Countries & Nationalities - ESL/EFL Teaching Activities
Capitals and Countries
ESL/EFL Matching and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
This challenging teaching activity helps students to remember the capital cities of numerous countries. The class is split into groups of three. Each group is handed a set of cards. The students separate country cards (blue) and capital cards (black) into two piles. The two card piles are then spread out face down on the table. The first student chooses one card from each pile and shows the two cards to the group. The student then makes a sentence using the two cards, e.g. Bangkok is the capital of Thailand. If the statement is true, the student keeps the two cards. If it is not true, the student puts them back in the same place they came from. The students must try to remember the location of the cards in order to win the game. The student who has the most pairs of cards is the winner.
Countries & Nationalities Bingo
ESL/EFL Listening and Matching Activity - Elementary - 20 Minutes
In this fun class activity, students play a game of bingo in which they practice nationalities and the names of countries. Each student is given a bingo card. If there are more than 16 students, more than one student can have the same card or students can share. The teacher calls out a nationality at random. If a student has the corresponding country on their card, they cross it out. The first student to cross off all the countries on their card is the winner and shouts Bingo! As an extension, the class can be divided into groups of three or four to play a second game amongst themselves.
Countries & Nationalities Worksheet
ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
This supplementary worksheet helps students to learn about various countries and nationalities. First, the students have to write the country of each nationality on their worksheet. Then the students separate the nationalities according to their suffixes. This is followed by two pairwork teaching activities. First, one student says a country, and his or her partner says the corresponding nationality. Finally, students pretend to be a different nationality and their partner has to ask questions to find out what nationality their partner is.
Countries, Nationalities & Continents
ESL/EFL Vocabulary Lesson - Elementary - 30 Minutes
Here’s a vocabulary lesson from esljam to help you teach your students about country names, nationalities, continents and flags. To begin, the students work in pairs or small groups. The students are given a list of countries and pictures of flags. Students have to write the name of each country under the correct flag. Students are then shown a map of the world and write the names of the countries from exercise 1 under the correct continent. Finally, the students complete a table of countries and nationalities.
Countries Word Search
ESL/EFL Matching Activity - Elementary - 15 Minutes
In this entertaining worksheet, students have to find 24 countries in a word search. This word search can be used to review spelling. An answer key is provided.
Countries and Nationalities - Exercises
ESL/EFL Writing Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
Here is a link to a comprehensive worksheet that gives students practice at writing about where people come from and their nationalities. In the first exercise, students complete a chart with information about people from all over the world. After that, the students complete a set of written exercises where they practice forming and answering questions about countries and nationalities. An answer key is provided.
Find Someone Who - International
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 Minutes
Here is a link to an excellent speaking activity to practice or teach traditional names, countries and national languages. Each student is given an identity card. On the card is a traditional name, country and national language. Students walk around and introduce themselves to their classmates. They ask each other questions and write down the information they find out on their worksheet. There are over 40 identities to choose from in this teaching activity, which makes it suitable for large classes.
Invent a Country
ESL/EFL Writing and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 35 Minutes
This interesting activity teaches students basic information about countries. The teacher sets the scene and tells the students that they come from a planet called Merth. Merth is made up of many islands. The islands are separated by great oceans. The people from the different island countries have never met each other until today! First, the students have to complete information on a worksheet about their island country, including things like greetings, language, taboos, population, music, laws, etc. When they have completed the information, they go around and meet people from the other countries of Merth. The students complete information about two other countries on their worksheet.
Let's go East
ESL/EFL Listening and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 30 Minutes
This teaching activity has students assuming the identities of people from different countries in Asia. The activity teaches students information about twelve countries. The students learn about the nationalities, capital cities, presidents/prime ministers, and languages of these countries. Students work in groups of twelve. Six students act as representatives of the various Asian countries. The other students are visitors to the countries. The representatives read an introductory text to each visitor to their country. The visitors must listen for specific information given by the representative in order to answer questions. After that, the representatives ask a series of questions to the visitors about their nationality and identity.
ESL/EFL Writing Activity - Elementary - 15 Minutes
Here is a useful worksheet for teaching nationalities. Students complete a list of sentences by writing the name of the country for each nationality. An answer key is provided.
ESL/EFL Speaking Activity - Pre-Intermediate - 25 Minutes
This impressive describing game teaches students to talk about where different things come from. The class is divided up into pairs, and each pair is handed a set of cards. Students then take it in turn to pick up a card. The student who picks up the card tries to explain what is on the card without saying the name. The first sentence must include just the nationality, e.g. “It is Australian." The other student then tries to guess the answer. If they guess correctly, they win points. If they guess incorrectly, the student gives another clue. The cards contain names of famous companies, types of food, animals, etc.
ESL/EFL Writing Activity - Elementary - 20 Minutes
This pairwork teaching activity focuses on the spelling and capital cities of certain countries. Students work in pairs. Each pair is given a worksheet. The students unscramble each word on the worksheet to discover the name of a country. Then, the students write the name of the capital city of that country. They score one point for each correct country and capital city.
A New Country
ESL/EFL Writing and SpeakinActivity - Intermediate - 30 Minutes
In this inventive teaching activity, small groups of students create a new country made up of the best things from at least five other countries. Students decide on a name for their country as well as the climate, food, culture, people, scenery, standard of living, natural resources, capital and political system. When they have finished writing their ideas, the students present their new country to the rest of the class.
More teaching resources for countries and nationalities can be found on the following pages: