Eslflow’s Updates

8th June 2024

Here is a new, growing and experimental page with a variety of teaching activities for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.

Paris 2024 Summer Olympics Exercises

The links below are just for the easiest way to get around this website now that Google Search no longer works for many pages (after being perfect for 25 years).


Present perfect lessons

Elementary lessons

Pre-intermediate lessons

Intermediate lessons

Subscribe to Eslflow

Subscribe to get full access to complete lessons (not just extracts) with picture/vocabulary exercises and answers. Many lessons include and audio and video. There are no ads in the newsletter and you will receive high quality, and up-to-date teaching resources regularly.  And, if you subscribe, you will get access to ideas for creating artificial intelligence prompts , that will enable you to create English language teaching materials quickly! In addition, you will get access to the complete sets of exercises, with a wider variety of exercises and activities. Also, if you take out a paid subscription, you can download large collections of PDF, audio and video materials in zip files.

Environmental issues updates

The environmental issues page has been updated with exercises for decarbonization and the water crisis.

Environmental issues home page

The kitchen, cooking and utensils vocabulary and expressions page has been improved with extra exercises for each topic.

Kitchen, cooking and utensils vocabulary

Cybersecurity and Fast Fashion

These are the latest in a series of lessons focusing are hot topics.

Cybersecurity lesson (with video, audio and PDFs)

See the Cybersecurity language exercises video on YouTube

Fast Fashion lesson with audio and PDFs

The exercises below explore idioms and contemporary business vocabulary. “Making requests” is a total reworking of an older exercise. It’s so much better now. And the “Supermarket enquiries role play” is a new exercise that practices (fairly) elementary everyday English.

Idioms for running a business video

Idioms for running a business (video, audio and PDFs)

Contemporary business vocabulary video

Contemporary business vocabulary language exercises (video audio and PDFs)

Making requests: office dialogues

Supermarket enquiries role play

Trending topics: semiconductors and inflation

I think it’s important to teach topics that are relevant to the 2020s. A lot of textbooks for ESL are unbelievably behind the times. Especially as things are happening so quickly these days. So these are the first in a series of lessons about trending topics. Next, we’re going to tackle climate change (decarbonization, renewables, electric vehicles, self-driving vehicles).

Semiconductors lesson ( see the YouTube video)

Inflation lesson (see the YouTube video)

Expressing opinions about careers

This is an older exercise that now has been improved with a video. Also, the job interview role play exercise has been improved.

See the video on YouTube

Jobs and careers exercises

Virtual Reality language exercises

This new Virtual Reality page will help students navigate the complex, yet fascinating language commonly used when talking about VR technology.

Virtual reality language exercises

See the Virtual Reality expressing opinions exercise on YouTube

Fears and phobias: exploring a topic

This page explores the language of fears and phobias with a variety of exercises.

Fears and phobias

Sport and exercise

Sport and exercise is a universal topic with many teaching possibilities.

Sport and exercise

Also, some new videos on YouTube:

Expressing opinions: sport

Modals for advice

Giving directions – walking

Business English vocabulary

February 5th, 2023

The latest additions to the Business vocabulary page include “Discussing a new project” a new project with audio and video and “Adjective for a businessman (or woman)”.

Business English vocabulary

Aspects of nouns

January 27th, 2023

This page has been updated with more to come. This project might be entitled “trying to make nouns more interesting”. I don’t know if it’s a success, but I’m trying.

Aspects of nouns

Functions of the brain

January 19th, 2023

The brain is a great topic as is it can lead in many directions. It’s great for a general language learning discussion class. It’s especially good for medical sciences. And it’s also related to technology, as technology increasingly tries to simulate the brain.

Functions of the brain worksheets

(see the video on YouTube)

Reading, listening and watching

October 29th

“The Influencer” (YouTube) is a reading comprehension and/or a watching/listening activity for elementary to advanced students. There are separate question sheets for each. The worksheets can be found on the Reading Exercises page.

The latest role play is “Interview with a Celebrity Chef” (YouTube). The worksheet for this exercise is on the Food and Restaurants page.

Role plays has been updated with an “Interview with a Famous Athlete” exercise.

Watch “Interview with a Famous Athlete” on YouTube”

Describing appearance has been updated, increasing the variety of teaching and learning activities for this topic.

Creating the best “prompts” for teaching on OpenAI

June 26th

Prompts are instructions that you give to an AI program to get a desired result. Now, AI programs such as those created by OpenAI offer teachers extremely cheap and almost magical powers for creating teaching materials. You can create topic-specific sets of speaking questions, comprehension questions, answers, gap fills, multiple choice exercises, conversations and more. However, it’s crucial to have good prompts (instructions), to get the most out of these programs. I am currently researching and exploring the best prompts for AI programs in my Substack newsletter.

Elementary teaching exercises

June 25th

Teaching really elementary English language classes can be tough. But with more resources, it’s possible to revisit some elementary topics and improve them, hopefully making exercises that focus more precisely on aspects of language, and creating more interesting activities that make it easier for the teacher. This week, the topic is routines and daily activities with a mixture of exercises including brainstorming, exercises for adverbs of frequency and adverbial phrases or time, and reading comprehension exercises which introduce prepositions of time and transition words for talking about a daily routine.

Routines and daily activities

Teaching with video

June 25th 2022

These days there are lots of ways to produce creative teaching materials. Sometimes, the results are surprising and unexpected. Ordinary teaching exercises in PDF format can suddenly come alive and be much more dynamic when converted to video. Below are some of the top recent videos on YouTube from the past several months :

Bad vacation

Business English letter writing

Business skills

Flying and flight service

Fears and phobias

Making decisions

Lost person role play

Celebrity interview role play

Artificial intelligence class discussion

Online shopping listening/speaking and vocabulary exercises

May 6th

This is a cool topic and one that nearly everyone can relate to.

Online shopping and delivery services listening/speaking and vocabulary exercises

Import/export, logistics and supply chain vocabulary exercises

April 30th

Logistics and the supply chain might not seem the most exciting English as a second language topic but they are very important business issues these days.

Import/export, logistics and supply chain

Role plays and airports

April 11th

The role play and airport language pages have been updated with more audio and video examples.

Role play listening/speaking activities for language learners

Airport and air travel language and speaking exercises

Comparative adjectives

February 13th 2022

The “Comparative Adjectives” page has been updated and is getting better and better! It’s been neglected for a long time and now is getting some real attention.

Comparative adjectives

Movies and music

February 4th 2022

Two of easiest and most engaging topics have to be movies and music. They are great icebreakers and a great way to teach many aspects of language. For example, at an elementary level they are great for likes/dislikes and conversations about going out. At more advanced levels, they are great topics for writing reviews.

Songs and music

Talking about movies

Past vs present

December 30th 2021

Speaking exercises that require students to compare the past and present are a good way to gauge students’ language skills and fluency.

Use to/used to and past continuous

You can also have a look at the YouTube version of this exercise.

Past vs present class discussion (featuring use to used to)

Reading comprehension exercises

November 13th

Some new pre-intermediate reading comprehension exercises have been added to the reading page. They are probably best for university students. The topics include internships, learning a new language and the digital classroom.

Reading exercises

Updated and improved !

October 27th

The elementary conversations page is being steadily updated with video gap fills which are really good for both online and classroom learning. The present perfect page is now much improved with the addition of audio and video.

Elementary conversation exercises

Present perfect exercises

If you like any of these videos, and if you often use this site, I’d appreciate it if you subscribe to the eslflow YouTube channel.

Body language and intercultural communication

September 27th 2021

Body language is always an interesting topic for the classroom. Body language and gestures elicit a surprising variety of interpretations. It’s quite fun. And of course, when you add in a mix of cultures, it gets even more interesting.

Body language and gestures listening/speaking activities

Essential listening activities

August 13th, 2021

Now that’s is easy to gain access to a variety of voices, it is a great time to experiment with all kinds of listening activities.

7 essential listening activities

Listening/speaking activities for phrasal verbs, adverbs and talking about technology

July 11th, 2021

Listening exercises have been added for the phrasal verbs (two part verbs) and collocations page.

Collocations and phrasal verbs exercises

Also, the adverbs page .

Adverbs listening/speaking exercises

Perhaps most interesting are listening/speaking exercises for talking about modern technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation. The student responses have been great. And, of course these are great topics, as students are heavily engaged with these new technologies in their daily lives.

Talking about artificial intelligence and other new technologies

Search and apply for the latest English teacher jobs

Updated and improved with audio added

June  21st 2021

I have improved the “describing people and appearance” page and added “clothes and accessories” as I realized it was simpler to add it to the “describing people” topic.

Describing people and appearance

Also, the past tense page has been updated.

Past tense listening/speaking exercises

May 23rd 2021

The pages below have been updated and improved. And, of course, audio is being added to as many exercises as possible. And even some video, though this is in the experimental stages at the moment.

Debate and discussion listening exercises

Reading comprehension listening exercises

Future tense listenings 

Food, cooking and kitchens listening/speaking exercises

Listening/speaking exercises for conditionals

Reported Speech and Indirect Questions

April 25th 2021

Indirect questions and reported speech are two aspects of English grammar that can be a little tricky. Practice with pictures and  listening using multiple intelligences can help make lessons more entertaining and engaging.

5 exercises for reported speech and indirect questions

Amazing adverbs

March 18 2021

Like adjectives, adverbs are quite fun to teach. Pictures and audio help make grammar lessons more entertaining.

4 adverbs exercises

Job interview exercises

Students preparing to enter the workforce need to understand the language of job interviews. Listening exercises have been added to the vocabulary exercises.

Job interviews

Listening exercises

January 31st 2021

At the moment, I am creating a lot of listening exercises to complement the vocabulary and conversation exercises.  A list of many of the pages  containing listening activities can be found at the link below.

Listening exercises guide

Gerund and infinitives exercises

January 14th 2021

Gerunds and infinitives are a tricky part of English grammar.  This is a mixture of exercises to help improve students’ mastery of this aspect English grammar.

5 gerund and infinitive speaking/listening/writing exercises

Speaking AND Listening exercises

January 5th 2021

It’s now possible to create really excellent listening exercises to complement and enhance English language teaching worksheets and  lessons. Artificial intelligence is rapidly making it easier to create listening exercises with accents from around the world. In the future, I will be adding listening dialogues and exercises to all my posts. At the moment, I am adding audio  dialogues  and conversational exchanges to past speaking exercises. Some of those pages are listed below.

10 invitation and request worksheets with listening

14 conversation and listening exercises

19 Business English speaking  and listening activities

Icebreakers !!!

August 20th

One of the most important/useful things for teaching a new language   are icebreakers. You just want to break down the barriers and engage with students immediately. I’m always thinking about and looking for good icebreakers. My favorite kind of icebreaker at the moment is what I think of as a “meanings” or “examples” icebreaker. This is great as the activity simultaneously generates lots of great ideas and clarifies the meanings of words or concepts. I can spend half an hour walking around a classroom (50 students generates lots of ideas!) asking students for situations that illustrate target vocabulary. It’s good fun.

21 Really! Practical ESL Classroom or Online Teaching Icebreakers

Collocations and phrasal verbs

It is essential that students  get a grasp of collocations and phrasal verbs if they want to achieve fluency in English. The problem with teaching collocations and phrasal verbs is that  they are quite slippery and  can  get too difficult for students really quickly. I think it’s best to introduce small sets of these kinds of verbs and verb-noun/adjective (etc.) combinations.

Collocations and Phrasal verbs

Working from home  vocabulary and comprehension

Prepositions and..business skills, problems, solutions and company activities

Here are some new and improved preposition and business English vocabulary /speaking worksheets.

Elementary …but  cool…preposition activities

 Business English vocabulary and speaking

Personality and parts of speech

There have been some gaps in teaching materials that I have started to fill in recently. One of these is the topic of personality. Talking about personalities is quite easy at an elementary level (and any level) as you can use a lot of adjectives. And parts of speech for specific topics, including personality, has become a kind of a hobby. It’s quite fun and you can see the level of complexity of a topic for language learners when you focus on its parts of speech.

        Personality vocabulary and speaking

Parts of speech

Food and health vocabulary and speaking

These pages have been updated with improved vocabulary and speaking activities.

        Food, eating and restaurants

Health and illness

Expanding Business Vocabulary


Business English encompasses a wide range of vocabulary. It includes academic vocabulary and more specialized technical vocabulary for different situations, tasks and jobs. As a teacher the challenge is to make the language  more accessible the students. Over the years I have found that a combination of vocabulary-picture matching exercises and relatable questions have made for a good communicative lesson.

Expanding Business English vocabulary and speaking skills   


Shopping is one of those topics that easily engages students if you have good exercises at the right level. I’ve found it works really well with pictures as the pictures give contexts which are very familiar to most students.

8 Speaking and Vocabulary Activities for Shopping


Sports and exercise is a  fun topic and and a good topic for speaking activities and  expanding students’ vocabulary.

6 Sport Vocabulary and Speaking Exercises

Likes and Dislikes

Elementary English language speaking activities generally focus on likes/dislikes, hobbies, interests and routines. These topics allow students to get used to practicing the present simple tense with topics that relate to their daily lives.

 2 Likes and Dislikes Speaking Activities (new)

There  really  is quite an art to teaching extremely  elementary classes. Activities and exercises need to be really scaled back and minimalistic. If  you haven’t done it for a while, it can be quite a shock. This was my recent experience. But it can also be  quite refreshing to experiment with new ideas on Level  0 or Level 1.

9 Super Elementary Speaking Activities

5 Elementary Conversational Expressions Exercises

10 Adjectives Exercises and Worksheets With Pictures

Socializing includes many varied and unexpected but common everyday situations which require competent speaking skills. Students of a foreign language have to be prepared to encounter these situations and be ready with appropriate responses. Pictures help give context to these situations and help students imagine  how they might respond.

Socializing and Small Talk