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Eight ESL/EFL activities for developing oral fluency

There are many different activities that help learners of English to develop their fluency. Here I am going to present eight activities that are excellent for developing oral fluency.

Information-gap activities

Students have to work in pairs. Student A has a very full schedule and Student B has another full schedule. They have to find a good time to meet.

Ranking activities

Create for your students a list of possible adjectives describing personality. Students work in groups and they have to agree on three most important characteristic of a person (that person can be a friend, a teacher, etc).

Guessing activities

Students can work this activity in small groups or pairs. Student A chooses the name of a famous person. The other student has to find out the identity of Student A by asking questions (yes/no questions). It’s a very good activity for practicing “questions”. I found that teenagers are very interested in this activity.

Problem-solving activities

The students work in groups (groups of four works the best for me). Give to Student A, a bizarre story and an explanation of the background. Student A has to tell the story to the rest of the group. The other students have to ask Student A questions and discover the background.

Group discussion

Prepare a series of statements on a topic the student have read about. Together they try to reach a consensus on whether or not they agree with each of the given statements. (I play this activity with small classes, usually under ten students with good English skills).

Jigsaw activities

Students work in groups. Each student is given a different section of a text. Without showing the texts to each other they have to decide the order in which the sections appear in the original text and then answer to general questions about the text.

Project based activity

I usually ask students to prepare a radio news program. The news don’t have to be real; whatever news they prepare are just fine as long they use proper English and the news are presented in a “professional” way. Pairs or small groups work the best. I record the news (I use my mobile phone) then listen it together and give the feedback. My students love this activity.

Prepared monologue

Each student has to prepare to talk about a hobby or a personal interest for two minutes. After they prepare, each student has to present the hobby to the whole class. They must not read from the prepared text. I use this activity as homework and the students will be presenting the hobby on the following class.

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