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February 28, 2012 5:17 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for ideas for activities to do during a pub quiz/activities evening for ESL/EFL adult students. In addition to having "what's that film?" or "name that tune" rounds, what else can we *do* that would challenge them to use more English, be competitive, and have a great time? This is in Poland, by the way.

Things we've done in the past that have gone well:

- teachers act out Polish films in English translation, or English films with Polish translation
- a name-that-tune round with a similar in-translation focus
- general knowledge questions popped up on a big screen with Powerpoint

Some ideas I've had:

- having teams compete to build the tallest tower/longest bridge out of toothpicks and gumdrops
- teams have to watch two nearly-identical clips of a short film and name the differences


- the activities should be conducted in English but still be possible to complete even if no one at the table/in the team is very proficient in English

- low-cost/easy-to-set-up activities are preferred

- we usually do 5-6 10 minute rounds with breaks

- teachers don't speak huge amounts of Polish

- it's going to be in about a month, on a Friday evening

- there's a bar!

posted by mdonley to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Very different than the examples you have given, but have you looked at games like boggle & scrabble & wordthief? (the first two are board games and that last one is a card game) They all are games based on taking letters, the sub-units that words are made out of, and encourage you to think of them as potential words.

Along the same lines, but with more control on difficulty level, are you familiar with the game hangman? They're all fun group activities that can be used to build vocabulary. Hangman only requires a pen & a piece of paper to play.
posted by Ys at 5:54 AM on February 28, 2012

Some rounds from pub quizzes in the UK:

Picture round - a photocopied sheet of pictures which you have to identify - normally it's picures of celebrities but can also be things like famous monuments from around the world or company logos. Photocopied - because it's harder to identify them.

Initials - for instance 7 D in a W is Seven days in a week

Sports round - could be sports trivia, but maybe you could do something about recognising sports teams? Perhaps guess the team from the kit or something - I would think this would be a good one for a people who aren't very proficient.

usually there's a current affairs round as well.

When I was teaching English to groups that all spoke the same language I found it was hard to keep them in the target language when they were doing team activities like the tower building. So I would dock points if I heard them using their native language. This means they can use it strategically, if a team is ahead in points, then they might want to sacrifice a few to use a bit of Polish.

Actually, for a quiz evening, you could give each team a joker card, which they could play at the start of the round after you announce the title but before it’s explained. They can then use as much Polish as they like in that round. But you can only play your joker once, and maybe also give extra points to any team which never uses their Joker. That way, the evening won’t be quite so frustrating for people who aren’t proficient.
posted by Helga-woo at 5:57 AM on February 28, 2012

Charades. This has the added bonus that the guesses must be in English, otherwise the result doesn't make sense. The word play element might make the task more difficult, but also more entertaining.

Or something similar to the "Torn" presentation (also based on word play):
posted by Ender's Friend at 9:11 AM on February 28, 2012

Nicer link this time:

posted by Ender's Friend at 9:12 AM on February 28, 2012

Tom Swifties? If you're using PowerPoint, you could set up the sentence halves on opposite sides of the screen, numbering the first parts of the sentences and using letters to identify the second parts. Contestants have to match the two. I'm not explaining this well, here's an example:

1) My tire has a puncture A) Tom said bluntly.
2) I need a pencil sharpener B) Tom stated flatly.
3) Don't add too much water C) Tom said lamely.
4) My leg is broken D) Tom remarked dryly.

Number 1 matches with B, 2 with A, etc.
posted by Oriole Adams at 11:14 AM on February 28, 2012

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