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.
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.
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.
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.
I came across a funny article about ridiculous complaints by spoiled holidaymakers. That inspired me to create this little worksheet/activity. I used it as a warm-up activity for my students the next lesson in which we covered writing complaints – holiday edition 🙂
Teacher tip: If they can’t come up with any own ideas in the second task, let them use some ideas from the list.
In pairs read the ridiculous complaints holidaymakers made to their travel agent.
Which is the craziest one? How would you have answered if you were in the place of the travel agent?
Why do you think people complain about these things?
Astonishing holiday complaints
1. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”
2. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels.”
3. “The beach was too sandy.”
4. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food at all.”
5. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time – this should be banned.”
6. A woman threatened to call police after claiming that she’d been locked in by staff. When in fact, she had mistaken the “do not disturb” sign on the back of the door as a warning to remain in the room.
7. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure. Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white.”
8. A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.
9. “We bought ‘Ray-Ban’ sunglasses for five Euros from a street trader, only to find out they were fake.”
10. “Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined, as my husband spent all day looking at other women.”
11. “No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.”
12. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England. It only took the Americans three hours to get home.”
13. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends’ three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller.”
14. “I was bitten by a mosquito. No one said they could bite.”
15. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the accommodation’. We’re trainee hairdressers – will we be OK staying there?”
16. “There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad.”
17. “My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”
18. “We had to queue outside with no air conditioning.”
These complaints are all taken from a survey from Thomas Cook and ABTA, revealing the most ridiculous complaints holidaymakers made to their travel agent.
Think of two similar ridiculous complaints.
Role-play the dialogue with a classmate.
Student A You are an unsatisfied holiday maker and you are going to complain!
Student B You are a holiday representative and you try to be as polite as possible and explain the misunderstanding.