Playing a Bingo Game in Teams with Language Cards

Here’s the thing – I do love playing bingo. But here’s the other thing – I’m kind of picky about the kind of bingo I play.

I like playing bingo…

  • where all the students are involved
  • where they have to use the target language
  • where there is some kind of prop involved
  • where there is heaps of fun+ lots of learning

And that’s why I have designed this “Get to Know You” bingo game in teams for my first class. I have designed the task cards for the first day of the school year, but it is easily adaptable for any level and any content. You will see a mixture of speaking, translation and grammar and vocabulary tasks and also a mix of difficult and easy tasks to keep things interesting. More elements for this bingo? Yes, it is played in teams and we need hotel bells. Yay!!!


  • Prepare bingo cards: Create unique bingo cards for each team member. Each card should have a 5×5 grid of squares, with each square containing a different task.
  • Task bag: Prepare a bag or container with folded pieces of paper, each containing all the tasks listed on the bingo cards.


  • Form Teams: Divide the class into teams that should sit together. Each team should have an equal number of members ( 3/4 members works fine) . Give each team member a unique bingo card. Give each team a hotel bell.
  • Draw a card: Start the game by drawing a task card from the bag. The drawn task card should be read aloud to everyone.

Now, this is where I twist the bingo game.

Any team and any team member can attempt to complete the task that is drawn from the bag.  If they think they can do it, they will ring the bell.  At this point, it is important to notice that there are two kinds of tasks:


1. If it is a speaking task, they can ring the bell as soon as someone in the team decides to attempt to complete the task. Speaking tasks require that the student speaks for one minute non-stop.

2. If it is a task that involves thinking, conferring or writing, teams will ring the bell as soon as they have completed the task and/or are ready to answer. .

NOTE: the teacher will choose the team that rings the bell first.


  • What happens if a team fails to complete a task? Then, the teacher says NO! and another team gets the chance to complete it but to do so, they will need to ring the bell as quickly as possible.
  • What happens if a team completes the task successfully? If this happens, all the members in this team can claim the corresponding square on their bingo card by marking it. It doesn’t matter where the square is on their bingo card or who in their team completed the task; if any member of the team completes the task drawn, all members of the team claim that square.


The game continues until a team or individual gets five squares in a row marked horizontally, vertically, or diagonally on their bingo card. The first team, or individual in the team, to achieve this yells “Bingo!” and the team is declared the winner.


I have used the free bingo generator,  My Free Bingo Cards. You don’t need to register, and it lets you generate 30 unique bingo cards. Here  are my bingo cards in case you want to use them.


Speaking tasks: the team member attempting to do the task will have to talk for 1 minute non-stop about

  • Talk: What would you change about yourself if you could?
  • Talk: What makes you angry?
  • Talk: What do you find most difficult about learning English?
  • Talk: If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
  • Talk: What is your proudest accomplishment?
  • Talk: Why are you learning English?
  • Talk: Have you ever used ChatGPT?
  • Talk: Tell us about a time you passed an exam without studying
  • Talk: What is the worst gift you have received?
  • Talk about the computer that is on the teacher’s table
  • Talk: Have you ever had a secret admirer?
  • Talk: What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten?
  • Talk: If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
  • Talk. Tell us about a time you met someone famous


  •  Translate. ¿Con cuántas almohadas duermes?
  • Translate: Si fueras un superheroe, ¿que poderes tendrías?
  • Translate: ¿Cuál es el mejor regalo que has recibido?
  • Translate: La policia está investigando el crimen.


  • An idiom that means the same as: “decide”
  • ¿Can you name 10 wild animals?
  • What preposition collocates with ” decide”?
  • Finish the sentence: it is raining cats and….
  • Can you say the number : 205,566,903?
  • What’s the past and past participle of the verb “hit”?
  • Can you name 6 irregular plurals?

I have not tested this activity in class as classes have not started yet. I normally wait until I have tried the activity in class but this time, I could not wait to share it with you, plus this is a very busy month for me with exams and teacher training sessions and I was afraid I might forget the idea. So, here it is. Better safe than sorry! I hope you like it!



Threeish in a Row with a Twist for Learning

Super fun activity loaded with learning, a nice tad of competitiveness, and team work for the last post of this school year? Yes, please!


What do we need for this activity?

  • Different coloured whiteboard markers or post-it notes. How many colours? As many as teams in the class.
  • Task cards with content to revise. In my case, a combination of sentences to translate and rewriting exercises. Ideally, the cards will be digital so that you can easily show the exercise to the whole class. (I have used one of the digital flip cards templates on and made it reusable. See it in the last section of this post)
In Class
  • On the board, draw a 5×6 grid
  • Divide the class into teams of 3/4 students and assign each team a different coloured white board marker or, in my case, a different coloured post-it note. It will be used to claim their square on the grid.
The rules
  • In this game, all teams participate simultaneously in completing the task. However, establishing an order for the teams becomes important, especially when they need to claim a square to achieve a three-in-a-row formation. In each exercise, the order of teams claiming a square rotates. Team 1 goes first for one task, followed by Team 2 for the next task, and then Team 3 for the subsequent task. This ensures fairness and equal opportunities for all teams to claim a square.
  • Explain how three-in- a row is going to work in this game:

The goal of each team is to form a straight line of three of their assigned colours, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, i.e., a winning line can be formed horizontally, vertically, or diagonally by having three of the same colours in a row. As long as the assigned task is successfully completed, any team has the opportunity to claim a square on the grid.

Let’s start playing
  • Each team names a secretary who will be responsible for writing the answer to the exercise on the digital task card.
  • The teacher displays a task card and all the teams complete the exercise in written form. The secretary will write the answer on a piece of paper. The time allotted for each task card will vary depending on the difficulty of the exercise.
  • The teacher asks each team to provide their answer and verifies if it is correct or incorrect. This can be done in different ways, but the simplest one is for the teacher to quickly approach each team and check their answer.
  • The teams that have a correct answer stand up and claim a square on the grid that is displayed on the board. They can choose any square they want, as long as it has not already been taken by another team.
  • Repeat steps two to four until all the task cards have been used. The game does not end when a team gets three in a row. Instead, the game continues until there are no more task cards left.
  • Teams can block other teams from getting three in a row by marking a square that interrupts their line. The winner is the team that has the most three in a row at the end of the game.

Ready to play?


I hope you have liked the game!!!

Explaining Have Something Done and Killing Two Birds with One Stone

Time is of the essence. I am pressed for time. There is no time to lose. Time is running out or time is ticking are some of the phrases that fit me like a glove now that I have less than a month to wrap up the course. In case you are wondering, nope, I didn’t miss a single lesson this year, so I am not making up for lost time, it is just that I feel there is so much I haven’t taught them; there is so much that still needs to be reinforced.

Anyways, last point of grammar: Have something done. Here we go!!!!

Step 1. Introducing Have Sth Done and Guided Practice

Note: Use the arrows to enlarge the presentation.

Fun: For the exercise in the last slide, put students in groups of three and vote for the most extravagant luxury within the group and then within the class. This will encourage everybody to participate and have a nice laugh while learning.

STEP 2: The killing of the two birds with one stone. Shadow Reading.

Now, you might be wondering why I have chosen the title ‘Kill two birds with one stone’ when it seems like I am just going to explain the structure ‘have something done’. Well, I am and I am not.

In a last attempt to try to improve my students’ pronunciation, I asked them to bring to class their earbuds/headphones and make sure they had a QR Code Reader installed in their phones.

I prepared and assigned them a shadow reading activity which contained, once again, an explanation of the grammar point and some clear examples.

What is shadow reading?

Shadow reading is one of my favourite activities. It is a technique used in language learning to improve students’ pronunciation and fluency. It involves students listening to an audio recording while simultaneously reading the text out loud, trying to match the speaker’s rhythm, intonation, and stress.

How I set it up
  • As you read above, I asked students to bring their earbuds/headphones to class and ensure that they had a QR Code Reader installed on their phones.
  • I gave my students a copy of the text below these lines, and asked them to scan the QR Code.
  • Then, I instructed them to step outside the class, work on the text and come back in 10 minutes.
  • Finally, I invited every student to have a go at reading parts of the text, attempting to mimic the pronunciation and intonation they heard in the video.

Note: while some students made noticeable improvements in their pronunciation, others may have been a little shy to share their progress, but that’s okay! Now they all have a clear model to follow, and they can continue to practice at home with confidence.

A more personal note: I cannot close this section without expressing my total devotion to Simple English videos and to the recently deceased Vicki, my inspirational voice, as well as her husband Jay.  I have always used their videos to warm up my voice before starting class on Monday. (I know you know the feeling)

This is the handout I shared with my students

Shadow Reading de cristina.cabal

The Practice.

Text created with ChatGPT

How Parliament Works: a Listening Comprehension Activity Created by Artificial Intelligence

May is a month when many of us may feel exhausted and in need of some support with our work. As the school year draws to a close, we are often faced with a growing to-do list that can feel overwhelming. This is where the use of AI technology can come in handy, providing us, teachers, with the tools we need to simplify our workload and reduce stress. With an AI you can generate personalized listening exercises that can save time and energy and that will allow us to focus on other important tasks that require our attention.

So, here we go!!! I want to share with you this listening activity. Honestly, all I did was search for a video on YouTube and did the rest.

Click here to see the PDF where I copied/pasted the activities generated by It also contains the answers; also provided by the app. Yay!!!

Step 1. Before watching the video: Working on vocabulary

I just love creating visual content so much that I couldn’t resist making some exercises a tad more engaging. I decided to get creative and combined traditional paper exercises with WordWall to bring the material to life. It was a bit of extra work, but totally worth it!

 Step 2. Students Watch the Video.

It only lasts 1:25

Step 3. The exercise: While Listening.

Are the following statements true or false?

1. Parliament only debates issues of the day.
2. The House of Commons is made up of MPs.
3. The House of Lords is made up of elected members.
4. The monarch’s role in Parliament is mainly political.
5. The Prime Minister is questioned in the House of Lords.
6. Committees in Parliament scrutinize the work of government departments.
7. Parliament doesn’t ask for input from the public.
8. Parliament only represents the views of people in London.
9. Parliament makes laws.
10. The opposition sits with the government in the House of Commons.

Step 4. After listening.

Give students the transcript with some gaps and play it again. You might have to play it twice. I am afraid I deleted too many words.

Remember, you have the PDF with all the exercises in a link above.

Creating an Audio Bookflix

Ahhhhh, May. I love spring, but honestly, what I don’t love is how I am supposed to rush to try to cover all the units in the book as the end of the course is knocking on my door. Less than a month and that’s a wrap for this school year. And I am beginning to panic! Are they ready to take final exams?

But, today, let’s forget about exams. I want to share with how I have changed the way my students do a book review. In the old times, we used to do this compulsory activity in written form, but with the amazing possibilities IA offers my students, I feel asking them to write a book review is pointless, don’t you think so? What is going to prevent them from copy/pasting the review or learning the summary by heart? Tricking me is very tempting, especially when pressed for time! So, I figured it would be a good idea to have them record themselves doing the book review. That way, they would work on their pronunciation skills while completing the assignment.


Step 1: Choosing a book

Easy. Students pick a book from the school library section that matches their level. I gave them enough time to read it and set a deadline.

Step 2:  Recording their audios

Students used the free app, Vocaroo, to record themselves. Why did I choose Vocaroo? For these reasons: 

  • It is free and very easy to use.
  • Students don’t to have to register or download anything. 
  • It offers a QR Code for your recording, which was just what I needed.

Step 3: Uploading their reviews

I created a PowerPoint presentation – if you use Google Slides it is just the same. The first slide outlines the instructions and the second slide provides an example of the desired outcome, including the correct positioning of the content. I then replicated this second slide as many times as students in the class (see pictures below).

My students’ ages range from 16 to 70ish; I think it is important for you to know that everybody can do it as long as you give clear instructions and take the time to demonstrate what they need to do. In my case, I recorded a video to guide through the process. You can see it here.

First slide: instructions

Second Slide

Third Slide: sample


Step 4 : Showcasing students’ work

It is now time to showcase students’ work. I bought  brown wrapping paper at the post office, printed the letters Book Flix using Typea4, downloaded the book covers and the QR codes, arranged them nicely on the wrapping paper. Finally, I hung the display on one of the walls in our classroom for everyone to enjoy. 

Step 5: The surprise

I told students that when gluing the QR Codes under the book covers, I had made 3 mistakes, i.e., in three cases the QR code does not match the cover. They will need to help me fix the problem. They can try either before or after the class starts. The first student to spot my mistakes will get a prize. I am still thinking about what.

I hope you have liked the activity!