Halloween Party Ideas and Activities for Teachers and Schools

Probably the best time for schools around the world, and especially in China, is Halloween. Every October 31st, kids get the chance to paint their faces, wear their scary masks, get dressed up in their Halloween costumes and travel across town to go to the Halloween Party in their school. What better for a child than to play Halloween games with their friends? 

It can be tricky though for teachers in the lead-up to Halloween to think of good Halloween party games and activities which the kids will find fun and varied. It can also be a problem to work out if your Halloween party games might be a little too scary for the younger ones and to make sure that each child is involved. 

At the bottom of this page, you will find a full Halloween Party Games and Activities for Teachers and Schools PDF. It contains good Halloween party game ideas, ways of bringing Halloween fun to your school, some good tips for schools to run a successful Halloween Party and also Halloween craft activities, where the kids can make spooky Halloween crafts to take home to show mum and dad. 

I hope you enjoy this free Halloween pack and please do feel free to share it this Halloween!
Thursday, 15 December 2016 13:47

Christmas ESL Teaching Megapack

Christmas is upon us once again and www.rayenglish.com has put together a wonderful Christmas teaching mega pack for you to use in your English classes.

The Christmas ESL teaching mega pack contains colouring sheets, mazes, puzzles, ESL Christmas worksheets and Christmas quizzes to keep your English classes truely festive. 

Additionally, the Christmas teaching mega pack also contains craft activities to do in the classroom with your children and also Christmas party games if your school is running a Christmas party this year!

See the link in red below to download your free Christmas teaching pack.
Tuesday, 09 February 2016 11:47

The TEFL Lemon 'Juicy Warmers' Pack

Are you looking for TEFL warmers and ESL games for your English classes? You've come to the right page! Scroll to the bottom to download the free Juicy TEFL Warmers PDF Pack!

What is The Big Juicy Warmers Pack?

The TEFL Lemon Big Juicy Warmers Pack is a massive Warmers and Games PDF, crammed-full of TEFL warmers, TEFL games, ESL activities, English speaking activities, TEFL roleplays and more English games than you can shake a stick at!

This free PDF is pack is 100% TESL teaching GOLD!!!!

Whenever you teach English classes, you should always consider starting off your class with a fun warmer to raise those energy levels in your students and to help them relax and get ready for your classes.

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Download the TEFL Lemon Big Juicy Warmers pack below and Like our TEFL Lemon Facebook Page here. We have fresh TEFL games and warmers daily.
in Liar Liar, Jim Carey stars as a successful lawyer, who has built his career by telling lie after lie after lie. He lies in the courtroom, he lies to his friends and he lies to his family (white lies that is). 

One day he misses his sons birthday and lies about why he couldn't make it. His son, Max, wishes that his dad can't lie for 24 hours and it comes true!

Your English students will find it hilarious to watch Jim Carey unable to lie in various situations and this will be the ideal lead-in to your main speaking activity where your ESL students must lie to each other and try not to be caught out. The full lesson plan PDF with student handout is free to download below.

You can download Liar Liar on the spot right here. You'll be helping us too.

What to Do in Class

Write the word LIE on the board. Ask your students if they know or can guess what it means. Give some examples, for example, exaggerating your age or how handsome you are. Make your students laugh. After a minute or two, they will all understand the meaning of lie.
Ask your students if they have ever lied about something. Try to get some humorous stories.
Show the film clips. Follow up with a short talk about Fletcher and if he was a nice man or not.
Write three things about yourself on the board. Two must be true and one must be a lie. Make it difficult to guess the correct answer! Ask the students which one they think is a lie and reveal the answer right at the end. Make all three things unusual or interesting.
Now tell your class that they must write three questions that they need to ask other students in the class. Everyone must tell two truths, but lie once to everybody. Get your class to mingle round and write their answers on the printable student handout.

Once every student has spoken to everyone else and written down their answers on the worksheet provided, you can ask them what they think the lies were. If they can guess correctly, the liar must take a forfeit card, if they guess wrongly; the guesser must take a forfeit card i.e. Stanley, what do you think Jenny lied about? Sorry Stanley, that’s wrong. Please take a forfeit card! This is a great activity, especially as a first class topic as everyone gets to know each other! Enjoy!

Lesson by Stuart Allen
Stuart Allen
Published in Movie lessons
Monday, 25 January 2016 02:14

ESL: What Young Learners Need

Young ESL Learners are young children who are just venturing out into the world and learning new things everyday. Coming to a language school might be a little frightening for some younger ones, so it is important that you create an environment in the classroom which is fun and relaxed.
Although Younger Learner students are often learning very basic words and sentences, you can (and should) plan some really creative and fun things for the children to do in class to get them using the language and interacting with one another and you.
Young Learners always love movement, music, things to sing along to and active games in class. They will follow your lead, so it is important that you personally break down the barriers as an adult and sing and dance along in class with them! Make sure that you are giving lots of encouragement and reward good behavior at every turn. A little star sticker on the back of the hand can do wonders for a child's self-confidence and self-belief. Create a safe, fun and stress-free classroom and remember to involve everyone, especially the naturally shy ones.
Young Learner Behavior
Young Learners have short attention spans and are easily distracted in class, so be sure to make your exercises and classroom activities fun and short. Even the best thought-out activities lasting 25 minutes are probably doomed to failure because childrens' brains just are not designed to stay focused that long. Make sure that you stay active, with energetic expressions to keep the kids focused on you and the activity in hand.

Create a Good Routine for Your Young Learner Classes
Get your students used to how to behave in your classes. Teach them early on to raise their hands before asking questions and not to talk over you. It is worth spending time getting this right in the first few lessons, as a well-organized, happy group of children will learn far more language over the time spent with you than if kids are allowed speak over you and generally be a bit too noisy. Children will naturally look to teachers and adults for guidance on how to behave, so set your stall out early and get a well-behaved atmosphere going quickly.
Organizing the class into three of four teams or 'houses' works well, as you can award points for good behavior or take points away for lapses. The young children love this kind of competition and it will be harder for children to misbehave if they feel that the whole team may lose points. In general, your teaching will be far more productive, as will their learning, if you create good class rules and have a good routine.
What Should You Focus On in Young Learner Classes?
The main focus on your ESL lessons should be communication and laying a good foundation for maintaining an interest in English. Students should practice pronunciation of the words, as getting this right early will have huge benefits to their language skills throughout their life. Young Learners should also learn material such as the alphabet, numbers, colours, fruits, animals and so on. There are some great ESL flashcards out there, so make sure you use these in class. Many children are very visual learners, so these flashcards will help, in addition to all the fun games you can play with them.
Introduce new vocabulary slowly and choose simple sentences that the children can practice with each other and where they can replace key vocabulary with new material. This will help the students to retain the vocabulary, as well as getting the sentences right. Make sure that part of your class reviews what was learnt in the class before. This will help the students to retain and recall language. Give out praise often.
Little Tips for Young Learner Classes
There are a couple of extra things you can do to make your little ones really succeed. Chinese parents expect homework to be set and the kids are used to it, even from a very young age. Although you may feel that this is wrong, it is the cultural norm here, so please get used to it and don't feel bad in any way. Use the homework you set to reinforce what you have taught in that day's class. It will help each child to retain what you have taught and you'll get good results and children feeling good about themselves when they remember the words. Make the homework fun and not too hard. Encourage students to do their best and not to worry about making mistakes. Check the homework at the same time in the every class. Create a routine and stick to it.

Quality Language Games and Play for Children
Create language games and activities that are fun and interesting. Help students to interact well with each other by doing pair-work, group work and team games; mix things up. Try to review material often and add new material slowly with lots of repetition. You will see marvelous results! The most important thing I can say is to make sure you have fun in each class. Use flashcards and puppets which talk to each other! Put a big smile on your face and keep it there. Make the children feel special and they'll soon be rushing in for your classes. Make your classes the highlight of their week!
By Stuart Allen


Stuart Allen has been an English teacher since 2002 and has taught Chinese, French, Italian, Austrian, Korean and Spanish students, both in the UK and China. He runs two successful TEFL blogs in China and is a well-known voice in the China TEFL industry. Stuart is the founder and owner of www.rayenglish.com
“Sarah, what song are we going to listen to next week?” One of the students excitedly asked me after I finished my weekly music class. “You’ll have to wait and see,” I replied with a mischievous grin and walked away, leaving my student hanging on a cliff.  I don’t usually tell my students what song we’ll be listening to next, but rather tell them to expect the unexpected.
I’ve taught my music mystery class for more than two years and I can honestly say that it never gets boring or old, because you’re highly unlikely to ever run out of material. With music there is so much you can do. Listening to an English song in the classroom isn’t only a great opportunity for students to practice their listening skills, but also gives them the chance to talk about the meaning of the lyrics, learn new words and grammar structures.
While I seldom focus on the grammar in my music class, I do insist that students point out ‘mistakes’ in the song lyrics and tell me how they should be said. This helps them to differentiate between slang and Standard English.
A gap fill exercise is a wonderful way for the students to listen to the lyrics carefully and complete the lyrics on their own, but if you do that in every class students will get bored. Instead, engage the students with a competition: You simply pick a song; then you choose about twenty words from the lyrics. Add about five words that sound similar to some of the chosen words but are not in the song, then print it all out and stick the individual words on the wall or board in the class. Don’t tell the students about the wrong words, just ask them to listen carefully and grab the words they hear. For every wrong word they chose, they must give up one of their right words. It’s a wonderful competition to get the students out of their seats and actively involve them in the class.
Alternatively you can cut up the song lyrics, put the students into groups and ask them to put the lyrics into the right order while listening. For these competitions I tend to get a small prize, e.g. chocolates, to motivate the students. The idea of a piece of chocolate at the end of the class really gets them going.
What else can you do using music in the classroom? Well, I have taught students about different music styles and their development. We have for example looked at Jazz music and how it developed. We listened to early Jazz songs and compared them with modern Jazz songs, trying to work out the difference. We even learned about the Andean Condor!

Around Christmas we sang Christmas carols and on St. Patrick’s Day we danced like crazy leprechauns. With big ESL classes I’ve played musical chairs, just to get the students up and moving for a few minutes after a long day of class after class, which is common practice in English training centres in China.
Sometimes we just sing the song; karaoke is still a firm favourite among Chinese students. We’ve analysed music videos and even made our own. With music, your options are endless, you can do so much and all it takes is a song. You can teach them about rhetorical questions, and if you dare, even chose a Chinese song and ask the students to translate it into English. I’ve done this activity quite a few times using music in the classroom and the students have always had a blast. This activity does take a little more preparation since you either need to pre-translate the song first yourself or get somebody to do it for you. 
If you aren’t using music in your classroom, you’re missing out on a great opportunity for a fun-filled class, students of all ages will enjoy. It’s a win-win for everyone involved and if you’re teaching a lot of classes during the day, a few minutes of rest for your vocal cords, while the students listen to complete an exercise, will feel wonderful. If you play an instrument, e.g. guitar, bring it along to the class and play a song for the students, then ask them to sing with you!

by Serlina Sarah Heintze
Serlina Sarah Heintze 

I’m originally from Germany but spent most of my twenties in Ireland, working for a well-known multi-national corporation. After getting my ESL  qualifications, I left the Emerald Isle and I have been teaching English at an English training centre in Wuhan, Hubei for the last two and a half years. I’m a bit of a fitness junkie so when I’m not teaching, I can usually be found in the gym. I’m also a bit of a foodie, so trying out new restaurants with my Chinese friends has become somewhat of a hobby. I also blog at sellyslittleworld.com

Free Halloween Games and Activities Pack

If you are an English teacher, then each and every year you'll most likely be putting on a special Halloween party in your English school. Halloween is the best time of year for me and I have always got really stuck in to the Halloween Games, Spooky Music and Manacing Masks!
RAY English has created a superb free Halloween Games PDF pack for English teachers teachers in China and all over the world. There are some classic Halloween games in here for your ESL students, as well as some new and unusual Halloween Games and Craft activities! The perfect Halloween Game Pack for TEFL teachers! Download the Halloween games pack below!
Do you have a Halloween Party coming up?

If you have a Halloween Party coming up, then download the free pack, print it and keep it. This is a brilliant Halloween resource for your school. Please feel free to share it with other TEFL teachers in your school or to email it to former colleagues to help them out. I am sure they would appreciate it!

To download the Halloween Pack, please click the 'Download Attachments' link in red at the very bottom of this page.
Want to also download our FREE Halloween Flashcards set for TEFL teachers? Please click here.

"If I Could Turn Back Time...I Would...."

The Second Conditional Tense, sometimes rightly called the Hypothetical Conditional, is used in English to talk about situations which imagine an unreal different situation happening right now. The Second Conditional can also be used to talk about how we wish something was now if the past could be different.

In this song, If I Could Turn Back Time, Cher sings about how things would be different now if she had treated her boyfriend better in the past. How actions in the past have affected the present now and how she would have changed what she did in the past given the chance. This is a good song to use when teaching the second conditional using could.


 This free ESL song lesson using the Second Conditional includes a nice board game which you can print out to either A4 or A3. Students are put into pairs or small groups and make their way around the board landing on different squares and discussing what they would do if the could turn back time. Your students will be actually using the second conditional tense in closed practice and this lesson will really help them nail this tricky grammar point. There is a nice ESL gapfill there too. Please download the free lesson just below.

Published in Song lessons
Monday, 30 November 2015 07:23

7 Easy TEFL Games

 7 Easy TEFL Ganes


This TEFL article is meant for those of you that teach English to the little monsters we all love. English schools are expensive in China, and the parents pay a lot of their hard earned RMB to send their little darlings to learn English from a foreign teacher.

However, those same demons come to play games and attack you. You must find a balance between what the parents want and what those like devils want! If you simply stand in front of the class, speak, and have the students repeat after you, your class with be very mundane and boring.

Younger ESL students love a high energy, fun, engaging, class. Plus, TEFL games will keep you sane,and you will enjoy your own class more as well!

So lets go over a few easy TEFL games, and when to play them, that I’ve learned through the years that kept me going and my students entertained!

Create Competition

First thing first. Playing language games would be meaningless unless you gave the students points, right? So, divide your class into teams. For example, if you have 20 students, four teams of five is perfect. Let a student from each team pick the team name, and you draw it. Anytime their team wins a game, give them points under their team name. At the end of class, reward the winning team.

Paper, Scissors, Stone.

Paper, scissors, stone. Firstly, I know, it’s rock, paper, scissors... Welcome to China. Now that that is out of the way, lets begin.

Anytime a student answers your question, is well behaved, or does anything to deserve points, play it! Simple, easy, fast, and the kids love it.

Slap Hands!

Slap hands. My personal favorite! You remember this game from childhood. Put your hands out, palms up, and have the students place their hands on yours, palms down. Quickly bring your hands out from under their hands and try to smack the top of their hands! Make it more fun by scaring them, make them flinch! Pretend you will do it, and shout! They will quickly move their hands! For a twist to the game, give them a chance to hit you! When students ask questions and another student answers, let them play with each other!

Roll the Dice!

Roll the dice. Easy TEFL game! Get a BIG dice (if your school doesn't have one, you should make one on a quiet day!), ask a question and if your students get it right, then they roll it. If it lands on six, give his or her team six points.


Monster! I love this easy TEFL game! When you are go through the flash cards for vocabulary, this will keep the young learners’ attention on you. Go through the vocab one by one, but, randomly shout 'MONSTER!'

When you shout this, the students must stand up, turn around, and sit down. The fastest student gets to roll the dice, or just give them points. Or, instead of having them turn around and sit down, have them change seats!

Poo Poo Chair

Poo-poo chair. This game is similar to Monster. Designate a chair as the Poo-Poo chair. When going through the vocab, shout Monster! The students must change seats! Whoever is stuck in the Poo-Poo chair has to roll the dice. Whatever they roll, the other teams get the points.


Bulls-eye. Draw a bulls-eye on the whiteboard with the outer circle being lower points, and the inner circle the most. When a student answers a question correctly, let them throw a sticky ball (a ball with those suction cups cover it) at the bulls-eye. Or, use a Nerf gun to shoot at the bulls-eye. Award the student’s team the points.

Guessing Game

Guessing game. Pretty self explanatory. Write a question on the board for your TEFL students and hide the answer with a piece of paper. Let the students guess. Whoever is right, wins. 

TEFL games don’t have to be fancy and elaborate, they can be easy. Something simple that breaks up the routine of the rote Chinese education method will always be welcomed by your students. Think outside the box when creating TEFL game ideas. And, once you have a new game you love, please share it with us here! If you have anything you would like to add, please feel free to add a comment! Happy teaching!

by Paul Berger

Paul Berger is an American from California, currently teaching at Heilongjiang Bayi Agricultural University (黑龙江八一农垦大学)in Daqing, China.  He's been in China for many years now and loving every moment of it! He feels that China can definitely make or break you, and so hopes he can help you start off on the right foot! Anything from teaching ideas to buying a home, he's done it, so don’t hesitate to ask! If you would like to contact Paul, then drop us a message here at RAY English.


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