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Multipurpose ESL/EFL activity

This activity for ESL students is very similar to this activity. The only difference is that it is presented in a different way. The first time I have done this activity was a real success so I decided to do it again, this time presented in different way to avoid monotony. I strongly recommend it since it captured students’ attention every time I played it.

Multipurpose ESL/EFL activity

As you can see in the picture, the questions are quite difficult but the whole idea is not to get the right answer but to understand the question.

Divide the class into two teams (for example boys and girls). Start with the girls and ask them to pick up a number from the pyramid. Read the question that corresponds to the chosen number. In case of a correct answer erase the number from the board and write a G letter (G for girls). Continue with the boys then girls and so on until all the questions are covered.

Do not allow students to answer short questions.

Let’s take the first question: How many countries are there in the world? Personally, I did not know the answer but I searched for it on the Internet. Ask the question and let students guess. According to my experience, most of the 14 years old Vietnamese learners of English will answer with a number very close to 120. The teacher says “more than ...” or “fewer than ...” until they get the right number. It is a great example for practicing numbers; and Vietnamese learners do need to practice numbers.

There are some questions that require a direct answer and finding it is quite difficult. Let students guess several times then you can play a Hangman game. Let’s take as example the 5th question: What is the most violent country in the world? Students come up with different answers but not the right one. So, a Hangman game is appropriate in this situation. You can even offer them multiple choices so they can pick up one, as I did with question number 10.

The activity can be modified in so many ways to cover many other topics and can be used to practice different vocabulary items and/or target language.

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