A collection of fun, easy English Language Learner games that are great for students of all levels and ages!
Games are a fantastic way to engage Classroom English Language Learners of all ages! Your students will love the chance to bring out their competitive side while reviewing class material from the week. Take the stress out of learning a new language with these easy to implement, low-prep, fun English Language Learner games!
Looking for more easy ways to streamline your ESL classroom and make teaching feel fun again? Check out my free guide, the 7 Secrets to Help Your ESL Classroom Run Like a Dream.
Ever since I played this game in my 6th grade Chinese class, I've loved this simple game! Luckily, every group of students I've played it with has loved it, too!
White Board and Marker
Wall, Flashcards, and Tape
How to Play:
1. Put vocabulary words, ideas, or anything you've been learning on the board! You can write these up with students (bonus points if they tell you the vocabulary words to write!) or have them ready to go before class starts. No white board? Just tape flashcards with the words to a wall.
2. Divide students into two groups. Determine who will start first from each group, and have them stand in front of the words with a flyswatter.
3. Say the word, spell it out, or give a definition. You could also have a student give the clues!
4.The first student to correctly hit the word with their flyswatter gets a point for their team!
5. Have students hand their flyswatter to the next person in line, then repeat!
This game can get intense! Don't forget to review how to gently hit the board with the flyswatter, even if you're playing with big kids (or adults!).
Mix things up for a challenge! Read a sentence with a missing word, give a synonym or antonym, or share the part of speech. There are endless ways to practice students' skills!
Display the words on a slide and let students use tools to draw on the screen and circle the correct word! No screen tools? First person to type the correct answer in the chat wins!
This classic is the perfect no-prep game for reviewing concepts and vocabulary, but it can also be used for basic language practice!
Optional: White board & Marker or Projector and Word Processor
How to Play:
1. Think of a vocabulary word, concept learned in class, or random object, or have a student do the same!
2. Let students ask yes-or-no questions to narrow down the concept, word, or object. If you want, you can keep track of the questions and answers for everyone to see! This definitely helps beginning English Language Learners!
3. When students have guessed correctly, or when they have asked 20 questions, share the answer!
4. Have another student think of a word, concept, or object, and repeat!
Students might need guidance with the types of questions to ask. When I start this game with a new class, it usually goes like this:
"Is it a food?"
"Is it bread?"
"Is it an apple?"
"Is it a cucumber?"
You get the point. Share some helpful ideas to start! Here's a few ideas to get your students started:
Is it a (part of speech)?
Is it (color)?
Is it (big/ small)?
Is it expensive?
Can it make noise?
Do most people have it?
Did we learn about it on (day)?
This game works GREAT in the digital classroom! Keep track of the questions in the chat!
Are you looking for online games for English Language Learners? Flashcard Factory is the perfect mix of fun and rigor! Your students will love this game, no matter their age!
Free Pear Deck Account (Note: This account is free as of the writing of this post. I am not associated with Pear Deck.)
Devices for Each Student
Google Accounts for Each Student
How to Play:
1. Create a vocabulary list on Pear Deck. Use your own definitions, or the ready-provided ones!
2. Project the log-in information for students, and help them log-in as needed.
3. Students will be randomly assigned to teams. They will use their devices to draw a picture and give an example of each vocabulary word.
4. After students complete their vocabulary card sets, they will go to "Quality Control." Here, the class can vote on whether the cards accurately represent the word!
5. When you finish, you can save the card set, or print them out for use in the classroom!
It will probably take a time or two for your students to get the hang of things, but don't give up! I'm sure your students will end up loving this game!
Great! This game is made for digital learning!
Another classic your students will love!
Paper or Index Cards
Something to write with
How to Play:
1. Here's a little hack for you: have the students make their own flashcards! It saves you time and energy and helps them remember information and feel invested in the game. Win-Win-Win.
Match words with the same word, with a picture, with a definition, with an example, with an antonym or synonym... whatever your students need!
2. Students place the flashcards face down on the table and flip over two flashcards at a time.
3. If the flashcards match, they can keep them face-up or take them off the board. If they don't they flip them back over.
4. Keep playing until all the cards are matched!
Students can play by themselves or with a partner! Great for early finishers.
Give students the choice of how to match their cards. Do they want to match with the same words? Pictures? Definitions? Let them choose their comfort level!
Make a board game in Google Slides! Make a table, and put a word/ definition/ etc. in each box. Then, use the shape tool to cover each box! Students can move the boxes away to "flip over" the cards, and then recover as needed!
Loving all the fun and looking for a way to keep it going? Download the free guide, 7 Secrets to to Help Your ESL Class Run Like a Dream!
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