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Password

Hacienda Yaxcopoil
Password (aslo known as hot seat) is a simple ESL game that takes no pre-class preparation and is a great way for students to practice their vocabulary and speaking skills. This game is also a great ice breaker for teens but can also be used with young learners.

Activity Time:  10 minutes +
Materials required: White board and marker, a timer 
Number of students: 2 +
Skills practiced: Listening, speaking and Vocabulary.
Level: All levels

Method
1. Divide the class into teams. You need a minimum of two per team.
2. Place a chair in front of the white board facing away from the board.
3. Write a word on the board, for example “car”
4. One team member sits in the chair and the other team members have to explain the word on the board to the student in the chair (without saying the actual word. . If the student says the correct word the team are awarded a point. 

Keep a score of the points and the team with the most amount of points is the winner. 

Curiosity Ideas

 The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds…

No one can deny the importance of curiosity in learning. But as teachers how do we integrate curiosity into the ESL classroom? This post is going to offer some suggestions as to how you can create curiosity in the classroom.

1. Riddles:

Riddles are one way in which you can create curiosity. I have used these in the ESL classroom and have had some great interest in them. I usually have one riddle written on the board before class starts. This is a great way to get students who arrive early something to think about before we start. I have used these with teens but they could be used with adults too.

Examples: (Answers can be found at the bottom of the post!)

How many people are buried in cemeteries?

What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?

What can you catch but you can’t throw?

Click here for a printable list.

2. Ciphers 

Ciphers are great for young learners, especially those who are mathematically minded. They are easy to set up and a great way to revise the alphabet and spelling and vocabulary. You assign a number to a letter so A=1, B=2, C=3 etc and write coded messages on the board or get the kids to write their own in English and get their friends to crack the code!

This website can be a handy way to write messages quickly on your computer for printing

3. Word Squares

Another way to break up your class or an activity to keep early finishers occupied while they wait is with word squares.

This is a quick activity to put together, simply write 9 letter in a square, like above. Your class then have to create as many words as they can in a given number of time. This can be done in pairs or individually.

Riddle answers: 1. All of them! 2. A towel 3. A cold

Activities based on a workshop given by Nina Lauder at the TEFL conference, Seville, Spain 2011.