7 Non-Trivial Online ESL Games
There are many famous games used by TEFL teachers that students know like the back of their hand. If you want to change up your online lessons and bring even more fun in your teaching, check out these seven non-trivial online ESL games to help you in every stage of the TEFL class.
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1. Connect The Dots
For this activity, you will need to prepare a digital image and share it with a student during the online class. You can find plenty of connect-the-dots worksheets on the internet. The student needs to have access to the drawing tool, so make sure the online conference program you use has this feature.
Choose a picture that would accompany the lesson's topic. Ask a student to connect the dots at the beginning of the online class to find out what you will learn in the course.
For example, the topic of the lesson is "Food." Use a connect-the-dots worksheet with some food but don't announce the name of the theme. Explain to your student that they need to find out what they will learn today by connecting the dots.
You can also use this activity to cheer your students up at the end of the class.
Also Read: "What Kind of Teacher Do You Want to Be?"
2. Simon Says
This is one of the most popular online ESL games. Iit's great for practicing ESL vocabulary related to the "Body parts" theme without any preparation.
You can play this game on the lesson's activate stage after pre-teaching the target words to help your student remember the vocabulary or to use it at the beginning of the online class to warm up.
Please take part in the game to build a stronger rapport with the student and speed it up gradually to make it more fun.
3. Online Word Chain
For this activity, you'll need a shared google doc. Choose a topic, write the first word related to it. Then ask your student to remember a name beginning with the last letter of your word. Make a word chain as long as you want.
It's a fun game to warm up and engage your student in the lesson. You can also use it in the activate stage or to wrap up the class.
This is one of our favorite online ESL games for bigger online classrooms, but you can also play it one-on-one. Get an online word generator or make a list of words in advance. Show a timer on your screen.
You can set teams if there are many students, or they can play on their own. Your task is to explain a word without naming it. If a student or a team gets it, they score a point. The team/player with the most points wins.
To make the game harder, ask students to explain words to their teams. For this, use a private chat on Zoom with the student who becomes a host. If their team guesses the story, they get a score. Then the second team takes their turn.
5. I Went to The Market and Bought
If your students have already known the Past Simple Tense, this game is for them. It's great to practice both grammar (Past Simple and articles) and vocabulary.
Start the game by saying, "I went to the market and bought something beginning with A." If you play with a group of students, choose a person to continue by saying the last thing beginning with A and something beginning with B. The game continues through the whole alphabet.
Modification: Choose a topic to play this game. For example, you can review food, toys, and clothes vocabulary.
Pay attention to the usage of articles and plurals.
Also Read: 5 Great No-Prep Games to Teach New Idioms
6. Don't Say Yes or No
You will need to prepare a list of questions related to a specific topic, such as regular activities or preferences. You can use this game to check your students' understanding of Present Simple and how well they remember the target vocabulary.
They need to answer your questions without saying YES/NO. So, to make sure the students understand the task, give them several examples before starting the game.
E.g., Are you a cat person? - I like dogs more than cats. Do you take showers? - I take showers every evening before going to bed.
7. Would You Rather?
This game is cool as a get-to-know activity or as a part of a conversation class. Plus, it will help you explain a grammatical structure "would you rather?/ I'd rather".
Prepare a list of words beginning with "Would you rather." Let a student choose between two options and explain why.
For example: Would you rather eat a salad or a soup?
Mind your students' level. If you work with less advanced students, stick to a particular topic they know for sure. If you work with advanced level adults, you can ask more complex and controversial questions.
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You can play these online ESL games in your virtual classrooms or adapt them to the real world. Make sure you adjust them to your students' needs and explain the rules clearly!
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