• You can give students a spot the difference information gap activity to do in pairs.Give
each student a picture. The pictures should be almost the same with two or three elements
missing from each picture. Without showing each other the pictures they should describe
their pictures to each other and try to find which objects are missing. They will
practisecolours, prepositions of place, and adjectives such as big, small. They can
compare their pictures when they have finished.
• Ask children to sit back to back and imagine they are having a telephone conversation.
They can practise telephone language or just simple exchanges based on your current
class topic that aren’t connected to the telephone itself. Sitting back to back make this
more fun, interesting and helps children really concentrate on listening to their partner.
• Children can play a board game in small groups. Before they start you can practise game
language such as ‘It’s my turn’ and ‘Throw the dice’ as a whole class. You can print the
LearnEnglish Kids snakes and ladders board game
you want to practice specific language points you can write questions on the snakes and
ladders board. When a player lands on a square with a question they have to answer the
• Students can act out a simple play in small groups. Use masks or puppets to make this
more fun. You’ll find finger puppets and masks in the craft download section on
LearnEnglish Kids http://learnenglishkids.britishcouncil.org/en/craft-downloads
Setting up speaking activities
Make sure that children know what they have to do. Demonstrate the activity either yourself or
with a volunteer. Ask the students what they have to do and maybe let them answer in their
mother tongue to check understanding. Appoint an ‘English monitor’ in each group to remind the
others to speak English. If you put students into pairs of student A and student B make sure
everyone knows whether they are A or B by asking for a show of hands. Set a time limit and
have a signal for finishing such as raising your hand and saying ‘stop’. You could also have an
activity ready for early finishers such as a worksheet to complete or a selection of picture books
to look at.
Try to use English as much as possible for communication in the classroom from day one to give
students the chance to speak English with you and with their classmates. Demonstrate your
instructions as you say them in English and your learners will soon understand ‘Sit down’, ‘Put
your pencil on the table’, ‘Hands up’ etc. Teach students to use expressions like ‘Can I have…’,
‘I’ve finished’, ‘Can I go to the toilet?’ at the start of the course so that they have the language to
speak to you in English in the classroom.
Praise your students when they try to use English and keep reminding them to use English
whenever possible in class.