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Speaking Games

Photocopiable activities to make language learning fun

Price: £30.00
A photocopiable resource book of 50 speaking games for teachers of English to use in class with both adult and teenage learners at levels B1-C1. It provides teachers with original, effective and enjoyable activities.
Author(s): Jason Anderson

Speaking Games is a photocopiable resource book of 50 speaking games for teachers of English to use in class with both adult and teenage learners at levels B1-C1. It provides teachers with original, effective and enjoyable activities that focus on developing the learners' ability to use language confidently in real-world situations. 

It includes a wide variety of activities which get learners speaking on topics of interest while injecting energy, fun and motivation into a class. 

Each game is easy to print, use and recycle. They are presented in double-page spreads of instructions and resources. The book includes a 'Rules of the Game' handout.

Speaking Games is divided into four sections: Board Games - photocopiable boards for games such as Snakes and Ladders or Scrabble; Card Games - photocopiable cards that are cut up and used either as questions or prompts; Secrets and Lies - activities that involve either guessing secret information or guessing whether a speaker is being honest or not; and, Quizzes, Puzzles and Challenges - including well-known quiz show formats, such as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, problem solving puzzles, brainteasers and activities that challenge learners to use language accurately while speaking fluently.


Review from ETp 98:

"In his article ‘The uniqueness of gameplay’ in Issue 96 of ETp, Jason Anderson follows Henry Widdowson in asserting that authenticity is ‘not a quality of the materials we use, but a contextdependent interaction between individuals within a community’. He points out, therefore, that the use of language in the course of playing a game (in-game language use) and the use of language in class in order to allow a game to be played, eg negotiating the meaning of the rules, commenting on the action, etc (around-game language use) both have a claim to authenticity.

This book is structured to embody this principle, and each of the 50 photocopiable speaking games has not only a section of teacher’s notes to help teachers set up and run the activity successfully, but also a ‘Rules of the game’ section to be given to the students. This section has the dual function of providing both an authentic reading opportunity – comprehension is demonstrated by how well they play the game as a result of reading it – and a handy reference to promote greater autonomy during the game. The ‘Rules of the game’ section is divided into Preparation, How to play and How to win, with an additional If ... section, which gives more detail about what action to take within the game if certain situations arise and also goes some way towards dealing with the kind of unforeseen eventualities which can occur in the course of games.

The worksheets and their accompanying notes are so clear and easy to use that it would be possible to plunge right in and pick an activity for immediate use in class, but I would recommend that you read the short but illuminating introduction to the book first. It contains a sound rationale for the use of games, an explanation of how to find the game you need by using either the Contents pages (which contain full information about levels and language focus, including sub-skills, functions, grammar and lexis) or the three indexes at the back (where the games are categorised according to grammar/structure, topic/vocabulary and function/sub-skill), and ideas for adapting the games to suit the preferences of your students.

An interesting and useful feature of the book is the provision of a ‘Resource bank’ with pages to photocopy and cut up into cards. These are designed for use with a number of different games, giving a general resource for teachers to draw upon when needed, and allowing for the possibility for the games in the book to be adapted or for entirely new games to be devised.

The games themselves, which are placed in four categories (Board games, Card games, Secrets and lies, Puzzles and challenges) are well thought-out and attractively presented. Many of them are fresh treatments of tried and trusted ELT games which teachers will already be familiar with. For example, ‘Crime Scene Investigation’ is basically a ‘Spot the difference’ activity, but it is given an extra angle in that some of the differences between two pictures can be used to decide which two people in the pictures committed a bank robbery and how they did it and got away.

‘Who wants to be an ‘Idiom’aire?’ is a clever take on a well-known TV quiz. In deciding on the meaning of certain English idioms, teams who don’t know or are unsure of the correct answer have three lifelines, each of which can only be used once. These are: the option of asking the teacher, using a dictionary or having answers removed so they have to choose between two possible answers rather than four.

I believe that teachers who wish to encourage speaking in their lessons and to ensure the enthusiastic participation of the whole class will find this an invaluable resource."


Helena Gomm
West Meon, UK


ISBN: 9781905085989
Publisher: DELTA
Publication: 30 December 2014

Jason Anderson is author of three books for teachers of English as a Foreign Language; Role Plays for Today, Speaking Games and Teamwork: Interactive Tasks to Get Students Talking. He has worked as a teacher, teacher trainer and writer since 1995 in the UK, Rwanda, Eritrea, Kenya, Malawi, Italy, Turkey, Malaysia and Ukraine. He has worked for UNICEF, the British Council, VSO and International House as a trainer of teachers in both developed and developing countries, including on the UNICEF Child-friendly Schools project. He has designed teacher training courses from scratch and taken them through the validation process successfully (eg Trinity CertTESOL).