Resources - Training - Activities

Some activities demo'd in previous GV teacher trainings. Source of these activities is lost in time - other teachers, 1990s activity books.


These might be quick warmers/fillers for upper levels or classes you've done them before in. When explaining for the first time to lower levels these are more like full sections of the class and should be lionked to the aim. These are things I pull out of you have 10-20 minutes spare and for some reason the class has gone through all my material faster than expected.


1) Apple-Egg-Gorilla-Arcade etc

2) Best way is to split class in two teams, one pen each, forming a queue to write their list on half of the board. If not possible, pairs/groups/shouting out one word each is OK.

3) Once finished, pairs have to ask each other a question - anything OK, but must use one of the words on the list.

Noughts and Crosses

Aim: To force variety in meaningful output (ie. so they're not just asking quesiotns in present tesne about the weekend all the time).

How: They play the game, but each square contains a different tense/question word/topic. Before they can make their mark, they have to ask a question or make a statement using that tense/question word/topic.

For some reason this game is always confusing - it's like playing it in English makes them forget how to play the gane. So:

1) Play an example game as

2) Specify one sheet per two people

3) Tell groups of three that two of them are sharing the X turn.

Two Truths and a Lie

How: Write two truths and a lie about yourself on the board (recommend you stick to I have/I can/I am). Students ask questions to catch you in a lie (e.g if you say "I have a cat" but don't answer quickly enough when asked what it's name is, or say "I can speak Chinese" but don't know how to say anything excvept hello. Then it's students' turn in pairs or groups.

1) Limit the questions in some way (one per person in groups, 1 minute)

2) Make sure they write facts, not opinions (it's hard to catch "I like" lies, so limit in lower classes to "I am", "I have", and "I can".

Draw a photo

Aim: TOEIC Photo section practice, present continuous, relative locations, physical descriptions.

1) Keep a folder of images where a small number of people (or animals) are doing something. For TOEIC, at least should be office situations, but those get boring so throw in some interesting ones.

2) Pre-teach as necessary:

3) In pairs, students janken. WInner closes their eyes. Show the photo (usually on the projector/screen). Loser gets a count of 10 to remember the photo. Hide the photo. Loser has a few minutes to describe. Reveal the photo. Wait for laughter to stop. Check their attempts.

4) Give them the language they were trying to use but didn't know.

5) Switch


Variations on just saying somethign and having the class repeat.

Split drill

You are A, class is B.

You are B, class is A

Half class is A, half is B.

Half class is B, half is A.

Shouting dictation

Aim: drilled output repetition, using a big voice, listening, asking for clarification. Fluency (if text is easy and re-used in/from other activities)

1) Get a short simple text. Depending on level, maybe add cloze

2) Make sure you aren't going to annoy neighbour teachers.

3) Pre-teach clarification language (excuse me, once more please)

3) Split class in half - half each with half of text (split in half, or alternating lines).

4) One half stands on either side of the classroom. Number each line, then match numbers to make pairs.

5) Pairs complete the text by dictating the text. If the partner can't hear, they ask for clarification

6) FIrst pair finished is winner.

7) CHeck the text. Use it for next activity.

Conversation starters

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