Hall Houston university lecturer ELT author, presenter and teacher trainer
Hall Houstonuniversity lecturerELT author, presenter and teacher trainer

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101 EFL Activities for Teaching University Students is filled with a variety of language learning activities that can be used throughout the semester. While designed with university teachers in mind, teachers of other subjects (and levels) will also find these activities useful in their classrooms.


The activities in this book relate to three major themes: the context of the university environment (students learn by talking about their lives as university students), group dynamics – the stages of a group (the stages all students go through during a semester), and active learning (learning through actively using the course material, instead of listening to a professor deliver a lecture).

The book is structured around the three main time periods of the semester: the beginning, the mid-period and the end. Activities in the first chapter are ideal for the first few weeks of class. The aims of these activities include learning names, learning about the teacher, learning about other students, and understanding the syllabus. Activities in the second chapter are suitable for the middle of the semester. The aims in this chapter include adding variety to lessons, reviewing material from previous weeks, talking about university life and giving feedback to the teacher. Activities in the third chapter are for the last week of the semester. Aims here include reviewing the entire course, talking about future plans, and ending the semester with a positive feeling.

This book also contains teacher development tips, short exercises designed to help teachers reflect on their own teaching and professional development in a university setting. In addition, the book has a list of recommended readings and web resources for university teachers.


Testimonials for 101 EFL Activities for Teaching University Students:


Hall Houston provides an important resource for establishing a positive environment conducive to learning. Although 101 EFL Activities is geared for Teaching University Students, I have found it to have widespread appeal for educators at all levels. Having experience teaching 2nd and 3rd grade, middle school, high school, and university, I enjoyed thinking about how I would adapt these strategies for different ages and subject areas. This useful guide of strategies is one to include in your lesson planning.


Patrice M. Bain, Ed.S. Author of Powerful Teaching, A Parent's Guide to Powerful Teaching
This book should prove very useful to those teaching university students ( or with some adaptation other subjects and levels). It offers activities which not only provide useful language practice but deal with the social and psychological aspects of life at university: getting to know people, finding your way round the system, staying motivated and energised in the middle of a long semester, and finding closure at the end of the semester.  To be recommended!

Jill Hadfield, Author of Classroom Dynamics
Hall Houston has compiled a cornucopia of engaging and easy-to-implement activities for the ESL classroom, helpfully presented in tune to the rhythms of the semester. It would be impossible to read this book and not find at least a few new ideas to spark the learning and participation of your students. 

- James M. Lang, Author of Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning
Whether you are a novice or an expert, in this resource book, you will find a range of engaging ideas for teaching English to the college student, for different stages of a course. The ideas are easy-prep, can be adapted to any classroom, and are not only fun, but many encourage critical thinking - very appropriate for this target group. The 'Teacher Development Tips' were a real bonus!

Meredith MacAulay, EAP teacher and teacher trainer at UNSWGlobal, Author of Energising EAP (the round)
This book focuses on some very engaging activities which both empower and motivate students to take charge of their own learning. By relating the topics to their own lives, students really come to life with this great variety of simple activities. I highly recommend this book to university teachers who want to get students more involved and interacting with each other!

Robert Stroud, Associate Professor, Hosei University, Japan and Editor of The University Grapevine Newsletter
This is an immensely useful book for language teachers working in university contexts. It provides them with a wealth of practical activities that they can use at different stages of the academic year. The book's emphasis on active learning is bound to enable EFL students to enhance their language proficiency in a highly engaging manner.

- Dr. Daniel Xerri, Senior Lecturer in TESOL, University of Malta and co-editor of English for 21st Century Skills (Express Publishing, 2020)


Book Reviews for 101 EFL Activities for Teaching University Students:


"This book is a must not only for university teachers but also for (teachers of) 7th to 12th graders. You will be entitled to find and follow enthralling, motivating activities that you may use or adapt to your classes, and promote their autonomy, engaging them in critical thinking and learner agency."


Judite Fiuza, APPI e-journal, June 2022




"101 EFL Activities for Teaching University Students is an excellent fit for any novice university ELT teachers or indeed old hands who need to mix things up a bit... 101 EFL Activities is easy to use, easy to adapt, and has sound underlying principles. I think I’ll be picking this one up again in the near future."


Jonathan Turner, WAESOL Educator, July 2022




"Depending on the stage of your semester and the purpose of the activities (learning about the teacher or looking toward the future, for instance), select a few activities you want to try. Next time, when you grow tired of pulling the same old tricks in all courses, take out this book and you will find an activity that interests you."


Vien Cao, MWIS Newsletter (TESOL), July 2022




"For many teachers, fun is something that takes place after lessons have finished for the day. But using tasks carefully chosen from this cornucopia, because that’s what it really is, fun should soon be on the weekly menu throughout the academic year."


Wayne Trotman, EL Gazette, July 2022




"While the book’s title advertises itself as a resource for activities, Houston’s goal is to help teachers improve themselves...Keeping up engagement is an active decision a teacher must make for students to gain as much knowledge as they can. With Houston’s book in hand, there is no excuse that planning activities is too difficult."


Jaleesa Davis, MITESOL Messages, August 2022




"This is a really well-organised and accessible resource. It includes something for teachers of all levels. It’s particularly useful for those who are new to (university) teaching and are looking for ways encourage interaction, collaboration and reflection among learners. This would be a worthwhile purchase for EFL teachers whatever their teaching context – a great resource to dip into for inspiration."


Peter Clements, ELT Planning blog, September 2022




"101 EFL Activities for Teaching University Students is written in an engaging manner, and I think it would be a useful addition to any EFL/ESL teacher’s library. Using these resources would help lift and inspire even the dullest classroom with a range of interesting ideas and activities for teaching university students."


Kate Absolum, English Australia Journal, September 2022




"Houston is clearly an old school practitioner who artfully manipulates learning and teaching with a magician’s finesse based on experience, empathy, energy and creativity. He also provides a wealth of internet-based resources to cater for the more digitally minded. This is an excellent manual for all EFL teachers at tertiary level and a ‘must have’ in the suitcases of inexperienced teachers starting out. I intend to keep my copy to hand on my (somewhat messy) desk and dip in regularly to enjoy Houston’s myriad of classroom creations."


Meg Shovelton, Modern English Teacher, September 2022



"Hall Houston has compiled a handy reference book. Nearly every activity promotes some combination of collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. The “Teacher Development Tips” alone make this work a valuable addition to any educator’s bookshelf. The book’s unique sequential organization deftly addresses teachers’ immediate needs without allowing them to lose sight of long-term learning objectives."


Dawson R. Lewis III, TexELT Journal, September 2022



"There are not many EFL publications aimed at university students which focus on teaching English in general. If you are a learner at tertiary level, you will have seen that, done that, and bought the T-shirt. It is difficult for us teachers to motivate such learners, surprise them or push them to work harder. So, a ‘fresh’ book, with fresh innovative lesson ideas or activities is more than welcome."


Hanna Kryszewska, Humanising Language Teaching, October 2022




"The book is a valuable resource for English teachers – regardless their teaching context – as it offers a variety of engaging tasks which could be incorporated immediately to any lesson. If you are keen to add something different to your lessons or to supplement an activity, then this book will offer some practical tips to enhance the delivery of your teaching."


Martin Sketchley, ELT Experiences blog, December 2022




"This is an ideal resource for those engaged in teaching at college or university and while genuinely offering 101 activities to anyone who is new to this area, there is sufficient material for old hands to up their game and try something new."
Gordon Dobson, ETAS Journal, January 2023
"Houston’s book has so many of these useful activities (a 101 to be precise!), they are well-structured and will certainly help teachers to get their students become more motivated, establish rapport with the teacher and develop group dynamics. The book also gives teachers tips on how they can supplement activities with their own ideas and materials and it will help teachers reflect about their classroom approaches. So it is a very resourceful book if you want your students to be more engaged."
Jurgen Basstanie, BELTA Blog, January 2023
"Hall Houston’s latest book, 101 EFL Activities for Teaching University Students, provides instructors with a multitude of activities to engage, respond to and motivate learners.All sections provide activities to support instructors as they transition students through their freshman year. Hall has created an easy-to-read book with activities for teachers laid out like a recipe."
Sandee Thompson, IATEFL Voices, January/February 2023
"101 EFL Activities for Teaching University Students is a valuable source of ideas which offers hands-on activities that can help engage university students in a foreign language classroom. Most of the activities can be adapted to suit classes of different ages and levels of ability making this book a useful resource for any foreign language teacher."
Olivera Ilić, ELTA Serbia Newsletter, February 2023
"Hall Houston has created a one stop solution for university language teachers looking to implement active learning into their classrooms. His teaching guide, 101 EFL Activities for Teaching University Students is just that: A plethora of ideas, activities, references, and handouts that teachers can utilize to encourage speaking, creativity, and dialogue amongst classmates and step away from dry teacher centered lecturing... If you look to encourage more active language speaking among your students, get this book and you’ll never run out of classroom ideas again!"
Robert Minor, HEIS Newsletter, March 2023 
"The book is a ready-to-use resource, offering 101 interesting and interactive activities for teaching English as a foreign language at colleges or universities. The majority of activities, however, are easy to be adapted to different subjects of teaching and useful for teachers at all levels. With active learning as the theoretical rationale, the activities are intrinsically interesting and will actively engage students in English learning."
Yanan Song, The Journal of Asia TEFL, March 2023
"Handy for seminars or even for pre-service courses... I wish I had thought of some of these when I was teaching English to university classes."
Marilyn Lewis, TESOLANZ Newsletter, March 2023
"Overall, I heartily recommend this book. There will be activities here that more experienced teachers will already know a version of, but there were some that were new to me, and after so many years in teaching, that’s a real boon. If your school has the budget available, I recommend the printed version in particular - it’s priced fairly, and will prove a better resource in the long run if it’s something that your teachers can grab from the shelf when they need a little pre-lesson inspiration."
Christopher Walker, IH Journal, April 2023
"All teachers, no matter their context, subject, or level, will appreciate, and be able to adapt, Houston’s university situated activities for their own school or circumstances...Houston’s compilation of 101 EFL Activities provides enough depth, breadth, and variety to appeal to all language-teaching professionals. Hall Houston’s volume would make a practical, affordable addition to anyone’s collection."
Deanna Barnhart, The Word Hawaii TESOL newsletter, May 2023
"These are not activities teachers typically find when searching on the internet for icebreakers. They offer fresh ideas on getting students engaged in ways that are not complicated. With the selection offered in 101 EFL Activities for Teaching University Students, teachers are likely to find many that will support teaching and learning goals, as well as motivate and encourage students over the course of a semester."
Heather Johnston, TESOL-Spain Newsletter, October 2023
"Overall, the three activities that I was able to pilot with students were enjoyable and worthwhile. One benefit of the book is that in addition to photocopiable worksheets at the back of the book, the publisher has provided a link so that the instructor can download copies from the publisher’s website...I would heartily recommend this book to teachers looking for ideas and inspiration." 
Julia Kimura, Kobe JALT Journal, December 2023
"101 EFL Activities for Teaching University Students is a very well-organised and curated collection of teaching activities that, despite its title, should appeal to a wide variety of ELT professionals. If you are looking for an accessible, go-to guide the next time you are stuck for something to do in class, this is the book for you."
James Taylor, BRAZ-TESOL Echoes, December 2023
"This book presents a collection of teacher-friendly activities tailored specifically to EFL university classrooms. At the heart of this book lies a steadfast commitment to fostering rapport and meaningful interaction within the classroom. What truly sets 101 Active Learning Activities for University Classrooms apart is its unwavering focus on practicality. By prioritizing the ease of implementation without compromising pedagogical integrity, the book empowers educators to seamlessly integrate active learning into their teaching practice."
Khoi Tan Minh Vuong, THAITESOL JOURNAL, June 2024