The EFL Teacher’s Toolbox (1)

I’m in my fourth year of teaching English as a foreign language at our local Volkshochschule (kind of a community college or trade school). Most of my students are adults, and most of my courses are elementary level (CEFR A1/A2). I usually teach with a textbook including audio CD or MP3. However, there are some additional materials I have gathered by now that I often use to supplement my lessons, and that may be a great addition to any EFL teacher’s toolbox:

1) English Flashcards

My flashcards are illustrated on both sides with both charming pictures and the English word they’re illustrating. They can be used for explaining exercises or creative writing/speaking, for vocabulary teaching, and for other vocabulary games like association games (draw a flashcard and write down as many associated words as you can think of).

2) Taboo Game

Whether you get the original, or a variant, doesn’t matter. I own both the original taboo game and a children’s version with easier words and the possibility to decide between one and four taboo words for each card, which is especially great for beginners or younger students. It works great as a warm-up or as vocabulary repetition (sort the cards before you play), and often at least some of your students will know the rules so they can help you explain them to the others.

3) An Assortment of Dice

Yes, I’m a gamer so I already owned a lot of dice before I started using them in my classroom. However, dice can be great for repeating numbers (playing bingo with a d20 or d%), dates (use a d12 for months and a d30 for the days of the month, although it’s not 100% correct that way), time of day (d12 for the hour and 3d20 or something like that for the minutes), and so on.

4) Emotions Memory

This one is a memory game that was given to us during the presentation of a new series of workbooks based on emotions. It works well as a conversation starter or for creative writing/speaking exercises, but it can also be used for some little acting (build groups, each group has to present their emotion in a short silent sketch of about a minute’s length), or to determine pairs or groups to work together in class.




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