My top 3 speaking games for Young Learners (Cambridge exams)

 

The follow blogpost is about my top 3 games/activities for Young Learners to encourage speaking in class and prepare students for Cambridge Exams (Starters, Movers, Flyers).

Games/ Activities:

1. I spy with my little eyes…..

This is a classic and works really well with younger kids.

– A student/teacher chooses an object/person from the picture in his/her mind and says something like 'I spy with my little eyes something yellow/something starting with the letter P'.

– Students have to find the object the student/teacher had in mind.

Variation:

  • I spy + colour
  • I spy + description.

Exam:

This activity can help students prepare for the speaking tasks in which they're asked questions about two of the people or things in the scene picture. 'What this? (Answer: Duck). What colour is it? (Brown). It's great for practising vocabulary and revising colours.

2. Find the picture:

– Divide the students into pairs or teams.

– Give a picture to each team or pair and ask them to look at the pictures and try to remember as much as possible.

– Then get ss to write a description  about 1-2 objects/people from each picture (for example: There is a man with yellow trousers, sitting on the bench).

– The teacher collect the pics and turns them around so students can't see them, ss take turns to read out their description.

– The team that remembers the right picture gets the point.

Once thet get the hang of it get students to play in pairs and say their description on the spot.

Exams: This activity can help students prepare for the speaking tasks in which they been asked to put objects card in various locations on the scene. e.g. Put the flower next to the house'.  This activity is great for practising prepositions of place.

CLICK BELOW TO DOWNLOAD THE PICS

PICTURE 1: CITY MARKET

PICTURE 2: STREET

PICTURE 3: ROOM

PICTURE 4: SUMMER

PICTURE 5: BUSY STREET

 

3. Draw the picture.

Again this is another great activity. A student describes and the other student draws.

– Adjust students seats arrangement so that students are facing each other.

– Give student A a picture/ or display the picture on a screen.

– Student A describes the picture to Student B and Student B draws listening to Students A's instructions.

– Once students finished Students B are allowed to look at the screen/ picture and compare.

Exam: This activity can prepare students for describing pictures, using prepositions and target vocabulary. Also, it's fun and engaging.

Visuals from this activity: The black and white visuals are taken from the sample paper Cambridge handbook.

For Lower level:

DOWNLOAD THE PICS HERE

For higher levels:

 

+1 Activity

Spot the differences:

Give ss a set of pictures and ask them not to show their picture. Students describe what they have in the picture in order to spot the differences, once students have found the differences get them to think of a story based on the pictures they have and share it with in class. I've made the visuals myself, my students loved the pics :). This activity is mostly for Flyers.

For more resources you could use the speaking cards from any Young Learners Cambridge exam.

Exam: This activity can help students prepare for the tasks in which they are asked to describe several differences between two pictures. Also, it can help them with the task in which they have to continue the story.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE VISUALS

 

Feel welcome to share your ideas and any games you play with your students :). More ideas are coming up soon related to young learners and Cambridge exams 🙂

Best Friend’s Challenge


 

 

 BEST FRIEND'S CHALLENGE

 

I came up with the idea of using the 'Best Friends Challenge' (as seen in The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallow) with my teens as they are all friends and they hang out together. I have to say that it worked really well and we had quite a lot of fun too 😁😃💛So here's how it works:



 

How to play: write the following questions in different cards and cut them down. Place them in a box. Student A draws a questions and tries to guess how Student B would have answered the question. Student A and B write the answer down and show their answers with the count of 3. If the answers match they get a point. 
 
1.   What’s my favourite colour?
2.   What are the place I would like to visit?
3.   What’s my favourite food?
4.   What’s the food I hate the most?
5.   How many minutes do I take to get dressed?
6.   What are the things I carry with me all the time?
7.   What my favourite subject at school?
8.   What my worst subject at school?
9.   What annoys me the most?
10. What’s my favourite sport?
11. What’s the craziest thing I have done?
12. What do I usually have for breakfast?
13. What my favourite song at the moment?
14. Where am I going on holiday this Christmas/Easter?
15. What’s my favourite TV show?
16. What do I do in my free time?
17. What’s my favourite kind of sweet?
18. Which is my favourite type of film? Horror, Comedy, Action etc..
19. If I could meet anyone, who would it be?
20. What would I do if I won the lottery?
21. What's my favourite kind of sandwich?
22. What's my favourite hobby?
23. How do I spend my free time? 
 
After finishing the game we worked on fluency. So I asked my students to answer the questions, expand their answers and I recorded them.  In that way, I had the chance to listen to the audio again and correct some basic mistakes.  To avoid making them feel embarrassed I gave them the corrections in handouts and we practised again. This activity is great for students preparing for exams. 
   You can also get your students to come up with more questions and play the game again 🙂
   

   Click here to download the handout with the questions. 
 
Hope you like it, let me know how it goes 🙂 

 

 

Back to School : Getting to know your students.

So this is it! Back to school.. 🙂 I am pretty excited about it, let's be honest, educators have such a big break 😀 and I do miss teaching. So these are my top ideas/activities on getting back to school, mainly related to new groups, adults and teens.

1. Find someone who (A2 and above/Adults): love this, just because I get them to stand up, mingle, move around and get to know each other.

  • Hand out the sheets (attached below) and demonstrate the first example by asking  the question to a student. Ask students to fill up the information at the same time.

Teacher – Have you got a pet?
Student -Yes
Teacher -Is it a cat or a dog?
Student – Dog
Teacher – What's his/her name?
Student – Klio.

  • Ask students to think for a minute on how to formulate the questions and then elicit. 
  • Then, get them to stand up, mingle around the classroom to write as many names as possible. Also remind them to ask more question to fill up the 'more information' section.
  •  Elicit feedback with students telling you about their findings. Example: Yiannis speaks more than three languages. Persian, Greek, English and Spanish and his favorite language is Persian.
  • Adapt this game by making your own questions depending on the level and age group.

PRESS HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE HANDOUT 

2. True or False.

  • Write five statements about you on the whiteboard and tell students that 4 statements are True while one is False. 
  • Students make their guesses in an open class discussion. 
  • Get students to do the same by writing 4 true statements about themselves and one False. Then, get them to work in two's or three's and play the game.

3. About me (A2 above/works well with teenagers)

  • Write a set of questions on a handout or the whiteboard related to hobbies, interests, music, sports, holidays e.t.c.
  • Give out some empty pieces of papers and ask students to answer each question on a different paper and then folder it. 
  • Collect the paper, add it in a box or a jar and get students to pick and guess who's paper might be. If right then he/she gets a point.
  • Encourage students to ask a question to find more information and get an extra point. 

PRESS HERE FOR THE QUESTIONS I USE.  

A different way of practicing asking personal and getting to know your students is 'The Best Friend's Challenge'. This game however, can only be successful if your students already know each other really well. Here how it goes:

How to play: write the following questions in different cards and cut them down. Place them in a box. Student A draws a questions and tries to guess how Student B would have answered the question. Student A and B write the answer down and show their answers with the count of 3. If the answers match they get a point. 

 
1.   What’s my favourite colour?
2.   What are the place I would like to visit?
3.   What’s my favourite food?
4.   What’s the food I hate the most?
5.   How many minutes do I take to get dressed?
6.   What are the things I carry with me all the time?
7.   What my favourite subject at school?
8.   What my worst subject at school?
9.   What annoys me the most?
10. What’s my favourite sport?
11. What’s the craziest thing I have done?
12. What do I usually have for breakfast?
13. What my favourite song at the moment?
14. Where am I going on holiday this Christmas/Easter?
15. What’s my favourite TV show?
16. What do I do in my free time?
17. What’s my favourite kind of sweet?
18. Which is my favourite type of film? Horror, Comedy, Action etc..
19. If I could meet anyone, who would it be?
20. What would I do if I won the lottery?
21. What's my favourite kind of sandwich?
22. What's my favourite hobby?
23. How do I spend my free time? 
 
After finishing the game we worked on fluency. So I asked my students to answer the questions, expand their answers and I recorded them.  In that way, I had the chance to listen to the audio again and correct some basic mistakes.  To avoid making them feel embarrassed I gave them the corrections in handouts and we practised again. This activity is great for students preparing for exams. 
   You can also get your students to come up with more questions and play the game again 🙂


4. Jinx Challenge. (For all levels and ages.)
This can be played after getting to know your students to add a bit of fun. I've attached the YouTube video here that I get the inspiration from. Enjoy it!

 
 

 

Gaming: Clash Royale

 

Quite recently I've realised that the only way to get my students enjoy learning English outside the classroom is through gaming. Games like Minecraft, Clash Royale can get your students to learn and improve their vocabulary outside classroom. There are so many advantages to Gaming. When I first thought of this post I wanted to list so many benefits but I'm going to stick to the most important ones: 

Benefits of Virtual Gaming

  • Vocabulary learning can be significantly improved.
  • Writing skills can also increased significantly.
  • Gaming can help in motivating students to engaged in activities relating to the learning of a second language 
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: LEARNERS LOVE IT!

In this posts I have also included an activity on Clash Royale. STEP 1: I think that you should first download the game yourself, just to get a general idea what is it like and you never know,  you just might like it 🙂 . If not you could also check this Youtuber playing instead.

 

STEP 2:  Get your students to change the game's language to English.
Step 3: Let them know that soon you'll have an activity on Clash Royale and they should learn the names of their cards (in English of course!)

DOWNLOAD THE WORKSHEET HERE

 Activity 1:
Before: Divide students into pairs. Ask them, to come up with as many cards as possible. Go through the cards and help them with pronunciation.
Activity 1: Give Ss two minutes to complete Activity 1 individually and then check in pairs.

Activity 2: 
Before: Check the meaning of the underlined words.

Activity 2: Allow 3-4 for students to complete the sentences and then ask them to check in pairs.

Activity 3: 
Before: Tell students that now they should think of their strategy and write few sentences about it. Then, they're going to present their strategy in the class. *if you are allowed to use mobiles you can get them to demonstrate their strategy. 
Activity 3: Allow 6-7 minutes and help students with vocabulary. Encourage them to use words and expression from Activity 2. 
After: Students take turns to present their strategy and vote for the best one at the end of the presentations.

 

Hope you enjoy this post 🙂

Try it out!


Type of activity: small groups, matching
Function practised: comparing and contracting, discussing advantages and disantavages.
Exponent:
It would be easier to. . . . ..
The. . . .. . . . would be better/stronger
The. . .. . .. . was . . . . er/the. . . . -est because
The. . .. . . was not as. . . .. as the. . .. .
The. . . . . was too. . . .
The . . . was not. . . enough,
Lexical areas: names of tools and instruments, action verbs
Problem vocabulary: tweezers, twig, coat, hanger, wedgem unblock, squeezing, crack, floorboard, accidentally
Phrasal verbs: get out, fix onto, push into.
How to use the game: Divide the class into groups of three or four. Play the PowerPoint presentation to make sure students learn the vocabulary. Give students the worksheet with the task list. The object of the game is for each group to decide which implement would be more useful in each situation. They should compare the implement and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. When they have finished, one person from each group go to another group to compare results and discuss advantages and disadvantages of the different methods employed.
If your students are adults, you might bring in the actual implement for each group instead of the presentation.
Optional rules: 1. Another suggestion will be to monitor, and give points to the team/students who uses the ‘exponent vocabulary’. 2. Each implement is to be used only once.



 

Task list:
1. You have a bottle of wine but no corkscrew
2. The cupboard door keeps swinging open
3.This sink is blocked
4. The neighbour’s dog keep squeezing through a hole in the fence
5. Your ring has dropped into a saucepan of boiling water
6. You have dropped some money through a crack in the floorboard
7. You can’t get the lid off the jam pot
8. Your house is locked and you can’t get in.
9. A water pipe is leaking and water is dripping onto the floor. 

Download the worksheet here