15 years of TEFLtastic!

In that time, about:

  • 23 million views
  • 6600 comments
  • 2000 TEFLtastic “pages” (worksheets, lists of useful links, etc)
  • 1800 blog posts
  • 1300 photocopiables on Usingenglish.com
  • 275 articles on Usingenglish.com
  • 270 articles on TEFL.net
  • 70 articles on Englishclub.com
  • 8 e-books with over 2200 photocopiable pages
  • a stack of other reviews, articles, and worksheets in ETP, in MET, on esllessonhandouts.com, etc
  • 3700 views of my YouTube video (over one view per day!)
Posted in Teaching English as a Foreign Language | Leave a comment

New on TEFLtastic

A list of new content and links on TEFLtastic, updated every couple of days. Newest stuff top:

Reviews vocabulary make me say yes – NEW

Useful language for reports make me say yes – NEW

100 IELTS Writing Task 2 teaching tips – NEW

Japanese things that do and don’t need translating – NEW

Competition in one-to-one classes – NEW

Sense verbs sentence completion games (bluff, guessing game and things in common) – NEW

Teacher vs student in one-to-one classes 

12 fun business socialising language activities 

12 adverbs of manner games

Second conditional movies discussion

Describing countries with there is/ there are games

Things people love or hate like and be like game

Food which is both countable and uncountable dice and coin games 

Adverbs of manner games/ worksheets

Talking about movies with like and would like (with movies vocabulary)

Animals and adverbs of manner guessing games

The 100 most useful phrases for IELTS Writing Task 1 pie chart tasks

Adapting free conversation classes

12 fun agreeing and disagreeing activities

21 fun Present Perfect and Past Simple speaking activities (for combining and contrasting the two tenses)

Updated 29 November 2022

Posted in IELTS, Photocopiable worksheets, Teaching English as a Foreign Language | Leave a comment

New Teaching IELTS Speaking e-book out now

As Teaching IELTS Writing: Interactive Classroom Activities seems to have been quite popular, I’ve now put together over 300 photocopiable pages of thoroughly classroom-tested materials that help really teach (not just practise) IELTS Speaking:

Teaching IELTS Speaking: Interactive Classroom Activities – NEW

Unlike many exam materials, the handouts also really help improve students’ speaking and English more generally. As well as getting stacks of great worksheets in an easy-to-use format for under a penny a page, buying a copy will allow me to spend more time writing, including finishing off similar books on Cambridge First, grammar, functional language, negotiating, writing, etc, etc, etc. If you don’t teach IELTS Speaking, the same great deal is also available on these topics:

Teaching Meetings: Interactive Classroom Activities (my last e-book)

Teaching Social English: Interactive Classroom Activities 2nd Ed. (the biggest one, for activities on meeting people, small talk, etc that could be useful for anyone)

Teaching Emailing: Interactive Classroom Activities (my most popular book)

Teaching Presentation Skills: Interactive Classroom Activities (the one that ties together most as a book and so is really worth having as one volume even if you have all of my presentation worksheets)

Teaching Telephoning: Interactive Classroom Activities (my first e-book for teachers)

Really Learn the Most Important Telephoning Phrases (my only book for students)

Posted in IELTS Speaking, Photocopiable worksheets | Leave a comment

TEFLtastic games/ worksheets pages A to Z

A list of every index page on TEFLtastic. There are quite a few! There is also an A to Z of just the grammar pages here, and links by topics and sub-topics here

If you like anything you find here and would like more, please support TEFLtastic.

All index pages A to Z

Abbreviations page

Academic applications games/ worksheets – See University applications worksheets

Academic bios page

Academic discussions games/ worksheets

Academic emails page

Academic English (EAP) games/ worksheets

Academic English first lessons page

Academic Word List (AWL) games/ worksheets page

Academic writing functional language page

Academic writing worksheets

Acronyms page

Action vocabulary page

Active listening page

Advantages and disadvantages

Adverbs

Adverbs of frequency

Adverbs of manner games/ worksheets – NEW PAGE

Advice activities page

Alphabet – See Pronouncing the alphabet – NEW

Continue reading

Posted in Teaching English as a Foreign Language | 8 Comments

Two nice new this/ that/ these/ those activities

There are so many possible fun presentation and practice activities for “This is/ That is/ These are/ Those are…” that you have to be careful not to spend more time on this minor grammar point than it deserves… However, I think my new activity and new variation should be considered for the lesson or two that this grammar is worth.

This that these those shapes

This is a nice variation on my other this/ that/ these/ those guessing games, because students get to choose which one they want to be tested with each time. Get some things with distinctive shapes such as plastic fruit (with “grapes” etc to practise these/ those) and two bags, one of which is a bit see through. Students choose if they want the object or objects to be put into a non-see-through bag that they can feel the shape through (“this” or “these”) or a semi-see-through bag that they can see the shape through from far away but can’t touch (for “that” and “those”).

This that these those big and little words

This is a smaller variation on my usual activities for this/ that/ these/ those, which I had to come up with in a hurry after another teacher rightly pointed out that purely oral practice wasn’t much good before a partly written progress test.

Draw a huge circle on one side of the board and a tiny circle on the other side of the board, with lines drawing them to suggest perspective to make the tiny circle look far away. Perhaps after guessing a few huge pictures in the huge this/ these circle and tiny pictures in the tiny that/ those circle (my usual drawing game for this grammar), you can do the same for words written with huge letters or tiny letters in the same two circles. This is most challenging and fun if the this/ these words are written so big that the circle cuts off part of the words (and ditto with any pictures you put in there).

Posted in Grammar games, Teaching young learners | 1 Comment

New TEFL stuff 2022 H1*

Much less stuff than in the good ole days, but hopefully less quantity finally means more quality. Latest items top of each section.

New TEFL e-book

Teaching IELTS Speaking: Interactive Classroom Activities (over 300 pages on tips, vocabulary, functional language phrases, feedback, etc on IELTS Speaking Parts 1, 2 and 3)

New TEFL articles 2022 Part One

How to teach link verbs/copula verbs

How to teach like and be like

How to teach like, be like and look like

How to teach verbs of senses

How to teach consonant clusters to EFL learners

How to teach defining relative clauses

How to teach reduced relative clauses

New TEFL PDFs 2022 Part One

Starting academic writing determiners pairwork

Describing things with prepositions games

Needs analysis extended speaking and instant practice

Possessive adjectives brainstorming games

Useful phrases for reports sentence completion games

Determiners in names of places speaking activities

Positive and negative question tags card games

Good and taboo questions with irregular plurals

Starting and ending conversations simplest responses game

Requests and offers in business meetings imperative practice

Verbs of sensation discuss and agree

Likes and dislikes guessing objects games

Verbs of sensation discussion questions

Personalised instant roleplays

Superlative adjectives discuss and agree

Online meetings discussion and brainstorming

Guess the country warmer cooler

Participle clauses personalised sentence completion games

Strong and weak medical advice

School vocabulary things in common

Participle clauses storytelling game

Needs analysis extended speaking

Personalised instant roleplays for logistics

Business communication needs analysis and instant personalised practice

English for logistics needs analysis and instant personalised practice

*My attempt to start a “Q1”-style abbreviation for “first half of the year”, so I can also use H2 the next time I forget to do a quarterly update…

Posted in IELTS Speaking, Photocopiable worksheets | Leave a comment

New Like as a Preposition and Verbs of Sensation pages

A mix of old and new materials on “be like”, “look (like)”, “taste (like)”, etc. At the moment the two pages are just the same worksheets arranged differently depending on what your main language focus is, but as usual with my new pages, I’m just getting started on these new obsessions and so many more PDFs and articles will be coming soon.

Sense verbs/ Verbs of perception games/ worksheets – NEW PAGE

Like as a preposition games/ worksheets – NEW PAGE

Posted in Materials, Photocopiable worksheets, Prepositions, Teaching English as a Foreign Language | Leave a comment

New participle clauses page

I’m still struggling with how best to teach this tricky bit of grammar, and have twice given up on articles I was trying to write on the topic. However, I have come up with two nice communicative practice activities and made a brand new page of those and some other useful materials I’ve found:

Participle clauses games, worksheets, videos and songs – NEW

Posted in Grammar games, Photocopiable worksheets | Leave a comment

The most TEFLtastic worksheets of 2021

As the TEFL blog boom years during which I started TEFLtastic fade further from view and more social-media-savvy generations have taken over, I more and more picture myself as an ageing rock star saying “We feel like our new album is our best ever” while everyone just wants the same old hits or are surprised you are still alive. Unlike the Rolling Stones, however, I am correct when I say that right now I am definitely producing the best work of my life by far(and certainly much better than the crap I was churning out when I first went online). Anyway, you can be the judge of that, with a selection of what I consider to be the cream of that new crop. As with previous years, this list is mainly my own personal preferences, but I’ve also included a few that were surprisingly popular and I also think are not too bad. And if those aren’t enough or aren’t good enough, there are also the materials I think are good enough to be worth paying for.

Which thing had already happened? Past Perfect trivia quiz

Classroom language for Zoom lessons New version

What were people doing? Past Continuous trivia quiz

Can you eat your house? abilities mix and match

Prepositions of position mix and match

How long had…? Past Perfect trivia quiz

Weather vocabulary bluffing game

Good and taboo Present Perfect Simple and Continuous questions

Good and taboo Present Continuous questions

Good and taboo Past Continuous questions

Appearance words storytelling task

IELTS Writing Task 2 prepositions and determiners pairwork

IELTS Writing Task 1 prepositions and determiners pairwork

Business reports disappearing text

Emailing rotating revision board game

Social English rotating revision board game

Be used to and get used to sentence completion games (bluffing, things in common and guessing game)

Past numbers trivia board game narrative tenses review

Email enquiries disappearing text memory game

Starting and ending conversations disappearing text memory game

Prepositions of position things in common speaking

Good and taboo questions with Have Something Done

Emailing prepositions and determiners pairwork

Presentations prepositions and determiners pairwork

Good and taboo countable and uncountable questions

Ordinal numbers trivia quiz

Socialising prepositions and determiners pairwork

Nouns which are both countable and uncountable pictionary

Used to, be used to and get used to sentence completion games

Used to, be used to and get used to discuss and agree

ed and ing adjectives bluffing games

Too and enough discuss and agree

Basic adjectives make me say ‘Yes’

Get Up Stand Up by Bob Marley quantifiers practice

Body vocabulary bluffing game

There is & there are guess the place

UK or USA? British and American English trivia quiz

Imperative practice ball games

Some and any things in common speaking

Telephoning determiners and prepositions pairwork

How many… did…? trivia quiz irregular Past Simple practice

How many with irregular plurals trivia quiz

Strong and weak opinions on the news and media

Family members trivia quiz

How often trivia quiz

Time of day trivia quiz

There is/ are + Xmas vocabulary drawing game

Passive voice numbers quiz

Used to trivia quiz

Good and taboo passive voice questions

Good and taboo Past Simple questions

Enquiries about Zoom emailing lesson 

Directions flashcard memory game

Festivals and celebrations vocabulary and discussion

Business Result Pre-Intermediate revision games

A and An mini-presentations

Classroom vocabulary first letters games

Talking about seasons with adverbs of frequency

COVID-compliant invitations lesson

Weather and advice practice

Telecommuting policies roleplay meeting 

Life events guessing and bluffing

Personal questions with appearance words

Jobs vocabulary random pelmanism

Short answers quick folding game (a great new variation on the Simplest Responses game)

Opinions on current affairs vocabulary

ed and ing adjectives coin games

How many… have? simple numbers quiz

How many times Present Perfect and Past Simple trivia quiz

Is there & Are there spelling games

Where is…? I don’t know game

Talking about cultural differences with ‘be used to’ and ‘get used to’

British or American food and drink trivia quiz

Adverbs of frequency good and taboo questions coin game

Is there/Are there Trivia Quiz

Giving medical advice Present Perfect practice

Ordering products on the phone line by line disappearing text

Gradable and extreme adjectives guessing game (with modals of deduction)

Guess the medical problems from the advice

Verbs of sensation mini-presentations

British or American transport trivia quiz

British and American household vocabulary quiz

British or American fashion trivia quiz

Talking about life changes with be used to/ get used to

Changes to culture be used to/ get used to discussion

Talking about problems and solutions with quantifiers

Be used to and get used to ranking discussion

Be used to and get used to dice games

Emails from other countries guess the place

Who in this class…? superlatives practice

Medical controversies vocabulary and discussion

Learning and using English ranking language practice

What places used to be called trivia quiz

Posted in Photocopiable worksheets | Leave a comment

Needs analysis and instant personalised practice (TEFLtastic Classics Part 50)

Back when I was studying to teach English for Business for the first time, what I most appreciated and gained from were lessons on doing needs analysis and on planning first lessons that cover things that most students are likely to need like practice of English numbers. When I then started teaching Business English and ESP, it slowly dawned on me that however good your guesses about those students, it would make more sense to use what you learn about their needs in the first class to get straight down to those things. For example, if they tell you that they most need emailing, you can move straight onto eliciting typical work emails for them onto the board, at least in one-to-one and other small classes.

It took me longer to work out how to set up instant personalised practice in bigger groups, especially if you want to cover each student’s biggest needs all in that first class. However, it is worth the effort, as it helps students appreciate that different people have different needs, and can help bond them as a group as they work together to improve everyone’s English.

The necessary steps to be able to do instant personalised practice in first classes with groups are:

  • get them to interview each other on their jobs, uses of English, previous studies, etc
  • give them more ideas for kinds of communication, functional language, levels of formality, etc that they might need to add to their needs analysis discussion
  • ask them to choose one particularly common, important and/ or difficult situation in which they communicate in English (or a similar situation in other languages if they don’t yet know how they will need to use English)
  • roleplay that situation with them as themselves and their partner as the person or people that they will have to communicate with
  • give feedback and/ or input on that kind of/ those kinds of communication

Here are some of the many possible materials using that approach:

Photocopiable needs and instant personalised practice activities

Needs analysis extended speaking and instant practice

Personalised instant roleplays

Personalised instant practice for logistics staff

Needs analysis extended speaking and instant practice

Business communication needs analysis and instant personalised practice

English for logistics needs analysis and instant personalised practice

Different kinds of meetings needs analysis and instant practice (in this very cheap e-book)

Emailing needs analysis and instant personalised practice (in this very cheap e-book)

Discuss and practise your priorities

Telephoning in English discussion and personalised practice

Telephoning and teleconferences discussion and personalised practice

Needs analysis and small talk (in this very cheap e-book)

Academic Writing needs analysis and defining your terms phrases

Personal information in academic writing (for academic applications, academic bios, etc)

Writing academic bios lead-in/ needs analysis (a good first lesson for Academic Writing classes)

If that’s not enough, a few more needs and instant practice worksheets coming soon, and 49 other TEFLtastic Classics here.

Updated 15 July 2022

Posted in Business English and ESP, Needs analysis | Tagged | Leave a comment

The best end-of-term revision game

I already did a post on “The Best End-of-term Revision Games”, but here I am again many years later without the final -s, because I think there is a clear winner:

Rotating revision board game (TEFLtastic classics part 14)

a terrible name for what is actually really intensive but fun practice of whatever you’ve covered as students go round (and possibly round and round). New board games revising emailing, social English and Business Result Pre just added, and the old ones cover countless textbooks for kids and adults, arts and media, and architecture.

Posted in board games, Revision games | Leave a comment