Review written by
700 Classroom Activities is literally
a series of practical activities to use in class. The
book is divided up into four sections: Conversation,
Functions, Grammar & Vocabulary. There is a short
index at the front of the book that simply states the
four sections & the page number each one starts
on. The real index to the activities is a not very detailed
alphabetical jumble of activity focus at the back of
the book. A more detailed index at the front that divided
the activities up within the four sections into title,
level & focus, would make the book friendlier to
The publishers point out the following 'key benefits'
of the book:
- The majority of activities are
written as if spoken directly to the student.
- None of the activities require
- The level of difficulty is suggested
next to each activity heading with shading on
the corresponding level icon (E for Elementary,
P for Pre-intermediate, I for Intermediate and
U+ for Upper Intermediate).
- Any topics in the book which
may offend particularly sensitive or easily
embarrassed students or lead to conflict or
antagonism between students with conflicting
opinions have been marked with an !.
- There are also plenty of internet-based
The activities are written as they are spoken, making
instruction giving slightly easier, & the lack of
need to photocopy is always an advantage as learners
stumble around weighed down with wads of photocopies.
The activities themselves are clearly tried & tested,
some of them a lot of fun & imaginative, & a
lot of them are learner-based & personalised, drawing
on the students' experiences & ideas. It is a collection
of tasks that most experienced teachers might have tried
out at least once but the difference here is that they
are all in one place, ready for referencing & quick
re-use. The less experienced teacher will love this
book & it would be especially useful for trainees
on initial training courses such as Certificate courses.
The introduction states:
of activities included here are short and to the
point, giving the teacher an opportunity to provide
on-the-spot practice. They can also be included
in normal lesson planning. The activities require
no preparation. All that is needed is a quick look
through the chosen activity to check the language
involved and to estimate the time needed. 700
Classroom Activities is the ideal tool
for teachers who appreciate the importance of reacting
to students’ needs, as and when they arise.
Although lesson planning is mentioned above, there
is an emphasis here on the teacher deciding what to
do on the spot. This might be appropriate for the experienced
teacher who implicitly takes many factors into account
naturally, but for the inexperienced teacher it could
make life very difficult indeed - students can spot
a lesson that is being made up on the spot a mile off.
700 Classroom Activities is a very
useful reference book for any staffroom. It is a shame
about the indexing in the book but it is easy enough
to use regardless. Get your hands on a copy!