Interesting Activities for English Class – Updated 2021

interesting activities for english class

English is one of the most spoken languages around the world, so teaching English as a second language is common. There are numerous ESL classes online and offline with different levels of learning. 

Since English is such a common language, people often think the lessons are easy. But as an English teacher, you know that English is one of the most complex languages too. Moreover, teaching ESL also means teaching grammar and all the theory. So ESL classes require a different approach than other subjects. You need to ensure that students excel in speaking, writing, and putting the language to practice. 

Why you need to make your class interesting?

Sometimes teaching ESL can get boring for the students. So here is why you need to incorporate exciting activities to English class

  1. Improve engagement and involvement of the students
  2. Put students at ease and create a stress-free environment
  3. Encourage student participation in preparation for real-life scenarios
  4. Provide alternate and practical methods of learning English
  5. Setting up a meaningful context to learning language

ESL teachers need to prepare the learning materials based on the students’ learning capacity and try to make it less boring. So how do you come up with exciting activities for English classes?

Read on for some of the best, tested and practical activities for ESL classes.

verbs games for the classroom

  1. Physical activities

Before starting the course, make sure your students are energized and fresh. You can do this by incorporating physical activities through warm-up games and ice breaker activities. 

You can help them mentally recharged by setting up physical activities in the form of games, reading, writing, and speaking in English. 

Some of the games and ice breakers o use for physical activities that will make your English class more interesting are:

  • Hot potato
  • Charades
  • Bring or show me something
  • Pantomime
  • Acting verbs

These kinds of games that include using words to physically solve a problem or using physical activities to express or describe things will help them move around and learn the language faster. When they perform physically, it will also retain in their memory and help them use it practically.

  1. Speaking Activities

The primary goal of all ESL classes is to help students communicate better in English. Without enabling them to practice speaking in the learning process is half a job done. So bring out all the games, quizzes, and activities that will make them comfortable to speak up in English. 

Usually, the speaking activities that most ESL teachers perform online are mundane role-playing and reading. To make your ESL more interesting, try to make the students engage in activities that will enable them to speak naturally. 

While engaging them in speaking activities through games, make the scenarios as realistic as possible. 

Some of the speaking game and activities you can play with the students are:

  • Storytelling
  • Hot potato
  • Famous tea party 
  1. Acting activities

Another way to review how your students are doing is by introducing them to perform different actions. This activity not only helps the shy ones loosen up a bit, but it also improves their self-confidence.

By seeking out words and actions that describe something meaningful and making them act on, it helps them remember the words. There are so many ways to incorporate acting activities in your class. 

Some of the familiar games are

  • Pictionary
  • Verbathon
  • Roleplaying
  • Make sure the students 
  • Toilet paper ice breaker
  • Blindfold games

The goal of acting exercises is to help students listen and understand what is being told. By acting them out, they are learning how to perceive the language and express it directly. You can use these games to teach different parts of speech. They work exceptionally well while learning verbs. So next time you introduce them to a new topic, try to prepare them with actions first.

  1. Singing activities

While it might be a little more challenging or unnecessary to do singing activities with advanced level ESL classes, it is an effective method for beginners.

Singing and tunes register in the brain faster, and they are easily retainable when compared to sentences and new words. 

You can effectively use singing activities by modifying the lyrics to familiar nursery rhymes, pop songs, and the classics. Make sure they are familiar with the tune so that they can make up their own lyrics later on. 

There are tons of songs to improve ESL classes. You can either download them and modify them or come up with one. Just make sure the tunes are catchy, and the lyrics are clear enough to understand. 

One interesting way to teach them new word meanings is to pick a suitable trending song and explain the implications to them. You can even make the students act out lyrics from these songs. 

  1. Interactive activities

Interaction is one of the essential parts of acquiring a new language. Make sure your students practice speaking and listening through activities that will enable them to speak to each other. You can provide a setting by showing them how to play several interactive games for ESL.

Through these games, make sure that the students find the confidence to speak and learn proper accents. Some interactive activities are:

  • Interviewing each other
  • Switching roles and asking questions
  • Playing team games
  • Guess works from actions or drawings.
  1. Board or online games

Your students will love this activity the most. There are numerous board games that not only improve vocabulary but also help students get more creative. If you are teaching online, try to keep them engaged by playing free games with themes on language and words. 

Board games you can use to make the class more interesting are:

  • Scrabble
  • Taboo
  • Apples to Apples
  • Last Word
  • Buzzword 

Online Apps you can use to keep the English class interesting are:

  • Just say it
  • Letter pad
  • Word Connect
  • Word swipe
  • WordJong


You can modify these games to suit the level of learning for each batch of students and the number of students. All you have to do is get creative and improvise to linguistically target and improve the weak points of each student. You don’t have to go by the rules and be flexible with it. Your students will love participating and being able to practice in a comfortable environment. If you enjoyed this article please check out blog posts section for more! Alternatively check out this post on