ESL Games Activities - English Language Classroom

Describing Appearances & Characteristics of People.

Teach English Thailand. 

Each student is given one sheet of paper. One student sits at the front of a room. He/she describes a person and the rest of the class draws the person. TEFL teachers give an example first such as the "Headmaster" or famous people like Harry Potter or Super Hero's. With a beginner's class it's advisable to ask a more confident student to proceed first.

It's more interesting if it's a famous person. Once the student has finished describing that person. He/she reveals who it is and each student shows his/her drawing. The laughter from this can be hilarious as the impressions tend to make the character in question look funny.

It's a good idea for students to ask the interviewee questions, on who they are describing.

Pictionary.  Teach English Thailand. 

Write out a series of categories like professions (doctor, bus driver, hairdresser, etc. Animals, foods, actions (fishing, driving, diving etc.) Then divide pupils into groups of 2. One student draws and the other guesses. Next turn, the guesser draws and drawer guesses. This game works best with a stop watch (30 seconds or a minute depending upon the level). Good for a warmer or cooler game.

Charades. Teach English Thailand.

On another day take the same categories or create new ones. Play the same game. Except pupils, this time, act it out. (No speaking or noises).


Relate Keyword Race.

TESOL course Thailand.

Divide your pupils into teams. Give each team one piece of paper and one pencil. The teacher will write the main "Keyword" on the black board. When the teacher says, "Go!" the teams will write as many other words which are related to the main keyword on their piece of paper. Give the class 5 - 10 minutes to complete this project. When time's up. Tell each team to say out loud their related keywords. The team that has the most keywords gets a point. The team which has the best related keywords also gets a point.

An example would look like this: Main Keyword: HOUSE - Related Keywords:

Living Room.
Play station 2.

X or O games. TESOL course Thailand.

Divide class into two teams. One team X and the other O. Choose a topic, such as clothes. Draw nine squares on the board. Write a random letter in each square and ask the students to choose one of the squares. The students have to give a word that begins with the letter in the square and is also a member of the chosen topic. Such as hat for h, sock for s. If they give a correct word they get to mark the square with their team's letter, X or O. The first team to make a line of three in a row is the winner.

9 English letter games. Teach English Thailand.

The teacher divides the class into teams. The teacher writes nine letters on the black board, including the letters A, E, I, O, U. Students have to make words using the letters. They get a point for each letter. So a word such as 'beach' would get their team five points. The team with the most points in an allotted time is the winner.

Run/Stop TESOL Games. Teach English Thailand.

Teacher says a verb and the students mime the action. The teacher then shouts 'stop' and the students have to freeze. Any pupils that do not remain still are out. The last student left is the winner.

Prepositions - Connecting Words and Making Sentences.
TESOL course Thailand. Teaching English.

Can use the prepositions below to do a snakes and ladders game or better still a Treasure Hunt.

Cross over the garden near the end of the wall.
Next to the kettle.
Through the door and down the stairs.
Across the street.
Below the table leg.
On top of the fridge.
Above the black board.
Underneath the plant pot.
Go towards the water tower.
Walk along the path.
By the river.
On top of the rock.
Under the TV.
Underneath the motorbike seat.
Among the flowers.
Down the plug hole.
Walk around the garden.
Stand on the chair.
Under the bunk beds.
Up the ladder.
At the end of the wall. 
Turn right and walk to the water tower.
Upon the dance floor.
Inside the desk draw.
Look out of the window.
Go outside the house.
Go inside the house.
The other side of the wall.
Beside the microwave.
Behind the small tree.
In front of the lamp post.

Spelling Race. TESOL course Thailand.

A popular English teaching game.

All of the students love to compete against one another. This ESL teaching game is basically a spelling race.

When I say, "Spelling Race" I mean two students will come up to the board. The teacher says a word and they try to write the word. Whichever student writes and speaks the word correct, wins.

Write every students name on the board like so:

1. Bill.
2. Sally.
3. Tom.
4. Jerry.
5. Susan.
6. Jim.
7. Candy.
8. Jack.
9. Toby.

Call up the first two students. Say a word for them to write. Whichever pupil loses the spelling race erase their name.

Round 1.


(The X means that they are out of the game.)
In round 2 the ESL students that won the first round of the spelling race will battle each other in another spelling race.

Round 2.


Depending on the amount of kids that are in your class, you may have three pupils in the final. For the final round, I usually get the pupils to write three words. 

Good luck teaching English! Try this the next time that you are doing spelling. Your TESOL English students will love it!

Great Speaking Activities. TESOL course Thailand.
ESL games and activities. Teach English Thailand.

Hot Seat - Name each team.

 Break the class into 2 or 4 teams, depending on class size.
 Place two chairs next to the board, facing the class and a student from each team.
 Pupils from each team rotate turns sitting in the chair.
 Write a vocabulary word behind the student that they cannot see.
 Each team has 30 seconds to elicit the word written, from their teammate sitting in the hot seat.
 They can only speak English. If they speak their native tongue, erase a point from their score.

Two Truths, One Lie. TESOL course Thailand.

Demonstrate by writing two truths and one lie about yourself on the white board.
 Allow your pupils to guess what your lie is.
 Once they grasp the concept, give 5 to 10 minutes to write their own list of two truths and one lie.
 Students take turns presenting their list, to gain points.
 The rest of the group try to guess the lie!

Road Trip. TESOL course Thailand.

Ask your pupils, “What do we need for a road trip?”

 Each pupil must say one item to bring along, but must repeat every previous item first.

 Pupil 1: Fruit. Pupil 2: Fruit and vegetables. 3: Fruit, vegetables and a cat. 4: Fruit, vegetables, a cat and an umbrella. 5. Fruit, vegetables, cat, umbrella and water. Fruit, vegetables, cat, umbrella, water and towels. Keep going until a student forgets the list.

 This game is a great time-killer. 


Hotel Problems. TESOL course Thailand.

Cut up the flash cards with each sentence from below.
Tell students that they are in a hotel or resort but they have lost their voice.

Give students a card and they pretend that they are at a hotel reception desk. They need to mime or draw the things they read, and the rest of the group try to guess the meaning. 

There are no towels in my hotel room. I’m in room 15.

I’d like a wakeup call at 6.30 am tomorrow.

There’s a mouse in my bathroom.

I asked for a double room but you gave me a key for a single bed.

All the lights in my bungalow have gone out!

I dropped a bottle of wine in the room. 
I need someone to come and clean it for me.

The A/C doesn’t work in my room and it’s very hot! 

I asked by email to book a bungalow with a sea view but we do not have one.

I’d like a taxi for nine o’clock tomorrow morning. 

I ordered a drink and a sandwich from the restaurant 30 minutes ago.
Am still waiting! 

I’d like to know the name of a good restaurant near the resort.

I went to the room you told me too.
The key doesn’t open the door!
I’ve locked myself out of my room.

The man in the room next to mine, has his TV on loud. 
I want to go to sleep! 

There are ants in the room, do you have any ant powder?

There’s no remote control for the TV in the hotel room.

TESOL ESL English Games Thailand. TESOL course Thailand.

Many would agree that learning any second language can be difficult. TESOL games can open a doorway for the ESL pupils to gain a greater understanding of the English language. English language games on the internet are useful to those seeking the learn English as a second language.

Why Game Playing Can Aid Language Retention. TESOL Thailand.

Games can enrich and be an effective tool to teach many subjects with greater effectiveness than lectures and reading alone. For this reason, school administrators have been progressively inserting game playing into teaching curriculum.

Games aid pupils learning by providing fun, which helps alleviate stress. When the mind's less stressed, pupils are able to concentrate and grasp a difficult subject. Retention levels have also been shown to markedly increase during game play.

If your ESL student is an adult, a child, a beginner, intermediate, or even advanced, games can speed up the learning process. A few games that you can play include flash card games, match up games, adapted board games, or any other game that can be adapted to language learning.

Reasons to Play English language games. TESOL course Thailand.

The fun factor: Pupils retain more when they are having fun. Game playing can induce relaxation, which improves retention all by itself. Add the fun factor and you get an instant boost.

Communication: Game playing forces communication in a non-direct and confrontational way. There is no answering by rote or drawing a student out where they feel singled out for questioning. During game play, students will often participate in the lessons quite readily.

Instant Gratification: Games provide an instant sense of accomplishment. Every pupil during a game session must rise to the challenge. This provides a sense of accomplishment and pride in their abilities.

Games help speed up learning! Pupils learn at a higher rate and the overall speed of the subject progresses much faster.

Easy to Do: Playing a game in a classroom or during a lesson actually has positive results and gives your pupils a sense of order.

Now all you need to do is incorporate an ESL game into your classroom or lesson plans. Get started searching for fun and adaptable games that will fit into your subject matter with the learning level of your pupils.
Good selection of Teaching English games for TESOL in Thailand.

TESOL course Thailand. Teach English Thailand.

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