7 Awesome ESL Conversation Activities to Really Get Your Students Talking
2018-10-01 Linda Dunsmore Teaching Ideas
We all know what it’s like to teach a class with reluctant students who don’t want to talk. It’s like pulling teeth. However, with these 7 awesome ESL conversation activities, you can really get your students talking!
1. Ice Breaker Jenga
For this activity, you simply use a tumbling block game such as Jenga and write 1 simple ice breaker question on each block. Before a student places a block on the stack, they must first answer the question on the block. This activity is especially great for small ESL classes or for small groups in a big class.
2. Get To Know You Bingo
First, take a few minutes to brainstorm characteristics a person might have. This could be something like “has flown in an airplane” or “has a younger sister”. Next, students fill out bingo boards with these characteristics as they please. Next, they mingle among the class asking a question to one student at a time. If student 2 answers positively, student 1 can check their bingo board. The first student with 5 in a row shouts “Bingo!” and wins the game.
3. Mystery Party Guest
To play this game, the teacher assigns a mystery identity to about 5 students. One at a time, these students enter a “party”, where another student is playing the host. It is now the hosts aim to find out the identity of each person by having conversations with each guest.
4. 20 Questions
Have a student choose an object. The rest of the class then take turns asking yes/no questions to find out what the object is. The class can only ask 20 questions to determine what object student 1 has chosen. If they cannot solve it with 20 questions, student 1 wins the game.
5. Create a Game
Have students group up and get them talking to each other by making up their own board game. Once they are finished, they present their game to the class. After, you can keep the games in your classroom collection and play them as a reward.
6. Apples to Apples
This is a very popular game involving play cards. Group up your students and determine a judge for the first round. The judge then lays down a card and the other students need to play cards that they think relate to the judge’s card. When all cards have been laid down, the judge chooses the card that is most appropriate and then must explain his reasoning behind the choice. Another student then becomes the judge for the next round.
7. Choose Your Victim
This game is great for practicing a specific grammar point with your students. Have all students stand up. The first student to start asks a question using the grammatical structure and then tosses a ball to another student, who must answer. If they answer correctly, they may ask a question and toss the ball to another student. If they answer incorrectly, they must return the ball and sit down. The last student standing wins.
Also Read: 11 Fun ESL Activities for Young Learners
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