Published 13th February 2019

Valentine's

Holidays are a great source of inspiration for the English as a Foreign Language classroom and Valentine’s Day should be no different. A day celebrating love can give us endless ideas for EFL lessons, which our students are sure to enjoy.

Activities to use in the classroom to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Speed-dating

Speed-dating is a way for busy people to meet possible partners without spending lots of time looking for them. During speed-dating men and women talk to each other for three minutes before a bell rings and they move on to speak to another person. During this time they can ask each other any questions they want to get to know each other.

Your students can act out a speed-dating scenario by adopting different personae. You can assign them identities, or they can make up their own. Give your students time to think up questions they would like to ask their potential partners. Time them so they only have three minutes to speak to each person. At the end of the activity they must decide if there was anyone their characters were interested in.

The perfect partner

Write the following words on the board:

  • Attractive
  • Funny
  • Kind
  • Ambitious
  • Rich
  • Tall
  • Christian/Muslim/Jewish

Arrange a discussion activity in which your students must decide which of these characteristics are important in a partner. They must rank them in order of importance. This can be done as a pyramid activity, so each student works individually to decide on their ranking. Then they work as a pair and decide on their ranking. Then as a group of four, and so on until the whole class decides the ranking of these characteristics.

The love triangle

This activity requires two or three celebrities who have had turbulent love lives. The Jennifer Anniston – Brad Pitt – Angeling Jolie love triangle works perfectly but if they are not relevant to your students find celebrities who are. Elicit as much as you can about these relationships from the students using pictures. Board the appropriate language and fill in any gaps. Focus on colloquial and idiomatic language which relates to the story, for example split up, cheated on, had an affair with, got divorced. This topic has so much language related to it that you can choose a set of target phrases which are suitable for your students.

Culture swap

This activity is a webquest. Assign different countries to your students. Let them go online to find out about the different celebrations different cultures have for Valentine’s Day. When they are finished they can mingle to tell each other what they found out.

Holidays and national celebrations are a great way to bring the outside world into the classroom. Valentine’s Day should be a day dedicated to love and relationships in the classroom. It doesn’t have to be cheesy!