Fun ESL Games
Make Lessons Fun with ESL Games!
||One way to make your lessons more enjoyable is to have a bunch of ESL
games you can use. To save you searching the web, here are some of my
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ESL games that work
1. Game shows
Many of the popular TV game shows are syndicated worldwide so students
will know them. They can easily be adapted to use with any grammar
point or vocabulary theme. Jeopardy is easy to use in class and is
great for practicing question forms. You can write the answers, or for
more class involvement, you can get your students to write answers for
the other team to make questions. Great idea, group work, good fun, and
less work for you!
2. Action games
Even adults like to move around during long lessons, and with younger
students it is even more important to get them active. Games involving
mime can be used with vocabulary and are also great if you are teaching
progressive tenses. Put the students into teams, get one person to mime
something and have the others guess what it is. Another version of this
is to have students draw pictures on the board for their team to guess.
Instead of a boring quiz, why not make it into a sports game. Draw a
plan of a football field on the board and ask teams questions. When a
team gets a question right, move the ball one step nearer touchdown!
This may take a while as it goes backwards and forwards, just like in a
real game. This can be adapted to any sport, simply use the scoring
method from the sport instead of giving straight points.
4. Cartoon races
My students love this one! Get each team to draw a cartoon character to
represent them. Draw a grid of lines across the board and stick each
character at the start of the grid. Ask ‘category’ kinds of questions,
for example, Name 5
things that are always white
. Name 8 things with wheels
positive and 5 negative personal characteristics
. This is
great way to revise vocabulary from a previous class. The first team to
write all correct answers moves 2 points along the grid, the second
team moves one. The first team to reach the end of the grid are
5. Two Chairs
This has different names, but my students called it Two Chairs and it
was a great favorite at the end of the lesson. I wouldn’t do this as a
warm-up as it can get a little crazy! Two teams, two students sit in
chairs with their backs toward the board. The rest of the teams
describe or act words you write on the board for their team-mates to
guess. First one to guess it gets a point.
When you are playing ESL games you do need to be sure that your
students understand the rules and that they know your decision is
final! If you use some of these ideas, your students will have fun and
learn at the same time.