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

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!

6 Fun Activities Exhausted ESL Teachers Will Appreciate At The End Of The Term

I have one more week of teaching ahead of me. Three more weeks of work. There is more paperwork now than actual teaching. The kids can smell the summer holidays in the air and it shows. The teachers can barely hide how exhausted they are.

And it’s hot. Scorching hot. No AC in the building and my brain is shutting off. All I can see is myself on the beach, sipping a gin&tonic. But the kids still need to be educated. Motivated. Engaged. Entertained.

The perfect time for some fun speaking activities. Group work. Games. Anything. It’s too hot to be creative. I am thankful for any useful activity I can find so I put together a couple of fun ESL activities that I’m using these days. The kids are happy. My head didn’t explode. Win-win.

1. 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.


2. The holiday maze

You can make any topic into a maze activity. I like this holiday maze by TeachingEnglish. Makes everyone long for the summer break even more.

3. Murder mystery

This is a great activity even for larger groups(7-11). The victim is a cranky English teacher so the students will certainly enjoy it.

4. Taboo

This one is still popular. 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.

5. Scrabble

Whether it’s the online version or the actual board game, Scrabble is always a good choice.

6. 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. 


You can also find some interesting ideas in this article from Lessons Plan Digger, which inspired me to write this list.


For even more communicative activities, click below.


Useful Classroom Tip: Vocabulary Revision

Whether you teach large classes or small groups, revising vocabulary in a quick and simple way is always useful, especially when its all done by the students – all you have to do is to give them instructions, circle and monitor.

1. Put the students in groups of four ( I like to use Random Team Generator for this).
2. Give each group 40 (the amount depends on the level of the students, the time you have for this activity, etc.) small slips of paper ( 1 A4 page makes 16 slips of paper of the optimal size)
3. Each student will write an item of vocabulary that was covered in the previous lesson/lessons. The group has to cooperate so there is no duplicate vocabulary.
4. When they finish, groups swap the pile of cards they made so they get a different set of cards,
5. In their groups, they take turns and draw a card from the vocabulary pile and explain the word to the rest of the group. The person who first guessed the word keeps that card. The winner is the person with the most cards.

Other resources and activities:

Fun Vocabulary Posters For ESL/EFL Students

ESL Game Compound Nouns Dominoes: Town and Countryside

ESL Speaking Activity Worksheet: Business Plan

ESL Pair Work Activity: Teenager Issues


No-prep Speaking Activity: Warmer And Filler For ESL Classes

This is a quick no-prep activity that can be used as an ice breaker or a regular activity.

Students usually like to talk about themselves and maybe boast a little so this activity is quite popular.

At the beginning of the lesson, ask them to pull out their mobile phones and tell them to browse their image gallery for a picture they wouldn’t mind showing to their classmates. It should be a photo taken by them and it can be anything as long as it is appropriate.

When they are ready, put them in pairs or groups of four and tell them they will be describing their classmate’s photos and deducing as much information they can from the pictures. At the end, the student who took the photo will explain the photo to their classmates.


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

Great speaking activity for older students when teaching jobs, or for adult students in Business English classes, or for your one-to-one lessons.

These questions are everything but boring and I can guarantee that they will spark interest in your students.

The questions are real interview questions compiled from different websites.


Download the FREE PDF>>>>>Inspirational And Creative Job Interview Questions

Bean Boozled in ESL Classroom: A Funny Way to Warm Up, Engage And Motivate Your Students.

Who doesn’t like jelly beans? Most kids love them. Why not use that love for them in your classroom?

I’m sure most of you know the naughty version of Jelly Beans- Bean Boozled. It is a game which features a spin wheel and 14 different flavours of the jelly beans. 7 of the flavours are weird and wild and quite disgusting, especially rotten egg or dog food, others are more or less harmless, like toothpaste and lawn clippings. The other 7 flavours are regular jelly beans: peach, coconut, lime, etc.

The fun thing is, the seven regular flavour look identical to the other seven disgusting flavours. Can you tell them apart? You spin the wheel, which shows you what colour you have to eat. Will it be tasty lime or lawn clippings?

So far, it sounds fun, but what can you do with this game at your ESL/EFL lessons?

Plenty of things. I used it for the first time as an icebreaker in September, during that first lesson when everyone feels awkward and uncomfortable. I prepared a set of quiz questions, mine was general knowledge but you can make it anything you want: tenses, vocabulary, spelling, etc.

I asked a student a question and when they didn’t answer correctly they had to spin the wheel and eat a jelly bean. It was exciting because they didn’t know what flavour they would get, so they tried to answer correctly as the game progressed, hence the motivation.

You can use it as an energizer when your students seem in need of a little excitement and fun. It can be used at the end of the lesson as a filler, or as a form of a reward after a difficult test. You can also hack the spin wheel and add different questions to each section. If the student answers correctly, they don’t have to eat the jelly (or they can, if they want to risk it). If they can’t answer the question correctly, they have to eat the jelly.

My favourite way how to use it is to let them write the questions, and I mostly use it for vocabulary revision. I prepare vocabulary cards on certain topic and each of the cards contains the word which they need to explain and colour of the jelly bean.

They spin the wheel, and if they can’t explain the word they have to eat the bean of the matching colour. Which can be delicious or quite sickening. Just make sure the kids are ok with this kind of game and have some tissues ready, some spitting may occur!

Other games and speaking activities:

28 Conversation Starters

Role plays- Travel



5 Apps To Learn English Without Knowing It

There are 2.2 million apps in Android store and 2 million in Apple’s App store. I’m sure a huge number of those apps is useles, but you can also find there plenty of helpful, entertaining of educative apps.

Here’s a simple infographic of 5 apps I’ve been using with my  students of various ages and levels.

Other online resources:

Play and Learn! Kahoot: A Free Learning Platform.

10 Websites To Make Your Lessons More Engaging And Fun


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