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ESL speaking activities for TESL TESOL & TEFL classrooms

These speaking activities include ESL role-plays (roleplays), Find someone who... speaking activities, information gap activities, examination rubrics for ESL oral tests, and discussion questions. Most of these are ESL speaking activities that I've created, used, and liked.

Role-plays - ESL speaking activities

Brazilian & American cultural difference - a roleplay in which a cultural misunderstanding must be overcome in order for the speakers' relationship to move forward.

Intercultural communication conflict resolution - a roleplay for introducing and practicing the 4 cross cultural conflict resolution steps.

Personal questions - students practice conflict resolution when one asks questions that are considered personal in the other's culture.

Eating in Korea - an American is surprised to find that in Korea people share one bowl of soup.

First date - A Canadian man and a Korean woman face some cultural differences about who should pay for he first date.

Neighbors at odds - this roleplay helps students practice complaining, making requests, making excuses, and denying requests.

Unbelievable story - This activity helps students practice narrative tenses, story telling, and expressing disbelief.

Taxi court - This works well with Culture Watch unit 3 and practices past simple, past continuous, making complaints, and defending oneself. It can be used outside the context of the book and is best suited for college students and older.

Restaurant interview - This speaking activity works well with New Interchange 2 unit 10 and helps students practice present perfect, interviewing, and being interviewed.

Land mine press conference (opens a new window) - This one practices asking questions, and helps to raise awareness about land mines.

Find someone who... ESL speaking activities

Find Someone Who... had a good summer vacation - definitely best for students coming back from summer break.

likes and dislikes - practices question formation, talking about likes and dislikes, enjoy +ing, like +infinitive, and like +noun.

vacations like you! - This activity can be used with New Interchange 2 unit 5 and practices question forms (Have you ever...? Do you like...?). This is a warmer for a communicative internet activity in which students plan vacations in pairs.

is like Indiana Jones - grammar wise, this works well with New Interchange 2 unit 4 but I use this one when showing clips from Raiders of the Lost Ark. This Find someone who... practices present perfect and follow up questions.

is continuously progressing! - This one was designed to go with New Interchange 2 unit 12 and practices question forms with the progressive (continuous) forms of the past perfect, past, and present.

is continuously progressing (updated) - Very similar to the speaking activity listed directly above but with some changes I feel make it a little better.

is interested or interesting - This activity can work with New Interchange 2 unit 13 to practice relative clauses, -ing and -ed adjectives, and follow up questions.

thinks about Korea. - This activity works especially well with Korean students doing New Interchange 3 unit 15. It practices question forms, expressing opinions, and passive modals.

manages time well - This practices question formation but is also important in that it gets students talking about time management.

converses with you - I use this activity to supplement Conversation Strategies unit 1 and practice question forms, rejoinders, and follow up questions.

Find someone who... - A general find someone who that I use with new classes.

Information gaps - ESL speaking activities

Award interview speaking activity - Here, students interview each other in order to give out awards. The teacher does not control the information gap so students are free to ask about past experiences, habits, etc. This freer practice is far more motivating than many rigid information gaps because the students control the discourse.

Raiders of the Lost Ark info - I use this one when using my Raiders of the Lost Ark lesson plans which replace New Interchange 2 unit 11. This information gap practices passive and active voice (mostly past simple passive, 1 past simple active, 1 past perfect, 2 present simple questions).

Tigers - This activity is a warmer for the retelling of a Korean folk story (can be changed to any type of folk story), which practices the narrative tenses.

TESOL evaluation for speaking activities

Oral exam rubric - I used to use this rubric when giving oral tests to college freshmen. Grammar, vocabulary, fluency, listening & discourse, voice & pronunciation are covered.

ESL oral test guide - This helped students understand how they would be graded during oral exams.

Group discussion topic speaking activities

Gender roles discussion questions - Discussion questions (following an information gap warm-up) about sex-typing and gender roles.

Christmas discussion questions - Questions to facilitate discussing Christmas in groups.