10 Best Games for ESL Teachers Abroad _ GoOverseas

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  • 27/01/2015 10BestGamesforESLTeachersAbroad|GoOverseas.com

    http://www.gooverseas.com/blog/10bestgameseslteachers 1/7

    StudyAbroad VolunteerAbroad TeachAbroad InternAbroad LanguageSchools HighSchool GapYear Articles

    10 Best Games for ESL Teachers AbroadPublishedon10/08/2013Lastupdatedon06/13/2014

    ThesegamesareperfectfortheESLclassroom

    GamesandfunactivitiesareavitalpartofteachingEnglishasaforeignlanguage.Whetheryou'reteachingchildrenoradults,gameswilllivenupyourlessonandensurethatyourstudentswillleavetheclassroomwantingmore.

    Gamescanbeusedtowarmuptheclassbeforeyourlessonbegins,duringthelessontogivestudentsabreakwhenyou'retacklingatoughsubject,orattheendofclasswhenyouhaveafewminuteslefttokill.Thereareliterallyhundreds,probablythousands,ofgamesthatyoucanplaywithyourstudents.EFLgamesareusedtotestvocabulary,practiceconversing,learntensesthelistisendless.

    ThislistoftenclassicESLgameseveryteachershouldknowwillhelpgetyoustartedandfeelingprepared.Havingtheseupyoursleevebeforesteppingintotheclassroomwillensureyourlessonsrunsmoothly,and,shouldthingsgetalittleoutofcontrol,you'llbeabletopullbacktheattentionoftheclassinnotime.

    Don'thaveajobyet?Checkourteachingjobboardforthelatestopeningsaroundtheworld!

    1.BoardRace

    Thereisn'tanEFLteacherIknowwhodoesn'tusethisgameintheclassroom.BoardRaceisafungamethatisusedforrevisingvocabulary,whetheritbewordsfromthelessonyou'vejusttaughtorwordsfromalessonyoutaughtlastweek.Itcanalsobeusedatthestartoftheclasstogetstudentsactive.Itisagreatwayoftestingwhatyourstudentsalreadyknowaboutthesubjectyou'reabouttoteach.

    Whyuseit?Revisingvocabularygrammar

    Whoit'sbestfor:Appropriateforalllevelsandages

    Howtoplay:First,watchthishelpfulvideoofrealteachersusingthisgameintheclassroombyBridgeTEFL:

    AbouttheAuthor

    EmmaLanderGOOVERSEASWRITER

    EmmaLanderisanewlyqualifiedEFLteacherandsofarhastaughtEnglishintheUKandFinland,andisnowbeginningalongtermcontractforteachinginSouthKorea.Emmalovestravel,reading,andwriting,andiscurrentlyworkingonherfirstnovelforchildren.ShealsoenjoysmountainclimbingandhikingandrecentlycompletedacharitytrekalongtheGreatWallofChina.FollowEmmaonTwitter@1littlewanderer,Google+oronherwebsiteHappyLittleWanderer.

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  • 27/01/2015 10BestGamesforESLTeachersAbroad|GoOverseas.com

    http://www.gooverseas.com/blog/10bestgameseslteachers 2/7

    Thisisbestplayedwith6studentsormorethemore,thebetter.I'veuseditinclassesrangingfrom725yearsofageandit'sworkedwellinallagegroups.Here'sastepbystepexplanation:

    Splittheclassintotwoteamsandgiveeachteamacoloredmarker.Ifyouhaveaverylargeclass,itmaybebettertosplitthestudentsintoteamsof3or4.Drawalinedownthemiddleoftheboardandwriteatopicatthetop.Thestudentsmustthenwriteasmanywordsasyourequirerelatedtothetopicintheformofarelayrace.Eachteamwinsonepointforeachcorrectword.Anywordsthatareunreadableormisspelledarenotcounted.

    2.CallMyBluff/TwoTruthsandALie

    CallMyBluffisafungamewhichisperfectatthestartoftermasa'gettingtoknowyou'kindofgame.Itisalsoabrillianticebreakerbetweenstudentsifyouteachclasseswhodonotknowoneanotherandespeciallyessentialifyouareteachingasmallclasssize.Thegameisexcellentforpracticingspeakingskills,thoughmakesureyousaveatimeforafterthegametocommentonanymistakesstudentsmayhavemadeduringthegame.(Igenerallyliketoreservethisforafterthegame,soyoudon'tdisrupttheirfluencybycorrectingthemastheyspeak).

    Witholdergroupsyoucanhavesomerealfunandyoumightbesurprisedwhatyou'lllearnaboutsomeofyourstudentswhenplayingthisparticularEFLgame.

    Whyuseit?IcebreakerSpeakingskills

    Whoit'sbestfor:Appropriateforalllevelsandagesbutbestwitholdergroups

    How to play:

    Write3statementsaboutyourselfontheboard,twoofwhichshouldbeliesandonewhichshouldbetrue.Allowyourstudentstoaskyouquestionsabouteachstatementandthenguesswhichoneisthetruth.Youmightwanttopracticeyourpokerfacebeforestartingthisgame!Iftheyguesscorrectlythentheywin.Extension:Givestudentstimetowritetheirowntwotruthsandonelie.Pairthemupandhavethemplayagain,thistimewiththeirlist,withtheirnewpartner.Ifyouwanttoreallyextendthegameandgivestudentsevenmoretimetopracticetheirspeaking/listeningskills,rotatepartnerseveryfiveminutes.Bringthewholeclassbacktogetherandhavestudentsannounceonenewthingtheylearnedaboutanotherstudentasarecap.

    3.SimonSays

    Thisisanexcellentgameforyounglearners.Whetheryou'rewakingthemuponaMondaymorningorsendingthemhomeonaFridayafternoon,thisoneisboundtogetthemexcitedandwantingmore.TheonlydangerIhavefoundwiththisgameisthatstudentsneverwanttostopplayingit.

    Whyuseit?ListeningcomprehensionVocabularyWarmingup/windingdownclass

    Whoit'sbestfor:Younglearners

    How to Play:

    Standinfrontoftheclass(youareSimonforthedurationofthisgame).DoanactionandsaySimonSays[action].Thestudentsmustcopywhatyoudo.

  • 27/01/2015 10BestGamesforESLTeachersAbroad|GoOverseas.com

    http://www.gooverseas.com/blog/10bestgameseslteachers 3/7

    Repeatthisprocesschoosingdifferentactionsyoucanbeassillyasyoulikeandthesillieryouarethemorethechildrenwillloveyouforit.Thendoanactionbutthistimesayonlytheactionandomit'SimonSays'.Whoeverdoestheactionthistimeisoutandmustsitdown.Thewinneristhelaststudentstanding.Tomakeitharder,speeduptheactions.RewardchildrenforgoodbehaviorbyallowingthemtoplaythepartofSimon.

    Takeyourstudentsoutsideforinteractivegames

    4.WordJumbleRace

    Thisisagreatgametoencourageteamworkandbringasenseofcompetitiontotheclassroom.Nomatterhowoldweare,weallloveagoodcompetitionandthisgameworkswonderswithallagegroups.Itisperfectforpracticingtenses,wordorder,reading&writingskillsandgrammar.

    Whyuseit?GrammarWordOrderSpellingWritingSkills

    Whoit'sbestfor:Adaptabletoalllevels/ages

    How to play:

    Thisgamerequiressomeplanningbeforethelesson.

    Writeoutanumberofsentences,usingdifferentcolorsforeachsentence.Isuggesthaving35sentencesforeachteam.Cutupthesentencessoyouhaveahandfulofwords.Puteachsentenceintohats,cupsoranyobjectsyoucanfind,keepingeachseparate.Splityourclassintoteamsof2,3,or4.Youcanhaveasmanyteamsasyouwantbutremembertohaveenoughsentencestogoaround.Teamsmustnowputtheirsentencesinthecorrectorder.Thewinningteamisthefirstteamtohaveallsentencescorrectlyordered.

    5.Hangman

    Thisclassicgameisafavoriteforallstudentsbutitcangetboringquitequickly.Thisgameisbestusedfor5minutesatthestarttowarmtheclassupor5minutesattheendifyou'vegotsometimeleftover.Itworksnomatterhowmanystudentsareintheclass.

    Whyuseit?Warmingup/windingdownclass

    Whoit'sbestfor:Younglearners

    How to play:

    Incaseyou'veneverplayed,here'saquickrundown.

    Thinkofawordandwritethenumberoflettersontheboardusingdashestoshowmanylettersthereare.Askstudentstosuggestaletter.Ifitappearsintheword,writeitinallofthecorrectspaces.Iftheletterdoesnotappearintheword,writeitofftothesideandbegindrawingtheimageofahangingman.Continueuntilthestudentsguessthewordcorrectly(theywin)oryoucompletethediagram(youwin).

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  • 27/01/2015 10BestGamesforESLTeachersAbroad|GoOverseas.com

    http://www.gooverseas.com/blog/10bestgameseslteachers 4/7

    6.Pictionary

    Thisisanothergamethatworkswellwithanyagegroupchildrenloveitbecausetheycangetcreativeintheclassroom,teenagersloveitbecauseitdoesn'tfeellikethey'relearningandadultsloveitbecauseit'sabreakfromthemonotonyoflearninganewlanguageeventhoughthey'llbelearningastheyplay.Pictionarycanhelpstudentspracticetheirvocabularyanditteststoseeifthey'rerememberingthewordsyou'vebeenteaching.

    Whyuseit?Vocabulary

    Whoit'sbestfor:Allagesbestwithyounglearners

    How to play:

    Beforetheclassstarts,prepareabunchofwordsandputtheminabag.Splittheclassintoteamsof2anddrawalinedownthemiddleoftheboard.Giveoneteammemberfromeachteamapenandaskthemtochooseawordfromthebag.Tellthestudentstodrawthewordasapictureontheboardandencouragetheirteamtoguesstheword.Thefirstteamtoshoutthecorrectanswergetsapoint.Thestudentwhohascompleteddrawingshouldthennominatesomeoneelsetodrawfortheirteam.Repeatthisuntilallthewordsaregonemakesureyouhaveenoughwordsthateachstudentgetstodrawatleastonce!

    7.TheMime

    Mimingisanexcellentwayforstudentstopracticetheirtensesandtheirverbs.It'salsogreatforteacherswithminimalresourcesorplanningtime,orteacherswhowanttobreakupalongerlessonwithsomethingmoreinteractivesinceit'sadaptabletoalmostanylanguagepointthatyoumightbefocusingon.Thisgameworkswithanyagegroup,althoughyouwillfindthatadultstireofthisfarquickerthanchildren.Tokeepthemengaged,relatewhattheywillbemimingtoyourgroups'personalinterestsasbestaspossible.

    Whyuseit?VocabularySpeaking

    Whoit'sbestfor:Allagesbestwithyounglearners

    How to play:

    Beforetheclass,writeoutsomeactionslikewashingthedishesandputtheminabag.Splittheclassintotwoteams.Bringonestudentfromeachteamtothefrontoftheclassandoneofthemchooseanactionfromthebag.Havebothstudentsmimetheactiontotheirteam.Thefirstteamtoshoutthecorrectanswerwinsapoint.Repeatthisuntilallstudentshavemimedatleastoneaction.

    Don'tbeafraidtobealittlegoofy

    8.HotSeat

    Thisisoneofmystudents'favoritegamesandisalwaysatthetopofthelistwhenIaskthemwhattheywanttoplay.IhaveneverusedthisinanadultEFLclassroom,butIimagineitwouldworkwell.

    HotSeatallowsstudentstobuildtheirvocabularyandencouragescompetitionintheclassroom.Theyarealsoabletopracticetheirspeakingandlisteningskillsanditcanbeused