ESL Activities for Advanced Students | ESL Games

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If you teach students who are fluent, or close to it, then you’ll need very different ESL activities than if you were teaching beginner or intermediate students. ESL activities for advanced students need to:

  • Be challenging. Too easy or simple and the students will feel like they’re being treated like babies.
  • Reflect real life. If someone is an advanced level English student, then they are up for the challenge of authentic materials.
  • Be new. By the time a student has reached an advanced level, they’ve seen every single ESL activity out there. ESL activities for advanced students need to be creative and fun.

Here are my top 10 ESL Activities for Advanced Students. Enjoy! And please leave a comment below to tell me your favourite one.

#1: Podcasts for ESL Students

Serial podcast for ESL students
Using the Serial Podcast for ESL Students

I love listening to podcasts. They’re always on at my house when I’m cooking or cleaning and then also when I’m hiking or going for a walk. In only makes sense for me to bring them into the classroom!

I think the best ESL activities for advanced students are related to what the teacher is passionate (and students too) about. Of course, you can introduce the students to something new and hope that they like it as much as you do. In my experience, most students in Korea don’t really listen to podcasts and are fascinated that there is this whole world out there that they didn’t know about!

Check out: Serial Podcast for ESL Students. I talk about how I used this in a private teaching class with advanced level students.

#2: News and Current Events: ESL Activities for Advanced Students

breaking-news-englishNothing says real life more than news and current events. If your students are fluent, just head straight to somewhere like  and get your material from there. Not quite fluent, but still advanced? Then you’ll need to check out this article I did about ESL News Articles, with links to my favourite sources.

You can use these for a variety of situations. As the heart of a reading lesson, or introduction to a listening or speaking one. You may wish to use them for a quick warm-up, homework or an exam. Whatever the case, get creative as there are a multitude of things you can do with a news article!

#3: Board Games for Learning English

If I have small groups of advanced level students, I’ll often bring in a few of my board games. In Korea, I found that students have often never played “serious” (not Monopoly!) board games before and they really enjoyed them. It can be quite challenging to explain the rules to them, but they mostly caught on pretty quickly. My advanced level ESL students were introduced to a whole new set of English vocabulary that they’d never really used before. Pass the dice. It’s your turn. I’ll give you a ____ for a _____. Interesting.

Check out: Board Games for Advanced Level Students for some of my favourite recommendations.

Find out more about using board games for ESL advanced classes here:

#4: Infographic Presentations

Successful-Unsuccessful-InfographicPresentations are one of my favourite ESL activities for high level students. They introduce them to a new set of very formal vocabulary (opening, transitions, closing) as well as challenge them to use English in a way they probably haven’t before. You can also teach them a solid life skill that they can take with them to just about any context. Plus, it’s fun to see what your students are passionate about and see their sense of humour.

Want more details about this assignments and how I set it up? You can check it out here:

See: Infographic Presentations for ESL Students.

#5: Current Events Presentation

For another presentation idea, check out my Current Events Presentations that I had my very advanced level students do. I give lots of practical tips for how to set yourself (and your students) up for some awesome.

This is probably one of my favourite advanced ESL activities for adults, and I really enjoy this class!

#6: ESL Listening Lessons

Just because your students are high level doesn’t mean that you need to throw formal lesson planning out the window. You can still use a lesson plan, but you can use very high level readings or listenings to challenge your students.

See my ESL Listening Lesson Plan Template.

#7: ESL Conversation Lessons

Same as the above point, just substitute “conversation” or “speaking!”

Check out my post, “How to Teach English Conversation” and scroll down to lesson plans for English conversation for examples of how I would plan for a 2-4 hour ESL lesson plan for advanced students.

#8: Cosmo Quiz ESL Icebreaker

If you teach very advanced level, adult students, it might be time to break out Cosmo! These quizzes always lead to some very interesting conversations and are one of my favourite ESL activities for advanced students.

Check out: Cosmo Quiz for ESL Students.

#9: Videos in the ESL Classroom

I’m all about a little video in my classroom. However, I much prefer a short one as opposed to an entire TV show or movie. The key is to plan some activities to use them effectively, but this is often hard to do with an entire movie.

See: Using Videos Effectively in the ESL Classroom.

#10: Role Plays

Although Role plays are often used for beginner ESL students, you can also use them for advanced level students. The key is to just give students a scenario instead of fill in the blank sentences. You should focus on problems that they might encounter in real life, such as an immigration interview, job interview in English, etc.

See: Role Plays for ESL Students.

#11: Just a Minute

Okay, a quick bonus activity for you that’s perfect as a warmer for your advanced ESL lessons. You can choose any topic so it’s the perfect lead-in to many difference types of English lessons. Learn more about Just a Minute here in this short video:

Thanks for Checking Out ESL Activities for High-Level Students

ESL-activitiesI hope you enjoyed my ESL activities for advanced students! If you need even more ESL activities, then you’ll need to check out my book, 101 ESL Activities: For Teenagers and Adults. A ton of ESL teaching awesome found here!

Go to 101 ESL Activities on Amazon.

The book is available in both digital and print formats. Keep a copy on the bookshelf in your office and use it as a handy reference guide for lesson planning.

Or, take the e-version with you to your favourite coffee shop on your phone or tablet for a serious lesson plan session.

The activities are well-organized into various sections: speaking, writing, listening, reading, 4-skills, warmers, review, etc. You’ll be able to find what you’re looking for in seconds.

Then, each activity starts with a brief overview so that you can tell, at a glance whether or not it will work for your class. Then, it gets into the detailed, step-by-step instructions for how to prepare for it, what to do during class with the students, and then any sort of follow-up you can do.

Also don’t forget to review the teaching tips for each activity. You can avoid some of the most common mistakes for that activity and have as good of class as possible.

Does it sound like exactly what you need to have better English classes. Click the link below to check the book out on Amazon:

—>101 TEFL Activities for Teenagers and Adults<—

Ideas for Advanced ESL lessons

Have your Say about these Advanced ESL Lessons

What are your thoughts about these advanced ESL activities? Leave a comment below and please let us know.

Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other busy teachers, like yourself find this useful teaching resource.


Last update on 2019-08-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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