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50 speaking activities for the classroom

I thought I would compile a list of types of pupil speak in the classroom. Many games can be subsumed within the activity types below. I know you can think of more.
1. Whole group repetition or phonics activity (including whispering, shouting, singing)
2. Part group repetition (small groups, rows, pairs)
3. Reading aloud individually or as a group from text on the board (good for sound - spelling link)
4. Reading aloud from a worksheet, homework task or text book
5. Answering a question with hand up (e.g. from picture, picture sequence, structured question)
6. Answering a question without hand up
7. In pairs, taking turns to say a word, phrase or sentence until someone runs out of ideas
8. Playing a guessing game in pairs (e.g. guessing what your partner did last weekend, playing "battleships") 9. Doing an information gap task in pairs (e.g. completing a schedule or diary)
10. Making up true/false statements (in pairs or for whole class)
11. Making up false utterances to be corrected by partner or teacher
12. Lip reading in pairs
13. Speaking spontaneously to a time limit (or get partner to time you as far as you can go)
14. Speaking into a microphone/digital recorder and listening back
15. Giving a presentation to a partner or in front of the class
16. Chanting or singing verb conjugations or vocabulary themes
17. Correcting false sentences made up by the teacher
18. Oral gap filling (teacher reads aloud leaving gaps to be filled in)
19. Singing along with a target language song
20. Miming guessing games (e.g. "dumb customer")
21. Task oriented discussion activities (e.g. murder mystery or solving a complex problem)
22. Speed dating pairwork
23. Complex whole class games (e.g. Alibi)
24. Paired dictation, including running dictation
25. Pupils asking the teacher questions
26. Pupils acting as teacher in front of the class and running oral work
27. Making a simple request (May I go to the toilet? may I take off my jacket? Can you repeat please?)
28. Repeating or responding in a language lab
29. Reading out numbers (e.g. bingo or Countdown)
30. Chanting or singing the alphabet and numbers
31. Playing aural anagrams with a partner
32. Describing a simple picture for a partner to draw
33. Taking part in an oral assessment
34. Playing Chinese Whispers
35. Practising or rehearsing for an oral test
36. Formal debate
37. Presenting and videoing a news broadcast
38. Performing a sketch or playlet
39. Role playing (e.g. parent and child situations, crystal ball, agony aunt, palm reading)
40. Describing a picture and making up a story from it
41. Planning a visit in pairs or as a group
42. Spot the difference pictures discussion
43. Making up a story one word at a time
44. Word association
45. Fizz-buzz with numbers
46. Doing word sequences e.g. say a word beginning with the last letter of the previous word
47. Guessing games (e.g. guess the flashcard, Je pense à quelque chose)
48. Accumulation games (e.g. Je vais au marché et j'achète...)
49. Simple transformation drills (present to past, present to future)
50. Substitution drills (teacher gives a sentence, pupil changes one element)


  1. Thank you for this comprehensive list Steve! Very useful!


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