Tag: dates

Dates – great activities to teach dates in English
Dates – great activities to teach dates in English

It is very important for students to be able to say and understand dates in English. For example if our students deal with someone about a deadline, they need to be sure what date is being talked about. In business, missing the deadline can have dire consequences. Therefore, dates are extremely important for the students to learn.

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I have already published some materials on this topic. There is a post on dates here. But as I was not really happy with my students´ progress in this area, I created several new materials and I was pleased to see how well they worked in my classes. That is why I will share them here and I hope they will be as successful in your classes as they were in mine.

Dates – months

To be able to form dates, students have to know the months.
I always start with the following song by British Council:

Time for another year – song

Ordinal numbers

Another thing your students need to know before they can form the dates, are the ordinal numbers. Display the following infographic. Explain that the students have to learn the numbers 1-3 by heart. Then explain that it is enough to add the ending -th. However, they have to be careful with the spelling of the numbers in the green field. Numbers above 20 are explained in the last field.

Ordinal numbers adaptive learning

Play the following video and ask the students to repeat the numbers.

Dates – infographic

Once the students know the months and the ordinal numbers, it is time to teach them how to form the dates. Display the following infographic:

Dates infographic engames.eu

Explain that in English there are two ways to say a date. You can use either the way displayed on the left, where you start from the centre and move outside. Thus the resulting date is THE ORDINAL NUMBER OF MONTH.

Or they can choose the other way of saying the date. It is depicted on the right and students start from the outside and move to the centre. The resulting phrase then is MONTH THE ORDINAL NUMBER.


First, try the following dictation. Students listen and write the dates they hear. The correct results are displayed at the end of the video. If you see that your students struggle, it is a good idea to play the video twice and pause the recording after each date.

I found out that Bingo is a great way to practise dates. Print the following worksheet and cut it into cards. Give each student a card. Explain the rules and set the winning combination. I usually say that the winner needs two columns. Then you call one of the students and he or she says a date from their card. Then you call another and so on.

Dates bingo game
Dates – adaptive learning
Dates – adaptive learning

Adaptive learning has been the new buzz word in Language teaching community for some time. It sounds so promising. Students will learn only those things they do not know and they will practise what is needed for them to remember. And of course everything will be computer based and the students will be able to learn at the moments they feel like it.
Sounds great, however there are many pitfalls. I recommend the text on Adaptive learning and teaching at http://the-round.com/resource/a-short-guide-to-adaptive-learning-in-english-language-teaching/. To show you how such an adaptive learning activity could look, I have created a simple adaptive learning activity on Dates.

It is really simple, because it will repeat the thing the student does not master only once. Ideally the programme should offer a different explanation (based on your mistakes) each time you fail to learn something. Here I mostly offer the same explanation, but I have tried this in one case.

Dates – activities

The aim of the adaptive learning activity is to teach ordinal numbers from 1 to 12 and the months.
Thus at the end the students will be able to form Dates in English using the ordinal numbers from first to twelfth (plus twenty-first, twenty-second and twenty-first). If you want to teach the all the dates go to the following post on DATES .

Here is the adaptive learning activity. As it is in HTML 5 it should work on any device. Just follow the instructions and if you learn all the dates you will be give a chance to play a game. Enjoy.

If you would like to see the adaptive learning activity on the full screen click the button:

Dates – adaptive learning

Dates – Share

At some schools there is a problem with the internet connection. That is why you can download the following file and use the activity offline with your students. Moreover, you can upload the activity to your site and share it there. No strings attached 🙂

DATES_html5 (Web)

Dates – learn to say the dates and ordinal numbers in English
Dates – learn to say the dates and ordinal numbers in English

To say dates in English is quite simple. However, as there are two ways to do this, students often get confused and mix both of them together. I hope that this post will help them clarify this extremely important area.

Dates – mind map

To be able to say dates in English correctly, it is necessary to know the ordinal numbers. Most of the ordinal numbers are made by adding the ending -th.(If you have a problem with this sound, I strongly recommend this BBC video) However, as always, there are several exceptions to this rule. The rules are explained in ther upper right corner of the mind map.

ADVERT: [showmyads]Dates mind map - the way to say Dates correctly in English

Notice the way the change of spelling of the words twenty and thirty. In English there are only two ways to say dates. You can either start with the month and then say THE and the ordinal number, or you can say THE + the ordinal number + OF + the month. Do not mix the two ways!!!

Dates – games

Once you have studied the mind map, it is time to practise everything. In the first game you have a chance to practise all the ordinal numbers. Your task is to shoot all the invaders and from time to time write the given ordinal number. There are all the ordinal numbers which you will ever need to say date.

Ordinal numbers – Teacher invaders

In the second game, called On target, your task is to choose the correct way a given date is said. I believe that if you play this game twice or three times you will learn the correct way to say the dates.

Dates – On target

If you come to this site using a mobile device you might hate the fact that most of the games do not play there. That is why I am trying to add a few HTML5 games to play even there. Here is one of them.

Find the ordinal numbers: Ordinal numbers – Find the words

Dates – conclusion

All the materials in this post have been tested in the classroom and they have been improved on the basis of students’ reactions and suggestions. I hope that you will find them useful. If you study dates, you might need to improve your NUMBERS too. You can find a post on numbers here.