1. Ask each student to write you a letter per week.
2. Tell them that the subject of correspondence is non-specific and make them sure of the personal information confidence.
3. Try to answer their letters as detailed as you can.

My holiday

1. The teacher gives the class clues as to where he will be going on holiday by describing his typical activities there, e.g. I'll be eating fish and chips. I'll be drinking tea. I'll be watching Arsenal.
2. The students have to guess the city, which is, of course, London. The teacher points out that very obvious clues like I'll be visiting Buckingham Palace would not be allowed. The students are then divided into groups and a member of each group is secretly given the name of another well known town, for example Washington, Edinburgh, Paris or Rome.
3. A student in each group then describes what he will be doing there during his holiday. The other students in the group take turns to guess where he will be going. Sentences and guesses must be given within 30 seconds. e.g. Student 1: I'll be drinking wine. Student 2: Will you be visiting Paris? Student 1: No, I won’t. I'll be watching a bullfight. Student 2: Will you be staying in Madrid?

Draw a word

1. Whisper to one student, or write down on a slip of paper, a word or phrase that the class has recently learnt.
2. The student draws a representation of it on the board: this can be a drawing, a symbol, or a hint clarified through mime.
3. The rest of the class has to guess the item.

Controversial statements

1. Write up two or three controversial statements, or proverbs, on the board. E.g. Beauty is only a matter of taste.
2. Then find out what the majority opinion on each is, by vote.
3. If you have time, discuss them.

Start your own business

1. Learners individually make a list of 15 things they are good at, for example, driving a car, writing letters, making excuses, dreaming, and so on.
2. They get into pairs and in turn read out their lists. They tick the skills they share. If they realize that they have a skill which their partner listed but they forgot, they can add it to their lists.
3. Two pairs come together to form a group of four. They read out the skills that have been ticked and decide which skills all four have in common. The groups then go through these and choose skills which could be of interest or use to the general public. They also have to think of how these skills can become services. For example if cooking is a common skill, the services could be open a snackbar, deliver pizzas to homes, and so on.
4. Tell the groups that they have just established a 'Co-operative Business Venture' offering their services to the public. They must produce a list of new approaches in their service, e.g.: We can serve each 10th meal to our regular customer free of charge.

Accidental writing

1. Tell the students about an accident you have had - maybe as a child. Ask them to write down 5-10 key words from your story and then collect all the words on the board.
2. Ask the students to think of an accident they have had and write down just the key words (5-10) from that incident.
3. Pair the students and tell them to exchange papers (key words). The key words then become their own and they write an account of the accident in the first person singular as though it had happened to them.
4. While the students are writing you can circulate helping with vocabulary and structures where needed.
5. When the students have finished they exchange the papers, read the accounts and tell their partner how near the truth it is.

Sound off

1. Play the tape through once with the sound turned off.
2. Ask the students to predict as much as they can about the verbal content of the extract from the visual images alone. This could involve guessing who the characters are, what they are talking about, what their attitudes are, etc.
3. You should encourage your students to give reasons for their answers on the basis of the setting, facial expressions, use of gesture, style of clothing, etc.
4. Play the video through with the sound so that your students can check that their predictions were correct.

Sounds English

1. Make a list of items for practice. These could include individual sounds such as the vowels (a-e-i-o-u), as well as short utterances such as What?, You're where?, A big black book, etc.
2. Explain to the students that they are going to have some fun so as to 'sound English'. All of this has to be conducted with a light touch and you should be seen to be making a fool of yourself, too.
3. You should practice the vowels and short utterances, stretching them to their limits of acceptability in English, because the essential thing to do is to exaggerate. Students who do not usually go quite as far as they need to will be trying to imitate you and 'sound English'.
4. Walk around the class correcting the students and give them a chance to rehearse in pairs, if necessary.

My tastes

1. Give each student a loose piece of paper and ask them to write down one thing they love doing, one thing they hate doing and one thing they don't mind doing.
2. Do the same yourself. Take in the papers, then read them out one by one, and see if the class can identify each student - and you - by likes and dislikes.

Ambiguous picture

1. Draw a small part of a picture. Ask the students what it is going to be. Encourage different opinions. Do not confirm or reject their ideas.
2. Add a little more to the drawing and ask the question again. Build your picture up in about four stages.

Compare yourself

1. Ask students to find different ways of comparing themselves with each other.
2. Students in pairs write down or simply say the appropriate sentences. E.g. You are taller than I am.

Guess where?

1. Explain that a small object (for example a matchbox, a pen, or a book) is hidden somewhere in the picture.
2. Tell the students to find out where it is by asking the teacher questions, e.g. Is it on the table? Is it in the cupboard? Is it under the bed? The object is not, of course, actually hidden in the picture – the students have to imagine that it is there.
3. The game can be played teams, with the students asking the teacher in turns and collecting points for speed and correctness of answer.


1. Show the students a picture of a movie, music or political star.
2. Ask them in turn to make a statement about the person.
3. When a student lacks information about a star and can't say anything he or she quits.

What would you like to know?

1. Learners sit in a large circle or in any other way which will allow the smooth circulation of sheets of paper.
2. Give each student a sheet of paper. They write the main topic of their interests at the top of the page. Adults can briefly describe their profession, or if the learners are school students or all have the same profession, use hobbies.
3. Each student passes the sheet to the person on the left, who reads the title and writes a question about the subject. The papers are passed on again to the left.
4. The procedure is repeated with learners writing a question on every piece of paper they receive. They should read the questions that have already been written, so as to avoid repetition.
5. When the papers have come back to their owners they read all the questions and then write a text which answers them. They decide on the order in which they will answer the questions and on how to organize the text, but they must answer all the questions.
6. The questions and the corresponding texts are displayed together and learners mill around reading the questions and responses, checking if their question has been answered. If the learners have any queries about the way their questions were answered they should make a note of them.
7. In turn, the writers of the texts stand by their work while the other members of the group ask for clarification, or for an answer if their question was not answered in the text.

Blackboard bingo

1. Write on the board 10 to 15 words which you would like to review. Tell the students to choose any five of them and write them down.
2. Read out the words, one by one and in any order. If the students have written down one of the words you call out they cross it off. When they have crossed off all their five words they tell you, by shouting 'Bingo'. Keep a record of what you say in order to be able to check that the students really have heard all the words.
3. The procedure above demands recognition of sound and spelling relationships. You can make the activity more demanding by giving, for example, a definition of the word. The students must then listen for meaning and match this definition with their words.

Hip Hop

1. Around the 'circle' students count upwards from one, each student saying one number. However; if a number is divisible by three, they say 'Hip' instead of the number. The sequence would begin: 'one, two, hip, four, five, hip, seven, eight, hip, ten'
2. Continue until each student has had two or three turns, or until there is little hesitation and few mistakes.
3. As a variation insert a different word for all multiples of 3 and 5 (or any other two small numbers you choose), so that if a number is divisible by 3, students say 'hip', and if it is divisible by 5, they say 'hop'. Counting from one to ten would then produce the sequence: 'one, two, hip, four, hop, hip, seven, eight, hip, hop' The number fifteen would be 'hip hop'.

Broken telephone

1. Teacher mutters in the first student's ear a phrase, e.g.: "Every day and in every way I'm getting better and better."
2. The student mutters this phrase in another student's ear and so on.
3. The last student tells aloud what he has heard.

Simon says

1. Give the students simple commands: Stand up! Turn round! They must obey these commands only if you say 'Simon says' first; if you omit this prefix they should ignore them. Any student who performs a command that was said without 'Simon says' loses a 'life'. They have three lives, after which they are 'out'. Later, students themselves may give the commands.
2. As a variation, omit the 'Simon says' rule; instead, give a command and at the same time do an action which may or may not correspond to it. The students have to do what you tell them, not (necessarily) what they see you do.

Sing the line

1. Teacher plays the record of a song line by line.
2. Students try to repeat the lines with the same tempo, melody, timbre and so on.


1. Ask the students to write down the 'opposites' of these words: good, running, real, angry, Monday
2. Ask the students to suggest the 'opposites' they have come up with. Jot down the various acceptable 'opposites' on the board. Good has produced: naughty, evil, bad, nasty. Get students to explain why they propose a given word as the opposite of one on the list.
3. Write the following scene up on the board and ask the students to write its opposite or reversal: The waitress came up to Table No.3 and offered the tall man the menu. He chose and ordered. She went back to the kitchen to get what he wanted. Don't give examples of how to do this as, if you do, this will reduce the diversity of the students' reactions to the task.
4. Now tell the students that your are going to tell them the reversal of a bad experience from your own life. We once told this story in class: 'I went to work as an au pair in France. It was a marvellous family with very few children. My hostess was very kind and understanding. I had almost no work to do and oceans of free time. I had been going to stay for 2 weeks, but in the end I stayed for 6 month.'
5. Ask the students to prepare their reversed experience.