ESL Listening Speaking Games

Written by lane cummings
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ESL Listening Speaking Games
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Appropriate listening and speaking games are vital in the ESL classroom as they provide much needed communication practice. Ideally, the best listening and speaking activities will give students useful, real world situations to practice the grammar constructions and vocabulary that they've already studied.

Bad Fruit

Divide your class in a half: 50 per cent of the students will be vendors and the other half will be shoppers. Set each vendor up with a makeshift "booth" (usually just the desk in front of them) of real or plastic food, each item priced at 60p. Give the shoppers £13 each in fake money, and plastic or wicker shopping baskets. Allow the shoppers to shop and purchase items for a few minutes using phrases they've learnt for shopping and conducting business in a store. Then ring a bell and call out the name of one item, such as "apples." Those items are considered "bad" and anyone who bought an apple must take all of their purchased items and put them in the front of the room. They now have to start over and continue shopping, but with less money. The students who have the most items at the end of the game win.

Problems, Problems!

This activity helps students practice their speaking skills for giving advice. They take turns listening to fellow students talk about their problems and offer solutions using "should," "ought to," "had better" and "If I were you I'd ..." Compile a stack of index cards, each with a problem written on it. The problems can be anything you like, but they should pose some relevance to the students' lives. For example, one problem can be, "I'm behind with my homework," or "I need to earn extra money." Divide students into groups of three or four, and give each group a small stack of index cards. Have students take turns selecting a problem, reading it aloud and listening to the advice that their fellow students offer.


Have students research heir favourite celebrity: any famous person from any nation in the arts, politics, music or sports. Pair students and have them tell one another which celebrity they researched. Give each five minutes to make up a list of questions to ask the other person about his celebrity. Allow them to take turns interviewing each other.

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