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TEFL Warm Ups and Activities for Adults

Describe the Video Clip to a Partner

The teacher chooses a short video without dialogue (e.g. a Pixar film or old silent film). Student A watches the first two minutes of the video while Student B puts his head down or leaves the room. After the first two minutes of the film, the teacher pauses the video and Student A describes what he saw to Student B. Students then switch roles for the next two minutes of the video. At the end of the video, the students must put together an accurate summary of everything that happened in the film.

More difficult version: Students describe what is happening while they are watching the video.


Collocations Game

Students are given three words and have to determine what word collocates with all three words. For example, if the words are “super,” “mainframe,” and “personal,” the word that collocates with all three is “computer.”

For ideas, see:
collocations game
business collocations game

Also try this odd-one-out collocations game.


The Expert Game

One student is chosen to be an “expert” on a certain topic (female fashion trends, child psychology, baseball cards, aliens, etc.). The other students ask the “expert” questions about her area of expertise. The “expert” must immediately answer everyone’s questions by making up the information on the spot. Students should be encouraged to be creative and to try to convince the class that they really know about the subject. To make the activity more fun (and challenging), the teacher should choose topics that the students know absolutely nothing about.



Taboo is a word guessing game by Hasbro. A player chooses a card and has to make his partners guess the word on the card without saying the “taboo” words. For example, a student may have to make his partners guess the word “pool” without saying the words “swim,” “water,” or “bathing suit.” Students work in pairs or groups of three and compete against other groups. Students can use the actual game cards from Hasbro or cards that the teacher creates. For ideas, see these sets of game cards:

business English Taboo cards
Taboo cards (beginner-intermediate)
Taboo cards (intermediate-advanced)

More Exercises…

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