideshow and share your screen on Zoom or other app when teaching online. Just click on the full screen option in the top right corner of the slideshow.

Click here.

More ideas for back to school activities

Buy Now

Conversation Questions for ESL Lessons

This speaking activity contains 30 ESL conversation questions for ES lessons. Great for teens and adult learners. (16+, B1+). It is best for small groups or as a pair-work.

The slideshow can be used as a resource for online teaching, just share your screen on Zoom or another app when teaching online. You can use it for a group discussion or if you want to use the activity in smaller groups, assign your students into breakout rooms and send them the PDF with the conversation questions before your lesson. During the lesson, pop into the breakout rooms to listen in and observe.

You can use the video below – How to Never Run out of Things to Say – Keep a Conversation Flowing! as a warm-up.

Conversation Questions for ESL Lessons

  1. Describe your worst travel experience. 
  2. What was the most important chance meeting you’ve experienced? 
  3. How would you describe a good life? 
  4. How did going to school shape you as a person? 
  5. How important do you think self-improvement is? 
  6. What will the future of transportation look like? 
  7. What strategies do you use to make big decisions? 
  8. What are some of your plans for the future? 
  9. How would you explain the idea of love to an alien? 
  10. What policies could the government implement to improve people’s health? 
  1. What was the scariest dream you’ve had? 
  2. What life hacks have you found to be particularly effective? 
  3. If you could design a reality TV show, what would it be like? 
  4. What combinations of flavors do you like, and why do they taste so good? 
  5. How have standards of beauty changed in your lifetime? 
  6. What is your best school story? 
  7. Why do some words sound funny to us? 
  8. What are the best and worst things about your favorite restaurant? 
  9. How would your country change if children were allowed to vote? 
  10. What experiments would you like to run if time and money weren’t an issue? 
  1. How would the world change if some people could use magic spells, and some people could not? 
  2. Why is it so hard to learn from our mistakes? 
  3. What is your most controversial opinion? 
  4. How do you usually celebrate some of the major holidays? 
  5. What valuable lessons should we learn from history? 
  6. How has photography changed the world? 
  7. How do your values differ from others? 
  8. How do you wish your country would change? 
  9. What completely baseless conspiracy would you like to start? 
  10. What social situations do you dread? 

Slideshow – Conversation Questions for ESL Lessons

25 For and Against Essay Topics and Ideas that Double as Conversation Topics

25 for and against essay topics that can be also used for class debates.

For and against essay topics: layout.

• The first paragraph should be the introduction. Include a thesis statement, which summarises the main issue.

• The second paragraph should focus on the advantages. Include at least two arguments, if possible. Give examples where appropriate, introduced by phrases like For example or For instance.

• The third paragraph should focus on the disadvantages. Include at least two arguments, if possible. Begin the third paragraph with a phrase like On the other hand or However,.. to express contrast with statements in the previous paragraph.

• The fourth paragraph should be the conclusion. State your own opinion and decide whether the arguments for outweigh the arguments against the thesis statement or the other way around.

Source: Solutions Upper-Intermediate


For and against essay topics
  1. Having a role model can affect someone negatively.
  2. Should dyed hairstyles be allowed in school?
  3. Can a bad upbringing be an excuse for a felony?
  4. Social media – a blessing or a curse?
  5. It’s possible to learn to love somebody.
  6. You don’t need a college degree to be successful.
  7. Your past does not define you.
  8. Does watching fantasy films affect our perception of reality?
  9. Should there be a mandatory number of trees per square kilometer?
  10. Should people older than 65 be able to be politicians?
  11. Should healthcare be state-owned or privatized?
  12. Is immortality a blessing or a curse?
  13. Is the sous-vide method of preparing meals worth trying?
  14. Should self-driving cars be illegal?
  15. Should sharing hoaxes and false information on the Internet be severely punished?
  16. Should students do a part-time job while they are still studying?
  17. Sessions with a therapist should be mandatory for kids and teens
  18. Every country in the world should ban cigarettes.
  19. Every country in the world should stop producing and selling plastic bags and bottles.
  20. Field trips to prisons should be mandatory to help lower the crime rate.
  21. Scientists should pair people up for marriage based on DNA.
  22. A new universal language should be taught in every school.
  23. Should universities be apolitical?
  24. Do orphans have the same opportunities to be successful as children from complete families?
  25. Should the state have more control over our privacy?

Download the worksheet.


Other resources:

Picture Prompts for Speaking and Writing: An ESL Activity

Storytelling Cards: Imaginative Speaking and Writing Activity

Questions for ESL Conversation: 60 Questions Based on Vogue Interviews

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity: Role Play Debate

Conversation Questions: Comparative and Superlative Adjectives

Conversation questions for practicing comparative and superlative adjectives.

1. We use comparatives to compare two things (or people).

This movie is more interesting than the one you chose.

Susie is smarter than her brother.

2. Superlatives are used, however, to show the difference between more than two things or more than two people.

This is the best ice cream I’ve ever had!

He is the fastest runner in this group.


One-syllable adjectives

If an adjective has only one syllable, we add –er to make the comparative form.

  • quick – quicker
  • nice – nicer
  • warm – warmer
  • cold – colder

We add –est to make the superlative form. Don’t forget that we use the definite article the with the superlative.

  • quick – quicker – the quickest
  • warm – warmer –the warmest
  • cold – colder- the coldest

There are some spelling changes with one-syllable adjectives. If there is one vowel followed by one consonant at the end of the adjective, we often double the consonant.

  • hot – hotter – the hottest
  • big – bigger – the biggest
  • thin – thinner – the thinnest

If the adjective ends in y, this often changes to i.

  • happy – happier – the happiest

If the adjective ends in e, we don’t add another e, just r.

  • fine -finer – the finest
  • nice – nicer- the nicest

Two-syllable adjectives and adjectives with more than two syllables

For two-syllable adjectives, we use more or most.

  • careful – more careful – most careful
  • bored – more bored – most bored

Some two-syllable adjectives can take –er or –est.

  • clever – cleverer – cleverest
  • quiet – quieter – quietest

Adjectives with two syllables that end in y usually can add –er or –est. We can also use more or most.

  • dirty – dirtier – dirtiest
  • pretty – prettier – prettiest
  • happy – happier – happiest

Some adjectives are irregular. There is no rule, we have to learn their forms.

  • good – better – the best
  • bad – worse – the worst
  • far – further – the furthest
  • little – less – the least
  • much – more – the most
Conversation questions superlative and comparative adjectives
  1. Are you happier now than you were a year ago?
  2. Do you agree with the following: ‘The more expensive, the better quality.’
  3. Do you think vegetarianism is healthier than eating meat?
  4. Is it better to be poor and happy or to be rich and unhappy?
  5. Why is lying sometimes easier than telling the truth?
  6. What would be more difficult for you, to spend a night alone in the woods or to give a speech in front of hundreds of people?
  7. Does educated always mean more intelligent?
  8. What is more dangerous, boxing or skiing?
  9. Are teenagers lazier than they were 20 years ago?
  10. What job is more demanding, a nurse or an engineer?
  11. Which job is the most gratifying?
  12. Describe the best holiday you’ve ever had?
  13. What is the most surprising thing that has ever happened to you?
  14. What’s the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
  15. When did you feel the proudest?
  16. What is the scariest thing that has ever happened to you?
  17. Describe the most delicious dish you’ve ever eaten.
  18. Who is the smartest person you know?
  19. Who inspires you the most?
  20. What is the weirdest present you’ve got?

Download the conversation questions superlative and comparative adjectives here.
Other grammar questions:

Conversation Questions Gerunds and Infinitives: ESL Speaking Activity

Conversation Questions: Future Tenses

Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

Conversation Questions Conditionals: ESL Speaking Activity

Other resources:

Funny Conversation Starters: 60 Questions

Storytelling Cards: Imaginative Card Game

Bundle of Role-play Activities

Bundle of Three Taboo Card Games

Food ESL Conversation Questions and Video Activity

This speaking and listening activity consists of a video warm-up activity and food conversation questions.

As a warm-up activity watch this video on the 15 best foods around the world. Have students take notes on each food as they watch.

  • What is it made of?
  • How was it prepared?
  • Where does it come from?
  • Have you ever tried that?

After you watch the video, put students in groups or pairs, and have them compare notes and discuss what foods from the video they’ve tried or would like to try.

A tip, whenever I need my student to work in pairs or teams, I use Random Team Generator. It’s super easy and convenient.

Food conversation questions

  1. Do you eat to live or do you live to eat?
  2. Which food did you hate as a kid?
  3. Which food did you love as a kid but hate now?
  4. If you could only eat three meals for the rest of your life what would you eat?
  5. What kind of sweets do you like?
  6. What is your favorite snack?
  7. What do you think about cooking shows?
  8. Do you think it’s important to know how to cook?
  9. What is your favorite fast food?
  10. What food would you choose to eat as your first meal after a year abroad?
  11. What food would you choose as your last meal?
  12. What is your favorite condiment?
  13. What food do you eat in your country when celebrating something or during holidays?
  14. Who are better cooks, men or women?
  15. What is your favorite cuisine? What do you like about it?
  16. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  17. What is the most delicious thing you’ve ever eaten?
  18. Do you prefer to eat at home or eat out?
  19. How healthy is your national cuisine?
  20. What is the best cuisine in the world?
Download: Food ESL Conversation Questions

Need more food resources?

ESL Role-play Worksheet: Food

At The Restaurant: ESL Pair Work and Role Play Lesson

Food Taboo Cards

Questions for ESL Conversation: 60 Questions Based on Vogue Interviews

If you’re an ESL teacher, you know that speaking is a difficult skill for students to master. Plus, speaking can be intimidating. It’s one thing to write and another thing entirely to perform in front of others. That’s why these 60 questions for ESL conversation based on Vogue’s 73 Question series, in which celebrities quickly answer random questions, is great for practicing speaking skills with your students.

You can start this activity by watching Adele’s take on 73 questions. After that, put your students in pairs so they can play out their version of the interview. To do that, download the worksheet 60 Questions for ESL Conversation.

The worksheet contains 60 questions divided into 2 sets. This is a pairwork activity, so students can both ask and answer the questions.

  • Allow the students 5 minutes to read the questions and to make sure they understand and look up any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  • Explain that they have to conduct the interview in the style of Vogue’s 73 questions, so they have to quickly ask and answer the questions.
  • Decide how long it should take and tell them, I would allow 5-10 minutes based on the level of the group.

As a variation of the activity, they can record each other’s responses to create a similar video to the one below.

60 Questions for ESL Conversation Activity

STUDENT A

  1. What’s the best thing that happened to you this month?

2. What is something you’re tired of? 

3. What is something that recently moved you? 

4. If you could teach one subject in school what would it be? 

5. What’s your favorite beverage? 

7. What is your favorite cake?

6. What is your favorite movie?

7. What is something you can’t do? 

8. What is one habit you wish you could break?

9. What makes you laugh no matter what?

10. What does creativity mean to you?

11. What are your favorite lyrics of all time? 

12. What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do? 

13. What did you want to do with your life at age 12? 

14. What is something you will not be doing in ten years?

15. What is an important life lesson for someone to learn? 

16. What is one goal you are determined to achieve in your lifetime?

17. Would you ever live anywhere besides where you live now? 

18. What is your favorite dessert? 

19. Is there a dessert you don’t like? 

20. It’s brunch! What do you eat? 

21. Who is your favorite artist? 

22. Favorite Disney animal? 

23. What is a book you are planning on reading? 

24. What did you read most recently? 

25. Favorite solo artist? 

26. What’s your favorite board game? 

27. What’s a city you wish to visit?. 

28.  Where does one go on a perfect road trip? 

29. What do you do on a rainy day? 

30. What’s your favorite exercise? 


STUDENT B

1. What is your worst subject in school? 

2. What do you usually eat for breakfast?  

3. What do you usually eat for dinner? 

4. Favorite baked good?

5. What is something you wish you could be good at? 

6. Skiing or Surfing? 

7. Cooking or Baking? 

8. Most recent celebrity crush?

9. What’s your favorite clothing brand or store? 

10. How do you manage stress? 

11. What do you do to relax? 

12. Favorite fashion trend of all time? 

13. Best fashion advice you’ve ever received? 

14. Trend you would like to see disappear forever? 

15. What is your spirit animal?

16. Television show you’ve binged on recently?

17. Who do you turn to when you’re sad? 

18. Name one thing you’ve learned the hard way? 

19. If you could make a documentary about anything, what would it be? 

20. What is your Kryptonite? 

21. What are you most enchanted by? 

22. What is your biggest strength?

23. What is your biggest weakness? 

24. What are 3 words to describe living where you live? 

25. Cutest thing on planet earth?

26. Most important advice you’d give your future children? 

27. Best first date idea? 

28. What do you first notice about someone when you meet them? 

29. What’s your guilty pleasure? 

30. Plans for the weekend? 

Download 60 Questions for ESL Conversation

English Speaking Practice: 20 Conversation Topics

Balderdash: ESL Speaking Game

Storytelling Cards: Imaginative Speaking and Writing Activity

Funny Conversation Starters: 60 Questions

Storytelling Cards: Imaginative Speaking and Writing Activity

I’ve decided that you deserve a little treat. Read on and find all about it. It’s almost Christmas after all and you’ve been working hard.


We love stories. We have always loved them.

When our ancestors sat by the fire they told stories of mighty warriors, immortal gods, or wicked witches.

Stories are fascinating. And they are a powerful teaching tool.

This storytelling activity will save you tons of prepping time!

Storytelling Cards can be used as a fun and imaginative speaking activity for groups or for creative writing assignments.

There are thousands of possible variations and no two stories will be the same. The recommended level of English is A2-B1 and it is suitable for students aged 12+.

With Storytelling Cards they will be able to create hundreds of wonderful stories.

The aim of the game is to tell(or write) a story using the prompts on the cards. There are five types of cards:

  • 12 Character cards
  • 12 Activity cards
  • 12 Object cards
  • 12 Place cards
  • 12 Problem cards

I’ve mentioned a treat before, haven’t I? Well, you deserve one. So here you go. You can get the Storytelling Cards with a 25% discount.

Click below to reveal the discount code. The code is valid until December 24th.

[spbcta_sc id=1]

Improvisation Cards: ESL Speaking Activity

ESL Speaking Activity: Conversation Cards

Fluent English: Effective Tips on How To Speak Fluently

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity: Role Play Debate

12 ESL Negotiation Role-plays: Real-life situations

ESL Reported Speech Speaking Activity: Gossip

ESL Video Lesson Based on Netflix Docuseries “The Mind, Explained”

Modal verbs: Use, Examples, and Conversation Questions

Modal Verbs Conversation Questions, Use, and Examples

Practice modal verbs with conversation questions, watch video explanation and study example sentences.

What are modal verbs? According to Merriam-Webster, a modal verb is a verb (such as can, could, shall, should, ought to, will, or would) that is usually used with another verb to express ideas such as possibility, necessity, and permission.

Modal verbs and their meanings.
Modal verbsMeaningExample
canability
permission
She can speak play several musical instruments.
They can work on the project now.
couldpolite request
past ability
suggestion
possibility
Could you help me, please?
He could climb trees when he was a kid.
You could focus on the problem now.
This could be the solution we need. 
maypossibility
permission
This may help us save the environment.
You may leave.
mightpossibilityThese numbers might be wrong.
willfuture
polite request
The prices will go up.
Will you open the door for me?
wouldoffering, inviting
polite request
Would you join us for dinner?
Would you check this report for me?
shouldadvising, suggesting
expectation
You should stop smoking.
It should start raining soon.
mustobligation, necessity
conclusion
You must submit the application by Friday.
This car looks luxurious. It must be very expensive.
mustn’tprohibition Passengers mustn’t talk to the driver.

(Choose Flashcards in the Study mode in the bottom right corner, and click on the arrows above it to switch between front and back sides.)


1) Is there anything you can’t do and would like to learn?

2) What are the three things you can do best?

3) Name three things you may do this weekend.

4) Name three things you may not do at school.

5) Should students be allowed to eat during lessons? Why or why not?

6) Name two things you must do every day.

7) Name two things you mustn’t do at home.

8) What activities couldn’t you do last year because of the pandemic?

9) Name three things you could do when you were younger but can’t do anymore.

10) Is there anything you can do better than your parents?


Conversation Questions Gerunds and Infinitives: ESL Speaking Activity

Conversation Questions Conditionals: ESL Speaking Activity

Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

Present Tenses Exercises: Present Simple and Continuous

Conversation Questions: Future Tenses

Fluent English: Effective Tips on How To Speak Fluently

One of the most common struggles of every English learner is the struggle to speak fluent English. We all strive to speak confidently and naturally and fluency plays a major role in achieving this. Many times learners of English even prefer fluency to accuracy. Students often don’t mind making a few errors while speaking as long as they can maintain a fluent flow of speech. Accuracy versus fluency have been fighting an eternal battle in ESL classrooms for a long time and we will deal with our take on this in another article. Today, we are going to talk about fluency and how to achieve it.

So what does it mean to be fluent in English?

According to English Teaching professional, fluency refers to the measurement of the ability one has to speak smoothly and freely without the need to pause and think about the grammar, vocabulary, or pronunciation one needs to communicate.

I would like to emphasize the ability to speak smoothly and freely without the need to pause. How important are grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation if we want to achieve this? One might argue that it is necessary.

But is it?

If the speaker constantly worries about the right grammar, colloquial expressions or pronunciation, or even accent, do they have time to maintain fluency? Of course, this might not be a problem for more advanced learners, but what about those who have yet to achieve that level of accuracy? Are they doomed to aim for accuracy before they can become fluent?

I disagree.

I believe fluency comes before accuracy. I think it gives the learners confidence to speak and express their ideas and opinions without worrying about grammatical errors. So how can you improve fluency and at the same time expand your vocabulary and improve grammar without even trying?

Let’s have a look at these tips on how speak fluent English.

Binge-watching favorite TV shows? Looking for a new recipe on Youtube? Watching news? Watch it in English with English subtitles. Make it a habit. Do it now. I can’t emphasize this enough. Even if you don’t do anything else from this list, do this. And #2 as well.

Practice, practice, practice. You can practice speaking best by speaking. Shocking, I know. The good news, you don’t need a native speaker for that. It can be your classmate, a friend, colleague. Nowadays, you can easily practice online. There are plenty of platforms where you can find English-speaking partners. Most of them are paid, but you can also find some that are free. For example, Speak Peak offers a free and a premium subscription. The free subscription limits the conversation time to 40 minutes, which I think is still enough. The premium version offers unlimited conversation time and some statistics and your partner’s feedback. The registration takes 10 seconds and you can choose your speaking partner’s level of English, from A1 to C2, which is a great feature. If you’re not sure what to talk about, try these conversation starters.

It may sound counterintuitive, but reading can help your speaking. How? By learning new vocabulary and getting certain phrases and expressions under your skin. After some time, you will use phrasal verbs, colloquial expressions, and certain grammar structures automatically. Of course, if you want to achieve this you have to read the right books. Contemporary fiction books with lots of dialogues are perfect. Books such as Elements of the Nature and Properties of Soils, not so much. Extra tip: Combine books with their audio versions. Read and listen at the same time, you don’t have to do it all the time, but doing so occasionally can benefit you immensely.

Around 50%-70% of the Internet is written in English. If you’re not looking for specific information that is only available in your native language, google it in English. From now on, whatever information you need, look it up in English.

While watching anything and everything in English helps, sometimes you have to work a bit harder to improve your fluency. Video lessons are great for this. Watch shorter clips on topics you like and then study vocabulary and even discuss the video with a partner. There are plenty of video lessons online, if you have Netflix, you can try this resource ESL Video Lesson Based on Netflix Docuseries “The Mind, Explained” or you can try lessons based on TedTalks.

While you will improve your vocabulary when watching and reading content in English, you will also need to supplement it with more targeted approach. This depends on your goals. Why are you learning English? What do you want to achieve? What subjects do you expect to be talking about? Choose your reading material and watching content accordingly. Do yu want to improve your presentation skills? Watch TedTalk videos. Do you want to be able to negotiate? Practice negotiating. If you are a visual learner, you could try Visuwords a visual dictionary which shows a visual map of connected words. If you prefer a more classical approach you could try vocabulary quizzes, for example Englishclub has quizzes on many different topics.

What do you think about these tips on how to speak fluent English? Have you tried any of them? Have you tried any other methods that worked for you? Let us know in the comments.

Funny Conversation Starters: 60 Questions

Save time preparing your ESL conversation lessons, try these funny conversation starters. Need a warm-up activity? Looking for something different and fun? No problem, share your screen if you teach online or use a projector when teaching in the classroom. You can also download the PDF and print the questions.

This extensive list of funny conversation starters was compiled from various sources and not primarily targeted at ELT learners. The questions are authentic, not taken from a textbook, and enable students to have real, authentic conversations.

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60 Funny Conversation Starters for ESL Students

1 What is the worst advice you have given?

2 If you were in a circus, which character would you be?

3 Have you ever stalked someone on social media?

4 What is the best part about taking a selfie?

5 What is your favorite celebrity scandal?

6 What is one thing you should never say at a wedding?

7 What is the worst pickup line you have ever heard?

8 Did you have an imaginary friend? What was his/her name?

9 Have you ever had a dream where everyone was in their underwear?

10 Who’s your favorite comedian?


Funny conversation starters

11 Have you ever been on a blind date?

12 If you could only store one type of food in your pocket, what would you carry?

13 What is the worst present you have ever received and why?

14 If you were a farm animal, who would you be and why?

15 What is the worst first date you have ever been on?

16 If you could do anything illegal without getting caught, what would you do?

17 What is the weirdest food combination you’ve ever tried?

18 Do you remember what you were doing on the 21st of December, 2018?

19 Tell me an embarrassing, yet funny story.

20 What is the funniest joke that you know?

21 What would your dream job combination be? Mine would be a space-cowboy!

22 What’s the weirdest smell you have ever smelled?

23 What is the weirdest thing you are afraid of?

24 If animals could talk, which animal would be the rudest?

25 If a squirrel could talk, do you think it would have a really high voice or a really low voice?

26 What would be the absolute worst name that you could give your child?

27 What movie completely changes its plot when you change one letter in its title?

28 What is something that hasn’t happened yet, but would certainly break the internet?

29 What is the silliest way that you’ve been injured?

30 What quote or saying do people often say, but you believe is complete trash?


31 What was the funniest thing you’ve seen recently online?

32 What makes you laugh?

33 What is the weirdest thing that you have ever eaten?

34 What is a funny excuse that you have given to leave a party early?

35 What old person tendencies do you have?

36 What did you think was cool as a kid, but isn’t actually cool now?

37 What makes you smile without fail?

38 What is the craziest dream you’ve had?

39 Do you think you’d survive a zombie apocalypse? Why or why not?

40 What was your worst fashion disaster?


41 If you had to change your name to something totally new, what would be your new name?

42 If you had to name a chapter in your life right now, what would it be called?

43 What would the book about your life be called?

44 What was the last thing that you did for fun?

45 What part of a kid’s movie completely scarred you when you were younger?

46 What’s the weirdest thing that a guest has done at your house?

47 If you could start a secret society what would it be called?

48 What movie should be made into a musical?

49 Which animal would be super cool if it was made into the size of a horse?

50 If you could design a new ice cream flavor what would be in it?


51 What would you name your boat if you had one?

52 If the color blue had a smell, what would it smell like?

53 What is a magical power that you wish you had?

54 If you had an extra part of your body what would it be?

55 If you were a candy bar what candy bar would you be?

56 What is something that you love that everyone else thinks is gross?

57 What is the weirdest habit that you have?

58 What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?

59 What celebrity would you trade lives with?

60 What fairytale story would you like to be in?


Download 60 Funny Conversation Starters.

Other resources:

ESL Vocabulary Activity Based on Taboo: Food

Unfinished Sentences ESL Speaking Activity

ESL Role Play Worksheet: Travel/Holidays

12 ESL Negotiation Role-plays: Real-life situations

Conversation Starters: 30 Interesting Conversation Questions Not Only For ESL Students

Best English Games to Play in Your ESL Classroom

Here is an extensive list of my favorite English games to play with my students.

Board games

  • Cards Against Humanity: Family Edition

Yes, you read that right. Cards Against Humanity. But! This is a family edition, so it’s clean. You can download if for free and print, but, make sure you feel comfortable using it, there are some cards that may still be perceived as inappropriate for school.

  • Free print and play games

I’ve only recently found a website where you can find free board games. My favorite is Dixit which is great for imagination and creativity.

  • Dominoes

This is a very versatil game that can be used to practice vocabulary (phrasal verbs, prepositional phrases, compound nouns and adjectives, etc.) and grammar (conditionals, participle clauses, etc.) You can create your own or try these and these vocabulary dominoes or this great resource.

  • Scrabble

Every classroom should have at least a couple of boxes of this amazing game. This game is a must. That’s all I’m going to say.

  • OrganAttack

This is a medical-themed card game which was created by Nick Seluk, the author of my favorite The Awkward Yeti comic. I liked the game so much that I even backed it on Kickstarter! It looks great, the organ cards are super cute and hilarious, the game itself is fun and easy to learn. Your aim is to remove your opponent’s organ before they remove yours. It is perfect for learning and revising medical-related vocabulary.

  • ESL board games

These are simple, usually one sheet board games used to practice isolated grammar structures or vocabulary. You can also create board games with different conversation questions. You can try this one with a vide range of questions.

  • Taboo

One of the most popular English games. Revising vocabulary is always a good idea. There are plenty of different topics you can choose from.  You can try our free games on the topic of Media or Business. Other topics include Health and Food.

Online games/apps

  • Oatmeal’s free word game

In this game you unscramble words and use them to destroy your opponent. You can get the free game here.

  • Baamboozle

I use this site mostly with my younger learners as it doesn’t have many higher level grammar or vocabulary quizzes. My tip: put your students in teams (max number of teams is 4), choose a quiz and let them play the Classic mode with the power up, it’s much more fun!

  • Merriam-Webster

Merriam-Webster is a dictionary but they also have free games and quizzes that are great for learning vocabulary.

  • The Game Gal

Here you can find plenty of simple, family-friendly English games. I mostly use the Word Generator for charades, pictionary and other games. The great thing is I only need my laptop and I project the words on the whiteboard, so the students don’t need computers.

No-prep games

  • Vocabulary revision

This activity does not require absolutely any prep from the teacher, everything is done by the students. You only need to give them a couple of sheets of paper and they will cut it or you can give them already cut into small pieces. Detailed instructions can be found here.

  • Alphabet game

Students write the letters of the alphabet in a column. Give them a time limit and a topic(e.g. food, classroom items, animals, etc) and tell them to write one word for every letter in the alphabet. When they’re done, put them in groups so they can compare their words.

  • Balderdash

This activity is based on a popular board game. It is a more fun variation of a dictionary game I sometimes play with my students. They get a couple of difficult words and have to invent fake definitions. This game is the most popular among my kids.

  • Questionnaires and surveys

The best thing about these fun ESL activities is that the variations are endless. You can either find some or have your students create their own. It’s more fun and they also learn more. Just give them a topic, have them write 10 questions and after that, they circle the class and interview as many classmates as possible.  Finally, they inform the class about the results. Topics may include Environment, Hobbies, Books, Travel, Science, History, Media, Celebrities.

  • One minute talk

This is a very simple, no-prep game.  In pairs, students give each other a topic to talk about and they have to talk uninterrupted for a minute. It is more difficult than it sounds, especially with topics such as egg yolks, armpit hair o or shoe laces. If your students lack imagination, you can use these ideas: One Minute Talk Cards.


Other resources:

Role-play Scenarios for ESL: Discussing Different Topics and Situations, Even Vaccination!

12 ESL Negotiation Role-plays: Real-life situations

Conversation Starters: 30 Interesting Conversation Questions Not Only For ESL Students

Icebreaker Questions for ESL Classroom

Icebreaker questions are a great speaking activity that can be used not only at the beginning of the new school year but whenever there is a need for a warm-up activity, group speaking activity, pair work, or a quick fun speaking activity.

This speaking activity contains 20 icebreaker questions for teenagers and adult learners. (16+, B1+).

The slideshow can be used as a resource for online teaching, just share your screen on Zoom or other app when teaching online. Click on the full screen option in the top right corner of the slideshow and your whole group can discuss or if you want to use the activity in smaller groups, assign your students into breakout rooms and send them the PDF with the conversation questions before your lesson. During the lesson, pop into the breakout rooms to listen in and observe.

Other speaking activities:

Conversation Questions Passive: ESL Speaking Activity

ESL Negotiation Role plays: 12 Real-life Situations

ESL Exam Speaking Picture Description and Questions

Taboo Card Games: Food, Health, Nature

Conversation Starters: 30 Interesting Conversation Questions Not Only For ESL Students

Two Conversation Activities

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Icebreaker Questions

1. What food do you love that a lot of people might find a little odd?

2. If you could start a charity, what would it be for?

3. What topic could you give a 20-minute presentation on without any preparation?

4. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met and talked with?

5. What do you wish someone taught you a long time ago?

6. What subjects should be taught in school but aren’t?

7. What kind of challenges are you facing these days?

8. What do you highly recommend to most people you meet?

9. What was the last thing you were really excited about?

10. What does your perfect breakfast look like?

11. What are some of your favorite holiday traditions that you did while growing up?

12. If you could choose your dreams, what would you prefer to dream about?

13. What tells you the most about a person?

14. When is the most interesting period in history?

15. What is the best event you’ve attended?

16. What do you wish was illegal?

17. Would you ever try space tourism, if you had the money for it?

18. What are you grateful for?

19. What skill or talent would you most like to learn?

20. What culture would you like to learn more about?

Download

The questions for this activity are used with the kind permission of C.B. Daniels of Conversation Starters World.

Conversation Questions Passive Voice: ESL Speaking Activity

Passive Voice Conversation Questions

Form: a form of the verb ‘to be'(used to change the tense) + past participle

Tense Active Passive
Present simple I make dinner. Dinner is made (by me).
Present continuous I am making dinner. Dinner is being made (by me).
Past simple I made dinner. Dinner was made (by me).
Past continuous I was making dinner. Dinner was being made(by me).
Present perfect I have made dinner. Dinner has been made (by me).
P.p. continuous I have been making dinner. Dinner has been being made (by me).
Past perfect I had made dinner. Dinner had been made (by me).
Future simple I will make dinner. Dinner will be made (by me).
Future perfect I will have made dinner. Dinner will have been made (by me).

The passive voice is used to change the focus of the sentence:

  • The villain was played by Ralph Fiennes

To show that who or what causes the action is unknown or unimportant or obvious:

  • My car has been stolen

In formal writing instead of using someone:

  • The information will be disclosed next week.

Watch the video and practice the passive conversation questions below.

Conversation questions to practice passive voice

1) Have you ever been punished or made to pay for something that you did not do?

2) How would you handle integrating someone who had been frozen for 100 years into society?

3) How would your country change if children were allowed to vote?

4) Would civilization be better off if the internet had never been created?

5) Can you explain how glass is made?

6) What is the nicest thing that has been done for you?

7) Have you ever been awarded a prize?

8) What goal do you think humanity is not focused enough on achieving?

9) What traditions are kept in your family?

10) What’s the most difficult question you have ever been asked?

11) Have you ever been hurt by someone you trusted?

12) What 3 global issues should be solved right now?

13) What’s the best present you’ve ever been given?

14) What are the most popular foods eaten in your country?

15) Do you think children are spoiled these days? Why?


Other resources:

Conversation Questions Conditionals: ESL Speaking Activity

Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

Conversation Questions: Future Tenses

Conversation Questions Gerunds and Infinitives: ESL Speaking Activity

Bundle of Two Conversation Activities

Taliban Take over Afghanistan: Dare to Educate Afghan Women(UPDATED)

If you don’t live in a cave you know what’s happening in Afghanistan right now. If you don’t know, you can find out here.

No matter what your political preferences are, or what do you believe in, I’m sure you agree that education is important. What is happening in Afghanistan right now will have tremendous negative consequences on the education of Afghan girls. Watch the Ted Talk. Discuss it with your students. You can also help here, or here.


This Ted Talk education ESL video lesson is based on a  talk by Shabana Basij-Rasikh. She is an educator from Afghanistan, humanitarian, and women’s rights champion. She grew up under the rule of the Taliban, which banned education for women so she had to dress as a boy to attend a secret school.

This is her story.


Level: Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate

Time: 45min.(video 10min.)

Skills: speaking, listening, reading

Topic: education, human rights

Taliban Take over Afghanistan | Ted Talk Education Lesson Plan | Dare to Educate Afghan Girls | Shabana Basij-Rasikh

WARM-UP

Discuss the questions

1. Do you think education should be free? Why? Use arguments to justify your opinion. 

2. What was your parents position on your education? How do you think it has influenced your life? What is your position on your education? 

3. Can you imagine being denied higher education based on your gender or religion? How would it influence your life?

Write three reasons why education is important.

1.__________________________________________________________________

2.__________________________________________________________________

3.__________________________________________________________________

VOCABULARY

1 Read the sentences and try to work out the meaning of the underlined words/phrases.

1. I dressed as a boy to escort my older sister, who was no longer allowed to be outside alone, to a secret school.

2. A total maverick from a remote province of Afghanistan, he insisted that…

3. …had my family not been so committed to my education…

4. …the one exiled from his home for daring to educate his daughters,

5. And I see their parents and their fathers who, like my own, advocate for them despite and even in the face of daunting opposition.

6. …this is something that is often dismissed in the West…

7. …they’re often the initial and convincing negotiators of a bright future for their daughters…

8. I fear that these changes will not last much beyond the U.S. troops’ withdrawal.

2 Match the words/phrases (a-p) to their explanations(1-16).

a)escort(v.)              1)demand something forcefully, not accepting refusal.       

b)allow                     2)without being influenced or prevented by

c)maverick               3)a person who helps other people to come to agreement

d)remote                  4)difficult to deal with

e)insist                     5)accompany (someone or something) somewhere

f)commit                  6)the process or action of a military force moving out of an area

g)exile(v.)                 7)let (someone) have or do something.

h)dare                      8)of or at the beginning

i)advocate(v.)           9)able to make you believe that something is true or right

j)despite                 10)to think or say that something is not important

k)daunting              11)to send someone away from their own country, village, etc

l)dismiss                12)far away, distant

m)initial                  13)to promise or give your loyalty, time, or money to something

n)convincing          14)an unorthodox or independent-minded person

o)negotiator           15)have the courage to do something

p)withdrawal          16)publicly recommend or support

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Watch the video and answer the questions.

1. Why do you think the Taliban made it illegal for girls to go to school?

2. Why was Shabana’s grandfather special?

3. What would have happened if the Taliban had found out that Shabana and her sister were going to school?

4. How many women in Shabana’s age have made it past high school?

5. What were Shabana’s parents prepared to do in order to pay for her school fees?

6. How many girls went to school in Afganistan under the Taliban, and how many are in school now? 

7. What is SOLA?

Discuss the questions

1. What would you change about your school if you could?

2. Some people say that schools are useless for life. Do you agree?

3. What do you think are the most important life skills?

4. Do you need education if you want to be successful?

5. What are the most useful things that you learned at school?

6. What are the most useless things that you learned at school?

7. Besides school, where and how can you learn something new?

8. What talent or skill would you like to improve?


Download Ted Talk Education Lesson Plan:

Other resources:

ESL Exam Speaking Picture Description and Questions

Online ESL Video Lesson : Can Sci-fi Predict the Future?

Food and Travel ESL Lesson: Interactive Online Lesson

Improvisation Cards: ESL Speaking Activity

English Speaking Practice: 20 Conversation Topics

These conversations topics and questions will help any learner practice and master speaking English. Age or level of English doesn’t matter, what matters is practice, practice, practice.

So here you go, find a speaking partner, choose a topic and have fun!

1. Current situation

How are you doing?

How’s the job?

How’s the family?

How was your weekend?

2. Job / Work

What do you do?

How long have you worked there?

Do you like it?

How are your coworkers?

What’s the best / worst thing about being a (their job)?

3. News

What do you think about (current news story)?

Did you hear about (news story)?

How much do you follow the news?

What do you think doesn’t get enough news coverage?

What gets too much attention in the news?

How do you get your news?

4. Sports

Do you like (sport you like)?

What teams do you follow?

What was the last game you went to?

What do you think about (popular player / team that is doing well)?

Do you play any sports?

Who do you think will win the (major sports event)?

5. Not too distant future

What are your plans for the weekend?

Where are you planning to go for your next vacation?

Do you have anything exciting going on this week?

1. Free time

What do you do in your free time?

How much free time do you have?

What do you wish you had more time for?

2. Music

What kind of music are you into?

What music did you like when you were younger?

What’s your favorite band / singer?

Have you been to any concerts recently?

What’s your favorite album?

3. Movies

What type of movies do you like?

What’s your favorite movie?

Who’s your favorite actor / actress / director?

What’s the last movie you saw?

4. Food

What’s your favorite food / ethnic food / restaurant / thing to cook / seasonal food?

Do you like cooking?

How do you usually find good restaurants?

What weird foods have you tried?

5. Books

Do you like reading books?

What types of books do you like?

What’s the last book you read?

What’s your favorite book?

What book is overrated?

Are there any books you would really recommend I read?

6. TV

What shows do you watch?

What do you think about (popular TV show)?

Have you seen (TV show you like)?

What are some shows that ended that you were really into?

What show do I really need to check out?

7. Travel

Where have you been on vacation?

What did you like / dislike about (place they traveled)?

Where do you wish you could go?

What place do I really need to see?

What’s your favorite place you’ve been?

8. Hobbies

Do you have any hobbies?

How long have you been doing them?

How did you get started?

What common misconceptions do people have about your hobby?

What hobbies did you have when you were younger?

9. Learning / Studies

What kinds of things do you pick up easily?

What subjects were hardest for you in school?

What kinds of things are you interested in learning more about?

1. Where they grew up

What was your hometown like?

Did you enjoy where you grew up?

How much did where you grew up shape you?

What were some of the best and worst things about where you grew up?

2. Things they were into

What games did you play as a child?

What kind of hobbies did you have when you were growing up?

What cartoons or shows did you watch when you were a kid?

What fads or interests were you really into when you were younger?

3. Friends

Do you stay in touch with your old childhood friends?

What do you usually do when you hang out with your friends?

Do you prefer having a lot of friends or just a few close ones?

How long have you known your best friend?

How did you and your best friend meet?

4. Accomplishments

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

What awards or trophies have you won?

What is the next big thing you want to accomplish?

5. The distant future

What do you think life will be like in 10 / 25 / 50 / 100 years?

Do you think humanity is headed in a good direction?

What discovery could be made that would completely change the course of humanity?

How long would you like to live?

Other English speaking resources

One-Minute Talk: ESL/EFL Speaking Activities

50 ESL Conversation Questions for Teenagers and Adults

120 Conversation Starters

Popular Conversation Topics for (not only) Adults and Teenagers: 50 Questions

Conversation Starters: 30 Interesting Conversation Questions Not Only For ESL Students

ESL Negotiation Role plays: 12 Real-life Situations

Unfinished Sentences ESL Speaking Activity

ESL Speaking Activity: Conversation Cards

20 Fun Discussion Questions for (Not Only) the ESL Classroom

I don’t know about your corner of the world, but here in Central Europe summer has arrived with full force. It’s scorching hot. I finally understand the 3-hour siesta they have in some countries. Who would want to move, or think in this heat? So I cut my students some slack, we play scrabble and have fun. The testing is over, the school term ends in a few days, field trips have been canceled because of Covid-19, there is not much left to do. And did I mention it’s boiling hot and our building doesn’t have AC? Right, so let’s have som fun.

This speaking activity contains 25 fun ESL discussion questions for teenagers and adult learners. (16+, B1+). It is best for small groups or as a pair-work.

The slideshow can be used as a resource for online teaching, just share your screen on Zoom or other app when teaching online. Click on the full screen option in the top right corner of the slideshow and your whole group can discuss or if you want to use the activity in smaller groups, assign your students into breakout rooms and send them the PDF with the discussion questions before your lesson. During the lesson, pop into the breakout rooms to listen in and observe.

Slideshow

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1. What’s the closest thing to real magic?

2 .Who is the messiest person you know?

3. What will finally break the internet?

4. What’s the most useless talent you have?

5. Where is the worst smelling place you’ve been?

6. What celebrity would you rate as a perfect 10?

7. What’s a body part that you wouldn’t mind losing?

8. What is the dumbest way you’ve been injured?

9. Which fictional character would be the most boring to meet in real life?

10. What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?


1. If you had to change your name, what would your new name be, and why would you choose that name?

2. What are some things that sound like compliments but are actually insults?

3. What’s your biggest screw up in the kitchen?

4. What’s the worst commercial you’ve recently seen? Why is it so bad?

5. What is the craziest thing one of your teachers has done?

6. When did you screw everything up, but no one ever found out it was you?

7. What elements of pop culture will be forever tied in your mind to your childhood?

8. If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

9. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?

10 .What ridiculous thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing?

The questions for this activity are used with the kind permission of C.B. Daniels of Conversation Starters World.

Other ESL resources:

Popular Conversation Topics for (not only) Adults and Teenagers: 50 Questions

Conversation Starters: 30 Interesting Conversation Questions Not Only For ESL Students

Conversation Questions Gerunds and Infinitives: ESL Speaking Activity

30 Hypothetical Conversation Questions for ESL Students

Conversation Questions Gerunds and Infinitives: ESL Speaking Activity

ESL Exam Speaking Picture Description and Questions

Popular ESL Conversation Topics for English Practice

This activity for adults and teenagers contains five ESL conversation topics and fifty conversation questions. It starts with everyone’s most favorite topic: Tell me something about you. People love to talk about themselves, so let them! You can also watch this interesting Ted Talk about being ourselves. If you love Scottish accent as much as I do, watch also this.

Other included ESL conversation topics are Future, Society, Culture, and Environment.

The slideshow can be used as a resource for online teaching: share your screen on Zoom or other app when teaching online. Click on the full screen option in the top right corner of the slideshow and your whole group can discuss or if you want to use the activity in smaller groups, assign your students into breakout rooms and send them the PDF with the conversation questions before your lesson. During the lesson, pop into the breakout rooms to listen in and observe.

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Popular ESL Conversation Topics

You

  1. Use five words to describe who you are. Explain.
  2. What makes you happy?
  3. Who is the most important person in your life?
  4. Name three things you couldn’t live without.
  5. What do you love about your life?
  6. What do you hate about your life?
  7. What would you like to change about your life?
  8. Which character from a book/movie would you like to be and why?
  9. What do you value in other people?
  10. What do you like about yourself?

Future

  1. Do you plan everything or do you like to be spontaneous?
  2. Do you want to study at university? Why?
  3. What would you like to do with your life in 10 years?
  4. How do you think the world will change in 20 years?
  5. Do you think humans will colonize space one day?
  6. If you could know three facts about any specific time in the future, what would you like to know?
  7. Would you rather travel to the future or the past?
  8. What are you looking forward to?
  9. What scares you about your future?
  10. What would you say to your future 70-year-old self?

Society

  1. In your opinion, what are the most serious issues in our society?
  2. How would you describe your community?
  3. How do you imagine the ideal society?
  4. What values are important to you?
  5. How do legal drugs harm our society?
  6. How has society changed in the last 20 years?
  7. Which changes in our society do you dislike? Why?
  8. What is the influence of technology on our lives?
  9. Have you ever broken any rules?
  10. Which laws/rules should be changed? 

Culture

  1. How would you define culture?
  2. How is the culture of your country different from the others?
  3. Is there any culture that you admire/like?
  4. Do you think globalization can destroy the local culture?
  5. Which aspects of different cultures can you find in your community?
  6. Which part of your culture is the most important to you? Why?
  7. Which customs and traditions are typical for your culture/region?
  8. Is there anything about your culture that you don’t like?
  9. What do people from different cultures have in common?
  10. Which culture would you like to know more about?

Environment

  1. Which environmental issue is, in your opinion, the most serious?
  2. Can individual efforts make any change to improve the environment?
  3. How environmentally conscious are you?
  4. What can businesses do to behave more eco-friendly?
  5. What do you think about Zoos?
  6. What do you think about hunting?
  7. How do you feel about the future of our planet?
  8. Which industry is the most harmful to the environment?
  9. If you could, what 3 laws would you introduce to protect the environment?
  10. Do you think veganism is more eco-friendly than eating meat?

Other conversation resources:

Conversation Starters: 30 Interesting Conversation Questions Not Only For ESL Students

ESL Conversation Topics: 12 Mini Presentations

Role-play Scenarios for ESL: Discussing Different Topics and Situations, Even Vaccination!

ESL Vocabulary Activity Based on Taboo: Food

Conversation Starters: 30 Interesting Conversation Questions Not Only For ESL Students

These interesting and deep conversation starters are not only intended for ESL students but also for everyone who would like to start chatting with a stranger, neighbor, colleague, someone they fancy, partner, friend.

No matter how well you know somebody, these deep conversation starters will help you connect with them even more. You will get to know them better, and at the same time, you will learn something about yourself.

This activity contains 60 questions and a YouTube video, so students can practice listening as well as speaking.

Reccommeded for ages 16+ and B1+

The slideshow can be used as a resource for online teaching: share your screen on Zoom or another app when teaching online. Click on the full-screen option in the top right corner of the slideshow and your whole group can discuss or if you want to use the activity in smaller groups, assign your students into breakout rooms and send them the PDF with the conversation questions before your lesson. During the lesson, pop into the breakout rooms to listen in and observe.

The questions for this activity are used with the kind permission of C.B. Daniels of Conversation Starters World.

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30 Deep Conversation Starters

  1. If you could learn the answer to one question about your future, what would the question be?
  2. What smell brings back great memories?
  3. If you opened a business, what kind of business would it be?
  4. Where and when was the most amazing sunset you have ever seen?
  5. What is something you are obsessed with?
  6. What do you do to get rid of stress?
  7. What three words best describe you?
  8. What would be your perfect weekend?
  9. Who had the biggest impact on the person you have become?
  10. What is the most annoying habit someone can have?
  11. Where is the most beautiful place you have been?
  12. What do you do to improve your mood when you are in a bad mood?
  13. What’s your favorite way to waste time?
  14. What do you think of tattoos? Do you have any?
  15. What is something popular now that annoys you?
  16. When was the last time you worked incredibly hard?
  17. Who in your life brings you the most joy?
  18. Are you very active, or do you prefer to just relax in your free time?
  19. What’s the best / worst thing about your work/school?
  20. If you had intro music, what song would it be? Why?
  21. What were you really into when you were a kid?
  22. If you could have any animal as a pet, what animal would you choose?
  23. Are you a very organized person?
  24. What is the strangest dream you have ever had?
  25. How often do you stay up past 3 a.m.?
  26. Which is more important, having a great car or a great house? Why?
  27. What do you bring with you everywhere you go?
  28. If you had to change your name, what would your new name be?
  29. What is something that really annoys you but doesn’t bother most people?
  30. How should success be measured? And by that measurement, who is the most successful person you know?

Watch a video with 25 deep questions

Another activity you can do with your students is to watch a video with 25 questions similar to the questions above. These, as you will find in the video, are used in therapy and can help you to get to know people on a deeper level.

It’s a ten-minute video and it’s divided into chapters so when you click on a chapter you will see the particular question he is answering and the questions will also appear in the video, so you can pause the video and students can discuss it, either individually or in groups.

Other speaking resources:

Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

ESL Conversation Topics: 12 Mini Presentations

50 ESL Conversation Questions for Teenagers and Adults

Conversation Questions Gerunds and Infinitives: ESL Speaking Activity

Phrasal Verbs Activity and Exercises, Conversation Questions and PDF Worksheet

Conversation Questions: Future Tenses

Conversation Questions Gerunds and Infinitives: ESL Speaking Activity

We use gerunds (verb + ing):
  • After certain verbs – I enjoy drawing
  • After prepositions – I drank a beer after running.
  • As the subject or object of a sentence – Jogging is good exercise
We use ‘to’ + infinitive:
  • After certain verbs – We decided to buy the house.
  • After many adjectives – It’s easy to do it.
  • – I came to London to work in a restaurant.
We use the bare infinitive (the infinitive without ‘to’):
  • After modal verbs – I can see you in the afternoon.
  • After ‘let’, ‘make’ and (sometimes) ‘help’ – The teacher let us go home after the test.
  • After some verbs of perception (see, watch, hear, notice, feel, sense) – I watched her feed the birds.
  • After expressions with ‘why’ – why waste time in the bar?

Conversation Questions Gerunds and Infinitives

1. What food have you never eaten but would really like to try?

2. What have you stopped doing recently?

3. What is something you always intended to do but never found the time/money?

4. What would be the best thing you could reasonably expect to find in a cave?

5. How do you make yourself sleep when you can’t seem to get to sleep?

6. What’s something you really resent paying for?

7. What social stigma does society need to get over?

8. What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?

9. When doing sports have you ever risked hurting yourself?

10. When was the last time you immediately regretted something you said?

11. As a child, what did you think would be awesome about being an adult, but isn’t as awesome as you thought it would be?

12. What kinds of things do you like to cook or are good at cooking?

13. What do you enjoy doing that you are embarrassed about?

14. When you are old, what do you think children will ask you to tell stories about?

15. What kind of people do you avoid meeting?

16. Have you ever refused to help someone?

17. When was the last time you decided to do something unexpected/crazy?

18. What do you hope to achieve in the future?

19. How often do you appreciate other people for helping you?

20.Have you ever denied doing something even if you did it?


Similar resources:

ESL Reported Speech Speaking Activity: Gossip

120 Discussion Starters

Speaking Activity: 120 Topics

30 Hypothetical Conversation Questions for ESL Students

Here is another set of conversation questions, this some for more advanced students as the questions are hypothetical, so it requires a knowledge of conditionals and a certain level of creativity. I’d recommend it for 16+ (B1, B2, C1). The questions for this activity are used with the kind permission of C.B. Daniels of Conversation Starters World.

As usual it this conversation activity consists of a slideshow for remote teaching and a downloadable PDF for easy printing.

The slideshow can be used as a resource for online teaching: share your screen on Zoom or other app when teaching online. Click on the full screen option in the top right corner of the slideshow and your whole group can discuss or if you want to use the activity in smaller groups, assign your students into breakout rooms and send them the PDF with the conversation questions before your lesson. During the lesson, pop into the breakout rooms to listen in and observe.

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1. If you were a transformer, what vehicle would you turn into?

2. What laws would you abolish if you could? What laws would you create?

3. If extra lives were a thing in the real world, how would you get them?

4. If you were a food, what food would you be?

5. What animal would be way better if it was covered in scales?

6. If you could design a planet, what would your perfect planet look like?

7. What would be your strategy for a zombie apocalypse?

8. If you could be the CEO of any company, what company would you choose?

9. What two animals would you like to switch the sounds they make?

10. Would you want to permanently feel zero pain if given the chance?


11. What cartoon world do you wish you could live in for a week?

12. What do you wish grew on trees?

13. What weird thing would you make socially acceptable if you could?

14. If every time you snapped your fingers, you would instantly be transported to a random point in humanity’s timeline, would you snap your fingers? If so, how often?

15. If you were perpetually surrounded by one aroma (besides your natural smell) which you and everyone around you could smell, what would it be?

16. If you could level up any aspect of yourself (i.e., strength, intelligence, charisma, etc.) but you had to decrease another aspect of yourself by the same amount, what aspects would you increase, and which would you decrease?

17. If humans lost the ability to see all colors except one, which color would you want to survive?

18. If you were a dictator of a small country, what crazy dictator stuff would you do?

19. If you could put wings on any species of animal, what animal would you choose?

20. How would the world be different if zeppelins had caught on and were the dominant form of air travel?


21. Every day 12 things appear in your backyard, they are random, but all start with a letter of your choosing. What letter do you choose?

22. If when you died, you could cease to exist or wander the earth forever, never being able to interact with anything, which would you choose?

23. If you could move anywhere and still have a livable wage, where would you like to move?

24. If you could get a ticket to any show or event, what would you want a ticket to?

25. If you could go back in time and give your parents advice before you were born, what advice would you give them?

26. If everyone was mentally incapable of lying, how would that change the world?

27. If you could be invisible, but it would mean being permanently invisible, would you want to be?

28. If you had to do a dance that had never been done in the history of mankind or be killed, what kind of dance would you do?

29. If you could erase one thing from existence, even the memory of the thing, what would it be?

30. If you were required by law to get a full body tattoo, what would you get tattooed over your entire body?


Other resources to practice speaking:

ESL Vocabulary Activity. Forbidden Words: Health

ESL Vocabulary Activity Based on Taboo: Food

ESL Travel Vocabulary Taboo Cards

12 ESL Negotiation Role-plays: Real-life situations

ESL Speaking Activity: Conversation Cards

ESL Role-play Worksheet: Food

In this post, you will find role-plays on various topics connected to food. With these role-plays, your students will be discussing the best dishes in the world, ordering food they don’t know, discussing the advantages and disadvantages of delivery and cooking, and choosing the best diet.

There is another restaurant-themed role-play activity I created some time ago, called At the restaurant, where students create their own restaurant menus and than role-play ordering in different “restaurants”, rotating and speaking to more partners. This role-play can be also done online, I did it with my students on Zoom some time ago, but it’s much in a real classroom. And it’s more fun.

But, here we are (some of us) teaching online and in need of a simple, straightforward role-play activities.

Emotional eggs

ESL Role-play Worksheet: Food

A1: Your friend wants to eat healthier and think that they should eat low fat and low sugar foods and drinks and use artificial sweetener instead of sugar. You disagree and you want to recommend another, healthier diet. Think about your arguments. Talk to your friend.

B1: You want to eat healthier and you think that you should eat low fat and low sugar foods and drinks and use artificial sweetener instead of sugar. Think about arguments to support your decision. Your friend wants to talk to you.


A2: Choose five dishes which you think are the best in the world. What are they made of? How do they taste?  Describe them to your partner. They will have their own list. Discuss your choices and try to persuade your partner that your list is better.  Finally, agree on ONE dish, which will be The Best Dish in the World.

B2: Choose five dishes which you think are the best in the world. What are they made of? How do they taste? Describe them to your partner. They will have their own list. Discuss your choices and try to persuade your partner that your list is better.  Finally, agree on ONE dish, which will be The Best Dish in the World.


A3: You love cooking and you don’t understand why your friend refuses to cook at home. Think of five arguments why cooking at home is better than eating in restaurants and ordering delivery. Try to persuade your friend to change their mind.

B3: You don’t cook and you prefer to eat out or order something online. Think about five reasons why eating in restaurants and ordering delivery is better than cooking. Your friend wants to talk to you.


A4: You are on an exotic holiday and would like to try some local food so you go to a local restaurant that doesn’t have an English menu. You don’t know any of the dishes on the menu, so you have a lot of questions about the ingredients, spices, texture. You also have a food allergy(choose one ingredient you’re allergic to). Decide if you like anything and if yes, order it.

B4: You work as a waiter in a small restaurant specializing in local, exotic cuisine. Your next customer is a tourist who has a lot of questions. Describe your most popular dishes in a very appetizing way. Try to sell him as many dishes as possible.

Try other role plays:

ESL Negotiation Role-plays

ESL Role-plays: Nature and Environment

50 ESL Conversation Questions for Teens and Adults

This speaking activity contains 50 ESL conversation questions for teens and adult learners. (16+, B1+). It is best for small groups or as a pair-work.

This activity contains 50 questions and a YouTube video, so students can practice listening to real language and you can also play the game from the video with your students in your classroom. Scroll down for the ESL conversation questions activity, and the video.

The slideshow can be used as a resource for online teaching, just share your screen on Zoom or another app when teaching online. Click on the full-screen option in the top right corner of the slideshow and your whole group can discuss or if you want to use the activity in smaller groups, assign your students into breakout rooms and send them the PDF with the conversation questions before your lesson. During the lesson, pop into the breakout rooms to listen in and observe.

Slideshow

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50 ESL Conversation Questions for Teens and Adults

1. You have to save the world tomorrow, who’s in your team?

2. What is your favorite summertime memory? Why?

3. Who do you think impacted your personality the most? Why?

4. What is your go-to skill in a talent show?

5. When was the last time you did something new?

6. What are you passionate about?

7. What makes you laugh the most?

8. What is best about being an adult?

9. What is best about being a teenager?

10. What is your favorite smell?


11. When was the last time you cried because you laughed too hard?

12. What are you most self-conscious about?

13. If you had 24 hours to live what would you do?

14. What have you started that you didn’t finish? Why?

15. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?

16. Road trip or flying?

17. What is your favorite childhood memory?

18. Who is the one person you can always count on?

19. Sunset or Sunrise?

20. What quote would you tattoo on yourself and where?

Want more speaking resources? Try these role-play activities.

21. What inspires you?

22. What always makes you smile?

23. If you could be any character (book/movie/TV) who would it be?

24. What accomplishment of yours are you most proud of?

25. Where would you live for a year if money were no object?

26. What is your go-to karaoke song?

27. Star Wars or Star Trek…or neither?

28. What weird food combinations do you really enjoy?

29. If magic was real, what spell would you try to learn first?

30. Do you believe people can truly change?


31. What problem are you currently grappling with?

32. What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

33. What is the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

34. Which of your vices or bad habits would be the hardest to give up?

35. Name something that is completely overrated.

36. Is it better to be loved or to love?

37. If you had to choose only one, love or money?

38. What do you miss the most about being a kid?

39. Who do you wish you could get back into contact with?

40. What is the kindest thing you’ve ever done for someone else?


41. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?

42. What makes you feel really alive?

43. What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?

44. What are you thankful for at this very moment?

45. Would you rather be in space or under the sea?

46. What is your favorite family tradition?

47. Where do you want to be in 10 years?

48. What would your friends be surprised you like to do?

49. When was the last time you gazed at the stars?

50. What is the one meal you never get tired of eating?


Watch a video where teens agree/disagree with various statements

In this video, teens express how strongly they agree/disagree with different statements. The statement appears on screen and students indicate their responses by stepping into lanes representing how they feel about the questions. Some of the students are then asked to explain their answers.

You can pause the video after every question and ask your students to answer it one by one, or you can play the variation of the game in your classroom.

Other resources to practice speaking:

ESL Exam Speaking Picture Description and Questions

ESL Conversation Topics: 12 Mini Presentations

Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

Balderdash: ESL Speaking Game

Unfinished Sentences ESL Speaking Activity

ESL Reported Speech Speaking Activity: Gossip



Other:

ExamLabs

Quiz: Which Teacher Are You? Do You Teach Like Einstein or Montessori?

Is your teaching style or personality similar to one of the famous teachers? Let’s find out!


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Which famous teacher are you? Share your results with your friends!


Maria Montessori

Maria Montessori was an Italian educator and originator of the educational system that bears her name. The Montessori system is based on belief in the creative potential of children, their drive to learn, and the right of each child to be treated as an individual.

Anne Sullivan

Anne Sullivan was an American teacher of Helen Keller, widely recognized for her achievement in educating to a high level a person without sight, hearing, or normal speech.

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison was an American writer, trailblazer and teacher noted for her examination of Black experience (particularly Black female experience) within the Black community. She received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993.

C.S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis was an Irish-born scholar, novelist and teacher. His works of greatest lasting fame may be The Chronicles of Narnia, a series of seven children’s books that have become classics of fantasy literature.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was a German-born physicist who, before he got famous, struggled to find a job as a teacher. In 1908, he was hired as a lecturer at the University of Bern. A year after he got the position of a lecturer at the University of Bern, he was appointed to the position of associate professor of physics at the University of Zurich.
He won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921.

Try also:

ESL Fun Culture Quizzes

Engaging Online Teaching: ESL Activities and Games

Online ESL Video Lesson : Can Sci-fi Predict the Future?

ESL Video Lesson Based on Netflix Docuseries “The Mind, Explained”

Other resoources:

English Speaking Practice: 20 Conversation Topics

Conversation Starters: 30 Interesting Conversation Questions Not Only For ESL Students

30 Hypothetical Conversation Questions for ESL Students

12 ESL Negotiation Role-plays: Real-life situations

ESL Speaking Activity: Conversation Cards

Conversation Questions: Future Tenses

The focus of this activity is to practice grammar while speaking. These conversation questions with future tenses will help the students better understand when to use various future tenses.

When we want to talk about the future we can use these tenses/structures:

  • We can use the Present Simple when we want to talk about scheduled events

The movies starts at 8.30 p.m.

  • We can use the Present Continuous when we want to talk about future arrangements

I’m meeting my friend Jack for beer on Friday.

  • We can use going to when we want to talk about our plans or intentions, or if we make predictions based on evidence.

I’m going to clean the house on Saturday. (plan)

Be careful, the ice is so thin, it’s going to break. (evidence-based prediction)

  • We can use will for expressing opinions and beliefs about the future, and to talk about offers and promises

I’m sure I will win this game!

I will love you forever.

Of course there are more structures/tenses we use when talking about the future(future continuous, future perfect, modals), but for our conversation question activity, we will be using only these four future tenses.



This Storytelling card game is a fun activity that promotes imagination and speaking

Conversation questions: Future Tenses

  • What time does your favorite shop open?
  • When do your final exams start?
  • When is your next Zoom meeting?
  • Are you doing anything interesting this weekend?
  • Are you meeting anyone in person this week?
  • Are you doing anything on Wednesday?
  • What are you having for dinner tomorrow?
  • Are you planning anything special for your next birthday?
  • How organized is your life? How does your calendar look? Any scheduled events? Arrangements?
  • Are you going to order take-out this week?

  • Are you going to cook this weekend?
  • What are you going to do in the evening?
  • What is the next show you are going to watch?
  • What is the first place you are going to visit when it’s possible to travel again?
  • What are you going to study in the future?
  • How do you think the world will change in 20 years?
  • What will you do after you graduate?
  • How will your life change in a year?
  • Will scientists ever discover life on other planets?
  • How do you think technology will change our lives?


Similar resources

Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

ESL Speaking Activity: Conditional Discussion Questions

Phrasal Verbs Activity and Exercises, Conversation Questions and PDF Worksheet

What? When? Where? Asking Questions ESL Activity

28 ESL/EFL Conversation Starters to Spark Conversation


Role-play Scenarios for ESL: Discussing Different Topics and Situations, Even Vaccination!

What is a role-play scenario?


Role-play is any speaking activity when you either put yourself into somebody else’s shoes, or when you stay in your own shoes but put yourself into an imaginary situation, also called a scenario!

I put together my favorite role-play scenarios and speaking activities which I used in the classroom and can be easily used on Zoom. Some of them are suitable for more advanced students, for example the science, and environment role-play scenarios. Other can be used with all levels, so they are also great for lower level, or younger students, for example the traveling and negotiation role-play scenarios.

When we use the activity on Zoom I always send the role-play activity to them in advance and when we have our online lesson I also share my screen with the role-play activity, so they can take a screenshot if they haven’t downloaded it. Then I put the students in the breakout rooms and they usually have 5-10 minutes for the pair work activity.

During that time, I always pop in to different breakout rooms to listen in. I correct, help and answer any questions if needed. What activities do you use on Zoom?

Role-play: Traveling

A1: You are a receptionist of a 5* hotel. You are very polite and you can deal with annoyed guests. Try to calm down the guest and solve any issues they have. Try to avoid calling the manager.

B1: You are a wealthy businessman staying at a 5* hotel. You are used to quality service and luxury, but this hotel doesn’t offer it. The room is too small, staff is rude, AC is noisy. You want to talk to the manager.

For more traveling role-plays click here.


Role-play: Negotiation

A negotiation, simply put, is a compromise. Two or more parties come together, have a discussion, and reach an outcome that addresses the needs of everyone involved.” – Forbes

A1: You have too much on your plate right now and you need help with your English essay assignment which is due on Friday. Ask your classmate for help. What would you be willing to do for them if they helped you? Think of the things you are willing to offer:


B1: Your classmate needs your help with the English essay assignment which is due on Friday. You might consider helping them if they can provide the right incentives. Think of four things you want for helping them(can’t be money):




If they agree with three of the four, you might consider helping them.

For more negotiation role-plays click here.


Role-play: Science

A1: You decided not to vaccinate your children. You read articles about vaccination and you learned how dangerous it is. It causes autism and contains lead and other toxic elements. You know what is best for your child and herbal teas and some meditation will work just fine. You are angry that your friend doesn’t support you.

B1: You are a person of science. A rational being. You believe in data, facts, and verifiable experiments. Your friend decided not to vaccinate their children. They believe that vaccination causes autism and that it is dangerous. Try to explain the benefits of vaccination and to disprove those absurd theories.

For more science role-plays click here.


Role-play: Environment

“The Earth is what we all have in common.” – Wendell Berry

A1: Many of your friends use cars to commute to work even though it is more expensive than public transport. You are concerned about the impact this irresponsible behavior has on our planet. Try to persuade your friend to switch to more eco-friendly transportation.

B1: You drive to work every day. You live in a free country and you don’t feel the need to explain yourself to anyone. Why shouldn’t you drive? Your friend’s been nagging you about it for a while. Talk to them.

For more environment role-plays click here.


Role-play: Work problems

A1: You are a project manager who has been assigned to a new project. One of the members of your new team is not co-operating with the other team members. He opposes every idea, causes conflict, and is generally difficult to work with. Talk to him and solve the problem.

B1: You have worked for this company for 10 years and you feel unappreciated. You started to work on a new project with co-workers who are not so experienced as you are and you think your manager is incompetent. You complain a lot because things do not work as they should. Your manager wants to talk to you.

For more office problems role-plays click here.




Phrasal Verbs Activity and Exercises, Conversation Questions and PDF Worksheet

I sometimes watch, or more accurately, watched (because Covid) Netflix with friends. We always use English subtitles, as my friends want to improve their English. Sometimes they ask me to translate a word or a phrase, sometimes I don’t mind and sometimes it bothers me. But my lack of patience with my friends is not the point.

The point is, I’ve noticed one thing all my friends had in common. They often didn’t understand the meaning of a certain phrasal verbs.

Phrasal verbs are tricky, because they seem to be two separate words. Sometimes the same phrasal verb can have a few different, totally unrelated meanings and that’s very confusing for English learners.

They are very common, especially in informal context, so it’s often recommended to learn essential phrasal verbs to sound more natural.

Here are a couple of phrasal verbs activities and exercises.


Phrasal Verbs Activity: Definitions

back down: to resign your position in a fight, argument, plan, etc.

bump into: when you meet someone by accident or unexpectedly

burst out: to suddenly and unexpectedly say or do something

call off: to cancel  something

carry on: to continue doing something

chicken out: to stop doing something because you’re afraid

clam up: to refuse to speak or share your feelings

come up with: to think of a solution, idea

deal with: to handle something, to solve a problem 

drag on: to last longer than expected

figure out: to find the answer

get along: to have good relationship with someone

get rid off: to remove something or somebody

hang out: spend time with people, socialize

look up to: to admire someone

polish off: to eat or drink something quickly

rip off: to ask for a very unreasonable price, to cheat financially

run out of: to have no more of something

stick up for: to defend someone or something

talk into: to convince someone to do something


Phrasal Verbs Activity: Exercise with Flashcards

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Discussion Questions

  1. When was the last time you had to back down in a situation?
  2. Who was the last person you bumped into? How did it happen?
  3. Can you remember the last time you burst out something inappropriate? 
  4. What was the last event you had to call off? What happened?
  5. Have you ever chickened out of something?
  6. When something surprises you, can you carry on and pretend nothing happened?
  7. What would you do if you were talking to a friend and they suddenly clammed up?
  8. What’s the last brilliant idea you’ve come up with?
  9. How well can you deal with interruptions when you work/study? 
  10. What do you do when you are in a meeting that just drags on?
  11. What is the last thing you didn’t understand first, but then you figured it out?
  12. Describe three people you get along with.
  13. What 3 things would you like to get rid of in your life? (material and abstract)
  14. What do you do when you hang out with friends?
  15. Who do you look up to in your family?
  16. What meal do you usually polish off? 
  17. Can you think of a time when someone ripped you off?
  18. Have you ever run out of patience when talking to someone? What happened?
  19. What ideas can you imagine sticking up for?
  20. What was the stupidest thing anyone has ever talked you into?

Similar resources:

Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

Present Simple and Present Continuous

ESL Speaking Activity: Conditional Discussion Questions

ESL Conversation Topics: 12 Mini Presentations


ESL Presentation Topics: 12 Mini Presentations

ESL presentation topics for intermediate and upper intermediate students. Great as a warm-up or a speaking lesson.

You can use the slideshow and share your screen on Zoom or other app when teaching online. Just click on the full screen option in the top right corner of the slideshow.

I used it with my students during our online lesson and we didn’t even have time to discuss all the topics, because they couldn’t stop talking. I was quite impressed how much they knew and also how well they could express their opinions.

One of the reasons why I love conversation activities is that I learn so much about my students. I think that we often underestimate our students and see them as the stereotypical lazy teenagers. Activities like these can show us that they are much more than that.

You can also download the PDF for easy printing below.


[h5p id=”11″]


Other picture-based resources:

ESL Exam Speaking Picture Description and Questions

No-Prep ESL Picture Description Speaking Activity

Picture Based Speaking Activity For ESL/EFL Classes

Picture Prompts for Speaking and Writing: An ESL Activity

ESL Picture Description: Exam Skills Practice

Food and Travel ESL Lesson: Interactive Online Lesson

Conversation resources:

Popular Conversation Topics for (not only) Adults and Teenagers: 50 Questions

Conversation Starters: 30 Interesting Conversation Questions Not Only For ESL Students

Conversation Questions Gerunds and Infinitives: ESL Speaking Activity

30 Hypothetical Conversation Questions for ESL Students


ESL Conversation Topics

Why it’s better to adopt a pet from a shelter.Bringing back extinct species.Is it ethical to keep animals in ZOOS?
How to choose a college.Things you didn’t learn in history class.How to minimize the use of plastic.
Textbooks vs. tablets.Benefits of a gluten-free diet.Effects of not getting enough sleep.
Why podcasts are great.HBO vs. NetflixApple vs. Android.




Food and Travel ESL Lesson: Interactive Online Lesson

In this food and travel ESL lesson students will discuss their travel experience and plans. They will watch a ten-minute video and learn about different etiquette rules.

We can’t travel anywhere(even if we can, it’s still very limited) because of the current Covid-19 pandemic, however, there are plenty of activities we can do – we can go for a walk, do sports, read books, watch Netflix. Wondering what to recommend to your students?

Try these shows, they are educational, suitable for school but still fun to watch. You can share opinions, start a discussian, revise vocabulary.

If you don’t have time to crate your own, you can use this ready-made lesson based on a Netflix show called The Mind Explained. This lesson is on the topic of anxiety, which could be helpful as many students struggle with mental issues and anxiety during these days.

So, even if we can’t travel, we can plan our future travels. Traveling and food are very popular topics for students of any age. Your students will enjoy this food and travel ESL lesson and the video – 12 Unexpected Etiquette Rules from Around the World.


Warm-up
  1. Which interesting places have you visited so far?
  2. Which three dream destinations would you put on your bucket list?
  3. When you travel, do you like to taste local food? Why?
  4. What are the etiquette rules associated with food in your country?

Watch the video

Etiquette Rules Around the World – True and False Quiz

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[h5p id=”10″]


Other video lesson plans:

ESL Video Lesson Plan: Stand Up Comedy With Shayne Smith And The Prisoner of Azkaban

TEDtalk Video ESL Lesson Plan: What Makes Something Go Viral

TED Talk ESL Video Lesson Plan: How To Grow New Brain Cells.

Online and digital resources:

Engaging Online Teaching: ESL Activities and Games

Digital and Online Teaching Resources for Teachers Who Teach English from Home

Online Vocabulary Activity With Pictures.

47 Useful ESL/EFL Websites And Digital Resources



ESL Exam Speaking Picture Description and Questions

This ESL exam speaking task based on picture description and questions will help students prepare for a number of international exams, as well as local school leaving examinations – e.g. Matura.

In many English exams including FCE students will have to talk about/describe pictures. The format varies, the examination paper can contain a pair of contrasting photos, several photos on the same topic, etc.

These two practice tasks are monothematic as they focus on the topic of Places and Jobs, respectively.

The practice exam paper contains two contrasting pictures and description prompts/discussion questions.


ESL Exam Speaking: Jobs

Jobs

  1. Describe and compare the pictures. What do you see?
    What is happening?
  2. What are the people in the pictures doing? What jobs do they have?
  3. What skills and education do you need for the jobs depicted?
  4. What personal qualities are important to have to be good at those jobs?
  5. Do you need any special tools or equipment for that job?
  6. Do you think those jobs are well paid? Why?

Which job would you choose and why? What is your dream job? What skills and education would
you need to get it?


ESL Exam Speaking: Places

Places

  1. Describe and compare the pictures. What do you see?
    What is happening?
  2. What countries do you think are in the pictures?
  3. Have you ever visited similar places? If not, would you
    like to? Why?
  4. What could you do in places like that? Would you need
    any equipment for those activities?
  5. What kind of people do you think live in places like that?
    Why?

Which place would you prefer to visit? Why?


Download the PDF for easy printing

Picture Based Speaking Activity For ESL/EFL Classes

Picture Prompts for Speaking and Writing: An ESL Activity

No-Prep ESL Picture Description Speaking Activity




Engaging Online Teaching: ESL Activities and Games

Here are a couple of ideas for online teaching ESL activities and games that can be assigned to students so they can work independently as well as used during your video meeting.

1. Artist in your own home

Students have to take 10 photos of anything they consider beautiful. You can even assign a topic, e.g. envirnment, nature, fashion, architecture, food. They can edit it in any program if they want, create a collage, anything. Ideally they create a PDF booklet with the 10 photos and a description of each photo. You can share the best photos/booklets on school website/social media.

2. Scavenger hunt

It’s a shame I haven’t know Flippity until recently, but never mind, better late than never. Flippity is a site which allows you to change Goggle Spreadsheets in to funny little games, including Scavenger Hunt. It’s really easy, you download/make a copy of a chosen template, change the information into whatever you want, save, publish a share the link to your students.

3. Research&Survey

Assign the students a topic which they will have to research online using reliable sources.They will also have to create a survey and collect data on the topic (they could conduct online interviews with classmates, friends, share the survey on social media, etc). After that they will report their findings in the medium of their choice( an article, a report, a presentation, an infographic, a poster, a video, etc.)

4. Create a Kahoot quiz

Why should you do all the hard work? Have your students create their own Kahoot quizzes. Whatever grammar or vocabulary they are learning at the moment can be reviewed painlessly. The best thing is, they will learn twice. First time, when they create their quiz, and second time when they play their classmates’ quizzes. You can choose one or two quizzes to be played online for the whole group via Zoom or any other software you are using. Assign the rest of the quizzes to be played as a challenge.

5. Quizlet

Quizlet needs no introduction, but besides using it for independent student work, you could also use it for your Zoom classes. I use it to create discussion questions or speaking prompts so I can easily share it on my screen. Students always see only one question/prompt, so they focus more. It’s super easy to prepare and when you are pressed for time, you can use a couple of my discussion sets on different topics.

Other resources

Online ESL Video Lesson : Can Sci-fi Predict the Future?

TEDtalk Video ESL Lesson Plan: What Makes Something Go Viral

TED Talk ESL Video Lesson Plan: How To Grow New Brain Cells

Digital and Online Teaching Resources for Teachers Who Teach English from Home


Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

Present perfect vs. simple past

Present Perfect SimplePast Simple
Unfinished actions that started in the past and continue to the present:

I‘ve known my wife for fifteen years (and I still know her).
Finished actions:

knew my friend Anne for fifteen years (but then she moved abroad and we lost touch).

A finished action in someone’s life (when the person is still alive or it’s a life experience; e.g. J. K. Rowling has written many books.):

Jamie has been to Japan five times.
A finished action in someone’s life (when the person is dead):

My grandmother went to Japan three times.

A finished action with a result in the present:

I‘ve lost my phone! (The result is that I can’t make phone calls).
A finished action with no result in the present:

lost my phone last month. I was annoying but now I have a better one. (I lost it month ago, it’s a closed chapter in my life.)

With an unfinished time word (this week, this month, today):

I‘ve seen my parents this month.
With a finished time word (last week, last month, yesterday):

saw my parents last week.


Taboo Card Game Bundle

Conversation Questions: Present Perfect and Past Simple

1. Did you do anything interesting last weekend?

2. Have you ever done something dangerous?

3. How old were you when you learnt to ride a bike? Who taught you?

4. Have you ever ridden a horse or other animal?

5. What did you like about your previous school/job?

6 How long have you studied English? Why did you decide to study English?

7. Which countries did you visit last year? Which did you like the most and why?

8. Have you ever met anyone famous?

9. Did you have a hero when you were younger?

10. What is the most unusual food you have ever eaten?

11. What did you eat for breakfast?

12. Did you like reading when you were a kid?

13. What’s the most interesting movie you’ve ever seen?

14. When did you eat dinner yesterday? What did you eat?

15. Have you ever broken a bone? How did it happen?

16. What didn’t you like to do when you were younger? Why?



Other resources

ESL Speaking Activity: Conditional Discussion Questions

What? When? Where? Asking Questions ESL Activity

32 Inspirational And Creative Job Interview Questions For ESL/Business English Students

No Time? 10 No-prep ESL Activities, Warm-ups and Energizers




10 Rules To Help You Become a Better Teacher

How can you be a better teacher?

When I say better teacher I don’t mean the horrible CPD workshops every teacher experienced. Did you shudder? I’m sure you did.

Rebecca Allen writes about the bad CPD here.

She asked teachers on Twitter about their worst CPD and got some interesting answers:

When I say better teacher I mean real-life based, simple, common sense rules, which seem so obvious , yet we often forget about them.

It’s simple – we can be better teachers, when we are better humans.

We often forget to be better humans because we’re too busy, we have plans to follow, homework to check, tests to prepare, not enough time, not enough energy.

In the rush of the day, we forget how to be better teachers.

Here are 10 rules that will help you realize what you already know.

To be a better teacher, you must grow as a person.


1. Lose the ego

This is not about you. Your role is to be as invisible as possible.

It’s not about being liked by your students, or their parents, or even your boss. Its about giving your students as much as you can, but you have to understand, you are giving what isn’t yours.

You are not the best teacher in the world, or even at your school, and you don’t have to be.

You have nothing to prove, only students to teach.


2. Don’t be afraid to apologize

Teachers often worry that they have to be correct all the time, that they have to know everything, answer every curious question and it can be extremely stressful.

Some teachers never realize that they are wrong and insist, and insist, discouraging students and losing their trust and respect.

There is nothing wrong with being wrong. Admit it and learn from it.

Students appreciate honest teachers.


3. Don’t take it personally

Children can be mean. And some of them are mean to teachers. Small kids or teenagers, they sometimes direct their anger or personal issues towards their teachers.

Whatever they do, whatever they say, however it might hurt, don’t take it personally, don’t hold a grudge, don’t write that kid off. You don’t know their home situation, their anxieties, life experience.

Teachers are in a position of power and should be careful about not misusing that. Be a role-model in the way you handle the situation, turn it into a teaching moment.


4. Earn respect, don’t demand it

Let me repeat myself. In the classroom, you are in the position of power.

If you force your authority on your students, if you look down on them, humiliate them, you are never going to earn their respect.

Fear is not respect.

True respect grows organically and for it to happen you need to:

1. Listen and act on the feedback you get

2. Show respect to your students

2. Show your vulnerability


5. Be patient

Patience is one of the most important qualities of a great teacher. You will be explaining the same concepts over and over again.

Students will be distracted, they’ll be asking the same questions again and again. It’ll get frustrating, monotonous and boring.

Every now and then, if you are patient enough, something magical will happen.

They will learn.


6. Listen more, speak less

Imagine the teacher talking for the whole duration of the lesson and students frantically writing down every word – sound silly, right?

That was my childhood. Even at the university, this is how most of the lectures were taught.

Tragically, this is how many teachers are still teaching these days.

Let the students speak. Let them discuss, share ideas, explore and make mistakes.

Don’t talk so much, guide them.


7. Don’t badmouth your students

Teachers complain about students, and that’s normal. It’s a stressful job and it’s a way to decompress.

Sometimes teachers discuss their students when they need help or advice and that’s also fine.

What you should never do, is to gossip about your students’ personal issues, mistakes or embarrassing situations with colleagues.

I’ve had a colleague who loved complaining about her students at lunch. She was a very negative person who found a perverse pleasure in belittling her students. She compared them to their older siblings she used to teach, criticized the way they dressed, talked and behaved.

They were never good enough for her.

Don’t be that teacher.


8. Don’t judge

People judge other people constantly. It’s our nature.

We judge others based on the way they look and talk, we judge them based on their jobs, skin color, religion, etc. It’s a primal instinct, they way our brain is wired.

In education, it’s very important to realize that our judgmental brain hinders us from seeing the potential in our students.

Every student has their own path to success.


9. Don’t be afraid to improvise

Planning your lessons is important. Following those plans not that much.

Even the most well-planned lesson will fail sometimes. You’ll need to adjust, change the pace, improvise.

Planing helps you to to prepare for the ideal lesson, experience helps you to prepare for the real one.

The only way to gain experience is by trial and error. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, learn from them.


10. Have fun

Teaching is a stressful job, even more so among Covid-19 pandemic. It’s the little things that can help us cope. A cup of coffee in the morning, a walk in the afternoon or a good book in the evening.

People perform better when they like what they do and students remember more when they are relaxed. If you have fun at work, you’ll like it more and when your students have fun while learning, they’ll enjoy it more.

Every time we’re interested and engaged in a subject, our brains get a shot of dopamine. The feelings of pleasure that follow make us want to keep learning, exploring and pushing ourselves to find out more.

One of the best things about teaching is the fun you can have with your students.

Have fun at work, it’s important.


Let your students speak:

Balderdash: ESL Speaking Game

Unfinished Sentences ESL Speaking Activity

ESL Speaking Activity: Conversation Cards

ESL Speaking Activity: Conditional Discussion Questions

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity: Role Play Debate

ESL Vocabulary Activity Based on Taboo: Food


Online ESL Video Lesson : Can Sci-fi Predict the Future?


Can science fiction predict the future? Let’s find out it this ESL video lesson.

  1. What do you think of when you hear sci-fi? What do you associate it with?
  2. Do you like sci-fi? Why?
  3. What is your favorite sci-fi movie or book?
  4. Do you think that science fiction writers need to know a lot about science? Why?


  1. Which inventions predicted by sci-fi writers were mentioned in the video? Can you add any other example?
  2. What do you think about the future of:
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Self-driving cars
  • Androids
  • Cloning
  • Colonizing space
  • Climate change

3. If you were a sci-fi writer, which topic would you choose to write about and why?


Other ESL video lesson plans:

https://eflideas.com/tedtalks-esl-lesson-plans/


Speaking activities:

Balderdash speaking game

Conversation topics

Conditional discussion questions

Picture-base speaking activity

Role-plays on science

Fake news lesson plan

Role-plays based on real-life situations


Business English Role-play Activity: Annoying Coworkers

There are certain types of annoying coworkers that can be found almost everywhere. You might be one of them. Do you know which one you are? Take this quiz.

The most frequent types are:

  • The Gossiper
  • The Wannabe Boss
  • The Talker
  • The Energy Vampire
  • The Kitchen Slob

These business English roles-plays can help your adult students practice dealing with annoying coworkers and office problems.

A1: You have an annoying co-worker who puts all her/his calls on speaker, spends a lot of time
discussing personal problems, invades your personal space, peeks on your computer screen
over your shoulder; and jumps into your conversations without invitation. You have tolerated
this behavior long enough and now you will talk to your co-worker and make an end to it.
B1: You work in an open space office and share a cubicle with an older co-worker. You have a
feeling that your co-worker does not like you but you have no idea why. You are friendly, laid
back, and chill. You spend a lot of time on your mobile phone, talking to your family, checking
your Instagram because you usually finish your work fast and are bored soon afterward. Your
co-worker wants to chat.


A2: You are a project manager who has been assigned to a new project. One of the members of
your new team is not co-operating with the other team members. He opposes every idea,
causes conflict, and is generally difficult to work with. Talk to him and solve the problem.
B2: You have worked for this company for 10 years and you feel unappreciated. You started to
work on a new project with co-workers who are not so experienced as you are and you think
your manager is incompetent. You complain a lot because things do not work as they should.
Your manager wants to talk to you.


A3: You are a good employee, you have great results and everybody likes you. The problem is
that you think your boss is stealing your ideas and presenting them as his/her own and you do
not get the deserved credit. Talk to your boss.
B3: You are the department manager of a large company. You have great employees and your
department has the best results. You know you could get promoted soon if you keep coming
up with great ideas. Your employee wants to talk to you.


A4: You maintain a healthy diet and prepare a fresh lunch for work every day. There is no
restaurant near your workplace and you have no time to drive somewhere for lunch during
your break. Last week somebody stole your lunch every day. You suspect a certain co-worker.
Talk to him/her.
B4: You started to work in a new company. There is no canteen and you have no time to drive
somewhere for lunch during your break but luckily there are free snacks in the staff kitchen
and you helped yourself to a free lunch a couple of times. Your co-worker wants to talk to you.


A5: Your co-worker is rude and thinks that she does not value your opinion. You think that
she is irresponsible and unreliable. Talk to her and express your concern.
B5: Recently, you have been overworked, your diary is full, and you have no time for personal
life. You are about to have a breakdown when your co-worker stops you to have a chat.

Download PDF: office problems role plays


Vocabulary game

Role-plays

Speaking Activities

 

Other role plays:

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity: Role Play Debate

Role-play: Making Polite Requests

At The Restaurant: ESL Pair Work and Role Play Lesson

ESL Role Play Worksheet: Travel/Holidays

 

 

ESL Communication Activity: Science Role-Plays

Can we teach communicative competence without critical thinking? Is the topic of vaccination or chemtrails too controversial?  Try this ESL role-play on science and let me know what you think.

Continue reading ESL Communication Activity: Science Role-Plays

No Time? 10 No-prep ESL Activities, Warm-ups and Energizers

Sometimes I don’t have time or energy to print extra resources or activities.

Some days, like today, the printer in my office runs out of ink, the printer in the common area is jammed and while two colleagues are trying to repair it, I quietly leave to copy some activities out of a resource pack, but the copy machine I wanted to use, the one for students, the one that requires coins (a lot of coins) to operate, is not working.

I have no time, my lesson is about to start. Sounds familiar?

No-prep ESL activities are my life. I need them, I love them. I can’t get enough of them.

Let me know if you have any favorite no-prep ESL activities.

1) Questions? Questions!

This is a silly little game, it’s short and funny, which makes it a perfect no-prep warm up or an energizer. Put the students in pairs and tell them to choose a topic. Then, give them some time (5 minutes) to talk about it. The catch? They have to speak ONLY in questions! Its fun to watch and they can practice question tags.

2) Alphabet games

This is an excellent activity for vocabulary revision. Write the letters of the alphabet on the board, project it on the whiteboard, or alternatively tell students to write the letter down in a column. That is all the prep you need to do. Their task will be to write a word from a certain category/topic for each letter of the alphabet (you might want to omit difficult letters such as Z or X). And this is where the fun begins because this game has so many variations. The topics can include:

  • food
  • animals
  • objects
  • professions
  • phrasal verbs
  • adjectives
  • travel vocabulary
  • body parts and health vocabulary

3) Have you ever?

Tell the students to write down 10 questions starting with Have you ever. This activity is great for students that don’t know each other that well, but it works for all students, no matter what age or level. The students can be very original and curious and that can make this activity quite entertaining. When they’ve completed the questions, put them in pairs, and let them ask and answer the questions. At the end of the activity, ask them what have they learned about their classmates.

Have you ever petted a tiger?

4) What has changed?

Choose a student(or ask a volunteer) to have a good look around, then tell them to step outside. With the rest of the students, rearrange the classroom. Call the student back inside and ask them if they can spot any changes. Great for reviewing classroom vocabulary and prepositions.

5) Free speaking

I sometimes do this at the beginning of the lesson as a warm-up activity and sometimes at the end as a “reward”. Put the students in pairs or groups of three and tell them they will have to speak for a minute or two about a certain topic. The topic will be given to them by their classmates and it can be anything from free time to more difficult topics such as volcanoes, nails, moles, or kelp. It sounds easy but it’s not, the task is to speak as fluent as possible, and under pressure, each second lasts much longer. You can find more topics for free speaking here.

6) Acting out

I have a created PDF resource for this activity some time ago, but I’ve recently realized kids don’t know the same stories I do anymore. I am too old now, I can’t keep up. So you can either use my older version or the no-prep version:

  1. On slips of paper, students write famous stories, e.g. Captain America, Titanic, Romeo and Juliet, etc. This is to guarantee that they will know them.
  2. On other slips of paper, they write movie genres, e.g. sci-fi, comedy, horror.
  3. Collect the slips with stories and genres.
  4. Put the students into groups of three or four (depends on the story).
  5. Give each group a story and a genre.
  6. Tell them they have to prepare a short scene from that story, BUT, they have to make the story according to the genre. So the result might be: Cinderella as a horror movie.
  7. Give them time to plan, write and practice their scenes.
  8. Enjoy the show.
Keep on swimming!

7) Picture description

Tell the students to open their textbooks on a random page. In pairs, they take turns and describe all the pictures on that given page.

8) Word explanations

This is a quick no-prep revision I use at the end of every unit to recycle and revise vocabulary. Put students in pairs of groups of four, give them a pile of paper slips(20-40). Tell them to write one word on each slip. They have to work together to avoid duplicates. The words should be from a recent unit/topic, they can use textbooks or other resources. When they are done, they will swap the pile of paper slips with another group. This is when the game begins. They will take turns and draw a paper slip from the pile, explain the word without using the word or gestures. The student who first guesses the word gets a point and keeps the card. The student with most points/cards is the winner.

9) 5-second questions

Fast paced and competitive, no-prep required. Put the students in pairs or if you have a larger class into groups. Tell them they will have to ask each other questions to earn points. Appropriate questions, of course. Sounds easy, right? The problem is, they will only have 5 seconds to ask a question, and it has to be grammatically correct. To make it more stressful, the other student- their opponent can count down the seconds. If they ask a correct question in the time limit, they will get a point.

10) Oh, really?

You don’t say.

This is another simple and no prep activity which students love. Put the students in pairs and tell them they will have a conversation. The first student has to start with a short sentence, like this:

Student 1: I play tennis.

The other student responds: Oh, really?, and adds extra information( a word or a phrase).

So it should be like this: Oh, really? I play tennis every day.

Student 1 continues: Oh, really? I play tennis every day with Serena Williams.

Student 2 responds: Oh, really? I play tennis every day with Serena Williams in Monaco.

Student 1 responds: Oh, really? I play tennis every day with Serena Williams in Monaco while feeding dolphins.

And so on. Can they keep up?

The student who will form the longest grammatically correct (and at least a little bit coherent) answer wins.


Vocabuary game
Role-plays
Speaking Activities

Conversation Questions Conditionals: ESL Speaking Activity

Conversation Questions Conditionals: First, Second, Third Conditional


First Conditional

  1. If you don’t go to work tomorrow, what will happen?
  2. What will you do if it rains tomorrow?
  3. What will you do if you learn perfect English?
  4. What will you do if a colleague is rude to you?
  5. What will you do when you retire?
  6. What will happen when we continue polluting the Earth?
  7. What will happen if stop using plastic bags?
  8. What will happen if______________________?
  9. What will you do if______________________?
Looking for more activities? Try 120 Conversation Starters and One-Minute Talk activity.

Second Conditional

  1. What would you do if an alien from outer space landed their spaceship in your
  2. garden?
  3. If there suddenly was no internet, how would the world change?
  4. How would you spend $100 000 in 12 hours?
  5. What would you do if you could fly?
  6. If could go on holiday anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  7. If somebody hit you in the face, what would you do?
  8. If you survived a plane crash in the jungle, how long would you survive?
  9. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would that be?
  10. If it was possible, would you like to have your own clone?
  11. What would you do if_____________________________?
  12. What would happen if_____________________________?

Third Conditional

  1. If you had been born in a different country, what would have been different in your life?
  2. What would you have done if you had found out you were a lost child of a European monarch and a successor to the throne?
  3. How would your life have been different if you had been growing up with 9 siblings?
  4. If you could have studied something else, what would that have been?
  5. How would your life have changed if you had done something different that one time?
  6. What would have happened last weekend if you had partied all night long?
  7. If you had been born as a child of a Hollywood celebrity, how would your childhood have been different?
  8. If you had been born Quasimodo, how would your life have changed?
  9. If you had been born with 6 fingers on each hand, how would that have changed your life?
  10. What would have happened if_____________________________________?
  11. What would you have done if______________________________________?

Download here>>>>>Conditionals Speaking Activity

Other speaking activities:

ESL Speaking Activity: Business English Role Plays

No-prep Speaking Activity: Warmer And Filler For ESL Classes

32 Inspirational And Creative Job Interview Questions For ESL/Business English Students

ESL/EFL Speaking Activity: Role Play Debate

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