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.



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

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

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.

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

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

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


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



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
Speaking Activities

How Can We Volunteer While On Holiday. ESL Group Work: Volunteer Holidays.

Level: Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate
Time: 30-45min
Skills: Speaking, Listening, Writing
Topic: Environment, Tourism, Volunteering
FREE PDF: Volunteer Holidays

A quick and easy ESL group activity on volunteering. It can be used as an additional resource when discussing the environment, tourism, volunteering.

  1. You can start this activity with some warm-up discussion questions.
  2. After that, put the students into groups of three(pairs also work) and let them plan the volunteer holidays.
  3. When they are ready, they present their ideas either in bigger groups or for the whole class.

Warm-up Questions

  1. What is voluntourism?
  2. Have you ever done any volunteer work?
  3. Why do people volunteer?
  4. What kinds of volunteer activities could you do in your home country or abroad?

Our communicative and vocabulary activities:







ESL Picture Storytelling Activity

ESL picture storytelling activity


Level: Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate
Time:  5-15min.
Skills: speaking
Topic: travel, environment, stories, relationships, art
Download the PDF here.

This storytelling activity is suitable for various levels because students create their own stories using the vocabulary and grammar they feel comfortable using. At the same time, they can show how well they can use a wide range of vocabulary and phrases and also if they can use more complex grammar structures.

More speaking activities:

ESL Communication Activity: Science Role Plays

ESL Pair Work Activity: Teenager Issues

Agree or disagree (and why?)

ESL Teaching Idea: Class Speaking Activity

ESL Speaking Activity Worksheet: Business Plan

I’ve Told You Once, I’ve Told You a Thousand Times, Resist Hyperbole.

You’ve probably come across a couple of articles that shared
some funny grammar rules  such as:

“Verbs has to agree with their subjects.”


“Don’t overuse exclamation marks!!!”

I found the original list written by William Safir and published
in 1979 in the New York Times.

Years later they were shared on the internet and became a sort of a meme.
The rules are funny and brilliant, and I think they can be used in any
ESL/EFL class as perfect examples of common grammar mistakes.

So here’s a little activity that you can do with your higher level students.

Download the worksheet>>>Funny Grammar Rules Activity

Other resources:

ESL Communication Activity: Science Role Plays

ESL Game Compound Nouns Dominoes: Town and Countryside

ESL Pair Work Activity: Teenager Issues

ESL Speaking Activity Worksheet: Business Plan

ESL Speaking Activity: Conditional Discussion Questions

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