February Impromptu Speaking Tips & Tricks

Need some new ideas for how to get your students speaking? And practicing for the Impromptu Speaking competition at Feria?

Use picture prompts!! Create a PowerPoint with 10 pictures of different scenes like, Justin Beiber on stage, or some sloths hanging from a tree, or someone doing something crazy like getting their car stuck between lamp posts, etc. Put students in groups of 2-3 and set the timer for 5 minutes. Have students think of everything they could possibly say about that scene. Give them a list of specific tasks. Ask them to describe it, pretend to be the people in the scene having a conversation, pretend like they’re there watching the scene, etc. This is LOW prep since students do most of the work.

Need to start smaller? Play a speaking game! Try an “Around the World” style game or “Vuelta del Mundo” by having students stand up. Play with verb conjugations or vocabulary. Give students a vocab word and ask them to come up with a synonym, antonym, etc. If they can’t, they sit down. Last one standing gets a prize. You can also do this with subjects and verb conjugations. When your students are ready for more, have them try to create a story or even just a complete sentence. Each student adds something. As students contribute, project the progress on your SmartBoard for them to see. If it’s the wrong conjugation, or doesn’t make sense, or they can’t come up with anything, they sit down. Use each error as a learning opportunity for the class. Provide students with a sentence template on the board, so there’s a goal they’re meeting. Having pictures available, or even brainstorming in English before the activity, can help generate ideas.

Use these speaking activities when you want to try something new. These have students doing more impromptu speaking versus the typical info gap activity.