Verbal Boxing

Studying at Ability involves learning and having fun. There are various activities in IELTS class that can help students to evoke ideas, we do some of them first thing in the morning to prepare our brain to understand what the teacher is going to explain next, and the other at the end of the day to fossilize what we have learnt, which is absolutely essential for IELTS test to get a higher score.


One of the most amazing activities we usually do in the afternoon class that can get students so excited, especially after lunch, is Verbal Boxing. First of all, our teacher, Philippe, divides us into four groups in a way that separates the students who speak the same language from each other, which also happen during the class. Then, Philippe puts different topics on the wall so the students can make a tick on their favourite topics. Next, he picks one of the most preferred topics and decides which two teams are going to play against each other, while the other teams act like judges and evaluate the boxers. As you might know, Verbal Boxing is just like real Boxing, except this one is not physical. It has three rounds with two minutes each and two minutes between each battle. Once he puts the chosen topic on the wall we have to brainstorm ideas for both sides, positives and negatives, for ten minutes, and to make it more challenging the teams don’t get to decide which side they are going to talk about, Philippe does. Each team sends their boxer to the ring to combat with strong arguments and examples. The same thing for the other teams happens, and finally the winners get to face each other for the last battle.


This activity helps students to improve their English to pass the test in so many ways. One thing is that the boxers experience some sort of pressure during the battle, which is very important to build our confidence in speaking, and we need to give reasons and examples to support our arguments. This kind of pressure is what candidates are going to feel in the speaking as they might have to talk about things that they are not familiar with, which is why Philippe chooses which side each team should talk about, not us. Another thing is that it provokes ideas on a variety of topics, which is exactly what students need for writing. It is vital to spend some time brainstorming ideas to answer the question fully in writing task two in order for the candidates to get a higher mark. Personally, it helped me a lot for speaking and writing .

picture of boxing for blog

What is great about Verbal Boxing is the excitement that students show to share their knowledge about various subjects with other students. By doing so, we are not only developing and improving our skills of speaking and writing, but also experience positive thinking regarding the test. The more we have positive feelings about it, the more likely we do better, whereas negative feelings can prevent us from doing well. Moreover, some students are painfully shy, which could get in the way of learning English. This activity enables them to overcome their fears of public speaking, at least in the classroom, to encourage them to socialise with other students outside the school.

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