TEFL TIPS #4 – Verb of the Day

Verbs are the skeleton of any language. A typical conversation in English would consist of many verbs used in a variety of ways. Most ESL learners know the basic verbs (e.g. ‘eat’ ‘go’ ‘play’) but expanding this list is vital to those wanting a higher quality of English in both speaking and writing.

In my classroom, I introduced a method I call ‘verb of the day’. It’s pretty basic but effective.

Every day I spent a few minutes introducing a new verb and asked my students to use that verb in a sentence. In a few weeks, my students progressed from using mainly standard verbs like ‘I went’ ‘I go’ & ‘I like’ to the more interesting ‘I climbed’, ‘I jump’, ‘I travelled’ etc.

The more creative you are at introducing the verb (you could use a song or dance), naturally the more the students learn. For the smaller kids, acting out the words can be very effective.

A list of verbs I use to teach in kindergartens – elementary school is as followings:

– stretch
– push
– pull
– visit
– bend
– think
– cry
– rush
– throw
– move
– bite

The older or more advanced the students the further you can go:

– gobble
– frolic
– shake
– whisper
– scare



  1. Reblogged this on The Indie Contractor and commented:
    What an awesome way to speak about access to language. It’s so true! When I travel to Mexico (which I do far more often than can excuse my not knowing the language) I find myself either stuck in a singular tense or without the words to really convey how I feel. I’m always stuck on my verbs. Thank you for this post, great work!


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