Category: English games

Games to help students learn English.

Books for teachers and learners of English
Books for teachers and learners of English

Ever since I was a boy I wanted to write and publish a book. It took over thirty years for my dream to come true.

In this post I would like to introduce the three books for learners and teachers of English which I published.

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Grammar Up!!

Grammar Up coverGrammar Up is a book for learners of English who would like to improve their Grammar.

This book contains 17 short texts which you read and then you check your comprehension.

In the second step you see the text again but this time half of every second word is deleted. So for example you would see a sentence like this:

In t____ second st____ you s_____ the te______ again b____ this ti_______ half o____ every sec____ word i___ deleted.

Your task is to read the text again and complete it.

In the third step, you see a text in which all the verbs are in the infinitive form, all the prepositions are replaced by a dash (-), and all the articles are replaced by an asterisk (*). The text then looks like this:

– * second step you SEE * text again but this time half – every second word DELETE.

Your task is to read the text again and add all the missing words and forms. It might not be a bad idea to write out the text as well.

I think this kind of exercise is very useful and it will help you improve your grammar.

You can find more information about the book Grammar Up and a sample chapter here.

Grammar Up at Amazon

444 Grammar Conversations

444 grammar conversations cover444 Grammar Conversations is a book for teachers of English. In this book you will find over 450 questions which are divided according to the grammar used there.

My aim was to create a book with a set of questions for each grammar point. The teacher just comes and copies the questions and hands them to students. Students work in pairs and ask and answer the questions practising the grammar.

Here is a set of questions for present simple tense (not included in the book):

1. Where do you live?
2. What do you do?
3. What do you do at the weekend?
4. What food do you like?
5. When do you get up?
6. What music do you like?
7. What do you do after school?
8. What does your mother do?
9. What does your father do?
10. When do you go to bed?
11. What do you do on your mobile phone?
12. What do you want to do on holiday?
13. Do you like English?
14. What sports do you play?
15. Do you like English?
16. What do you do with your parents?

444 Grammar Conversations at Amazon

High School Stories

My last book is called High School Stories, and it contains three stories in simple English. The stories are for pre-intermediate and intermediate students and they will appeal to teenagers.

Here you can see a part of the story called Two Dates:

High School Stories
Grammar Up – a new book to improve your grammar
Grammar Up – a new book to improve your grammar

I have just published a new book. It is called Grammar Up.

Grammar Up is a new, holistic approach to teaching and learning English grammar.

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When you take English in school, you learn one piece of grammar at a time. After a while, you become confused by all the rules, and you forget most of them.
Native speakers don’t know the rules for the present simple or present perfect tense. They use them.


With Grammar Up, you work in the same way. The grammar points are not explainedyou have to use them. And when you use the grammar, you learn it.

How to use this book?

There are 17 short texts. First you have to read the text and answer the comprehension questions. You can either write your answers on a piece of paper or you can remember them. Check your answers on the next page.

This comprehension exercise is followed by the first Grammar Up exercise. You will see the same text you have read, but this time half of every second word is deleted. The text looks like this:

You wi_____ see t_____ same te_____ you ha_____ read, b_____ this ti_____ half o_____ every sec_____ word i_____ deleted.

Try to read the text and complete each word. It is ideal to read the text aloud this time. If you are not sure how to complete a word, turn back to the original text and find the correct answer.

This exercise is followed by the second Grammar Up text. This time you see a text in which all the verbs are in the infinitive form, all the prepositions are replaced by a dash (-), and all the articles are replaced by an asterisk (*). The text then looks like this:

You SEE * same text you READ, but this time half – every second word DELETE.

Your task is to read the text again and add all the missing words and forms. It might not be a bad idea to write out the text as well.

I hope you like this book and that your facility with grammar goes up!!!

Grammar up in Amazon store

Grammar up – example text

Here you can download one of the texts included in the book:

[sociallocker id=”3511″] My holiday – Grammar Up excerpt [/sociallocker]
Sherlock Holmes – Diamond Secret
Sherlock Holmes – Diamond Secret

Some posts are easy to write and some take a lot of time to create. This one is the latter case. It took me three months to draw and rewrite the Sherlock Holmes story for pre-intermediate students.

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In this post, I would like to share with you a graded comic called Sherlock Holmes – Diamond Secret. The original comic is published by under CC0 license. I took the original story and copied only the outlines and I simplified the dialogues. You can read the resulting story here.

Sherlock Holmes – vocabulary

Before you read the story, it is a good idea to learn the vocabulary from this story. To make the learning enjoyable, I have created the following crossword.

Sherlock Holmes – crossword

The correct answers are here:


1. Secret
2. Anchor
3. Smuggler
4. customs
5. expect
6. diamond
7. wonder
8. button

Sherlock Holmes – video

You can read the comic in the following video. The video goes at the speed of 100 words per minute. As the video is at Youtube, you can try to speed it up in the Settings.

I made the comic black and white to make it simple to print. I know it does not look as well as in colour, but it is much cheaper to print enough copies for the whole class.

You can download the pdf file here:
[sociallocker] Sherlock Holmes – pdf file [/sociallocker]

A few words on reading

The text above can be used in two ways. It can be used for practising the speed reading or it can be used for extensive reading.

By working on speed reading, your students will improve their speed of reading and they will improve their comprehension. I play the video first in the speed it is, then I increase the speed to 150% and I ask the students to read the story again and I play it at 200% speed.

Extensive reading is a perfect means of refreshing vocabulary knowledge and creating collocations in one´s mind.

190 Irregular Verbs mobile app
190 Irregular Verbs mobile app

I recently created my first app for mobile phones and it became a hit among my students. Already 85 students downloaded the game and they are working hard on learning the new vocabulary.

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However, as this app was just for Czech students, I wondered whether I could offer it to people from around the world. And after a while I created a similar application but this time you can learn 190 most frequent irregular verbs in English.


One hundred and ninety irregular verbs are nearly all the irregular verbs there are in English. Those that are not included are so rare that you will probably never meet them in real life.

How does this app work?

When you download and install the game from Google Play, you will see the following screen:


Click PLAY and you will see the followin screen:

Mobile app 450

It shows the levels you have finished and the levels you can play. You can play all the green and red levels. The white levels are not available till you finish the ones before.

Once you click the level you want to play, you will see the following:


At the top of the screen there is an irregular verb and in the brackets there is written which form you should write. Type the approprite form and click CHECK or ENTER. If your answer is correct, green word correct will appear under your answer. If it is not correct, you will see the red word WRONG and the correct answer below it.

If you answer correctly, the verb will not appear in this level again. If you make a mistake, the word will get repeated once or twice.

Each level contains between 15 and 75 words to learn.

Buy and Download the App

You can find the app in the Google play store by writing 190 Irregular verbs.

I hope you will like this game and that it will help you learn all the irregular verbs.

4 TEFL Speaking Activities
4 TEFL Speaking Activities

We live and teach in the communicative era. However, the textbooks offer very few speaking activities where students could practise the language they have learnt. That is why I decided to share several speaking activities with you.

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In this post there are two speaking activities to practise describing a house using the phrases THERE IS/ARE, a simple communicative strategy that helps the learners speak more and a nice set of activities to practise the present simple tense.


Describing a house

To practise the phrases THERE IS/ARE I use the following two activities: Draw and describe and Find the difference.

For the Draw and Describe activity print the following worksheet. Each student needs a piece of paper with two houses (one sheet per student).
Draw and Describe worksheet

Students work on their own and draw between 10 and 15 things into their houses. Just remind them that they need to draw things they can name or describe.

Then students work in pairs. They mustn´t show their picture to their partner. They describe their house and the things they have drawn. Their partner listens and tries to draw the things into their empty house.

When they finish the students swap roles. In the end they compare their pictures.

The other activity is called Find the Difference. Print the following worksheet.

Find the Difference worksheet

Students work in pairs. Each gets one half of the worksheet. One has the part A and the other part B. Students mustn´t show their picture to their partner. They describe the pictures and they try to find as many differences as they can.

In the end they show their picture to their partner and they see whether they managed to find all the differences.


About three months ago I published my first book called 444 Grammar Conversations.There are nearly 500 questions to give students an opportunity to practise grammar in speaking.

However, it often happens that students ask and answer the questions, and they finish the conversation in a few seconds. To prevent this, I found the following communicative strategy: SA + EI.

It might sound scary, but it is really simple. If someone asks you a question, you give a short answer (SA) and some extra information (EI). And the student who asked the original question uses the extra information to ask another question.

For example:
A: Where do you live?
B: I live in Brno. It is a beautiful city.
A: What are the most beautiful places there?
B: I like Spilberk. It is a castle in the centre of the town.

Using this simple strategy, each conversation gets three times longer than before.
Here is a set of questions you could use for this activity:

a) Were you on the internet yesterday?
b) Did you watch TV yesterday?
c) What are you going to do this weekend?
d) Do you like school?
e) Did you learn English yesterday?
f) Who did you speak to yesterday?

Present simple tense – speaking

Print the following worksheet once and cut it. Place the 14 pieces around the classroom.

Daily Routine speaking

Print the following text and give it one copy to each student. Tell them to walk around the classroom and find who each paragraph is about. They write the number at the end of the paragraph.

Present simple text

The correct answers are 8,3,11,1,2.

Finish this part after about seven minutes. Tell the students to turn the paper. Give each student an uncut copy of the worksheet Daily Routine Speaking. Students now work on their own and they write a short paragraph about one of the series of pictures. Ask students to use at least two negative sentences, even though they are not necessary.

Students work in pairs. They read their description and their partner guesses who they are talking about. Students swap pairs at least three times.

In the last phase,students choose a series of pictures and just say what the person does every day and their partner must guess who they are talking about. In this part they speak without any preparation.

My First Mobile App
My First Mobile App

Mobile phones are bad! Students spend hours on mobile apps and they do not learn! What can we do about it?

I tried to do something about it. I prepared a responsive website for my students to learn on their mobiles and … they didn´t come.

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But then I created my first android app and everything changed. I became a school hero and students have been showing me their mobiles with my app on them.

And I wondered: Why do they suddenly learn on their mobiles?


The answer is simple. Data is expensive and when the students decide to use the internet, they do it to socialize. And let´s be honest, my static website is no competition for sites like Facebook or Instagram.

But as the app does not require the internet connection, it sits in their mobile phones and waits for the moment when the students disconnect. And then the students start to play the vocabulary game. Several factors play their role here. First, students can use their mobile phones, second, no one blames them that they do not learn, and third, they make their parents and teachers happy by playing a mobile app on their phone.

The application – explanation

So what does the “miracle” application do?

It is quite simple. There appears a word on the screen in students´ MT and they have to type the word in English. If they answer incorrectly the correct answer is shown, and the word gets repeated after a while.

There are sixty levels and students get points and stars for their performance.

You can download the mobile app at Google Play. It is called “Top 450 slovicek v aj final“.

In my application they learn 450 most frequent words in English. You can see the screenshots here:
My first mobile app screenshot
My first mobile app screenshot
My first mobile app screenshot

My first mobile app – Free app for you

As this app is incredibly easy to customise, I can offer you the following: If you send me a text file with 450 words + their translation or definitions I will make an app for you which you can offer your students.

I will do it for free.

The only thing I want is, that I may later use the text file in any way I want.

Present simple – my best practice
Present simple – my best practice

In this post I would like to share with you the best activities I know to teach the present simple tense.

To achieve this, I will recycle some of the materials I have already and shared here. However, there are several new materials (for example the infographic) which I designed just for this post.

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I hope you find these materials useful and you will use them in your lessons.

Present simple – song

In my opinion, it is best to start a lesson on new grammar with a song. Play the following song to your students and ask them to complete the lyrics.

Here are the lyrics to complete:

Present simple song

Present simple – form

Elicit what you are going to do in this lesson. You should get the answer that you are going to talk about things people do every day.

The aim of the following activity is to sensitize students to the forms of the present simple tense and to improve their pronunciation.

Play the following rhyme and ask the students to listen and then repeat it. In the last phase, students should read it on their own.

It is a good idea to ask your students to memorise the rhyme.

Present simple – infographic

I have been using a different infographic for a long time, but it was a bit too complicated, so I decided to create a new one.

Present simple tense new infographic web

Print the picture for everyone and explain that students should use the ending -s with the third person singular.
You might want to teach the correct spelling of the -s ending, but I do not think it is a good idea. I believe, it is better to expose the students to the language now.

Present simple – story

Before you play the following story for your students teach the following vocabulary:

Present simple – Dad’s story flashcards

Print the worksheet, so that every student has a copy. It is best to print the cards on a stronger paper. Ask the students to cut the cards and go through the cards and translate the expressions into the students´ MT. Students write the translation on the other side of each card.

Then students learn the new words using the flashcards.

Once they learn the words, play the following British Council video and ask the students to do the accompanying tasks. I think that tasks 1 and 4 are especially important.
[showmyadsa] Collect the texts your students write and correct them to see what problems your students have.

Present simple – grammar exercises

To practise the presents simple tense, I devised the following maze. Print the worksheet for everyone and tell the students to start in the left hand upper corner and go through the maze. They must make correct sentences in the present simple tense. They must go just right, left, up or down. They mustn´t go diagonally. They must go through each square just once and they have to finish in the right hand bottom corner.

Present simple tense – maze

It is a good idea to teach the most frequent verbs in English here. Here are the flashcards for the most frequent verbs in English:

Most frequent English verbs
Articles in English
Articles in English

For students who do not use articles in their mother tongue it is incredibly difficult to learn to use them correctly in English. In fact, it is very difficult to teach them use the articles at all. That is why I often spend a lot of time teaching definite and indefinite articles in English.

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In this post I will sum up the materials and experience I have gathered to teach the difficult grammar. You will find here an infographic, an original exercise and an interactive quiz.

Articles in English – infographic

I always start at the beginning. I teach the basic usage of the indefinite articles A and AN.


Indefinite article
Print the following infographic and explain the usage of articles in English to more advanced students.

articles complete mind map

Here is a short explanation of the infographic. If a student decides what article they should use they should start from the point in the upper-right corner. Find a noun and the place where the article should go. Then go to the segment 1 and go around till you find a rule to apply. Once you apply a rule, move on in the text. If you get to number 8, use the indefinite article.

Another explanation goes like this:
Articles usage eng
The basic rule is that you should use an article in front of each noun. If you speak about something for the first time you should use the indefinite article A/AN. The article AN is used if the words starts with the letters A, I, O or E. If the word starts with U or H you have to pronounce the word. If the pronounciation does not start with /j/ or /h/ then the article AN is used again.

We do not use the indefinite articles in front of plurals or uncountable nouns because the meaning of the indefinite article is one.

If we speak about the same thing again we use the article THE and it does not matter whether the thing is countable or uncountable.

Articles in English – worksheet

I came up with the following type of exercise when I was at university (which is a very long time ago). However, it is still good. Print the worksheet and students should insert the articles into the gaps. Most of the gaps will remain empty.

Articles – worksheet

Articles in English – quiz

[showmyadsa] The following quiz can help your students practise the articles either at school or at home. The quiz consists of two parts. In the first part, students should click where the articles belong. In the second part, students have to write the articles into the gaps. The students will be rewarded with a game after each part of the quiz they pass. The quiz is in HTML5, so it will play on all desktops and mobile devices.

Articles – quiz
Must or Have to?
Must or Have to?

Elementary students are taught that there is very little difference between the words MUST and HAVE TO. Little as it may be, it exists. And in this post I would like to give you several rules which will help you decide which one is better in the given sentence.

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In this short post you will find an infographic, two online quizzes and a worksheet.

Must or Have to? – infographic

The common explanation of the difference sounds like this: You use MUST to give your own opinion. HAVE TO is used to give obligations imposed by some outside authority.

However, in this post I will give you a different explanation. It is based on the explanation given by Jim Scrivener in his book Teaching English Grammar. There he states 5 rules which should help learners decide which verb to use. The rules are summed up in the following infographic.

Must or Have To infographic web

Remember, that you can often use the verb HAVE TO instead of MUST but it may not sound completely natural.

Must or Have to? – Quizzes

In the following quizzes students should complete the sentences with the words MUST or HAVE TO in the correct form. Sometimes both of the answers are correct.

Must or Have to – quiz 1 Must or Have to – quiz 2

If you do not want to use the online version, here is the paper version of the same quiz:

Must or Have to -paper quiz

Must or Have to – Links

You can find some more infographics and games to teach modal verbs here:

Must and Should – this is one of the most popular posts at this site.

There is a nice board game to practise the verb Must here.

At you can find the past tenses of the modal verbs.

And there is a great infographic explaining the usage of the verbs HAVE TO, DON´T HAVE TO and MUST here.

Grammar Games
Grammar Games

Choose what you need to practise

Clothes vocabulary
Clothes vocabulary

In this post I would like to offer you several activities to teach Clothes vocabulary. Here, I will concentrate on teaching the following 15 pieces of clothes: a jacket, a dress, a coat, shorts, trainers, boots, shoes, trousers, a skirt, a shirt, a T-shirt, a hat, a cap, a tie and a jumper. This selection is based upon the textbook Project 1 (third edition).

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To help you with your teaching, there is a song, a different kind of infographic, a pair crossword and an online Vocabulary Trainer. I hope these materials will make your lessons more interesting and effective.

Clothes vocabulary – Song

There are several activities you can do with the following song.

I always play the song and I ask my students to write down all the pieces of clothes they hear. Then I display the song and tell the students to check their answers.

Then I play the song and the students try to sing along.

Of course, you can take the lyrics and prepare a gap fill exercise if you want to.

Clothes vocabulary – infographic

This infographic is different. It is more like a worksheet. Hand it out and first drill the pronunciation of the words:

Clothes vocabulary tables pic

You can print the pdf version here:

Clothes vocabulary worksheet

Then, tell the students to complete the worksheet in the following way:

vocabular info explanation

Clothes vocabulary – Class activity

The following activity is called Pair Crossword. Seat the students in pairs and give each student one half of the following worksheet.
Pair crossword worksheet


Students do not show their crossword to their partner and they solve it. Then they work in pairs and their task is to solve the other half of the crossword. They do it in this way:

Student A: “One down. People wear it on their body/head/legs/feet.”
Student B: “Is it a cap?”
Student A: “No.” etc.

Students take turn and they communicate to complete their half of the crossword.

Clothes Vocabulary – online Vocabulary Trainer

To remember new vocabulary, you need to practise it. That is why I created the following programme. It displays a picture and students have to type what they see. If they do not know a word, the computer repeats the word after a while. Each word can get repeated three times.
The game works on desktops and mobile phones. Thus your students can practise the vocabulary wherever they are.

Vocabulary Trainer – full screen
Four EFL Speaking Activities that Work
Four EFL Speaking Activities that Work

Speaking activities should be the core of the communicative approach. However, there are many textbooks that come with very few exercises to practise this skill. And then you have to create your own. To save your time and energy I will share four speaking activities that worked very well in my classes.

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EFL Speaking Activities – Draw the Picture

The first activity is called Draw the Picture and I was really surprised how well it worked. I have used the picture before to teach the present continuous tense. But this time I covered some pictures with a white square and I put only the name of the person there.
Present continuous speaking worksheet

Parts of the worksheet are covered with white squares.

Present continuous speaking worksheet

Seat the students in pairs and give one of them the worksheet A and the worksheet B to the other one. Students should ask about the people in the white squares and draw them into the picture.

Elicit the question: “What is …. (the name) … doing?”

One student asks and the other draws it into their picture. If you want to practise the vocabulary for clothes too, you could make the students ask the additional question: “What is …(the name)… wearing?”

Students take turns and they try to finish the picture.

This leads to a lot of speaking and communicating.

EFL Speaking Activities – Family tree

Print the following worksheet. The family tree with the words for the relatives should be printed on one side and the page without the words on the other.

Ask the students to complete the worksheet for their families. Help them if necessary. If the students do not have the relatives, they should make the names up.
[showmyadsa] Then students work in pairs and one of the students dictates the names to the other one. It is a great opportunity to practise spelling. Once they finish, they swap roles.

Having finished, students turn the worksheet and try to complete the family tree for their family again. Once they have completed it, they dictate the names and their relationship to their partner.

In this way students practise the family relationships perfectly.

EFL Speaking Activities – Where is my Sock?

Honestly, I am not very good at teaching very young learners. I cannot sing, I cannot dance and I cannot organise the games very well. That is why I hardly ever share any activities I create for the youngest.

However, sometimes a miracle happens and I create an activity that works very well and my students like it. And exactly this occurred last week.

The activity is called Where is my Sock. After learning the rhyme Where is my Sock? from the textbook Happy House 2 (unit 5) I handed out the following picture to everyone.

Where is my Sock – house

Then students worked in pairs and one of them got the pictures of a sock, a bag and a shoe.
Where is my sock – things

The pupil hid the things in one of the rooms and they asked: “Where is my sock?” And the other pupil had to find it by asking:
“Is it in the kitchen?”
“Is it in the bathroom?” etc.

Once the pupil found the objects, they swapped roles.

Students enjoyed the game and they practised the questions and the names of the rooms.

EFL Speaking Activities – Personal questions

Sometimes easy does it. This is one of the oldest and most used activities ever. The aim here is to practise the usage of the personal questions.

Print the following worksheet. Each student needs one. Ask the students to make up the personal details. Just ask them to include @ and dot in the email and keep the telephone number reasonably long (nine digits in the Czech Republic).

Personal informations
Then elicit the questions and write them on the board if you are not sure that the students know them.

Put the students in pairs and ask them to ask the questions and complete the second column.

Delete the questions you are sure your students know well and put them into different pairs. Students ask the questions again and complete the third column.

This activity works very well in a class in which students know each other fairly well.

Present tenses – teach the difference between the present simple and continuous
Present tenses – teach the difference between the present simple and continuous

In my previous post I offered several resources to teach the difference between the present simple and present continuous tenses. There are several exercises and games including an infographic. But, as my students complained that the infographic was not that helpful I created a new one.

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[showmyads] In this post there is an infographic explaining the usage of the two present tenses using the key words and then there is a quiz where the students can practise their knowledge of the grammar.
I hope you like it.

Teach the present tenses – infographic

Display or print the following infographic.
Present tenses infographic
Elicit the usage of the present tenses. Students should understand that the present continuous tense is used when there are the words “now, at the moment, right now and today“.
If the words like “always, sometimes, on Tuesdays” etc. are used the present simple tense is often used.
Of course, this explanation is not 100% grammatically correct but for some students (and many textbook exercises) it works very well.
Emphasize that the students do not have to learn both of the lists. It is enough if they learn the words connected with the present continuous tense and use the present simple in all the other cases.

Present tenses – online quiz

Once your students understand the grammar, they should practise it. They can do so either at school on an IWB or they can do so at home or on their mobile phones. Their task is to complete the sentences either with the present simple or present continuous tense.
Present tenses – online quiz

Present tenses – Darts

I know I have already used this game in my previous post, but as I think the game is really great. You can buy the template and build your own game here.

Type the correct answer and then score as many points possible.

Darts game – full screen
Present simple or present continuous?
Present simple or present continuous?

Sometimes it is very difficult for students to decide whether they should use the present simple or the present continuous tense. To help them decide correctly, I will share several activities with you. These activities make it clear which tense the students should use and how to form it.

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In this post there are two comic stories and an accompanying worksheet. Then there is an infographic focusing on the keywords which are often connected with the tenses. And the last activity is an interactive game to practise the usage of the two tenses.

Present simple or present continuous – Comics

Print the following comics for your students. First, read the comic with the present simple tense:
Present simple tense comics full

Now, print the following worksheet and your students should complete the first exercise.

Present simple worksheet

Check the answers and then ask the students to write sentences into the table in exercise 2. It is a good idea to elicit the first line before they start.

In the exercise 3, students write about their normal day.

As an additional activity, you can ask the students to use the comic story and retell the American´s day. Thus they can practise the third person singular.

Now, it is time to hand out the second comic.

Present continuous comic1

Present continuous comic1

You can print the comic here:

Present continuous comic

Students should read the comic and answer the questions in exercise 4 in the worksheet above.

Present simple or present continuous – explanation

Elicit the difference between the two tenses. For some students the comics make it clear because they can literally see the usage.

Others might profit from the following infographic which focuses on the key words.

Present tenses infographics web

Present simple or present continuous – games

The first game is called noughts and crosses. Hand out the following grid and the key:

Present tenses grid

Students work in pairs. They choose a square where they would like to enter their cross or nought. However, they can do so only if they form a correct sentence using all the words of the coordinates for the given square. If they make a mistake they cannot draw anything. If they are not sure, they can check the sentence in the key grid.

The winner is the student who manages to draw four symbols next to each other.

The following game is called Quiz Darts. Your task is to put the verb in the correct tense and if you answer correctly, you can throw the dart. Your task is to score as many points as possible.

You can play the game on the full screen here:
Present tenses – darts game

Present simple or present continuous – more

You can find several more activities here:

The difference between present simple and continuous

Present simple or present continuous – improved

Present simple and continuous tenses

Which activity did you like best?

Be Going To – Treasure hunt
Be Going To – Treasure hunt

The following set of activities is for false beginners and elementary students of English. The aim of these activities is to practise the usage of the form be going to and reinforcing this form.

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Be going to – Preparation

Make a copy of the worksheet for each student. Make an extra copy of p.1 for each student, so that students have two copies each of exercises 1 and 2.

[showmyads] Be going to worksheet

Be going to – Treasure hunt

1. Display the first slide and tell students that they need to find ‘buried’ treasure under one of the squares. Ask them to give you the coordinates of the square by saying the sentence. Click on the squares to reveal what is beneath. Correct pronunciation and elicit the long forms of I’m, He’s, We’re and They’re.

You can download the powerpoint presentation here:

Be going to Powepoint presentation

2. Display the second slide and tell the students that now you have put the treasure in a different place and that they can find it by making negative sentences. Once they find the treasure, tell them that they are going to play a similar game in pairs.

3. Hand out exercise 1 from the worksheet. You might want to elicit all the sentences and check pronunciation before the students start working in pairs.

4. Ask the students not to show their paper to anyone and to hide four treasure chests in the grid by writing four Xs. Then they try to find their partner’s treasure as in steps 1 and 2 above. When the guessers find one of the crosses, they should write it in their copy of the grid; when they find a blank square, they should draw a line through it. Let them play for a maximum of five minutes.

5. Display the third slide. This time students find the treasure by making questions.

6. Hand out exercise 2 from the worksheet. The students play the same game as before, but this time they make questions. At the end of this activity they should be familiar with all the forms of ‘be going to’, so now it’s time for how to use it.

Be going to – Future plans

7. Display the fourth slide and ask the students to guess what you are going to do this evening, tomorrow, next month and next year.

8. Elicit the use of the form – for your plans for the future.
You can use the following infographic to explain the form:
Be going to affirmative infographic

Be going to negative infographic

[showmyadsa] Be going to – infographic

9. Display the fifth slide, hand out exercise 3 from the worksheet, and ask the students to write down your plans for the given times. After five minutes collect the sentences and check them during the next activity. Suggested answers are given at the bottom of p.5.

10. Hand out exercise 4 from the worksheet and ask the students to draw their plans in the grid. Tell them that they have only five minutes to do this and they mustn´t write words. If they don’t have any plans, they should make them up. In the meantime, check their answers to the previous activity.

11. The students work in pairs to guess what their partner is going to do, using the pictures. They should use yes/no questions and short answers. Demonstrate with one of the students, using your plans on the PowerPoint slide:

A: Are you going to buy a kite next month?
B: No, I’m not.
A: Are you going to fly a kite next month?
B: Yes, I am.

12. Return the students’ sentences from exercise 3 and give feedback.

Be going to – follow up


1. If students need further practice with the form, you could use the following drill:

Say the first sentence and ask the students to transform it using the word you give them. Demonstrate the first one or two.

I’m going to play tennis tomorrow.
you: You’re going to play tennis tomorrow.
football: You’re going to play football tomorrow.

Here is the sequence:

I’m going to play tennis tomorrow.
you / football / watch / they / TV / next week / buy / we / he / a car / she / question / you / he / drive / negative / I

2. Hand out exercise 5 from the worksheet. Check vocabulary before students start the pair work. They then work in pairs to ask and answer the questions.

3. You can find a great infographic and more teaching ideas on be going to here.

4. There are some great ideas on teaching Be going to at British Council site.

Speaking Activities to Practise MUST and Past Continuous
Speaking Activities to Practise MUST and Past Continuous

Recently I have spent quite a lot of time designing various speaking activities for my students. In this post I would like to share two speaking activities which help students practise the usage of the past continuous tense and of the modal verbs MUST, MUSTN´T and DON´T HAVE TO. I hope both of the activities will be useful.

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Past continuous tense – game

In the first activity, students cut the following worksheet in two. Then they cut the activity cards.

Past continuous tense – game worksheet ADVERT:
[showmyads] Students put six activity cards into the plan. Each activity goes into one square and they must not show their plan to anyone.
Then the students try to guess when the people were doing the activities. They ask in the following way:

A:Was Jane playing football?
B: Yes, she was.
A: Was she playing football at six o´clock?
B: No, she wasn´t. It is my turn.

Each student asks questions till their partner answers NO. Then they swap roles. The aim of each student is to guess all the activities and times in their partner´s plan. If a student guesses an activity and time, their partner removes the activity from their plan. The one who has no activities in their plan lost.

In my experience, students love this activity and it is a great way to practise the questions in the past continuous tense.

Modal verbs – board game

Print the following board game for your students and tell them to work in groups of three or four. Print the card with the correct answers too. Each group will need one set of the answers.

Modal verbs board game

Here are the correct answers:

The rules of the game are simple. Each student has a counter and they throw a die. They move ahead. If they produce the sentence they land on correctly, they stay where they landed, if they don´t they move back to the Start.

Explain that the students have to produce sentences with the verbs MUST, MUSTN´T and DON´T HAVE TO only.

Speaking activities – Your Opinion

Which activity do you like better:

Present continuous questions
Present continuous questions

Present continuous tense is one of the most popular tenses among students. It is easy to form and its usage is crystal clear (at least at the beginning). However, when it comes to forming questions, students often fail. To avoid this, I have come up with a number of activities to help my learners and I would like to share them with you now.

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[showmyads] In this post, there is a video to teach the question word, an infographic, several interactive exercises and logical worksheets.

Present continuous YES/NO questions

In the first part, it is important to teach the formation of the YES/NO questions in the present continuous tense. Print the following worksheet:
Present continuous questions – worksheet In the first part, there is a column of sentences which students should transform into questions. Tell them to use the colours to guide them. Help those struggling. Check the questions. Then tell students to transform the sentences in the second column.
Now your students should be able to form questions in the present continuous tense. And as they discovered the rules themselves, they are sure to remember them well.

Present continuous tense – short answers

Display the following infographic.
Present continuous questions
Demonstrate how the infographic works. Write one of the questions on the board. Ask the students with which word the question starts. Point to the word in the infographic. Elicit the colour. Now, point to the question on the board and elicit what follows the first word. Find the continuation in the rectangles and explain that the correct answers are the two possibilities behind it.
It took just two examples for my students to understand the formation of the short answers.
Return to the worksheet and ask the students to write both of the short answers below the questions they formed previously. Check their answers.

Question words – video and infographic

Before you start teaching questions with the question words, teach the question words first. Here is a video teaching the question words:

You can use the following infographic too:
Question words web
Once the students know the basic question words, it is time to practise them. In the following video students see the answer and their task is to supply the correct question word.

Present continuous questions

Now teach students how to form questions starting with WH… words in the present continuous tense.
Print the following worksheet.
[showmyadsa] Present continuous WH questions – worksheet

Ask the students to form questions in the first column asking about the information in colour. Point to the colourful question words at the bottom of the worksheet which will help your students.
Check the answers and tell them to complete the second column.

Finish the worksheet above in one lesson and then bring the following worksheet. This worksheet contains three exercises. In the first exercise students see the answer and their task is to write the question words. In the second task, students see the answer and they should ask about the underlined information. In the last exercise, students see the answer and they should write three questions for the given answer.
Present continuous questions – worksheet 2

Present continuous questions – more exercises

In the first quiz, you should form the YES/NO questions.
Present continuous questions – quiz 1
In the second quiz students have to write the short answers:
Present continuous questions – quiz 2
In the third quiz students know the answers and they have to write the questions.
Present continuous questions – quiz 3
In the fourth quiz, students have some cues and they have to write the questions using the cues.
Present continuous questions – quiz 4
If you cannot use a computer in your classroom, you can use the following worksheet with all the exercises.
Present continuous questions worksheet
Two speaking activities for elementary students
Two speaking activities for elementary students

Speaking activities are essential in a communicative approach. Most people agree that students should communicate ever since they start learning English. However, it is really difficult to design genuine communicative tasks for low-level students of English. In this post, I would like to share two communicative tasks for beginners. In the first one, students practise the verb HAVE GOT and in the second one they go shopping for clothes. I hope you like them.

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Speaking activity – HAVE GOT

For this speaking activity, you need two worksheets. Each student needs the following picture:
Have got speaking game picture
Second, each student needs to cut the following picture into the pictures.
Have got speaking activity
Each student places four of the machines into their picture (one machine is in the garden, one is at home, one is in the picture and one is at school). They must not show their board to anyone.
Students work in pairs and they try to guess what their partner has placed in the places. They have to ask: “Have you got a computer?” If the answer is YES, they go on. “Have you got the computer in the garden?” If the answer is YES again, the thing is removed from the game. If the answer is NO, students swap roles. Students swap roles every time they answer NO.
The winner is the student who removes the four things from their partner’s plan first.
Students love the game.
You can download the worksheets here in pdf file.
Have Got speaking worksheet

Speaking activity – SHOPPING

I had to teach my students how to shop. There was a nice dialogue in the textbook which I turned into a vanishing drill and we learnt it. Then I was looking for a communicative activity where my students would be able to use the phrases. Unfortunately, there was none. So I spent quite a lot of time creating it. I hope you will find it useful.

Print the following worksheet. Students work in pairs and each of them has one half of the worksheet. They must not show their worksheet to their partner and their task is to find out how much they have to pay for the clothes with no price tags. They should use the dialogues in the boxes. Point out that they should use the blue dialogue for the clothes in the blue square and the yellow dialogue for the ones with the yellow background.
[showmyadsa] Shopping for Clothes – speaking activity

Speaking activity – your opinion

Which of these activities do you like better:

Easter – English Learning Magazine
Easter – English Learning Magazine

Easter is coming and many teachers are looking for materials connected with Easter. Here, I am offering a magazine full of materials connected with Easter for learners of English. I hope you like it.

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[showmyadsa] Easter – English learning magazine

22 Verbs in the past simple tense
22 Verbs in the past simple tense

Elementary students often struggle with verbs. They know very few of them and this deficit becomes obvious at the moment they start learning the past simple tense. To help them I created the following post where I try to teach 22 frequent verbs and their past tense.

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In this post, you can find an infographic with all the verbs and four games to learn the verbs.

Verbs in the past simple tense – infographic

Ask your students to study the following infographic. Drill the pronunciation with them and give them about five minutes to memorise the words.
22 verbs in the past simple tense
You might ask your students to divide the verbs to regular and irregular verbs, too.

Verbs in the past simple tense – games

Then play the following games. If each student has got their own computer, they play on their own. If you use an IWB, ask one student to come to the front of the class and the others try to help him/her.
[wptabsy] [tab]Darts game[/tab] [tab]Dice game[/tab] [tab]Time game[/tab] [tab]Length game[/tab] [tabcontent] In this games, students should write the verbs. They must divide the verbs with a comma and a space. If they answer correctly they have to stop the dart to get as many points as possible. The highest score they can achieve is 60, if they stop the dart in the triple of the number 20. The aim of this game is to get as many points as possible.

[showmyadsa] Darts game – full screen [/tabcontent] [tabcontent] In this games, students should write the verbs. They must divide the verbs with a comma and a space. If they answer correctly they have to stop the dice to get as many points as possible. They get one point for each point on the dice and they get 10 points bonus if the dice show the same number.

Dice game – full screen [/tabcontent] [tabcontent] In this game, student write the verbs. They must divide the verbs with a comma and a space. If they answer correctly, they have to guess how long is the line on the screen. The better their guess is the more points they get.

[showmyadsa] Length game [/tabcontent] [tabcontent] In this game, student write the verbs. They must divide the verbs with a comma and a space. If they answer correctly, they have to stop the countdown when it reaches zero. The closer to zero they get the more points they get.

[adinserter block=”2″] Guess the time game [/tabcontent] [/wptabsy]

Which game do you like best