Reported Speech ESL Activities, Games and Worksheets

You said...

ESL Reported Speech Game - Miming and Speaking Activity - Elementary - 25 minutes

Here is a fun reported speech game to play in class. In the activity, students play a miming game where they guess what their classmates were told to do using reported speech. The class is divided into groups of four and each group is split into two competing pairs. The group is then given a set of imperative cards, which they shuffle and place face down in a pile on the desk. One student begins by picking up a card and whispering the command on the card to their partner. Their partner mimes the command to the other pair of students. The other pair of students watch the mime and try to guess what the student told their partner to do. The pair then uses reported speech to say what they think the command was, e.g. 'He said to close the door'. The pair has one minute to guess what the student told their partner to do. If they manage to do this and make a suitable sentence with reported speech, they score a point. The pairs then swap roles and the process is repeated. Students play until there are no more cards left. The pair with the most points at the end of the game wins.
 

But he told me...

ESL Reported Speech Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate - 40 minutes

In this entertaining reported speech activity, students interview each other and then use reported speech to compare what the interviewees said. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students read ten questions on the worksheet and write one true answer and two false answers for each question. The class is then divided into groups of eight. Students use the questions to interview three people in their group. Students note down the interviewees' answers on the worksheet. Students are free to ask follow-up questions, especially if they suspect they are being given a false answer. Each time an interviewee answers a question, they give either a true answer or one of their false answers, but they must vary the answers they give different students. When everyone has finished, the groups are then split in half to make groups of four. The students then compare what different people told them using reported speech and decide which of the answers are true. When the students have compared their answers, the groups of eight are brought back together and the interviewees reveal their true answers. Finally, there is a class feedback session to find out who gave the most convincing false answers in each group.
 

Oh Really?

ESL Reported Speech Activity - Writing, Listening and Speaking - Pre-intermediate - 30 minutes

In this amusing reported speech activity, students have to try to remember what their classmates said. The students begin by reviewing expressions to show interest and surprise, e.g. Oh really? Wow, etc. The students are then told that they are going to tell each other something interesting or surprising and that they have to try to remember what each person said. Each student is then given a card. The students memorize the sentence on their card and then stand up and walk around the class, saying their sentences to each other. Students use an expression for showing interest or surprise each time they hear a sentence. When the students have all spoken to each other, they write down what their classmates told them using reported speech, e.g. 'Claire said that she was going to get married next month'. When the students have finished writing, the correct answers are checked with the class. The student with the most correct sentences is the winner.
 

Somebody told me that...

ESL Reported Speech Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Pre-intermediate - 45 minutes

In this reported speech game, students ask and answer yes/no questions and then play a guessing game where they report back the information they found out. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. Students begin by moving around the classroom asking questions and completing their worksheets with yes answers. Every time a classmate responds positively to a question, the student writes the person’s name down on the worksheet and asks a follow-up question to gain more information. When everyone has finished, the students are divided into groups of four. The students then take it in turns to report back the information they found out about their classmates using reported speech. Students do this without saying the classmate's name. Instead, they use the phrase 'Somebody told me that…' The other students in the group guess who said each thing, scoring one point for each correct guess. When the correct person has been guessed, the student reports back the additional information. The student with the most points at the end of the game wins.
 

Report This

ESL Reported Speech Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Low intermediate - 30 minutes

In this engaging reported speech activity, students interview a partner and then report the questions and answers from the interview to a new partner. The students are divided into pairs (A and B) and each student is given a corresponding worksheet. The students then take it in turns to ask their partner the questions on the worksheet and write down their answers in note form next to the questions. When the students have finished, they work with a new partner (A and B). Students take it in turns to report the questions and answers from the interview to their new partner using reported speech, e.g. 'I asked Sam how he came to class today and he said that he came to class by car'. Afterwards, students give feedback to the class on their interviews.
 

What did they say?

ESL Reported Speech Game - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking Activity - Low intermediate - 45 minutes

In this energizing reported speech game, students report back answers to questions and race to complete sentences about what people said. The class is divided into groups of three or four. Each student is given a copy of the worksheet. The students write down the name of a student that is not in their group at the beginning of each sentence on their worksheet. Each group is then given a set of questions. A student from each group reads the first question and memorizes it. The student then looks at the name at the beginning of the first sentence on their worksheet (e.g. Sophia) and goes to the group where the person is located to ask them the question. The student then returns and reports back the answer to the group using reported speech, e.g. 'Sophia said that she had been studying English for five years'. Everyone in the group then writes down what the student said on their own worksheet. When all the group members have written the sentence, the next student asks the second question to the person whose name is written at the beginning of the second sentence and so on. The first group to complete their worksheets with grammatically correct sentences wins the game.
 

Telephone Messages

ESL Reported Speech Activity - Reading, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate - 25 minutes

In this reported speech activity, students practice relaying telephone messages to each other. The students are told that they are going to practice giving the contents of telephone messages by transforming the messages into reported speech, but first they have to find the person who has each message. The class is divided into groups of three. Each student is given a set of colour-coded question and message cards. Students then take it in turns to choose a question card and ask a group member if they have a message from the person or place indicated on the card, e.g. 'Have you got a message for me from the bank?' If the group member says yes, he or she relays the message using reported speech and then gives the message card to the student. If the group member says no, the student has to wait until their next turn to ask the other group member. The first student to collect all their message cards wins the game.
 

Trip around the World

ESL Reported Speech Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate - 45 minutes

In this reported speech activity, students role-play an interview between a traveller who is planning a trip around the world and a journalist who is interviewing them about their trip. The two students then write a short magazine article about the interview using reported speech. The class is divided into two groups (travellers and journalists) and each student is given a corresponding worksheet. The travellers think of answers to questions about their trip and write them on their worksheet. The travellers also think of two more things they can say about their trip. The journalists make questions from the prompts on their worksheet and create two questions of their own at the end. When everyone is ready, each journalist pairs up with a traveller. The journalists then interview their partner (the traveller) using the questions on their worksheet, noting down their answers on a piece of paper. After the interview, the journalist and traveller work together to write a short magazine article in reported speech, based on what the traveller said in the interview. Finally, pairs read their articles to the class and feedback is given.
 

What did you ask me?

ESL Reported Speech Activity - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - Intermediate - 45 minutes

Here is a reported speech activity for intermediate students. In the activity, students ask a question to everyone in the class. The students then write down in reported speech the questions they were asked and report back on the answers they received. Each student is given a question card. Students go around the class, asking the other students the question on their card and making a note of the answers. When the students have finished, they are divided into pairs. Working with their partner, the students try to remember and write down in reported speech the questions they were asked, e.g. 'Ryan asked when my birthday was'. When the pairs have finished, the answers are checked with the class by asking pairs of students what questions they can remember, e.g. 'What did Ryan ask you?' The correct answer is then checked with the student who asked the question. Afterwards, the students summarize the answers they received and report them back to the class using reported speech, e.g. 'Five people said their birthday was in July. Four people said their birthday was in October', etc. Any interesting findings are then discussed in more detail.
 
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