10 Tips for a Successful English Club

Natalie Caley & Andy Hunt

  1. PLAN AHEAD – Make a schedule for the semester and post it where everyone can see it. Ask students for input and feedback. What did they like, or not like? What do they want to do in English club? Remember it’s their club!
  2. TRY TO KEEP LESSONS SEPARATE (capsule lessons) – Not every student will be able to come every week. Try to make it so that students can come and go as they wish. Sometimes a big project may last for two or three club periods, but try not to go beyond that.
  3. VARIETY – Have a variety of activities i.e. cooking, crafts, games… Incorporate your country’s (or other countries) holidays, customs, traditions, etc. (Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, birthdays, Shrovetide*, tea parties…). Use your surroundings. Have a treasure hunt throughout the school, an activity day on the school field, a trip to the bowling alley, or a local printclub area.
  4. DON’T OVERLAP – Try not to overlap class activities and English club activities. Every student in your English club may not be your student, and even if they are they only represent a small portion of your students.
  5. INVOLVE OTHER STAFF MEMBERS – Invite other teachers (nurses, librarians) to join or drop by. If you are baking something, invite them to try some. If you are making a craft, invite them to make something too. It is a great learning opportunity for your teachers, and a chance for you to get to know other staff members in a relaxed environment.
  6. SAY CHEESE – Take pictures of English club events and post them on a bulletin board where others can see them. It may interest others to join.
  7. TRY NEW THINGS – Some ideas that you think are great may flop, others may go off without a hitch. You never know until you try. Challenge your students – they will surprise you.
  8. STUDENTS AS TEACHERS – let your students teach you. Students know a ton of fun little games that they can teach you and the rest of the English club.
  9. USE WHAT YOU KNOW – Use things you already know and adapt them. Drinking games (minus the alcohol) make great English club activities.
  10. HAVE FUN – Don’t over discipline. It’s not a class, it’s a time to relax and have a good time. Go with the flow and keep an open mind.