TEFL Games

onion1.jpg…or better yet just “moving” activities. These are not all competitions, but all involve physical components – like standing up and moving at least – to some extent.

Running Dictation
Students work in pairs. There is a text/conversation/list of numbered sentences up on the wall, ideally more than one copy so people don’t have to shove each other to get a look. Student A sits and B goes up, remembers as much of the first sentence as possible, runs back and tells Student A, who writes it down. The goal is to transcribe the text/conversation/list in full, correctly, and to be the fastest. B can go back to check or if he can’t remember all of the first “part”. Then A and B switch places; A gets up and B writes. This activity uses speaking, listening, reading and writing skills…and running skills. If you need to give students short contexts for phrasal verbs or tenses or any vocabulary, really, this is one more interactive way to do it.

Onion Rings

You can use this “moving” activity for a variety of purposes. Have half the class form a small ring in the middle, with their backs to the center, and have the other half find a partner in this ring and stand facing them (so the outside ring people are facing the center of the same circle)…like an onion? (Apparently some TEFL ancestor thought so) The students interact with the first partner, and they changer partners by the outside circle moving one person over and the inside circle staying in the same place. The activity could be that each student has one question to ask (“What do you usually do on Saturdays?”), some kind of roleplay where they take on a new identity and have to find out other people’s names/jobs/phone numbers, or a “getting to know you” activity where they try to find two/three/seven things in common with each partner.

Even a simple adaptation like having students “ring in” with their answers by smacking the table can add variety to a lesson. To make Jeopardy even more interactive, get students to come up with the “questions” (well, in Jeopardy lingo, the answers).

Find more examples of TEFL games – using the whiteboard – here.