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5 Most Popular ESL Games

5 Most Popular ESL Games | ITTT | TEFL Blog

After doing some research online and asking some of my friends who are experienced teachers, I have compiled a list below of what we believe to be the five favorite flashcard games. Until I am a practicing teacher myself, I cannot come up with my favorite list and it would also, of course, depend on the age and ability of the students.

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Alessandra F. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.

1. Musical Chairs

This is a classic game from our childhood and always guarantees to make everybody laugh. The way it works is, you place a flashcard on each chair, and there is one number of chairs less than there are students. You start playing music for a short period (five or ten seconds) and when it stops, the students must try and find a seat. At this point there is one student left standing, this student can now choose a student sitting on a chair to name the flashcard if they do not say it correctly, they have to give up the chair to the standing student and they are out. Then the music starts again, and this carries on until there is a winner.

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2. Bean Bag Toss

Place cards face down on the floor. Students toss bean bags on a card and must be able to say the word or letter to keep the card. If they can’t say the word, it gets turned over and another student gets a try.

3. Blind Man

Separate students into two groups and prepare two sets of the same cards. Hand out the cards to each group, one card per student. Blindfold only one-half of students. The non-blindfolded students stand in a well-spaced line and begin the game by calling out the name of their card. At first, nobody knows who has the same cards. Students can only respond if they hear the name of their card, and only by saying the name of the card in a back and forth fashion. The winner is the first pair to touch.

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4. Bingo

Arrange the cards in a 5×5 Bingo card. As cards are pulled from a hat or basket, students place a marker on their cards. Five markers in a row win. This will work with even two students. It’s fun on the floor with big cards or on a table with smaller cards.

5. Write Around the Room

Put cards around the room, give students a blank piece of paper on a clipboard, and have them search around the room for cards to write on their boards. Once all the words are ‘found’, students then must write the words again in alphabetical order. This is a classic ‘Write Around the Room’ activity and good for getting kids out of their seats.

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I look forward to putting these games into practice with my students very soon. My aim is to teach young learners in Southern Spain where I have lived all my life and are therefore bilingual as there is a very high demand to learn English in this area. My best friends have a very successful academy and are kindly going to allow me to gain experience as a teacher.

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