March 24, 2014 @ 11:30 am - posted by Liz

Worried your TEFL lessons are as boring as pond water? Concerned that your students would rather watch paint dry than sit through one of your tedious lessons?  Here’s 5 things to put the pizazz into your lesson plans.

ESOL classroom (2)

Sticky balls

Stop sniggering and wash your mind out with soap and water.  Despite the name, theses little babies can inject fun into any recap or vocab session.

sticky balls for the ESOL classroom
Examples of how to use Sticky Balls

  • Write your vocab (or whatever your’e recapping) onto the whiteboard
  • Get your students lined up into teams
  • Ask a question
  • They throw the ball until someone hits the right word/phrase etc.
  • The first team to hit the mark with the stickball gets the points


Below are a couple of YouTube links on how some teachers have used sticky balls in your classroom.

Word search

All kids love word searches and it’s a great way to recap what they’ve just learnt.  You can also use wordsearches as part of your reward system for classroom management,  if they’ve been good and got enough points, they’re rewarded with a word search.

Go to to create your word searches.


Stickers are another classroom management tool that no teacher should be without.  If they’re playing up you can say ‘no stickers’ and they will soon settle down.  If they’ve got enough points they are rewarded with a sticker, but make sure they’re current, e.g. popular cartoon characters, action figures etc and DO NOT let them chose their own sticker as you’ll be there all day.

Teaching Stickers

Have an arsenal of games

And no, I’m not using Arsenal just because I leave near the Emirates stadium.  After spending all day in school, the last thing any kid wants is to sit in a boring English lesson, so spice up your lesson plan with a plethora of games to make learning fun.


There are loads of websites with ideas for TEFL games, below is one we used alot.

Enjoy yourself

Teaching English abroad is hard work.  If you don’t enjoy it, everything will become a tedious chore.  Create entertaining lessons that you’d want to sit through and remember to laugh and smile.


About Liz

At the age of 39, Liz quit the 'Corporate World', downsized her life and followed her heart. Upon her return she set up CareerBreak360 with Robert to help others achieve their Career Break dreams.

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