Posted in Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, English as a second language, English teaching games

Drama/Communication Activities for Esl Students

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Communication drama games have a vital role to play in the ESL classroom. These activities help the learners to speak with and listen to other learners. The purpose of the following activities is for the students to find information, break down barriers and talk about themselves in a relaxed manner. The language areas that are practiced in this section are questions, conditionals, past and present simple tenses, past and present continuous tenses, there is/there are, expressions for giving opinions and negotiating.

Game: The Dog Show
Level: Pre-Intermediate +
Other benefits: This activity allows the students to practice forming questions and responding in an appropriate manner.
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: This is a communication activity where the students must use their imagination. This is an opportunity for the students to use mime, providing a chance to use the “teacher in role” drama technique. Get each student to imagine that they are a dog owner. They must each mime interacting with their dog. Once they have done this and gotten used to the size of their dog, get them to imagine they are competing in a dog show. The teacher takes on the role as a judge of the show. She/he interviews each of the dog owners individually and asks them the following questions:
• What type of dog is it?
• Where did you get him from?
• What type of personality does he have?
• What dog tricks can he do? Can you show us?
• Why should you dog win the show?
The judge/teacher can decide at the end of the activity who wins the show. The winner/winners can take a photo at the end with their dogs. This is a still image (see Drama Techniques section).

Game: Alibi
Level: Pre-intermediate +
Other benefits: This game focuses on question formation as well as practising communicating in a spontaneous manner.
Minimum number of participants: 6
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: Explain what an alibi means. Create a crime scene scenario. Divide the class into groups of 4 or 5. Get one group to be the suspects and send them out of the room to get their story straight. While the suspects are getting their story straight, get the other group to be the investigators. They must compile a series of questions. After the students are finished preparing their questions, invite the suspects back and the interrogation begins. Each group interviews each suspect and then they compare notes and decide whose story didn’t match up; they must come to a consensus on who they will officially accuse.
Different scenarios:
• Bank robbery
• Kidnapping
• Shoplifting

Extension: More advanced students could hold a trial in which each group is assigned different roles.

Game: If I Were an Animal
Level: Pre-Intermediate+
Other benefits: The language focus of this game is to practice the conditional tense.
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: Everyone sits in a circle and one by one each student says, “If I were an animal, I would be a ______” and then states a reason.
For example, “If I were an animal, I would be a lion because a lion is big and strong.”
Then you could go around the circle again using the following:
• If I were a car, I would be ………
• If I were a kitchen utensil, I would be …….
• If I were a sport, I would be …….
• If I were a country, I would be …….
• If I were a hobby, I would be….
• If I were a flower, I would be …….
• If I were an item of clothing, I would be…….
• If I were a body part, I would be…….

For more Esl Drama ideas click on the link below.

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This is a resource site for Early Education and Primary school educators. The blog share ideas for teaching creative drama to children.

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