5 Great Activities to Accelerate All Four Language Skills
I would like to introduce five flashcards activities which I found fun and practical to enhance a student's vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, listening, and speaking.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate MOHSEN H. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.
1. Show & Tell
This activity is designed to teach vocabulary as well as practice listening. It can be used for teaching various categories (animals, food, fruits, …) or a mix of them. The teacher gives each of the students a set of flashcards and asks them to show him/her the correct card when they hear the item spoken. For example: “Show me a pig” “Hands up if you’ve got a banana” “Stand up if you have the bread” This activity also works very well in teams with each team given an equal number of flashcards. The first team to show the teacher the correct item scores one point.
This activity is a good engaging flashcard game to review or practice grammar, vocabulary or a variety of language. Stick flashcards of the grammar (could be the present and past tense of verbs) or vocabulary on the board or spread them out on a table. Divide the class into two teams. Have each team line up at the back of the classroom. Clear the path to the board (table) to make a runway for students. Call out a word from one of the flashcards. One student from each team runs to the board and they race to grab the corresponding flashcard and repeat the word. You could also call out a word and have the two students race to grab the opposite flashcard. Another way to do it is (For higher-level students) to describe a word and have the two students race to find the flashcard being described. You could also ask a question and have the two students race to find the corresponding flashcard to answer. For all versions of the game, the first student to grab the correct flashcard and respond appropriately keeps the card for their team. Then, repeat the game with two more students, and so on. The team with the most flashcards at the end of the game wins.
This activity is suitable for practicing vocabulary and pronunciation. To do this activity, the teacher and the students need to sit in a circle. The teacher picks a card and starts by passing a picture card to the student on his/her left, saying, “This is a dog.” The student takes the card and passes it to the next student, saying, “This is a dog.” The card is passed around the circle. When the card returns to the teacher, the teacher puts that card aside and introduces a new card in the same way. To make it more challenging you can introduce cards at the same time going in opposite directions or send 3-4 cards around the circle in the same directions with little pause between each.
This is a good vocabulary review activity for different categories (animal, vegetable, furniture, food, fruit, …). The teacher holds some cards without showing any to the students. Then the teacher tells the students that they are going to receive 3 hints, so they need to listen carefully and guess what it is. If they give the correct answer, they will get 3 points. For example 1. I am grey. 2. I have a long trunk. 3. I am so big. Who am I? Well, an elephant of course! You can make it at different levels depending on how much English you use or which vocab you use.
5. Find the Odd One
This activity is perfect to learn vocabulary and practice speaking. For doing this game you need to have different categories of flashcards (food, animal, fruit, …). The teacher puts 5 flashcards on the table (board). 4 cards should be related to the same category and one from a different category. For instance: sheep, pig, hen, lion (not a farm animal), dog. Then the teacher asks the students to find the odd one and explain why it doesn’t belong to that category.
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