When I was teaching my classes online, we couldn’t practice speaking. We had to use Google Meet and the interaction was pretty limited. Once we returned to our classes I flooded my students with speaking activities. In this post, I would like to share the ones that I used to practise the past simple tense.(more…)
In this text I suggest a method of teaching speaking and I explain why it should be done in this way.
Once we return from the summer holiday, I would love to hear my students telling me where they were and what they did there. Some might be able to do it straight away, drawing on what they learned in the past, but most of them will be silent. To prevent the silence, I have designed the following lesson to help my students revise what they know and give them the language they will need to be able to speak about their summer holiday.(more…)
This time I offer a free download of my book 444 Grammar Conversations. As the title suggests, this book contains nearly 500 speaking clues to practise grammar in conversations.
To learn a grammar point, students need to understand it and then exercise it in speaking. That is why many teachers constantly search for some speaking activities to practise a given grammar point.
444 Grammar Conversations – How to use this book
Go to the appropriate section and copy the cues there. You can adapt the questions for the use in your classroom.
I use the cues in the following ways:
- ) The simplest one is, that I print the questions for everyone and students work in pairs and read the questions and answer them.
- ) Print the questions just once for each pair and give the copy to one student in the pair. The student with the handout asks the questions and the other answers them.
- ) Print one copy for each pair and cut it in half. Each student asks their questions and answers the questions their partner asks.
- ) My favorite activity is called Clock speaking. Divide the questions into several sections and write a time instead of a number to each section. Tell the students to find a different partner for each section. Then say what time it is and students have to work with the partner they have arranged. They ask the questions and answer them.
- ) Print the questions for every student and ask them to choose 5 questions they like best. Then the students work in pairs and ask and answer the questions they have selected.
I hope you like this book. If you do, please like our site and share the book.
You can download our book Grammar Up here for free. This book features a completely new way of teaching grammar so it is worth checking out.
Next week we hope to publish a post on forming questions in the past tense. As a preview you can listen to the rap song which we created for this post.
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.
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.
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:
I have always wanted to be a writer. Ever since I was ten I dreamt of publishing a book. And on Saturday, thirty years later I did it. I published a book called 444 Grammar Conversations. This book is for teachers of English to have a set of questions they can use to practise a grammar point in a conversation. And in this post I would like to share with you ten speaking activities, you may find useful when using this book. All the following activities are based on a list of questions.
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10 Speaking Activities
In the book 444 Grammar Conversations I mention the following activities:
a) The simplest speaking activity is, that you print the questions for everyone and students work in pairs and read the questions and answer them.
b) Write the questions just once for each pair and give the copy to one student in the pair. The student with the handout asks the questions and the other answers them.
c) Print one copy for each pair and cut it in half. Each student asks their questions and answers the questions their partner asks.
d) My favorite activity is called Clock speaking. Divide the questions into several sections and write a time instead of a number to each section. Tell the students to find a different partner for each section. Then say what time it is and students have to work with the partner they have arranged. They ask the questions and answer them.
Here you can see an example worksheet for the Clock Speaking activity:
e) Give each student a copy of the questions and ask them to choose 5 questions they like. Then they work in pairs and ask only the questions they chose.
And here, there are five more speaking activities fot the book 444 Grammar Conversations :
f) One student answers a question from the list and the other has to guess which question was answered.
g) Students work in pairs and one student asks and the other has to answer for a set time (e.g. 15 seconds). In this way, students are made to speak longer.
h) Students ask and answer the questions in pairs, but they can lie. The interviewer has to guess when the speaker is lying.
i) Give each student only two questions from the set. Each student has different questions. Students mingle and ask the questions they have on their slip of paper and they answer the questions the others ask.
j) Forbidden words: Students work in pairs and they ask and answer the questions but they must not use the words YES, NO and I don´t know. (Of course you can select other words).
What do you think of the book:
Recently, in the post called Questions with Like, I asked you to choose the activity you would like me to write about. Most of you voted for a Speaking activity, so I prepared a set of speaking activities to practice the prepositions of place.
I have already created a post on prepositions, so this time there will be no infographics just two speaking activities. If you are looking for more speaking activities, you can find a two great speaking activities here.
Speaking activities – Battle
The first activity is called Battle and it was devised and recommended by K. Folse in his book The Art of Teaching Speaking.
First, print out the worksheet with 18 pictures. Each picture is different and they are labelled with letters A to R.
Ask students to work in groups of three. They should label themselves A, B, and C. Student A starts.
Student A will choose a room in the worksheet. Then students B and C will take turns asking yes – no questions to identify A´s room. For example, B asks: “Is the table in front of the sofa?” If student A answers “Yes, it is,” student B asks another question. He continues in this way till student B answers “No.” Then it is student´s C turn. Students go on like this till someone identifies the picture student A is thinking of.
After student B or C has guessed A´s room, student B chooses a room and students A and C try to guess it in the same way as they did with student A.
Students keep track of how many rooms they guessed correctly, and the winner is the one who guessed most.
Here is the worksheet students will use (it is enough to print out just one worksheet for each group.)
Speaking activities – Language needed
To be able to do the task above successfully, your students need to know the following vocabulary and grammar:
Vocabulary: plant, picture, lamp, table, cushion, plant, sofa, floor, wall, chair, ball and the prepositions of place (you find the materials to teach Prepositions of place here).
Grammar: to form question with is/are and the phrases There is / there are.
If your students do not know the language mentioned above, the speaking activity will not work!!!
Speaking activities – Drawing a Picture
First you need to print out the following worksheet once for each pair of students. They should cut it in the middle and each student should keep one sheet. (Now each student has two pictures with the room.)
Then, each student draws between 5 and 10 objects into one of his pictures. He or she has to draw objects they know the English words for. I personally ask my students to draw pieces of furniture we learn in the textbook unit.
Students sit with their backs to each other and one describes their picture for their partner, and the partners draws the objects into the picture he or she has not drawn into yet. When one student finishes they swap their roles and the other student describes their picture.
At the end the students compare their pictures.
Here is the worksheet:
To be able to print out the worksheets in the best possible quality, use the following pdf file:
Speaking activities – Language needed
To be able to do the task above successfully, your students need to know the following phrases:
Can you repeat that?
Tell me again.
Where does the …. go?
Speaking activities – Conclusion
I hope you will find both of the speaking activities useful and interesting, and that they will make it into your classroom. Both of the activities should ensure that your students will produce a lot of language and they will practice their knowledge of prepositions of place.