Making future arrangements with the present continuous

One of the classic activities for practising the present continuous for future arrangements is to have students schedule appointments with each other. This version of the activity gives students the opportunity to communicate one on one with each of their classmates. Give each student a copy of the blank weekly appointment planner and tell them that their […]

Describing videos with present continuous

In the past, I’ve found it difficult to find satisfactory ways of practising the present continuous in a real-time situation. I find miming activities don’t always suit adult classrooms, and describing what is happening in pictures produces only a limited range of language. However, with the introduction of a large screen, there are a lot more […]

Present simple vs present continuous photoset

This is a photoset which you can use to illustrate the difference between present simple and present continuous. Each photo shows someone with a clearly identifiable job who is doing something that the job usually doesn’t entail. First, ask the students, what does he/she do? to elicit their job title. Then ask them to expand on what […]

Present continuous mime game

I’m generally not a big fan of using mime games with adult students, some seem to be very uncomfortable under that particular spotlight. However, I have found that this mime activity with smaller, ‘universal’ actions performed in small groups goes down well, and students nearly always end up having a good time with it. Start […]

Describe the (imaginary) picture

In this activity, students describe a picture using useful vocabulary such as, there is, there are and the present continuous tense. It’s good for practising asking questions and stretching your students’ creativity To save you searching for suitable pictures and cutting up bits of paper, this web-app allows you to play the game with a smartphone, tablet or PC. […]

ESL board games provide a safe space to practice new language forms

ESL board games are a handy way to get students using new language, and are especially useful for practising targeted grammar structures. Students get to ask and answer “realistic” questions and in the process get to know each other a little better, hopefully leading to higher quality interactions and increased speaking opportunities. In fact, some […]