Functional Language - ESL Activities, Worksheets and Games

On this page, you will find all our ESL teaching activities, games and worksheets related to functional language. Functional language is language that we use to perform various functions, such as making requests, giving advice, complaining, agreeing, asking permission, etc.

Learning functional language gives students of English the skills to communicate effectively in various everyday situations. Functional language contains a lot of fixed expressions. Because there are so many expressions for each function, it is best to teach these structures in manageable chunks. Try to limit the number of structures you introduce in each lesson to help your students remember the specific phrases. Functional language can be taught early in a student’s English language development. There are some basic structures that when introduced enable students to make themselves understood even if their level of English is quite low.

The teaching resources in this section include worksheets, lessons, games and fun communicative activities to help demonstrate and practice each function. Each teaching activity is categorized, according to the level and type of activity. To help students put the language structures into context, we have also created a variety of activities that use dialogues and role-plays based on realistic situations. By focusing on and practicing these expressions and structures regularly, students will be able to build on their English language knowledge and communicate successfully.

 
This page provides a wealth of functional language activities, worksheets and games to help teach your students how to agree and disagree with positive and negative statements and opinions.
 
These functional language games, activities, lessons and worksheets help students learn how to ask for and give advice. The resources also help teach students a variety of phrases and structures for asking and giving advice on a number of everyday topics.
 
This page offers engaging functional language ESL activities, games and worksheets to help students learn and practice how to ask for and give directions.
 
In this section, you will find functional language activities, worksheets and games that help students learn how to ask for and give opinions using a variety of expressions. The page also contains a wide range of resources to help students practice explaining, justifying and summarizing opinions, agreeing, disagreeing and persuading. Students can also participate in debates where they express and defend their opinions by arguing for or against a topic.
 
On this page, there are functional language activities, worksheets and games to help teach your students how to ask and answer personal information questions. These insightful resources can also be used on the first day of class to help students get to know each other and make introductions.
 
On this page, you will find functional language ESL, activities, worksheets and games to help teach your students how to ask for, give and refuse permission using a variety of expressions.
 
The functional language games, activities and worksheets on this page help students master how to ask and answer questions on a variety of everyday topics. The resources also offer general practice at asking and answering wh- and yes/no questions in a range of tenses.
 
These functional language role-plays, activities, games and lessons help to teach students how to make and deal with complaints in English. Students also learn how to soften complaints, apologize, make requests and give excuses. This page also contains several authentic role-plays and teaching activities that cover common and business complaints.
 
On this page, you will find engaging teaching activities, topic-based lessons and worksheets to help students practice and improve their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The resources in this section also combine critical thinking and problem-solving with other useful skills such as negotiating, prioritizing, ordering, analyzing and evaluating.
 
This page offers a range of ESL activities, worksheets and games to teach students how to describe someone's personality and character. These resources also help students learn a variety of positive and negative character and personality adjectives.
 
These ESL activities, worksheets, lessons and games help students learn how to describe someone's appearance. This includes their physical appearance and clothing. Students can learn how to use the verb 'to be' to describe height, body build and age, and how to use 'have' and 'has' to describe hair colour, hair length and facial features. These resources also help students to practice a wide range of adjectives related to appearance.
 
This page provides activities, worksheets, lessons and games to help students practice describing places, famous landmarks and buildings. There are also resources to help students practice related descriptive adjectives and language.
 
Here you will find a variety of entertaining games, activities and worksheets to help students practice describing things. The resources also help students learn essential language and adjectives related to describing objects.
 
These functional language activities, games, icebreakers and worksheets help students talk about themselves and become acquainted with one another. The resources can also be used on the first day of class to help your students get to know each other and share personal information and interesting facts.
 
These functional language activities, worksheets and role-plays help to teach students how to formally and informally greet someone, introduce themselves and others, make small talk, end a conversation and say goodbye. This page also provides fun activities for students to use on the first day of class to get to know each other and make introductions.
 
These functional language ESL activities, worksheets and games help students to master holiday vocabulary and common expressions used in holiday and travel situations. There are resources to help students talk about all aspects of holidays, such as describing holiday experiences, talking about travel plans, booking a hotel, etc. Students can also learn how to ask and answer questions about holiday and travel information like the location of hotel facilities, opening/closing times and the price of hotel rooms.
 
This page provides worksheets, role-plays and activities about indirect questions. These resources help to teach students how to ask questions politely. The resources also help students learn how indirect questions are formed, why we use them and how to change direct questions into indirect questions.
 
These functional language activities and games focus on inviting. There are resources to help students learn and practice how to make, accept and decline invitations as well as give reasons and make excuses.
 
The functional language activities, games and worksheets on this page focus on making requests. These useful resources help students learn how to make, accept and decline requests using a variety of expressions.
 
This page provides teachers with a variety of functional language activities, worksheets and games based on making, accepting and rejecting suggestions. There are also resources to help students learn how to raise objections and suggest alternatives.
 
These functional language activities and worksheets help to teach students how to order food and drink in various situations. The resources also provide teachers with a wide range of authentic role-plays to help students master restaurant language and useful dining expressions.
 
This page is packed with functional language activities and worksheets to help teach students shopping language. The page also contains a variety of engaging role-play activities to help students practice buying and selling items in a shop.
 
These functional language activities, games, role-plays and worksheets help teach students techniques for keeping a conversation going and making small talk. These techniques include using echo questions and words, asking follow-up questions and responding with phrases that show attention, agreement and interest. There are also resources to help students learn how to reply to everyday statements and questions with commonly used expressions.
 
On this page, you will find functional language teaching resources about telephoning. These engaging activities help students learn a variety of expressions, phrasal verbs and requests that are commonly used over the phone. You will also find fun role-play activities to help students practice telephone conversations where they take and leave messages, make arrangements, confirm information, etc.
 
The functional language resources on this page focus on travel and transport. There are fun activities, worksheets and games to help students learn vocabulary and language connected to travel and transportation. You will also find role-plays and dialogues students can use to learn how to ask and answer questions about travel information.
 
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