Teaching English can be a fickle business at times and sometimes the teacher may feel like more an entertainer than anything else. Whatever it takes to get one’s students learning, however, can only be a good thing and there is a huge range of different games and activities that can be used.
A lot of the time people who teach business English will have core text books that they need to stick to, but the learning process can be made a little bit easier by adding in a few extra activities. It will keep the students’ attention focused and as well as this, it will also allow them to relax. Whether it be a warmer, something to fill the gap or a relaxing activity at the end, here is a list of activities that most Business English students will enjoy.
Try These 15 Great Business English Activities That Your Students Will Love
Everybody loves to play games in class. Many of us will remember times during school when the teacher would play a games on the board in order to keep the class interested. It seemed a lot more fun than doing normal work, and with adults this is no different. Hangman involves the students having to guess a particular word. You think of a word, and draw a line of blank boxes on the board which indicate how many letters the word has. Students then ask for clues to the word, and then add letters. For every letter they get wrong, a body part is drawn. Once the picture is complete, the man is “hanged” so to speak and they lose. If they win, however, the entire word will be spelled out on the board. Undoubtedly this is a great way of practicing English and getting the class involved.
Another way to get the students’ minds going is a game of Chinese Whispers. A lot of people might think of it as a childish game, but it is important to remember that even adults need to unwind sometimes. Come up with a specific phrase, give it to one student, and then they have to whisper it to their partner and it is passed along like this. It will definitely be interesting to examine the end result compared to the beginning.
Job Skills Interview
For those who are interested in reviewing their own skills, setting up a mock interview is a great way of helping the students to become more confident. Get them to come up with their own questions for the candidate, and then let them find a partner with which to practice. This will build up their own confidence and allow them to get better with conversational skills.
Telephone Role Play
This is a fairly simple one which everyone will love. Get the class to divide into pairs and write up a small conversational piece. When practicing this role play, the students need to sit back to back in order to simulate talking on the phone. This will get to speak a lot more, since they have only their voice to rely on.
Call My Bluff
This is a very popular game which students will also enjoy. Divide the class into two groups or more, depending on big it is. Give each group a specific word, and also give them the correct meaning of it. The groups then attempt to fool one another by having a list of meanings for that one word, only one of which is true.
This can be quite a humorous game to play and definitely will get a few laughs from everyone. Have somebody sit in front of the board, and write the name of a famous person above their heads. They then have to ask the class questions about the person until they find out who it is.
Write a Story
This activity can be used for either the improvement of conversational skills or writing skills. It follows the same idea of the “story stick” whereby a student comes up with the first sentence of the story, and the second comes up with the next, and so on. This can turn into a very entertaining piece and can do wonders in helping the students to get better.
This game can be used to test a wide range of vocabulary knowledge, from parts of the body to objects which are in the room. Students have to listen to what the teacher says, and go over and touch that particular object when the teacher says, “Simon says… Go to the chair.” This is generally played with lower levels.
Quite similar to a role play. This difference is, the students set up their own scenario and have to act it out in front of the class. This means they have no set lines they have to adhere to, and therefore anything goes as long as they are speaking English.
Often this particular activity can be used as a warm up for the start of a new class. Compose a list of questions, such as “Who has a dog?” and other trivial pieces of information. Distribute them to students, and then get the students to go about filling in the answers from others. This will definitely help them to improve their conversational skills and get to know others in the class.
Use this activity to test out your students’ own knowledge by getting them to build sentences themselves on the board. A noun phrase generally works at the start, by simply adding, “The old woman.” Get the students to add adjectives, prepositions and other sentence parts to form something that is clear and makes sense.
Draw the Word
This is a particularly interesting exercises whereby one can test the abilities of their students. Get one of them to come up to the front of the class and give the rest of the class a word to describe. They cannot say the actual word, they must allow the person to draw it. Therefore, it must be a concrete noun of some kind, usually a complicated one which can be described in detail. This can be quite a lot of fun and everyone can participate.
Pick Out Words
This one is a little more complicated. When reading a text, jot down certain words on the board and have the students try and think of new words. Even if they don’t come up with much, it is a great way of teaching new vocabulary.
When studying a particular topic, Youtube clips or a video of some kind can be a great way to let the student practice their listening skills. Choose a video relevant to the topic at hand (such as a newscast) and play it. Afterwards, ask questions about it orally.
When studying marketing, this could be a great way of helping students break the ice in their first classes. Get them to survey each other on a wide range of topics, as it will get them talking in English and using it proactively.
There are many, many more ways through which one can get students to practice their English skills.
Of course, these are not the only activities and it is often a good idea to take a look up on various Business English websites to find more ideas. Tailoring various games to suit business English is pretty easy, and it is undoubtedly a great way to boost the students’ confidence whilst helping them have fun at the same time.