The most TEFLtastic photocopiables of 2018

In approximate order of how often I have used them and am likely to use them myself. They are all also on the pages for each topic, and mentioned in any relevant TEFLtastic Classics posts on the most adaptable TEFL games and activities.

Talking about the future The same or different?

Speaker or listener simplest responses game (turn taking and active listening) – NEW

Giving directions miming games

Giving directions drawing games

Opinions on travel vocabulary (with travel collocations)

Crime and punishment extended speaking bluffing game

Going to mimes

Time expressions meetings roleplay

Time expressions the same or different

Turn taking and active listening game

Solutions to countable and uncountable problems discussion

Academic writing cultural differences and useful phrases

Pick and act imperatives card game – NEW

Prepositions and determiners in Academic Writing pairwork guessing game

Passive voice problems and solutions speaking

Comparatives make me say yes game

Passive voice discuss and agree

Plurals simplest responses game

CPE Use of English collocations dominoes

Phrasal verbs random pelmanism game

Feelings- Miming & Drawing Game

Past time things in common

Telling the time warmer cooler guessing game

Comparatives make me say yes questions game

Ordinal numbers competitions

Singular and plural mimes

Verb patterns discussion questions

Country and nationality words drawing games

Academic writing error correction pairwork

Opinions on science and technology

This that these those pick and draw drawing game

Present and past ability sentence completion games

Comparative adjectives drawing games

Academic discussions prepositions and determiners pairwork guessing game

Simple irregular and regular plurals presentation

Business meetings vocabulary and turn taking practice

Passive voice Yes No questions games

Academic discussions cultural differences and useful phrases

Designing and selling inventions with passive voice

Verb patterns sentence completion guessing games

How British is your Technical English?

Phonics yes no questions pelmanism game

Can you questions personalised pelmanism game

Asking questions to get more details drawing game

Past, present and future listening (especially useful for TOEIC Listening)

Guess the future time predictions practice

Weather things in common game

Irregular plurals reversi memory game

Regular and irregular plurals storytelling

British and American technical English collocations dominoes

Spot the odd one out ordinal numbers practice

Telephoning challenges dice game

Meetings dice game

A and an drawing games

Is and are drawing game

Are they… or…? TPR games

Was were past time guessing game

Possessive adjectives pick and draw drawing game

Country and nationality words sentence completion games

Medical English present progressive mimes

Want and feelings guessing game

How many are there drawing game

Cultural differences extended speaking

Past and present modals of permission and obligation sentence completion games

Ordinal numbers flashcard memory games

Looking at both sides dominoes

Basic adjectives and nouns drawing games

Does he she like pick and draw drawing game

Like and don’t like TPR coin game

Prepositions and pronouns drawing game

Positive and negative words to talk about architecture

Adjectives and prepositions pick and draw

Possessives coin drawing game

Guess the dates from hints game

Which is plus comparative drawing game

Nationality word endings maze games

Nationality words syllables and stress card games (pelmanism and snap)

Dates the Same or Different game

Comparing animals random pelmanism

Days of the week flashcard memory game

Telephoning roleplays dice game

Travel English telephone roleplays dice game

Are they… or…? drawing games

Days of the week projects

Strong and weak opinions collocations dominoes

Opinions on health

Nationality word endings card games

Singular and plural competitions speaking game

Plurals of words ending In -y activities

Days of the week pick and draw drawing game

First contact and further contact dice game

Johnny Quickly, Jeremy Normal and Jimmy Quickly telling the time story

Days of the week Make me say Yes

Do you like categories pelmanism game

Yes no questions dice game

Different kinds of business communication dice game

Making arrangements roleplay dice game

Basic question formation dice game

Superlative adjectives dice bluffing game

Personal phone calls roleplays dice games

There is are and likes games

Giving directions on how to get somewhere dice game

Making shapes from blocks games

Stacking races games

Supporting your opinions dice games

Months hangman

Lucy Was Not Impressed months of the year story

Can and can’t drawing coin game

I Brushed My Teeth in January past time expressions poem (Present Perfect and Past Simple)

1999 was a Strange Year months story

12 Jobs a Year months story

There is/ There are stacking games

Names of months dominoes

Passive voice rhyming past participles poems activities

Present Perfect rhyming past participles poem activities

Months flashcard memory games

Environmental collocations first conditional pelmanism

Clothes and accessories to sell

Crime and punishment trends

Months battleships

John Finally Came First ordinal numbers story

Marketing discussion questions

Days of the week battleships

Ordinal number word dominoes

Ordinal number word jigsaw games

Put the days of the week in order

Number words dominoes

Days of the week dominoes

Put the months in order games

Feelings and want pelmanism card game

Explaining Japanese performing arts

 

 

 

Different meanings in British and American English jigsaw – NEW

 

Past and future opposites reversi memory game

 

IELTS Speaking Part Two dice game

 

Countable and uncountable nouns Answer Me questions game

 

Feelings and Present Continuous memory game

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The most TEFLtastic articles of 2018

As my last article of the year is already up, I thought I’d give a list of all the ones in 2018, in approximate order of how often I’ve been using those ideas in my own classes.

If you’ve found any of my teaching ideas or materials useful in 2018, it would really help if you could donate a couple of pounds by buying a copy of my e-book. This will allow me to continue updating, improving and expanding TEFLtastic next year, and if I can make a few more pounds it would also give me time to finish off some of my 12 half-finished e-books. Thanks for all your support in 2018, and all the best for 2019!

Dice games

How to teach British and American grammar

Having a ball – EFL ball games

Matching games part two – pelmanism

Stacks of fun: EFL blocks games

How to teach prepositions of time

How to teach giving and asking for directions

How to teach the language of feelings

How to teach telling the time in English

How to teach TOEIC Listening Part Two: Question Response

How to teach short answer

How to teach English plurals

How to teach irregular plurals

Matching games part one – TEFL dominoes

Teaching ordinal numbers to EFL learners

How to teach British and American spelling and punctuation – NEW

How to teach British and American functional language

British and American body language and gestures

How to teach months

How to teach days of the week in English

How to teach dates in English

How to teach past time expressions

How to teach future time expression

How to teach present time expressions

Blocks games for different language points

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New TEFL stuff autumn 2018

Most recent top of each section

New teaching materials pages

Imperative games, worksheets, stories and songs

Quantifiers page

New TEFL articles

How to teach British and American functional language

How to teach giving and asking for directions

British and American body language and gestures

How to teach TOEIC Listening Part Two: Question Response

List of useful language for EFL teachers and learners

The 100 most useful acronyms for EFL learners

The 100 most useful abbreviations for EFL learners

New TEFL pdfs

Dates- Different or the Same game

Singular and Plural Competitions Speaking Game

Designing and Selling Inventions with Passive Voice

Verb Patterns Sentence Completion Guessing Games

Past and Future Opposites Reversi Memory Game

Opinions on Travel Vocabulary (with Travel Collocations)

Past, Present and Future Listening (especially useful for TOEIC Listening)

How British is your Technical English?

Days of the week Make me say Yes

Comparing animals random pelmanism

Crime & Punishment- Extended Speaking Bluffing Game

Can you questions personalised pelmanism game

Do you like categories pelmanism game

Phonics yes no questions pelmanism game

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New teaching quantifiers page

Am still working on an article on the topic, but have already made a new page for worksheets on “some”, “a few”, “too many”, etc, with mutual links to and from my related pages like countable/ uncountable, there is/ there are, numbers and determiners:

Quantifiers PDFs – NEW PAGE

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Matching Games Part Two – Pelmanism

Updated 15 January 2019

I’ve written a lot about pelmanism/ pairs/ the memory game before. However in the second half of the latest of my ETP articles that started with dominoes, I managed to come up with even more uses and variations and my new favourite, personalised pelmanism. Links to photocopiable versions and other articles/ blog posts on the different kinds of pelmanism below. But first a brief explanation of the original card game that the EFL version was taken from:

Pelmanism/ pairs/ memory game with normal playing cards

In the original version of pelmanism, a pack of normal playing cards is spread face down across the table. Between two and four players take turns trying to find two cards with the same number (e.g. the seven of diamonds and the seven of hearts), putting the two cards back face down in the same places if they don’t match. Play passes to the next person either after each try or whenever the last person turns over two cards which don’t match, with the latter variation being more exciting but sometimes leading to one player dominating the game.

ELT pelmanism

There are other ways of doing it, but I generally make TEFL pelmanism cards which are in groups which are similar in some way, in the same way as the seven of diamonds is similar to the seven of clubs. For example, if you want to practise prepositions, then you can make a pack of cards with missing prepositions like “___ Monday” and “___ New Year’s Day”, and then ask the students to find pairs which have the same word missing, as in these worksheets:

In/ on/ at/ no preposition snap

Word plus preposition snap

Adjective plus preposition pelmanism

Past prepositions of time snap

Dependent prepositions snap

It’s generally best if there are the same number of each kind of card and an even number of each group, e.g. eight with “at” missing, eight with “on” missing and eight with “in” missing. However, having fewer of some kinds of cards and/or “orphan” cards left at the end of the game because there was an odd number in the pack is fine and can be a good way to make the game more challenging. You can play with as few as two categories (e.g. just different words meaning “go up” like “rocket” and words meaning “go down” like “crash”) or as many as ten categories (e.g. expressions with ten different missing dependent prepositions). However, you need to make sure that there are several possible matches for each card (as is true with the non-TEFL version). I find that it works best with between three and five groups of words, e.g. words which go with the negative prefixes “un-“, “in-“, “im-“ and “ir-“, with eight to 12 cards of each kind.

This kind of pelmanism works with the matches being:

The other possibility is to make cards that actually have to match each other in some way, e.g. prepositions cards and cards with prepositions missing. This can work, especially if you make the two different kinds of cards different colours and/ or sizes so they don’t take two prepositions, etc. However, matching cards that are the same in some way is easier to set up and probably more closely matches how we store such things in our brains.

 

Personalised pelmanism

It is also possible to play a personalised version of pelmanism. If you have a pack of cards with topics like “food” or vocabulary like “unicycle” on them, the students can ask each other yes/no questions about the two cards that they turn over and can keep the cards if they get the same answer to both questions. For example, if one student gets the “salt” and “paper” cards, asks “Is there any salt in your bedroom?” and “Is there any paper in your garden (now)?” and get “No” answers to both, they can keep both cards. Personalised pelmanism works for:

  • have (got)
  • like
  • want
  • there is/are
  • countable and uncountable nouns
  • present continuous (e.g. “Is your father wearing a tie?”, with two “I don’t know” answers also counting as a match)

Other ways of making pelmanism personalised is to ask the students to combine both cards in one true statement or to combine both cards in one question that their partner answers “Yes” to. For example, they could try to make true conditional sentences like “If we hadn’t invented cars, trains would be more popular” with the “cars” and “trains” cards, or they could try to get “Yes” answers to questions like “If you had wings, would you save people jumping off bridges?” if they took the “wings” and “bridge” cards.

Photocopiable examples of personalised pelmanism include:

Yes/ No questions with can personalised pelmanism – NEW

Phonics personalised yes/ no questions random pelmanism

Third conditional vocabulary revision random pelmanism game

Do you like animals personalised random pelmanism card game

Do you like categories personalised pelmanism

 

Random pelmanism

As shown in the names of some of the activities above, the personalised games above are variations on “random pelmanism”, in which the teacher hasn’t decided the correct matches when setting up the game, and therefore any matches that the students can think of and which make sense are allowed. If you have a set of random words that need revising, this also works without any personalisation by asking the students to make comparisons such as finding similarities between the two cards that they turn over. For example, if they turn over the words “ladder” and “fuse”, they could say “A ladder is more dangerous than a fuse” or “They are both made of metal” to practise comparing/contrasting, or “They are both safe” for simpler practice of adjectives. To expand the range of language used, it’s best to tell the students that they must make sentences that are at least slightly different each time.

Random pelmanism works with almost any vocabulary, but I have used it most often with animals, classroom objects, places, body parts and academic vocabulary. For additional language practice, you can also put some additional information about the vocabulary on the cards (e.g. both the British and American forms, or the plurals of countable nouns). You can then test the students on their memory of that aspect of the vocabulary after the game.

Another blog post, a video and lots of example worksheets of random pelmanism here:

Random pelmanism blog post

Random pelmanism video

Phrasal verbs random pelmanism

Inventions random pelmanism (the one in the video)

Phonics personalised yes/ no questions random pelmanism

Comparing animals random pelmanism

Environmental collocations first conditional pelmanism

Do you like animals personalised random pelmanism card game

Comparing places random pelmanism (comparatives with places names and adjectives, including nationalities)

Academic vocabulary random pelmanism

Third conditional vocabulary revision random pelmanism game

Classroom language random pelmanism

 

Reverse pelmanism

The problem with random pelmanism can occasionally be that almost all the cards match easily, therefore taking away the challenge. To avoid that problem, you can make the game into “reverse pelmanism”, where the challenge is to find cards that their partner can’t match in any way. Example here:

Feelings and want reverse pelmanism

 

3D pelmanism

Another popular variation for younger students is “3D pelmanism”, in which they choose things such as plastic fruit from just feeling in a bag and then get points if they can say “They are red”, “They are big (in real life)”, etc. Blog post on the topic here:

3D pelmanism

 

Other variations

With students who find reading difficult and sets which are very tricky to match, you can also play pelmanism with the cards face up.

 

Before and after pelmanism

Before or after playing pelmanism, I often get my students to put the matching cards in columns, sometimes as a race. Snap can also often be played with the same cards, and is a faster paced game that makes students think of the language more quickly.

 

Other articles and blog posts on using pelmanism in EFL classes:

Pelmanism and Snap in EFL classes blog post (with links to all the worksheets arranged by language point)

23 uses for pelmanism and snap

32 variations on pelmanism

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New TEFL stuff summer 2018

I had a real TEFL-free summer holiday this year for once, but not a bad haul before and after that. Newest ones that I haven’t mentioned before top of each section.

Lists of useful language

The 150 most useful Business English abbreviations

TEFL worksheets

Present or future? simplest responses game (including present and future time expressions and present and future meanings on Present Continuous) – NEW

Prepositions and determiners in Academic Writing pairwork guessing game

Singular and plural mimes

Spot the odd one out ordinal numbers practice

Turn taking and active listening game

Is and are drawing game

Ordinal numbers flashcard memory games

A and an drawing games

Medical English Present Progressive mimes

Comparatives make me say yes game

Passive voice discuss and agree

Plurals of words ending In -y activities

Plurals simplest responses game

CPE Use of English collocations dominoes

Number words dominoes

Looking at both sides dominoes

British and American technical English collocations dominoes

Time expressions the same or different

Time expressions meetings roleplay

Feelings pictionary/ mimes

Days of the week dominoes

Put the months in order games

Talking about the future The same or different?

26 feelings flashcards

Feelings and Present Continuous memory game

Feelings and want pelmanism card game

Past time things in common

TEFL articles

How to teach present time expressions

How to teach the language of feelings

How to teach past time expressions

How to teach future time expressions

And should be many more this autumn.

Posted in flashcards, Photocopiable worksheets | 2 Comments

Emotions vocabulary page much expanded

New article, many new worksheets and flashcards, plus new links to songs and stories here:

Feelings vocabulary index page

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New teaching time expressions materials and ideas

I start far too many of my articles with suggestions to teach more of this and less of that, but this time I really really really really really really mean it!

Perhaps the most shocking weakness I have found in how English is usually taught is the number of students who know the intricacies of Present Perfect Continuous but not the expression “the day before yesterday”, know all about the differences between predictions with and without present evidence but not the difference between “in two weeks” and “two weeks later”, etc. Therefore nowadays when the book says I should be teaching present, past or future tenses, I actually spend far more time teaching present, past and future time expressions like “almost always”, “in the last two weeks” and “some time”. And in a nice accidental benefit, that is often the best way of teaching the differences like Present Perfect/ Past Simple and Present Continuous/ Present Simple, as well as a vocabulary rich way of introducing prepositions of time.

To help make this simple, effective and important shift in how grammar is taught, over the last few months I have added three articles with loads of game ideas and 15 photocopiable worksheets on teaching past, present and future time expressions, along with links to loads more new stuff on more specific time expressions like days of the week and dates, all here:

Time expressions worksheets, games, stories and songs

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TEFL dominoes (TEFLtastic Classics Part 36)

Part One of the most recent of my articles in ETP magazine. Updated with extra worksheets on 20 July 2018.

Readers who saw the number of variations in my article on jigsaw games might be surprised to find that those are just part of the even more varied and useful category of ‘matching games’, along with dominoes, pelmanism and snap, the first of which is dealt with here.

Dominoes

The most similar of those three games to a jigsaw is dominoes, especially the ‘jigsaw dominoes’ variation explained below. Many of my students are only aware of dominoes from YouTube videos showing people standing them up in lines and then knocking them over dramatically, so I occasionally start by demonstrating an actual game of dominoes. There are many variations, but I tend to demonstrate a simplified version that has the same rules as the ELT version that I will then get them to play.

 

Regular dominoes

Each domino is a rectangle divided into two, with between zero dots and six dots on each half. Each domino in the set has a unique combination of dots, and every possible combination of those numbers is included in a set of dominoes: from a domino with no dots on both halves to a domino with six dots on both halves. Two to four players take seven dominoes each and look at them, without showing them to anyone else. One domino is then placed face up in the middle of the table. The first player tries to match a number on one of their dominoes to one of the halves of the domino on the table, e.g. putting a domino that has five dots on one half next to a matching domino with five dots that is already on the table. If that person can’t go and there are still dominoes which haven’t been dealt out to any of the players, they take one more. Play then passes to the next person. The person who first successfully places all their dominoes down or has the fewest left at the end of the game wins.

 

ELT dominoes

Very young and low-level learners could benefit from moving from one quick game of regular dominoes to another game using a set of dominoes with written numbers on the left-hand side of each one and dots or figures on the right, so they have to match “six” to “6”, etc. They could also do similar things with pictures, e.g. matching “red” on the right of one domino to a patch of that colour on the left of another domino, or matching the written word “cow” to a picture of a cow. It is very easy to make your own paper dominoes with a two-column table in a Word document, making sure that each end matches at least one other domino and that you leave the two columns together on each domino when you cut them out. There are also many commercial versions of picture dominoes, with animal vocabulary, etc, but they usually have problems, such as words with very tricky spellings that aren’t easy to pronounce.

Picture dominoes are often also more like a jigsaw than an actual set of dominoes, with only one possible match for each half of each domino. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if that is the case, it is often better to get the students to work together to match all the cards to make a big circle (or rectangle) instead of, or before, trying to play an actual game of dominoes. It is easier and more satisfying if the final order makes some kind of sense, e.g. if a set of opinions phrases are alternatively positive and negative or if the finished days of the week are in order when the students have put all the “jigsaw dominoes” together in the right way.

Matching half of a domino to the same or a similar thing on another domino also works for:

  • first letters and matching words (e.g. Z with a picture of a zebra or A with “_pple”)
  • phonemic symbols and words which start with those sounds
  • synonyms (such as character words with the same meaning but positive and negative connotations)
  • formal and informal phrases with the same function (e.g. formal and informal requests)
  • phrases which have the same word missing (e.g. ‘__ a good time’ and ‘__ your hair cut’ because they both need the word “have”)

 

Especially in higher-level classes, it is perhaps more common and useful to get the students to match up beginnings and endings of words, phrases, sentences, etc. This works well for negative prefixes and the words they go with, collocations such as “play” and “go” with sports, or beginnings and endings of useful telephoning phrases. Other possibilities include:

  • adjectives and dependent prepositions (e.g. “afraid” + “of”)
  • proverbs
  • compound nouns;
  • binomials (e.g. “safe and” + “sound”)
  • names of months (e.g. “Jan” + “uary”)
  • irregular plural endings (e.g. “ox” + “en”)
  • opinions phrases
  • travel phrases (e.g. airport phrases, perhaps with alternate phrases used by staff and travellers)
  • beginnings and endings of words that the students have been studying (e.g. “whiteb” + “oard”)

As well as matching similar things and beginnings and endings, you could also match opposites, e.g. “I support …” and “I oppose …” for opinions phrases or “generous” and “mean” for character words.

Photocopiable dominoes pdfs

Number word recognition dominoes – NEW

Days of the week dominoes – NEW

CPE collocations dominoes (Use of English Part One and Part Two) – NEW

Ordinal number word dominoes

British and American technical English collocations dominoes

Looking at both sides dominoes

Months of the year dominoes

Strong and weak opinions dominoes

Academic Word List collocations dominoes

Medical breakthrough dominoes (passive voice)

Meetings and negotiations collocations dominoes

Formal and informal functional language dominoes

Air travel compound nouns dominoes

More dominoes pdfs coming very soon. In the meantime, there are another 35 infinitely adaptable TEFL activities here.

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Discuss and agree (TEFLtastic Classics Part 35)

Simplicity itself, and almost infinitely adaptable – students try to come to agreement with the words, phrases, gapped sentences, sentence stems, etc that you give them, making it like an opinions version of Things in Common. Then they try to remember and/ or analyse the language that they just used. Photocopiable examples:

Passive voice discuss and agree – NEW

Present Simple and Continuous discuss and agree

Gradable and ungradable adjectives discuss and agree

Defining relative clauses discuss and agree

Comparing language discuss and agree

Sentence with “in case” discuss and agree

Others coming up (soon or eventually):

  • Comparative adjectives discuss and agree
  • Academic discussions discuss and agree (for determiners practice)
  • Opinions phrases discuss and agree (for IELTS Writing Part Two and Speaking Part Three)
  • Social issues discuss and agree
  • Business predictions discuss and agree
  • Cultural differences frequency expressions discuss and agree
  • Hedging language discuss and agree

And can be used for loads of other points.

34 more classic TEFL activities with 100s of pdf versions here.

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