English Camp Activities
Are you stuck on brainstorming some great activities that you can plan for an English camp or classroom activity? Worry no more – we have you covered! Justin Ruhe is a seasoned TESOL / TEFL course instructor with a wealth of knowledge about creative classroom activities. He has an incredible passion for teaching and education, and it truly shines through in his work. Here, he offers eight of his creative English Camp activities to help you plan an educational and fun event!
Step 1: Organizing the Camp Using Team Posters & Slogans
One of the best ways to organize an English camp is to put the students into teams. Once you’ve divided the students into different teams, you can assign them a color or a theme. Give the students a time limit and have them create a poster for their team.
Have them come up with a team name and a mascot which they have to put on their poster. After that, you can have the students come up with a slogan, commercial, or short song and dance to introduce their team to the rest of the camp. When the time limit is up and the groups are finished creating their posters, you can have each group introduce themselves.
As a fun bonus, you can have the students wear bracelets or headbands that reflect their team color.
Then for the rest of the camp, you can award points to different teams for participating in the camp. At the end of the camp you can give a simple prize to the winning team.
Step 2: Plan A Fun Activity!
1) human scrabble.
Preparation & Materials : Cards or paper, and pens. Create “scrabble letter cards.”
Instructions : Once divided into groups, everyone gets a card with a letter. Instructor yells SCRABBLE! and the kids try to form a word using their cards. The more of the letters you can use the better. Groups can score points by having the longest or most complex word.
2) Sentence Race
Preparation & Materials: Chalk/ Writing utensils. List of words to be used. Water balloons (optional).
Instructions: Make sure there is a space for students to write on, either a whiteboard or a ground for chalk. Call out one or two words at a time. Example: Duck & Cowboy!
Each team has to race to try and come up with a grammatically correct sentence using those two words.Whichever team can correctly write their sentence and then raise their hand and first, will win a point for their team. Each team must be able to read their sentence out loud.
Example sentence: I know a cowboy who likes duck.
There’s a couple ways you can adapt this game. You can put students in lines, and have them come up two at a time to compete, or just have students stay with their whole team during the activity.
3) Crazy Verb Relay
Preparation & Materials: Containers for paper slips. Open space.
Instructions: Set up an area where students can race against each other. Designate a clear finish line. Have the students write down simple action verbs (run, hop, skip, fly, crab-walk). Then have them write down adverbs (slowly, lazily, quickly, angrily, sadly). Put the adverbs in one hat, and the actions in another.
Two students will come up at a time. The teacher will pull out a paper from each hat. The students must race each other to the finish line, but they can only move using the verb and adverb that was pulled out of the hat.
4) Keep it up Game
Preparation & Materials: Have questions prepared, and a ball to pass around. Your questions can relate to something you’ve covered recently in school, or the theme of the camp.
Instructions: Everyone stands in a circle. The teacher will toss the ball into the air. Students must keep the ball in the air in any way they can. If the ball hits the ground, the student responsible must answer a question with a complete correct sentence in order to stay in the game. If they answer incorrectly, they are out. The object of the game is to be one of the last three students standing.
5) Scavenger Hunt
Preparation & Materials: Scavenger Hunt Worksheet. Students must have cameras/cell phone cameras.
Instructions: Create a worksheet that has a list of items on it that students must find. Students must take a selfie with each of the items on the scavenger list. Try to keep the items on the list open-ended, as this will require more critical thinking and will get the students to delve deeper into the language.
Here are some examples:
1. Take a picture with something round.
2. Take a picture with someone whose name begins with ‘J.’
3. Take a picture of something you can eat.
Whichever team can finish the list first, or whichever team can get the most items, will be the winning team. Be sure to have the students explain each picture to you when they come back, as this will increase the communication practice.
6) Question Jenga
Preparation & Materials: Jenga Game with questions written on each block.
Instructions: This game is best done in a small group. Perhaps 5-6 students. Students play the game of Jenga. Each time they pull a block out of the tower, the block will have a question written on it. The student then must ask another student the question written on the block. If the student answers the question correctly, then they get a point for their team. The questions can be as simple as, “ What color shirt are you wearing? ”
7) Flashcard Circle Duel
Preparation & Materials: Topically related flashcard set. Open Space.
Instructions: Students will sit in a circle. In the middle of the circle is a pile of flashcards. Two students will play at a time. The two students will stand up and face each other on opposite sides of the circle.
The teacher will call out one of the flashcard terms. The students must run all the way around the circle, and then go through the flashcards to find the correct word. Once they find the right word they must say it correctly, or use it in a sentence for a point for their team.
When the students understand how the game is played, then you can add some new challenges to bring some excitement to the game!
8) Elbow to Elbow
Preparation & Materials: Open Space. Students need to be in pairs.
Instructions : After students get into pairs, the teacher will call out different body parts. Students must match their body parts to those of their partners. As you add new body parts, the students have to make sure that their body parts stay touching. The game gets more difficult as you call out more appendages.
Ex: Wrist to wrist! Elbow to Elbow! Knee to Knee! Hip to Hip!
This is a pretty fun big group game. If you want to add a competitive element you can eliminate pairs who lose their balance or aren’t able to match the commands.
A Few Last Tips for a Successful English Camp
- Be sure to provide a couple of water breaks, especially if the weather is hot and there are a lot of physical games outside.
- Have a couple of back-up games ready to go. Sometimes games and activities fail. These will ensure you have a fail-safe plan.
- Be ready to adapt your activities on the spot. Sometimes the instructions might be too complicated, or we might have to adjust the activity to fit the needs of the group. Expect this, and try to preemptively think of ways you might adapt the activity.
- You might not get through everything that you schedule. And that’s fine, don’t try to rush through activities just to get through everything on the schedule. If there are things left over in the schedule, then that just means you were over-prepared!
- Explain things slowly and clearly, and use lots of personal examples.
- Breaking students into small teams, and using a point system is a good way to keep the motivation high and the camp fun.
- Remember to have fun!
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20 Fun English Activities for High School
August 25, 2022 // by Jill Webb
Are you an English teacher looking for learning games and activities to help liven your English Language Arts teaching? We know that sometimes teenage students can easily lose interest. So don't be a boring teacher, and bring in some unique classroom ideas to keep them invested! Below is a list of a variety of activities for high school students. It includes a variety of English language learning experiences - poetry to writing!
While these are intended for high school students, some middle school students may also benefit from these activities.
1. Paint Chip Poetry
This is a fun activity for students that is easy to set up. All you need is the game box and to go over the directions. Students will use the unique names of paints to create beautiful pieces of poetry. The game includes prompts. It's also great to add to your classroom party game stash!
Learn more: Amazon
2. Figurative Language Challenge
These challenges tackle different types of figurative language like metaphor, simile, alliteration, and more. They are great for the inclusion classes because they work in stations.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
3. Six Word Memoirs
A small, but fun activity is to write 6-word memoirs. It makes for a great introduction to memoirs too and students really have to think. You can display them and have them attach memorable images.
Learn more: Six Word Memoirs
4. The Break-Up Letter
If you need a unique creative writing exercise , try this letter-writing activity with a hilarious twist. Rather than write a typical letter, they will write break-up letter! Perfect for teens!
Learn more: Presto Plans
5. Pop Sonnets
Great for high school students learning about Shakespeare's Sonnets! This classroom activity is a great way for introducing sonnets. It has 100 songs that are from popular culture but written in Shakespearean Sonnets. Make a classroom playlist of your favorites!
6. Listening Skills
This blog post provides you with directions and classroom materials for language arts teaching resources related to communication skills. For this activity, practice taking a listening inventory and practice some skills.
Learn more: The Secondary English Coffee Shop
7. Vocabulary Pictionary
Be the coolest teacher when you teach vocabulary review! Bingo Pictionary is simple, but fun and has just a bit of competition. Plus, you can modify it around your lesson or a chapter you are reading!
Learn more: Spark Creativity
8. Poetry Slam
Poetry slams are fun for those who are shy and for advanced speakers. It helps build confidence and gives students a voice. You will be surprised when you see the smooth-talking skills of your kids!
Learn more: Teacher of Vision
9. Truth or Dare Grammar
If you need an easy lesson plan to review grammar, look no further. This fun game is. game for teenager learners and will help students get invested in grammatical skills! Students have to pick a truth or dare card and answer an English-related statement.
10. Book Spine Poems
This is a great lesson to help motivate a lower-level class or those with varying language levels on writing poetry. It uses book titles to help them create their own unique poems! All you need is sheets of paper printed out and some books! Or make it like an online game, and allow them to "hunt" for titles online!
11. Soccer Ball Questions
You don't need to be in the hot seat with questioning skills when teaching a lesson! Make one of these soccer balls that already have general prompts on them. It also helps get more students to answer because they want a turn.
Learn more: Building Book Love
12. Black Out Poetry
Another great activity for lower-intermediate students. This black-out activity for students has them use a page of a book to black out unused words and create a poem. If you have early finishers, ask them to find fun images to pair with their fresh poem.
Learn more: Arapahoe Libraries
13. Review Game
A quiz challenge is a great way to cover all the material for key lessons In this fun game they will play a "Let's Make a Deal" game - based on the popular game show. You will act as the game show host and make deals with the teams.
Learn more: The Hungry Teacher Blog
This is an addictive game for more advanced teenage students. It uses nonsense and uncommon words to help students determine if it is a real word. They will give others either a false statement or a true statement with a silly (but possibly real) sounding word. It teaches new vocabulary!
Learn more: Boardgame Geek
15. Free Rice
This is another addictive game, but better suited for lower-intermediate students. The online game can be a long or short game session and has students answer vocabulary and grammar questions. The best part is, every time they get a correct answer, they provide rice to a hungry family!
Learn more: Free Rice
16. NYT Crossword
One of the favorite games in the US is the New York Time crossword! Great for an English class of advanced students, this is a student version of the famous puzzle!
Learn more: The New York Times
17. Inkle Writer
Inkle is a cool tool for an individual student to work on a creative writing prompt while using a text. It had a fun twist because it is interactive and as they read, students can make different choices.
Learn more: Inkle Writer
18. Book Raffle
A book raffle tradition will help to get a lower-level class invested in reading - especially if they don't have many of their own books. This blog post shows you how to start one! You can also modify this and do things like themed book raffles or past class favorites or even raffle old books from your classroom library.
Learn more: Brown Bag Teacher
19. Writing Prompts
This is a batch of writing prompts that have a variety of topics high school students won't get bored with. Perfect for using is a writing journal!
Learn more: Small World
20. Vocab Zee
Similar to the classic game, Yatzee, this game works with dice and a vocabulary list. It has a variety of activities based on what students roll.
Learn more: Go Sadlier
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English language summer camp activities for teenagers, by melissa thomson, 22 july 2019 - 16:33.
Tim Foster used under licence and adapted from the original .
Learners might go to a summer camp to improve their language skills, but the experience can mean much more to a teenager. British Council teacher and trainer Melissa Thomson shares memorable learning activities.
The American Camp Association found that summer camp helps teenage learners make new friends, build confidence, feel good about themselves and learn new activities they'll continue long after summer has finished.
Why not make your English language lessons relevant to their experience?
Here are some memorable and creative English language activities to help teenage learners talk about their camp experiences, to express their feelings and to preserve memories.
Make a 'm useum of me' on the first day of camp
The first day of summer camp is a chance for learners, many of whom are meeting for the first time, to decide how they want to present themselves to new people.
In this activity they will introduce themselves to the class through photos and objects, which can be less scary than standing in front of new people to talk.
First, ask the learners to find two or three photos of their family, friends, school or town on their phones, that they won't mind showing to the class.
Then, ask them to find two or three objects that mean something to them, or represent something in their lives. They might choose a book they brought, or their membership card to their local sports team. These photos and objects will become their 'museum of me'.
But first, they need five to ten minutes alone to prepare a sentence about each item. Depending on their language level, you can give them this useful language:
- This is something that I bought when…
- This object represents the fact that I play…
- I chose this because I love…
- This photo is important to me because…
Now, divide the class into two groups, A and B. Each Learner A displays their museum on a desk while all of the Learner Bs move around the room and ask questions:
- Why did you choose this photo?
- Why is this important?
Write follow-up questions on the board for learners to ask:
- When did you start….?
- How often do you….?
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Write an email to your future self on your last day at camp
FutureMe is a web tool that sends an email to an address of your choice, at a future date of your choice.
Learners will have memories from their time at camp, and will have learned a lot of vocabulary too. Your class can use FutureMe to produce a final piece of work that will bring this together.
Each learner will need their own device to do this.
First, explain what the web tool does. Ask learners to set the send date to at least a month after camp has finished.
Now, ask learners to follow this frame, or invent their own:
Dear Future Me,
I want to start by saying __________ (something we always said at camp) .
Do you remember the day you ___________? What an amazing day!
I hope you have stayed in contact with your new friend __________. Why not send them a message now?!
At camp you learned how to ___________. Are you really good at it now? I hope so!
Finally, I want you to remember _________.
Lots of love,
Warning – this activity can cause emotional tears!
Make a video tour on your second day at camp
Learners might be sleeping away from home for the first time, and might have their first experience sharing a living space with other teenagers. Help them capture these memories to share with friends and family at home.
Learning doesn't have to be confined to desks at camp. You can get out of the classroom and make a camp tour video. Learners can take the viewer around their bedrooms, the bathrooms, the dining room, and classrooms of their new camp.
First, you could show your learners some videos as models. Try searching for 'summer camp tour video' on YouTube.
Then, divide learners into groups of two or three. Each group needs a mobile phone or tablet to film with.
Learners choose where they'll visit and in what order, and choose roles of director, camera operator and presenter.
The class will need two hours to plan, script, rehearse and film.
Spend around one hour in the class planning and scripting, then you or another group of learners can give feedback on scripts.
Then, give learners another hour to rehearse and film. Monitor and help them to manage their time, especially with younger learners.
Director/camera operator language for all levels:
- Three, two one, action!
- Cut! That was wrong/too quiet/too loud.
- Let´s do that again. Stand here next time.
- Are you ready? Take three!
- That´s a wrap! Good job, team.
Presenter language for lower/higher levels:
- First, let´s go to the bedroom…/ First, let´s check out what there is in our bedrooms…
- Here is the dining room…/ Behind me you´ll find the dining room entrance…
- There are two shower rooms… / Here at camp we've got two showers…
- Here we do activities like…/ This is where we take part in activities like…
- Next we´ll go to the classroom…/ Now let´s move on to visit where we have lessons…
Try to use an 'all in one take' approach, where they run from place to place. This works best because learners won’t get stuck doing perfect takes of every small scene. It also means you won’t have to edit the takes together.
If the camp is too big for this, use an app like imovie (Apple) or Filmorago (Android) to merge various scenes together.
If you are going to film, make sure that parents and children have given written permission. Anyone who doesn’t have permission can’t have a role on camera.
Present a news report during camp
For this video activity, I use the Apple app Telestory.
Users record their own breaking news story with their camera on selfie mode. They'll see themselves as a news anchor with a grey moustache and glasses, or a weather forecaster complete with yellow rain-hat.
First, let learners practice with the app in small groups, to see the themes that are available.
Then, assign them each a scene and/or a role. One confident learner can be director, and the others the presenter, the news anchor, the sports reporter, and the weather forecaster.
Then, in groups, they must storyboard what they want to report on. The camp twist is that each scene must relate to the camp, including:
- important events that happened or are about to happen
- sports wins or defeats.
As a class, you might brainstorm language to introduce each segment, like:
- Coming to you live from_________, I´m _____________.
- Hello from outside the dining hall, where I´m reporting the story of________.
- Now let´s go to the weather with _______.
- Back to _________in the studio with a report about_________.
Finally, they will need about one hour to rehearse and film. The Telestory app splices it all together to make a full news broadcast that looks professional and fun.
With learners' permission, you can link their devices to a screen and watch their videos together as a class.
Role play as tourists and tourist information employees
Are your teenager learners on a summer camp in a new country or new region? Are you going on any trips to nearby towns, museums, or parks?
If you can, visit the local tourist information centre and ask for leaflets in English about places you might see on your trips.
Each pair of learners in your class will need a leaflet to work with. You´ll need at least two different leaflets, or a leaflet that you can cut into two parts.
If you can´t get physical leaflets, look for promotional videos or text on the town's social media sites or website.
Divide learners into pairs. Assign each pair one leaflet or site. Tell them that they will be working at the tourism information desk, and they´ll have to advise tourists about what to do and see.
First, they have to learn about their place. Tell them to write down the welcome speech frame, and complete it with the information they have about the town.
- Welcome to ___________. This is the best ____________ in __________!
- We can highly recommend the _____________because…
- Also, if you have time, why not visit the _____________.
- Please ask us anything you want, we´re happy to help!
Then, ask the class to brainstorm questions to ask the tourist information desk on their trip. For example, typical questions for a museum might be:
- What time do you open?
- How much is the entrance fee?
- How long do people normally spend there?
- Is there anywhere to get something to drink?
- Are there any special events on at the moment?
Now, they are ready to do the role play, so ask them all to stand up. Half the class will be wandering tourists, and the other half will stand behind their desks (the tourist information desk) ready to say their welcome speech frame and to receive questions. Then, swap roles.
Extension activity for brave learners: Ask the tourism office about quiet times and whether they would mind if your learners practised with them. Learners can phone or visit the real information desks to ask the questions.
Create a sensory diary
Learners might want to capture the sights, sounds and even smells of where they've visited. You can help them do that in English, in class, by recording the sensory memories of each trip in a poster diary.
After a few camp trips (or afternoon activities), choose one trip to focus on. Ask learners to close their eyes, breathe deeply and think of sounds from that day.
Next, together as a class, list all of these on the board.
Examples of a trip to a zoo could be:
- the monkeys laughing
- the swan´s wings flapping
- the song in the cafeteria
- the train stopping.
This brainstorming phase prepares them for the next part.
Ask learners to draw three circles on a page. Then, ask them to fill the circles with sounds, smells and sights from one trip. Touch and taste are more difficult, but if you have a creative class, add two more circles and give it a try.
You will need to monitor and help with vocabulary and ideas.
Now, they are ready to make their sensory diary poster. They should divide their poster into three or five sections. They can write their words and phrases in each section, and decorate them with colour, drawings, magazine or leaflet cut outs, and realia like chocolate wrappers or bus tickets.
For a fun variation, ask the learners to choose a trip but to keep it secret from the others (and to not mention it on the poster). Then, when you display the posters around the camp, the other learners will have to guess which trip the poster is about.
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This article includes advice for using the internet in classrooms. We also recommend that teachers use the 360safe online self-review tool for a whole-school approach to online safety.
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Choose your language
English summer school and activity camp for high school students.
In our summer school and activity camp for children learn English in a fun, interesting and educational environment
Our English summer school for high school students (15–17) is designed around stimulating stories and real world themes. Classes consist of games and inspiring activities that motivate teenage learning and accelerating confidence as they build on their English language ability.
The activity camp is an additional chance for teens to spend time immersed in the English language while enjoying a wide variety of exciting and relevant activities helping them to progress their learning faster.
Price: 2,530 SAR (Excluding VAT)
Duration: 2 weeks - excluding weekends
Levels: Beginner to Intermediate (A0–B1)
Your child will:
- learn with a qualified teacher, especially experienced in working with teenagers
- develop their English alongside their peers as they have fun in a stimulating activity programme
- learn through interesting literature, energising games and inspiring group projects
- increase their confidence as they progress their English Language ability.
The summer school and activity camp runs for two weeks.
The optional activity camp gives your child the opportunity for a full day of English practice, with extra sessions either before or after the summer school.
Choose from the following options:
Our summer school courses for high school students revolve around different themes and focus on developing and extending your child’s school language curriculum. They explore the use of English in literature and other types of written text, and work towards a final presentation or piece of theatre. By the end of the course, learners are better able to understand ideas and concepts related to the course theme, and to express themselves with increased fluency, using a greater variety of vocabulary and language structures.
The activity camp is an optional extra for any student attending our summer school. Your children will be immersed in an English environment, using the language in a meaningful, natural way to take part in fun and engaging projects. Typical activities include: inventing, experimenting and presenting new ideas, arts and crafts, drama, games, and storytelling.
Explore options and timetables in your city:
Ideas, Inspiration, and Giveaways for Teachers
We Are Teachers
20 High School English Activities You’ll Want To Try ASAP
Think outside the box.
Engaging middle and high schoolers can sometimes be tricky. How many times have you planned (what you think is) a cool and exciting lesson, only to walk away feeling pretty bummed and discouraged when your hip activity is a bust? Believe me. I get it. I’ve tried English activities for high school that I am positive (most) of my kids will love and appreciate. I’ve attempted to make English relevant and fresh. I’ve even tried to choose vehicles (like social media) that fit into their lives. As I plan, I often think, “Man, I would have loved having this kind of stuff when I was in school!”
Sometimes, my efforts fall flat. Other times, I hit a home run. After a lot of trial and error, I’ve finally figured out some techniques that consistently work. Here are my favorite English activities for high school.
1. Pretend you are an alien from another planet
As an alien, you don’t understand human emotions. Ask students to explain what happiness is to alien you. They will try to use other emotions to explain happiness, so you will need to kindly remind them that you don’t understand those. Someone will figure out that what you are looking for is figurative language (e.g., happiness is a Diet Coke at 11:30), and then, mission accomplished. This is one of my favorite mini-lessons to do because when I start class with “I am an alien from another planet …,” some give me weird looks, but most don’t even flinch because they’ve already witnessed enough of my shenanigans to think it may be true.
2. Embrace the season and let it dictate your unit
I change things up every year, but most recently I created a unit around “Spooky Season.” We read “spooky” stories and watched suspenseful short videos to evaluate how authors and storytellers employ devices that heighten the suspense for the audience. In these high school English activities, we analyzed theme and character development and compared different mediums all under the umbrella of Spooky October. As always, what works for my school and grade level may not work for everyone, but some of my students’ favorite spooky short stories were “Lamb to the Slaughter” and “The Landlady.”
3. Write your own spooky story
After reading from our mentor texts and learning how to create suspense, we write fictional narratives that will haunt your nightmares … just kidding—I wanted to add a bit of drama. They pull from grab bags I create of different character names, setting ideas, and props they can use to create their own terrifying tale.
4. Turn everyone into a poet with blackout poetry
Thanks to Austin Kleon , poetry is cool and accessible. If you haven’t heard of this idea already, you take a newspaper or lose book pages that can no longer be repaired and create a poem using the words on the page. Then, you black out the rest. I’ve done this every year and have changed my approach each time. Sometimes I give them free rein and let the words speak to them, sometimes I’ll give them a specific topic I’d like them to create a poem around. I love to see 25 different variations of “courage” through poetry.
5. Use emojis in class
When teaching a complex concept like symbolism, use symbols that are already part of their daily life. Assign each small group a word or theme and then have them choose an emoji to symbolize that message. Have them sketch them out on the board and explain why they chose that symbol, or turn it into a full-on art project and display them around the room. Also check out these other fun ideas for teaching with emojis .
6. Go hunting for mechanics, usage, and grammar errors
Doing a quick search of these kinds of fails on the internet will provide you with a great deal of content. You can turn those fails into a slideshow while the class finds the errors and corrects them, or you can assign a few to each small group to tackle.
7. What’s better than a one-pager?
The name speaks for itself here. There are so many variations of one-pager assignments that you could do, but the one that I like is to use one-page as a blank canvas for them to demonstrate their understanding of developing theme and symbolism. They sketch out symbols and images that are significant to the book they are reading and include text evidence to support their inferences and takeaways.
8. Play reviewsical chairs
When I first started teaching and was looking for solidarity, understanding, and inspiration, I found love,teach . In one of her blog posts, she suggested playing reviewsical chairs to prepare for a test. It is like musical chairs, but you review. When the music stops, someone is without a chair and they have to challenge someone else for their chair by answering a review question correctly. This is a fan favorite in middle and high school.
9. Play the flyswatter game
I love a fun review game. This one requires you to put up answers around the room (e.g., character names, dates, themes, symbols, storytelling devices, etc.). Then, you divide the class up into two teams. Have them send two representatives up to the front and arm them with flyswatters. I normally tape off a box that they have to stand in while I read the question. Then, the first person to hit the correct answer with their flyswatter wins the point. This game is intense and so fun! Make sure you move any book bags or obstacles that may be tripping hazards (for me this is just air).
10. Listen to podcasts and discuss them together
Not all teenagers are familiar with podcasts, but it’s a great way to introduce lessons in an interesting way. And so far, my students have reported really enjoying them. In fact, I’ve even had students come back and tell me they’ve continued to listen to a podcast series on their own after we’ve concluded our lesson.
Podcasts encourage students to be actively engaged, because the information being shared must be processed and visualized by the students as it’s being said. I usually prepare questions for them to answer as they listen, and then facilitate a discussion afterward. In my classroom, this sometimes leads to mildly heated debates, which is a learning experience in and of itself. Check out this list of educational podcasts for ideas.
11. Introduce “chapter chats”
My students love being in charge of leading “chapter chats” in small groups. By encouraging them to be leaders in discussing specific book chapters, they take ownership in a whole new way. I’ve really enjoyed watching my kids come up with thoughtful questions, bring food to connect to something that happened in the text, and even create fun games that encourage their classmates to recall information from the chapter. Chapter chats are great high school English activities to assess those speaking and listening standards while also making them read critically because they are in charge of facilitating the discussion.
12. Let your students be podcasters
Last year, I finally decided to let my students create their own podcasts. I’ve wanted to do this for years but logistically was not sure how to execute. It took a lot of planning on the front end of the assignment and organizing where to find places for them to record (makeshift sound booths), but we did it! They had to pitch their topics and get a red, green, or yellow light. Then, they had to research, cite evidence, write a script, and finally produce their own podcasts. We listened to the episodes and answered questions on the “listening guide” that they created. I loved this assignment and will definitely do it again.
13. Throw parties with a purpose
We just finished reading The Great Gatsby , and since throwing lavish parties was Gatsby’s thing, we threw our own 1920s soiree. I divided my students into small groups to do research on their assigned topic (historically accurate fashions, refreshments, ambiance, guest list, etc.) and then deliver presentations. The students were responsible for assigning each other parts, complete with instructions on how to dress and what food or beverage to bring. They even provided each participant with a lexicon (specific vocabulary) to use at the party. This assignment was fun, and it also covered many standards, which is a win-win for me!
14. Give speeches as characters
After watching a number of TED Talks and studying what contributed to an effective performance, my students wrote and delivered speeches of their own. They drew prompts for characters with different occupations giving different types of speeches (e.g., Beyoncé giving a Grammy acceptance speech). I found that my students were much more confident and comfortable speaking when given permission to act like someone else. This activity was a hands-down favorite event for my eighth grade students. Those speaking and listening standards can be tough to master, and high school English activities like this helped us get there.
15. Read, solve, and create murder mysteries
My students in both middle and high school love true crime. I’ve created murder mystery activities for high school English that fit really well with literature units and that focus on making inferences, writing, and using textual evidence. Once the premise of the mystery is determined, students create their own case files, evidence, and clues for their classmates to solve. I’ve had them pull from bags of evidence, locations, and possible suspects to add another element of fun and challenge. It’s simple, but they really like pulling things from mystery bags. This activity is also an excellent support for students who struggle with finding a starting point.
16. Read children’s books
I know many high school and middle school teachers who use children’s literature in their classroom to introduce literary devices. Inspired by Ludacris , I once rapped Llama Llama Red Pajamas in my creative writing class before I had students write children’s books of their own. I am sure there is footage of this out there living sneakily on someone’s camera roll, but thankfully it hasn’t surfaced. Need ideas? Here’s a list of famous children’s books for inspiration.
17. Use magazine clippings for found poetry
When I was in grad school, I had to teach a lesson to the other grad students. Most of them had already started teaching, but I had not. I spent hours and hours cutting out words from magazines to do this found-poetry lesson, and I remember my classmates telling me to save these because this kind of precious time can be hard to find in the thick of the school year. Sadly, I lost the hundreds of words I had cut out over the years, but I got smart and had my students cut out their own! Magazines are more expensive now, but track down free ones that your co-workers may want to throw out, ask for them, and have your students look for inspiring words to create an original poem. Paste the words on paper and have them title it. I love it when words and art overlap.
18. Perform plays
Just this week, one of my sophomore students asked me what we were going to be reading next. We just finished 12 Angry Men . She said she wanted to do another play. Then, another student chimed in and agreed. Plays are appealing for many reasons. Plays allow us to study literature without having to tackle the entire length of a novel. Plays allow students to become characters and perform. Plays invite students to let out their inner thespian. My students take on roles and commit to them.
19. Pique interest by doing First Chapter Friday
It may seem uncomfortable reading aloud to your secondary students, but I am telling you, they still enjoy it! Read an exciting first chapter from books that you hope they pick up and read on their own. First Chapter Fridays are especially great activities for high school English if you have an expansive library of books for them to choose from.
20. Have them create SNL -style satirical sketches
When I teach my students satire and parody, I show them examples of school-appropriate satire. Then, we discuss why it is satire. After we get the hang of it, I have them write and perform them. I also happen to have a weird collection of wigs and costumes in my room that may help them get into character. Funny wigs are always an asset!
If you liked these activities for high school English, check out these 10 Playful Tricks To Engage High School Students .
Plus, sign up for our free newsletters to get all the latest teaching tips and ideas, straight to your inbox.
Brooke Naumoff is a high school English teacher who aims to make her students and coworkers laugh as often as possible.
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Blog / Teaching Ideas » 10+ Activities for Teaching English Summer Camp
10+ Activities for Teaching English Summer Camp
Holding a summer camp can be an intimidating challenge for new and experienced teachers alike. For these kinds of English camps, teachers typically create up to 10 lesson plans for the duration of the camp. Summer camps can last anywhere between one week and a month or even longer. The main goal of an English camp is to have a fun and memorable time with the students while practicing their English.
Listen to this blog post:
While this might sound easy, English camp is so much more than just playing a couple of fun games. If you want to hold a successful camp session, you’ll have to do a lot of research and preparation. The following games are great activities for teaching English summer camp abroad.
It’s all about fun… and props!
Props will make your summer camp a lot more fun and exciting for the kids. In contrast to their regular English classes, summer camp should involve a lot more interesting games. You can use all kinds of different props for your summer camp, ranging from fly-swatters, balloons (filled with air, water, paper, etc.), boiled eggs, a couple of dice, art supplies, a big container, boxes, and even costumes.
Once you’ve got an arsenal of props, you can start building your lessons and activities around them. It’s also recommended to take a game and blend it with other games to create a new one. Also, think like this: If you were the student, would you enjoy this game? BINGO is fun, but you can only play it so many times. Try something different!
Also read: Top Online Lesson Plan Resources for New and Advanced Teachers
Water Balloon Toss
You only need to throw the term “water balloons” into the classroom and your students' eyes will twinkle in excitement. While it’s already incredibly fun to simply throw water balloons around the room, the activity has to involve English.
To do this, set up two small blackboards (6”x 6” works well) and prepare several markers. Next, fill the water balloons and split your class into two teams. To play the game, the teacher yells out a word and two students from each team run to the blackboards and write the word on it. The first student to be done yells “Finished!” and if the word was spelled correctly, they can throw a water balloon at the other student. You can also add more rules, for example, the target isn’t allowed to move but if they do, the thrower gets a second chance to throw or something to that effect.
At the end, you can also do a K.O. match between the best players of each team. The winning team then gets to throw all the remaining balloons at the losing team.
The Flyswatter Game
Another great activity for teaching English summer camp is the Flyswatter Game. It’s very easy to set up and always gets the kids going and laughing. To play the game, simply write a couple of English words onto the board and give a flyswatter to each team. Again, split the class into two teams and have one student from each team come up to the board. Once the students are ready to play, you yell out a word from the board. The first student to hit the correct word with the flyswatter wins a point for the team.
This game is ideal for practicing reading speed. To make it a little more difficult, you can write the words in all sorts of directions to make it harder for the students to read them.
Also read: Online or In-Class - Which TEFL Course Should You Take?
Have Handouts Ready
As you can’t always predict how long an activity might last, it’s always good to have some backup handouts ready to use when there’s extra time. This can be anything from crosswords, word searches, or double puzzles. You can also create your own grammar worksheets, fill-in-the-blanks, or surveys. These are great for calming the students down after an exciting game.
A quick Google search reveals a multitude of powerpoint games online. You can download them and then run them on the computer in your classroom. Some games also allow you to customize the content to suit your students level, for example. Games like Jeopardy or Family Feud are great for review lessons and you can find many available Powerpoint versions online.
Also read: Top 5 Icebreakers for New TEFL Teachers
Kids love board games - that’s not a secret. A lot of schools have a collection of board games already that you can use and if not, they might be willing to purchase some for summer camp. Games like UNO, JENGA, Twister or Scrabble are very popular for English lessons. If your school can’t provide board games, you can also find some resources to make your own online.
When Your School Doesn’t Have a Budget or Supplies
If your school can’t provide any supplies and doesn’t have a budget to purchase materials, there are some other fun games you can play that only require things every classroom has: a board, markers, paper, and pens.
Riddles, for example, are a fantastic way to test your students’ listening skills. You can find a lot of fun English riddles online, but one example could be:
Riddle: What has to be broken before it is used? Answer: Eggs
Another fun activity for teaching English summer camp that doesn’t require any supplies is called story grids. With this game, you draw a table of words and fill it with intriguing words like “shocked”, “witch”, “poison”, and so on. Next, the students use these words to create their own story and then, they present it to the class.
For this next activity, you bring in a photo or a picture of something but you don’t show your students. Instead, you describe what is shown in the photo and have the students draw what you describe. When you’re done describing, you show the original image to your students and compare the results. This always results in a lot of laughter.
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Ultimate Camp Resource
For Camp People, by Camp People
Camp Activities for Kids of all Ages
Where to start? Here is a quick overview of categories that lead to thousands of camp activities, including camp games, crafts, theme-days, campfire stories, ice-breakers and more that make summer camp special! We have the largest database of camp activities on the internet – thanks to you. Click on any of the categories below to see more sub-categories and the related activities. We’ve provided a sample of activities below the categories as well to get you started.
- Camp Art Projects
Great camp art projects can compete in popularity with the countless other activities offered at camp, such as swimming, sports, or rock climbing.
The activities you will find here will help you provide fun and exciting camp art projects for your campers.
There is more to camp games than kick-ball or four-square! In this section you’ll find the following categories:
- Adaptive or Special Needs Games
- Camp Games with Videos
- Circle Games
- Cooperative Games
- Dramatic Games
- High Activity Games
- Large Group Games
- Nature Games
- Parachute Games
- Quick and Easy Games
- Rainy Day or Indoor Games
- Sports Oriented Games
- Water Games
Nothing makes an assembly period, overnight campfire, or family night more fun than camp skits. They are a great way to include a dramatic piece to your camp program. They also provide an opportunity for both campers and counselors to have some great fun. In this section, you’ll find the following categories:
- Camp Skits with Videos
- Funny Camp Skits
- Improvisation Activities
- Other Camp Skits
- Quick Camp Skits
- Walk-on Camp Skits
Camp songs are the perfect way to build spirit, let loose, and create many fond memories of camp for years to come.
Select from the categories below for hundreds of camp songs – most can be sung loudly and off-key.
- Camp Songs for Grace
- Camp Songs with Videos
- Camp Songs- Repeat-o Style
- Classic Camp Songs
- Sentimental Camp Songs
- Silly Camp Songs
- Songs in a Round
- Songs with Motions
- Camp Staff Resources
This section is filled with stuff for camp leadership to make running their camp easier. In this section, you’ll find:
- All-Camp Activities
- Articles from Experts
- Camp Theme Days
- Things You Can Build
- Top Five Lists
- Camp Videos
What better way to learn an activity than to see it? Now, we know that skits, songs, and games are WAY better when your camp does it, so let us know if you would like to be filmed or submit your own videos.
- Ice Breakers with Videos
From spooky to silly, a well-told campfire story will entertain your campers for hours. Eerie flashlight effects are optional…Check out the following categories:
- Campfire Stories – Legends
- Campfire Stories with a moral
- Funny Campfire Stories
- Scary Campfire Stories
- Ice Breakers
Ice Breakers are a great way to get people to learn each others names, find out interesting things about one another, and help people begin new relationships.
We have hundreds of ice breakers in the following categories:
- Common Ground Icebreakers
- Ice breakers – High-Activity
- Ice breakers – Low Activity
- Ropes Course Activities
This page is a starting point for all ropes course related topics: activity story lines, pictures, waivers, facilitation tips, and more.
This section is primarily for the technical aspects of operating a traditional ropes course at camp. These are our two most popular categories in the Ropes Course section:
- Low Ropes Course Activities
- Ropes Course Facilitator Resources
- Team Building Activities
Team Building is best learned when experienced hands-on. These activities and lessons will help enhance the team building experience. Check out the following:
- Team Building Games and Initiatives
- Teambuilding Debriefing Activities
- Trust Activities
Can’t find the camp activity you’re looking for? Check out these other resources:
- Camp-Actvities Blog
Find Camp Activities
- Submit an Activity
- Camp Games for Summer Fun!
- Ultimate Collection of Camp Songs
- Campfire Stories for Kids
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14 Creative English Activities for Teenagers Guaranteed to Get Them Pumped to Learn
Life is pretty complicated for teenagers, even without throwing English classes into the mix.
That’s why it’s so important for English educators to keep lessons for teens engaging and motivating .
Wondering how to do that?
I’ve been an ESL teacher for many years and these are 14 of my favorite English activities to get teenage students listening and chatting in the classroom.
They’re guaranteed to keep your students excited about class!
1. best for classroom quizzes: kahoot, 2. best for authentic content: fluentu, 3. best for digital flashcards: quizlet, 4. best for vocabulary definitions: knoword, group activities, 5. best guessing game: interview with the stars, 6. best for physical movement: grab the ball, 7. best fun musical activity: lyrics jigsaw, 8. best question and answer practice: i mustache you a question, 9. best for parts of speech: mad libs, 10. best word association game: apples to apples, 11. best for material review: jeopardy, 12. best discussion-based activity: werewolf, one-on-one activities, 13. best for vocabulary and spelling: board games, 14. best for creative writing: person, place, action.
Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)
Level: All levels
Focus: Vocabulary, spelling, grammar and review
Price: Limited free version available, paid plans from $19/month
In a nutshell, Kahoot! is a program for creating quizzes to play learning games with your class.
To get started with this addictive game, I recommend signing up and exploring the platform a little bit. This will allow you to get familiar with the layout of the site and practice creating your own Kahoot! quiz.
You can also choose from a massive selection of pre-made quizzes to make your lesson planning a little easier. However, I personally love to create my own quizzes because you can add images and videos, and make them more relevant to what your students are currently learning.
The Kahoot! experience is very similar to a fully personalized game show. After setting up the screen if you’re doing a live class or joining a video conference with the students, the teacher (or game show host, if you will) presents the game on their screen.
Students see the questions on the teacher’s screen, then enter their answers on their devices, using a PIN code that connects them to the game session. Scores are then tallied in real-time on the teacher’s game show screen.
By concluding the class with a game of Kahoot! I can summarize the lesson, finish on a fun note and reward good behavior.
Focus: Vocabulary and listening comprehension
Price: $299 per year for a minimum of 10 users (teachers and students)
The FluentU program includes quizzes, flashcards, a robust video library and more—all based on authentic video content. That means students can learn with English-language vlogs, movie clips, trailers, funny commercials and more.
To use FluentU for teenage learners, I recommend browsing the video library for content you know your adolescent or younger students would enjoy. You can do this by keeping an ear to the ground to stay up to date with the latest YouTubers, video games and films that they’re interested in.
You can assign specific videos or flashcard decks for your students to study, and can track their progress. Or you can let them choose the content that interests them and allow for a completely self-guided learning experience.
Every word is clearly defined, so all students have to do is hover their mouse over a word (or tap, on mobile devices) to get a definition, memorable image, example sentences and part of speech.
If they want to study the word later, they can add it to their vocab list right from the video player. After each video, students are tested on their understanding of key words from the content they just watched.
The best part of this kind of video learning is that it’s addictive: Students can easily go down the rabbit hole of content. All videos are followed by additional recommendations, so it’s easy to click from one video to another.
Videos can also be filtered by level, type and topic, making it easy to consume the kind of content that interests each individual student.
Finally, each vocabulary word (or phrase) has video examples of it in use—so if they want to see the word in use in another context, they can easily hop over to the next video that features it.
Focus: Vocabulary building
Price: $35.99 per year with 30-day free trial
Flashcards are undoubtedly one of the most popular and trusted methods of learning vocabulary in another language.
They’re like bread and butter for an ESL teacher and can be a fantastic tool to introduce and summarize English vocabulary, grammar rules and more.
On the Quizlet website, learning with flashcards is relatively straightforward. After signing up, you’ll have access to millions of flashcard “packs,” which are pre-made and cover the standard subject areas in a high school curriculum.
Be aware, however, that these flashcards are user-made and answers should be thoroughly checked before you share the quizzes with your students. Of course, you also have the option of creating your own flashcards to target particular learning areas.
In addition, you can tweak the flashcards to make them more teenage or kid-friendly and save your packs for later use. One way you might do this is by creating packs on video game vocabulary or YouTube phrases, for example.
You can also set up a Quizlet live game, which is similar to Kahoot!, discussed above.
After creating your custom flashcard deck, you can invite your students to a round of Quizlet to add a little bit of competition to the classroom. I’ve found this to be an excellent motivator, and it can really help bring students out of their shells.
Level: Intermediate to advanced
Focus: Vocabulary building and word definitions
Price: Free for a basic account, $45 per year for a pro account
I promise you one thing: Once your students start playing Knoword, it’ll be nearly impossible to get them to stop.
The strength of the online game Knoword lies in its simplicity. Students can get started with this game almost immediately and practice their reading, vocabulary and spelling.
Basically, the program will provide random word definitions and students must type the missing words as quickly as possible.
To use this game for teenage learners, I recommend that you give them a class code and pit students against each other for some healthy competition. You’ll also have the option to assign individual tasks and track the student’s progress.
Similar to Quizlet above, there are many pre-existing packs based on the school subject or you can play the main vocabulary definition game . You can also create your own customizable learning packs should you want to test your students on a specific area or make the coolest exam ever.
The main vocabulary game can be challenging, which is why this is recommended for intermediate students and above.
Level: Intermediate and up
Focus: Speaking and question forming
I’m always on the lookout for new twists on classic ESL games to give students an activity they haven’t done before. This game is somewhat similar to the popular game “20 Questions,” only with a few slight changes, making it extra fun.
The teacher will put the names of famous people or characters into a container. These names can be real, fictional cartoons or any characters you can think of (as long as the students know who it is).
Students will then draw out names and must assume the character. Instruct the students to answer the questions as if they were really that person or character.
If you’re teaching a lower-level class, you can model with an example and write some sample questions on the board to prompt the students. You can also do the question and answer one by one by having students come up to the front of the class one at a time.
If the students are slightly more advanced, I like to do a kind of “cocktail party” style approach where the students will mingle throughout the room and ask each other questions. Just make sure you move around the classroom and check that the students are practicing their English.
At the end of the party, students can do a vote-style assessment of who they think each of their fellow classmates is.
Level: Beginner and up
If I had to choose one “tool” for the rest of my ESL teaching career, it’d have to be a ball.
From introductory activities to summary games, you can incorporate a ball into almost any activity. Plus, I’m a big believer in action and movement in an ESL classroom.
For this group game, you’ll need a ball (or several) and some space. This game works great outdoors in a big open grassy area.
After placing the students into groups, they’ll then be equally spaced away from the ball in two teams. Of course, you can also play one-on-one, depending on the amount of space and number of balls you have!
The teacher will make a true or false statement. This statement can be an English-related statement, such as the word happy is an adjective or a statement related to skills you have been teaching in class.
If the statement is true, the students must rush to grab the ball before their classmates, but if it’s false, they must leave it be. Students or teams will receive a point every time they correctly snatch the ball before the others on the true statement. However, they’ll lose a point if they grab the ball on a false statement.
For a smaller (and possibly safer) version, you can play at the student’s desks with a small ball or object to snatch.
Level: Beginner and up
Focus: Listening, language structure and team collaboration
This is a go-to activity to create a fun atmosphere in the classroom. That being said, it does require a little bit of preparation.
Start by choosing some popular songs with clear singing and simple lyrics. Contemporary music and pop songs are always good choices, especially songs that your students might have heard before.
Next, print the lyrics on either one large page or smaller pages, depending on the size of the class. The next step is to cut the lyrics into lines and mix them up before handing them to your class or groups.
Inform the students that they’ll be putting the lyrics back together again in the correct order . You can also turn the activity into a competition to see who can put the “jigsaw” together the fastest.
What I especially like about the game is when the students catch themselves singing along to the lyrics. It’s like a sudden realization that they know more English than they think!
Focus: Speaking and listening
For this activity, all you need is a stick, some paper, pens and chatty students.
After cutting out a mustache and taping or pasting it to a stick, have the students pass the mustache around until you say stop (or play music and pause it to stop). Whoever’s holding the mustache under their nose gets to ask the class a question. Students take turns answering and then passing around the mustache.
Questions can be as simple as “What’s your favorite color?” or as complex as ethical debate prompts. You can write a few sample questions on the board to get things going.
If your class is usually shy, you can introduce this activity the day before and have them prep some questions as homework.
Of course, you can replace the mustache with any item if you’d prefer students to just hold an item in their hands rather than putting it up to their faces. Grab a ball from the “Grab the Ball” activity, for instance, and pass it around!
If your students aspire to travel the world or move to an English-speaking country, this is a fantastic way to practice listening comprehension and asking/responding to questions.
This game can sharpen communication skills, preparing students for a job interview or coffee with an English-speaking friend.
Level: Lower intermediate and up
Focus: Writing, listening and speaking
If you ever had a ton of fun with “Mad Libs” around a campfire, why not share that fun with your ESL students? This game tests their knowledge of grammar and parts of speech, and the results are hilarious.
Here’s how it works: Each “Mad Libs” story has blank words for you to fill in, usually parts of speech (you’ll be choosing nouns, adjectives, emotions, places, etc.) and you only get to read the full story after you’ve picked your words.
Writing.com has pages upon pages of “Mad Libs” puzzles that are great for teens. Or, if you’re tech-savvy, you can download an app onto your classroom device. The official “Mad Libs” app can be found on the Apple store.
Then just sit down with your students and go around the table asking for nouns, verbs, adjectives and more. For ways to get your students more involved, have them write the words down themselves or spell them out for you.
With more advanced students, you can even encourage them to write their own stories, then remove a certain number of words for their classmates to fill in.
Once your students get into it, they might start cracking up with the hilarious stories that come up!
Focus: Reading, speaking
This game is a great way to go more in-depth with parts of speech by doing word association using adjectives. And you can either buy your own box online or you can make your own cards that focus on the vocabulary you’ve been teaching in class. Genius!
You’ll want a group of three or more students to play this game with. Cards are split into two types: green for adjectives and red for nouns. Students get seven red cards and then one green card is put into the middle by the “judge,” who rotates each round.
Students then choose a red card from their hand that they feel fits the green card best, and place it face-down on the table. Once everyone’s made a choice, the judge reads all the cards out loud and decides which is the best of the bunch.
The winner of that round gets to keep the green card. Whoever has the most green cards at the end of the game is the winner.
You can mix “Apples to Apples” up a bit by playing opposites (they put in the card that least fits the adjective) or change things up completely by giving them several green adjective cards and one red noun card with the objective of matching a variety of adjectives to that noun.
“Apples to Apples” can also be a great way to get your more advanced speakers debating. For example, go around the table and ask whether the students agree with the winning card that the judge picked, or justify their own card choice for that turn.
Focus: Listening, speaking
It was the first day of classes, and I’d gotten my first group of teenagers. Our books hadn’t yet arrived. What did I do? I came up with a “Jeopardy” board.
As I found out, “Jeopardy” is a great way to review old information that may have been tucked away during the summer. Besides this, it’s also a great way to check student comprehension in a fun way.
Not to mention that the possibilities for quiz categories are endless. Some “Jeopardy” categories you might use include US vs. UK English, the present tense or superlatives. It’s a game that is easily customizable based on your classroom needs.
You can go into easier categories for lower students or harder ones to really challenge your advanced class.
There are several ways you can make this game, including both analog and digital versions. If you’d like more tips on how to create your own “Jeopardy” game for your classroom, check out our more in-depth instructions here .
For websites that have pre-made digital “Jeopardy” templates which also allow you to make your own, you can also check out Factile and JeopardyLabs .
Focus: Speaking, listening
The party game Werewolf gives a twist on your everyday role-playing exercise with a focus on discussion. Your teens will have to focus on banding together to either beat the Werewolf or outsmart all the others.
There are different variations of this role-playing game, but the most basic one has one moderator (in this case, the teacher) and a werewolf, while the rest of the players are villagers.
Werewolf has “daytime” and “nighttime” phases. During the nighttime phase, everyone closes their eyes. The moderator asks the player with the werewolf role to open their eyes. The werewolf silently selects a villager to “kill” by pointing, then closes their eyes. No talking is allowed during this phase!
Once a villager has been selected, the moderator begins the daytime phase by asking everyone to open their eyes. The moderator now spins a tale about a werewolf attack in the night, and announces which villager has been “killed.”
Students must now discuss who they think the werewolf is, while the person with the werewolf role must try to throw attention away from themselves. This phase requires some smooth talking skills and clear communication!
At the end of the discussion phase, the villagers eliminate one player, who they think is the werewolf. If they’re wrong, the game continues for another round. If they’re right, the game ends.
Focus: Speaking, reading, listening
There are tons of board games you can play one-on-one with teenage students. They’re great for sparking English communication in a fun environment.
- “Guess Who” is perfect for those who are learning to talk about features and characteristics. You can even go beyond how a person looks and work on what a person does. For example, you could print out a page of people in their work environments and your student can ask, “Do they wear a uniform?”
- “Scrabble” is also a classic game that teens enjoy. You can use the game to focus on vocabulary and spelling. If you get bored playing the old-fashioned way, you can tweak the rules. For example, allowing your student to choose one letter in any word on the board can be a fun way to get them thinking outside the box.
- For more vocabulary, you can always play “Word Battleship.” The gameplay is the same as regular “Battleship,” except instead of using boats you use letters to form words. It’s a great way to review words and focus on spelling, especially when the student is making their own board.
Focus: Writing and reading
A lot of teenage students really dislike writing. However, some are more enthusiastic about the idea if you give them the freedom to write what they want.
While the list of possibilities for creative writing exercises can seem endless, one of my favorite games that my private students really enjoy is called “Person, Place, Action.”
The student is given nine pieces of paper. On three of them, they write a person, on another three they write a place and on the final three they write some sort of action.
These can vary from short answers to long answers. Lower intermediate students could write “runs a race” for one of their actions, while a more advanced student could elaborate with “runs a race through the desert during the hottest day on record.”
These sheets of paper are then folded and sorted into their categories, and then the student picks one from each category. The student then unfolds their paper and writes a story with the given prompt.
I generally join in with writing on nine slips of paper with my student to give them more variety, and you can get some pretty wacky results with a little bit of brainstorming.
These activities are sure to inspire your students to love the English language and encourage them to strive for fluency. They won’t even realize all the learning they’re doing while having so much fun!
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Kids Camp: English Activities & Ideas (ESL)
Games & activities for english kids camp (beginner esl).
I recently taught a three-day English camp to elementary grades 1 & 2 (combined) and grades 3 & 4 (combined). It wasn't really a 'camp' but additional English classes held in the gym during the school break. Here are some ideas I used:
Greetings (or Introductions) with Ball-Catching
Have the students make a circle. Pick a student and say "Hello Kenji, how are you?". Throw Kenji the ball. Kenji then does the same thing to another student. If they don't drop the ball, add more balls.
Sit on Each Others' Laps in a Circle (without chairs)
This can be a good teamwork-building exercise. Try to get the children to sit on each other, without chairs, in a circle. Explaining it in English is a challenge but that's what communication is all about. The end result should look like this (note: these aren't my students):
Blindfolded Fukuwarai with Obstacle Course
This is a combination of two activities. Put students in groups of 3. At the end of the room (or field), draw a large circle on the chalk board or whiteboard. If you are outside, lay a hula-hoop on the grass. Tell your students that this is a face, and that they will have to draw the eyes, nose, and mouth, while blindfolded. Teach your students 'up', 'down', 'right', left'.
Put them, in groups, on the other side of the room/field. In between them and the circles, place a bunch of obstacles (e.g. a vacuum, ropes, chairs, etc.). Blindfold one of the students in a group. Spin him around 4 times and face him in a random direction. Tell his partners that they'll have to give directions to the student so he can get to the circle and draw the first body part (eyes). Review giving directions ("Go straight. STOP. Turn right. Turn left." etc). When ready, blindfold one person from each group and have them start. If they touch an obstacle, make them go back to the starting point.
Once they get to the circle at the other side, give them a marker (or a ball if you are making eyes in a hula-hoop on the ground) so they can 'draw' the eyes. Once done, unblindfold them, and have them go back to the start. Blindfold the next kid, who will be responsible for drawing the nose. Continue until the face is drawn. When done, compare faces and have a good laugh.
I found this activity on another site. Basically, it's a relay race involving bananas. Put the kids in groups of 3 or so. Give each group a banana. Have them do a series of races to one end of the gym (or to a determined spot about 4 meters away) and back. Variations include:
- Run with the banana in your armpit to the line and back. Then hand it to your partner. Once everyone has gone, give a point to the winning group.
- Run with the banana between your ear and neck (telephone style).
- Walk with the banana balanced on your head.
- Walk with the banana between your knees.
- Crawl with the banana on your back.
Et cetera. In the end, I regretted using real bananas because they got smushy and got in the clothes (and in the hair!) of a few of the little kids. It was fun though =). If you use real bananas, use the relays in which the banana is likely to get smushed towards the end.
Marco Polo-style "Where Are You?" Game
Delineate a small area for the game (e.g. a 3m squared area, but it depends on how many kids you have). Get everyone to go into the game area. Blindfold yourself. Ask "Where are you?" to the students. Tell them they must answer "Over here!" Continue asking "Where are you?" until you are able to tag one of the students by using the sound of his/her voice to pinpoint his/her location. The tagged student is then blindfolded and becomes 'it'.
- It can be pretty hard to tag someone. To make it easier for the blindfolded person, I told my kids that they couldn't run and that they had to stay within the defined area.
- Even with no running, it was pretty hard. So I gave the non-blindfolded students a spoon with a bean on it. I told them that if they dropped the bean from the spoon, they were out. This slowed them down a little.
Spelling Words with Body
We didn't do this but there are probably several great activities that involve children using their bodies to make the letters in the English alphabet. For example, you could put the students in groups of 4 or so, and see which group can spell their names out using their bodies the fastest. There are probably other (better) ideas.
What Time is it Mr. Wolf
Put the students behind a line at one end of the gym (or area). You, Mr. Wolf, should go to the other end of the gym. Turn your back on them. Have them ask you "What time is it Mr. Wolf?" Turn your head, take a look at them and say "6 o'clock" (or whatever time you want). If you say 6 o'clock, that means the students must take six steps towards your end of the gym (and you). After answering, turn your head back and face the opposite direction. Let the students ask you again. Repeat the process, making the kids step closer and closer towards you. Finally, when you think they are close enough to tag, respond to the question with "Lunch time!!" and then turn around and try to tag one of the kids. If they kids succeed in running back to their start position without being tagged, they are safe. The kid who is tagged must be the wolf next.
There is also a version of this game where the kids are "safe" if they manage to get to your side of the area (to the wall, or past a certain line) before "lunch time" is called out.
We built a circular obstacle course in the gym for the kids to run around. We used a balance beam, a vaulting box, etc. To make it more educational, I put flash cards that they had studied already (e.g. weather, colors, fruit) in the course. The kids had to say the flash cards when they walked on it.
Duck Duck Goose
This is a traditional kids game. Have the students sit on the ground in a circle, facing inwards. Walk around the outside of the circle. Each time you pass a student, tap him or her on the head and say 'Duck.' At some point, pick a student and say 'Goose' instead of 'duck.' The goose must then stand up and try to tag you. Your goal is to run around the circle and sit down back in the goose's place before the goose tags you. If you succeed, you can sit and the other student becomes the one who stands and says "duck, duck, goose."
And these were the activities I used. Hopefully you can use a few of them for your English kids camp.
Good luck and play safe!
- Matthew Barton / Englishcurrent.com
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31 comments on “ Kids Camp: English Activities & Ideas (ESL) ”
Pretty good and very helpful. Thanks
They were really useful and enabled me to think of many other activities
Brilliant thank you!
Great thank you
Could gain more new ideas..Very helpful.. Thanks
Great post…..thanks for sharing
Some great ideas here. Thanks for posting!
Thank you, these were helpful in preparing for my Winter Camp.
Really good.helped me a lot to create new activities for my kids.
Very useful.i could think of more new activities for my students..thanks a lot…
Thanks for sharing these great ideas!
Very good ideas
hello,im teacher from china, our school is planning to organize a winter camp for 5years old kids for learning English, so do you know any school and project of a 5days class suitable for kids,. please contact me email:[email protected], WhatsApp: 13146442018
so helpful. thank
Its so useful..thanks ….if u have a written project for doing an english camp plz send me………[email protected]
so inspiring…thank u
love them. Thanks so much
Thanks – you’re a lifesaver!
Thanks a million..Great info…
Thank you so much for this!!
thank u very much…..
Good activities for groups!
Thanks very much, so helpful with my groups!
Awesome, thanks for sharing this great ideas
Great ideas. very helpful
Thanks a lot. I will try these activities with our students on summer camp.
Thank you..Ideas were great..!
Helpful ideas Thanks a bunch.
Thanks good activities
Thanks a lot very good ideas
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Summer junior program (13-17 years old) with homestay accommodation.
Our Junior Summer Camp is designed for students aged 13 to 17 years old. Just like the adult program, our junior classes take place in iconic and authentic places such as Brooklyn Bridge Park, Dumbo, Essex Market or Brookfield Place, to immerse students in NYC’s life and culture.
Teen Global Learner Camp in New York, Residence Included
Tamwood’s summer camp is located at the University of Fordham in New York City. It is situated in a residential area close to the New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo.
Fully-Inclusive Junior Camp
Our Summer Camp program is located on the gorgeous park-like campus of St. John’s University in a residential part of Queens - one of five boroughs that make up New York City.
San Diego, USA
Programme for ages 12-17 years - course + activities + homestay.
The programme is based at our central LSI school. For older juniors (12–17 years), the course includes English tuition in the mornings and a variety of activities in the afternoons and at weekends.
Summer Junior Program (13-17 years old) with Student Residence
Our ESL junior program is designed for students aged 13 to 17 years old to learn English in New York. The package includes: --> 15 hours of English per week --> 5 half-day excursions per week --> 1 full-day excursion per week (except the last week when Saturday is departure day) --> Full board en-suite twin room accommodation in student residence --> Breakfasts and dinners at restaurant around the corner from the residence --> Packed lunches --> Supervision by local leaders during activities and...
Los Angeles, USA
Summer programme california state university campus- twin/triple room, shared bathroom (for ages 12-18).
Minimum stay: one week Our centre is located on the Northridge campus of California State University, situated in the Los Angeles San Fernando Valley. The campus has excellent sports facilities with outdoor sand volleyball and basketball courts, swimming pool and plenty of outside space to use for games and activities.
Summer programme tufts university - single/double/triple room, shared bathroom (for ages 11-18).
English Program: · Lessons are taught by qualified English teachers. · 20 x 45 minute lessons per week, morning or afternoon.
Summer Programme California State University Campus- Apartment-style twin/triple/quad en-suite rooms (for ages 12-18)
Junior Summer Program (San Diego State University)
Location San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA, 92182 United State - Unique learning experience Our students travel from all around the world to attend our schools and every class is a unique mix of students from different countries and backgrounds. - Unique learning materials All teaching and learning materials for our standard young learner and teenage courses are designed in-house by our academic team.
Summer Junior Program - Homestay
This is an all inclusive junior program offered in July and August. The program is open to students of all English abilities, and interactive classroom activities and four weekly field trips to exciting local attractions provide a fun-filled language and cultural immersion experience.
Summer Only UCSD - Residential Option (ages 12-17)
This Junior Program is held at San Diego State University and it is a fully residential program combining intensive English classes with daily field trips and excursions to exciting local attractions. °Maximum of 15 people per class °High-quality teachers Program fees include 17.
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Summer English for Junior Program (12-17 years) - Course + Activities + Residence
Course Overview includes: • 15 lessons per week • Elementary to Upper Intermediate levels • Afternoon activities/weekend excursions • Full board residential accommodation in shared room • Max. 16 students per class The LSI New York Junior's Course is a residential summer English course in the USA based on the campus of a private college just 45 minutes north of the city.
Summer programme brooklyn campus - single/double/triple room, shared bathroom (for ages 12-18).
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English Camp Activities: A Strategy to Enhance Students' English Proficiency
2011, Studies in Literature and Language
Indoor or outdoor activities are part of the learning and teaching process. Activities can be of value added to students especially if they perceived positively and appreciate their contents. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of the English camp activities organised by the Faculty of Languages and Communication, University Sultan Zainal Abidin, Terengganu, Malaysia. The evaluations of the activities are based on the course objectives, activities covered and facilitators. In addition, the study also examines the benefits, types of improvement to be considered and the satisfaction level. The study was carried out in May to June 2010. Of 114 students taking TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) from Semester Two and Four, 73 students participated in the survey giving a response rate of 64 percent.
Chang Peng Kee
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Nor Fazlin Mohd Ramli
NEW PARADIGM OF BORDERLESS …
Motivation To Learn …
DR. SARIMAH SHAMSUDIN
Mohd Sallehhudin Abd Aziz
Dr Melor Md Yunus
Mumtaz Begam Abdul Kadir
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Home > ETDs > Master's Projects and Capstones > 730
Master's Projects and Capstones
An Intensive ESL Camp Curriculum and Excursion Activities for International High School Graduated / College Students
Ying Chen Follow
Date of Graduation
Project/Capstone - Global access
Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
School of Education
Teaching English as a Second Language
Dr. Sedique Popal
Dr. Yi Guan
There are many factors for students’ poor command of English among international students in the native language institutions. One of the factors is the students’ negative attitude and low motivation in English learning. Another aspect to lower students’ English learning motivation is the inappropriate use of the learning materials. Moreover, learners still lack a chance to immerse in the real language environment and the authentic cultural background to improve their comprehensively intercultural and communicative competence. For the sake that the second language instruction provided in regular schools is limited in time, many students even do not have enough time to learn and interact in the language. In addition, the students still learn English with the outdated teaching and learning strategies so that they are very afraid of opening their mouths and hearts to communicate with their peers and ask for help from the tutors. This field project took advantage of the sources and theories from the study and practical applications of the intensive ESL camp programs to build a set of curricula and excursion activities which include the cultural assets of learners on a daily basis in the authentic and intercultural environments. International students have the demand for immersive and short-term language programs and this field project contributes to be compatible with their needs. Intercultural communicative competence is an important facilitating factor in the acquisition of second language. The materials, curriculum, exercises and excursion activities in the project can help international ESL students develop their English proficiency and intercultural communicative abilities. This project can also fill the scarce knowledge currently on the topic of ESL extensive classroom and activities. The teachers and curriculum developers can utilize this project as a kind of reference to organize their language teaching in ESL camp and guide their camp activities’ design and curriculum development.
Chen, Ying, "An Intensive ESL Camp Curriculum and Excursion Activities for International High School Graduated / College Students" (2018). Master's Projects and Capstones . 730. https://repository.usfca.edu/capstone/730
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Summer English Camp at Yale University
Esl program at yale university 2, 3, or 4-week english course + activities, 8 student class average; 10 student class maximum.
With CISL’s Yale English camp for teens, teenagers 13 to 17 attend small classes taught by highly qualified CISL instructors. The program offers two, three, or four weeks of CISL English classes, Cultural Workshops, CISL-organized off-campus activities in the afternoon, and full-day excursions.
CISL’s ESL Camp in Yale University offers the following:
- Classes and accommodations on the safe, beautiful, and historic Yale University campus in New Haven.
- Students live and study on one of the nations most prestigious Ivy League schools with over 400 years of rich history.
- Over 600 acres of athletic fields and natural preserves just a short walk from the center of town.
Courses for CISL’s ESL camp at Yale offer students:
- CISL-created curriculum actively engages students in their learning process through a project-driven English program.
- All instruction takes place on Yale University’s beautiful campus with modern facilities
- Small class sizes to ensure plenty of one-on-one time with qualified instructors
- 20 English lessons per week
- Classes from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm, 5 days per week
- 2 Cultural Workshops per week
Students in the ESL camp at Yale (New Haven) enjoy:
- Residential accommodations on the historic Yale University campus
- Shared room/shared bath
- 21 meals per week included
- Wi-Fi access
- Laundry facilities (fee payable)
CISL’s prestigious English Camp in New Haven provides students with numerous opportunities to explore the East Coast of the U.S.
- One of the most exciting English camps in the United States: CISL’s activity calendar is packed with events immersing students in physical, social, and cultural activities while providing students a chance to improve their English outside of class
- Afternoon, evening, and weekend activities allow students to explore the many museums, theaters, and parks of New Haven
- Full day Saturday excursions allow students to visit Boston and New York
- See the Sample Yale Activities Calendar for details on CISL’s exciting activities!
return to the CISL Junior Programs Overview page
For more information regarding CISL’s Junior English programs at Yale University or CISL’s other English camps in the United States, contact our contact the Junior Program Director .
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English Camp Activities: A Strategy to Enhance Students’ English Proficiency
Bialystok, E. (1978). A theoretical model of second language learning. Language Learning , 28 (1), 69-83
Chang, C. P., & Shu, M. Z. (2000). The experiment research for English teaching with small class of junior high school. The Ministry of Education, The 2000 Academic Year Research Project of Taiwan High School Technician Conference.
Cai Yun. (2005). The Design in implementation of English immersion approach: Evaluation of BBA program of GDUFS. International Economics and Trade Research, 21 ,4-8.
Cohen D. Andrew. (1998). Strategies in learning and using a second language. London: Longman.
Dornyei, Z. (1994). Motivation and motivating in the foreign language classroom. The Modern Language Journal, 78 , 273-284.
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Huang, Xiao-Hua and M. Van Naerseen. (1987). Learning strategies for oral communication. Applied Linguistics, 8 (3), 287-307
Karmiloff Smith, A. (1986). Stage/structure versus phase/process in modelling linguistic and cognitive development . In Levin, I. (Ed.). Stage and structure: Reopening the debate . Norwood, New Jersey: Ablex.
Krashen, S. D. (1987). Principles and practice in second language acquisition . New York: Prentice Hall.
Mangubhai, F. (2005). What can EFL teachers learn from immersion language teaching?, Asian EFL Journal, 7 (4).
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Pica, T., Lincoln-Porter, F., Paninos, D. & Linnell, J. (1996). Language learners' interaction: How does it address the input. output, and feedback needs of l2 learners? . TESOL Quarterly , 30(1), 59-84.
Reeve, J. (1996). Motivating others: Nurturing inner motivational resources. Massachusetts: Allyn & Bacon.
Spolsky, B. (1985). Formulating a theory of second language learning . Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 7 , 269-288.
Wong-Fillmore, L. & Swain, M. (1984). Child second language development: Views from the field on theory and research . Paper presented at the TESOL Convention on Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at Houston University, Texas, 21-23 March 1984.
Zhou, R. (2008). An evaluation of the english immersion approach in the teaching of finance in China. Canadian Centre of Science Journal , 1 (2).
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English Camp Ideas
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Thank you guys for the English Camp ideas!
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ESL: The Dating Game
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ESL Lesson Plan & Game: Greetings and Introduction
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500 audio resources for teaching ESL
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Step 1: Organizing the Camp Using Team Posters & Slogans One of the best ways to organize an English camp is to put the students into teams. Once you've divided the students into different teams, you can assign them a color or a theme. Give the students a time limit and have them create a poster for their team.
1. Paint Chip Poetry This is a fun activity for students that is easy to set up. All you need is the game box and to go over the directions. Students will use the unique names of paints to create beautiful pieces of poetry. The game includes prompts. It's also great to add to your classroom party game stash! Learn more: 2.
You can help them do that in English, in class, by recording the sensory memories of each trip in a poster diary. After a few camp trips (or afternoon activities), choose one trip to focus on. Ask learners to close their eyes, breathe deeply and think of sounds from that day. Next, together as a class, list all of these on the board.
The activity camp is an optional extra for any student attending our summer school. Your children will be immersed in an English environment, using the language in a meaningful, natural way to take part in fun and engaging projects. Typical activities include: inventing, experimenting and presenting new ideas, arts and crafts, drama, games, and ...
Here are my favorite English activities for high school. 1. Pretend you are an alien from another planet As an alien, you don't understand human emotions. Ask students to explain what happiness is to alien you. They will try to use other emotions to explain happiness, so you will need to kindly remind them that you don't understand those.
Another great activity for teaching English summer camp is the Flyswatter Game. It's very easy to set up and always gets the kids going and laughing. To play the game, simply write a couple of English words onto the board and give a flyswatter to each team.
9 Favorite Summer Camp Activities with an ESL Twist 1. Scavenger Hunts What camper doesn't love a good scavenger hunt? It's part of the ritual of camp, and it's simple to make sure your students are getting some language practice while searching.
Here is a quick overview of categories that lead to thousands of camp activities, including camp games, crafts, theme-days, campfire stories, ice-breakers and more that make summer camp special! We have the largest database of camp activities on the internet - thanks to you.
Online Activities 1. Best for Classroom Quizzes: Kahoot! 2. Best for Authentic Content: FluentU 3. Best for Digital Flashcards: Quizlet 4. Best for Vocabulary Definitions: Knoword Group Activities 5. Best Guessing Game: Interview with the Stars 6. Best for Physical Movement: Grab the Ball 7. Best Fun Musical Activity: Lyrics Jigsaw 8.
Put students in groups of 3. At the end of the room (or field), draw a large circle on the chalk board or whiteboard. If you are outside, lay a hula-hoop on the grass. Tell your students that this is a face, and that they will have to draw the eyes, nose, and mouth, while blindfolded. Teach your students 'up', 'down', 'right', left'.
Camps run during school holidays in over 14 destinations around the world, including Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Costa Rica, China, Japan, Germany and more. An immersion language camp is an effective way to improve your foreign language skills by learning and applying essential knowledge in a fun and relaxed environment.
starting at. $1,485. View course details. Compare. Our Junior Summer Camp is designed for students aged 13 to 17 years old. Just like the adult program, our junior classes take place in iconic and authentic places such as Brooklyn Bridge Park, Dumbo, Essex Market or Brookfield Place, to immerse students in NYC's life and culture.
English Activities Teaching English Learn English English English Here are some fun ideas for teaching vocabulary for clothes. 1. Paper dolls 2. bingo: This website has a worksheet and game generator. ... Group Activities Leadership Activities Building Ideas Music Education Physical Education Education Quotes Les Scouts
Activities for Teaching English: How to help students enjoy English lessons in summer? In this video, you'll find fun ESL activities to engage students durin...
A theoretical model of second language learning. Language Learning, 28(1), 69-83 Chang, C. P., & Shu, M. Z. (2000). The experiment research for English teaching with small class of junior high school. The Ministry of Education, The 2000 Academic Year Research Project of Taiwan High School Technician Conference. Cai Yun. (2005).
This field project took advantage of the sources and theories from the study and practical applications of the intensive ESL camp programs to build a set of curricula and excursion activities which include the cultural assets of learners on a daily basis in the authentic and intercultural environments. International students have the demand for ...
English Camp at Yale Summer Teen Program Details. Classes. 20 lessons per week: from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm each day. Class levels: 4. Cultural workshops: In addition to English classes Monday-Friday 9:00 am-12:30 pm, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons 1:30-3:00 pm, Yale English camp students will participate in theme-based Cultural Workshops ...
English Excellence Summer Camp provides an excellent opportunity for students ages 12-17 to study in the USA for an intensive three-week program.. Students from around the world travel to Wisconsin Lutheran High School (WLHS) each summer to acquire English skills and cultural insights for success. Applicants should exhibit the excellent ...
The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of the English camp activities organised by the Faculty of Languages and Communication, University Sultan Zainal Abidin, Terengganu, Malaysia. ... & Shu, M. Z. (2000). The experiment research for English teaching with small class of junior high school. The Ministry of Education, The ...
How about some of the old favourites like singing, a treasure hunt, a campfire with marshmellows and ghost stories, Wide Games (see Girl Guides or Boy Scout sites), dividing them into teams and doing short skits in English.