Resources: Books With Speaking Activities In Your Teachers’ Room


Check out some of my favorite resources for communicative speaking activities. Several are rather old-fashioned in appearance but good activities have a long life. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend buying these books, but if you are checking out a prospective school, why not see if they have them…or if you are panicking an hour before your first lesson, see if your school has them.

  • Grammar Games And Activities (formerly a pink and blue book) Some activities are better than others, but all are frequently communicative and some deal with speaking fluency.
  • Vocabulary Games And Activities (formerly a green and orange book) This one has a number of good crossword puzzles…if any kind reader has it and can scan and send the “Adjectives to Describe People” one, I’d be eternally grateful.
  • Speaking Personally: This small book includes interesting self-quizzes and personality tests, like what your doodles reveal about you and how others see you. Many activities can be nicely adapted for one-to-one lessons with higher level students.
  • Shenanigames has more of a grammar focus than the above books, but many puzzle-like activities that are intrinsically motivating.
  • Keep Talking is somewhat old-fashioned but features a number of well-set up ideas for conversation like ranking activities and puzzles.
  • Five-Minute Activities obviously focusus on short activities; you can use them at the end of a class or adapt them to make them longer.
  • Intermediate Discussions A-Z: The topics in this book can facilitiate discussions among Intermediate-level students and above. I much prefer this Intermediate level to the Advanced level book, even for advanced classes. Topics inlclude superstitions, honesty, and school.
  • Taboos and Issues features well-developed activities around topics like stereotypes, bribery and corruption and body peircings.
  • Last but not least: the Rewards Resource Packs. These are hard to find online at all, though gossip has it that the Ketlic Bookshop in London stocks them. I’ve come across these books more often as informally bound copies than in their original form, which leads me to believe they are connected to a TEFL secret society of some kind. In any case, they are good.
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