ESL speaking activities

ESL Speaking Activities (Intermediate/Advanced)

The English language is the most common second language in the world with 55 countries speaking it as a second language. It can be an arduous task for non-native speakers to become fluent in English. If you are an English Language teacher, you might have an idea how hard it can be for the students to be more vocal in the English Language. So, we teachers are constantly looking for fun, engaging ESL speaking activities to motivate our students and make our lessons unforgettable. This article will find five easy-to-prepare ESL speaking activities (intermediate/advanced) that will get your students talking non-stop. 

Following are those five ESL speaking activities making English speaking fun!

Video narration

So basically, what you’re going to do is, you’re going to go on YouTube and look for short videos and films, but they must be silent. 

The video might have a song playing in the background but there can’t be any dialogues. The first thing you’re going to do is to ask the students to watch the film together. The video can be four to five minutes long (otherwise it might get boring).

While you’re watching the movie, ask students to also take notes of the actionssurroundings, and expressions as well as words trying to describe the situation accordingly. For example, we can take the video ‘The Elevator’. It’s three minutes and thirty seconds long and the student can take notes of the guy on the screen entering the elevator and pressing buttons. The student needs to pay attention and take notes of all the details. 

The student just has to watch and take notes

When you play the video for the second time, the student will narrate the video. This will be a fun activity for the students and simultaneously, it can also improve their fluency, vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.

We can also record them talking on that video for three minutes and send them their recording afterward so they can analyze or just have a laugh.

Analyzing Data 

The second activity is analyzing data on a map. We are going to look up a map with a topic. For example, you might look up a map of countries with the worst and best recycling rates around the world. The students need to describe what they’re seeing and analyze it. Once they’re done analyzing, we can ask them questions regarding the map. For example, ‘ why do you think Germany has the highest recycling rate?’ or ‘do you agree with that?’ and they can share their opinions and maybe you can ask them to do writing after it.

Making Up Excuses

In this third activity, we’re going to look for photos where we can see people struggling or people in different situations. For example, there can be a picture of a man looking at his watch while holding a briefcase in his other hand while he is standing on an escalator. You’re going to ask your students to come up with an excuse so the man can call his boss. So the students have to help you make up a story to tell their boss. For example, ‘he missed his train/bus that day’ or maybe ‘his daughter wasn’t feeling so well.

This is just an exercise for fluency and for the students to think fast to come up with an excuse. You can also leave some space next to the image where you can write down the emerging words. The student can take notes of the new words.

Comparing Cities 

This activity is very easy to prepare, we are just going to look for photos of different cities. If a student has a special interest in any place (he/she might be traveling there or planning to study there), try to take those photos off the internet to make this activity more fun. For example, we can take three pictures, the first one displaying Big Ben in London, the second one showing a place in Sydney, and the third one displaying some region of Cape Town. We can ask the students questions regarding these images. Is it England? What’s the weather like there? Do they have public transportation? How are these cities different? Is it a capital city? This is a great way to improve English and Geography at the same time!

Bring a Picture

Family Camping, Harriman State Park, New York

The last activity is the easiest one since it requires no preparation at all. You can tell your students to bring a photo of them or send you a photo. It could be of them as an amusement park, or at dinner with their family. They will then have to explain the picture to you giving as much detail about the events of that day/night that the picture encapsulates. 

This is a very good exercise for fluency since they don’t have to think about any topic because they are talking about themselves or something that happened to them. The goal is to get the person talking and at the same time, you can talk a bit about grammar as well. 

Also, if you want to apply for Online ESL teaching jobs, check the job lists HERE, HERE, and HERE.

You can check out fun side hustles for teachers too HERE.

ESL Speaking Activities (Intermediate/Advanced)

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