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Linda Dunsmore

Teaching Ideas

7 Go-To Activities For Your ESL Conversation Class

7 Go-To Activities For Your ESL Conversation Class | ITTT | TEFL Blog

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As an ESL teacher, getting your students talking can be one of the most difficult things to accomplish. English learners often lack the necessary confidence to speak openly and freely in English. The following activities are perfect for getting your students out of their shells!

Here are 7 go-to activities for your ESL conversation class.

1. Dialogue

Pair up your students and let them write a short dialogue. After all the pairs are done, they go in front of the class and perform their dialogue like a play.

2. Role-Play Change-Up

Hand out a role-play scenario and let two students perform the role-play in front of the class. After they have been talking for a while, freeze the conversation, and choose two new students to pick up and continue the play. Do this several times.

3. Interviews

Interviews are a great way for students to practice their English conversation skills. Start by having your students think of interview questions. Note them down on the board for everyone to see. Next, select an interviewer to ask the other students questions. Switch the interviewer after a few questions.

Also read: 7 Activities for Teaching the Present Progressive for the ESL Classroom

4. Tag Team Role Play

While a classic role play is always a great activity for your ESL conversation class, you can spice it up a little. To do that, select two students to work as a team in one conversation. If S1 gets stuck and doesn’t know what to say, he/she tags S2 to take over the conversation.

5. Mystery Partner

Select one student to be the host of a dinner party. Select four or 5 other students to be the party guests and assign secret identities to each guest. The host must discover the guests’ secret identities through conversations with them. Once the host correctly identifies a guest, the guest can sit down. Repeat until everyone in the class has had a chance to play.

6. Problem Solved

Split your class into two groups and have each group choose a speaker for their team. Present the teams with a problem and challenge the two speakers to come to a mutual understanding. Make sure that you assign each team with a slightly different outcome for the role play to make things interesting. The speakers should consult the other team members throughout the role-play to find the best compromise.

Also read: 5 Simple But Effective ESL Flashcard Activities

7. Creative Improvisation

Choose current vocabulary words and write them on cards. Have your students pick two or three cards each. Two of the students improvise a dialogue with the words on their cards. The first student to use all of their words wins.

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