If you’re looking for some of the best reported speech games and activities, then you’re certainly in the right place. Keep on reading for our top picks, along with worksheets, lesson plans and more.
ESL Reported Speech Games
Let’s get into the best activities and games.
#1: Reported Speech Board Game
I love to play board games in real life which is why I also like to play them with my students! It’s super easy to make your own to use for just about any grammatical point, including this concept.
In this case, fill the board with a bunch of statements like the following:
- Sister-has boyfriend
- Friend-fired from job
- Dad-playing golf tomorrow
Then, students have to make a reported speech statement using the information. It’s fun, engaging and a nice way to give students some practice with this important concept.
Check out this simple ESL board game so you can see how easy it is to make your own:
#2: Ball Toss
This is a simple but versatile activity that’s perfect for reported speech. I write down a number of questions on the beach ball. Then, students take turns tossing the ball to each other and the person that catches it has to answer the question under their right thumb.
To add a reported speech element, have another student (the one who threw the ball?) report on that student’s answer. It’s simple but effective! Check it out:
#3: Is that Sentence Correct
If you want to focus on forms, then consider using this simple error correction activity. Write some sentences that use the target grammar. Some have errors while others do not. Students have to find the incorrect ones and make the required changes.
It’s possible to do this in class, or for a homework activity. Have a look here:
#4: Running Dictation
#5: Mixed Up Sentences
Making good sentences using reported speech can be a little bit tricky. If you want to focus on forms, consider using this simple activity.
Write some sentences on the board of PowerPoint, but mix them up in terms of the order. Students have to work quickly to put them in the correct order and the first time to finish is the winner. It also makes a nice homework assignment. Try it out for yourself:
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 137 Pages - 09/27/2020 (Publication Date)
#6: Man/Woman on the Street Interview Activity
If you want to level up the typical ESL interview activity, consider using Man or Woman on the Street. Then, to make it into a reported speech activity, have students tell someone else about what they heard. It’s fun, engaging, and lends itself well to this grammar point. Find out more:
This is a fun memory game that’s ideal for a whole bunch of different grammar or vocabulary points. On one card, write down a statement, and then on the other, write down the correct form.
- I have a boyfriend (She told me that she has a boyfriend).
Make a number of these sets. I usually do 8 of them per group of 4. Then, students play a matching memory game. Learn more here:
#8: Vocabulary Auction
#9: Find Someone Who Bingo Game
This is a nice icebreaker activity that can also be used for some practice with this grammar point. Students have to circulate around the class, asking their classmates questions to find people to fill their Bingo grid.
To make this into a reported speech activity, have students report some of the things they learned about their classmates to a partner (bigger classes) or to the entire class (smaller classes). Find out more about it:
#10: More Ideas for Teaching English
#11: Dictogloss and Reported Speech
This is a challenging ESL activity that’s perfect for developing listening skills. It also lends itself to almost any vocabulary set or grammatical point, including this one.
Find (or write) a passage of people talking about something that they heard.. Then, put students into pairs and read it out at a faster than normal pace. Students take notes and then attempt to recreate what they heard. Repeat the process again. Finally, they can compare what they have with the original. Check it out:
#12: Surveys and Reported Speech
I love to use surveys and questionnaires in my classes. They’re engaging, student-centred and cover a range of skills in a single activity. They’re also great for working on this concept if you get each student to tell their partner some of the things they learned about their classmates.
This is a simple way to cover a new concept but have a quick review of this grammar point as well. Take a look at this activity:
#13: Brochure Scanning Activity
This is a nice activity if you have a bunch of different travel brochures. Have students quickly scan them to find important information. For example:
- number of days
Then, have students use reported speech to tell their partner about the trip. Find out more:
#14: ESL Review Games and Activities
#15: Daily Routine Activities and Reported Speech
In terms of topics to combine with this concept, daily routine is one of the best. It’s very simple to set up activities that lead to sentences like the following:
- Tim told me that he gets up at 7 am.
- Jenny said that she usually sleeps in on the weekends.
For some more ideas, have a look here:
#16: Error Correction Relay Race
This is a simple activity that takes something old (error correction) and makes it new again. Students have to work in teams to fix errors in a number of reported speech sentences. The first team to make all the corrections is the winner!
Want to give it a try? Learn more:
#17: Dialogue Substitution
#18: News Reporting
Provide students with news headlines or short news articles. Ask them to transform from direct speech (quoted speech) to reported speech (indirect speech) when retelling the news. This activity helps students practice the appropriate changes in verb tenses, pronouns, and time and place references.
#19: Interview and Report
Pair students up and ask them to conduct mock interviews. Afterward, have them report the interview to a different partner using reported speech. This activity allows students to practice converting direct speech into reported while maintaining the meaning and context of the conversation.
#20: Picture Stories
Provide students with a series of pictures that depict a sequence of events. Ask them to create a story using reported speech to describe what is happening in each picture. This activity encourages students to use this language in a narrative context and practice converting direct speech into reported speech.
#21: Role Plays
Create role play scenarios where students take on different roles and engage in conversations. Afterward, ask them to report the conversations to another person using reported speech. This activity allows students to practice converting direct speech into reported speech in a context that mimics real-life situations.
#22: Song Lyrics Transformation
Choose a song that contains direct speech and ask students to rewrite the lyrics using reported speech. This activity helps students practice converting direct speech in songs into reported speech while exploring the meaning and context of the lyrics.
Online Practice for Reported Speech
There are a number of sites for online practice and quizzes that cover this. They are excellent resources to recommend to students who want a little bit of extra practice. Check it out here:
Reported Speech ESL Lesson Plans
There are lots of nice lesson plans. Here are some of the best ones to consider using:
Reported Speech Worksheets
If you’re a busy teacher then you’re going to know what a huge time saver it can be to use worksheets that other teachers have made. Here are some of the top picks:
There are a number of common questions that people have about using this method of speech. Here are the answers to some of the most popular ones.
What is reported speech ESL?
Reported speech ESL is when we tell someone what another person said. You often have to use a tense that is further back in time (backshift) and may also need to change the pronouns.
What are some examples of reported speech?
Some examples of reported speech are the following:
- They said you didn’t want to come.
- My mom told me that she was angry at my dad.
- I asked her what her plans were.
How do you teach reported speech?
To teach reported speech, first set the context with a short video clip, discussion question, etc. Then, explain the grammar rules for it and do some controlled practice. Finally, use an ESL game or activity that allows students to practice further.
What are the types of reported speech?
The types of reported speech are direct speech and indirect speech.
Tips for Teaching Reported Speech To English Learners
Teaching reported speech to ESL learners can be challenging, as it involves a shift in verb tense and pronoun usage. Here are some tips to make the teaching process more effective and engaging.
Start with Direct Speech
Begin by introducing and reviewing direct speech, which is the original statement or question spoken by someone. Ensure students are familiar with the use of quotation marks and the appropriate verb tenses in direct speech.
Introduce Reporting Verbs
Teach students a variety of reporting verbs such as say, tell, ask, explain, suggest, etc. Explain the different patterns that follow these reporting verbs, including the use of direct objects, indirect objects, and prepositions.
Present Tense Changes
Demonstrate how to change verb tenses when reporting speech. Provide clear examples of how present simple changes to past simple, present continuous changes to past continuous, and so on. Reinforce the importance of maintaining accuracy in verb tense changes.
Practice Conversion of Pronouns
Show students how pronouns change when reporting speech. Explain the transformation from the speaker’s pronouns (I, you, we) to the appropriate pronouns in reported speech (he, she, they). Emphasize the use of possessive pronouns when necessary.
Provide Contextualized Examples
Use authentic materials, such as dialogues, interviews, or news articles, to provide meaningful examples of reported speech. This helps students understand the purpose and practical application in real-life situations.
Use Reporting Structures
Teach students reporting structures, such as reporting statements, reporting questions, and reporting commands. Practice transforming direct speech into reported speech using these structures and provide opportunities for students to generate their own examples.
Focus on Reporting Verbs of Perception
Highlight reporting verbs of perception like see, hear, feel, notice, etc., which require a change in verb tense but do not require reporting the exact words. Provide examples to help students understand the difference between reporting statements and reporting verbs of perception.
Incorporate Speaking and Writing Activities
Encourage students to practice reported speech through role-plays, interviews, or storytelling activities. Assign writing tasks where students report a conversation or summarize an article using reported speech.
Address Common Errors
Be aware of common errors students make when learning reported speech, such as incorrect verb tense changes or pronoun usage. Provide corrective feedback and offer opportunities for targeted practice to overcome these challenges.
Review and Reinforce
Regularly review with students and provide opportunities for reinforcement through quizzes, games, or interactive exercises. Repetition and reinforcement are key to solidifying understanding and application of this language.
Did you like these Reported Speech Activities?
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 87 Pages - 10/24/2019 (Publication Date)
Yes? Thought so. Then you’re going to love this book on Amazon: 39 No-Prep/Low-Prep ESL Grammar Activities for Teenagers and Adults. It’s the book you need if you want to have more engaging and interactive grammar lessons.
You can find the book in both digital and print formats. Keep a copy on the bookshelf in your office to use as a handy reference guide. Or, take the e-version with you to your favourite coffee shop for some lesson planning on the go.
Whatever the case, get ready for some ESL grammar teaching awesome in your life. Head over to Amazon to find out more about it:
Have your Say about Reported Speech Games and Activities
What do you think about these activities? Are they a winner, or do you have another one that you’d like to recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.
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Last update on 2022-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API