Fun ESL Activities for Teenagers
If you’re looking for some fresh, new ideas for your English classes, check out these top 10 ESL activities for teenagers. They’re guaranteed to be fun, engaging, and interesting. These fun ESL activities for teenagers cover a wide range of skills, from speaking to writing to listening and reading, and many of them cover more than one skill at a time. Your students will love your classes! Try out some of these activities and games for teenagers today.
#1: Running Dictation: A 4-Skills ESL Activity
If you’re looking for an active, 4-skills ESL activity that teenagers will love, look no further than running dictation! It’s competitive, fast-paced and students always demand to play it again. Running dictation is the perfect ESL activity for a case of the Monday morning, or Friday afternoon blues. It’s guaranteed to get a bit of energy and excitement back into your classes.
#2: Board Games for ESL Students
Board games are one of my favourite ESL activities for teenagers because they can be tailored to any grammar or vocabulary point that you’re teaching. They’re also extremely student-centered when played in small groups of 3-4 students. Make sure you bring in a little prize of some kind for the winner in each group to add a small element of competition.
The best part about board games is that they’re very easy to design yourself. Once you have template down, it takes only about 10 minutes to produce a board game for just about any vocabulary set or grammar point.
#3: Apples to Apples ESL Vocabulary Game
One of my favourite vocabulary games for ESL students is Apples to Apples. You can make your own decks to suit any level or target vocabulary. Or, you can check out Apples to Apples Junior on Amazon if you want to use it as a party game.
This is one of the best ESL vocabulary activities for teenagers because it’s challenging. You can play password with the entire class, but it’s best in smaller classes of 10 or fewer in order to increase student talking time.
#5: Concentration ESL Memory Game
Concentration is one of my favourite ESL activities for teenagers because it’s an excellent way to calm a rowdy class. You won’t believe how quiet your students will be when playing this one!
Concentration is played in small groups of 3-4 students and doesn’t require a lot of talking. I use it mostly for matching vocabulary words with definitions, but you can adapt it to suit lots of other stuff as well. The best part about this one is that you can adapt it for any age, or level of students.
#6: Surveys for ESL Students
With big classes of adults, surveys are one of my go-to ESL activities because they’re student-centered, engaging and cover all 4 skills (reading, writing, listening, speaking). They are still an excellent ESL activity for teenagers, but you need to judge whether or not they’re mature enough to do it. Most classes are, but be sure to set the ground rules before you set your students loose to do the activity. I usually say the following:
- Talking only 1-1 and not in groups of three or more.
- The goal is not to finish first. The goal is to have lots of mini-conversations in English with a lot of different people.
- Speak only in English. The goal is not to finish quickly! The goal is to practice speaking English.
- Only take notes for the answers. You don’t need to write detailed sentences.
#7: Vocabulary Auction
Try out vocabulary auction if you’re looking to introduce an element of competition into your classes. Your students will have so much fun that they’ll forget that they’re learning English at the same time! It can take a while to get this ESL vocabulary activity organized. However, it’s worth it, especially if you teach multiple sections of the same class because your students will love it!
#8: Charades for ESL Students
If you’re having a party day, charades makes an excellent ESL activity for teenagers. It’s really fun and also a great way to review vocabulary. You can build your own words or phrases, or get the students to help you out with it.
#9: English Central Videos
Teenagers love videos, but it can be hard to find ones easy enough for your teenage English learners on YouTube. Check out English Central for help in finding ones that are the right level for you.
Group presentations in English can be a fun task-based learning project for teenage students and it’s a nice break for you! You’ll get the best results if you give students plenty of support and instruction on how to give an effective presentation. The key to this one is allowing lots of preparation time in class, as well as giving detailed feedback throughout the process.
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