For people who are just starting to learn English, it’s pretty easy to find English learning activities for beginners. However, it becomes more difficult to find effective English learning activities for intermediate or advanced students. Fortunately, we’ve compiled some excellent resources to help B1, B2, C1, and C2 learners practice and improve their English!
If you’re unsure about your current English level, be sure to check out our free English-speaking test. For more help understanding your level, you should also consult our guide on English proficiency levels.
6 English Learning Activities for Intermediate & Advanced Students
English teachers and tutors implement learning activities in their classes every single day. However, you don’t have to be in a formal classroom to enjoy the benefits of English learning activities. So, let’s look at some common types of activities that you can employ to improve your English:
English Vocabulary Flashcards
Vocabulary flashcards are a great way to turn the act of learning new words into an engaging activity. Whether you make the cards yourself or buy them online, vocabulary flashcards are a great way to learn new words, review old words, and make sure that your vocabulary is always growing — never shrinking.
Listening to Music
It may sound like a waste of time, but many English learners report that music helps them learn new words, grammar structures, and common phrases. Studies have shown that music also helps English learners overcome issues like boredom and apathy while studying. That said, you won’t learn as much if you just put in your headphones and turn your brain off.
So, try to actively listen to English music from a variety of genres. Write down words that you recognize, make notes of words that you don’t know or can’t understand, and try to sing along as often as possible. This English learning activity will not only help your listening comprehension skills, but it will also help your pronunciation, too!
Watching Television and Movies
Much like listening to music, watching television or movies is a great way to learn English and have fun at the same time. The great thing about movies and television is that you get visual and auditory cues as you watch. This way, you can learn about common English mannerisms, tone, and even gestures.
TV and movies also give you the freedom to learn at your own pace. You can easily pause, rewind, and rewatch parts if you want to study something that was said. This is especially useful if the actors are speaking very quickly.
Moreover, if you’re not ready to watch an entire movie or television episode in English, you can start slow by putting the audio in your native language and using English subtitles. Once you’re ready, you can advance to English audio and subtitles. When you feel comfortable, take away the subtitles. Before you know it, you’ll be watching dozens of movies and series in English without needing to pause or rewind!
If you’d like to have exercises to accompany your activities (including sports, music, movies, or television), be sure to check out our index of free English classes!
Sometimes, putting pen to paper is the best way to improve your English skills. One popular English learning activity is creative writing. Whether you choose the topic on your own or work from a writing prompt, creative writing is a great way to practice your English writing skills and express yourself at the same time.
However, it’s important to note that creative writing is best coupled with an English tutor or someone who can evaluate your writing. If you can find a native English speaker to go over your writing, this will help you improve and learn to recognize your mistakes. With time, you’ll be writing completely unique stories without the need for help!
Though it may seem pretty basic, fill-in-the-blank exercises are great for quickly learning correct grammar and word usage in English. These kinds of English learning activities can be altered to fit a wide range of needs and abilities. So, even if you think filling in empty boxes is too easy for you, you can always find ways to increase the challenge.
In any case, here are a few great resources to find or create fill-in-the-blank exercises for intermediate or advanced students:
- Grammar Bank (Intermediate)
- Busy Teacher (Intermediate)
- English for Everyone (Intermediate)
- English Banana (Advanced)
- ESL Lounge (Advanced)
- English Learner (Advanced)
English Learning Games for Adults
Despite what some people may think, you’re never too old to enjoy games. While games are most useful for younger English learners, there are plenty of English learning activities for adults that incorporate games. Whether you’re learning English in a group or on your own, here are a few games that will help you improve your writing, speaking, reading, and listening abilities:
- Taboo — Taboo requires at least 4 people to play. First, separate into two teams. One person has a list of words that they must describe to the other person on their team. Whichever team can get their teammate to say the most words in a set amount of time (usually 1 or 2 minutes) is the winner. In some versions, the person with the list of words also has words that they are not allowed to use in their description. This can make the game way more challenging and fun!
- Charades — Charades is a variation of Taboo, but it works on the same basic principles. Two people must try to get their respective teammates to guess as many words as possible in a set amount of time. However, in Charades, there’s a catch; the person must act out the words without speaking. This can create some fun and even hilarious situations for everyone!
- Crosswords — If you’re studying alone, crossword puzzles offer a great way to get you thinking about vocabulary and new words. You can find dozens of crossword puzzles online or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try the infamous New York Times Crossword Puzzle!
- Jeopardy — Jeopardy is great because you can play it by yourself for practice or with other people as a fun competition. In Jeopardy, you have various categories like “grammar” or “famous cities” to choose from. The questions are ranked from easiest to hardest based on their point value. If you’re playing with other people, the first person to answer correctly gets the points for that question. The person who accumulates the most points at the end of the game is the winner!
- Never Have I Ever — While native English speakers often use “Never Have I Ever” as a fun drinking game, it’s also a great way for non-native speakers to practice the present perfect tense. Though the rules can vary, you should always start with a small or medium-sized group of people. Each person holds up three fingers. Someone starts off by saying “never have I ever…” and finishes the statement with something they have never done. If you’ve done that thing before, you put a finger down. When you put all your fingers down, you’re out of the game! The last person left with at least one finger up is the winner!
English Learning Activities with SpeakUp
Finally, one of the best English learning activities is simply speaking the language with another person. However, it’s not always easy to find a native English speaker who can have a conversation with you. Fortunately, it’s now easier — and more affordable — than ever to get live English help from a native speaker thanks to SpeakUp. With SpeakUp, you get hours of live speaking practice and a comprehensive curriculum that is geared toward intermediate to advanced students (B1-C2).