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15 lesson ideas for teaching junior EFL students – Part 2

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Keeping lesson content interesting is a key tactic which is essential to help our young learners recall important learning outcomes from the summer. Our Embassy Summer Academic Coordinator, Philip Warwick, has prepared 15 lesson ideas you too can adopt with your junior EFL students. This is part two of three. Read part one here

6. Word Auction. This is a 30 second team game. The teacher asks each team how many words they can name in 30 second around a given category. Each team bids for the right to answer (e.g. How many sports can you name in 30 seconds? Team A: 6, Team B:7, Team A: 9) the team with the highest bid gets the chance to answer. Scoring is accorded as follows if a team fails in their bid (e.g. only provides 8 rather than 9 answers) then the other teams scores points equivalent to the initial bid (e.g. 9 points rather than 1). The first team to score over 50 points wins.

7. The price is right. Introduce foreign money and clarify the exchange rate with the students, you can also talk about average salaries in your country. Game show time! Give each of the students a big piece of paper and a marker. Show the students a common object (a CD, a pair of tennis shoes, a can of Coke…) Tell the selected students to write down the price of the object in the teacher’s home country in that country’s currency. Have each student hold up their guess and have all students read the prices. The closest guess under the actual price wins. Keep score and compare prices in China or add a comment if everyone’s price is way off.

8. One word conversations – this is really useful for higher level intonation practice. Write the following text on the board:

– Possible? – No. – Mm. – No – Please. – Oh. – Yes? – Well. – Thanks.

Read it to the students and then get the students to practice in pairs, then get the students to come up with their own one-word conversations.

9. Circle the words.Write some key vocabulary from a text on the whiteboard. Hand out whiteboard markers to each team. Explain the vocabulary to the students and then read the text, but instead of reading the words and phrases on the board substitute them with ‘blank’. Ss race to the whiteboard and circle the phrase or word that they think fits the text. This is a fun pre-reading task that can really motivate the students.

10. Snake, Tree, Sun, House. Get students to draw a picture that includes a Snake, Tree, Sun and House, then tell them that they have just conducted a psychological test. Write each word on the board and elicit what they mean (i.e. Sun – personality, Tree- ambition, House- family, Snake- Sex (or relationships if that’s too risqué )) and some descriptive words (e.g. optimistic, depressed, psychotic etc). Then get students to change pictures and analyze each other.


Phil first started working at Embassy when there was just one school in Hastings, back in 1990 – during his time there he has worked in many roles, from teacher to head of vacation education to teacher trainer and then finally over to Embassy Summer, where he has Academic Coordinator for UK schools since 2007. 


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