Published 1st May 2019
One of the goals for an effective English as a Foreign Language classroom is interactivity. An interactive classroom is one in which the students have as much input into the lessons as the teacher does. In other words, the lessons are planned in such a way that the students engage with the materials, the lesson content and each other in order to enjoy the most effective lesson possible. Read on to discover some interactive activities for your EFL classroom.
It is, but it’s totally worth it. Plus, when you get the hang of planning interactive activities you’ll find it gets easier with time.
Our favourite interactive activities for the EFL classroom
A nice and easy activity to start off any lesson. This can either be done in pairs, groups or as an open class. To start the lesson, give the students a word or phrase related to the topic of the lesson, or even just the topic itself. The students must then brainstorm as many words or phrases as they know related to the topic. They must do this as quickly as they can without thinking.
Put the students in pairs or groups. Give them a question to consider or a discussion point. After a few minutes, put the students into new groups. They do the same activity but this time with new partners. In this way they will feel more comfortable speaking on the topic but they will also have more ideas to put forward.
When dealing with a reading or a listening text, organise the activity so that each student in a group has access only to certain information. In order to complete the task they will need to talk to the other members of their group and exchange information with them. This is easily done by dividing a reading or listening text into three and dividing the class into groups of three.
After a language activity, instead of marking it as a class activity, let your students mark another student’s work. Give them the opportunity to do this before going over the answers as a class.
Student as teacher
Assign language points to small student groups and let them teach them to the class. Make sure you provide enough time to prepare, and don’t forget to deal with any comprehension issues afterwards.
When you tackle revision exercises in the classroom, instead of using individual tasks, turn them into classroom games. There are loads of different revision games that can be played in the classroom that will turn your lesson into a more interactive experience. An example of one such game is ½ a crossword.
½ a crossword
Turn a usually solo activity into a pairwork activity by creating half a crossword. Create a full crossword but design it so that each student is given half the clues and half the answers. Students must ask their partner questions in order to complete the crossword.
There are many different interactive activities you can use to make your EFL classrooms more interactive. By doing this you will be allowing your students more input into the lessons and be giving them more autonomy, which will result in them being more engaged, involved and motivated. You know what they say, happy students, happy teacher! So try introducing some interactive activities to your classroom.