In Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence Speaking Activities for ESL classrooms

Research shows that building a sense of community in the classroom is an integral part of creating a positive learning environment. Community building begins on the first day students and teachers come together. It is here that social and emotional learning can be integrated into classroom life. Here, social emotional learning is seen not as an add-on for the teacher but the way that relationships, routines, and procedures are established so everyone feels cared for, respected and valued.

Theory into Practice by Jaqueline A. Norris.





I would like to share with other teachers these group dynamics that have worked well throughout the many many years I have had the pleasure of working with adult students in ESL Classrooms before the pandemic. A new section has recently been added for during and post Covid-19. I hope you find these speaking activities useful to complement your own lesson plans.

Please share your experiences with us!


  1. All ears

  2. Beginners

  3. Book-crossing

  4. Bring in an object

  5. Chain of affection

  6. Christmas wishes

  7. Circles

  8. Emotional response

  9. Elevenses

  10. 48:1

  11. Gaudí effect

  12. Give thanks and eat pie

  13. Good Things Come in Threes

  14. One: Windows of the mind
  15. Two: Tales of the Supernatural
  16. Three: The Importance of Being Earnest
  17. Hearfulness on Valentine’s Day

  18. Hermes

  19. Indian secrets

  20. It’s Christmas time

  21. Learn by doing

  22. Let’s go hybrid

  23. Lucky charms

  24. Mors tua, vita mea

  25. Musical chairs

  26. Of foxes and hedgehogs

  27. Remote Thanksgiving ideas

  28. Soft skills

  29. Take it personal

  30. Ten for dinner

  31. The Arts

  32. The Grammar Club

  33. The Guest House

  34. Top Card

  35. Woman to woman

  36. Word clouds

  37. Your position in the family

  38. You’ve got mail


The following five activities were created during unprecedented Lockdown lessons in March 2020:

  1. #metime

  2. Lady with a Lamp

  3. London shutdown

  4. Online bookclub

  5. Video conference Goodbye




  1. The Agatha Christie Experience


«Our capacity to pay attention and to learn has a lot to do with what’s happening internally on the visceral and emotional level and what our gut feelings are telling us» by Gabor Mate.

 «How emotions affect our cognitive functioning»



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