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ESL forum > Ask for help > Activities with NO English in a lesson - how do you feel about them?    

Activities with NO English in a lesson - how do you feel about them?

Czech Republic

Activities with NO English in a lesson - how do you feel about them?
Dear colleagues,
How do you feel about doing actvities, playing games, or crafting, that might even take half of your lesson, yet do not contain any target language? 
I always have feel bad and tell myslelf "It īs not a recess time/ Art lesson", "what will the parents say when they learn that we were mostly drawing (e.g.) in our last lesson?"
Do all of your activities contain English, or are you OK with that from time to time -- the purpose of those activities is to like the lessons more and enjoy learning.
thanks for your thoughs :-) 

13 Sep 2017      

Antonio Oliver

Hi there,
With little ones, definitely you need to give them plenty of playing time. Since you are there with them you can talk to them in English all through the activity. 
I do a lot of playing, and most of the times the activity involves some English (mimic, Simon says, hangman, bingo, lingo, boggle) though at times I just need them to relax (close your eyes and imagine a beach / your favourite food / a puppy / your best friend) or contrarily they need to become a bit more active (play the sax / ride your bike / play tennis / sing )
If this language exposure is not a good idea -ie, they don īt understand / reject English while playing... Again, with little kids you can īt  just teach-teach-teach non-stop, so my advice is go for games!

13 Sep 2017     

Czech Republic

thank you for your thoughts :-)

14 Sep 2017     


I - too - do a lot of playing with my pupils ... and - even if they do not notice the language target - I always do ! ;-)))
I do believe our kids learn by playing, enjoying themselves, etc !!
It takes me a looong time to prepare my class, as I need card games, role-plays, and so on....
I learnt English with Grammar lessons , & loads of words to learn...Those classes were just boring ! and many of my friends just couldn īt enjoy the class...Times have changed, and luckily enough, we ( = teachers ) have changed too : 
I try to teach with games - ... - ( I teach many Special Needs ) - & even with my older students, I īm always pleased when they tell me it was fun ! - and : " Miss, not the end of class, yet ???"
Please don īt feel bad when your kids are enjoying themselves ! They īre just having fun - and ...LEARNING English !!
We once learnt the Present Simple form of verbs - how boring ! . Now, our kids are enjoying themselves with battle ships, role plays , speaking cards, board games, etc !!! But they DO speak English, ( before, they just wrote sentences ;-)) and enjoy themselves...
What īs the problem with drawing ? When they read texts in English - and have to explain / show what they understood.... : I always ask them to draw, as they might have pbs with written expression ( = all I want to check is their understanding ;-))) . Of course, with older students, I īll ask them to write essays...But I do think we should have more "fun" activities in our classes. That īs what I try to do. With many mistakes on my behalf - of course ! ;-)))
I thank you for your post , & I think it is Worth a PHD research paper.
Ps : drawings, crafts...etc...always have a target language, even if , in your mind, it īs just "having fun" !  
Best regards from France,

17 Sep 2017