Workshop Review -Esra Girgin Gümüstekin – Teach Empowered

One of a series of workshops I saw this weekend at TESOL France.

Billed “to kick boredom out of the classroom” and “to motivate students to internalize the language” Esra showed us loads of fun activities, and woke us all up on a cloudy Saturday morning!

Magic Bag

Put a variety of objects in a bag, students tell a story involving the object, taking it in turns to pull an object out of the bag and continue the improvised tale.

Knot Story

A similar idea but without prompts, instead the students unwind a ball of wool, when the student comes across one of the knots that the teacher has previously added to the wool they hand it to another student to continue the story.

Don’t Step out

A fun activity for students who get on well together, put a couple of sheets of newspaper on the floor, enough so four or so students can stand (closely) together, give them all a flashcard of a recently studied lexical set, food for example. They should try to stand in a line, and as the rest of the class call out their favourite “carrot”, “beans” etc., they must shuffle around until the favourite is front of the line.

Find your partner

A great way to recycle phrases from a story or vocabulary, give out pairs of storycards or flashcards, students wander around repeating their phrase or word to each other until they find their “pair”.

Cups Tower


I’ll definitely be trying this idea out. Bring in a load of plastic cups, students balance a flashcard/storycard on the cup and say the word/phrase as they do so, another student comes up, places another cup on top of the card and adds another card, repeat until collapse!!

Only one word

The teacher asks a question and students can reply with only one word. I would suggest quick fire questions around the class, or pairwork to practice question forms.

No Yes, No No, No Nodding

A traditional favourite, but a great way of practicing question forms.

The flashcard games Esra illustrated made me regret my ipad flashcards, here are a few of my favourites:


The teacher says a phrase including a word from a pile of flashcards, holding up the cards in front of her, she then put one behind the pile at a time, the class yell “STOP!!” when they see the word, if the teacher has that card still in her hand the class win a point, if not it goes to the teacher.


Give a couple of students a pack of little post its, use different colours for each student. Stick up flashcards around the room. When you call out a word the first student to get his post-it on the flashcard wins, you can also do a variation of this using fly swats.

Bit by Bit

Turn over the top flashcard and slight it down very slowly, students call out when they think they know what the flashcard below is. You could turn them upside down to make this game more difficult.


Students stand in pairs facing each other, give each one a flashcard that they hold in both hands behind their back. The objective is to see and call out your partner’s word before they see yours.

This game was great fun, I can’t wait to try it!

On the whole a great workshop that really woke us up  and a perfect start for my TESOL France 2014.


About fabenglishteacher

enjoying sharing learning
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3 Responses to Workshop Review -Esra Girgin Gümüstekin – Teach Empowered

  1. bzznora says:

    thanks for sharing interesting activities! sounds really motivating 🙂

  2. Pingback: TESOL France 2014 – thoughts, poster, handout and links | EFL Notes

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