Australian animals – word search

One of the first handouts I made for my Japanese classes in 2010 was a word find puzzle, with a large number of Australian animals. It was probably one of the most popular lessons, as the students raced to be first and receive Australian stickers as prizes. They were surprised at some of the animals that could be found in Australia - camels, … [Read more...]

30 Travel Idioms

Idioms are used regularly in every-day spoken language. Even beginners are faced with idioms if they travel to an English speaking country for a holiday. That's why it's important to include idioms in all levels of language courses. Plus they are fun, and help with vocabulary learning and recall because they paint bold pictures in our … [Read more...]

Words rhyming with ‘ale’

I usually give these vocabulary building exercises to my conversation class students as homework, although completing them in class can result in a surprising amount of noise and talking! Download the PDF version, without answers: Word rhyme - ale Example: A type of beer: ale A bundle of hay. To remove water from somewhere, usually … [Read more...]

Professions crossword

A number of my classes are deep in the jobs and professions topic area. Crosswords are a fun way of increasing vocabulary (both in the answers and in the questions!) Download:  Professions crossword (PDF) If you found this crossword useful, please share it on your social networks. … [Read more...]

Food crossword

Crosswords are a fun way to increase vocabulary, especially when students are challenged to understand the words in the questions too! Recommended level: upper-beginner to advanced Ingredients and food crossword (PDF) Highlight the hidden text below to see the answers. Across: 1 macadamias, 5 custard, 6 parsley, 7 rhubarb, 9 … [Read more...]

15 Idioms from around the world

Idioms are a great way to increase enthusiasm and interest in learning a language. Instead of getting bogged down in memorizing vocabulary, they paint bold, clear pictures in students' minds, which are much more easily remembered than a boring list of words. Teachers can use 1-3 of these as warm-up exercises, or as a list in an entire lesson … [Read more...]

10 Things that …

This fun vocabulary activity works wonderfully with small to large groups, from beginners through to advanced students. It's a race and a competition, which encourages participation and increases motivation. It can increase participation for the remainder of the class when used as a warm-up. Beginner classes may like to use a dictionary - it … [Read more...]

Crossword – words rhyming with ‘will’

How many words do you know that end in ill? Here are 24 in addition to 'ill' and 'will', arranged in a crossword puzzle format. Intermediate EFL students and those at a higher level have enjoyed this puzzle. As a bonus, they became more familiar with their dictionary - some of the words are quite difficult and obscure! Download the … [Read more...]

Beginner vocabulary exercise – basic office supplies

What do you have on and in your desk? What do you use regularly in your daily work life? Pens, pencils, markers, paper clips, folders, a diary perhaps? Use a dictionary to find out the names of all the things on your desk, and then label them with their English names using sticky notes. Tip: Sticky notes are fabulous for learning new … [Read more...]

Spelling checkers for language learners

When learning a new language, it can be tempting to rely on the automatic spelling checkers to correct your words. But in all languages, there are words that sound the same, spelled differently and have different meaning (homonyms). I found auto-correction in Japanese to be much worse than English - my intelligent 'spelling checkers' … [Read more...]