Ideas for helping students develop their vocabulary

How to Teach ESL Vocabulary and Make it Stick
Armando Pannacci
Put yourself in your students’ shoes and imagine yourself sitting at an exam table. When you need to recall a word learned in class, what would make the word stick when it counts?

15 Confusing Vocabulary Questions My ESL Students Ask
Armando Pannacci
Armando Pannacci on the confusing vocabulary questions his students ask him and how he answers them

The ATONIN Time Pyramid
The ATONIN Time Pyramid can help people remember which preposition – at, on or in – to use with hours, days, months, years, etc. Written by phrazzleme for TEFL.net An easy way to remember which preposition to use with hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, ages. Do you have a difficult time remembering which preposition […]

Fun Activities For Architecture Vocabulary
Alex Case
Stimulating practice of words to explain buildings for architects, designers and advanced level learners.

Fun Teaching Ideas On The Topic Of Toys
Alex Case
Making one of the most interesting topics even more so, and useful communication too.

Playing With Our Word Bag
Alex Case
Games and fun activities for revising vocabulary chosen by your students.

Essential Time Expressions
Alex Case
Common time expressions that students often misunderstand or are unaware of

20 fun ways to teach kids body vocab
Alex Case
Games and other ideas for teaching the useful and fun topic of body parts vocab to kids

Picture dictionary games and activities
Alex Case
Successful ideas for using picture dictionaries for fun activities with your students.

Problems, solutions and variations with hangman in EFL
Alex Case
Hangman is a game in which students try to guess what letters are in the word before a complete picture of their man getting hanged appears, with one element of the man and scaffold being added for each time they choose a letter that isn’t in the word. It is popular with native speaker children, […]

Fun ways of practising country and nationality words
Alex Case
1. Word roots dictation The teacher reads out a list of words that originally come from a particular language, e.g. words that come from French and are now used in English, using their English pronunciation. The teacher should start with obscure ones and get more and more obvious until they reach words that are obviously […]

Fun practice activities for there is, are, was, were
Alex Case
1. The worst school in the world Students compare their primary schools, with the aim of showing that their school was worse than their partners’, leading to sentences like “There was a swimming pool, but there was only cold water in

Fun practice activities for family vocabulary
Alex Case
1. Men and women stations The teacher or one of the students says a family relations word like “mother-in-law” or “grandfather”, and students run and touch the right wall if it is a female word or the left wall if it is a male word. Less noisy versions include jumping right or left of a […]

Fun Ways to Teach Young Children Vocabulary
Mariana Popescu
As language teachers with more or less teaching experience, we have often wondered how we can better educate our pupils so that they gain self-confidence speaking their second language, as well as being able to read, write and even more important speak it. In fact the answer is found when we ask another common question: […]

15 more ways of eliciting vocabulary
Alex Case
1. Mime/ gestures The communication survival technique of gesturing can also easily be adapted to classroom elicitation, especially easily for action verbs, but also feelings, other adjectives etc. You might want to check that the gestures you want to use are culturally appropriate, especially that they will not be misinterpreted or even found offensive. 2. Pairwork Many […]

15 real life situations for the language of describing people
Alex Case
…and how to use them in the classroom Many of the activities commonly used with the topic of describing people such as ranking personality words and picture dictations are totally unlike anything we do in real life. Although this doesn’t have to be a bad thing if these are the most effective and fun ways […]

15 games for the language of describing people
Alex Case
1. Blind date quiz show One person asks questions of 3 to 4 students, who should answer about the person on the photo they have. The person who asked the questions should then decide who would make the best date, and after being shown the photos